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Old March 1, 2013, 03:09 PM   #1
mrcharlie3531
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.38 S&W Special CTG

I just recently purchased this .38 S&W. I had a couple of questions about the ammo. I was told along as the special is on the barrel, It will accept .38 ammo. I assume it is not a good idea to use a heave grain bullet in a older gun.

The is nickel plated with original grips. The serial# is 5544xx. The barrel is 6". I am curious to know how old it is. Thank you

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Charlie

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/...psb211ceaa.jpg
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Old March 1, 2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Someone with a copy of the big book will come along and give you an idea of when it was made (I'm going to guess somewhere in the 1930s) but with regards to ammo-- don't use anything marked "+P" in it. As for heavier grain bullet...that's not an issue. You'd be best served by shooting exposed lead (unjacketed) bullets in it.

Actually, in certain scenarios, lighter weight bullet loads are much more punishing on some handguns. It's more a .357 Magnum thing that doesn't really relate to your revolver. But it's worth noting that bullet weight is but one part of the tales of a load. A heavy bullet at a loping pace typically ends up being a "soft" load, for both the handgun and the shooter holding it.
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Old March 1, 2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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The CTG is "cartridge", as part of the caliber stamped on the barrel. It's not a model designation.

The .38 S&W Special means it's chambered for exactly that, which includes all bullet weights commercially offered.
It's pressures, not bullet weights, that you need to be concerned with.
Avoid +P loads, as Sevens says, and I'd agree on limiting it to lead to prolong barrel rifling life.
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Old March 1, 2013, 05:39 PM   #4
laytonj1
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Quote:
The serial# is 5544xx
Around late 1920's.
Safe with all .38 Special ammo. Avoid +P.

Jim
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:21 PM   #5
m&p45acp10+1
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If it is a .38 S&W it will not take a .38 spcl. They are too long, and more narrow than the .38 S&W. If you find some .38 Colt New Police (good luck) it will load those as well.
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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M&P's from that time era were chambered in 38 Special.
It was the lend lease M&P's around WWII that were chambered in 38 S&W.

Jim
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:47 PM   #7
DPris
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If the barrel's stamped .38 S&W Special CTG, that's what it shoots.
If it's stamped .38 S&W CTG, that's what it shoots.
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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+P ammo is the solution to a problem that doesn't exist, wasted money no matter the gun. Lighter loads are NEVER more effective than heavy loads, especially in 357mag. Your gun was designed for 158gr lead bullets. Stick with them, you won't be disappointed.
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
+P ammo is the solution to a problem that doesn't exist, wasted money no matter the gun. Lighter loads are NEVER more effective than heavy loads, especially in 357mag. Your gun was designed for 158gr lead bullets. Stick with them, you won't be disappointed.
I've never seen anyone argue that standard pressure rounds are every bit as good for defense as +P rounds in .38 special. There may be adequate loads in standard pressure cartridges but just as good as +P? I am curious as to your reasoning.
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Old March 4, 2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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.38 Special +P runs up a bit more pressure than the standard .38 Special (18.5k psi vs 17k) but achieves higher velocity by using lighter bullets. So it basically is the old "slow and heavy" vs "fast and light" argument that will never be settled unless or until the "progressives" confiscate all our guns and herd us off to the death camps.

With the relatively small difference in pressure, there are likely not many guns that would be OK with standard ammo, but would damaged by firing +P. Still, with older guns, I will weigh in on the side of caution.

(+P+, though, is a whole different ball game; some boxes advise use only in revolvers chambered for the .357 Magnum.)

Jim
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:05 PM   #11
DPris
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Nope, you can find +Ps in 158s, and 158s have been the "standard" .38 Special bullet weight for several decades.
They don't achieve their higher velocities ONLY in lighter bullets.
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:29 PM   #12
James K
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Correct, and my error. But my point was that those "hot" +P loads are mainly hot air. The velocity is not significantly greater than that of "standard" loads with the same bullet weight. I have loaded hundreds of .38 Specials with a lot more power than anything off the shelf and never had any problems.

Still I have a Model 1899 S&W that I would not feel comfortable shooting with any +P load.

Jim
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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The other day I was at academy and they had 6 boxes of cci blazer aluminum +p 38 spl.

I bought the whole lot of it and was darn glad they had it. Now I'm darn glad I have it.
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:50 PM   #14
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How come they don't make a 38 S&W + P aka 38/200 + P. I mean, someone would need the MORE POWER advantage for their 100 year old revolver, right?
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Old March 4, 2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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"How come they don't make a 38 S&W + P aka 38/200 + P. I mean, someone would need the MORE POWER advantage for their 100 year old revolver, right?"

They do.

It's called the .38 Special.


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Old March 4, 2013, 01:36 PM   #16
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.38 Special is not a hotter .38 S&W, it's a hotter .38 Long Colt.
There is no familial relationship between the .38 S&W and .38 Special.
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Old March 4, 2013, 01:48 PM   #17
Mike Irwin
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".38 Special is not a hotter .38 S&W, it's a hotter .38 Long Colt."

Yes.

I know.

It's called a joke.
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:19 PM   #18
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SOME of us got it.
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Old March 4, 2013, 03:01 PM   #19
Mike Irwin
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You get a cookie.
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Old March 4, 2013, 03:19 PM   #20
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What on earth is the point of +P+ .38 Spl?
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Old March 4, 2013, 03:20 PM   #21
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Old March 4, 2013, 08:16 PM   #22
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The purpose of +p+ 38 spl is to have something for 357 to scoff at.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:20 AM   #23
tfrugal
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a few questions

hello, I just joined and have been lurking and learning from y'all....
I have a very similar revolver at home, inherited it from an uncle, and have not had much luck identifying it-- no letter in front of the serial number just like this one.
My serial is 4144xx, stamped three places in it, as well as 46035 on the crane. grips are plastic, a bit lighter than the one OP has pictured... same 38 special ctg, appears to be nickel, but it looks pitted a bit under the finish. I dont have pix yet, thats why I just cobbed onto this thread.
what model is this thing? secondly, what year?

oh, another probably dumb question-- what is '+p" ? I am guessing its a different powder?
thanks for any help, and I will post a pic on an original thread as soon as possible!
t
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:58 AM   #24
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In this case, .38 Special +P is an official SAAMI industry specification for ammo. Where .38 Special ammo is loaded to a maximum peak pressure of 17,000 PSI... .38 Special+P ammo is loaded a wee bit hotter to a maximum allowed peak pressure of 18,500 PSI.

This is as set/agreed upon by SAAMI, which is recognized by the firearms manufacturers.

The thing that many folks don't understand about the magical "+p" designation is that it is a true industry standard and it is being misused or abused when it is casually tossed around. For the record, SAAMI has used this designation with only three handgun cartridges-- .38 Special, 9mm Luger and .45 ACP. Used elsewhere...is used either in error or recklessly. (a special case exists for .38 Super)

Also worth noting is that SAAMI doesn't use or recognize the "+p+" designation, even though the occasional ammunition manufacturer has used it. What's important to remember is that if it is not made to a recognized standard it certainly could be made to any standard -- or NO standard. That makes it an unknown quantity and that means nobody can be sure if it's safe or proper for your firearm.

Smith & Wesson revolvers since they began to assign them model numbers are safely rated for +P ammunition. (I think? Correction please?)

YOUR revolver bearing that 400xxx range is not rated for use with .38 Special +P ammunition.
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Old March 17, 2013, 07:48 AM   #25
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mrcharlie...How easy it is to detonate another +P skirmish.
That's a fine looking piece to these eyes. Looks like it would point quick and true and hit. Get into WalMart, get some of the cheap 38 Special, shoot it and get yourself back here and tell how she speaks.
Check here for the birthdate, include the good photo: http://www.smithandwessonforums.com/forum/

Last edited by 5thShock; March 17, 2013 at 07:54 AM.
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