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I bought a 2nd generation Detective Special off of a NYPD cop a few weeks ago. It was carried by one of his friends as a back up and off duty weapon. Mechanically its in great shape but there is some wear from carry but no rust. I have a Tyler T grip on order and id like to carry this as a back up or car pistol. I know I cant use +p ammo but whats commerically available that will be a decent and safe load for self defense? Thank you in advance.
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

OK. I agree with the gist of A1A's re-directed thread that infrequent use of +P ammo should be OK in a steel-frame DS.

I recently bought an older (1972) aluminum-frame Agent with the factory hammer shroud. It seems to me to be the perfect pocket revolver. I never practice with +P ammo in any of my aluminum guns, but I wonder if it is actually unwise to carry the gun with +P's. I wouldn't think 1-6 +P's would damage the gun in the unlikely event I ever have to use it. The load would be Winchester 158 grain lead hollow points +P's (FBI load).

+P pressures are only about 2,000 PSI higher than standard pressure ammo. I know the +P's will generate higher impact forces on the gun but I'm really more concerned that the higher pressure ammo might cause the gun to lock up or fail just when I need it most. Any thoughts?

-Bob
 

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i dont think an ocassional +p will hurt the d/s, on the other hand a +p+ even 1 may destroy it{see kuhnhausen`s book}i carry +p`s in my 2 d/s and also my early cobra but i use the light bullet.i would not reccomend a steady diet of them even with the light bullet. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/url]
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

[ QUOTE ]
I wonder if it is actually unwise to carry the gun with +P's. I wouldn't think 1-6 +P's would damage the gun in the unlikely event I ever have to use it.

-Bob

[/ QUOTE ]

Unwise, I think not, if it blows up the gun would anybody really give a rats patooty if it just saved your life? Not me.
 

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I load all my self defense up with Magsafe ammo. It has less recoil than standard loads and greater stopping power. It more effective on killing more goats than any other load.
 

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Scottrk,

I, personally, recommend 158 grn LSWCHP +P's. This is a very proven round for the .38 Special and, I find, pretty accurate also.

Below is my reply to a query, in another forum, I hope it helps you.

"After hearing about the "+P" issue for many years, and going through it myself, I have to throw in my two-cents worth on the .38+P topic. Remember folks this is MY opinion, but THINK about what I say for a minute as it is an educated one. (Note: points listed in no particular order.)

1) Any well made handgun, IE S&W, Colt, Ruger, etc., chambered for .38 S&W Special cartridge WILL fire a LIMITED amount of .38 Special +P loads with no ill effects. (I have a CA Undercover, alloy frame, that's 23 years old and though I may have put less than 100 rounds of +P's through it in its life, it is just tight and fine and I routinely carry 158 grn LSWCHP +P's in it.)

2) A steady diet of +P's, assuming you could afford them, wont blow up the gun, they will accelerate wear IE "shoot loose". Have you ever witnessed a .38 revolver blowing up from using a +P load?

3) The difference between a standard .38 special and +P load, for combat purposes, is so close that you can practice with the same weight bullet in standard and carry the +P's. (this theory/practice did not work well with .38's and .357's however, due to a greater power difference between the two cartridges. It does work well with standards/+P's.)

4) The .38 S&W Special +P loading IS NOT A .357 Magnum. It IS a .38 Special with a little extra "juice" behind it. (Truth be know, from the older ammunition data that I've seen, the modern +P loads are about on par with the older standard loadings.)

Like I said, this is MY OPINION based upon my research and experience. If you doubt my conclusions, and you should, research the topic yourself...I did."

Take care,
KG59
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

Kilogulf59's dead on.

Long ago I settled on the Winchester +P 158 grain lead SWC hollowpoint factory load as my choice for a defense load in .38 Special, which is my favorite handgun cartridge.

It chronographs at around 925-950 fps out of any of several 2-inch Smith & Wesson revolvers I have.

I've had a hankering for a Detective Special for some time. I'd be happy to shoot a couple of cylinder fulls of this Winchester +P ammunition through it to verify suitability, then relagate the +P for defense use. Practice could be had with a somewhat milder handload using lead 158 grain SWC's which generaly shoot to the same point of aim.

kilogulf59 is also correct in that most of this modern +P stuff is relatively tame. Especially the light bullet versions. They are down right weenies when compared to the old 110 grain SuperVel JHP's and Treasury loads from the early 70's.

I'd rely on the basic goodness of Colt to effectively handle a limited diet of any current +P. I have no need to fire the "hot" stuff in my early Police Positive Special or other really ancient Colt .38 Special revolver, though they'd "handle" it if in good order.
 

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While a limited number of +Ps won't hurt you don't know how many +Ps have already been the tube of a used gun.
The old LSWCHP in either the 158 or 125 grain have always been good performers in short barreled .38 spl revolvers.
 

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I also agree that +P's won't blow the gun up; that really wasn't the gist of my question. What I was wondering (and didn't ask it well I guess) is whether +P's in a 14 oz gun, like an Agent, might lock it up.

Specifically, is the light weight of the gun, coupled with the increased power of factory +P ammo and a heavy 158 grain bullet, likely to cause the bullets to "walk" forward in the case and lock the gun up?

I've had some experience with this problem in other guns, but don't know if the Agent is light enough to be problematic in this regard.

-Bob
 

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Well put,Robert! This was a problem with Agents and Cobras tested by Government Agencies in the mid 50's,at least according to Jeff Cooper in his 1960 book,"Fighting Handguns".

I never had this happen in the only alloy frame gun I carried regularly,an M-38 S&W Bodyguard,but then I used handloaded .38 swaged Hollow Points(158 Speers) that were crimped VERY TIGHT into their cases,doing the crimping as a separate step in the reloading process.

On that note, a friend DID have some .44 Special 200 gr. jacketed bullets,work out of their crimp,tying up the gun,an early Charter Arms Bulldog;can't recall if they were factory or handloads.

That alloy Bodygurad did have frame stretching from my "moderate" use of these plus Ps(about 5.2 Unique under the 158 LSWCHP,or a 158 hard cast SWC). Gun had 2 personalities,a nice easy to shoot "plinker" with 148 gr. wadcutters,or mild 158 leads. Problem was,points of aim,and recovery time really differed-and this could have been fatal in a "social situation",if I'd only practiced with the mild loads,except maybe a cylinder full every weekly session,and had to use the "hot" loads in an encounter. So,it got more of these hot loads through it than was "prudent".

One reason I disdain alloy framed guns(along with "anodized finish" being less durable in the carry mode),in anything but a .22 Cobra and .32 Courier I have; few ounces of weight in a steel gun is reassuring.

Hope this helps,and I have never heard of the crimps coming loose(unless they were incorrect) in either properly prepared handloads or well made factory fodder,in a mid or large framed gun(did "hear" about it in a Colt Police Positive Special,whose idiot owner was "trying to use" 32/20 rounds HIGH VELOCITY RIFLE ONLY rounds from the 1930's!) In this case,the tied up gun,probably saved itself and him from a possible catastrophy!

Bud
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

I've never had an unseated bullet from a factory +P load to tie up a gun. I've used them in a S&W Chief's Special and a S&W Model 642 with fine reliability.
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

Thanks guys. I'm thinking that the lead bullets might be less likely to walk than a jacketed bullet. Agree, or disagree?

-Bob
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

you could test that pretty easily with a kinetic puller,1 of each and strike as hard as you can then count the strikes.i belive the jacketed would be less likely to creep out and think some modern s&w liteweights are marked jacketed bullets only. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

Doesn't the Colt manual say that +p is ok in the DS and occasional +p use in the Agent, Cobra, etc is acceptable? I shoot standard stuff in all of mine but I carry the Speer Gold Dot 135gr+p in all of them. I also carry the same ammo in speed strips/speed loaders for them as well. I don't think that 12 rounds of +p ammo during a gun fight is going to hurt the gun at all.
 

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Re: Self defense loads for 2nd gen Detective Speci

[ QUOTE ]
Thanks guys. I'm thinking that the lead bullets might be less likely to walk than a jacketed bullet. Agree, or disagree?

-Bob

[/ QUOTE ] i found a photo of the jacketed bullet only s&w
 
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