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Old November 25, 2012, 12:14 AM   #16
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,198
My S & W 642 .38 Airweight is +P rated. However I only use these for CC. I use regular loads for practice.
That brings up a good point -
Even if the manufacturer does rate the firearm for +P loads, it still may not be a good idea to feed those loads to the handgun on a regular basis.

The ".38 Special +P" S&W Airweights/Ladysmiths are a perfect example. They're built on the 'magnum' frame with the same cylinders as the .357 Magnum versions, and have "+P" stamped right on the barrel.

But... actually feeding them a steady diet of +P ammunition will shake them apart in no time at all. They are built to handle the pressure with limited use - not digesting it on a regular basis. My own S&W 642 has had less than 250 rounds through it, and already has issues. Everything I have put through it was +P ammunition. (I don't think the previous 2 owners put more than 20 rounds through it, total. The original owner carried it for 3 years, and the second owner was scared of it after firing only 2 shots.)
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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