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Old May 6, 2013, 06:43 PM   #1
rmocarsky
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+P in snubby?

Gunners,

I know that this question has probably been answered, but I am at work and don't have time to research.

I have a co-worker who purchased a Taurus .38 snubby (Model 85 I think) and he asked me if +P would be his best choice.

I honestly do not know if +P would offer anything except muzzle blast in such a short barrel.

Before I answer him, what are the facts about +P in a snubby?

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Old May 6, 2013, 06:50 PM   #2
Skadoosh
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Newer Taurus snubbys are rated for +P. Unless you know your new revolver is less than ten years old, I'd would only shoot standard .38 loads for practice and fun, reserving the +P ammo defensive carry. Limited shooting of +P ammo should be OK.
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Old May 6, 2013, 06:59 PM   #3
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+P in snubby?

+P is the way to go in a snub. They give it better stopping power and penetration than standard loads. Penetration is very important when it comes to stopping power and +P loads reach the FBI minimum penetration depth of 12" easier and more reliably than standard loads. If I were not gonna use +P loads then I would use the 158 grain SWCHP load. In the +P loads I like the Speer Gold Dot 135 grain short barrel load.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:17 PM   #4
Lucas McCain
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If the snub is not designed for +P and you use +P the stopping power and penetration don't mean squat when it blows up in your hand. I have a Model 36 Smith and the manual specifically states "DO NOT USE +P AMMUNiTION"!
You have to know if your revolver can handle the pressures of +P. I have personally witnessed 3 events of revolvers coming apart from +P ammo. They were not pleasant experiences.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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I have a older S&W M36 snubby as well...it has handled a very limited diet of +P ammo with no problems.

That said, with modern SD loads, it is not necessary to use +P. There are many standard pressure loads available these days that are plenty effective...such as the 158gr Buffalo Bore LSWCHP. Federal Nyclads are also great.

Bottom line is that you don't really need +P in in a snubby to be effective. As always, shot placement rules the day.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:42 PM   #6
boss429
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From another string-look for Q in serial number

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=345771

denfoote
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All recent M85s are +P rated.
Before "recent" if your S/N started with a "Q", then it was +P rated, if not, then no.

To find out the BOD of your Taurus, go HERE.

As an example, I have a first generation M85SSUL from 1997. Back then, it was called the M85UL. The S/N starts with a"Q". It is +P rated per the then open Taurus Custom Shop.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:58 PM   #7
BigTex308
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Re: +P in snubby?

You don't have enough barrel length in a snubby to get use out of +P.

That's why I won't buy a .357 snubby. All it does is add recoil without increasing velocity.


Ike
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
I honestly do not know if +P would offer anything except muzzle blast in such a short barrel.
Speer makes a 135 gr. JHP Short Barrel 38 Spcl. +P round especially for snubbies. The big problem now is finding some! I really want to give It a try in my LCR. For now I'll be content with the 158 gr.LSWCHP +P "FBI load" rounds I have.
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Old May 6, 2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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As long as the revolver is rated for it, fire away.
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Old May 6, 2013, 08:30 PM   #10
Super Sneaky Steve
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Quote:
You don't have enough barrel length in a snubby to get use out of +P.

That's why I won't buy a .357 snubby. All it does is add recoil without increasing velocity.
And you know this how? I've got a spread sheet with all the loads I've tested.

Among the weapons I've tested are a 642 and an SP101 3". +P does better than standard pressure, all things being equal.
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Old May 6, 2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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Greater capacity will yield greater velocity, period. How much greater depends on the length of the barrel, but even if you cut the barrel off at the frame, +P will be faster than standard.
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Old May 7, 2013, 04:45 AM   #12
ClydeFrog
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SAAMI.org good snub .38spl +P loads...

I too am pressed so here are the "bullet" points , here is the shooting industry website; www.SAAMI.org . That may help explain pressure or CUP(copper units of pressure) limits.
To my knowledge, newer Taurus 85 snubs are rated to handle +P .38spl. I'd have the gun owner contact Taurus Customer Service or a Taurus armorer trained gunsmith.
There are a few +P rated .38spl rounds out there; Id suggest: Buffalo Bore lead SWC-HP +P 158gr, the Ranger T/T Series .38spl load, Corbon DPX or PowRball, the Speer Gold Dot 135gr +P JHP(designed with the NYPD for back-ups/2nd guns), MagSafe SWAT, DRT, Hornady Critical Defense, Glaser Safety Slug Silver.
+P or +P+ ammunition WILL cause wear & tear on a firearm faster than standard rounds.
Only use factory made, quality loads too for protection no hand loads or reloaded .38spl. Training or plinking is fine.

Carry a few safety orange Quik-Strips from Tuff Products or the popular Bianchi Speed Strips. Always have a few spare strips or well made 5 shot speed loaders; HKS, Safariland Comp IIIs, etc. I like the newer orange Quik-Strips(easy to ID in high stress).

CF
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
You don't have enough barrel length in a snubby to get use out of +P
Sorry, but I don't think that makes sense. I've read too many chronograph readings and ballistic tables to buy it. The old +P FBI load, to name just one, has a long track record of effective use in both two-inch and four-inch guns.

It may be true that the advantage is less in .357 Magnum. I don't know. I think .357 in a snubby is a dubious idea for several reasons, but in .38 Special I like it a lot.

As for strength, my dashless 640 is etched inside the frame "Tested For +P+". I only carry +P, and practice with standard-pressure FMJ, but I've read a lot of well-informed (read "expert") opinion that makes me think occasional use of +P is not going to blow up any reasonably-cared-for steel J-frame.
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:52 PM   #14
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"Speer makes a 135 gr. JHP Short Barrel 38 Spcl. +P round especially for snubbies." What Cheapshooter said there is correct.

The trick to making power out of snubbies is to use fast powder. Pressure is good; but snubbies require that the pressure be developed quickly.

Most "defense" rounds are made with slower powders (especially .357 mags, but we're talking .38+p here). In the case of .38's, I suspect they are geared for 4" barrels or so. The Speer 135g GDHP SB (Gold Dot Hollow Point - Short Barrel) is the only ammo I know specifically designed for snubbies. They have fast powder that develop pressure quickly, and minimizes noise and muzzle flash, while pushing the slug as quickly as possible. They also have a large hollow cavity, designed to open up at lower velocities. Excellent ammo. I have them in my .357 for home protection. (My .357 is a 4" barrel, but I want less noise and flash for home protection.)

And for the record, I'm not employed or affiliated with Speer in any way lol.
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:54 PM   #15
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+P ammo does work well in a snubby

Even between brands there is a big difference. I just did a video shooting with my Chrono between Corbon and Federal +P loads.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9gkdUZfYeo

They do more than just make noise!!!
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Old May 11, 2013, 08:40 PM   #16
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The 38 +p round will generally buy you at least an additional 100fps out of a snubbie. You have to ask yourself if you feel that's worth the trade off of louder noise, additional recoil, and a compromised follow-up shot.
Stay safe and god bless!
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:35 AM   #17
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My only snub, a 1993 442 is not rated for +P so I don't carry it. Standard pressure rounds are more than enough for a snub IMO. Even if I had a +P rated snub, I'd still carry standard pressure SD rounds. YMMV.
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Old May 14, 2013, 10:59 AM   #18
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For the most part, I'd say yes +P is worth the extra blast and recoil in a .38 Special. I say this because there are precious few good standard pressure .38 Special defense loadings. About the only two standard pressure .38 Spl hollowpoints that I'd trust to both penetrate adequately and expand reliably, especially from a snub, are Hornady 110gr Critical Defense and Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP, 125gr JHP, or 110gr Barnes XPB loadings (which will probably have recoil and blast about like everyone else's +P). Federal's 125gr NyClad is probably better than most other standard pressure .38 Spl hollowpoints, but it's penetration is still a bit on the shallow side for my taste.

Just about every other standard pressure .38 Spl hollowpoint loading I can think of suffers from one of two problems: either the velocity is too low to ensure reliable expansion or the bullet is too light and fragile to yield adequate penetration. So long as the revolver can handle it, my reccomendations for .38 Spl snubby loads are Speer's excellent 135gr Short Barrel Gold Dot or Remington's equally excellent 158gr LSWCHP both of which are +P loadings.
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Old May 14, 2013, 03:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
That's why I won't buy a .357 snubby. All it does is add recoil without increasing velocity.
That's why I'm only getting 1250fps out of my 357 snubby.
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Old May 14, 2013, 04:19 PM   #20
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Taurus' ads always said the newer M85s were rated for +P "for duty use." To me this means a less-than-steady diet, I wouldn't shoot it all the time.

Regular .38s for practice, with enough practice with your defense load to feel comfortable with it.

That's what I always did with my M85s. My oldest one broke after about 1500 rounds--we're talking probably 13-15 years ago--including a fair amount of +P, maybe 400 rounds or so. I started limiting +P a bit more after that one and have had no further issues.
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Old May 14, 2013, 08:22 PM   #21
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38+P 125 gr Remington Golden Sabres in my 85CH
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