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Shooting +P out of an LCR on a regular basis?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by raindog, Sep 22, 2012.

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  1. raindog

    raindog Member

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    This is an older doc on defensive ammunition:

    http://www.recguns.com/Sources/VG1.html

    One thing it says is

    I have a .38 Special +P LCR (not the 357). I'm wondering about the advisability of firing +P out of it on a regular basis. I try to practice as much as possible with my carry gun using rough equivalent to the ammo I carry (can't afford to go through boxes of hollowpoint on the range).
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    All LCR's are +P rated.
    It is basically the same gun as the .357 one.
    .357 is almost twice the pressure of +P .38.

    Fire away.


    BTW: The Rec Guns quote is BS too.

    There are numerous +P rated alloy frame guns made by Ruger, S&W, Taurus, and others.

    And 50, or 500, or 5,000 rounds isn't going to destroy one.

    rc
     
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    RC is correct. Your hands may suffer, but the gun will be fine.
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I would ask Ruger, but if a manufacturer says that a product is certified to use Plus-P ammunition then it is. A problem may arise with older revolvers, especially those that were made with alloy frames that were not made to stand up to extensive use of Plus-P ammunition as it was made at the time.

    The position taken by most (maybe all) manufacturers is to use whatever ammunition it was chambered to use at the time it was manufactured, and is made to current SAAMI standards. Saying anything else could open them to some liability, so to be perfectly frank they won't say anything else. This causes some who want to shoot the hotter loads to throw a temper fit, but that's the way it is.

    If you don't have a copy of the owners manual that should have come with your LCR, visit Ruger's website (www.ruger.com) and they will download a copy in .PDF format. Within its pages you will find a statement that says in specific terms what ammunition you should use. After that you can do whatever you want, but in the highly unlikely event that the revolver suffers some damage don't expect them to fix it on their dime.

    Link to LCR Owners Manual: http://www.ruger.com/service/productHistory.html#
     
  5. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I was under the impression that Ruger shot something like 10,000 +p rounds out of a .38 LCR and it caused the frame to stretch a bit. The gun was still well within spec but there was noticeable gap in places.

    I highly doubt anyone is going to shoot enough +p through an LCR in their lifetime to shoot it completely loose. I mean, I'm sure you could if you had enough money and time and hated your hands for some reason, but for a sub $400 self defense revolver, its going to take a hellova beating before you junk it dropping ten times the cost of the gun in premium ammo.

    I still won't shoot a lot of +p out of my father in law's old Model 36 simply because it is an heirloom that belonged to HIS dad before him. I bought the LCR to retire the old warhorse, but I know it could take more than 50 rounds before it "broke" it.
     
  6. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Member

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    +1, if your wallet can afford that much ammo and your hands can take that much punishment please get back to us with that magic number. I usually shoot 500 rounds a month thru my LCR (very mild loads) and have since I got the gun, I can't tell it's any worse for wear.
     
  7. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Member

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    I don't own one but isn't it stamped on the revolver?

    " Ruger says it's ok in the manual and the gun itself has ".38 spcl. +p" stamped bold as hell on the right side of the barrel"
     
  8. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    While the above statement is not true, your Ruger will be fine w "+P" (which is equal to regular pressure ammo before they created "+P")
     
  9. DPris

    DPris Member

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    I put 5000 rounds (and a smidge more) of +P loads through one, measurable frame stretch & barrel/cylinder gap increase.
    Gun still within specs. Forcing cone still passed GO gauge.
    Ruger logo mostly worn off the rubber grip.

    Trigger pull lightened fractionally, gun shot better at the end.

    Ruger told me they'd done 10,000 & only wore the rifling.
    Denis
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    In what way is it not true? Can you cite any manufacturers that don't take the position that older handguns should use the ammunition they were originally chambered for, and that the ammunition should meet curent SAAMI standards?

    While you're at it could you explain the difference between CUP and PSI?? :confused: :uhoh:
     
  11. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Colt and Smith and Wesson regularly tell people not to shoot "+P" out of old revolvers when they know (and you know) that while it wasn't labeled "+P", the old regular ammo was the same pressure.

    Or put another way...if you bought a K frame in 1962, and bought ammo the same day, the regular ammo that they sold you at the hardware store, would be labeled "+P" today.

    Calling it "high pressure" does not make it so
     
  12. skt239

    skt239 Member

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    A majority of the ammo I shoot out of my Airweight is +P. I've been doing this for a while now and the gun has not blown up or crumbled in my hands.
     
  13. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Old Fuff and others can obfuscate and distract all they want.

    But in 1972 38 special ammo was "downgraded" to a lower pressure and the regular pressure was relabeled "+P".

    Despite his dancing, these are the facts and he knows it.

    Discussing the "crusher" test will not change the truth.
     
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    In post # 4, I said:

    This paragraph accurately explained the position taken by most, if not all handgun manufacturers and importers, and why they do so. You may (and in fact do) disagree with they're position, but this does not change what they're position is - unless you can cite some specific exceptions.

    In the present case, the manufacturer has certified that Plus-P ammunition can be used in the product, and if anyone follows the link I posted they can confirm this, if I am considered to be untrustworthy.
     
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    certainly for the OP and his Ruger.

    Not so for S&W or Colt 38 revolvers
     
  16. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You left out: ...and is made to current SAAMI standards.

    Anyway, this isn't something that applies to this particular thread. Lets leave it for another one at some future time.
     
  17. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    LCR .38 + P will be fine with .38 + P rounds. I'd say it is comparable to the S&W 442. My favorite factory rounds are Corbon DPX .38 + P 110 grain, Speer Gold Dot .38 + P 135 grain, and Buffalo Bore SLWCHP .38 + P 158 grain.

    As others have mentioned, your hand and/or wallet would likely give up before the LCR does if you shoot much of those.

    Should the LCR fail or suffer damage from firing factory ammunition that it is chambered for and provided that ammunition is within spec. Ruger will stand by the product.
     
  18. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    I think it is worth noting, in spite of the arguments about today's plus P being no more than yesterdays standard pressure rounds, that a 5,000 + round test with "mostly" plus P ammo did produce, in fact, measurable frame stretching and an increase in barrel/cylinder gap in a modern plus P rated revolver, even though both measurements remained within specifications. This is significant why? Because most questions regarding the use of plus P are in regard to airweight revolvers (often older versions), not full-sized and/or steel-framed revolvers. Modern airweights have largely been slightly beefed up to handle what the companies believe to be a predictable amount of modern plus P ammo and they will do that but they are still aluminum and aluminum will stretch more than steel and recovers less than steel, i.e. it will stretch and not return and can flex only a finite number of times. If a recent build plus P rated aluminum-framed .38 special revolver will show measurable stretching after enough plus p rounds, what about a more lightly built, older non-plus P rated aluminum-framed airweight revolver built when the standard for plus P was 18,500 psi when it is subjected to a steady diet of Speer 135 grain Gold Dots loaded to around 20,000 psi? It won't "blow up" but to tell those that ask that plus P will have no effect on their vintage airweight is untrue, unkind, irresponsible, and just plain bad advice. Everyone should do what they want with their own gun but shouldn't recommend that others ruin fine revolvers.
     
  19. moxie

    moxie Member

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    I've got about 300 rounds of +P through my LCR now. Mostly Speer 135 SBs, Rem. Golden Saber 125 BJHP, and some Win. 125 JHP. No problem with any. Gun is like new.
     
  20. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

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    If your gun is rated for +p you can rest assure that Ruger has made darn sure that the frame and cylinder will actually hold up to more than +P ammunition. But as a method of manufacturing a gun rated for +P must be over engineered to be rated as +P and be shot reliably.
    CMA; Do not exceed +P rounds. That's not the intent of my comment,just that if the gun says +P, you need not worry.
     
  21. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    This had some validity 40 or 50 years ago, but I would see what Ruger recommends for it. My guess is they OK the revolver for any ammo that has a SAAMI standard, which there is for .38 Spl. +P.
     
  22. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Which is part of the problem. Stress can be progressive, until (maybe) it reaches a point to where the material is weakened enough to yield. Or it may never reach that point until an unforeseen level of pressure has the same result, and that may or may not happen. Or a catastrophic failure, caused by a sudden, highly elevated pressure that exceeds the material’s yield point may cause an instant rupture.

    Some individuals only recognize the latter, and call it a “Kaboom!!” Obviously if that happens there has been a failure caused by something. But the “something may or may not be a Plus-P cartridge in an older gun. For example it can be the cartridge plus an obstruction in the bore.

    I have seen a number of revolvers that were “shot loose,” caused by progressive failure (described in my 2nd quote) but not blown up. The 1st quote shows the popular belief that “if it ain’t blown up it’s still O.K.” This isn’t necessarily the case. And shows why manufacturers are very cautious when they deal with questions directed toward certain ammunition in older guns. SAAMI standards are based on the proposition that a given cartridge/load must be safe in any gun it’s chambered in, not necessarily the best or most expensive. Look on the bottom of the box or end flap, and you’ll likely see something like this:

    NOTICE: These cartridges are adapted to and intended for use only in arms in good condition originally chambered and designed for the cartridge.

     
  23. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    and SAAMI changed their tune in 72.

    were they lying BEFORE 72 or after...

    but they cannot be telling the truth both BEFORE and AFTER...because their tune changed
     
  24. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    It's a bit presumptuous to say they were lying. It's extremely doubtful that they were intentionally trying to deceive anyone. I think it's safer to say that as new information came to light and problems were observed, SAAMI adjusted their standards to prevent other firearm owners from unintentionally damaging their revolvers in the future. SAAMI is not a prescient organization that can foresee all problems, and even if it could, the .38 Special cartridge predated SAAMI by nearly 30 years.

    And to address the OP, here is what the Ruger owner's manual says:
    "The LCR ® is designed specifically for modern higher-powered factory loaded
    cartridges, including .38 Special and .38 Special +P ammunition."
     
  25. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    EDIT: Double-tap
     
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