Colt Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking back through Ed Lovette's _The Snubbie_ booklet today and read through his suggestions on defensive ammo. His highly suggested round was the 158 gr .38+P LSWCHP round. This is the round I typically carry in either of my pre or post war Colt Official Police guns. I'm told it is perfectly safe to use these rounds for defense and even at the range for practice(minus a steady diet on the pre war gun)
However, I noticed a picture of some various types off ammo boxes that he recommends. One of those was Corbon 38+P+ 158gr LSWCHP 1000ftps (he recommends this for use in a snub nose revolver /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif)
I remember reading an article (the link to it has moved) that gives the figures for the old .38/44 round and it was exactly 158gr 1000ftps (essentially the same as the +P+ round mentioned above) I have also heard it said from various people around these forums that the pre war depression era Official Police was rated for the old .38/44 round.
HOWEVER, I also remember it said, I think by Dfariswheel, that +P+ rounds would blow up a OP or other Colt non magnum guns.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I've heard it said by some on these forums that they have shot +P+ out of Detective Specials and (I think) even Agents (if I recall right,the person who said this was even doing this as a LEO at an official practice session) without any problems. And here we have Lovette suggesting using this round in a J or D frame gun

NOW, understand I am in no way suggesting that I take two boxes of 50 of +P+ down to the range every week and put them through my Postwar DS, PreWar OP or even Postwar OP. I love these old guns and want them to last. BUT I would like to know the maximum potential that can safely be used in each of these guns.
Is the 158gr +P+ at 1000 ftps safe to use in a PreWar OP, PostWar OP and even a Postwar DS?
IF IT IS SAFE, then WHO SELLS +P+ with this type of bullet anymore? Corbon doesn't seem to.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
since you have no replys i will give you my OPINION.a few +p`s in the offical police pre or post wont hurt a thing. the op was introduced about the time colt changed the heat treat. i would not advise any in the earlier army spl. a few +p`s to find out where they shoot in the steel frame d/s should likewise be ok. carrying +p`s in the cobra and useing them in dire straights again ok. the alloy frame agent and cobra were designed for ease of carry and not intended to be used as target/plinking weapons,extended fireing of any round was not considered in the design. +p+ in any gun not designed for it is going to shorten it`s life. +p+ in a vintage alloy frame gun is fool`s play at best. there are modern lightweight guns DESIGNED for magnum and +p+ rounds they cost around 500$, certianly cheaper than a visit to the hospitial emergency room. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Doug; Fact of the matter is that what you want is NO longer made by any of the "large" ammo makers.

The "old" 38/44 hi speed loads, were good for about 1200 fps,or about the same as most crap-oops,factory .357 loads today.

You can easily(and potentially dangerously!) handload this today as I do.

The steel framed" Co1ts,including the smaller D frames will handle this,as advertised in the older catalogs,from the early 30's when this fine round came out for the large N frame S&W 38/44 Heavy Duty and the 38/44 Outdoorsman,with target sights. Colt quickly jumped on board with the New Service and their "new" Shooting Master version of the New Service in .38 Special.

I have fired "a few" handloads in my E and I framed Colts(Official Police size etc.) and they are very accurate with these,especially the 2 Heavy Barreled O.P.s,which manage the recoil very well. My regular O.Ps.,kick a little more,so I have slightly downgraded the powder charge for a 2" 1956 vintage O.P. that is my "undercover piece". I still get great expansion with hardcast hollowpoints and Speer 158 gr. SWAGED lead hollowpoints,but these MIGHT cause leading if I fired more than a cylinder full: which I DON'T.

For the small,STEEL D frames,yes,they WILL handle a few,but the recoil and recovery time for repeat shots defeats the purpose,at least in a square butt 1932 Detective Special I own, even with a grip adapter. This gun is very managable with +P 158 gr. level loads. Maybe if I needed ONE accurate shot a bear etc. I would carry these in the D.S.

I have the feeling you are looking for "defense" rounds and want to use factory ammo,in case of a lawsuit/prosecution??? Sleazy lawyers and proseuctors have occassionally brought this up with handloads being used,portraying the person defending themselves as a gun nut,who had to have "hotter loads"!!!

Who cares!! If it saves your life,but this is why learning to head shoot at the "inverted triangle" of eyes and nose will usually result in the bullet not being found and you can ditch any remaining handloads.

The above is not"P. C." but I am not either!

Back to factory loads,I read somewhere that Georgia Arms is making a hotter 158 gr. load,but use of these,along with Hydra Shok,Black Talon,CorBon,Magna Safe,Glaziers,or other "manstoppers",even though NOT handloads,will get you in the same "trouble",if the law decides to try and paint you as a "gun nut"-so ya can't win,but you may well be alive,by using them with GOOD shot placement. Thats why I mentioned the inverted triangle,usually an instant kill,with bullet exiting back of skull.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks LoneWolf,
Buffalo Bore was recommended on TFL and I took a look at their site, http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#38spl

The above link looks pretty close to what I am looking for and what you are talking about 1000 ftps 158 gr .38+P (which is hotter than any other +P round I can find out there) That is measured from a 2 inch barrel. I will be firing from a 4 inch in my OPs so that is either right on the mark or better than the +P+ round I am looking for from Lovettes book and since it will be fired from a 4 inch it might even just about be equal to the .38/44 round or powerhouse handload you describe /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
15,686 Posts
My interest in +P+ ammo and the Colt "D" frame pretty well ended long ago after seeing the results, but for those of you who haven't seen the results, take a look at Kuhnhausen's "The Colt Double Action Revolvers: A Shop Manual, Volume One: pages 127, and 128.

Also read the sections and look at the pictures of damaged frames involving use of +P+ ammo, pages 47, 48, and 49.

I've had occasion to see the same things over the years, often after some police friend would give his buddy some "special" loads, to be used only if he had too.

+P+ ammo was RESTRICTED Police ONLY ammo that was expressly limited for use in MAGNUM revolvers.

Colt .38 Special revolvers don't qualify as Magnum strength guns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
The +P+ loads here are not the old .38/44 hi speeds,but what an LEO friend used to call "Treasury Loads and were for MAGNUMS only. Tended to be used in the 3" FBI issued S&W M-13's. Pressures were higher than those of the 38/44,and were an attempt to get high velocity with a light bullet,especially in short barrel revolvers. This was the outgrowth of the Lee Juras "Super Vels" and were marked on boxes for Heavy Frame and .357 Magnum guns only.

Just like the 1920's and 30's when some people deliberately bought "hi velocity loads for Rifles ONLY"(and not even the Winchester '73",and used them in their .32,.38 and .44 WCF revolvers,in an attempt to gain power.

Alloy frames of ANY persuasion, are "best carried daily,shot sparingly"-and then NOT with anything but standard loads.

Bud
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
[ QUOTE ]


Alloy frames of ANY persuasion, are "best carried daily,shot sparingly"-and then NOT with anything but standard loads.

Bud

[/ QUOTE ] very wise advise,lets hope everyone here adheres to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
OK so I won't shoot 38 +P in my D frame. But I never intended to anyway. However I have an Official Police MKIII now. The frame is identical in appearance and size to my Trooper MKIII as is the external dimensions of the cylinder. So I'm guessing that the OP MKIII should be able to handle 38 +P's all day and night. Sounds right to everyone?

Dave
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
15,686 Posts
.38 Special +P, YES.
+P+, NO.

I'd LIKE to say it'd handle +P+, but the Official Police Mark III was NOT factory rated for it.

Again, the +P+ was for sales to law enforcement agencies ONLY and ONLY for use in MAGNUM revolvers.

The sales were deliberately kept to LE agencies only, to prevent Billy Bob from buying a box for his .38 Special and blowing his hand off.

As common sense suggests it would, +P+ ammo did filter out into "civilian" hands with often catastrophic results.

I asked one less than smart bozo what his buddy the deputy had said after his old S&W blew a cylinder and mangled his fingers after he shot some of his friends "special loads".
Basically, he said it was a sick grin and "sorry???"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Thanks dfariswheel, I understand what you're saying and agree wholeheartedly. My question was for curiousity only since I shoot 158gr LRN 38 specials from the OP MKIII. But since I'm not planning on carrying it for self defense I still most likely won't even buy any 38 +P's. I have this fear that someday I'll go out to the range and grab the wrong box of ammo for the D frame or S&W Victory model. Oops! Now I know that the D frames should be able to handle some +P's but ya never know.

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[ QUOTE ]




if i had to caption these photo`s..." a fool and his topstrap,too soon are they parted"

[/ QUOTE ]

I saw those pictures too in my copy. Made me question the wisdom of firing +P+ in a Post 72 DS upon seeing a post 1972 Agent & Cobra blown apart like that.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top