Colt Diamondback


June 29, 2011, 10:00 PM
I have a nice Colt Diamondback .38 special 4-inch barrel. Any problem with firing "+P" ammunition in it?

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Steve C
June 29, 2011, 10:22 PM
There isn't any real issue with +P ammo manufactured by the major companies in the Colt steel frame revolvers. The only reason to shoot +P though is for testing some self defense ammo that would be loaded for those situations. No need to shoot more than a box or two of +P a year.

I wouldn't shoot any of the super performance stuff loaded by Buffalo Bore and other smaller companies as recoil alone shakes up the action more and a revolver that's pushing the $1K mark deserves to be treated kindly. I shoot very little factory ammo. For shooting targets I stick with standard velocity reloads.

June 30, 2011, 01:35 AM
I don't know alot about Diamondbacks, but have read the owner's manual for the whole D frame family. It basically says you can shoot +P ammo, but warns you of accelerated wear and tear. It also says you should have a steel framed D frame checked by an authorized repair center every 2000 to 3000 rounds of +P.

June 30, 2011, 08:45 AM
It's safe but if you shoot a lot of +P rounds, the gun will wear out faster.

June 30, 2011, 11:50 AM
Steve C nailed it. You should have no problem shooting +P in this steel framed revolver. But since this revolver is steadily (and rapidly) increasing in value, you may want to minimize wear and tear by sticking with standard velocity rounds.

The one my daughter and I share is fed cup-cake target loads, but I'd have no problem stoking it with self defense rounds as a home protection gun. In fact, that's what I assume my daughter will do with it when she's grown.

June 30, 2011, 03:11 PM
It's safe but if you shoot a lot of +P rounds, the gun will wear out faster.

True regarding the increased wear factor-as is also the case for every non-Colt revolver.

June 30, 2011, 04:38 PM
The only thing I would shoot a regular diet of .38SPL +P ammo through is a .357 Mag capable revolver.

June 30, 2011, 05:34 PM
the more powerful the ammo, the faster the gun will wear out.

Does "+P" wear out a gun faster than today's current standard 38 special....yes
Does regular pressure ammo wear out a gun faster than Speer Plastic Practice ammo...yes
Does SPeer Plastic Practice ammo wear out a gun faster than dry firing...yes
Does dry firing wear out a gun faster than not shooting it...yes.

It is absolutely amazing how many people think that +P 38 special is a stout round. It is simply marketing hype.

Depending on the date of manufacture of your gun, the "+P" that you shoot out of your Diamondback today was about the same power as the regular ammo that the shop sold with the gun. (If made before 1970 when they emasculated the 38 Special round).

I own 3 Diamondbacks and until 2 days ago a Detective Special (gave it to a friend)

All were bought used and my daily carry, a snub, has had hundreds and hundreds of "+P" (300 last week)

Personally my hat is off to the marketing weenies of the ammo companies. They have sold a bill of goods.

So to answer your question...yes...your Diamondback was designed to handle ammo much hotter than "+P". Shoot all you want.

July 1, 2011, 02:24 PM
I uses the FBI load in mine. 158 grain LSWHP you can get them from ammunition to go.

July 1, 2011, 09:00 PM
I had a 4" 38 that I put 15,000 rounds of standard pressure through without problems. I suspect that +P rounds generate a little more pressure, but you probably won't live long enough to wear one out. I know the feds had a +P+ round back in the day, as evidenced by the Federal once-fired 38 brass that I got from a federal firing range a few years ago. I believe it was 110 gr. stuff. Now, that was pretty peppy I imagine, and they weren't shooting Colt D frames. A steady diet of those in a D'Back wouldn't be a good thing, but I have no doubt it could handle the pressure a few boxes a year without accelerated wear. Fine little guns, to me, just the right size. The 2.5" 38 was sweet, also.

Peter M. Eick
July 3, 2011, 04:41 PM
I have a 4" diamondback that has had 45,000 rounds down it. It has been back to Colt 3 times now for repairs. Last time they said parts are getting scarce.

Yesterday I was looking at 4" diamondbacks to replace mine. 1450$ for one of similar quality and condition.

Now you "can" shoot +p, but the real question is "should" you? Me, I would not and I am going to baby my diamondback from here on out. Too expensive to replace, too much risk of "no parts" if I continue to shoot it a lot.

July 3, 2011, 04:50 PM

I have 3 Diamondbacks. Love them!!!

If you want to replace your DB take some time and work the auction sights. The most I paid was 700 (plus shipping and $10FFL fee). Admittedly I tend to look for "shooters" (holster wear is fine...but mechanically sound)

The bottom line is that there are some great guns out there and if you are patient...decent (ish) prices.

Peter M. Eick
July 3, 2011, 11:02 PM
I like my little baby Dback which is why I was looking for another. My issue is I want a nice one to park and have. That is the reason I am looking at the high ticket ones. I was looking at a 95% D serial number but it had a bit of rust on the hammer which is why I let it go. I also looked at a magnaported one. Why anyone would magneport a Diamondback was lost on me so I passed it by also.

I keep looking. If the right one came by I would pick it up.

This thread needs some pictures...
50 shots, 15 yards
50 shots 15 yards
50 shots, 15 yards.

July 3, 2011, 11:14 PM
Why anyone would magneport a Diamondback was lost on me

obviously an idiot...that is like putting a trailer hitch on a 911 turbo

Nomad, 2nd
July 3, 2011, 11:26 PM
I traded an AR I had $620 in for this one:
(WITH BOX and papers)

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