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Old 08-28-2007, 09:06 PM
Osprey Osprey is offline
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+P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!!  
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Introduction: There has been quite a bit of discussion concerning the use of +P ammunition in the alloy framed S&W model 12s (M12). The M12, or the “.38 Military and Police Airweight,” debuted in 1952 and was discontinued in 1986 with the -4 engineering change. Throughout its entire production run, it carried the limitation of not being blessed by the manufacturer for use with +P ammunition. However, this forum, and I suspect many others, have hosted numerous debates about the feasibility, safety, and/or prudence of firing +P ammo through a “vintage” model 12. The spectrum of positions on this issue is as wide as the group size from a Taurus revolver, but all positions fit fairly nicely into the three categories below.

* NEVER fire +P ammo through a model 12. The possible consequences exceed the benefits. If the frame cracks, the factory will not repair it.

* SOME +P can be fired through a model 12. Practice predominantly with standard pressure .38s and finish off your session with a couple of cylinders full of +P.

* SHOOT as much +P as you want (or can afford). It will produce no more wear on a model 12 then it will on any other S&W revolver.

To the best of my knowledge, nobody has conducted, or at least published a report on, a quantitative test to see how many – if any – rounds of +P a model 12 can handle before incurring some sort of fatal career ending failure (such as a cracked frame). At first, I was going to test an M12 to this point of failure, but wiser forum members convinced me otherwise. As you’ll see in the hypothesis below, I, possibly “we,” will attempt to get 1,000 rounds of commercially manufactured +P ammo fired through the subject revolver. The test will conclude at the 1,000 round mark or at the point the gun breaks.

For ease of reference, I’m imbedding the following unique search term into this topic:

wanker


Hypothesis: That a Smith and Wesson model 12-2 can fire 1,000 commercially produced .38 special +P rounds without damage of a type that cannot be repaired (i.e. the infamous “cracked frame”).

The Test Format: The format is pretty simple. A log will be kept and posted on this forum of the brand, bullet type/weight, product number (if available), lot number (if available), number of rounds fired, and the date in which they were fired. I/we will also post the date and type maintenance performed on the subject gun. The test will conclude when the round count reaches 1,000 (or slightly over) or when the gun breaks to a degree that it can’t be readily repaired.

The Gun: Smith & Wesson Model 12-2, serial number D6542xx (c.’73-’74). I purchased this gun used on September 27, 2003. The gun did NOT have its proprietary wooden grips at the time of purchase and as such, it was equipped with some kind of full wrap around rubber grip. From the day of purchase, to 27 AUG 2007, it has only fired 160 rounds of standard pressure .38 special.

Grip: The current grip is an Uncle Mikes (UM) round butt (RB) boot grip with craft foam inserts installed in the gap between the M12’s narrow frame and the standard frame accommodations of the boot grip (see photo). It will be noted during the testing period if and when the grips, or any other part, are replaced.


M12 in Galco holster

.... Osprey
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:06 PM
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:09 PM
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The Log:
Unless otherwise noted, all rounds listed will be +P.

28 AUG 07 – Sighting in of 3 different types of +P ammo.

18 rds of Winchester 110 gr JHP (X38S6PH), Lot # 93TH48
36 rds of Federal 125gr Nyclad HP (N38N), Lot # 15A-8629
18 rds of Georgia Arms 158 gr LSWCHP (G38E), Lot # 04190750

Total Rds for this session: 72
Total Rds (running total): 72

Notes: Gun looks fine. GA ammo very smoky and messy.
------------
1 SEP 07
I was asked to measure and log the cylinder window and B/C gap so here are the numbers.

Horizontal (TOP): 1.818”
Horizontal (BOT): 1.818” (one side measured .001-.002” less)
Vertical (F): 1.477”
Vertical (B): 1.477” (one side measured .001” less)
B/C gap: 0.007” (I could get the .008” feeler in if I pressed the cylinder back).

Notes: Please remember, these measurements were taken after the gun was 72 rounds into the test. Also, this gun was cleaned on this date. The cylinder and yoke were removed for cleaning (and measurement of the cylinder window) which included the use of JB’s bore cleaning in the barrel only.

------------
20 SEP 07

9 rds of Winchester 110 gr JHP (X38S6PH), Lot # 93TH48
33 rds of Georgia Arms 158 gr LSWCHP (G38E), Lot # 04190750

Total Rds for this session: 42
Total Rds (running total): 114

Notes: Gun looks fine. GA ammo very smoky and messy, but their “package” of 50 rds had 51 rounds in it.
------------
4 OCT 07


8 rds of Winchester 110 gr JHP (X38S6PH), Lot # 93TH48
28 rds of Georgia Arms 158 gr LSWCHP (G38E), Lot # 04190750
24 rds of Winchester 125 gr JHP (X38S7PH), Lot # 10XE80
50 rds of Remington/UMC 125 gr JHP (L38S2(B))* Lot # C24E BOI
* I believe the “B” designates a “bulk (100 rd) pack.”

Total Rds for this session: 110
Total Rds (running total): 224

Notes:
1) Under a magnifying glass, I still can’t see anything that looks like a crack anywhere on the frame.
2) The cylinder release screw loosened during this shooting session. I will use blue Locktite on it during the next cleaning/maintenance.
3) To shoot this many rounds, I had to sports tape the back strap, sports tape the web of my shooting hand and sports tape the trigger during the session. (If I ever find the guy who decided to put a serrated trigger on this gun, I’ll crack the frame on M12 during the beating this guy is going to get.)
4) Despite all the tape, I’ll still managed to get blisters and lose some skin in the following places, top of trigger finger, bottom of trigger finger, and the web of my shooting (right) hand. With this, I will probably change the grip to something that provides full coverage of the back strap. I’ll annotate the grip details soon after I change it out.
5) The gun seemed to like the UMC stuff. I even managed to shoot something that looked like a group with it.
------------
5 OCT 07


As more or less a continuation of yesterday’s activities, here are some more notes.

1) Cleaned subject gun this evening. As part of the cleaning process, I removed the cylinder and yoke. I also removed the thumb piece and thumb piece screw for cleaning and reassembly using blue Locktite. After cleaning, I again examined the gun using a magnifying glass and light. No cracks are visible, even under mild magnification.
2) Replaced boot grip with a Pachmayr Compac Decelerator. This grip wraps 360 degrees around the grip frame and will hopefully provide the shooter with a bit more protection.
3) As per note 1), I reassembled the thumb piece using blue Locktite.
4) I checked the B/C gap and again it measured 0.007”. This is the same number I got the last time (at round # 72). However, I read in Jerry Huhnhausen’s manual, “The S&W Revolver: A Shop Manual,” that this gap might be a bit large. With that, I will probably stop perform such a rigorous cleaning of the front face of the cylinder in a effort to close up this B/C gap a bit.
------------
25 OCT 07


22 rds of Georgia Arms 158 gr LSWCHP (G38E), Lot # 04190750
50 rds of Winchester 125 gr JHP (X38S7PH), Lot # 10XE80
50 rds of Remington/UMC 125 gr JHP (L38S2(B))* Lot # C24E BOI
* I believe the “B” designates a “bulk (100 rd) pack.”

Total Rds for this session: 122
Total Rds (running total): 346

Notes:
1) First shoot with the new full wrap around Pachmayr Compac Decelerator. This helped tremendously as it wasn’t until round # 98 that I realized I was missing skin on the web of my right hand.
2) The Georgia Arms twaddle is gone and won’t be replaced. It is inexpensive, but way too dirty and smoky.
3) I really like the Remington/UMC stuff. It is reliable ammo with a hollow point bullet that could be used for self defense and is inexpensive enough (relatively speaking) that you can – and should – practice regularly with it. (Anybody got any data on how it performs out on the street?)
4) After checking the gun over with a magnifying glass, I haven’t found anything that looks like a crack nor have I experienced any symptoms of a mechanical problem with the subject gun.
------------
17 NOV 07


Administrative Notes:
1) Changed grip from the aforemention Pachmayr to an Uncle Mikes “Grip” (part number 59005). This grip is a full size wrap around grip that’s technically meant for a square butt (SB) K or L-frame (I think it might work on the X-frames as well), but it will also work on guns with round butts (RB).
2) I’ve acquired an additional 200 rounds of +P to include some 158 grain Lawman from Speer.
3) I’m gearing up to use this gun in an IDPA match on 12 DEC. I hope to get to the range the week after Thanksgiving to “check out the package” prior to the match.

------------
28 NOV 07


Ladies and Gentlemen: we have crossed the halfway mark. I didn’t realize it until I dragged my blistered and bloody hand home and totaled up the evening’s shooting. Here’s the new data.

26 rds of Winchester 125 gr JHP (X38S7PH), Lot # 10XE80
80 rds of Winchester 125 gr JHP (X38S7PH), Lot # 62XE21
50 rds of Speer Lawman 158 gr TMJ (53750), Lot# Not on box

Total Rds for this session: 156
Total Rds (running total): 502

Notes:
1) First shoot with the Uncle Mikes’ grip installed back on 17 NOV.
2) First shoot using the Speer Lawman ammo. This “expensive +P practice ammo” is to date, my favorite ammo for the subject gun. This ammo shoots the closest yet to POA and gave me some outstanding groups fired from single action mode. Ironically, testing +P ammo through a model 12 may be the only practical thing to do with this ammo. ?
3) Most importantly, the gun looks fine, even under mild magnification. It’s quite dirty (see note 4), but nothing looks suspicious.
4) Also note from the log, that the subject gun was not cleaned from the session on 25 OCT. This makes the second session of live fire in 34 days that the gun has been involved with without cleaning.
5) Finally, after tonight’s session, I’ve given up on using the gun in an IDPA match.

------------
29 DEC 07


Brief update: I cleaned the subject gun today (it only took two months and a couple of shooting sessions to finally clean it). Again, I looked it over with a magnifying glass after cleaning, everything looked fine. However, I did notice that the barrel and patches appeared to have that greenish-gray look to them (probably from shooting the last of that nasty Georgia Arms fodder back in October). Because of this, I did spend some extra time cleaning the barrel using JB’s bore cleaner. The barrel looks a lot better now.

------------
16 JAN 08


Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you or the test. Here are the new revised numbers from tonight’s shooting session.

20 rds of Winchester 125 gr JHP (X38S7PH), Lot # 62XE21
50 rds of Speer Lawman 158 gr TMJ (53750), Lot# Not on box
50 rds of Speer Lawman 158 gr TMJ (53750), Lot# M05M3


Total Rds for this session: 120
Total Rds (running total): 622

Notes:
I wiped the gun down when I got home and looked everything over with a magnifying glass. Nothing appears to be having a problem apart from the shooter. I have another blister on my trigger finger and a swatch of skin from the web of my hand is missing. For those of you who care, I’ll live!
------------
19 JAN 08


Administrative Update: I cleaned the subject gun today in response to the shooting session from 16 JAN 08. During this routine maintenance, I removed the grips, cylinder assembly, and yoke. After cleaning and while the gun was still dissembled, I reviewed suspect areas with a magnifying glass. No cracks or suspicious abrasions were observed. Expect for noticing that the blued steel and the blackened alloy frame appear to be farther from each others hue then I’ve ever noticed before, everything appears to look and operate as it is supposed to.
------------
24 JAN 08


With tonight’s session, I’ve managed to fire 270 rounds in two sessions within 8 days. Here’s the break down by ammo type.

50 rds of Speer Lawman 158 gr TMJ (53750), Lot# Not on box
100 rds of Remington/UMC 125 gr JHP (L38S2(B))* Lot # D17J A01
* I believe the “B” designates a “bulk (100 rd) pack.”

Total Rds for this session: 150
Total Rds (running total): 772

Notes:
1) The subject gun looks fine. I had to clean it up a bit with some oil and a rag in order to look it over with a magnifying glass.
2) Tonight’s session was NOT without any drama. Somewhere during the 5th cylinder full (rounds 647 – 652), there was a slight problem while using the Rem/UMC ammo. At first, I was having problems getting the cylinder closed, but after rotating the cylinder a bit, it shut. However, I could not get the cylinder to turn using the trigger or by manually cocking the hammer. Obviously, something was hung up. Long story short, I ended up firing these six rounds chambered as singles or pairs. One of the rounds appeared to be dragging on the blast shield, but not as bad as when all six chambers were loaded. After firing these six rounds, I chambered all the brass and “dry fired” the gun. The suspect brass worked fine and the session continued with no additional problems.
3) Ironically, having fired the gun in a session just eight days ago, the areas on my shooting hand were still calloused, as opposed to being an open sore. I still used some sports tape, but during tonight’s session, I didn’t lose anymore skin or subject myself to any kind of blood-letting.
4) I am out of +P ammo, but there’s a gun show in town on February 8th. My hope is to acquire the last of the ammo needed to finish this test. This fact, combined with a change of jobs over the same gun show weekend should lower your expectations that you’ll see another entry in here before, let’s say, February 15th.

------------
27 JAN 08


Administrative Update: I cleaned the subject gun from the 24 JAN 08 shooting session. This was just a standard maintenance. I removed the grips, cylinder assembly, and yoke. After cleaning, I reviewed suspect areas with a magnifying glass. No cracks or suspicious abrasions were observed. The gun appears to be chugging along just fine. I’ll also note that I purchased another 100 rounds of the 158 gr Lawman yesterday (1/27).

------------
8 FEB 08


A short 100 rd session today shot between out-processing my current job and attending the Capital Gun Show in Chantilly, VA. I anticipate finishing the test with one more range session.

100 rds of Speer Lawman 158 gr TMJ (53750), Lot# Not on box

Total Rds for this session: 100
Total Rds (running total): 872

Notes:
1) The gun looks fine.
2) At one point in the shooting session I thought the gun’s accuracy was going away which lead me to suspect that there might be something wrong with the gun. However, after firing a couple of cylinders in single action, I concluded that the shooter was the source of the inaccuracy, NOT the gun (maybe the ammo).
3) At the gun show, I purchased the final boxes of ammo needed to complete this 1,000 round test. This included one box each of Speer 135 gr Gold Dot; Federal 125 gr JHP; and CCI Blazer 125 gr TMJ.

------------
9 FEB 08


Administrative Update: I cleaned the subject gun from the 8 FEB 08 shooting session. This was just a standard maintenance. I removed the grips, cylinder assembly, and yoke. After cleaning, I reviewed suspect areas with a magnifying glass. No cracks or suspicious abrasions were observed. The gun appears to be chugging along just fine.

------------
14 MAR 08


We are done. The test concluded tonight when we crossed the 1,000 rd mark. The final tally was 1,022 rds. Here’s the numbers for tonight’s session:

50 rds of Speer LE 135 gr GDHP (53921), Lot# D 18 N 32
50 rds of CCI Blazer 125 gr TMJ (3518), Lot# J15L6
50 rds of Federal Classic 125 gr JHP (38E), Lot# 12 V5Z9

Total Rds for this session: 150
Total Rds (running total): 1022

Notes:
1) The gun looks fine.
2) The 1,000th round was a one of the Federal Classic rounds.
3) I really tore up my hand this time, blistering and then removing a swatch of skin from the palm of my shooting hand.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:11 PM
toroflow1 toroflow1 is offline
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+P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!!  
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Course, you can always have it MIG welded back together after it cracks!!
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:16 PM
Osprey Osprey is offline
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+P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!!  
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Course, you can always have it MIG welded back together after it cracks!!
Only if you'll buy it from me....

.....Osprey
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:36 PM
toroflow1 toroflow1 is offline
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For a dollar-3-98??
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:35 PM
mel023 mel023 is offline
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+P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!!  
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Let the games begin. Remember Osprey, safety first. It doesn't count if you get hurt or killed. Somebody will have to start all over at 1 with another M12.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:15 PM
GatorFarmer GatorFarmer is offline
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+P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!!  
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If it helps any, I can lend a spare vest and helmet if you are really are concerned about the safety aspects. I don't think a Model 12 would fail that spectacularly. Having a 12-3, I'm curious about how this will turn out.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:41 PM
RON in PA RON in PA is offline
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The test might be more meaningful if you took some sort of objective measurement such as cylinder-barrel gap or end shake. I would expect that if there were any adverse effects on the gun due to the firing of the +P it would show up in one of those places.
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:32 AM
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I am watching and waiting. Me thinks the 12 will be as your hypothesis is worded when you are done.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:30 AM
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I doubt that an extra 100 fps that is generated by most factory +P ammo is going to damage the gun. If the frame cracks like the AirWeight J-Frames used to it probably would have cracked with standard loads.

I do agree with the other poster that measurments should be taken of the cylinder gap and headspace to se how much endshake is generated buy the pounding. It is to bad you don't have a second M12 that is in equal condition to shoot them side by side, one with +P and one with standard loads to see what the difference is at the end of the test.

There would probably also be a difference depending on the ammo used. Winchester +P .38 Special is not even close to CorBon +P ammo in pressure or velocity. Same with Buffalo bore. Their 158 cast SWC is going 1000 fps from a 2" gun vs. a Federal, Winchester or Remington +P 158 that is only doing 790 fps...

Let us know how things are progressing.

Bob
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:02 AM
M29since14 M29since14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
Hypothesis: That a Smith and Wesson model 12-2 can fire 1,000 commercially produced .38 special +P rounds without damage of a type that cannot be repaired (i.e. the infamous “cracked frame”).
I think you should extend you hypothesis to 2000 rounds. Some years ago it seemed to be common knowledge that S&W intended their airweight J-frame .38s to have a service life of at least 2000 rounds (+P ammo did not exist at that time). (No, I cannot provide any sort of reference, much less a link. )

Anyway, as all of us fifty-somethings remember, Elmer Keith picked this up and ran with it, testing a gun using all sorts of ammo, including some of his own reloads!

I think he had his famous gunsmith Iver Hendricksen measure the gun when it was new, as the test progressed and at it's conclusion (2000+ rounds). They found no harm to the revolver and Keith wrote the thing up enough times (in generalities, I don't recall seeing a specific, dedicated article about just this topic) that we all got the message.

Thus, we might hazard the guess that, unless your M12 has some weakness of design not present in the J-frame (seems unlikely), or your M12 has an individual flaw that cannot be discovered by inspection, it should run through 1000 rounds easily - and likely 2000 or more.

I am no engineer, but it seems improbable to me that a manufacturer as prestigous as S&W would design a weapon where the margins of safety and service life would be significantly affected by the difference in standard and +P pressures - within reason, of course. But, as I said, I am no engineer and certainly have nothing to base my opinion on - other than my own, very limited practices. It will be interesting to see what your test proves.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
and I suspect many others, have hosted numerous debates about the feasibility, safety, and/or prudence of firing +P ammo through a “vintage” model 12
Including the discussion(s....ad infintum) of what +P .38 special means as it relates to 'older'? standard pressure .38 special etc.

Wondering if Saxonpig will join in as he has done a fair amount of +P versus standard pressure discussion around the net!

Please be safe, keeping count of fingers, toes, eyes, ears, well just everything!
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by M29since14:
I am no engineer, but it seems improbable to me that a manufacturer as prestigous as S&W would design a weapon where the margins of safety and service life would be significantly affected by the difference in standard and +P pressures - within reason, of course.
Normally I would agree with this statement, but remember, the earliest pre-12's had an alloy cylinder that cracked on a regular basis necessitating the change to a steel cylinder.

Brian~
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RON in PA:
The test might be more meaningful if you took some sort of objective measurement such as cylinder-barrel gap or end shake. I would expect that if there were any adverse effects on the gun due to the firing of the +P it would show up in one of those places.
Keep in mind he is looking for a failure that would completely incapacitate the gun. Parts loosening up and out of alignment, while affecting performance, can be fixed.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:46 PM
Osprey Osprey is offline
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Guys, I'm a little pressed for time right now, but I will "mike" the cylinder window (and measure the b/c gap if I can find my feeler gauge) this weekend and log it to this topic.

FYI.... Osprey
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Keep in mind he is looking for a failure that would completely incapacitate the gun.
There was a whole thread on that subject too, and I don't remember what the conclusion was. I think that the original thread (not Osprey's thread) that raised the question was would it harm the gun, which happens before total failure.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:06 PM
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I've shot lots of +P's through allow frame S&W's with no problems. I did however several years ago have a Colt Cobra frame distort to the point that it was impossible to load and close after only about 200 rounds of +P. Sent it back to Colt and asked for a new frame at my cost. Received the gun back with a letter advising the gun had been used with excessive pressure loads and would not be repaired and they advised that I throw it away.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:15 PM
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Go Osprey! This will be a fun thread to keep up with. Thanks for the effort! PM me with your address and I'll spot you for an occasional box of ammo.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:19 PM
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Hi Bryan,

Good to see you, my friend.
I'm really having fun with this thread. I should send Osprey a check myself.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:42 PM
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Osprey,
I am very interested in your test results. My prediction however is that after 1000 rounds your model 12 will be just fine. The modern +P ammo is just not that hot! I would venture to say that the test loads S & W puts through the guns are a lot hotter than any +P we could buy. I have shot an older model 60 (no dash #) with plenty of 158 grain +P hollow point semi wadcuters, with no ill effect. The earlier model 60's like mine were not officially rated for use with +P ammo, but like I said, I have not seen any adverse effects on mine. I think this is a very worthwhile project!
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:25 PM
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Hey Erich; Just returned home for the weekend and am trying to catch up on reading the good forums.

In my view the +P 158 grain SWC-HP offers a small but worthwhile gain in terminal performance. Don't have any use for lighter bullet +P loads. None of it will hurt the revolver.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:56 PM
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"I am no engineer, but it seems improbable to me that a manufacturer as prestigous as S&W would design a weapon where the margins of safety and service life would be significantly affected by the difference in standard and +P pressures - within reason, of course. But, as I said, I am no engineer and certainly have nothing to base my opinion on - other than my own, very limited practices. It will be interesting to see what your test proves."

The S&W model 12 was NOT designed for +P for the simple reason that the +P specification did not exist at the time of manufacture.
On the other hand, I AM an Engineer with Graduate study in Metalurgy.
BTW, be aware that your 'test' will only be a one time data point and the results should not be used to predict the future for similar firearms. Frankly to subject ANY product where failure can lead to injury, to tests that exceed the design specifications without the manufactures certified approval is foolhardy. -Dick
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:19 PM
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The Log has been updated with cylinder window measurements...
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:38 AM
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Osprey, If I read Dick's responce correctly.......you're gonna have to test alot more M-12's, to reach any general conclusions. You need to test ,at least,a dozen guns!!! Bob
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobK:
Osprey, If I read Dick's responce correctly.......you're gonna have to test alot more M-12's, to reach any general conclusions. You need to test ,at least,a dozen guns!!!
Bob
I have <STRIKE>three</STRIKE> two M12s...the -2 we're testing; <STRIKE>a nickle -3</STRIKE>; and a dash nothing. I'm 1/4 of the way there, Bob.

.... Osprey
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:59 AM
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To further clarify my thoughts, I think that the likely hood of a catastrophic failure is minimal, more likely the firearm will go out of tune first and evetually cracks will be found in the frame, since these are the steel cylinder guns, cylinder probablity failure is minimum. In terms of Hazards Analysis, this type would be termed: Low Probability, High Consequence, sort of like flying on an airplane. Certainly if we did not attach value to this combination, designing and manufacturing an airplane could be much cheaper and consequently ticket prices would decline. But as a society,we do attach value to these events. In terms of what your testing will discover or what information it will lead to, unless properly documented, not much. My suggestion, if you really intend to do this, is to contact a Metalurgy Department at a University and determine if someone with a spare Graduate Student, would be willing to assist. A paper could be then end result and then your testing would yield some properly documented results. I am interested in an academic way, but don't want to be part of anyone being injured.
There is a guy who publishes articles, in the Double Gun Journal and performs just the sort of thing you are comtemplating on old doubles without any Professional credentials or Academic Training. All the old (I guess old in age and shooting old guns!) double shooters use his articles to make themselves feel better about shooting all those old doubles with modern ammunition but the old doubles keep failing anyway. I use this an example of where your testing might be headed.-Dick
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:26 AM
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Moondawg, Amen!
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by budrichard:
In terms of what your testing will discover or what information it will lead to, unless properly documented, not much....A paper could be then end result and then your testing would yield some properly documented results.
Huh?

I am interested in the results! Kudos to Osprey!

A "properly documented paper" written with the help of a University T.A. holds no interest to me (actually I would find it less credible).
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:25 PM
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The log has been updated. Please see the second entry on page 1.

Cheers.... sprey
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
In terms of what your testing will discover or what information it will lead to, unless properly documented, not much.
Of course, and even if properly documented, still "not much." It only applies to the single weapon he is testing. It's a simple field test, much like Elmer Keith's those many years ago. I don't see that it is meant to be the basis for conclusions about metallurgy, design, engineering, etc., across the whole population of revolvers of that type that S&W has produced. I don't think that is the man's intent. But that doesn't mean the test is not interesting and worthwhile to us, as hobbyists, does it?

If someone with the necessary expertise would care to volunteer to develop a testing procedure that would satisfy the type of requirements necessary for a formal scientific study, I don't think many members of this forum could afford it - or be interested enough to read the necessarily technical, detailed report.

It's a hobbyist's attempt to satisfy his own curiosity, and to let his fellow hobbyists know what he found. Nothing more. My ramblings that you quoted were just that - ramblings. (As can plainly be seen, I disqualified myself as any sort of authority before the rambling began.)

I found the mention of the airplane very interesting, since in my own mind, I would liken the chances of Osprey being injured by a catastrophic failure in the course of his test as directly comparable to being injured in an aircraft accident, or less - and yes, still more hobbyist's "ramblings!"
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:35 AM
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Many years ago, NYPD switched from standard pressure .38 to +P .38. They noticed that even the steel K frames wore out a little more quickly with the +P, but it was not a big deal. I'm guesing that your M-12 will be doing fine after 1k of +P.

Enjoy your shooting!
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by budrichard:
The S&W model 12 was NOT designed for +P for the simple reason that the +P specification did not exist at the time of manufacture.
On the other hand, I AM an Engineer with Graduate study in Metalurgy.
BTW, be aware that your 'test' will only be a one time data point and the results should not be used to predict the future for similar firearms. Frankly to subject ANY product where failure can lead to injury, to tests that exceed the design specifications without the manufactures certified approval is foolhardy. -Dick
A one time data point is all it takes to debunk this silly myth.

The myth being, and I've heard it MANY times, "If you shoot +P's in <span class="ev_code_RED">a</span> Model 12, it will either (1) blow up (2) stretch beyond use or (3) crack."

So...if we see this Model 12 survive many rounds of +P with no adversity, we can conclude that the myth is just that, a myth.
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
I'll take "The Word" of real men like Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, Skeeter Skelton...and Osprey...about what has worked in their guns under real life condtions.
I couldn't agree with you more.... Osprey

BTW, I picked up another 200 rounds of +P today at the VGCA gunshow in PW County, VA.
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Old 09-27-2007, 06:49 AM
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No comments from Osprey since 9/22, but we can pass over that and will assume he is still alive and has both hands and all fingers.

Last evening I was looking up some info on 945s in the PC section of SCSW3. I happened to notice the picture of the "Ultralight 442" on page 352. What follows is a quotation from the description printed there, and I take the liberty to use it, but of course give credit to the authors Supica & Nahas. (Hopefully they will not take me to task. For those of you who don't own this book, it really is an excellent reference and any S&W man should have one.)

"...a few Model 442s with an aluminum alloy cylinder were made for the U.S. Secret Service as prototypes... These cylinders passed the 5000-round test using +P ammo with no failures."



Well, maybe this shouldn't be an at all, and of course it speaks only for the cylinder, not the frame, or the whole weapon. Nevertheless, I found this pretty interesting. This would be considerably in excess of what I have heard, from many years ago, that S&W considered the service life of airweight J-frame .38 Specials to be a minimum of 2,000 rounds (presumably with non-+P ammo, since it was not made in that era).
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Is it becasue of better alloys used in todays guns
S&W do state that the number of guns made was very small - no production run was made. It is possible S&W used a special alloy, but, even for a customer as prestigous as the U. S. Secret Service, I doubt they would be able to pull a rabbit from their hat that defied well understood metallurgy at that time (1997 was given as the date).

Whether present day +P ammunition generates a level of external ballistic performance we judge to be "watered down," if it generates +P pressures, it is still going to subject the gun to increased wear and tear. It would be helpful to KNOW if the +P ammunition used actually generates +P pressures, but pressure testing ammunition from a major manufacturer definitely would take this test beyond the nature of Osprey's practical, "let's see" type of field test.
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:43 AM
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Fellow on another forum tested some +P 38s in various media and none expanded. I have heard about newer bullets being designed to open at lower velocitis but he got zero expansion at 850-900 FPS.

I still consider factory +P to be far too mild for me use for SD. I have much more confidence in my 125/1150 loads.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:00 AM
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Several of the thoughts expressed on this forum draw a direct relationship between increase/decrease in velocity and increase/decrease in pressure. While they are related, it is not a direct one for one relationship, and a increase of 5% (to pick a number) in velocity requires more than a 5% increase in pressure. If you were to graph the relationship, it would not be a straight line. It is not correct to assume that a small increase in velocity requires an equally small increase in pressure. If I am wrong about this, please correct me.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
It is not correct to assume that a small increase in velocity requires an equally small increase in pressure. If I am wrong about this, please correct me.
Not sure what your point is here, but of course that is my understanding too.

Perhaps more interesting would be the question of variations in external ballistic performance of +P rounds that are of equivalent pressure, and how they affect service life of the weapon. I suspect these loads subject the weapon to stress considerably greater than another +P pressure load of less performance. Anyone care to theorize on that?

Ex.: Any handloader has seen how different propellants yield radically different velocities with similar pressures.

I am just using theoretical numbers taken from thin air, but lets say in a gun like a .38 Special revolver, with loads assembled with identical components except for the propellant, one load yeilds 800 FPS velocity and one load yields 975 FPS. BOTH GENERATE THE SAME PRESSURE IN TESTING. How much more wear and tear on the weapon, if any, might one see with the higher speed load, even though pressures are the same? I have been curious about this for most of my adult life and of course it is one of those thing probably almost impossible to draw any logical conclusions about, because of the huge number of variables. But operating on the theory that there is a difference and it may be substantial, I invariably try to use slow-burning powders for my handloads as much as I can.

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Old 09-27-2007, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
BOTH GENERATE THE SAME PRESSURE IN TESTING. How much more wear and tear on the weapon, if any, might one see with the higher speed load, even though pressures are the same?
I'm not an expert on this subject, but I think someone answered this question in an earlier +P thread, and I'll try to repeat what they said: If you were to graph (there I go with graphs again) the pressure of the lower velocity load it would probably be shaped like a mountain with a sharp peak, with rise and decent to the top pressure causing a steep slope on both sides of the mountain. The higher velocity load would graph like a mountain with a plateau at the top, maintaining the same maxium pressure for a longer period. Although the max pressure reached was the same, it lasted longer in the higher velocity load, and probably provided a little more wear and tear on the gun. I think I said this correctly, but maybe not.
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:34 PM
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Another session tonight; 110 rounds, four different types of ammo. Go to The Log on page 1, second entry.

Those of you who use del.icio.us, please feel free to share my tag for this topic, M12-2+P.

Enjoy,

sprey...and his tore up shootin' wing.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
3) To shoot this many rounds, I had to sports tape the back strap, sports tape the web of my shooting hand and sports tape the trigger during the session. (If I ever find the guy who decided to put a serrated trigger on this gun, I’ll crack the frame on M12 during the beating this guy is going to get.)
4) Despite all the tape, I’ll still managed to get blisters and lose some skin in the following places, top of trigger finger, bottom of trigger finger, and the web of my shooting (right) hand.
Egad, man! You are shooting .38 Special +Ps aren't you?

Thanks for the update.
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by M29since14:
Egad, man! You are shooting .38 Special +Ps aren't you?
LOL, they were "just" .38 +Ps, but at times, in that lightweight gun, one could easily mistake the scene as a bird shooting magnums.

... Osprey
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:44 PM
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Good article on +P ammo from Handguns magazine.

http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunitio...tplusp_0306-7/
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:19 PM
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It's too bad that article did not address two of the most common elements discussed on these web forums. 1)What is the current limit of +P in .38 Special? Is it 18,500 psi, 20,000 psi, or even 22,000 psi? The author noted standard and +P pressures of 45 acp but not .38 Special which is a large part of his article. 2)How does this "increased wear" and "moderate" increases in pressure bear on older-style alloy-framed .38 revolvers. He doesn't address this question at all except to say that "current" production snubbies are all rated for plus P. OK, so what is the cumulative effect of plus P on "non-current" production? It was a pretty good article but merely rehashes stuff that has been commonly discussed without specifically addressing issues that have not yet been resolved, such as the one which inspired this current test of a Model 12 with +P.
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:10 PM
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More notes added today, 5 OCT 07. Sorry, no additional rounds fired. Go to The Log on page 1, second entry.


.... sprey
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:30 PM
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Can we get a better pic of the gun and carry rig?

I have a Model 64 and would like to see the holster.

Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TN RAT:
Can we get a better pic of the gun and carry rig?
Here's the gun with new grips on it:


Here's the holster on the "busy side":

I believe you can read the Galco model number (SPD112B) and find more info on Galco's Website.

And here's a shot of the old boot grips with the pastel blue inserts to fill the proprietary frame gaps.


.... sprey
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:50 PM
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I love it. Thanks for the great pics.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:45 AM
dogngun dogngun is offline
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+P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!! +P Through a Model 12: THE TEST...is done!!!!  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Berks County, PA
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Quote:
Originally posted by ERay:
I've shot lots of +P's through allow frame S&W's with no problems. I did however several years ago have a Colt Cobra frame distort to the point that it was impossible to load and close after only about 200 rounds of +P. Sent it back to Colt and asked for a new frame at my cost. Received the gun back with a letter advising the gun had been used with excessive pressure loads and would not be repaired and they advised that I throw it away.
Eray: I have seen several Colt Trooper full size .357's buckle their frames after use with .357 mag ammo. I have heard it is not uncommon. Colt no longer makes DA revolvers.

OSPREY: If you wish, I propose a test using a Model 19 and 125 Grain Magnum ammo to bury that myth as well. I'd gladly donate a few bucks to support that one.

Mark
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