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  #1  
Old 09-03-2009, 06:41 PM
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Default model 36 and +P

I have a model 36, not sure of the vintage, but the hammer
is the firing pin. Would it be safe to fire 135gr Speer +P LE
Gold Dots thru it. I just received 250 rounds that I had
ordered thinking it was Standard .38 but when I got it
it turned out to be the +P. I have other revolvers that will
fire it just fine; m19 and 340PD, but I really bought it for
my m38 and m36. I know not to use it in the model 38
airweight but I'm not sure about one of the older model
36's, no dash.
Thanks,
Dano

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Old 09-03-2009, 06:47 PM
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Here you go, read SaxonPig's post, it will tell you a lot about +P ammo.

+P ammo in a model 12??
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:51 PM
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That's an ALL STEEL revolver. It should be fine.

I've heard stories of extended use of +P ammo in J frames, so I wouldn't feed it a steady diet of +P. But for carry stuff...yeah, it should be fine.

If not...I'll take some of them Gold Dots off your hands. My K frame model 13 sure likes it!
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:41 PM
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Thanks for the link Dom. Good read.
I appreciate the offer there Glockemdown, to take them off my
hands, but my model 19 and 340PD will digest them just fine
You're right, it is all steel and should be fine. My concern was
the age of the gun but there again, I'd say you're right and
it'd handle them just fine. Ayoob says he ruined a good model
38 Airweight shooting +P's but concedes that if that's all you
have, he would use them in a m38 just for self defense.
Appreciate it guys,
Dano
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano View Post
Thanks for the link Dom. Good read.
I appreciate the offer there Glockemdown, to take them off my
hands, but my model 19 and 340PD will digest them just fine
You're right, it is all steel and should be fine. My concern was
the age of the gun but there again, I'd say you're right and
it'd handle them just fine. Ayoob says he ruined a good model
38 Airweight shooting +P's but concedes that if that's all you
have, he would use them in a m38 just for self defense.
Appreciate it guys,
Dano
Yeah, in a pinch they'll be ok.

I use the +P Gold Dots in my 3 inch model 13-3 but my model 38 Bodyguard gets fed Hornady 125gr XTP/JHPs in a NON +P load.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:16 PM
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I used to qualify regularly with a Model 36 using +P+ Hydra-Shoks. Its as tight as it ever was.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:16 PM
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Fill it full of +P- you will be just fine. I carry and shoot my
1960s M36 with +p, it is snappy on recoil but has not hurt the
gun in any way. S&Ws J frames are tuff little guns.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 'em down View Post
Yeah, in a pinch they'll be ok.

I use the +P Gold Dots in my 3 inch model 13-3 but my model 38 Bodyguard gets fed Hornady 125gr XTP/JHPs in a NON +P load.
Just for your information, I tried the 125 standard pressure XTP from a
4" model 15 in water. No expansion whatsoever and it was not all the
powerful. I thought they would be great for an old M&P, I was wrong.
I fired the hole box into a dirt pile shooting at cans. I found many of the little XTPs sitting on top of the ground!
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I used to qualify regularly with a Model 36 using +P+ Hydra-Shoks. Its as tight as it ever was.
I have been considering switching from the FBI load to this in my 36.
Did you like the 147+P+ in a snub nose or is that what you were required to use?
Any thoughts/experience would be appreciated. The gun is used for LE bug.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreakerDan View Post
Just for your information, I tried the 125 standard pressure XTP from a
4" model 15 in water. No expansion whatsoever and it was not all the
powerful. I thought they would be great for an old M&P, I was wrong.
I fired the hole box into a dirt pile shooting at cans. I found many of the little XTPs sitting on top of the ground!
Really? Wow! I didn't wanna hear that!

I don't guess just a few Gold Dot +P's would hurt my model 38 Bodyguard too bad...would it?

Thanks for the info Dan. I reckon I'll go pop off the XTPs in my Bodyguard and my speed strip as well as the rest of this box tomorrow and get rid of 'em.
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2009, 08:31 AM
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I read a memo from the U.S.Park Service, or U.S. Forestry Service, (don't remember which) that revealed that their officers qualified with +p .38 on a regular basis. Their revolvers were S&W 36 and 37s. No difficulty with weapon wear was noted. No difference between the two models was mentioned. Memo was from the late 70's or early 80's. Fwiw.

Regards,

Tam 3
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  #12  
Old 09-04-2009, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 'em down View Post
Really? Wow! I didn't wanna hear that!

I don't guess just a few Gold Dot +P's would hurt my model 38 Bodyguard too bad...would it?

Thanks for the info Dan. I reckon I'll go pop off the XTPs in my Bodyguard and my speed strip as well as the rest of this box tomorrow and get rid of 'em.
Glock em'

I just knew when I found that first box of standard pressure XTP they would be great. I was so disappointed with them that I have shied away from all other XTP loads. I tried them in a water barrel from a 4" and was just amazed they did nothing. I hear the standard pressure nyclads are expanding, but when I read the ballistics from federal on them, I found out they were as slow as 158LRN!!!!! They are not what the old nyclads were. Just seems like it is hit or miss. The Speer Gold Dot short barrel should be great. I know they expand cause I have shot them into water.
They open up very nicely. I load my 36 with FBI or +P+ 147s. No problems.
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreakerDan View Post
Glock em'

I just knew when I found that first box of standard pressure XTP they would be great. I was so disappointed with them that I have shied away from all other XTP loads. I tried them in a water barrel from a 4" and was just amazed they did nothing. I hear the standard pressure nyclads are expanding, but when I read the ballistics from federal on them, I found out they were as slow as 158LRN!!!!! They are not what the old nyclads were. Just seems like it is hit or miss. The Speer Gold Dot short barrel should be great. I know they expand cause I have shot them into water.
They open up very nicely. I load my 36 with FBI or +P+ 147s. No problems.
Yes...this news is disappointing. Like you, I was as happy as a chimp on roller skates when I found these standard pressure XTPs. Now, I'm kinda pissed about it. I hate to just "shoot up" a $20 box of ammo that's SUPPOSSED TO BE good carry stuff.

Oh well...I reckon I'll go back to my local toy store and pick up those other two boxes of Speer 135gr +P Short Barrel Gold Dots before somebody else does. I'm just gonna fire about a cylinder's worth thru my little Bodyguard, just to see if they're hittin' where they are suppossed to. If they are, I'll use them as my carry load.

If not...I reckon it's back to the ol' drawing board.

As disappointing as it is, I truly thank you for the VALUABLE info Dan.
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2009, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 'em down View Post
Yes...this news is disappointing. Like you, I was as happy as a chimp on roller skates when I found these standard pressure XTPs. Now, I'm kinda pissed about it. I hate to just "shoot up" a $20 box of ammo that's SUPPOSSED TO BE good carry stuff.

Oh well...I reckon I'll go back to my local toy store and pick up those other two boxes of Speer 135gr +P Short Barrel Gold Dots before somebody else does. I'm just gonna fire about a cylinder's worth thru my little Bodyguard, just to see if they're hittin' where they are suppossed to. If they are, I'll use them as my carry load.

If not...I reckon it's back to the ol' drawing board.

As disappointing as it is, I truly thank you for the VALUABLE info Dan.
You are very welcome.
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2009, 05:22 PM
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I know a lot of knowledgable people here say its ok. Not disputing that but I have a Md 36 (1964 vintage). I contacted S&W and they reccommend only regular .38 Spl and not +P ammo. May be its just a insurance thing so they don't get sued. I don't know, just my 2 cents.
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2009, 05:42 PM
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Most, including me, will say that occassional use of +P is acceptable in a Model 36. When I was a patrolman, my off-duty gun was a Model 36. I carried the same ammo as my duty gun: W-W 158 grain LSWCHP+P. I qualified with 158 grain LSW in both guns, and carried the duty ammo in both. During qualifications, the rounds in the gun were fired, so every quarter, at least 5 +P rounds went through my Model 36. It never fired loose or gave me any problems. I wouldn't try to feed a Model 36 a steady diet of +P rounds, but once in a while is fine.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2009, 07:25 PM
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Not recommending it for anyone else but this "pre-Model 36" Chief's Special from early 1952 has probably digested a couple of boxes of +P 158 grain factory loads since the mid-1980s when I acquired it and APPEARS to be none the worse for wear. I do carry it on occasion and it is so loaded when toted.

I gave it a "check run" with a couple of cylinders-full of +P 158s a while back. First time in some years. It seems to like +P loads better than I like shooting it with them.

Due to the forcing cone design and the positioning of the locking notches, I've heard it said that the J-Frame .38 Special is actually stronger than the K-Frame .38 Special. I don't have an opinion on the relative strength of the two frame sizes.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
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Not recommending it for anyone else but this "pre-Model 36" Chief's Special from early 1952 has probably digested a couple of boxes of +P 158 grain factory loads since the mid-1980s when I acquired it and APPEARS to be none the worse for wear. I do carry it on occasion and it is so loaded when toted.

I gave it a "check run" with a couple of cylinders-full of +P 158s a while back. First time in some years. It seems to like +P loads better than I like shooting it with them.

Due to the forcing cone design and the positioning of the locking notches, I've heard it said that the J-Frame .38 Special is actually stronger than the K-Frame .38 Special. I don't have an opinion on the relative strength of the two frame sizes.
That is one gorgeous iron!
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  #19  
Old 09-05-2009, 09:36 AM
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Would a M36-1 3" HB be any more able to handle +P or is it the frame?
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:33 AM
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armybass, The criteria for judging has always been the frame size and/or material. In theory the longer barrel WILL reduce battering due to greater weight ameliorating recoil to a small extent. Mostly it is a moot point since all of the steel framed Smiths have held up well to +P loads.....even back when they were stouter-the current +P really IS close to standard pressure of a generation ago as noted in another post.

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Old 09-05-2009, 10:44 AM
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The current SAAMI mean maximum pressure limit for the standard .38 Spec. is 17,000 psi. The speer Gold Dot Personal Protection 125 g +P runs at 20,000 which is the top end of the SAAMI for +P and over the pressure recommended for .38 spec.

Will they hurt your gun? probably not. Will they cost you more? Yup.

Cost is the main reason I don't shoot +Ps often.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
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The current SAAMI mean maximum pressure limit for the standard .38 Spec. is 17,000 psi. The speer Gold Dot Personal Protection 125 g +P runs at 20,000 which is the top end of the SAAMI for +P and over the pressure recommended for .38 spec.

Will they hurt your gun? probably not. Will they cost you more? Yup.

Cost is the main reason I don't shoot +Ps often.

Dom-

How much is your life worth? Plus P was never intended to be used for routine practice ammo. You don't drive your car at 80-100 MPH all the time, do you? But when you need acceleration to get on the freeeway or to avoid an accident, it's nice to have added power.

T-Star
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:29 PM
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It really isn't very satisfactory practice ammunition. At least the lead stuff isn't. I never shoot jacketed +P. The 158 grain SWCs give adequate accuracy for reasonable self defense distances but don't really produce gratifyingly tight groups. Leading generally rears its ugly head after more than a few rounds. Plus P is noisy and recoils smartly in small handguns. It's costly and frequently more difficult to find. At least stocks of 158 grain +P are not often available.

On the plus side I've found that 158 grain +P prints very closely to the same spot on target as 158 grain standard velocity ammunition. It may be an inch or two lower at most. A .38 Special is at its best for serious self defense use when loaded with +P.
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
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Dom-

How much is your life worth? Plus P was never intended to be used for routine practice ammo. You don't drive your car at 80-100 MPH all the time, do you? But when you need acceleration to get on the freeeway or to avoid an accident, it's nice to have added power.

T-Star
I never said I don't use them, I said I don't shoot them often. Just a few cylinders full to see where they print.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
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I never said I don't use them, I said I don't shoot them often. Just a few cylinders full to see where they print.
Yeah, that's me. I have my model 38 and my model 13-3 both loaded with them (Speer 135gr +P Gold Dots) as well as a Bianchi Speed Strip, a Tuff Products 8 round speed strip and a Safariland speedloader. I also have 4 boxes (80 rounds) in reserve.

I haven't fired any of these yet. I'm gonna try to do that tomorrow.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:48 PM
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As some others have noted, it's the frame that's the limiting factor. The high stress areas are where the locking bolt passes through the frame, the ratchet, the yoke and the barrel thread area. The smaller cross section of the yoke/yoke lug accelerates development of end play/yoke play.

Last edited by WR Moore; 09-07-2009 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock 'em down View Post
That's an ALL STEEL revolver. It should be fine.

I've heard stories of extended use of +P ammo in J frames, so I wouldn't feed it a steady diet of +P. But for carry stuff...yeah, it should be fine.

If not...I'll take some of them Gold Dots off your hands. My K frame model 13 sure likes it!
Yeah, didn't S&W say themselves that any steel revolver with a model number was ok for +P? I remember looking at alloy guns back around 1980 and the LGS said NOT to put +Ps through them.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:56 PM
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+p ammo in your M36 will wear you out long before it has any adverse effect on your revolver.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:01 AM
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The 158 +p was what the LE folks used...........
Today the 135 Jhp +p does as good or better of a job for SD.

A lighter bullet at the same speed of the 158 means LESS recoil.
I would save it for any snub nose 38's that you have......if they shoot close to where you are pointing......... but be a carry load only.

My M49 likes both the 158 and 135 +P but the 135 is 3" closer to my POA at 10 feet.

Good luck.
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