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Old February 13, 2014, 11:06 PM   #1
cheezhed
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difference in .38 cases

Is there a difference in +p .38 cases and regular .38 cases? I want to load some low end +P loads for my Ruger Security Six and I was wondering if I could use cases that are not stamped +P.
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Old February 14, 2014, 12:46 AM   #2
Nick_C_S
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The short answer is "no." (To the question if there's a difference.)

There is no strength difference between the two. They are only designated "+P" to identify the original loading to be a high pressure round, not suitable for vintage revolvers, or older, lightweight framed revolvers, etc.

Load your +P recipes in "regular" 38 cases - not a problem at all.
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Old February 14, 2014, 08:15 AM   #3
LE-28
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Quote:
Load your +P recipes in "regular" 38 cases - not a problem at all.
Yup but it would be good if you marked them somehow with a sharpie or something so you will know a year from now what they are and don't get them mixed up or someone shooting with you with a weaker revolver doesn't get a hold of them.
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Old February 14, 2014, 01:34 PM   #4
Nick_C_S
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I agree LE-28.

I'm one of those guys who segregate my +P brass. My +P recipes are always loaded with +P stamped brass.

Not that I own a gun that can't handle 38+P. I'm just OCD about some stuff
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Old February 14, 2014, 01:43 PM   #5
Clark
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The cases that are different are:

1) Starline 45acp +P have thick walls.

2) Old Remington targetmaster kleebore 148 gr wad cutter 38 special ammo brass has thin walls.

3) 308 military brass is heavier.

Other than that, all my cross sectioning of brass does not reveal much for the last 100 years of brass production.
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Old February 14, 2014, 01:47 PM   #6
Nick_C_S
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Good addition Clark.

I knew about the Starline 45ACP +P brass.
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Old February 15, 2014, 08:02 AM   #7
SL1
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Clark, thanks for pointing-out the .38 Special cases that were made with thin base walls to accomodate hollow-base wad cutter bullets. Those definitely are different from +P cases.

So long as people are talking about TRUE +P pressures in keeping with the SAAMI pressure standard, I think the thin-walled versions of the .38 Special case will hold-up OK.

But, when people start thinking about approaching .357 Magnum pressures in .38 Special cases, especially the older 46,000 CUP Magnum peak pressure standard, then I think it is a very good idea to use brass marked +P rather than some mixture that might include one of those thin-walled wadcutter cases.

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Old February 15, 2014, 10:46 PM   #8
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Most all of the manufacturers just use the same cases and change the headstamp to differentiate loads. As Clark noted there are a few exceptions, but not many.

I always segregate my brass and load accordingly. +P loads only in +P brass. I even have a small amount of Winchester military .38 +P+ brass, but haven't had the inclination to load any up yet!
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Old February 16, 2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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YES !!! There can be marked differences. I had a lot of new once-fired Hornady 38SPL brass from their factory 38 WC ammunition in which 38/44 handloads would chop the case heads off as slick as a lazer cut when shot out of my M27 5" 357MAG. Fire six, open the cylinder, and all six caseheads would drop into your hand. The body of the cases would come out easily, sometimes just by shaking the pistol if the chargeholes were not too dirty yet. The same handloads in W-W, RP, FED, S'line, S&W, SAKO, or Norma 38SPL brass never gave a moments trouble. I still use all this brass but dumped the remaining Hornady forthwith posehaste !
Incidently, those 38/44 handloads did 1395fps with 158grSWC bullets.
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Old February 16, 2014, 11:59 AM   #10
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I put all my reloads in box and label them as such so I know when I look at the box what is in it and the bullet and powder. I load in the winter so I can shoot when the weather get good!
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