Correct. Ideally I wouldn't shoot +P on anything before 1973 because they weren't designed for that. The shrouded barrel revolvers from after 1973 weren't necessarily intended to use +P either, but Colt had it in mind when they made them, and they should handle fine on a limited diet of +P.I'm surprised Colt approved 38-44 loads for D frames, some of those loads were really hot.
As you suggested, my plan is to practice mainly w wadcutters, and limited +P.
So...anything after 1930's won't immediately self-destruct, but factory appproval didn't happen until the 1970's, is that about right?
Great advice. For home defense; keep in mind ”low flash” rounds and bullet designs that minimize “through the wall“ events...Standard velocity and wadcutters are just fine in a 2" - you 'can' carry the stouter load, of course, but shooting it regularly isn't the best idea you're going to have - not when Colt won't work on them any longer.
Guys will practice with both variants - and will believe that they need to get used to the greater noise and recoil - but if the time comes that the piece is put into action for real - recoil and noise don't enter into anything, because the adrenalin dump kinda cancels that peripheral stuff out.
Your best bet is to pick a good bullet that will expand, and there are a number in standard velocity available today.
Honestly, it is a little surprising, but more than likely D-Frames are perfectly fine for +P. If you read the wikipedia page, it states:I'm surprised D frame Colts aren't good for regular +P use. I know some agencies in the past that used S&W 5 shots w +P and even +P+ Treasury loads. The Treasury loads were excessive, but no one said anything about the S&Ws failing.