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Old 05-17-2017, 08:12 PM
Leroy Thompson Leroy  Thompson is offline
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Default USAF +P+ .38 Special ammo

This post is primarily for former USAF SPs and those who collect USAF revolvers. A friend just sent me a photo of a box of 110 grain JHP +P+ DAA09-83-B-4780/NSN :1305-01-1233-A412 that according to his sources, which are good, was from a 1983 USAF contract. I don't have permission to post the photo. Does anyone know anything about an Air Force +P+ contract. 110-grain +P+ was the old Treasury load so is possibly for OSI?
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:35 PM
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A Google search shows the NSN for that round was assigned 25 AUG 1979, and other references to "Naval Investigative Service Use Only."
1305-01-082-1233 - CALIBER .38 SPECIAL CARTRIDGE | WBParts
Never heard of it, but I got out in 1975. Just 'ol FMJ for us Sky Cops back then, unless you sneaked your own into the Bucheimer dump boxes.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:28 PM
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Who is the maker of the ammo? I have Winchester .38 Special +P+ 110 gr RA38110HP+ and Federal 110 gr .38 Special +P+ 38FTD
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:20 AM
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I was USAF SP from 74 to 78, and have read a few articles about USAF .38 ammo development through the years. I don't recall reading or hearing about any .38+P+ rounds. At least not for the SP's - although they did increase the umph of the standard ball round somewhat in the 80's. My hunch is that they may have purchased +P+ rounds for OSI or maybe Para Rescue, but not for general SP use.

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Old 05-18-2017, 01:32 AM
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definitely not OSI issue. we were issued the standard 130 gr -P- for the model 36s until the early 80s when we transitioned to the cut-down .45s that later colt copied and called the Officers ACP. lee
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:41 AM
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I was an SP from 83 to 91. I know on a few occasions B-52 aircrews would be drawing their Model 15s and ammo from the armory at the same time we were. They could jump the line, and I remember them being issued JHP ammo while we were given our usual 18 rounds of ball (six loose rounds and two Bianchi speed strips for our pouches. The tabs were invariably ripped off of the speed strips).

I'm not sure what the ammo was. Once I asked the armorer about it and all he said was "thats what they get".
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:37 AM
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I was an AF SP from 1983 to 1991. Being in my formative gun geek years, I had several discussions with our CATM guys about the 38 ammo for our Model 15s. It was 130 Gr ball which they said was loaded to +P velocities, but nobody seemed to know what that was. One said it was 357 Magnum velocity, but he may have been exaggerating. Didn't feel like 357 when I shot qualifications with it, but it was hotter than standard 38 Spl. No access to chronographs back then.

Sigp220.45: We got issued the standard 18 rounds, with 12 in black leather dump pouches. No high tech speed strips for us. Some of the issue ammo was starting to turn green from being stored in the leather pouches.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:24 AM
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Caliber .38 Special, Ball, PGU-12/B High Velocity cartridge.



Issued only by the U.S. Air Force, the PGU-12/B had a greatly increased maximum allowable pressure rating of 20,000 psi, sufficient to propel a 130-grain FMJ bullet at 1,125 ft/s (343 m/s) from a solid 6-inch (150 mm) test barrel, and about 950–980 ft/s from a 4-inch (100 mm) revolver barrel. The PGU-12/B High Velocity cartridge differs from M41 Special ammunition in two important respects—the PGU-12/B is a much higher-pressure cartridge, with a bullet deeply set and crimped into the cartridge case.

The high pressure cartridge is easy to spot. Here it is between standard 158 grain lead round nose and special ball, M41.

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Old 05-18-2017, 11:30 AM
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Back when I was in the Air Force reserve our gate guards were carrying hollow points. It may have varied from base to base. I noted when interfacing with the gate guard as well as seeing them in the px etc they all had ammo in nickel cases.
Perhaps much like the coast guard being allowed hp 40 for domestic le use. Seems it is ok to shoot Threats in America with a hp but heaven forbid we do the same to our enemies in the third world!?
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorD View Post
...they all had ammo in nickel cases...
When I was a kid, beat cops usually carried their spare ammo in belt loops. I thought the bullets were green bullets because the cops were Irish.

Nickel cases didn't turn green.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:35 PM
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Back in the day, when the word "Magnum" sent shivers up and down the spines of civil servants and politically appointed police chiefs, the +P+ round was developed. It was supposed to be shot in .357 Magnum revolvers. IIRC, there are no SAAMI specs for +P+ .38 special.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:06 PM
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Default USAF +P+ .38 Special ammo

Quote:
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Back when I was in the Air Force reserve our gate guards were carrying hollow points. It may have varied from base to base. I noted when interfacing with the gate guard as well as seeing them in the px etc they all had ammo in nickel cases.
Perhaps much like the coast guard being allowed hp 40 for domestic le use. Seems it is ok to shoot Threats in America with a hp but heaven forbid we do the same to our enemies in the third world!?


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Old 05-18-2017, 05:25 PM
Leroy Thompson Leroy  Thompson is offline
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Default 110-grain Treasury Load

THe first time I saw the 110-grain +P+ load, and that was the first +P+ load I knew existed, it was the issue round for Dept of Treasury SAs; not IRS or Secret Service but Treasury investigators. Their issue weapon was the Model 36 with 110-grain +P+ loads. Based on one of their firearms instructors in the St. Louis office when I was shooting with him, and I believe I saw this elsewhere later, S&W voided the warranty on their 36s because of the pressures of the loads. He gave me a couple of boxes of it at the time and I seem to remember that it was Winchester. Normally, they practiced with and qualified with standard velocity .38 special loads, but my friend found that when he had them qualify with the +P+ load a lot of them had trouble so he started requiring that they shoot their qualifications with the duty +P+ round. Pressure was 23,500 psi. Firing the +P+ was definitely noticeable in the Model 36, but not as fearsome as some claimed. It certainly wasn't as bad as the first time I fired 125-grain JHP in a Model 66 2.5 inch. One interesting aspect of the +P+ GI ammo I mentioned to start this thread is that it was loaded by IMI.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:52 PM
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I thought the only ammo our guys carried in revolvers was the anemic model 56/M41 round.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:09 PM
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Mr. Thompson, I always enjoy your writing and am glad to see you posting here.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leroy Thompson View Post
... One interesting aspect of the +P+ GI ammo I mentioned to start this thread is that it was loaded by IMI....
When the M9 was fielded infantry units and MP's were among the first to get them. Fortunately, as tankers, we were much further down the line and had to "make do" with M1911's and M3A1 submachineguns well into the Nineties for some units. Much of the .45 ball had TZZ headstamps, IMI military contract ammo.

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Old 05-18-2017, 08:51 PM
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I was an SP from '81-'85 and part of that time I worked as an armorer. The only .38spl round I saw was the plain old anemic 130gr round nose FMJ. I never saw any hollow point rounds or any deep seated rounds as pictured in post #8.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:34 PM
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I would not feel I had to "make do" with a 1911. I carried one in Vietnam.


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When the M9 was fielded infantry units and MP's were among the first to get them. Fortunately, as tankers we were much further down the line and had to make do with M1911's and M3A1 submachineguns well into the Nineties for some units. Much of the .45 ball had TZZ headstamps, IMI military contract ammo.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
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I would not feel I had to "make do" with a 1911. I carried one in Vietnam.
Agreed. If I was allowed to chose, I'd take the 1911A1 over the M9 Beretta 9mm every time.

Talk about "making do," we had to carry the S&W Model 15 in my unit. I loved the gun, but would have preferred a .45.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
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The Geneva Convention strikes again


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Actually, it was the Hague Accords. GC relates to treatment of EPWs
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
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Actually, it was the Hague Accords. GC relates to treatment of EPWs


My error thank you for the correction USAF +P+ .38 Special ammo


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Old 05-19-2017, 11:21 PM
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Back in the mid 70's I joined a local rifle club and spent Wednesdays shooting a variety of handguns. The local APs from Fairchild, AFB were using our range to do some practicing for a grudge match they had with a British AP unit. It seems they had sent a dozen of their service weapons (M-16's) over to the Brits who in turn sent a dozen of their service weapons (FN L1A1) They just happened to need a another body to fill in a slot and I was available. We were shooting the FNs at 600 yds, I had experience with the M-14 and G-3 but had never spent any quality time with the L1A, I was impressed. At the end of the day the Tech Sarge that was running the show presented me with a small coffee can full of .38spl cartridges, I looked at one and thought it looked wicked and asked him what they were . He said they were 158 hollow based wadcutters inverted over 3.5 grains of Red Dot, then added "Thats our duty load, have fun and thanks for your help." They were very accurate.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:44 AM
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I was in the Air Police from 1966 to 1970 we carried Model 15s loaded with M41 ball and that was it.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:41 PM
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Maybe I can shed a bit of light on this subject. From Jan 1974-Aug 1977 I was assigned as an instructor at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations School. I was the marksmanship instructor and also served as the HQ Marksmanship Manager for OSI world wide. The OSI issue handgun at the time was the S&W M-36, 3" barrel with the 'Banana' grips. The issue ammo was the afore mentioned anemic 130gr .38Sp round. At times at the school we also used 148gr Wadcutters, but mostly a steady diet of the 130gr stuff. We trained two classes of Agents every six weeks. The school guns got a lot of use. During my tour there was much discussion about adopting a better duty round, both with the AF Marksmanship folks and the Lackland AFB gunsmith folks. About halfway through my tour we were issued the high pressure PGU-12B ammo that oldtanker describes above in Post #8. We shot a lot of it. Before long it started to shoot the M-36s loose. We sent some of the school guns to the Lackland gunsmiths for evaluation. To make a long story short, they recommended that the PGU-12B ammo not be used in the M-36. The decision was made to begin a search for a new OSI issue handgun. I recommended OSI people who I knew were shooters with experience and interest to be selected for an evaluation/study team. The Air Force offered an inventory of 1911 target guns being stored at Lackland the the Gunsmith folks offered the ultimately selected 'chopped and channeled' Officer's 1911 that they converted from the target guns. I was reassigned before the selection team met and did not get to participate in the selection.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:10 PM
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Sorry for a little thread drift here but, galena, did those Model 36s have any special markings: "USAF" or "OSI" or the like?
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:57 PM
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It would be nice to see a photo of this ammunition, including the box and the headstamp. I collect USGI ammunition and don't think that I have ever run across it before.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:18 PM
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If I remember correctly, the Model 36 OSI guns had electro pencil markings
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:50 PM
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Interesting thread.

When I first joined the Michigan State Police in 1966, we were issued S&W model 10, heavy barrel revolvers. We also were issued the old LRN ammo. So, that had to change and since I loved to hand load (the rules were a lot different back then), I worked up a hard cast, gas checked SWC bullet over the max of the old 2400 powder. I was using some once fired military brass I think I had picked up at the Naval Reserve Center.

In 1968, I was transferred from lower Michigan to the Upper Peninsula at the Marquette Post (next to the KI Sawyer SAC base). An OSI buddy of mine gave me a bunch of once fired .38 brass from the base. I then loaded the same formula for my partner using this recently acquired brass.

My partner told me several days later that when he shot these rounds, they seemed very hot. He also had some difficulty getting the fired cases out of the cylinder.

He stopped carrying my hand loads (about the same time the department began to prohibit any non-issue ammo for carrying). However, in thinking this through later, I believe that the .38 brass that my OSI buddy gave me probably had substantially thicker case walls than the military brass I had first used. Thus, the chamber pressures were probably way over board. Lucky those old model 10's were so tuff and well made. I of course had no way to measure pressure so I should have worked up the loads for this new (to me) brass like I did the first time. I could have backed down when excessive pressure was starting to be noticeable.

I don't hand load any more (may get back into it someday) and I don't want to get off thread, however, this suspected case thickness issue may fall right into this discussion.

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Old 05-20-2017, 07:05 PM
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Reference questions from my post above. For kwill1911, the OSI M-36s were marked "OSI" on the frame just above the trigger guard. I don't recall which side but IIRC they were marked on both sides. Not sure if they were electro pencil or stamped, they looked stamped to me. The 36 in my thumbnail is not an OSI gun, it is one of mine set up like the OSI 36.
For ordnanceguy, check Post #8 by oldtanker above for a pic of the ammo box and a PGU-12/B round; however, the headstamp is not clear in the pic.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galena View Post
Reference questions from my post above. .....
For ordnanceguy, check Post #8 by oldtanker above for a pic of the ammo box and a PGU-12/B round; however, the headstamp is not clear in the pic.
Galena:

Thanks, but the info I was looking for concerns the ammo in Leroy Thompson's question in post #1 about the 110 grain JHP +P+.

I am familiar with the Air Force PGU-12/B ammo. I have several boxes in my collection. Indeed, the image in Post #8 above came from a 2010 post I made about this ammo on the US Militaria Forum located here: .38 Special Ammunition Box. - AMMUNITION [REF] - U.S. Militaria Forum

I'd sure like to see a box of that 110 gr. JHP +P+ ammo.
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