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Old 08-10-2018, 07:36 AM
Vilkus Vilkus is offline
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I was cleaning my M-640 38 special and noticed "tested for +P+ written on the frame.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that there is no industry standard pressure for +P+ ammo.
If that's the case, how would S&W know what pressure to proof the gun for?
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:44 AM
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Struckat Struckat is offline
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Bore the chambers short and call it a 38, I have not seen that before.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:48 AM
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The best theory about this mark is that it refers to the 110 gr US Treasury issue .38 Special load of the era that was labeled +P+. It was present on a small number of the early CEN prefix 640s, and removed once the factory lawyers found out about it (my theories only ).
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:33 AM
Vilkus Vilkus is offline
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Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
The best theory about this mark is that it refers to the 110 gr US Treasury issue .38 Special load of the era that was labeled +P+. It was present on a small number of the early CEN prefix 640s, and removed once the factory lawyers found out about it (my theories only ).
My gun is a CEN prefix gun. Your theory sounds reasonable to me, especially the lawyer part.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:49 AM
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Here is an old thread from here, that also references a 147 gr. 38 Special +P+ loading:

38 +P+ 110gr JHP Treasury Ammo Test
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:46 AM
Vilkus Vilkus is offline
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Originally Posted by Struckat View Post
Bore the chambers short and call it a 38, I have not seen that before.
My 640 (no dash) was produced around 1990 before S&W stretched the frame for the 357 mag. I do believe that they made a 38 sp. chambered 640-1, which had the longer frame, but that's not the model I have.

I found the thread about the +P+ loads interesting.
I currently use Buffalo Bore's take on the FBI load which they claim 1040 fps out of a 2 inch Mod 60.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:25 PM
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The later 640 (J Magnum frame) that was in .38 Special was the -2, an approved NYPD backup gun back in the day.

Buffalo Bore published velocities have been found to be pretty accurate; how they do it at accepted +P pressures is the mystery .
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:49 PM
fortyshooter fortyshooter is offline
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.38 Special +P would be something greater than .38 Special but below .357 Magnum. So a +P+ would be beginning .357 Mag load??
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortyshooter View Post
.38 Special +P would be something greater than .38 Special but below .357 Magnum. So a +P+ would be beginning .357 Mag load??
Interesting observation. Just for chuckles I looked at velocities of 158g 357 mag bullets fired from actual 2 inch barrels. From three different manufacturers Speer, Rem. and Magtech, they got 1003 fps, 1115 fps and 1188 fps with factory ammo.


The aforementioned 38 special +P 158g swchp from Buffalo Bore at 1040 fps, is nipping at their heels.

Other tests of 158g 38 special +P ran around 800 fps.

So you are probably correct. 38 sp. +P+ would be like 357 light, I would think.

The velocity readings I got are off the net, not from my personal tests.
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:30 PM
OKFC05 OKFC05 is offline
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.38 Special +P would be something greater than .38 Special but below .357 Magnum. So a +P+ would be beginning .357 Mag load??
A REASONABLE company or loader could load that way but does not have to.
No standard means the loader can do as he pleases and call it +P+. Some might be barely over +P limits while others may equal .357 Proof loads.
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:42 PM
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Added pics for reference. Ranger "+P+" 110 Gr. loads.

..sorry about the blurry pic

Tested for +P+?-2014-11-10-04-12-39-jpg
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Tested for +P+?-2014-11-09-09-01-04-jpg   Tested for +P+?-2014-11-10-04-12-39-jpg  
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