.38 Special ID Guard/Gallery?

Is this some type of gallery/guard load? I found a couple of these today in a box.
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It looks to me like a home-made gallery load featuring a round lead ball and propulsion by nothing but that badly-seated primer. Jack

Roger that Jack…

Why do people do this anyway? Seems like such a waste of time

Great for backyard plinkin’ :)

It looks like the Remington Multiball Load R38SMB, I have a full box somewhere:

Cool box! I’ll set mine out for X-ray

These three were out of that box, mid-1980s’ production I think:

Looks identical thank you sir…

Then may look identical untill you take into account the headstamp & times used, PLUS the reloading mark on the primer.

That’s true Pete there is a mark on the primer that looks suspicious for sure

The headstamp, the headstamp. The REM-UMC is from the 50’-60’s the R-P is from the 60’s to today. BadgerJack’s box has a BAR code these two are probably 50 years apart.

Tho only way you will see a mark in a primer like that is by handloading, factory’s, if that mistake is made it never makes it past the inspectors station only VERY, VERY rarely.

hfh - the primer is a minor sign. It is not impossible to find a badly-seated primer in factory loads once in awhile, although the primer defect most seen in factory ammo are the very occasional primer seated backwards.

The main point is that the Remington .38 Special Multiball Load simply did not exist at the time they were still using the REM-UMC headstamp. The Multiball cartridge, Factory Index Number R38SMB, was introduced as a new item in the Remington 1989 Ammunition Price list, Effective December 1, 1988. By that time the R-P headstamp had been around for a number of years. This load remained in the Remington line only thru the catalog of 1994. It no longer appeared in the 1995 catalog.

In short, your round cannot be a factory Remington Multiball Load. Some handloader simply copied it to try it out and save money. He did a good job of duplicating the crimp, but he had a lot learn about seating primers.

John Moss

Thanks gentlemen for all that info. I don’t have a lot of references for civilian rounds, was just from the dingbat box, going back in that box… a lot of great info here!

John: The best way to see if the cartridge under discussion is multiball is to weigh it. It may have a single ball in it, or two. Jack

9.07 grams/140.0 grains

Jack - I didn’t bother to weigh it, because that is of no interest to me, personally, to be frank about it. I simply wanted to point out that even just based on the headstamp, this cannot be a factory Remington Load. I see that “hfh” weighed the entire cartridge, or that is what I am assuming. Again, it cannot be a Remington Multi-Ball because the weight of the projectiles combined, alone, was 140 grains in the Remington load. Two 70 grain 000 Buckshot.

John Moss

Yes sir, I weighed the entire cartridge, I thought it was wanted. Either way it’s not a big deal for me, I’m just glad to be here learning from everyone. I will have to be much more careful with my words, for example. Earlier when I said they looked identical I should have said that the crimp, bullet, and casing look identical, notwithstanding the HS. Anyway I do appreciate everyone sharing their knowledge here, for a young guy like me it means a lot.


One hundred and forty grains would be about right for a .38 Special case and primer and a round lead ball. Jack

Except that the Remington factory load is multi-ball, hence it has two round lead projectiles.

John M.