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  #51  
Old 08-25-2014, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by shouldazagged View Post

I have no qualms about shooting +P in my steel snubby or 1967 10-5, but I want the level of performance that the old Remington FBI load gave for decades.
I can't afford Buffalo Bore, so that's why I make my own hotties.
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  #52  
Old 09-18-2014, 11:19 AM
e3mrk e3mrk is offline
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I had a Revolver blow up in My Hand once.Believe Me it's a experience I don't want again so I always stay with what the Firearm is rated for.
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:39 PM
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I have posted my question which is - Can I shoot +P Ammo in a S&W 640 Centennial that was purchased in 1991? in many forums and got different answers. What I will say is that when I asked S&W that same exact question (3 different times), I was told by all that S&W DOES NOT RECOMMEND using +P Ammo in ANY of their guns produced before 1997. I myself (as another member posted in this same thread) am a retired Police Officer who was given +P Ammo by my department to use in my 640. I sent the gun to S&W a few months ago just to get looked over being that it’s 30 years old, not because I’ve had any issues. The gun is currently still there and I’m being told that the cylinder needs to be replaced because of expanded chambers due to the use of +P Ammo. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know but what I am going to do is use standard pressure for practice and +P for carry.

Last edited by BlueLineNYPD; 08-31-2020 at 12:02 AM.
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  #54  
Old 08-30-2020, 04:00 PM
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Good idea...............
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  #55  
Old 08-30-2020, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
[/COLOR]You will never notice pressures signs for rounds slightly over 20,000 PSI let alone slightly over 18,500 PSI. It's just my opinion the velocities they produce are "too good to be true" and when things ate too good to be true they usually are. I know they use powders we can't buy but so does every other factory ammo manufacturer.
Every Batch of BB 38 Spl ammo I've chronoed has met the advertised velocities. their loads are within SAAMI pressure specs, but are right at them. Lawyers and product liability has ammo makers scared of lawsuits and the ammo is loaded under specs.

A batch of 1951 38 spl RNL police issue load tested by a agency I worked for at the time showed that ammo was at at 21,000 psi spec, while the latest (2004) Rem 158 LSWC-HP +P was at 17,500 psi ave.

This was a large security and armored car agency that was limited to .38 spl revolver only by the state law at the time. Now 9mm is allowed as an option.
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:24 PM
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Today a 158gr bullet at 850fps is considered to be a +P load. Digging around in old books and gun magazines, I found that when the 38 Special was first introduced (1899-1902 depending on where you look); the standard load was a 158gr LRN bullet at 850fps. Today, in the 21st Century, the standard load is a 158gr bullet (lead or jacketed) at 750-755fps. So the Buffalo Bore load I carry and am so fond of (Click it) fits both categories. Kind of makes me wonder if the current Buffalo Bore® 158gr+P (Click Here) with over a 1000fps, is like the earliest +P, 38/44, or Super-Vel loads of the 1960's. What do you think?
I am in agreement. The +P BB 158 LSWC-HP is the 38/44 velocity and pressure level load of the yesteryear. The independent lab tests I talked about above shows that.

In my 4in K-frames, the BB 158 +P LSWC-HP all average between 1110-1120 fps consistently and 1000 from a 2in J or K snub.

Mind you, I don't shoot them constantly, just enough to maintain familiarity with recoil and check impacts, ~200-300 a year.
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  #57  
Old 08-30-2020, 09:28 PM
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Groo here
S&W says if the gun is steel and stamped with the model[ M10-5 etc]
Shooting +p is fine.
I think all steel 38 revolvers starting with the mode stamping were proofed with the 38-44 highspeed loads;[even snubs]
. remember most people shoot more in a year than the older guns ever had through them and light loads were used for range use....
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:19 AM
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I agree with you. One thing I have noticed over the last couple of decades, is that European ammo (Fiocchi® and Sellier & Bellot®) is loaded to higher velocities; compared to most American 38 Special loads. The Sellier & Bellot® 158gr FMJ range ammo is listed at 890fps. The same load in Remington®, Federal®, Magtech®, whether FMJ or LRN; is about 750-760fps. I wish I knew what pressure it's loaded to. Both the S&B and Fiocchi® 158gr FMJ is very accurate in my Airweight®.
I have a coupla cases of perfecta "Fiocchi" 158gr FMJ ammo and it is HOT. I saw a you tube video that chronoed it at @900fps from a 4".....
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  #59  
Old 08-31-2020, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by medic15al View Post
Every Batch of BB 38 Spl ammo I've chronoed has met the advertised velocities. their loads are within SAAMI pressure specs, but are right at them. Lawyers and product liability has ammo makers scared of lawsuits and the ammo is loaded under specs.
You chronograph your ammo to know what the velocity is. How do you know what the pressure is?

There is very little risk in making ammo loaded up to SAAMI specs. How often do you hear about guns blowing up due to over-pressure ammo? In the case of +P 38 Specials being shot in guns not designed for it I have heard of stretched frames and expanded cylinders but not the sort of explosions that would have corporate lawyers worried.

Specialty ammo producers like BB and Underwood have little to offer compared to the big manufacturers except unusual bullets, very small volume niche loadings and most importantly higher velocities. I do not think Underwood and BB could stay in business if their ammo was not more powerful than Federal, Speer, Remington, Sig, etc. They have a lot more motivation to load their ammo a llittle over SAAMI specs than other companies have to load theirs a little under. Without independent pressure measurements there is no way to tell. While every gun channel on YouTube has a chronograph none of them has way to accurately measure pressure.

Before the days of affordable chronographs ammo used to be rated as higher velocity. Those of us old enough to remember reading articles in gun magazines in the 80s all remember statements like "I am sure cartridge achieved its rated velocity in a pressure test barrel but in my gun . . ." as an explanation as to why it was falling so short of its rated velocity. The reduced velocity ratings of today's ammo has more to do with widespread independent testing than it does actual reduced loading.

I don't really know if the extra power produced by Buffalo Bore ammo is the result of big companies loading their ammo below spec, BB going over it or a combination of the two. Unless you have a way to measure pressure neither do you.
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  #60  
Old 08-31-2020, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Lively View Post
You chronograph your ammo to know what the velocity is. How do you know what the pressure is?

There is very little risk in making ammo loaded up to SAAMI specs. How often do you hear about guns blowing up due to over-pressure ammo? In the case of +P 38 Specials being shot in guns not designed for it I have heard of stretched frames and expanded cylinders but not the sort of explosions that would have corporate lawyers worried.

Specialty ammo producers like BB and Underwood have little to offer compared to the big manufacturers except unusual bullets, very small volume niche loadings and most importantly higher velocities. I do not think Underwood and BB could stay in business if their ammo was not more powerful than Federal, Speer, Remington, Sig, etc. They have a lot more motivation to load their ammo a llittle over SAAMI specs than other companies have to load theirs a little under. Without independent pressure measurements there is no way to tell. While every gun channel on YouTube has a chronograph none of them has way to accurately measure pressure.

Before the days of affordable chronographs ammo used to be rated as higher velocity. Those of us old enough to remember reading articles in gun magazines in the 80s all remember statements like "I am sure cartridge achieved its rated velocity in a pressure test barrel but in my gun . . ." as an explanation as to why it was falling so short of its rated velocity. The reduced velocity ratings of today's ammo has more to do with widespread independent testing than it does actual reduced loading.

I don't really know if the extra power produced by Buffalo Bore ammo is the result of big companies loading their ammo below spec, BB going over it or a combination of the two. Unless you have a way to measure pressure neither do you.
A security agency I worked a bit at had .38 Spl. only restriction by state law at the time and the owners and firearms instructors were enthusiasts and had several .38 loads tested. After settling on I think 6 loads, they had a lab test the pressures in them to cover the bases. All ammo was SAAMI or less with exception of one and it was rejected. (the load was a contract test submission and never was on the public market)

The BB +P loads were right on the limit, with highest velocity and accurate by advertised velocities by their website.

UA was second by 75-100fps slower but still 1000+fps (4in barrel) (Load no longer offered)

The big 3 were bumping along in the 18,000 (highest) to 16,500 (lowest) One load's velocity for +P was 800fps..

All were 38 Special +P 158 LHP loads.

I cannot give any more info on loads or companies, and this is what I was informed by the guys and I saw it on paper.

As with any +P loads, enough of anything will affect timing, stretching, or even forcing cone wear, but realistically if you shoot that much ole Bezos's fortune is chicken**** money....

Last edited by medic15al; 08-31-2020 at 09:53 AM.
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  #61  
Old 08-31-2020, 11:03 AM
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A very timely thread. My grandson wants to borrow some of my
snubbys to teach a girlfriend how to shoot. S&W Model 10-5, S&W 642-1,
and Colt's Agent. I was concerned about him maybe buying some +P.
I don't think it would be a problem for the 10-5 or the 642-1, but I think
I will let the Agent stay home.
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  #62  
Old 09-05-2020, 08:18 PM
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I'm getting something of a nostalgia buzz from this thread.

OK, back when, chronographs were owned by ammo manufacturers, a few labs and the DOD. SAAMI practice allowed whoever developed a cartridge to establish the standards for it, including the length of test barrels. IIRC, the .38 Spl test barrel was 8 in and the .357 was 10 inch. So, most chronograph testing was done with test barrels in universal receivers. Once chronographs became more widely available, it was obvious that real world velocities out of real guns wasn't close to that claimed by the factories. SAAMI finally stepped in and handgun velocity tests were done with real world barrel lengths and revolver test barrels had vents to duplicate the barrel cylinder gap. Claimed velocities dropped.

Now then, about pressure. Back in the 1980's piezo electric pressure sensors replaced the old copper crusher system. The greater sensitivity of the new system allowed real time pressure readings and some loads that were safe under the old system showed short term pressure spikes above the SAAMI limits and had to be backed down. IIRC, 200 gr SWC bullets in .45 ACP load data showed some frightening spikes.

Finally, a lot of folks here seem to believe that each and every cartridge is loaded right up to SAAMI max. That's just not true. The SAAMI max most folks refer to is the Maximum Average Pressure of an ammunition lot. The vast majority of the ammunition makers load to a velocity spec slightly under the MAP. This makes sure that the MAP of however many thousand round lots of whatever stays under the SAAMI specification.

Last edited by WR Moore; 09-05-2020 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:03 PM
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This may have started as an ancient thread, but this very subject comes up regularly, always with pretty much the same responses. Seldom, if ever, does anyone mention shooting skill, something far more important than another 100 fps in a snub nose or other revolver. Nor do these folks frequently mention quick recovery from recoil, or severe muzzle flash and blast. Shooting +P loads, particularly in a lightweight snub nose is a handful, to say the very least.

It's hard to imagine what you can't do with standard pressure ammo that you can do with +P. I'm not an easy chair gunfighting theorist consumed with jello testing, FBI reports, and other trivialities of questionable worth, but I do like to shoot a lot, particularly .38 Special revolvers from snub noses on up.

I'm still working on becoming a good shooter using standard pressure- equivalent handloads with a 158 grain cast semi-wadcutter bullet. If I do become a skilled shooter someday and feel a real need to move up to +P loads, I may do that, but probably not out of necessity.
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Old 09-05-2020, 11:26 PM
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I carried a .357 Magnum service revolver for years. My backup guns were .38 Specials, sometimes I carried +P ammo in my backups, sometimes not. In deference to my 1963-vintage S&W Model 12-2, the only .38 ammo I carry now is the standard pressure Winchester Defend 130 grain JHP. Look at the Lucky Gunner Labs results and you'll probably see why.

The only other thing I have to say about this is good luck finding any.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:42 AM
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Default I think what you pay for......

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Originally Posted by medic15al View Post
Every Batch of BB 38 Spl ammo I've chronoed has met the advertised velocities. their loads are within SAAMI pressure specs, but are right at them. Lawyers and product liability has ammo makers scared of lawsuits and the ammo is loaded under specs.

A batch of 1951 38 spl RNL police issue load tested by a agency I worked for at the time showed that ammo was at at 21,000 psi spec, while the latest (2004) Rem 158 LSWC-HP +P was at 17,500 psi ave.

This was a large security and armored car agency that was limited to .38 spl revolver only by the state law at the time. Now 9mm is allowed as an option.
I think what you pay for with primo ammo is very tight quality control and testing, where they can afford to cut the safety factor to a minimum and produce ammo the is just within saami specs.
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