Question About Pistol Ammunition From Dragnet

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by emjee, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. emjee

    emjee Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Marin County, Ca.
    I was just watching Dragnet, and it was an episode about a lady shooting her son-in-law. The gun they found next to the body was a 38 colt but the bullet they took from the body was from a 9 mm.
    My question is about something Joe Friday said when he was handed a bullet from the colt. He said " 6 right, .38 colt, so what?"
    Then the ballistics guy hands him the bullet from the body and Friday says "Hmm..6 LEFT, 9 mm"
    Can anyone tell me what this "6 left", "6 right" means?
     
  2. Jrw8214

    Jrw8214 Member

    Messages:
    3,001
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    Sounds like scriptwriting from people who didnt know anything about guns.
     
  3. raph

    raph Member

    Messages:
    1,425
    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Location:
    California
    I can only think it has something to do with standard .38s being six-shooters and standard 9mms (of the time) being 7 shooters, so when the ballistics guys said 6 left he meant 6 bullets left in .38 because it wasn't used in the crime at all, or 6 bullets left in the 9mm.
     
  4. Jrw8214

    Jrw8214 Member

    Messages:
    3,001
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah thats the only thing i can come up with. But a viewer understanding that in the dialogue?
     
  5. emjee

    emjee Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Marin County, Ca.
    I don't know if this helps, but the 9 mm came from a German Luger. Since one is "Right" and the other one is "Left" I am thinking the term has something to do with direction.
     
  6. emjee

    emjee Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Marin County, Ca.
    Could it have anything to do with the direction the bullet spins as it leaves the barrel?
     
  7. Jiffy_Jeff

    Jiffy_Jeff Playin Tunes and Having Fun! Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,409
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
    Or six shots from the left hand. Or six from the right.

    Both taking a guess at the caliber. Although its printed on the bottom.
     
  8. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,306
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    I would say six groves or lands, left or right twist, which (in theory), you might see on the bullet if captured whole and unmolested. Groves and lands are the rifling pattern in the barrel that spins the bullet in flight.

    A 9mm and a .38 is the same caliber (diameter), so the rifling could (if accurately stated) determine what kind of gun it came from.
     
  9. 65DuoSonic

    65DuoSonic Member

    Messages:
    4,986
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    Santa Barbara County, CA.
    ^This. They are referring to the rifling patterns, in order to figure out what type of gun fired the bullet.
     
  10. Jrw8214

    Jrw8214 Member

    Messages:
    3,001
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    You can shoot a 9mm in a .38 or .357 Magnum revolver but they dont use the same bullet. A 9mm Luger uses a .355 or .356 bullet weighing 115, 124, or 147 grains. A .38/357 uses a .357(hence the name) diameter bullet that can weigh 110, 125, 130, 148, 158, 180, or 200 grains.
     
  11. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,470
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Connecticut, outside of Hartford
    A better question is why the hell they choose an obscure round like the .38 Colt? It spent about 5 minutes as a standard military round until people actually started getting shot with it. It turns out that shooting someone with a .38 Colt is a terrible idea, as you're likely just to piss them off even more. By the early 1900s, it had all but disappeared. Just the fact that they took the bullet out of a DEAD body should have been enough to rule out the .38 Colt.
     
  12. crambone

    crambone Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,184
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
  13. Jrw8214

    Jrw8214 Member

    Messages:
    3,001
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    It was the 60's. A lot of old guns still floating around back then like they were nothing. My grandpa has a derringer in .38 colt that he has has for years. Also it wasn't that bad of a cartridge for its time. It just sucked as a military cartridge because it wouldn't work on a charging enemy hopped up on adrenalin or something else.
     
  14. emjee

    emjee Member

    Messages:
    2,870
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    Marin County, Ca.
    You can't possibly be saying a .38 Colt cannot kill a person can you?
     
  15. 84superchamp

    84superchamp Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    26,152
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Okie Dokie, Indiana
    i love this thread; just the facts.
     
  16. Otto Tune

    Otto Tune Member

    Messages:
    3,817
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    A revolver round is different from a semi-auto round because of the rim on the casing which aids the extractor in removing the spent cartridge. In a revolver, there is no ring since the revolver doesn't fling the empties out.

    I guess we could get into Moon clips, eh?
     
  17. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,470
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Connecticut, outside of Hartford
    Yes, that's exactly what I said.

    :sarcasm

    It has terrible ballistics. The army unofficially dropped it almost immediately, and officially dropped after not too long. It's a pretty obscure round that has no real value other than collector value.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  18. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,470
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Connecticut, outside of Hartford
    Actually, the common way of doing it is to have a replaceable cylinder...with moon clips. It's not so uncommon. I want to say that there are even a couple of revolvers that come with the interchangeable cylinder, but I can't seem to bring one to mind right now. Honestly, I'm not really sure why anyone would want to do that, though. .45ACP is a common revolver round, with moon clips too.

    A 9mm round wouldn't even fit in a .38 cylinder. The 9mm case is larger...thicker, I think, probably because it has to head space on the end of the case. People have been known to bore out a .38 cylinder to fit 9mm, and then use clips and switch back and forth, but it's a lousy practice because then .38/.357 rounds expand the case, leading to all sorts of other problems.
     
  19. Jrw8214

    Jrw8214 Member

    Messages:
    3,001
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    There are far worse rounds than .38 Colt. It worked fine in the 19th century for civilians. It sucked as a military round because when they were using it in the Phillipines the natives would charge them and be hopped up on adrenaline and probably local stimulants. 9mm has been known to have the exact same problem in military situations. In civilian cases a .38 Colt would be sufficient as most people arent charging at you with a full charge of adrenaline and back when it was invented we didnt have people taking drugs that would make them stronger so it didnt take as much back then to stop a man. People carried the round just fine after it was invented in 1877. Before that people were using .38 Short Colt which is even weaker in Colt Cap n Ball conversions. It wasnt until the late 1800s when large city police departments requested a more powerful cartridge to take down black men hopped up on cocaine.....yes thats why .38 Special was invented. I know its not PC to say so, but thats where it came from.

    Yeah you have to have a separate cylinder for 9mm and its quite common, mostly on single action revolvers because its quicker and easier to swap the cylinders. Ruger and other companies offer SAA clones offer their .38/357 revolvers with a spare 9mm cylinder an .45 Colt revolvers with a .45 ACP cylinder. Right now you can buy a Ruger Blackhawk in either one of those packages.
     
  20. Jrw8214

    Jrw8214 Member

    Messages:
    3,001
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    Also keep in mind a cartridge might appear to perform one way on paper but perform differently in a real life scenario. Elmer Keith for example claimed that .41 Colt was a much better fight stopper and self defense round than .38 Special, even though on paper they are ballistically identical.
     

Share This Page