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Old 09-01-2009, 04:12 PM
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Default .38 special +P+

My dad picked up some .38 special brass off of the floor of the club range after they had a CCW class. Everything was Magtech rangeclean except six nickeled cases that have a WCC 92 +P+ head stamp. I was just currious if anyone might know where this could have come from. I know WCC is Winchester, but that is about it.

I thought only military stuff was dated. I can't imagine the military buying nickeled cases. And I've never heard of .38 special +P+.

Just courrious if anyone has come across this stuff loaded or otherwise.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:41 PM
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It was probably from some WW "Treasury" loads, which was a 110 grain JHP loaded to pressures in excess of +P that were sold to various Treasury agencies back when revolvers ruled the LE world. Most of these loads were carried and fired from .357 Magnum revolvers, with the 2 1/2" Model 66 being the most popular Treasury gun for this use.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:49 PM
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That brass is probably from some Winchester Caliber 38 Special 110 gr Jacketed Controled Expansion ammo for Law Enforcement Use Only
Not for Retail Sale.

It was issued to Federal Agents.

Pressure is 15% to 20% higher than +P, approx 23,500 CUP.

The bullet was a Jacketed HP with a lot of lead exposed.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:00 PM
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Very interesting, thanks, I'm still currious how it ended up on the floor of the Tarentum sporsmans club range. Tarentum is a long way from anything federal.

Last edited by target tech; 09-01-2009 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:11 PM
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These loads are not difficult for us mere mortals to come by. I have two speedloaders of the Federal 147-gr .38 Spl +P+ FBI Hydra-shok load in my pocket as I type this. Got them at the local gun store, on clearance.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich View Post
These loads are not difficult for us mere mortals to come by. I have two speedloaders of the Federal 147-gr .38 Spl +P+ FBI Hydra-shok load in my pocket as I type this. Got them at the local gun store, on clearance.
+P+ and 23,500psi in 357mag revolvers? Purchased? I'm thinking of something that is in the same area, in my mind anyway, that I can(read HAVE) roll myself!



How fast can that 110gr bullet be going from a snub revolver? Over 1100fps? OK, do the math. 110gr going 1000fps = 244fp
158gr going 1100fps = 424fp.

And I want to purchase ammo because???????????????????????

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Old 09-01-2009, 06:47 PM
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Just to clarify (or perhaps muddy the waters). There is no industry standard for +P+. SAAMI establishes standards and, for some calibres, a second higher+P standard.(And SAAMI seems to be lowering those "standard" pressure ceilings every decade or so for handgun calibres). This is not to say that the makers of +P+ don't have their own standard. NE450No2 mentions a 23,500 psi ceiling for those treasury loads. Once upon a time +P 38 spl had a ceiling of 22,500CUP now it is 18,500 psi .......less than the "standard" ceiling of pre SAAMI days. Once upon a time there was the 38-44,,, and noone seems to KNOW what the pressure ceiling was on those factory loads but based upon velocities some conjecture that it was 30,000cup.......then we had 38 special Hi-speed.....which was advertized as a bit slower than the original 38-44 and might just barely have been achievible at the 23,500psi mentioned earlier(and those cartridges only had the warning that they were for "modern arms in good condition"). Long ago Kent Bellah had the temerity to actually publish his personal role in a public relations slight of hand with the Texas Dept. Public Safety(Highway Patrol) it seems an incident occurred that brought their use of .357 magnum ammo under scrutiny and negative legal pressure. They commissioned Bellah and others to solve their problem and so a .38 Special load was put into service which developed just under 30k CUP. Essentially it matched our current .357 factory loads( a bit behind the .357 mag of its era) strained nothing in the Patrolmen's.357 revolvers and was deemed safe (though not recommended) should it wander into a Chiefs Special....And the Officers were "only shooting .38 Specials" in their .357 revolvers.
What is +P+? It is hard to say, but it probably meens a 38 special loading that produces somewhere between 20kand 30K psi. A heavy loading but not likely to destroy any .38 Special-They all should have passed a higher proof loading.

Last edited by Treeman; 09-01-2009 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:05 PM
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I bought a box of these rounds years ago at a gunshow, I believe they were surplus from the Cincinnati police dept. when they went away from revolvers. They are headstamped WCC +P+ 85. I tried 10 of them in a model 15 snubbie to see what the hubbub was about these. Impressive blast in the snub gun. And they made my ears ring with muffs and plugs firing outdoors! Yow. I put the rest away and never tried another round. Addendum: the massive disclaimer on the bottom of the box does call them treasury loads, and says they are loaded 15-20% higher than +P, which they spec at 23500 CUP. They also forbid firing in LW and alloy frames, they say right out it will wreck them!
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Last edited by tom2; 09-01-2009 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
And I want to purchase ammo because???????????????????????
I bought the stuff because I was curious about it (mine wasn't the 110-gr stuff, which has never interested me), and I carry it because the jackets make it harder to ding than my hardcasts, and they load easily into the cylinder (should I need a reload, I want them to go in fast). And it was cheap ($9.99/50)!

My reply was only to show that it's not hard to find.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:34 PM
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Ammuniton to Go has the same load Erich is talking about listed on their web site as we speak Fed 147 +p+ hydra shok.


Pete
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:34 PM
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Highly recommended for medium frame .38s and any .357! The velocity if usually over 1000 fps in a 4" barrel, and accuracy in my guns is around 2-2.5" at 25 yards.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:14 PM
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The Calif Highway Patrol used the Win +P+ load also as well as many city and county agencies I was issued the Same thing made
by Federal for use in my issue Model 15 38spl, it should clock 1218 out of a 4" 38spl less out of a
.357Mag due to bullet jump in the longer chamber.


Here is what they will do



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Last edited by armsmaster270; 11-12-2009 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:00 PM
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Gun show ammo, Be alert . I purchased a box of older Federal LE ammo . Opened the box part way and it looked fine until I got home. Found 12 rds of WW in the center of the box. So I treated it all as practice ammo,it could have been reloads . Who knows?
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:03 PM
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The box was the same as the one Armsmaster 270 shows above.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:44 PM
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That +P+ stuff was a "work-around" load. At the time the word Magnum was a dirty word in the media and was bad press. The ammo companies started making "light Magnum" ammo and calling it .38 Special just to keep the media happy while supplying good ammo the the LE agencies to keep the officers safer. Like said above, it was mostly used in medium frame .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolvers.

For the most part Speer is doing the same thing but in reverse. They are making a 1000 fps "short barrel" round and calling it Magnum. @1000 fps it's hardly a full Magnum round but it makes the people who buy those 12oz S&W J frames happy because are shooting a Magnum round from their $900 revolver. In reality those short barrel Magnum and .38 Special +P+ rounds are identical. It's all in the words you use...
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:40 AM
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I think I have about 10 boxes of the Winchester Q Load +P+ left from the full case I had at one time. Winchester required a liability waiver from the department before they would sell this ammunition to them. Our County Counsel wouldn't allow the Sheriff to sign the waiver, so we used the Winchester Silver Tip when it hit the market a short time later.

The +P+ ammunition that I have came from the CHP and BLM Rangers when they both transitioned to semi-auto pistols.

Hope this helps.

Fred
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich View Post
These loads are not difficult for us mere mortals to come by. I have two speedloaders of the Federal 147-gr .38 Spl +P+ FBI Hydra-shok load in my pocket as I type this. Got them at the local gun store, on clearance.
Would these be safe to go in a J frame like a Model 36? I bought three boxes of the stuff for my Model 15, but am thinking that since FBI loads (158 gr. LSWCHP +p) are getting tough to find, I haven't seen any available in about a year, that these 147 +p+ might end up in the Model 36 too.... Is this stuff too hot for that gun? (I know S&Ws official stance... no +p+ in J frames)
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajpelz View Post
Would these be safe to go in a J frame like a Model 36? I bought three boxes of the stuff for my Model 15, but am thinking that since FBI loads (158 gr. LSWCHP +p) are getting tough to find, I haven't seen any available in about a year, that these 147 +p+ might end up in the Model 36 too.... Is this stuff too hot for that gun? (I know S&Ws official stance... no +p+ in J frames)

I would be surprised if they broke the first shot, but I have seen one that went loose pretty quick.

With the excellent bullet performance now available in +P, I just don't see the point in ruining a nice old gun---essentially for no reason. The main problem in older loads was the dismal bullet performance at standard velocity, not the velocity itself.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:37 PM
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Winchester made a series of loads called the Lawman series. They were +P+ loads and the boxes were labeled "for law enforcement only". I have some in 9MM that I bought at a police supply facility. The headstamp says "WCC +P+ 90". I think the only reason they were marked "for law enforcement only" is because they are higher pressure loads and Winchester figured Police agencies would not be carrying poor quality or obsolete guns that could not handle the pressures. I think they still make these loads and as stated before, just because they are marked for LE only, I don't think they are hard to find on the open market.
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357 magnum, 38spl, ccw, headstamp, hydra-shok, j frame, military, model 15, model 66, sig arms, snubnose, winchester

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