Re: Thinking about a shakeup in the rifle lineup Typically 38 specials work fine in lever guns. Most of the cowboy action shooters are using them if they aren't going major caliber. However early reports are that in the Ruger bolt action gun, because it's a rotary magazine like on the 10/22 rifles, length difference between 38 and 357 does indeed matter. You CAN shoot 38s but if the round under the next round about to be chambered slides forward, the rim of the bottom bullet can catch on the rim of the top bullet, blocking the top bullet from going forward. I hope that makes sense. So Lever guns are pretty much omnivores, but the bolt, at least from early reports, seems to want a diet of 357, but can digest 38, if you don't mind a little constipation now and again.