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Probably with limited shooting but not recommended. Colt never qualified their D-frame revolvers for +P until after 1972...basically they didn't address the issue at all and made a blanket statement about being for post-'72 guns and even then said they should be checked every 3000 rounds for frame stretching.

Realistically the short barrel will waste the velocity and show a bigger flash and more recoil. You're better off using standard pressure ammunition and ammo makers make defense rounds specifically in standard pressure for short-barreled guns.
 

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Had this question when I got my Detective Special. As per Colt the DS was not rated for +P ammo so it should not be fed a steady diet of +P . You can fire a cylinder or 2 to get used to it and use it as carry ammo. I just go with Federal Nyclad hollow points in standard loading. They are more than enough to do the job.
 

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There has been the perceived need for more power, or whack, or oomph or whatever you want to call it, ever since there has been guns and men.
If you want more thud, go with a bigger more robust firearm.
Leave the moderately powered stuff for the safe limits of the guns specifically designed for easy shooting, and use the high pressure loads in guns proofed for it.
There is absolutely nothing to be gained by stoking a classic .38 special to warp factor 9.
 

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You can probably get away with it for the occasional cylinder full, but why beat a nice older gun to death. The +P is pretty well wasted in a 2" gun.
Like others have said, ammo makers are coming out with defense ammo designed for 2" guns.
 

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A hit with a .38 158 lead round nose is far more effective than 9mm slugs spray-painting the countryside. There are also standard pressure .38 rounds with the latest tech bullets that will do as well, IMO.
 
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Thanks all, I will not use the +P. I checked a couple places for the Federal Nyclad that was recommended and it was not in their inventory. Anyone know a source or maybe another specific recommendation? Thanks.
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You can use the +Ps in a .357 if you have one, or you can off-load 'em to someone who has a revolve more suited to the stiffer rounds.
As fort the NyClads, I have not seen 'em for quite a while.
I bought a bunch long ago, and found that they handle well enough to be a good carry round. I use medium power HBWCs as my regular .38 special fodder, and the NyClads are not that different. If i recollect, there were some 125grHPs, 148grHPs, and 158grHPs back when you could get 'em. The main beauty of them is that they act just like a dead lead bullet, but withouit the frsk of leading up the barrel.
Good luck finding some.....
 
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