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Old September 7, 2013, 10:34 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 217
The second question I have is whether this gun can handle +P ammo.
It can probably handle a limited amount, but S&W does not recommend it in the Model 49.

"...from a Smith & Wesson owner's manual printed in 1993:

Revolvers in which .38 Special +P ammunition can be used:
• J frames - Models 60-4 (full underlug barrel only), 60-7, 60-8, 640, 649-2
• K frames - Models 10, 13, 14, 15, 19, 64, 65, 66, 67
• L frames - Models 581, 586, 681, 686
• N frames - Models 27, 28, 627
Here is S&W's warning about +P ammunition -
"Plus P" (+P) ammunition generates pressures significantly in excess of the pressures associated with standard .38 Special ammunition. Such Pressures may affect the wear characteristics or exceed the margin of safety built into many revolvers and could therefore be DANGEROUS.

"Plus P" (+P) ammunition should not be used in medium (K frame) revolvers manufactured prior to 1958. Such pre-1958 medium (K frame) revolvers can be identified by the absence of a Model Number stamped inside the yoke cut of the frame (i.e. the area of the frame exposed when the cylinder is in the open position).

The "Plus-P-Plus" (+P+) marking on ammunition merely designates that it exceed established industry standards, but the designation does not represent defined pressure limits and therefore such ammunition may vary significantly as to the pressures generated. "Plus-P-Plus" (+P+) ammunition is not recommended for use in Smith & Wesson firearms."

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