+P vs standard pressure loads from short barrels...


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ThePenguinKnight
July 16, 2008, 02:06 PM
My buddy has a Taurus 85 airweight in .38spl, and he swears by +P.

So I got to wondering recently: how much does +P really get a fellow out of a 2" barrel? Is the velocity/energy gain significant enough to put up with the significantly more pronounced recoil in an airweight revolver? Is that extra powder wasted in the mere 2 inches of barrel?

I've done some googling and asked some people more knowledgeable than myself, but the best I've gotten is "+P is always better. Always." Anyone have any chrono data or any other evidence to support the idea?

Thanks in advance from this curious onlooker :)

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foghornl
July 16, 2008, 02:15 PM
Not directly answering you question, but there are some loads specifically made for short barrel guns.

IIRC, Speer has a 135-Gr Gold-Dot round for that purpose. Search for it in this forum.

SaxonPig
July 16, 2008, 02:16 PM
Remington 125 JHP +P clocks 950 FPS from my 5" Military & Police and 880 FPS from my 2" M&P.

I have found that most loads, both factory and home brewed, lose 60-90 FPS when stepping down to the 2" barrel. Generally speaking, the hotter the load, the greater the difference from the 2" barrel. One +P+ load I tested lost over 100 FPS. But most, like I said, drop 60-90.

csmkersh
July 16, 2008, 02:53 PM
Speer Gold Dot has several short barrel loads. Look HERE (http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/detail.aspx?loadNo=23921) for the 135 grain +P .38 Special load.

KBintheSLC
July 16, 2008, 06:27 PM
how much does +P really get a fellow out of a 2" barrel?

My Glock 26 (not 2") pushes between 50 - 70 fps more with +P than with standard loads, and about 100 fps more with +P+. I always use +P for defensive ammo... even out of a longer barrel. My Glock 34 with +P is approaching .357 magnum levels... that I like.

I think the extra power is good, but if you are extremely sensitive to recoil, I assume you can do without it. It's not like the bad guy is gonna say "gee, I'm glad that wadcutter that hit my chest wasn't loaded to +P levels". ;)

safenate
July 22, 2008, 10:42 PM
I've noticed about the same. At one time i had chrono'd velocities comparing my 4" 686+ & my 2" Taurus. My fav for a 2" was WWB 357 110 gr JHP. PERFECT out of a 2"! Go VERY light weight from a 2", with a big opening. It is the only thing that will expand. Under 100 gr if possible. Corbon is likely best.

spiroxlii
July 22, 2008, 10:52 PM
The standard pressure Hornady .38spl JHP/XTP stuff seems to perform very close to other brands' +P ammo in terms of muzzle velocity from a short barrel. In gel tests I've looked up, it gets penetration as good as or better than many other defensive .38spcl loads (I've seen average penetration ranging from 13'' to 15'' in gelatin), and it gets decent and consistent expansion. It does not tend to expand as large as some of its competitors, but it expands every time.

spiroxlii
July 22, 2008, 11:22 PM
Check out this ammo test:
http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunition/pocket_dynomite/

mtngunr
July 22, 2008, 11:31 PM
In general, the +P will give you velocity out of a snubbie that standard ammo gets out of a 4"bbl...and +P out of a 4" or longer barrel ain't no mousegun....

JFrame
July 23, 2008, 10:25 AM
KBintheSLC said:

I think the extra power is good, but if you are extremely sensitive to recoil, I assume you can do without it. It's not like the bad guy is gonna say "gee, I'm glad that wadcutter that hit my chest wasn't loaded to +P levels". ;)

Heh... That gave me the chuckle of the day. :)

Gary A
July 23, 2008, 11:01 AM
SaxonPig wrote: One +P+ load I tested lost over 100 FPS.

Right, the hotter +P+ loads will lose more, but they are generally much faster to start with so often still end up better, or at least as good. Generally, I think +P loads are better out of a short barrel, as are .357 loads out of a short barrel.

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