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Old November 24, 2020, 08:51 PM   #1
cdoc42
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SAAMI maximum pressures for .38/.357

I just purchased a Taurus Model 605 2' stainless revolver in.38/.357.

There are warnings that it is not included in models that can utilize +P ammo.

How do +P pressures differ from .357 Mag Pressures? I realize I might reload, using a recipe that does not use my particular gun, so any pressure listed may not relate to my using that recipe.

I tried looking things up on the SAAMI website but apparently one must be a member to log in and I could not access pressure data.

I plan to use a 125gr JHP in both .38 Special and .357 Mag. If I avoid +P loads (as found in Lyman #5) will I still be ok when using .357 Mag data?
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Old November 24, 2020, 09:00 PM   #2
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You don't have to log in for that information. It's in the standards. In the SAAMI main page click on the Technical Information tab and the on the drop-down menu that appears, click on Standards. From there, click on the centerfire pistol and revolver standard. The pressure tables precede the cartridge and chamber drawings.

You will find the 38 Special is rated for 17000 psi and the 38 Special +P is rated for 20000 psi and the 357 is rated at 35000 psi or 45000 CUP.
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Old November 24, 2020, 10:05 PM   #3
lee n. field
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdoc42 View Post
I just purchased a Taurus Model 605 2' stainless revolver in.38/.357.

There are warnings that it is not included in models that can utilize +P ammo.

How do +P pressures differ from .357 Mag Pressures? I realize I might reload, using a recipe that does not use my particular gun, so any pressure listed may not relate to my using that recipe.

I tried looking things up on the SAAMI website but apparently one must be a member to log in and I could not access pressure data.

I plan to use a 125gr JHP in both .38 Special and .357 Mag. If I avoid +P loads (as found in Lyman #5) will I still be ok when using .357 Mag data?
Do you have a link for the assertion that they are not to be shot with +P?

---edit to add---

From the horse's mouth:

https://www.taurususa.com/wp-content..._Revolvers.pdf

Quote:
There are only four calibers that can carry a “+P” rating from SAAMI. They are 38 Special +P, 9mm Luger +P, 38 Super Automatic and 45 Automatic +P. There are no other SAAMI approved “+P” loads. Any ammunition in any other caliber marked “+P” is not SAAMI compliant, may be dangerous and should not be used.

Only fire SAAMI rated Plus P (“+P”) ammunition in Taurus® models designated by Taurus for +P use as below. Firing +P ammunition in other Taurus products may be dangerous and can result in serious bodily injury or death.

Model 85 small-frame revolver in 38 Special.
Model 856 revolver in 38 Special.
Model 850 small-frame revolver in 38 Special.
Model 851 small-frame revolver in 38 Special.
Model 85 Polymer small-frame revolver in 38 Special.
Model 82 medium-frame revolver in 38 Special.
Model 817 compact frame (tracker) revolver in 38 Special.
All firearms chambered in 38 Super Automatic.
All firearms chambered in 45 Automatic (ACP).
All firearms chambered in 9mm Luger
Note the first quoted paragraph. There is no +P spec for .357 Magnum. Yet, .357 Magnum, which the 605 is designed for, is a higher pressure round than +P .38 Special.

It's perfectly fine to shoot .38 +P in your .605. I've been doing it for over a decade in mine.

---edit to add even more stuff---

Note that the revolver models listed are all .38 special specific models.
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Last edited by lee n. field; November 25, 2020 at 08:37 AM.
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Old November 25, 2020, 12:31 AM   #4
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Unclenick, thanks for the information. From that, I would interpret if you have a .357 it should be able to handle .38 +P and .38 Special ammo. But if you have a weapon strictly designated .38 Special, it may not be able to handle +P. Is that correct?

lee n. field, the Taurus link you posted is exactly what is printed in my Taurus instruction manual and this sentence therefrom is what sparked my question:

"Only fire SAAMI rated Plus P (“+P”) ammunition in Taurus® models designated by Taurus for +P use as below. Firing +P ammunition in other Taurus products may be dangerous and can result in serious bodily injury or death."

The model 605 is not listed as designated for +P use. But I agree with your position based on the discussion with Unclenick above.

I wrote a letter to Taurus today as well, not on this issue, but to bring to their attention an error in the manual. It states on page 28 that a more detailed discussion on +P is on page 18. But page 18 only lists data on one of the revolver series. I could only find any kind of "further" discussion on page 30.
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Old November 25, 2020, 01:37 AM   #5
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What's missing is the clear explanation that "+p" is only referring to .38 Special +p, and their statement is the same as basically everyone else's, which is to only fire (.38spl) +p in (38spl) guns rated by the maker as capable of handling (38 special) +p pressures.

.38 special +p pressure is much lower than .357 Mag pressure, so there is no concern about shooting it in a gun chambered for the .357 Magnum.
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Old November 25, 2020, 11:26 PM   #6
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So I gather there is more of an escape from potential liability since they also advise the use of only known quality manufacturers, this eliminating any warranty if handloads are used. Of course, this is not particular to just Taurus, and I understand their position given the lack of confidence in the world of handloaders.
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Old November 26, 2020, 01:39 PM   #7
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If you look at the SAAMI proof load pressures, you will find it is now required that 38 Special and 38 Special +P guns both be able to withstand the same proof loads, which have pressures between 27,000 and 29,500 psi. This is because, unlike a 357 Magnum cartridge, both the standard and the +P rounds can be chambered in the same guns, so it would be dangerous to expect anything less. Claims of danger from +P loads in a standard 38 Special-rated gun are based on long term fatigue effects. It is not about a single round being too much for the gun to withstand, but rather is about what a careless owner can do to weaken the weapon over time with a constant diet of these loads, eventually arriving at a point where it might become a hazard to continue using it. The maker assesses this and probably tests the effects of the stronger loads over time before deciding what the gun can be rated for.
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Old November 26, 2020, 05:08 PM   #8
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Thanks again, Unclenick! I fired both handloads of 125gr JHP with different powders in .38 sp and .357 Mag, but I used SP Mag primers in both. I had no problems. But I can understand the potential for fatigue over time. If I use this strictly as a defense weapon, there is little chance I'll significantly fatigue it unless the Democrats and Biden lead us into Civil War. Sorry for that ending but it seemed appropriate.
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Old November 27, 2020, 12:17 PM   #9
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I have an alloy framed Colt (Cobra) which was "technically" rated for .38Spl+p.

I say "technically" because while Colt said the gun would handle +P, they didn't recommend it, AND Colt asked that the gun be returned to Colt after 1,000 rnds (of +P) so they could check it. Also said that should be done every thousand rounds thereafter.

that was some time ago, and I don't know if Colt still expects you to send them the gun or even if they are still capable of doing inspection and repair on it...

A few rounds (or a few dozen) of +p should not turn any quality .38 into instant junk, a grenade, or damage it where its unserviceable. Continuous use, MIGHT.... how long/how many rounds? NO ONE knows.

However, if your .38 is a 115yr old top break made of pot metal and junk to begin with, then all bets are off!!

And, since there are people out there who just might slip +p into that kind of gun the factories are very specific about what is, and isn't "rated" for the round.
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Old November 28, 2020, 01:34 PM   #10
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Or go here. Note that SAAMI says a .38 Special runs at a Max of 17,000 PSI and the +P is 1500 PSI more. The Max for .357 Mag is 35,000 PSI.
http://www.lasc.us/SAAMIMaxPressure.htm
Shooting jacketed bullets all the time gets expensive quickly. There is reloading data for .38 Special +P ammo. Hodgdon's site has it.
"...Mag primers..." Are about the powder used. Not the cartridge name.
Keep in mind that you must work up the load from the Start load.
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Old November 28, 2020, 01:56 PM   #11
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If it's a .357 then ignore any warnings about +P, that's only for .38sp. There's no +P .357 magnum spec. It's just one of those quirks that happens when lawyers enter the firearms world.
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Old November 28, 2020, 09:44 PM   #12
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ballisticxlr, that simply makes sense. I have two now -a Ruger GP 100 and the Taurus. BOTH are labeled .357 on the barrel. So .38 special, including +P, should be expected to be safe to use. If the weapon is labeled, ".38 Special," that's where the question should arise.
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