.38 + p in a Smith&Wesson model 60


January 17, 2011, 07:21 PM
These days, most S&W revolvers are labeled +p or not. But the model 60 is an older weapon.

Is it okay to shoot +p .38 special out of these guns? If not, I may or may not want one. It's not that I think that +p is needed, but I buy some +p offerings from Speer and from Georgia Arms. I have some Georgia Arms 110 grain +p .38 special that I like. They use the Gold Dot bullet in those, and they travel 1100 feet per second. I shoot them out of my 4" Ruger GP100 sometimes, and get great groups.

Maybe those loads don't have the absolute best ballistics (they're light weight, I know), but when you have an accurate load out of a great platform that you know will be on target (and your wife can handle it just fine), it's hard to let go.

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Messenger Guard
January 17, 2011, 07:33 PM
They have at some time in their life been chambered for 357 magnum so I'm sure 38 +P won't hurt them.

The Lone Haranguer
January 17, 2011, 07:54 PM
Plus P won't blow the gun up, but very heavy use may cause increased wear. Realistically, your hand will probably give out before the revolver will :D, but it is something to be aware of.

January 17, 2011, 08:11 PM
As Messinger Guard said - that frame has been used in the past for .357 Magnum revolvers. .38 Spec +P still isn't near the .357 Mag - it's perfectly safe to use them.

January 18, 2011, 09:10 PM
Thanks, y'all. Very helpful advice!

January 18, 2011, 10:39 PM
The newer Model 60s are chambered for the .357 and are beefier than the older .38 special models. If you have one of the older ones, I would ask S&W to be sure.

January 19, 2011, 10:00 AM
regular 38 special ammunition when your gun was made was almost the same pressure as +P ammo today.

+P is a marketing ploy. Shoot it at will

That said there is no industry standard for +P+ ammo, so look up the stats on ANY +P+ before shooting it.

January 19, 2011, 10:14 AM

some stats for you, I think SaxonPig got them from Speer

Before 1974
Standard pressure 158 LRN grain factory load were rated at 855 FPS.
The Hi-Speed load were rated at 1,090 FPS.

These days 158 grain load are rated at 755 FPS.
The +P are rated at 890 FPS.

January 19, 2011, 01:03 PM
All of the concern regarding +P is based on the assumption that it is a warm load. It is not. It is loaded well below maximum allowable pressure. The +P is a marketing ploy to fool people into thinking they are getting a high performance load. A 125 at 925 FPS is a high performance load? Give me a break.

January 19, 2011, 02:08 PM
The 'Magnum' J-frame of all stainless steel construction
was created in the middle/late '90s. THe 60, 60LS and
640 all got this new beefed up forward of the cylinder frame.

The 60 was introduced in the early '60s in .38 SPecial and
was the world's first production all stainless steel handgun.

My Model 60 ( 60-15) is the 3" Bbl. .357 Mag however,
for a HD/SD load I have the Doubltap .38 Special +P
125 gr. SPeer Gold DOt @ 1,125 fps w/4" Bbl. Since DT
doesn't offer Gold DOts I'll be shopping around. This load is
much more controllable, easier recovery.

I've got some .357 158 gr. Hardcast SWC from Leadhead
and new Starline brass I'd like to get a load for 975 fps.
and look for something in the JHPs in 140 gr. bullet weights
for something in the 1,100 fps range.

After 70 or so steady rounds with the 24 oz. 60 the
bylinder and frame etc get a bit WARM.



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