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Old 01-14-2022, 07:56 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Default .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?

What does everyone think? I have kept them out of my S&W M-12 and I'm sure others have been careful of them, too. I recently sent some factory 135gr factory loads home with Larry Gibson from the Cast Boolit forum and he pressure tested them in a contender .357 barrel with a pressure trace.

The .38spl gave only 16,600psi which is below the 17,000psi of standard pressure loads.

The .357mag gave 23,800psi which is very low for .357 and is supposed to be for controllability.

I'm wondering if I could use the .38spl in my M-12 and not have to worry about cracking the frame under the barrel boss. Anyone got any input on this?
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:18 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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I tested a cylinder in my old school cobra and that's what I use. I don't practice with them though like I do my j frame.
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:27 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Thanks for sharing the information on the Gold Dot load.

By firsthand reports, the Airweight frame crack 'seems' to be due mostly to over-torqued barrels, sometimes related to use, or is found with an inspection (as in, no definite cause).

If it were my gun I would use this load sparingly if it is very controllable with multiple fast shots and groups well for you. If you've found another load that meets these criteria (158 gr SWC/HP, or even 148 gr WC) I would tend to use those. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:53 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Not surprising that your factory “+ P” load is only in the upper range of standard pressure. You could surely use them for carry in your model 12. As already said frame cracks are probably due to stresses at assembly. For all alloy frame .38 spl revolvers the best practice is the old theory of carry a lot and shoot little.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:26 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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There is no assurance that every factory gold dot (from different batches) will give the same pressure as the one you tested, or even that the manufacturer will use the same powder.
If you can get a supply from the same lot # you tested, I would feel comfortable using it, with the caveat that a sample test of one may not be enough to rely on, statistically.
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:04 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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If all those J-frames with alloy frames are commonly certified(?) for +P use, why wouldn't a K-frame be as well...? I realize the ammo is "rated" as +P, but the 860fps claimed and the 16,600psi from the test referred to above isn't all that likely to destroy a numbered-Model S&W revolver. Is it?

On the other hand, does the OP's Model 12 have the alloy cylinder as well? That might make a difference...

Cheers!

P.S. Personally, I might just consider a Model 15 (Good Luck!) or a 642 or 442 as I now see them available (sans lock, of course!) again.
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:14 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Model 12's sometimes develop cracks.

I don't think anyone knows for sure why, and it likely varies from gun to gun.

So frame cracks on a model 12 or any airweight J frame are always a concern.

But my attitude is a gun is made for a purpose, and I'm not going to refrain from using it for that purpose.

If it cracks, then replace it. It's helped protect you for as long as you have had it, so its served it purpose.

So I would shoot enough +P gold dots to be sure you know the point of impact, and then practice with normal pressure range loads.
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:26 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STORMINORMAN View Post
If all those J-frames with alloy frames are commonly certified(?) for +P use, why wouldn't a K-frame be as well...? I realize the ammo is "rated" as +P, but the 860fps claimed and the 16,600psi from the test referred to above isn't all that likely to destroy a numbered-Model S&W revolver. Is it?

On the other hand, does the OP's Model 12 have the alloy cylinder as well? That might make a difference...

Cheers!

P.S. Personally, I might just consider a Model 15 (Good Luck!) or a 642 or 442 as I now see them available (sans lock, of course!) again.


For some reason this keep being brought up! NO MODEL-MARKED M&P AIRWEIGHT (MODEL 12) HAS EVER HAD AN ALUMINUM CYLINDER. Only some of the earliest pre-model marked guns ever had the aluminum cylinders, and the Air Force M-13 series. If you have any number SCSW try reading it, you will see this is correct!
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:11 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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I would just shoot all the ammo types and grades that were made during that time, for that model 12.

I don't think the 135 gr, Gold Dot SB ammo falls into that group, though?
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:12 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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I have a 637 no dash that is one of the first made and predates the use of nickle plating on the frame. It has a clearcoat anodyze of the frame. I use Speer GD 135 grain short barrel in it as a carry load. When I first got it many years ago, I practiced with it and it was the most accurate J frame that I had used, especially with the 135 grain short barrel. Now I fire about 5 rds every year or so to make sure it still hits where I aim. Otherwise I do not practice with it. Just carry it.
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:50 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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If its not cracked now, those very moderate loads aren't going to crack it.

+P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!!
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Old 01-15-2022, 09:25 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
For some reason this keep being brought up! NO MODEL-MARKED M&P AIRWEIGHT (MODEL 12) HAS EVER HAD AN ALUMINUM CYLINDER. Only some of the earliest pre-model marked guns ever had the aluminum cylinders, and the Air Force M-13 series. If you have any number SCSW try reading it, you will see this is correct!
I take it by this you don't believe the OP has an ALUMINUM CYLINDER...?

Cheers!

P.S. This was news to me! Can't believe everything you read on wiki...

Last edited by STORMINORMAN; 01-15-2022 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Add. P.S.
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Old 01-15-2022, 10:51 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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I carry the Gold Dot load in my Model 12-2, although I only put about 50 rounds of it thru the gun each year. Gold Dot is our current issue .38 ammo, so that’s what I use. The rest of the shooting is with 130gr FMJ. So far, in five years, nothing bad has happened to my revolver.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:19 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Buffalo Bore has some standard pressure 38 Special that would be good.

I will admit I used some factory 158 gr LSWC +P in my M12-3 carry revolver with no problems, but only fired a few rounds to check POI.
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Old 01-16-2022, 12:35 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironhead7544 View Post
Buffalo Bore has some standard pressure 38 Special that would be good.

I will admit I used some factory 158 gr LSWC +P in my M12-3 carry revolver with no problems, but only fired a few rounds to check POI.
Is Buffalo Bore Ammo SAAMI compliant? I find it hard to believe anyone can produce a 158gr .38 Special to 1250fps without being over pressure.

Do not get me wrong, I am not talking down Buffalo Bore, they are a good company making a quality product. I would be skeptical of any ammo with those numbers.
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:16 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
Is Buffalo Bore Ammo SAAMI compliant? I find it hard to believe anyone can produce a 158gr .38 Special to 1250fps without being over pressure.

Do not get me wrong, I am not talking down Buffalo Bore, they are a good company making a quality product. I would be skeptical of any ammo with those numbers.
Their standard 38spl 158gr LSWCHP GC runs 850fps out of a 2”, iirc.

Here’s a cut and paste of tested velocity for the standard round:
➤ 854 fps (256 ft. lbs.) -- S&W mod. 60, 2-inch barrel
➤ 871 fps (266 ft. lbs.) -- S&W mod. 66, 2.5-inch barrel
➤ 930 fps (303 ft. lbs.) -- Ruger SP101, 3-inch barrel
➤ 979 fps (336 ft. lbs.) -- S&W Mt. Gun, 4-inch barrel

Here’s a cut and paste of the +P 158gr LSWCHP GC:
➤ 1,040 fps (379 ft. lbs.) -- S&W mod. 60, 2-inch
➤ 1,059 fps (393 ft. lbs.) -- S&W mod. 66, 2.5-inch
➤ 1,143 fps (458 ft. lbs.) -- Ruger SP101, 3-inch
➤ 1,162 fps (474 ft. lbs.) -- S&W Mt. Gun, 4-inch

Last edited by John Patrick; 01-16-2022 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:43 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
Is Buffalo Bore Ammo SAAMI compliant? I find it hard to believe anyone can produce a 158gr .38 Special to 1250fps without being over pressure.

Do not get me wrong, I am not talking down Buffalo Bore, they are a good company making a quality product. I would be skeptical of any ammo with those numbers.

Anyone ever check the bullet diameter in Buffalo Bore's +P ammo? As I understand it, back in the day, Super Vel obtained screaming velocity at +P pressure, but used slightly undersized bullets to accomplish their velocity goal.
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Old 01-16-2022, 10:15 AM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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From my own chronographing of 158 gr plain base cast SWCs out of my 2”,3” and 4” model 10s the std pressure velocities listed above seem realistic at about the top of the 17,000 psi limit. The +P velocities seem to be a bit much without exceeding the 20,000 psi limit.
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Old 01-16-2022, 03:15 PM
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.38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun? .38spl 135gr GDHPSB in a non +P gun?  
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In my test with a J frame M49 , all steel, revolver..........

I found that the fps and the pressures of my loads could be night and day
dependind on the amout of crimp that I put on the bullet !!

With a heavy crimp, just 5.0 grs of Unique could get the lead 158 bullet
into the 850 fps area.
I did not ever try out the listed maximum load of Unique power, that was
listed in my manuals and I also pulled the plug on my Blue Dot powder !!

One has to remenber, that in the old days, a "Standard" 158 out of a 6" revolver
was stated to be able to do 960 fps.
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