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Old 06-09-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default Plus-P 38 special in older guns

I have older S&W Model 49 and 36 I've been shooting standard pressure 38 special ammo in. When I was shopping for standard pressure ammo during the ammo short supply MagTech was the only standard pressure ammo I found and I did stock up.
My understanding is 38 special has been downloaded in factory ammunition and maybe current plus-P ammo is at pressures equal to the old standard 38 special ammo. Would this be correct as I'm hearing such on another gun forum and internet claims make me suspicious always.

So my question is would I be safe shooting today's plus-Ps in older J frames on occasion and for carry or would I be better off using standard pressure 38s in them as I have?
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:49 PM
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian41 View Post
I have older S&W Model 49 and 36 I've been shooting standard pressure 38 special ammo in. When I was shopping for standard pressure ammo during the ammo short supply MagTech was the only standard pressure ammo I found and I did stock up.
My understanding is 38 special has been downloaded in factory ammunition and maybe current plus-P ammo is at pressures equal to the old standard 38 special ammo. Would this be correct as I'm hearing such on another gun forum and internet claims make me suspicious always.

So my question is would I be safe shooting today's plus-Ps in older J frames on occasion and for carry or would I be better off using standard pressure 38s in them as I have?
Most people will tell you it's OK to fire a limited amount of +P ammo in your gun. Only you can decide if it is worth the risk, if any. Now for me personally, I would stick with standard pressure ammo. The following load is standard pressure but has the knockdown power of almost all current 38 Special+P and is my daily carry load in all my 38 Special guns...........
Click it
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:16 PM
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I can't tell you what to do with your revolver but I'll tell you what I do with mine. The current pressures generated by most .38 Special +P ammo will not damage all steel revolvers made after WWII. (IMO of course) I shoot Remington FBI Load ammo (158gr LSWC/HP +P) in my older M36 and pre-Model 10 all the time without issues. I'm not telling you you should do the same, only that I do...

As for Buffalo Bore ammo, I find it very hard to believe ammo that generated so much more velocity than any other standard pressure ammo actually stays within SAAMI pressure limits.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:14 PM
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If I had an older Model 36 or 49, I wouldn't lose a bit of sleep carrying +P ammo in it. Shooting moderate amounts of +P in one of those steel guns is not going to hurt a thing in my opinion.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:09 AM
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I can't tell you what to do with your revolver but I'll tell you what I do with mine. The current pressures generated by most .38 Special +P ammo will not damage all steel revolvers made after WWII. (IMO of course) I shoot Remington FBI Load ammo (158gr LSWC/HP +P) in my older M36 and pre-Model 10 all the time without issues. I'm not telling you you should do the same, only that I do...

As for Buffalo Bore ammo, I find it very hard to believe ammo that generated so much more velocity than any other standard pressure ammo actually stays within SAAMI pressure limits.
As an ammunition manufacturer BB has powders available that you and I can't get for reloading. I have been shooting Buffalo Bore® 357 Magnum and 38 Special ammunition since it was first introduced. I shoot the 158gr LSWCHPGC standard pressure in my 38 Special guns, and the same bullet in +P flavor in my 357 Magnums. In all those years I've never encountered an over pressure load (blown out cases, flattened primers, or sticky extraction). Both loads have identical POA/POI in my guns.

I wish you the best of luck in what you choose to carry and shoot; as for me, I will continue to use 158gr BB ammunition in my 38 Special and 357 Magnum revolvers. Regards...........
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:38 AM
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I shoot the 158gr LSWCHPGC standard pressure in my 38 Special guns, and the same bullet in +P flavor in my 357 Magnums. In all those years I've never encountered an over pressure load (blown out cases, flattened primers, or sticky extraction).

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.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:49 AM
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Standard psi for practice, +P for carry.

This is my strategy in my old 37 no-dash. My gun will last forever and I won't have to worry about harming it, but if I ever need to save my life I will have that extra umpf that may make a difference.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for the replys guys. I think I'll stick to standard loads, my moderate reloads and maybe some plus-Ps on occasion.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:36 PM
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FYI when I ran several rounds of Buffalo Bore 158 +P through my 638 I found it almost impossible to extract after the fifth shot. I had to pull out all five by hand so I switched to CorBon 110 DPX +P and the problem vanished.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:46 PM
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Gee , this hasn't come up before , now has it?

Modern commercial .38 Special +P is loaded slightly hotter than current 'standard' .38 Special , which is held low due to concerns over firing in older revolvers , or in guns chambered in .38 Long Colt , but still well below industry 'maximum'.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:49 PM
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It sure has come up before.. Maybe I'm wrong, but....

I am sure I saved a copy, but can't seem to find it right now - an old S&W ad saying the K frame 38's of the time could handle the 38/44 loads of that same era. That alone says something.

Enough people have chron'd original boxes of that ammo, and compared it to current ammo, to satisfy me that current ammo has been downloaded from back then.

Considering how our society has changed the way it handles personal responsibility, liability lawsuits, and so on, ammo company lawyers might demand their employers download ammo. Again, chrono some old ammo, check the old ammo companies published data, and compare it with current ammo & data.

And todays' metals are stronger, and manufacturering tolerances are tighter. We not only have .357 J frames, but some are made of new super lightweight metals, and they have the recoil to prove it.

Todays' handguns should handle yesterdays' ammo without trouble. Seems the old standard .38 ammo was as powerful as today's +P.

So, maybe I'm mistaken, but I see companys basing policies and procedures on what "might happen" every day. Seems the post WW2 steel frame .38 Special S&W's should handle current +P factory ammo without much problem. The J frames will probably do better than our hands will.

I duuno, but looking at chrono'd ammo, published data, society, and so on, this seems to make sense to me.

FWIW...
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:26 PM
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...38/44 loads of that same era...to satisfy me that current ammo has been downloaded from back then.
Of course it has, if you are comparing only with yesteryear's 38/44 loads. But it is not appropriate to make that comparison. The 38/44's were designed to be fired in an all steel N frame that would pull your pants down if hung on a belt. Today's .38 Specials are largely intended to be fired out of J frame mouse guns, many of which have alloy frames. In the actual comparisons I have done, there is not much difference between today's standard loads and standard loads of years ago.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:14 PM
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It sure has come up before.. Maybe I'm wrong, but....

I am sure I saved a copy, but can't seem to find it right now - an old S&W ad saying the K frame 38's of the time could handle the 38/44 loads of that same era. That alone says something.

Enough people have chron'd original boxes of that ammo, and compared it to current ammo, to satisfy me that current ammo has been downloaded from back then.

Considering how our society has changed the way it handles personal responsibility, liability lawsuits, and so on, ammo company lawyers might demand their employers download ammo. Again, chrono some old ammo, check the old ammo companies published data, and compare it with current ammo & data.

And todays' metals are stronger, and manufacturering tolerances are tighter. We not only have .357 J frames, but some are made of new super lightweight metals, and they have the recoil to prove it.

Todays' handguns should handle yesterdays' ammo without trouble. Seems the old standard .38 ammo was as powerful as today's +P.

So, maybe I'm mistaken, but I see companys basing policies and procedures on what "might happen" every day. Seems the post WW2 steel frame .38 Special S&W's should handle current +P factory ammo without much problem. The J frames will probably do better than our hands will.

I duuno, but looking at chrono'd ammo, published data, society, and so on, this seems to make sense to me.

FWIW...
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®.
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:33 PM
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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®.
American ammo is loaded to SAAMI pressure limits whereas European ammo is loaded by CIP pressure limits. CIP limits are generally higher than SAAMI limits.

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Old 06-13-2011, 05:36 PM
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American ammo is loaded to SAAMI pressure limits whereas European ammo is loaded by CIP pressure limits. CIP limits are generally higher and SAAMI limits.

C.I.P.= Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:28 PM
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I'm glad I could help...
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:13 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?
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:04 PM
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What do you think?
I think most of the old ads significantly overstated the velocities on factory loads back then. I can't speak to published data from 1900, but the info from the factories in the 1960's and 1970's was surely exagerated. There is a thread on this forum from a year or so ago where several LEO from that era (including myself) expressed this opinion. That changed in the 1978/79 timeframe with the new testing requirements for revolvers ammo. This may be why for many years the Secret Service loaded their own ammo in the basement of the Treasury building in DC. Just my opinion.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:42 AM
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IMHO stick with standard velocity ammo.
Jimmy's opinion and five dollars will usually purchase a cup of coffee most anywhere.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:52 AM
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I think if you want to shoot high velocity then you should buy a magnum. If you have an older gun and have any value for it them why would you be stoking it with something you are worried would ruin it. After seeing several cracked alloy framed guns recently if gets easy to believe the use of +P's are the culprit. Shooting some good soft lead HP's at standard velocity will get the job done unless your BG is a bull moose. If you need a smallish revolver to treat with Corbon/Buffalo Bore/+P whatever, then buy a Model 60 or a SP101.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:45 PM
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I think if you want to shoot high velocity then you should buy a magnum. If you have an older gun and have any value for it them why would you be stoking it with something you are worried would ruin it. After seeing several cracked alloy framed guns recently if gets easy to believe the use of +P's are the culprit. Shooting some good soft lead HP's at standard velocity will get the job done unless your BG is a bull moose. If you need a smallish revolver to treat with Corbon/Buffalo Bore/+P whatever, then buy a Model 60 or a SP101.
Regarding this issue of alloy guns, I have a new Model 638, alloy frame that is marked to shoot +p ammo. I also own a Model 36-1, steel frame from about 1976 in like new condition that I'm told not to use +p ammo with. Comparing the 2 guns, my presumption would be that the older model 36 would handle +p ammo much better than the new 638. Am I wrong?
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:55 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?
Not trying to get off the track of the thread, but you really should stop using the blue text.

On the grey background it makes your posts very difficult to read.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:53 PM
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I have no issues with carrying +P ammunition for social purposes in even the alloy-frame J-frames, and if you're going to do that, you should verify shot placement at the range, too. I wouldn't advise feeding one, particularly an alloy-frame gun, a steady diet of them, though. If you practice a lot and you want to practice with your carry gun, I'd suggest standard or target loads for that.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:28 PM
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Something needs to be understood here. Velocity has no bearing at all on the "+P" designation. +P simply indicates that the loading develops chamber pressures above the SAAMI specs for the caliber. It is possible to have a standard velocity load that is high in chamber pressure, just as it's possible to have a higher velocity std pressure loading. Velocity and pressure has a sort of interdependence, but they are not synonymous or interchangeable by any measure.

Now, back to the original post. My experience has been that 38 Spl ammo has remained pretty consistent pressurewise over the years. However I have noticed downrating of the 357 magnum pressures over the last few decades. I've also heard complaints that the 357 loads are down to where 38 Spl +P performance used to be. Loading data from the sixties vs todays data seems to support these claims, however the powder manufacturers have claimed that they simply have better ways to measure chamber pressure, and that only current data should be used. That said, my old 38 +P load is wayyyy off the charts nowdays, and the old Model 36 I used to shoot it in never seemed to care about it at all.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
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I have older S&W Model 49 and 36 I've been shooting standard pressure 38 special ammo in. When I was shopping for standard pressure ammo during the ammo short supply MagTech was the only standard pressure ammo I found and I did stock up.
My understanding is 38 special has been downloaded in factory ammunition and maybe current plus-P ammo is at pressures equal to the old standard 38 special ammo. Would this be correct as I'm hearing such on another gun forum and internet claims make me suspicious always.

So my question is would I be safe shooting today's plus-Ps in older J frames on occasion and for carry or would I be better off using standard pressure 38s in them as I have?
I have always thought that S&W said that +P in limited amounts is ok in any of their revolvers with a Model number.

Even if not, Saxon Pig on this forum has done research and testing, and he says current +P is no hotter than old regular stuff.

If I were you, I would use standard pressure for most shooting and +P for carry and occasional familiarization.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:46 AM
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Some where I read where the steel mod 49 was designed to fire 10,000 (158gr) rounds, half which could be at 900fps velosity, befor it had to go back to the factory to be checked out.
I do not have this data on record any more or do I remember the source where it came from...............sorry.

I fire a few 158 FBI loads in mine but they are reloads that chrony at 812fps..........not the hot 850fps plus Remington factory loads. However with the new bullet designs out,I have switched over to the 135gr Gold Dot that has less recoil and is a little easier on the J frame with a better expansion record and it meets the FBI requirements.

As for a Non+p SD load, I am still working on a 125 Jhp at 900fps or a 148 BBwc at 775fps that meets my requirments in accuracy,poa, expanion,penetration, recoil and follow up shots.

I don't have this problem with the 686.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:57 PM
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Not trying to get off the track of the thread, but you really should stop using the blue text.

On the grey background it makes your posts very difficult to read.
I corrected that; THANK YOU for bringing it to my attention!
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:44 AM
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Default Plus-P 38 special in older guns

I have both a Model 10 and Model 36 which are both 33 years old. The Smith & Wesson armorers at the Police Department from which I retired recommend using 135 gr +P Speer Gold Dot JHP in both of them as a SD round. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:48 PM
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American ammo is loaded to SAAMI pressure limits whereas European ammo is loaded by CIP pressure limits. CIP limits are generally higher than SAAMI limits.

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Old 08-19-2013, 11:21 AM
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I own both a S&W RHKP M-10 and Saudi M-49. Neither would shoot to point of aim with standard pressure 38 Special. Then one day I gave Remington +P 158gr LSWC-HP FBI loads a try. Bingo! both revolvers sht to point of aim...
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:02 PM
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"Something needs to be understood here. Velocity has no bearing at all on the "+P" designation. +P simply indicates that the loading develops chamber pressures above the SAAMI specs for the caliber"

Wow, is that statement ever wrong. +P is under SAAMI specs. +P+ does not have SAAMI specs.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:12 PM
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This whole apprehension thing about the danger of using +P loads is insane. +P is perfectly safe to use in ANY steel frame .38 Special revolver - even the oldies. The real reason not to use it is economics - it costs too much.

Be aware that back in the "old days" of the 1930s, the ammunition companies advertised .38/44 ammunition (under whatever name) as being safe to use in ANY revolver chambered in .38 Special, even the old ones from pre-WWI that were not heat-treated. And the .38/44 loads were far more potent than today's +P loads, over 1100 ft/sec with a 158 grain bullet. The only warning they provided was that of substantially greater recoil when fired in lighter revolvers.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:57 PM
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Default I believe they use a triplex charge

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I can't tell you what to do with your revolver but I'll tell you what I do with mine. The current pressures generated by most .38 Special +P ammo will not damage all steel revolvers made after WWII. (IMO of course) I shoot Remington FBI Load ammo (158gr LSWC/HP +P) in my older M36 and pre-Model 10 all the time without issues. I'm not telling you you should do the same, only that I do...

As for Buffalo Bore ammo, I find it very hard to believe ammo that generated so much more velocity than any other standard pressure ammo actually stays within SAAMI pressure limits.
The triplex charge enables the pressure peak to be wider instead of having just one sharp peak. The wider area can deliver power longer and still stay under the maximum peak pressure. The thing is that you and I can't do this because it takes testing equipment that we don't have to make sure these rounds stay within Sammi spec. I've heard of some of the wildcat hand loaders using a pinch of this and little bit of that, but they blew up a lot of guns, too.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
"Something needs to be understood here. Velocity has no bearing at all on the "+P" designation. +P simply indicates that the loading develops chamber pressures above the SAAMI specs for the caliber"

Wow, is that statement ever wrong. +P is under SAAMI specs. +P+ does not have SAAMI specs.
Oh come on, everyone knows what he meant. He left out, "+P simply indicates that the loading develops chamber pressures above the standard pressure SAAMI specs for the caliber"

He is completely correct, the +P designation refers to pressure, not velocity.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:21 PM
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This issue has come up many times. I would not shoot +P in older aluminum framed guns as in my 37 but I would try a few in my 36 all steel framed gun. I carry the 37 always and carry standard pressure ammunition in that gun. If you go on You Tube there are many testings for standard loadings in 38 special. I use either Hornady Critical Defense 110 FTX or Hornady 158 xtp and have carried Remington 110 sjhp also. The 158's penetrate very well and I have to say, I do deepen the hp a bit on these rounds. I just want the tip to expand or peel back somewhat, then penetrate with the heavy bullet weight behind it. The critical defense ftx bullets work very well my only concern is enough penetration. Most accurate in my gun is the Remington 110 SJHP.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:14 PM
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I finally finished up with my test of +P loads in my M49 S&W.

I tried to make the little 110 Jhp Sierra and Winchester bullets work but with seven powders and three primers the best I could get was a target/practice load at 860 fps that shot 1" low with 4 of 5 at 1.16 inches at ten feet.
I did get a "Cor-Bon" type load with a maximum amout of Unique at 996 fps that shot well but I do not think a 110gr is a bullet that I want to trust my life on for penetration and getting the job done, 100% of the time.

I did get the Speer Gold Dot and Remington 125 gr Jhp bullets to work for me with a fps from 889 to 903, where the bullets performed well and had around 222 ft/lbs of energy with around 4.38 ft/lbs of recoil in the litthe snub nose.

The factory Speer 135 has a recoil of around 4.78 ft/lbs with the same energy.

Now for the FBI 158 lead test.........

The factory Remington FBI load can go from around 880 to as high as 890 fps in snub nose revolvers depending on their shape and conditions. My box gave 851 fps, 254 ft/lbs of energy and the recoil from handloads.com read out at 5.86 ft/lbs.
My most accurate reload with 4.5grs of powder gave 822fps, 237 ft/lbs of energy and only 5.31 ft/lbs of recoil plus it shot at POA with 5 at 1.5 inches at ten feet.
I did have one powder with a heavy crimp post 948 fps with over 730 ft/lbs of RECOIL that I only fired 3 of the 5 reloads, since I knew this was just a wee bit over what might be called a maximum load, per the recoil and noise, that it made.
This was a maximum load in a alliant manual but I think the very heavy crimp, put it over the spec's and what my revolver was made to handle.

For me a 125gr at around 888..........

or a factory 135 or 158 FBI is about as good as it gets for the 38 snub nose for maximum power loads.......... but this does not leave out the standard loads that have also worked over the years in stopping a threat.

As I stated in the beginning I do not like the little 110gr JHP but I would HATE to have two of them rattling around inside my body !!
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:18 PM
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There are 5 Speer 135 grain .38 Special +P Gold Dot Short Barrel cartridges nestled in the chambers of the Model 60 in my holster right now.

I would not hesitate to load them - or the +P LSWCHP loads in a Model 36 or 49 either.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
The triplex charge enables the pressure peak to be wider instead of having just one sharp peak. The wider area can deliver power longer and still stay under the maximum peak pressure. The thing is that you and I can't do this because it takes testing equipment that we don't have to make sure these rounds stay within Sammi spec. I've heard of some of the wildcat hand loaders using a pinch of this and little bit of that, but they blew up a lot of guns, too.
What evidence do you have that suggests they use a triplex charge?
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Warren Sear View Post
What evidence do you have that suggests they use a triplex charge?
I've come across it in my reading. I have no evidence except that is a primary explanation for the velocities that they are getting without exceeding Sammi specs. Maybe you could call it a 'special blend' of powder. How do you think BB gets the velocities that they do?
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:04 PM
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Back in the days of the Dinosaurs both Elmer Keith and Jeff Cooper advocated loading 158 gr LSWC bullets with enough Red Dot and or Green Dot powder to achieve 1000 fps. in 2 inch J frames. This in the 1950' and 60's.

At gun shows I have been able to pick up .38 special +p+ boxes of 50 rounds for less than 25 rounds of +p. I guess people are afraid of it and avoid it. I carry and shoot ever so sparingly those +p+ out of my M 36 and 642. No signs of injury after 15 years or so. We must remember that these rounds are anti personal rounds, therefore realistically, how many will you really shoot? I might shoot 10 rounds a year a piece in my 2 J frames. The rest are easy does it reloads.

So the Big question is, If I have a gun chambered for .38 Special or .357 Magnum, can I shoot .38 Special and .357 Magnum out of them. The answer is, of course you can. People need to stop being afraid of their guns. (he said in a friendly way with a smile)

ps....the bullet weight for the +p+ are 110 gr Winchester and Federal and 147 gr Winchester.

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Old 08-21-2013, 10:15 PM
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"Back in the days of the Dinosaurs both Elmer Keith and Jeff Cooper advocated loading 158 gr LSWC bullets with enough Red Dot and or Green Dot powder to achieve 1000 fps. in 2 inch J frames. This in the 1950' and 60's."

Those two did advocate heavy handloads but I'll suggest that they didn't achieve those velocities with Red Dot and Green Dot. More like Unique and 2400.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:25 AM
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I might be wrong but I think they used the 38/44 and N frames for most of their heavy test loads...........

A K frame maybe but I don't remember any data where a small J frame was ever used in testing those high pressure loads............

but I was more into rifles at those times and did not keep up with all the pistol stuff back then.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
I've come across it in my reading. I have no evidence except that is a primary explanation for the velocities that they are getting without exceeding Sammi specs. Maybe you could call it a 'special blend' of powder. How do you think BB gets the velocities that they do?

No factory or boutique ammo maker uses duplex or triplex loads. They use SPECIAL CANISTER powders blended especially for them to their specs by the powder cos. This has been public info practically since Eisenhower was president.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:15 AM
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Jeff Cooper (the Guru) said:

"The .38 Spl. I consider this cartridge to be a two-inch-barrel-only proposition. In a snubby I like a 160-grain lead SWC and either five grains of Red Dot or 8.5 grains of SR4756, to break 1000 fps. Such a load is hard on the gun, but you don't get something for nothing. For a policeman who is forced to use a .38 Spl. but can go to a six-inch barrel on his duty gun, I suggest the Speer 146-grain JHP and 10 grains of SR4756, for 1300 fps. This is an overlooked combination that gets the tired old .38 up into low-end .357 performance."

Important disclaimer: I take NO responsibility for advocating or suggesting these loads, but I will tell you that I have loaded up his Red Dot load and it was really harsh in a Model 60. I only shot a few of them, and the rest have been sitting in my closet since the 1980s. As always, YOU are responsible for what you load. Just sayin'.

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Old 08-24-2014, 12:58 PM
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Seems to me we are getting sidetracked with details instead of the big picture. Tests have shown that bullet placement is far more important than bullet/velocity. Two shots to thorax or head (and often one) is pretty much a stopper for any 38 load, and most other calibers. Seems like most important is practice at the range with whatever you select for your gun. Hit 'um where it (stops 'um) hurts.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
Jeff Cooper (the Guru) said:

"The .38 Spl. I consider this cartridge to be a two-inch-barrel-only proposition. In a snubby I like a 160-grain lead SWC and either five grains of Red Dot or 8.5 grains of SR4756, to break 1000 fps. Such a load is hard on the gun, but you don't get something for nothing. For a policeman who is forced to use a .38 Spl. but can go to a six-inch barrel on his duty gun, I suggest the Speer 146-grain JHP and 10 grains of SR4756, for 1300 fps. This is an overlooked combination that gets the tired old .38 up into low-end .357 performance."

Important disclaimer: I take NO responsibility for advocating or suggesting these loads, but I will tell you that I have loaded up his Red Dot load and it was really harsh in a Model 60. I only shot a few of them, and the rest have been sitting in my closet since the 1980s. As always, YOU are responsible for what you load. Just sayin'.

John
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I'm going to go out on a limb and with the same disclaimer Paladin makes, I'm going to say that there are many makes of revolvers with all kinds of age, quality and condition.

An all steel Smith and Wesson in good shape that was designed for smokeless powder isn't going to blow up firing a typical +P round made today. This may not apply to the hot boutique rounds but for guns are strong and well made, +P just isn't that hot nowadays. It may be hard on the gun if shot continuously but it will loosen and shake before anything drastic happens. I echo Jeff Cooper's adage that a low end .357 round is effective if handled right. I load what amounts to a really hot .38 in a .357 case. Easy to handle, won't blow out your ears, especially indoors and decent velocity. Something else I prefer is something a little longer than a 2" barrel to get over the 'short barrel velocity' hump. I don't think an extra inch of barrel is going to make a gun unwieldy. Another thing I don't pay attention to is the 'one shot stop' that is the holy grail of loads. If I ever have to pull a trigger, it isn't going to be just once.

This is all just my opinion and take on things., but I've put a lot of thought and research into this and feel comfortable not carrying a big, powerful gun.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
Jeff Cooper (the Guru) said:

"The .38 Spl. I consider this cartridge to be a two-inch-barrel-only proposition. In a snubby I like a 160-grain lead SWC and either five grains of Red Dot or 8.5 grains of SR4756, to break 1000 fps. Such a load is hard on the gun, but you don't get something for nothing. For a policeman who is forced to use a .38 Spl. but can go to a six-inch barrel on his duty gun, I suggest the Speer 146-grain JHP and 10 grains of SR4756, for 1300 fps. This is an overlooked combination that gets the tired old .38 up into low-end .357 performance."

Important disclaimer: I take NO responsibility for advocating or suggesting these loads, but I will tell you that I have loaded up his Red Dot load and it was really harsh in a Model 60. I only shot a few of them, and the rest have been sitting in my closet since the 1980s. As always, YOU are responsible for what you load. Just sayin'.

John
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I'm going to go out on a limb, and with the same disclaimer that Paladin makes, I'm going to say that there are many makes of revolvers with all kinds of age, quality and condition.

An all steel Smith and Wesson in good shape that was designed for smokeless powder isn't going to blow up firing a typical +P round made today. This may not apply to the hot boutique rounds but for guns are strong and well made, +P just isn't that hot nowadays. It may be hard on the gun if shot continuously but it will loosen and shake before anything drastic happens. I echo Jeff Cooper's adage that a low end .357 round is effective if handled right. I load what amounts to a really hot .38 in a .357 case. Easy to handle, won't blow out your ears, especially indoors and decent velocity. Something else I prefer is something a little longer than a 2" barrel to get over the 'short barrel velocity' hump. I don't think an extra inch of barrel is going to make a gun unwieldy. Another thing I don't pay attention to is the 'one shot stop' that is the holy grail of loads. If I ever have to pull a trigger, it isn't going to be just once.

This is all just my opinion and take on things., but I've put a lot of thought and research into this and feel comfortable not carrying a big, powerful gun.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:17 PM
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There is a great post on another forum that I cannot link to here but in my opinion current +p is just fine, just not the really hot stuff.

I keep Winchester +p in my 1923 M&P and usually shoot 6 per range trip. Practice with non +p.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:09 PM
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My EDC J-frame and HD K-frame are loaded with the Buffalo Bore standard pressure 158 grain LSWCHP-GC. Independent reports I've read here and elsewhere say it chronographs at an honest 850 fps + a smidgin, from a two-inch barrel, comparable to the older Remington +P FBI load I carried for years. Other people posting here have tested the new Remington rendition and found it clocks well below that figure.

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.
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