+p shells


April 28, 2007, 11:35 AM
Can you shoot +p shells in an older model 60 SW .38 spl.

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April 28, 2007, 12:11 PM
should be able to
the M60 was first made in '65 and is all-steel, so you should be able to shoot the higher pressure +P in it.
I think I remeber Bill Jordan would shoot .38-44 in a snub, and thats, I'm pretty sure, more like +p+

April 28, 2007, 12:31 PM
No ammo company in its right mind would market any load that is unsafe in the typical gun that might shoot it. Factory +P is loaded well below the maximum allowable pressure for the caliber (a 125@925 is hardly a hot load) and in a quality revolver will pose no danger or cause excessive wear.

April 28, 2007, 12:33 PM
You can but you'll put extra wear on your gun. The agency I worked for issued M60s and +P ammo. The agents who used there guns only to qualify didn't have many problems. Eventually the timing will go and then the frame would stretch. When the frame stretches your M60 is only good for a fishing sinker. When the agency you work for fixes or buys you another gun this is not an issue.

Never use +P+ in a small frame gun. The agency I worked for started using +P+ in the late 70s. They said you could use it in j frames. I didn't. They stopped using it in j frames after two guns exploded one the cylinder went and the other the cylinder and top strap. I recall one agent either lost or had permanent damage to their eye (they were wearing eye protection).

I use only standard velocity ammo in my small frame guns. This post gives all the reasons.


Lone Star
April 28, 2007, 06:04 PM
I asked S&W reps and they said that any M-60 with the suffix of -4 or higher is rated for use with Plus P.

These guns, from the M-60-4 on have improved heat treating.

I know that Saxon Pig means well and has had good luck with shooting Plus P in some of his guns, but others have had problems.

It seems SAFE to fire it in an emergency, but regular use will increase wear. The USAF rebuilt their S&W M-15's about three times, in many cases, after they began using the hot PGU-12 round. They eventually got the 9mm auto they really wanted, in part through citing heavy wear to revolvers with Plus P ammo. And those were the larger K-frame.

See this article on the .38 Special load in, "Gun Week: Click on the front page, then when the contents page comes up, click on the .38 Special story.


Be aware that the issue is about to change, and next week, you probably won't be able to read it unless it is eventually among the archived stories. This post was made on Saturday, April 28. You can, however contact the publisher and buy the print edition, although the photos are not in color, as they are in the Online version.

Lone Star

April 29, 2007, 10:01 AM
I simply do not believe the stories of stainless steel guns (stainless is tougher than carbon steel) stretching and breaking with +P.

Again, for the 1,000,000th time, look at the specs of factory +P. IT IS NOT A WARM LOAD. A 125 bullet at 925 FPS is not a warm load. Period. End of story.

Prior to the age of lawyers and lawsuits for product liability factory .38 Special ammo was loaded to 21,500 PSI. This was considered standard pressure for the caliber. The ammo from the 1970s and earlier generally pushed a 158 bullet at 850-970 FPS (depending on manufacturer). This was the STANDARD load, mind you.

Then the owners of Star and Ruby pistols (with pot metal frames) started suing the ammo companies when their guns blew up. So, on advice of counsel, they started reducing the power in the ammo to accommodate these crappy pistols. Now, the standard .38 158 load is 730 FPS generating an extremely mild 16,000 PSI. How truly pathetic! You can almost throw the bullet that fast! The so-called "+P+ is only +P when compared to the new, lower pressure ammo. Factory +P runs around 18,500 PSI. More than the standard, wimpy load but well below the maximum allowable for the caliber.

I have done extensive shooting of +P and handloads at much higher pressures in a variety of revolvers and to date my conclusion is that factory +P is very mild and will obviously cause NO DAMAGE or excessive wear to a quality gun like a S&W. I remind you that +P is actually loaded 3,000+/- BELOW industry maximum allowable pressure. Factory +P is simply NOT A WARM LOAD.

My experience with +P+ is much more limited. I have only tested one variety and that was 110 grain Winchester marked "Police Only" and I was very underwhelmed by its performance. It clocked 1,100 FPS which ain't much for a 110 bullet. I very seriously doubt that the Winchester +P+ exceeded the 21,500 PSI max for the caliber. All this +P and +P+ nonsense is marketing hype and legal cover.

I have loaded 110 JHPs to 1,400 FPS measured from a 4" Model 10. THOSE loads were HOT! The Winchester +P+ I tested was not.

My daily carry load in .38 Special is a 125 at 1,150 FPS (clocked from a 4" gun, the 2" will show about 100 FPS less). Works in my J and K frames without any trouble at all. I even shot a few through a 1960s vintage Rossi just for fun. No problems.

I've thought about it and I'm sorry, but I have to do it. I will cut and paste my treatise on the +P phenomenon.


I was a little surprised when I began visiting these Internet forums and saw so many questions regarding +P .38 Special ammo. It seems each new day brings yet another post asking about the safety of using factory +P ammo in one gun or another. I always assumed the short answer was that if you had a Star, or Ruby, or some other gun that might be questionable as far as strength is concerned, then stay away from +Ps. But many shooters seem concerned about using this ammo in quality guns of recent manufacture* and I didn’t expect that. I saw many inquiries about K frame S&Ws using +P and I found it odd that anyone would worry about using factory +P ammo in such a gun. Then I started seeing postings from owners of .357 Magnum revolvers asking if +P .38 Special ammo would harm their guns. One forum member was concerned that +Ps would damage his Model 28 S&W.

Come again? I don’t know what caused such a mystique to surround +P ammo to make people with N frame Magnums think it’s too much for their guns, but it strikes me as overblown all out of proportion. The fact is that +P isn’t “all that” anyway. Winchester, Federal and Remington list the velocity of the 125 grain +P at around 925 FPS. These velocities are actually fairly mild. I have shot many rounds of Remington 125 grain +Ps in a 1942 S&W Military & Police revolver and I can literally shake the fired cases from the gun without using the extractor. In my opinion these loads are actually pretty mild and show no sign of even moderate pressure in any of my guns.

As underpowered as I thought the Remington ammo was the PMC proved worse. I clocked a box of the El Dorado 125 JHP +Ps and from a 4" barrel I got a pathetic 890 FPS. Fired from a 2" M&P (made in 1949, BTW) this ammo ran 795 FPS. How can such puny loads cause so much hysteria among shooters? I also tried some Winchester 110 grain +P+ "Law Enforcement Only" ammo. I was expecting around 1300 FPS but all I got was 1100. Big deal! This load was very mild and easy to shoot through the 2" gun and I fail to see the reason for the fear of +P (or +P+ for that matter) that so many shooters express.

Why is everyone so terrified of +P? I believe that the reason +P exists is twofold. First, it is a marketing ploy used to sell ammo by misrepresenting it as powerful. But any perception that this ammo is powerful is a myth. Second, it gives the ammo companies legal cover should anyone blow up their inexpensive gun because they can say "We warned you not to use +P ammo!" Of course, +P is nothing more than what standard pressure ammo used to be and they created the +P moniker to protect themselves.

The factory ammo made back in the 1970s and earlier was hotter than that made today (see chart #1). I have seen the specifications for standard .38 Special ammunitions from a 1940 catalog listing the velocity as 960 FPS with a 158 grain bullet. This load would clearly develop higher chamber pressure than the current +P load and yet it was used for decades in all models from Colt and S&W without incident. The current +P is really about what the .38 Special should be in standard form. But note that today's standard load is no longer what it once was, either. In 1940 it was the 158/960 that was considered standard. During most of my youth I recall the load as advertised at 158/870. I have a copy of the specifications for S&W/Fiocchi ammo that was packaged with new guns that appears to have been printed in 1970. It lists the 158 lead .38 Special load at 910 FPS. It also includes a 158 JHP at 1140 FPS (equaling the mighty 38/44 load), a 125 JHP at 1380 FPS and a 110 at 1390 FPS**. I have seen a ‘70s box of SuperVel .38s with the package labeled as containing a 158@955 load. This was the standard load in the early 1970s (although I didn’t recall SuperVel offering standard velocity ammo). Note that none of these loads were marked as +P, but were considered standard pressure and the ad bears no mention of not using this ammo in older guns or revolvers with alloy frames.

These loads are probably similar to those +P loads offered by the specialty ammo makers like Bear Claw, Cor-Bon and others that exceed the levels achieved by the mainstream ammo company loads. Bear in mind that this was ammo bearing the S&W name and sold through their dealer network for use in their guns. They are now advising against using the rather meek current +P for their revolvers when they used to advertise and sell ammo that was much hotter. Compare these velocities to those offered today and tell me they haven't reduced the loads! Current specifications on the lead 158 are pretty wimpy at 158/750 (some are showing 730). Again, we see the ammo companies reducing the loads over the years. The current +P (which means +Pressure if you didn’t know) is really only +P when compared to current standard loads. Stacked up against past standard loads the +P looks pretty anemic and the current standard load is truly pathetic.

The fact is that +P is only called +P in comparison to the current standard .38 Special loading, not because it exceeds the pressure limits set for the caliber. I believe the SAAMI pressure limit for the .38 Special is 21,500 PSI (the .357 Magnum is 35,000 for comparison). The standard load for the .38 Special as offered by Winchester, et al, generates 16,500 PSI. This is so far below the maximum allowable as to be ridiculous but the ammo makers fear lawsuits from people using the ammo in cheap guns. The +Ps from these manufacturers run about 18,000 PSI. This is more than the standard loadings (hence the +P designation) but is still far below the maximum allowable pressure. Those "really hot +P loads" from the specialty manufacturers like Cor-Bon, etc., are simply loaded to the caliber's full potential of 21,500 PSI and should be perfectly safe in any quality arm in good condition. Sellier & Bellot sells a 158@975 load that is obviously more powerful (and therefore generates more chamber pressure) than the 125@925 +P yet this ammo isn’t labeled as +P. It’s likely simply loaded near the 21,500 PSI maximum allowed for the caliber and this company eschews the ridiculous +P label on ammo that is within industry standards.

So why are we seeing these less powerful loadings? Because there are some guns out there that are not well made. Because of liability concerns the ammo makers must load their products to pressures that are safe in these lower quality guns. They mark the "high pressure" loads as +P (even though as I noted they really aren't high pressure) to give them legal cover should someone hurt himself shooting this ammo in a cheap Spanish S&W knock-off of dubious quality.

S&W ran advertisements in the 1930s and 1940s specifically stating that the .38/44 load, which pushed a 158 grain bullet at an advertised 1125 FPS making it far more powerful than the current +P load, could be used in the K frame revolver. Colt ran similar ads for using this ammo in the Detective Special. If these 1930s-era medium frame revolvers could handle the 158/1125 Heavy Duty loads, why should anyone worry about the same guns shooting the current 125/925 loads labeled as +P? One former police officer told me that between 1958 and 1960 he fired 2,000 rounds of factory 38/44 ammo through his duty Model 10 without any effect to the gun. If all that shooting with the 158/1125 load didn't harm his K frame I don't see how the 125/925 +P can hope to do damage.

Lee Jurras started Super Vel in the 1960s. This was maybe the first of the specialty ammo companies and he offered truly high performance .38 Special loads. I have some of the 110 grain loads and they clock around 1300 FPS. Based on this I would guess his 125 loads would go around 1200 or so. This would be a true +P load but it’s still lighter than the old .38/44 load. I don’t recall seeing or hearing of guns being damaged by this ammo.

Check out a reloading manual from the early '70s. The Speer #8 from 1970 has a load listed for the .38 Special pushing a 158 JHP to 1,250 FPS, one for the 125 grain bullet at 1426 FPS and one for the 110 grain bullet at 1536 FPS! A 1971 Sierra manual shows a load for the 125 grain .38 Special at 1250 FPS. Sort of makes that factory +P at 925 seem less intimidating, doesn't it? Now, of course, new manuals don't include listings that are this hot. Now they stop at about the same levels as the factory +P. Why? Lawyers and lawsuits are the reasons why. The reloading manual publishers are just as scared as the gun and ammo makers about being sued. Fear of lawsuits is the same reason the gun makers caution against the use of +P ammo. They also say don’t use reloads. They have to say this on advice of counsel to protect themselves.

I load 125s at 1,100 FPS in my .38 Special carry guns. This load came from the 1970 Speer manual and is not the top load listed. I have shot many rounds of it through both K and J frame guns and they seem to work just fine. Recoil is slightly more pronounced than with standard ammo, but the cases fall from the cylinder with no sticking and I see no signs of excessive pressure. Just for fun I once put 6 rounds of this ammo through an old small-frame Rossi revolver. Nothing bad happened although I wouldn’t advise using this ammo in such a pistol. I once loaded some 110 JHPs to a clocked 1400 FPS from a 4" Model 10. These were hot, let me tell you, and I backed off. But the gun showed no immediate effect from having fired a small amount of this ammo.

Ask yourself this question: Would any ammo maker in today's litigious environment sell any ammunition that would be unsafe or harmful to use in the typical gun that a consumer may own? If factory +P were really hazardous would Winchester, or Federal, or Cor-Bon sell it to the general public?

With all the many, many questions regarding the safety of +P ammo, there must be many reports of blown-up guns, right? How many guns blown-up by factory +P ammo have you seen? How many guns blown-up by factory +P ammo have you heard about? I have been participating in the shooting sports and studying firearms since 1967 and I know of absolutely NONE. I have heard second and third hand accounts of one or two guns that were said to have been damaged by factory ammo but I think it more likely these guns suffered failure due to some manufacturing defect. It happens. I have a S&W .357 Magnum that was returned to the factory for a new frame. Something went wrong with it.

Certainly, using a gun causes wear. A gun is a machine and using any machine will cause it to wear. Using hotter ammo will likely accelerate the process to some degree. But a quality gun from S&W or Colt or Ruger will not blow up with +Ps. Nor will it excessively stretch the frame or split the barrel in my opinion. It will possibly wear a little faster, and I doubt if anyone could predict how much, but I think the added wear on a good gun will not be all that much. The gun would probably still last longer than the man who owns it.

I admit to some paranoia about warm loads in an alloy-framed gun. I do not have any alloy revolvers but if I did I would stick to standard ammo even though it seems obvious from my research that current factory +P is actually weaker than the original standard .38 Special load. In a steel gun of good quality I have no concerns at all about +P on a regular basis since I consider factory +P to be nothing more than standard pressure (or less), anyway. Also, in 1955 Elmer Keith wrote of shooting the 38/44 load through the alloy J frame guns and he said that it did them no harm but recoil was pretty fierce. Keith favored big guns with heavy recoil so such a comment coming from him is quite meaningful. So maybe my own reluctance to use +P in alloy guns is misplaced. Perhaps I have also fallen victim to the hype?

This is just my opinion based on personal experience and research. There are differing points of view. Some replies to the +P question are quite adamant about avoiding regular use of this ammo. Others advise occasional use. Some say only carry +P for defense but don’t use it for practice at all. Some say S&W guns with model markings are OK with +P*** (what about the Colts?) while others say only use it in guns specifically approved by the factory. The fact that there are so many answers to this question tells me that there is great confusion on this matter. I’m a simple man and I take a simple course to the truth. I do basic research and try to find the facts. I have presented the facts as I see them. All one must do to find the truth about current factory +P ammo is look at the specifications. I submit that a 125/975 load is hardly high performance, and certainly nothing to cause concern for owners of quality revolvers. All are free to disagree.

Some forum members have accused me of being irresponsible in recommending the loads I mentioned. Of course, I am not recommending anything, only stating what I do. Also, all of the loads I use came from reputable reloading manuals. If the loads were safe in 1970 I don’t see why they aren’t safe now, but I don’t recommend anything to anyone. Each of us has to make our own choice. If you think any of the loads I mentioned are too hot then avoid them. If you are in any way uncomfortable with +Ps then stick with standard loads.


* The manufacture and tempering of steel was imprecise before around 1930 or so. Any of my guns made before this date get reduced loads just to be on the safe side. Note that early S&Ws, those made before around 1918, had cylinders that were not tempered at all. A similar situation likely is true with Colt revolvers but I have no specific knowledge of when Colt began tempering their cylinders.

** This same document advertises a 125 JHP .357 Magnum load at 1775 FPS. Current factory ammo in this caliber with this bullet usually clock around 1250-1300 FPS. Apparently the Magnums have also been "downsized."

*** I never understood using the "model marking" on S&W revolvers as the cut-off for +P. As far as I can tell the last S&W made without the model number stamped on it was exactly the same as the first revolver to have the model number stamped on it. They didn't improve the steel or strengthen the guns in any way. All they did was start stamping the model numbers.


This same situation that has affected the .38 Special occurs with the .38 Super. The original loading for the Super was a 130 FMJ at nearly 1,300 FPS. But the Super cartridge is the same physical size as the old .38 ACP, just loaded to higher pressures so the ammo makers started fretting over some yahoo stuffing Supers into his 1905 Colt in .38 ACP and spreading parts all over the range. That’s why Super cases were nickel and the .38 ACP were brass until a few years ago, so shooters could instantly recognize which ammo they had. I was curious a few years ago when I noticed that they stopped doing this and I saw Super ammo in regular brass cases. I guess there’s no need any longer since factory Super ammo now clocks about the same as .38 ACP. The last box I checked ran 1,120 FPS, only 40 more than the ACP. They have down-loaded the Super to nearly the same level as the ACP. No lawsuits. Of course, the Super isn’t so… super… any longer, is it?

Some people claim that the standard .38 Special load today is the same as 30-50 years ago and the only difference is the claimed velocities in the past were greatly exaggerated by the test barrels they used. Everyone back then knew real-world velocity would be a little lower but not as much as some would have us think. Below are some actual measured velocities of various vintage ammo.

Chart #1:

Some .38 Special velocities actually measured (not claimed by the manufacturer) from a 4" Colt Official Police:

Remington 158 grain lead made in the late 1960s-early 70s...840 fps
Peters 158 grain lead made in the 1950s...800 fps
Western Super-X 158 grain lead made in the mid-late1960s...810 fps
Western 150 grain metal-piercing made in the mid-late 1960s...1000 fps
Remington 158 grain lead "Hi-Speed" made in the 1950s...920 fps

The 158 loads from the 1950s-1970s are clearly more potent than the current offerings that achieve a claimed 730-755 FPS velocity. The observed 800-840 FPS is consistent with the manufacturer claims at the time of 870-910 FPS since they used a 6" "pressure barrel" to achieve the claimed velocities and actual velocities from 4" revolvers ran somewhat lower. But clearly not the huge difference some people claim in their assertions that factory .38 Special ammo has not been reduced in power. Also, bear in mind that the ammo being tested was all 30-50 years old and may have exhibited some deterioration in the powder which may have caused lower velocities than the ammo developed when new.

The bottom line:

Each man must do what he thinks is best. After a great deal of research and testing I do not consider factory +P ammo to be very warm at all and it concerns me not one bit in a quality revolver.

April 29, 2007, 03:37 PM
Thanks SaxonPig.
Excellent essay.
By the way, what’s your opinion on Colt metallurgy? I recently bought a 3” Police Positive and a 2” Detective Special and would like to know your opinion regarding their tolerance to hot ammo, say , compared to old S&W revolvers.

Lone Star
April 29, 2007, 06:39 PM
Saxon Pig-

In his, "Handgunner's Guide", published in the early 1960's, Chic Gaylord says that Smith & Wesson told him that when they began making the heavy-barrelled M-10, it was made of a new and stronger steel, and would take more pressure than older guns of that style. The improved steel and heat treating applied to all M-10's from that date. S&W have repeatedly stated that their guns marked with a model number are made of better materials.
I think they'd know. Some of their snubs in recent years have definitely been advertised as able to take Plus P ammo, due to improved heat treating. They list them. I doubt that they'd go to that trouble if it was all a lie.

Whether a gun will blow up is one thing. Using Plus P routinely over a period of time is another. I have studied the matter a good deal for over 30 years, and think that timing problems and cylinder endshake are seen sooner in guns shot a lot with Plus P loads. Using Rugers, which are exceptionally strong for .38's or using Plus P ammo in a .357 alters the picture. Obviously, a .357 will find Plus P ammo in .38 not much of a problem. Still, I don't use either Plus P or Magnums in K-frame .357's except for occasional practice or field and defense needs. A Ruger or larger frame S&W or a Colt .357 are so strong that I don't consider Plus P .38 ammo an issue in them.

Lone Star

April 29, 2007, 07:55 PM
FerFAL- To me the Colts are the same as the Smiths. Post 1930 and I am comfortable.

Lone Star- Nobody has ever confirmed the "better steel" legend. I asked several knowledgeable S&W "experts" and none can confirm this urban myth. I do not believe it to be true. I can find no mention of any difference between the last unmarked revolver and the first model-marked one. I think there was none save for the model stamping.

As for S&W knowing about their guns, well, I have documented many instances of mistakes in S&W record-keeping and historical fact. S&W has made many statements of historical "fact" that turned out to be untrue and I no longer trust any info from the factory without secondary sources for verification.

Elmer Keith wrote in 1955 of shooting 38/44 ammo through the alloy J frame without incident. The original 38/44 load makes current factory +P look like a popcorn fart in comparison.

The K frame Magnum issue is another argument. There have been reports of barrel failures but as always I do thorough research on anything of interest to me and I have uncovered some info about this situation that makes me comfortable with full-power loads in my M19-3. By full-power I mean my own loads using a 125 JHP at 1,400 FPS (plus the occasional use of loads that run 1,525 FPS from a 5" barrel). Been shooting that gun off and on for nearly 15 years, now. I'll let you know if anything bad happens.

Jim March
April 29, 2007, 08:17 PM
I'm of the opinion that a lot of +P can harm older steel guns. I group my late-70s production Charter Arms Undercover in this category and go REAL light on the +P.

I am very eager to get ahold of some of the new Buffalo Bore standard pressure (yet strong velocity) 38s. If these pan out, and given Buffbore's rep that seems very likely, then Tim Sundles has perhaps shut down this debate for all time.

Because we *finally* have standard-pressure 38s that will expand out of 2" barrels.

There has been extensive discussion of these rounds I won't rehash here. Do a bit of searching. The 158gr slug, to me, has the most potential. The 125 has merit for those who are very recoil sensitive, and the 150...well that one I'm not sure about, but it might make sense, esp. if the accuracy gains Tim has been talking about pan out.


Saxonpig: I have to point out something: measuring a given round's energy (bullet weight and speed) says very little about how much peak internal pressure the thing is generating (and hence, how much it's beating up the gun). You are looking at loads and calling them "not hot" and in EXTERNAL terms, you're right. Look at how much power Buffalo Bore is getting out of standard pressure loads - they meet and sometimes exceed what other companies call "+P". Energy on target (weight and speed of projectile) is what you seem to be focused on. It's not the whole equation at all.

April 29, 2007, 11:39 PM
Jim is correct. The ammount of peak pressure that is developed, will have a lot to do with powder choices combined with bullet weight and does not necessarily correlate with the kinetic energy generated.

April 30, 2007, 11:33 AM
However the pressure is defined it must not exceed SAAMI maximum and factory +P is so far below that level as to not be taken seriously. At least not by me.

Note that another thread is discussing a Buffalo Bore (2 words?) +P load that seems to exactly duplicate the 38/44 load. It uses a 158 lead HP (the original was a solid) at a claimed 1143 FPS. I wonder if they publish the pressure on this load?

They seem to not be terribly concerned about selling this load that makes the 125 +P from Winchester and Remington look positively anemic.

Jim March
April 30, 2007, 01:11 PM
Saxon ol' pal, remember that "revolver checkout" post I did?

You know why I originally wrote it?

Because using basically that routine, I was able to spot one gem of an old cheap gun that was tight as a drum from among a pile of loose sloppy junk. My recollection was I checked about a dozen guns. And I've seen similar shot-loose pieces for sale since, in spades. The one gem I picked turned out to be the best $186 I ever spent, able to hit a torso-size target at 50 yards 100% of the time offhand in my hands. Not bad for a snubby 38.

Something shot the others loose. OK? They're not loosening up on their own. Well, a few may have been factory lemons, but not all.

You continue to mix up external ballistics with internal cartridge pressure. I don't know why you're so stuck on that concept: "oh look, the Buffbore 158+P is doing external energy same as the old 38/44 which we know was more than +P today".

Powder compositions have changed. So has our ability to measure internal pressure with modern machines. You ignore this, at not just your peril, but also those you preach to.

In previous posts you've mentioned load data from old manuals, and commented as to how things have "wimped out" in recent years. You blame lawyers. Well that's probably part of the answer, but NOT the whole story. Powders vary over time even when they're marked as the same - tests have been done with old batches of stuff like 2400 that was properly stored 40+ years ago, compared to it's modern cousin. Whoops...doesn't behave the same way. The way pressure was recorded has changed, even if both old and new numbers both claim to be "CUPS" versus PSI.

Old reloading manuals with modern powder can get you in BIG trouble.

Do as you like with your own guns but...God help any newbie reloaders who rely on your opinions exclusively, because some are going to have real problems and more than a few are going to put premature wear on their guns.

To all: if you want to run ammo near the bleeding edge of what a caliber can do, buy professionally engineered ammo from Tim Sundles or similar. It will cost you. It's worth it. If you want to reload practice ammo, or special-purpose ammo operating BELOW the bleeding edge for a caliber, by all means roll your own. I intend to soon.

Max loads from old manuals can get you in trouble.

Finally, if you want to press a classic revolver with marginal strength issues into service, Tim Sundles at Buffbore is to be applauded for coming up with three really, REALLY good solutions. It's only $40 for a couple of boxes, plenty for carry and establishing point of impact, practice with something else.

Your grandchildren still able to shoot your guns will thank you.

April 30, 2007, 01:46 PM
What you seem to be stuck on is the notion that factory +P is warm, powerful or damaging. I don't get it.

So be it.

Everybody do what he thinks best.

April 30, 2007, 02:12 PM
I have a 60-3 and I always carry it with +P 158gr FBI loads.

April 30, 2007, 04:39 PM
As I previously stated, the 60 was a steel frame gun first introduced in 1965. SO IT SHOULD BE FINE TO SHOOT THE IMPROVED POWER LOADS IN.
If Bill Jordan can shoot .38-44 out of an Airweight, shooting these improved power .38s in your all-steel, modern gun should be no problem.
I kinda agree with SaxonPig on this one. HOWEVER, I WOULDN'T use +P in an older airweight (despite what Bill Jordan did.)
How does Sundles manage to keep his Buffbore loads within .38 standard pressure when they are doing 854 fps/254 ft-lbs from a 2''?
I too think that .38 has been slightly downloaded. The Buffbore standard pressure is better than a lot of +P rounds, yet somehow it mamages to stay within SAAMI specs...
I tinnk Buffbore is the only company who is loading .38 to its full potential. Maybe cor-bon.

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