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Old March 14, 2006, 05:07 PM   #1
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.38+P+ questions and +P+ compared to old .38/44

1) Do they make +P+ anymore? I don't find it made by any of the major ammo producers including Corbon.

2) What exactly is +P+? Is it a .357 round ina .38 cartridge? Will it stand up in medium frame .38 revolvers?

3) How does .38+P+ compare to the old .38/44. From what I can tell (don't have the exact figures in front of me) the .38/44 is in between +P and +P+ as far as pressure goes (I shoot an Official Police which was rated for the old .38/44 round)
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Old March 14, 2006, 05:46 PM   #2
Peter M. Eick
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+P+ is sort of close in my guns.
Without getting to detailed, a good 38/44 round out of a 5" heavy duty should run about 1050 to 1100 fps in a 158.
+p+ does around 950 to 1000 in the same gun.
+P "FBI" load did 900
Conventional will go 800fps.

I posted a long detailed write up about chrono-ing out a bunch of test loads. Do a search you can probably still find it.
10mm and 357sig, the best things to come along since the 38 super!
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Old March 15, 2006, 01:14 PM   #3
James K
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That figure for +P+ seems pretty low, as I have seen figures higher (hype?) and the fact is that the ammo is marked for use only in revolvers chambered for .357 Magnum.

As for factory +P, it is pretty mild. Most of us old timers loaded .38 Special a lot hotter than the current +P and fired it in medium frame and even small frame revolvers without (AFAIK) doing any damage. I still have some 125 gr loads around that clock at 1200 out of a .38 M&P 5", and I don't think that was my hottest load. I have used it in a Chiefs Special with no observed damage (except to my hand!).

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Old March 15, 2006, 03:40 PM   #4
Peter M. Eick
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Jim, I may have gotten a weak load or batch. I have not seen many +P+ rounds around, so my sample size is small. I don't remember what they were "supposed" to go at, but I do remember thinking they were pretty "wimpy".
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Old March 15, 2006, 05:18 PM   #5
Jeff #111
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My father is a retired Idaho State Trooper. In 1990 ISP switched over to 45 autos (S&W 4586) but prior to that they carried the Model 65 for twelve years.

The load was 38 special +P+ 110 grain semi-jacketed hollow points. The rounds were manufactured by Winchester and the boxes were printed FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY. I've fired my share of this round and it was fairly hot. The troopers were told that the rounds were to be fired out of .357 magnum revolvers only. Once shot some out of the 65 through a chronograph. I remember the rounds averaged around 1050 fps.

I've been told by guys who were in law enforcement, back in the early seventies, that there was a real push in some parts of the USA to outlaw the use of the .357 magnum by cops. Guess the .357 magnum is just inhumane and horrible.

So the 38 special +P+ round was developed for law enforcement. That way the cops could still carry .357 magnum revolvers, but if they were involved in a shooting, the departments could honestly say that the officers were carrying 38 special rounds.

I don't know how true this is. I've always figured it was a combination of that and the fact that many cops aren't shooters. They had a hard time handling the magnum loads. With the 110 grain +P+ you got a hot 38 load that approximated magnum specs, but was more controllable.

Anybody have any other ideas? Or perhaps facts?
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn't. Ben Franklin
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