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  • 38 Special

    The .38 Special ammunition was used for the m/58, m/58B, and m/58C revolvers. The m/58 revolver is a Smith & Wesson Model 12 Airweight aluminum framed with the 2 inch barrel which was used by Air Force pilots and aircrew. These revolvers have now been replaced with the m/88 automatic pistol in the 9x19 caliber. The m/58B was a Smith & Wesson Model 10 with 6 inch barrel for marksmanship training and the m/58C, also a Smith & Wesson Model 10 but with a 4 inch barrel and lanyard ring, was used by Air Force Security Police.
    There are two models of 38 special ammunition used in Sweden, the m/58 and the m/72.
    The m/58 can be found with two different primers, one a bit rounded in the edges (Factory: Svenska metallverken) and one with a flat modern form factor. The productions I have seen of the m/58 ammunition are all from the era of 1959 - 1969. The m/58 is not to be found in any AMKAT catalog, so the clear specification is as such unclear for me.

    The m/72 is by the look exactly the same ammunition as the m/58, no difference in bullet or details. It is of cause impossible to find any value of looking at the powder, no conclusions to make here. It puzzled me for many years, why create a revised ammunition with a new model number, when nothing is mentioned of why? No rumors of bad accuracy or performance as of the 9x20 revision that did not even lead to a new model number in 1948 even if the projectile were totally remade.

    The story came to me by coincident one day through a former employee at Eskilstuna vapenfabrik. There was an error in the manufacturing of the m/58 ammunition giving certain batches a higher dose of powder, of cause creating a way to high pressure for any .38 weapon, and then especially the aluminum framed m/58 revolvers. The same friend had seen several demolished revolvers being handed in before the ammunition was stopped and exchanged for the m/72.
    I hope someday to find a document stating what went wrong in the manufacturing or routines. As it was not known what batches were in error, it was decided to recall all m/58 ammunition for destruction, and a new m/72 was introduced and produced instead.