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Old March 17, 2013, 01:58 AM   #24
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Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 10,982
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 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.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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