''W.R.A.CO..38 COLTSP'L.'' vs ''W.R.A.CO..38 S.&W. SP'L.''

I got a mixed bag 38 SPL and found these 2 different headstamps inside. They look identical side by side. What’s the story?

Brand recognition - market share? The Colt Special is the same as the S&W Special, but intended for one of Colt’s Military models (1905 I believe). Colt also did this with the 38 S&W, giving it a flat nose bullet and calling it the Colt New Police - again, intended for Colt’s Police Positive model. Probably more to the story…

1 Like

Vlad, lay hands on an old (1937? or 1941) copy of Phillip Sharpe’s “Complete Guide to Handloading Ammunition”. You can learn about that and much more. Also track down the “Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers” by Hatcher. You can track down the rest of the story.

1 Like

i see this 38 colt special
i think colt would “create” a copy of the 38 special
but i don’t know if the two rounds had the same exact dimensions

1 Like

One has a flat nose bullet & the other doesn’t as a quick ID to tell the them apart.


Here is a free downloadable form of Sharpe’s book https://archive.org/details/Complete_Guide_to_Handloading_Sharpe_1937