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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just wanted to know since I have a few boxes of it left.
Thanks! BTW it would be for when I carry it and I would not shoot any of it except to find point of impact. I would normally shoot normal power .38spl.
 

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Just wanted to know since I have a few boxes of it left.
Thanks! BTW it would be for when I carry it and I would not shoot any of it except to find point of impact. I would normally shoot normal power .38spl.
I just came across this info last night. You should be fine to do what you are saying. Please refer to this article for specific details however: GrantCunningham.com - Library
 

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for me I shoot standard loads in my d-frames. I save plus p loads for my colt 3 5 7. I mean they not making any more colt d-frames so why put extra stress on them. happy shooting.
 

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I don't have the link I am referring to, but if I find it I will post it here. The link was about +P .38 Special ammo not being +P at all, that it was in fact "standard pressure" .38 ammo and that standard pressure .38 Special from back in the day, 1930's and 40's, was loaded to the same pressure as modern day +P ammo and that modern standard pressure ammo was in fact very weak, attenuated "lawyer friendly" ammo.

I am NOT saying that you accept this as gospel, I myself have not verified it, for all I know what I read could be bunk, but if it is true that modern +P .38 is not loaded to higher pressures than the STANDARD PRESSURE .38 ammo of the 1930's, then shooting modern .38 +P is no different than shooting 1930's run of the mill .38 ammo, and it should be no problem using it in a gun built in the 1930's.

I don't reload, I don't have books with SAAMI specs to refer to, but if this is true, and the books verify that current +P pressures are the same or lower than old time standard .38 pressures, and all is equal, then I myself would be using +P ammo in my old revolvers because when I view velocities of modern standard pressure ammo out of a snub, it is pathetic, around 650 to 750 fps, and that's not acceptable.

I've read that old time standard pressure .38 ammo was achieving as much as 1200 fps with a 158 grain bullet from a Smith & Wesson (or Colt) .38 Special gun back in the 1930's. Again, I have not verified this for myself, this is just what I read. If all the above is true, then I myself would have no concerns shooting +P through a vintage revolver, in fact, I've read that even modern +P was lower pressure than some old time standard pressure ammo, and seeing modern +P achieve only 800 fps from a snub barrel (158 grain bullet) seems to lend credence to that.

I repeat, this is only what I read, it is not verified, please do not go out and shoot +P ammo through your old Colt based upon what I wrote, I merely provide this as food for thought, a stepping stone for you to investigate further.
 

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Mmm...as a friend of mine used to say, "I'm from Missouri...show me". 1200 fps with 158 gr. bullets is .357 mag territory. If issue .38 spl. loads were that hot, why did S&W go to the trouble of developing the .357 mag.? Even the .357 mag case does not allow much load (up)development...unlike, say, the .44 Spl. (There's another pet peeve of mine...why has no ammo mfr. seen fit to sell +P .44 Spl. ammo, other than the $2 per round semi-custom stuff?). I'm not saying you're wrong...for example, both 9mm and .38 Super ammo is currently "down-loaded" to protect idiots from themselves... but it just doesn't seem to make sense.

But...to answer the original question, I'm comfortable (not literally...+P ammo bites back in a 2.5" D'back!) shooting limited amounts of +P in my Diamondback, and, were I to carry it with serious intent, that is absolutely what I would use. If, however, you choose to practice daily with +P, in addition to having an empty wallet and a sore hand you'll have a revolver with some of it's gilt edge precision lost...things are bound to loosen up a bit. Is that really something you want to do with an investment that's approaching $2k in value?
 

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The ammo companies did market a "High Velocity," "High Speed," or ".38/44" .38 Special ammo, but it was not intended to be shot in every revolver chambered for .38 Special and a few revolvers were blown up. The .38/44 high velocity ammo was intended for large frame revolvers and was loaded to just under 1100 fps with a 158 grain bullet with the chamber pressure being about 20% higher than standard .38 Special ammo.
 

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The ammo companies did market a "High Velocity," "High Speed," or ".38/44" .38 Special ammo, but it was not intended to be shot in every revolver chambered for .38 Special and a few revolvers were blown up. The .38/44 high velocity ammo was intended for large frame revolvers and was loaded to just under 1100 fps with a 158 grain bullet with the chamber pressure being about 20% higher than standard .38 Special ammo.
Just read this same info in the current edition of Handgunner... Good stuff
 

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I use advice from Colt. +P's OK for carry and to shoot a cylinder full to aclimate to handling characteristics, but not rated for +P.I use Fedral 157 grind hollow point NYCLADS for carry non +P. The difference in muzzle velocity is minimal in a snubbies so I go for the carry ammo of NYPD Officers that are still carrying 38 Special Revolvers.Works for them so it Works For Me.
 

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From my research, I found this in another forum and it echos what I already knew

Why is everyone so terrified of +P? I believe that the reason +P exists is twofold. First, it is a marketing ploy used to sell ammo by misrepresenting it as powerful. But any perception that this ammo is powerful is a myth. Second, it gives the ammo companies legal cover should anyone blow up their inexpensive gun because they can say "We warned you not to use +P ammo!" Of course, +P is nothing more than what standard pressure ammo used to be and they created the +P moniker to protect themselves.
 

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I only consider the +P 158 grain Lead semi-wadcutter load as worthy of consideration for serious social purposes. Saving for the old Super Vel 110 grain JHP load, the light bullet +P loads are weak and watery. I'd have no problem shooting the Diamondback with it but then I've deliberately test-fired factory +P 158 grain ammunition in both a 1921 vintage Police Positive Special and a 1904 vintage Smith & Wesson Miltary revolver. Both revolvers gave perfect satisfaction.

It would seem that the +P .38 Special loadings are nothing more than "tempests in teapots." Their fearsome reputation appears to have been almost entirely a fabrication of many years of ever increasing internet forums dithering.
 

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The .38 Special started out life as a black powder cartridge, and some of those old revolvers of the period still exist. I see no problem with a cartridge company warning that they market a cartridge loaded to higher chamber pressure than their standard load.

When the Model 1892 Winchester came out, the cartridge companies were quick to offer a high velocity load for the stronger action of the Model 1892, but with thousands of black powder Colt SAA's and Model 1873 Winchesters out there it was only prudent to print a warning on the cartridge box that the ammunition was not for use in the Model 1873 or pistols.
 

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I only consider the +P 158 grain Lead semi-wadcutter load as worthy of consideration for serious social purposes. Saving for the old Super Vel 110 grain JHP load, the light bullet +P loads are weak and watery. I'd have no problem shooting the Diamondback with it but then I've deliberately test-fired factory +P 158 grain ammunition in both a 1921 vintage Police Positive Special and a 1904 vintage Smith & Wesson Miltary revolver. Both revolvers gave perfect satisfaction.

It would seem that the +P .38 Special loadings are nothing more than "tempests in teapots." Their fearsome reputation appears to have been almost entirely a fabrication of many years of ever increasing internet forums dithering.
Using my Colt Trooper I recently fired some garden variety 158grain .38 spl and some Winchester plus P 125 grain and I didn`t notice any difference. But I sure do remember firing those Super Vels back in the day. They packed a wallop.
 

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Did they make diamondbacks in black powder. I agree any black powder guns should use the lowest pressure rounds available, but in the era of modern firearms +P is equivalent to the standard SAAMI standards. Any +p warnings on modern firearms, is because the alloys can't handle standard pressure rounds. the marketing of this got it correct, who wants to shoot -P ammo

And yes a warning that modern standard ammo should be on the package for guns designed for black powder weapons is prudent.
 

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I'll shoot the minus P's at targets all day long, they do not know the difference. Yeah, I can bench 305 but I do not bench my max weight every time I touch a bar either. My car can accelerate from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, but I do not do that every time I take off. My truck can pull a house down, or tow over 20k pounds, but I don't use it for that every day either. The point to me is that why push it when you do not have to. Pushing something to it's limit time and time again leads to premature wear and failure.
 

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I am speaking to the marketing end of the +P designation. The OP asked if he could expend the ammo he had left. Answer, yes.
 

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While that my have been the intent the thread took a wild turn into how +P ammo is just something to sneeze at, warnings should be avoided and shoot whatever you want in your gun if it fits. That is basically what I understand from everyone saying to disregard the warnings of shooting +P ammo. I think i may just grab one of my alloy guns and start popping some buffalo bore through it.

Advising people to ignore warnings contained in owners manuals against use of certain types of ammunition is just reckless if not downright dangerous imho, but ymmv
 

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I can't find in anything I said to ignore the warnings in an owners manual, nor would I. The truth of the matter is the maximum allowable pressure for the 38 Special is 21,500 PSI. Factory +P is loaded to 18,500 PSI so it is in fact a mild load. It is not "over pressure" (as +P might suggest). It is not even loaded to full pressure. It is loaded BELOW pressure. The 730 FPS load is at 16,000 PSI, BTW.
The notion that +P is in any way a hot load is nothing but marketing hype. All that is needed is to look at the actual chamber pressure to see how mild it actually is. The standard changed in the 90's prior to that the OP or who ever was using the gun was in fact shooting todays +P factory ammo.
 

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I had a D-frame cobra get a crack after shooting 20 rounds of +p. I wouldn't shoot out it out of an aluminum D frame if I had another.
 
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