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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors WITH Model Numbers


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  #51  
Old 03-12-2012, 07:39 PM
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I believe problems were exaggerated to build the case for replacing them with 9mm's.
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  #52  
Old 03-12-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roaddog28 View Post
I believe there is needless concern about shooting +P ammo.
I agree, but some people when making this case incorrectly quote advertised factory velocities from yesteryear as being accurate, and they were not. For example, the 1965 Gunner's Bible shows a factory Remington Arms Company ballistics chart, which states that the standard 158 grain .38 Special round at the muzzle would be doing 855 fps, not the 900+ some people attribute to it. I tested this identical period ammo, and it clocked at average of 805 fps. The same vintage Winchester brand averaged 793 fps. The case for +P being OK does not have to be made with misrepresentation of the actual velocities of standard loads from the 60's and 70's. Best to all...
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
The specification sheets and my own shooting convinces me beyond a doubt that 38 Special ammo has been back-pedaled and the 38 Colt Super has really been taken down a few notches.
I believe that is just an 'urban legend' that keeps getting repeated on the internet. The link below is to a earlier post on this forum where you can see the results that brought me to that conclusion. It shows (as you have seen before) the old numbers for the 38 Super were also overstated, and there is no significance difference in factory 130 grain fmj Super ammo of today and that going back as far as the 1940's...

Ammo Test Old -vs- New for 38 Super
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  #54  
Old 03-13-2012, 11:10 AM
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One thing for certain when it comes to .38 Spec.+p,regardless of which way the actual truth flows on this topic,is the fact that bullet designs and overall performance has been enhanced with today's modern HP's.
This is especially true for loads taylored for short barrels and designed to perform at their respective operating velocities. It's really not a huge concern.Load up with the good stuff that has a proven record in properly conducted repeat testing and street use,learn to hit with it,and you'll be fine. It's only a handgun.
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  #55  
Old 03-13-2012, 11:51 AM
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Stiab- I am not relying on numbers. I shot the guns over a chrono. Old ammo ran 1275-1300 and new ammo goes 1100. Fact, not urban myth.

This is why they stopped using nickel cases for Supers. No need to tell it apart from 38 ACP as they are now the same load.
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  #56  
Old 03-13-2012, 12:19 PM
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And this thread should be a STICKY, huh?

Oh boy.
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  #57  
Old 03-13-2012, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
Stiab- I am not relying on numbers. I shot the guns over a chrono. Old ammo ran 1275-1300 and new ammo goes 1100. Fact, not urban myth.
Show us the pictures of the gun and ammo, like I did in the 38 Super link posted above. Give us actual numbers, not rounded estimates, back up your claims.

Last edited by stiab; 03-13-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Honea View Post
One thing for certain when it comes to .38 Spec.+p,regardless of which way the actual truth flows on this topic,is the fact that bullet designs and overall performance has been enhanced with today's modern HP's.
That's very true Stu. The golden age of .38 Special ammo is today, not yesteryear.
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  #59  
Old 03-13-2012, 01:45 PM
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There wasn't this much discussion about the lowly 38 special even back when it was discovered it wouldn't penetrate a 32 ford door panel.

How about another subject for the S&WF think-tank debates?

I propose the following: Is the 41 magnum really dead?

or

Can a 357 magnum actually penetrate the water jacket of a Chevy big block?
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  #60  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:47 PM
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Don't have the gun any longer. Sold it about 4-5 years ago. It was a Colt Commander made in 1967. I now have two full size Government Model Supers but this test was run with the Commander. I doubt the 1/2" difference in barrel length makes significant difference.

Current (as of 2006) Factory PMC 125 JHPs averaged 1120 FPS.

Current (as of 2006) Factory Winchester 130 FMJs averaged 1130 FPS.

Factory Winchester 130 FMJ purchased around 1985* ran 1270 FPS average.

Like I said, 38 Super USED to be loaded in nickel cases to visually differentiate it from the identical but lower pressure 38 ACP. I noticed sometime after 2000 that they no longer used nickel cases for the Super. My test showed why. The Super is now loaded to about the same pressure level (and velocity) as the 38 ACP. All on advice of counsel, I presume. No more worries about someone loading Supers into an old 38 ACP gun.

BTW- Looking at my log book, my top load for the 38 Super is a 115 JHP at 1475 FPS. Barks.

If this is insufficient documentation then you will have to continue calling me a liar. It's all I have.

*I bought the gun in 1985 and I picked up several boxes of Winchester factory ammo at the same time. In 2006 I had one box left over and that's what I used in the test.
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  #61  
Old 03-14-2012, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
Current (as of 2006) Factory PMC 125 JHPs averaged 1120 FPS.

Current (as of 2006) Factory Winchester 130 FMJs averaged 1130 FPS.

Factory Winchester 130 FMJ purchased around 1985* ran 1270 FPS average.

Like I said, 38 Super USED to be loaded in nickel cases to visually differentiate it from the identical but lower pressure 38 ACP. I noticed sometime after 2000 that they no longer used nickel cases for the Super. My test showed why.
I thought you tested "old" ammunition, is that the 1985 stuff you are referring to? If so, that probably does not qualify as old within the framework of these old -vs- new ammo discussions.

As to nickel cases, I am now staring at 6 boxes of recent manufacture 38 Super ammo, all in nickel cases: two bullet weights each in Remington, two each in Winchester, Federal American Eagle and Magtech are all nickel. No kidding.
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  #62  
Old 03-14-2012, 08:41 AM
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I only tested PMC and Winchester. That's what I had on hand. They were both in brass cases and I noted that Winchester went to brass cases sometime after 2000 (at least the ammo I bought, you seem to be having a different experience, or maybe they went back to nickel recently) and the Winchester was lower in velocity in 2006 than it was in 1985 (didn't have older PMC to compare but in my experience PMC is always slow no matter what caliber). Sometime between 1985 and 2006 the velocity was reduced by Winchester. That makes the 1985 batch "old" as far as I am concerned. I am not the first or only Super shooter to note this.
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  #63  
Old 03-14-2012, 09:08 AM
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Smokeless powder, and consequently +P, +P+, and other smokeless loadings, are just a passing fad. Black Powder is the true path .

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  #64  
Old 03-14-2012, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
didn't have older PMC to compare but in my experience PMC is always slow no matter what caliber
I agree with you on that SP, I had available PMC but did not use it in my test, because to have an "apples to apples" old -vs- new comparison I stuck to all 130 grain FMJ, and the PMC was 115.

The 130 is the only kind of truly old ammo that can be found, and when you said "old" I assumed you were testing stuff 70, 60, 50 etc. years old, not something as recent as the 1980's .
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  #65  
Old 03-14-2012, 06:50 PM
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All this debate on muzzle velocity seems somewhat unnecessary. To me the real question is, did SAAMI change the chamber pressure rating of 38 special after 1972. I have read it was 20,000 psi and after 1972 is now 16,000 PSI with +P being around 20,000.
Seems to me, it that is true, then all the velocity testing is a mute point. Manufactures used to load 38 special above current +p and now they load it light.
If these numbers are true, then any older gun rated for 38 Special would have no problem shooting +P because it was designed for the higher chamber pressures at the time.
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  #66  
Old 03-14-2012, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltlbear View Post
All this debate on muzzle velocity seems somewhat unnecessary. To me the real question is, did SAAMI change the chamber pressure rating of 38 special after 1972.
I already know the answer to the +P question, so the pressure question is not important to me. What is important to me is whether or not the old factory ammo really really performed up to the hype, and my testing indicates it did not. Since one of my hobbies is collecting and testing old ammo, that aspect of the discussion interests me a lot more than the pressure aspect of it. I realize folks participate in these discussions for many varied reasons, and that's the way it should be!
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:06 PM
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All that interests me is the ability of my '50's Model 10 to handle commonly available +P ammo for fun practice and serious SD.
Likewise my Model 15-3.
I suppose everyone must make their own decision. I am not trying to magnumize my K-frames...I have a Model 19 for that (of course, there are those here who don't feel the 19 will handle magnums either).
I will never buy enough +P to damage my Smiths. What I have fired did not seem that hot to me.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
TS and I keep going around on this. If ones looks at the piece I linked in an earlier post I have test results from actual shooting of a 4" revolver with older ammo. The real world difference is not as much as some think. But anyone who absolutely refuses to believe factory ammo has been loaded down is free to believe that. My research, observations and experience tell me otherwise.

TS keeps mentioning those AF guns breaking but I don't know anything about the guns, the circumstances or the ammo used. Was it something special for the military? Off the shelf ammo like in the stores? Frankly I can't believe ANY factory ammo would be so destructive.

As for the broken M15s being the reason for switching to the M9, again he is saying things that I have never heard from any other source. It was my understanding that the switch was made to align with NATO with the 9mm caliber and to consolidate all services with one gun for logistics sake.
To echo SP, I have never heard of any problems with the M15 revolvers in military service nor that the switch was made from the .45 cal M1911A1 and various other guns to the M9 for any reason other than standardization with NATO.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiab View Post
I already know the answer to the +P question, so the pressure question is not important to me. What is important to me is whether or not the old factory ammo really really performed up to the hype, and my testing indicates it did not. Since one of my hobbies is collecting and testing old ammo, that aspect of the discussion interests me a lot more than the pressure aspect of it. I realize folks participate in these discussions for many varied reasons, and that's the way it should be!
Well the original question was could a Model 10 handle +P. If the SAAMi specs changed in '72 to downgrade the pressure, then any gun manufactured before that date would have been designed to handle the original pressure rating which was at or above the current +P pressure rating.
As far as testing ammo from 50 years ago. It really means nothing to me since too many factors come into play on the condition of the ammo. It may all go bang, but is it the same bang it would have had 50 years ago. Not sure any body can answer that without doing a full chemical analysis of the powder in the case before firing that old of a round. I do think it sounds like a great hobby though. Sounds like it could be fun to hunt for old ammo and test fire it.
For me, the original question was answered with the SAAMI pressure down grade in "72.

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Old 03-17-2012, 11:29 PM
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How about +P in a 36-2?
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  #71  
Old 03-18-2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
I already know the answer to the +P question, so the pressure question is not important to me.
Maybe not to you, but it certainly matters to the revolver we are talking about here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltlbear View Post
Well the original question was could a Model 10 handle +P. If the SAAMi specs changed in '72 to downgrade the pressure, then any gun manufactured before that date would have been designed to handle the original pressure rating which was at or above the current +P pressure rating.
As far as testing ammo from 50 years ago. It really means nothing to me since too many factors come into play on the condition of the ammo. It may all go bang, but is it the same bang it would have had 50 years ago. Not sure any body can answer that without doing a full chemical analysis of the powder in the case before firing that old of a round. I do think it sounds like a great hobby though. Sounds like it could be fun to hunt for old ammo and test fire it.
For me, the original question was answered with the SAAMI pressure down grade in "72.
ltlbear has a very important point, and the one thing that seems to have vectored off from the OPs question is the issue of pressures. Differing velocities don't really mean that much except in the context of how they are affected by pressure. Muzzle velocities are not going to crack frames, pressures in the chambers are. The earlier example of the air force revolvers and their overpressure ammunition; they were "wearing" out frames, or breaking them. There needs to be a lot more information about that for it to have meaning, such as what "wearing" out meant, where breakages occurred and the model of revolver used since the AF experimented with issueing alloy framed airweights and such.

The key here is the pressures that are being created and can the Model 10 handle them. I would have to see some documented proof about heat treating differences and pressure tests to believe that any Model 10 in good condition cannot handle these pressures. I can believe that the cylinder can be an issue, but for instance, the model 10 was adapted to fire 9x19 and .357 Magnum. 9x19 alone, according to SAAMI is in the 35,000 psi range MAP (maximum average pressure), fairly close to .357 magnum (35,000 range, psi); before anyone freaks out over this comment, I have the SAAMI/ANSI pressure rating guide downloaded from their website right in front of me. The .38 spl +P is in the 18,500 range, only 1,500 psi more than standard. If you look at the CUP ratings, they are different numbers, but with comparable results. I've yet to hear about a 547 cracking forcing cones, cylinder walls, etc. There is much discussion about the 13/19/65/66 (etc) cracking forcing cones due to the 125 gr. stuff; I won't resurrect that discussion, but I have always believed it was due to lead bullets leaving deposits and creating pressure in that area. It might be noted that the AF ammuntion cited was 130 gr., I once had a model 1917, and could not see the lead buildup at the mouth of the forcing cone until I got a powerful LED light and magnifying glasses on it. It took me quite a bit of effort to get it out. It made me suspect that this is a culprit when people do not think they have an issue; after posting on a thread about cleaning cylinders, I am certain that many do not understand how to "get the lead out". This would also account for the AFs problems; they used soft lead projectiles for years, and it takes a lot of careful supervision and individual discipline to enforce such cleaning standards. This would also explain why the 547s don't seem to have this problem, yet have such high pressure ratings; you would be hard pressed to find a lead nosed projectile for 9x19, so commonly you are only ever firing copper jacketed rounds, maybe wearing the bore a little more, but leaving a lot less residue to cause back pressure, so for forcing cones, it's a sort of self correcting issue. Same for .357 Magnum, semi-jacketed rounds were the norm when it ruled the day, but lead nosed bullets were for decades the norm for .38 spl.

Are the old loads more powerful than the new? Perhaps, perhaps not. However, I do not see any reason why a Model 10 of any period should not be able to fire +P. I think the +P stamp on modern revolvers is a marketing ploy. Everyone wants power these days, and if they are riding the fence between buying new or old, what a perfect convincer, safety. Of course a new model is safer than a used older one, but let's see some kind of scientific study to prove that 1500/3000 more PSI/CUP will break a model 10, I simply don't believe it. I believe operator headspace and timing is the culprit more than frame strength.

In Germany, all weapons must be proofed by a government proof house with two 25% overcharged rounds. It has always interested me. Incidentally, the Germans also prefer jacketed cartridges, the 9x19 is simply one of them. You can go a long time without having to clean copper deposits, but not so much with lead. That's one (but not all) the military likes jacketed ammuntion, and has for a long time. During WWII, even .38 spl ammunition was jacketed, so it's not just about autos.

End of the story? I woudn't hesitate to fire +P ammuntion through any model 10 that has been maintained and is in good condition, but I would make damn sure that all lead deposits are cleaned out and are always removed after firing. It's a simple concept that I was taught in the area of explosives, less area space in a combustable environment, the more pressure increases.

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Old 03-18-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltlbear View Post
All this debate on muzzle velocity seems somewhat unnecessary. To me the real question is, did SAAMI change the chamber pressure rating of 38 special after 1972. I have read it was 20,000 psi and after 1972 is now 16,000 PSI with +P being around 20,000.
Seems to me, it that is true, then all the velocity testing is a mute point. Manufactures used to load 38 special above current +p and now they load it light.
If these numbers are true, then any older gun rated for 38 Special would have no problem shooting +P because it was designed for the higher chamber pressures at the time.
Ltlbear, SAAMI did lower the pressure of all rounds in 1972. Here is a link explaining the change.
.38 Special - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bottom line: The standard pressure 38 special round today is weaker than it was back before 1972. And yes, most +P 38 specials are loaded at pressures that were close to standard pressure rounds before 1972.
Again, I have a M&P pre-10 4 inch produced in 1954. I use quite offen todays +P ammo. I usually shoot 158 gr ammo traveling around 850 fps according to the ammo maker I use. As long as the revolver is in good condition I can't see a problem shooting most +P rounds made today even in a revolver made 50 years ago.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amd6547 View Post
All that interests me is the ability of my '50's Model 10 to handle commonly available +P ammo for fun practice and serious SD.
Likewise my Model 15-3.
I suppose everyone must make their own decision. I am not trying to magnumize my K-frames...I have a Model 19 for that (of course, there are those here who don't feel the 19 will handle magnums either).
I will never buy enough +P to damage my Smiths. What I have fired did not seem that hot to me.
Agreed. And history has proved that your 1950s revolver and mine can handle most factory available +P ammo.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:35 PM
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Maybe not to you, but it certainly matters to the revolver we are talking about here.




ltlbear has a very important point, and the one thing that seems to have vectored off from the OPs question is the issue of pressures. Differing velocities don't really mean that much except in the context of how they are affected by pressure. Muzzle velocities are not going to crack frames, pressures in the chambers are. The earlier example of the air force revolvers and their overpressure ammunition; they were "wearing" out frames, or breaking them. There needs to be a lot more information about that for it to have meaning, such as what "wearing" out meant, where breakages occurred and the model of revolver used since the AF experimented with issueing alloy framed airweights and such.

The key here is the pressures that are being created and can the Model 10 handle them. I would have to see some documented proof about heat treating differences and pressure tests to believe that any Model 10 in good condition cannot handle these pressures. I can believe that the cylinder can be an issue, but for instance, the model 10 was adapted to fire 9x19 and .357 Magnum. 9x19 alone, according to SAAMI is in the 35,000 psi range MAP (maximum average pressure), fairly close to .357 magnum (35,000 range, psi); before anyone freaks out over this comment, I have the SAAMI/ANSI pressure rating guide downloaded from their website right in front of me. The .38 spl +P is in the 18,500 range, only 1,500 psi more than standard. If you look at the CUP ratings, they are different numbers, but with comparable results. I've yet to hear about a 547 cracking forcing cones, cylinder walls, etc. There is much discussion about the 13/19/65/66 (etc) cracking forcing cones due to the 125 gr. stuff; I won't resurrect that discussion, but I have always believed it was due to lead bullets leaving deposits and creating pressure in that area. It might be noted that the AF ammuntion cited was 130 gr., I once had a model 1917, and could not see the lead buildup at the mouth of the forcing cone until I got a powerful LED light and magnifying glasses on it. It took me quite a bit of effort to get it out. It made me suspect that this is a culprit when people do not think they have an issue; after posting on a thread about cleaning cylinders, I am certain that many do not understand how to "get the lead out". This would also account for the AFs problems; they used soft lead projectiles for years, and it takes a lot of careful supervision and individual discipline to enforce such cleaning standards. This would also explain why the 547s don't seem to have this problem, yet have such high pressure ratings; you would be hard pressed to find a lead nosed projectile for 9x19, so commonly you are only ever firing copper jacketed rounds, maybe wearing the bore a little more, but leaving a lot less residue to cause back pressure, so for forcing cones, it's a sort of self correcting issue. Same for .357 Magnum, semi-jacketed rounds were the norm when it ruled the day, but lead nosed bullets were for decades the norm for .38 spl.

Are the old loads more powerful than the new? Perhaps, perhaps not. However, I do not see any reason why a Model 10 of any period should not be able to fire +P. I think the +P stamp on modern revolvers is a marketing ploy. Everyone wants power these days, and if they are riding the fence between buying new or old, what a perfect convincer, safety. Of course a new model is safer than a used older one, but let's see some kind of scientific study to prove that 3,000 more PSI will break a model 10, I simply don't believe it. I believe operator headspace and timing is the culprit more than frame strength.

In Germany, all weapons must be proofed by a government proof house with two 25% overcharged rounds. It has always interested me. Incidentally, the Germans also prefer jacketed cartridges, the 9x19 is simply one of them. You can go a long time without having to clean copper deposits, but not so much with lead. That's one (but not all) the military likes jacketed ammuntion, and has for a long time. During WWII, even .38 spl ammunition was jacketed, so it's not just about autos.

End of the story? I woudn't hesitate to fire +P ammuntion through any model 10 that has been maintained and is in good condition, but I would make damn sure that all lead deposits are cleaned out and are always removed after firing. It's a simple concept that I was taught in the area of explosives, less area space in a combustable environment, the more pressure increases.
Again I agree. Cleaning the lead out of a forcing cone will decrease hot spots which can cause forcing cone problems. A lot of issues a person hears or reads about forcing cone problems on K frames is because the revolver was not taken care of.
There is no reason I can think of that a K frame 38 special made in the last fifty years can't handle most modern +P ammo.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:46 PM
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The thing is, Prior to doing the research and reading here on the forum, I was also under the impression that +P ammo was hotter than the factory stuff I used to shoot with grandad when I was a kid. Now I realize the light loads he was loading for us were about the same as the standard pressure 38 from the factory today and any revolver I have made in the last 60 years will shoot a +P round without any issues or worries.
Thanks roaddog28 and M2MikeGolf for your comments.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amd6547 View Post
I know, I know...I found it humorous that a person, and apparently S&W, thinks it unsafe to shoot today's "+P" 38 spl ammo in a '70's heavy barrel Model 10.
There is an ad floating around on this forum somewhere for the 2 inch M&P (Pre-Model 10) that says it can shoot the .38/44, which is a 158 grain at 1125 fps.

+P ammo will not blow up an S&W. If you shoot enough of it, the stuff MAY increase wear. I think you have to shoot quite a bit to even do that.

Certainly you will not harm anything if you shoot it enough to figure out point of aim and then practice with it occasionally.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:18 PM
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I guess this is all pretty much a moot point for me. My position is that there is no compelling reason to shoot +P loads in a .38 Special EXCEPT during a HD/SD situation. So, regular pressure .38s are always my load for all range/practice/plinking use and I keep a box of +Ps available and load my revolvers with them when the guns are in the house or on my person. The handful, if any, +Ps fired in a true personal defense scenario would never hurt the guns and I'm not sure I'd care if they did. But that's JMHO.

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Old 10-20-2012, 06:46 PM
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When I shoot standard 38 special in my old model 10 the gun's muzzle
looks back at me and says "is that all you got". Further talks revealed that
when my revolver was a young lad in the 50's his owner would shoot
much hotter 38 specials of that period. He also stated that the old 38 special
was hotter than todays 38 +p of today. Who am I to question my elders.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:01 PM
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DAinTX- You are still assuming +P is a hot load. It is not. My whole point is that +P is a very weak and mild load. I would never trust my life to such a weak load for SD use.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:05 PM
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Realistically, the best choices in .38 special are standard velocity WC and SWC loads. Velocities in .38 are not sufficient to achieve decent expansion and adequate penetration from most loads that might otherwise expand. Doc Roberts just sent out a 32 page PDF of his latest results from years of on going ballistic research. He is still taking that position. Jim Cirrillo espoused such a position years ago in one of his first books, and he killed a pretty decent number of offenders in shootings while on that stakeout squad. (My recollection is about 18 in 2 years or less ... certainly respectable.)
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:26 PM
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I've read on another gun forum where so-called 'experts' state that you should never even shoot .38+p in K-frames chambered for .357 magnum like Mod. 13 , 19 , 65 , 66!

BTW , higher pressure does not always equal higher velocity , and vice-versa.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:47 PM
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Not scientific but the rule of thumb I always heard was that about 1,000 FPS would open a good JHP. Few factory 38 Special loads reach that speed save some specialty makers. My load clocks 1,100 FPS from a 2" revolver.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
DAinTX- You are still assuming +P is a hot load. It is not. My whole point is that +P is a very weak and mild load. I would never trust my life to such a weak load for SD use.
Heck no, I was just trying to make fans of the .38 Special feel better about their choice. Actually, my .454 Ruger Alaskan is the absolute minimum handgun caliber I would ever consider for SD/HD . The .500 S&W 4" is my preferred carry piece, although I admit that the .460 has it's attraction. I consider the .357 mags and .44 mags to be far too anemic to trust my life to.

(All jk, of course. And yes, for some impossible-to-justify reason, I actually do own all the above , including .357s and 44s.)

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Old 10-21-2012, 01:52 AM
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PLEASE sticky this +P stuff. Just for the record my wife just retired as a Special Victims Detective in a very big city PD. She also was on the SWAT team. That meant that she qualified every month on a 40 round course. For 26 years she used her M10 pencil barrel (later changed to a M66) and M36. The 36 was actually a pre model number Chiefs Special which was on its 3rd police career, I just call it a 36 on account of because. She qualified with both revolvers, inspite of many younger types trying to pursuade her to go with a bottom feeder. The result, she out shot most of them, including reloading time, including the running course. The upshot, she fired 40 rounds a month for 26 years out of both revolvers using the .38 Special 158 gr SWCHP +P load. She just qualified for the LEOSA carry with the snubby using the same ammo. She fired over 12,000 rounds just in quals with the Chiefs Special, ALL +P loads. Have no idea if her father or grandfather shot the gun that much, but it is well broken in, shows a lot of surface wear, has the best action I have ever felt on a J frame, and MAY be a little loose, but not so's one would do anything about it, still times perfectly. I actually think the M66 has more action wear.

Just one more thing: The USAF was NOT the reason we went to the M9. The move to the 9mm and the M9 was purely political. In the 50s we crammed the 7.62X51 rifle round down our NATO allies throats. Then, less then 7 years later we did the same thing with the 5.56mm round. When the time came for us to pick a successor to the 1911, our allies made clear to us that maybe it was our turn to conform to them instead of the other way around (again). Hence the 9mm Beretta. Many NATO nations used SMGs as well as handguns in 9mm, so even though we did not use SMGs nearly as much we caved and isssued the M9. Other countries are not nearly as handgun savvy as we are and to most of them a handgun is a badge of office more than a weapon. Anyway that is what happened. I am not suggesting that the M9 was the best possible choice in 9mm, but it seems to be working OK-for a 9mm.
OK, EOR, (end of rant).
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:47 PM
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this thread forced me to go on to Amazon and purchase a vintage Speer #8 reloading manual.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:33 PM
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Retired USAF, served 1981 to 2002 so this is just my .02. I was shooting my Ruger Sec-Six a lot in the mid '80's and was used to widely different loads. I qualified with the issue model 15 in 1985 and can attest that the modern loads kicked more than the 158 RNL I was shooting the most. The FMJ 130 grain slug was pushed into the case more than other older issued ammo that I had seen. I don't for one minute believe that +P loads will damage a K frame but you have to remember that the guns that were used by the general AF population to qualify with were shot like the dickens and most likely had a couple thousand rounds through them each year, particularly at the larger bases so it is POSSIBLE that wear was accelerated. I was and still am a died in the wool S&W fan, especially of K-frames but I did fall in love with the Beretta M-9. I have plenty of Smiths but just the one Beretta.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:25 PM
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So? Will a model 10 digest +p38 loads?

The hot treasury loads?
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:32 PM
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The kitty came back from the morgue and offed itself again
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:37 PM
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Lol..............
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:59 PM
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<YAWNNN> As for the phone call to Smith & Wesson, mentioned way the hell back up the thread, the rule for their phone and e-mail people seems to be, "If in doubt, lawyer up." I have one of the 640 no-dashes with the CEN prefix, factory etched "Tested For +P+". I haven't the slightest intention of using +P+ in it and told them so, but merely was curious about the length of time the CENxxx's were manufactured. All they would tell me, more than once, was that my 640 was built in 1990 and they don't approve of using +P+ in any of their guns. Go figure. St. Litigius, the patron saint of excessive caution, strikes again.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:57 AM
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l have maybe 1500 rds of Super Vel ammo in various calibers from 380acp to 44mag. 0ccasionally lighting off a few rds to compare with todays offings my wrist says Super Vel is still KING. 38Sp for sure......... l have only chronod' some of their 180 gr stuff in 44MAG. From my 29-2 they ran 1803fps. Remington 180s went 1575.
l have a couple boxes of 38Super but have yet to shoot any because both boxes are full.

My op of plusses and pees---- they mostly hype.

l have a couple of old NRA loaders handbooks from the early 50s that list factory ammo pressures tested by HP White Labs. Std 38 Spcl pressures were in low 20s. 357mag in 38,000 PSI range..

HP White Labs are still in business and still test ammo

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Old 07-14-2013, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
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I read it, and your 1972 statement is simply not true. That writter's comments have changed many times over the years. As some of his unverified statements were challenged on this and other forums, he went back and deleted those posts without explanation, and deleted those sections of his story, not using it for future posts. There is an interesting thread in the ammo section of this forum a year or two ago where myself and other LEO's from the 1960's and 70's confirm that the quoted factory velocity numbers back then were pure hype, and not obtainable with standard sidearms. The test barrel for a .357 Magnum in those days was about 11" long and unvented. In 1979 when the new requirements were implemented industry wide for velocity testing, S&W's ammo reported velocities dropped over 20%. Same ammo, just accurate numbers. While it is true that factory velocities were advertised as higher back in 1972, it is not true that they were that fast when shot out of regular revolvers.
Just like the horsepower claims in the 60's. All measured at the flywheel without accessory drives.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:56 AM
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After reading all of the above, I will feel safe shooting a 38 spc load of 158gr SWC @ 3.5gr bullseye, in my Mdl 10, Mdl 64 and Mdl 581s.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:52 PM
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There is a two-part article (July & September 1970 editions) of HANDLOADER magazine regarding .38 Special pressures, both factory loads and handloaded duplications. Pressure measurements were taken at the Super Vel laboratory. Articles are both extensive. Hottest factory loads were the 110 grain Norma JHP (27,250) and the Speer-DWM 140 grain JHP (24,756). The 110 grain Super Vel JHP, very popular with law enforcement personnel of that era, came in at 19,000. Super Vel velocity was about 10% slower than the Norma load.

Granted, this was well before +P designations. There was little concern at the time as to possible gun damage from firing any factory load in even an alloyed-framed Chief. However, it's doubtful that many people fired very much of this stuff in any revolver, particularly lightweight ones.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
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After reading all of the above, I will feel safe shooting a 38 spc load of 158gr SWC @ 3.5gr bullseye, in my Mdl 10, Mdl 64 and Mdl 581s.
I knew a revolver competitor who shot both PPC and the early combat matches in my area. He had a borrowed chronograph set up before a match one weekend and was testing his hand load, the exact same one you listed above. He was getting right close to 850 fps out of his 6" M-14 and a fellow cop with a 4" M-19 got a little over 800 fps (810 sticks in my memory but this was back in the mid to late 1970s). That was THE standard 38 Special factory duplication hand load at the time.

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Old 07-15-2013, 12:17 AM
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At the time of the introduction of the 2" Military & Police revolver ca. 1937 S&W advertised it as being able to shoot the .38-44 cartridge developed for the .38-44 Heavy Duty in 1929. The .38-44 cartridge operates at a pressure level of ca. 25,000 CUP, equivalent to at least 25,000 PSI. This is ca. 30% higher pressure than current .38 Special +P.

Does anyone suppose that S&W revolvers manufactured at any time since 1937 are in any way inferior in materials or design to the same model built that year? Of course any K-Frame manufactured after 1937 is safe to shoot modern +P ammunition, as long as it is in good mechanical condition. This is simple common sense based on S&W's own advertising literature, and for anyone to claim to the contrary is simply silly at best.

Will shooting higher pressure loads result in more rapid wear on a K-Frame? Of course it will, but it will not cause catastrophic failure, or render the gun unserviceable in even a few hundred rounds. It is just like your car or any other machine, the harder a revolver is worked the more frequently maintenance will be needed, that is why spare parts are available!
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:36 AM
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Default Heard this many times......

But this is the first time that the explanation was accompanied by hard numbers, especially comparing the actual loads from time past.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:03 AM
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Experts on the subject with two totally opposite opinions, is very confusing. Not knowing who is correct and just to be safe, and not harming any of my K frames, if the barrel doesn't say +P, I will not shoot +P in it. I have L frames to shoot the +P stuff in.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:35 AM
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A sticky won't help...no one ever reads 'em.

As for the AF guns. The Beretta was, and is IMO, a very good pistol, but there is zero doubt that Jack Robbins and company exaggerated about the condition of those M15's a mite.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:32 AM
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Who cares? Enough already! My eyes hurt!

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More Kindle nonsense. pilgrim6a The Lounge 3 06-17-2012 09:32 PM

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