How to determine wheter or not to use p+ ammunition

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by ski9393, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. ski9393

    ski9393 New Member

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    I own an armscor revolver in .38 special and I think that I want to start using P+ ammo in it as a sidearm during the muzzleloader season for the possibility of 'yotes and other potentially dangerous critters. The conundrum is, I don't know if this pistol is designed to fire the P+ ammunition or not. Anyone know much about P+ ammo and how to determine wheter or not a firearm is "ok" with it? Thanks for all the help from TFF members.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I would get in touch with Centerifire Systems (who is an Armscorp importer) and ask them. http://www.centerfiresystems.com/contact-us.aspx

    On a side note. You're allowed to carry a fixed ammunition gun during muzzle-loading season, in Virginia? In Florida that's a no-no.
  3. ski9393

    ski9393 New Member

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    About your side note, I'm not sure if that's legal or not myself come to think of it. I'll be sure to find out before the season. My logic is, if you can open carry a firearm without any permit for protection, then that means you can strap a revolver to your leg when you go out muzzleloader hunting to protect yourself from the big mean critters out there. Thanks for the link.
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Down here, rabbits are in season year 'round. My thought was if I was carrying a 50 caliber cap-n-ball for deer, I should also be able to carry a 22 revolver for rabbits. They explained to me, "NO". No fixed cartridge during muzzle loading season.

    That was on a Wildlife Management Area, so that may have been a management area rule, and not a state game law.
  5. carver

    carver Moderator

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    My advice is to carry +P's for SD, but shoot standard .38 loads for practice, 'yotes and other potentially dangerous critters.
  6. ski9393

    ski9393 New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the input. According to centerfire systems my pistol is not rated for P+ ammunition. I don't know if they said that to avoid legal ramification or if it really won't handle it. I'm no gambler so I'll just carry some good Hornady .38s. Also, I figured that being in Virginia, we are allowed to carry un-concealed without a permit legally, that I could carry my Hawken to hunt and my pistol for SD. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries dosen't agree with me. They have the badges so I guess I'll just leave the pistol in my truck. Thanks again to everyone for their input.
  7. JohnnyLoco

    JohnnyLoco New Member

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    I would only shoot +P in older S&W's because they will handle it.
  8. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    In Indiana, the law allows anyone with a license to carry a handgun to carry any handgun while hunting, even during muzzle loading or archery seasons.

    And Alpo: you should carry a black-powder revolver for those rabbits.
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    You wanna re-think that statement? The J frames, before around the mid-80s, would not handle +P. The K frames from the 50s and earlier aren't really safe with +P. You sure you didn't mean "newer S&Ws"?
  10. ski9393

    ski9393 New Member

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    Okay. Maybe I should ask what sort of pressures and velocity a P+ round makes versus a .38 special cartridge. Although I have already decided that I'm not going to carry it during the muzzle loader season. Have to rely on my first shot, my wits and my Ka-bar for defense against those mean critters.
  11. carver

    carver Moderator

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    This is true! Both Colt, and S&W made it plain when they told the public that the warenty on the guns they sold would be void, if these guns were used to shoot +P ammo. They made it clear that their guns were not designed to handle +P ammo. During this controversy, Charter stepped up and told it's coustomers: Shoot all the +P you want, we will stand behind our products.
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Quickly scanning a nearby loading manual :D, I see that normal 38 special loads run in the 15000 to low 16000s psi, while the +P loads run in the high 17000s to mid 18000s. 2000 psi doesnt' sound like a lot, but when you figure that's 1/8 of the 16000, that's a 12.5% increase. Now it sounds like a lot.

    Or, if you prefer, a 12.5% overload (which is what a +P load actually is).
  13. roaddog28

    roaddog28 New Member

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    I feel when in doubt it is better to use standard pressure .38s. Smith and Wesson states: Do not use +P ammunition on any revolver older than 1957. I think you will find that older colts are in the class as Smiths. Here is a suggestion: For self defense: Buffalo Bore 38s 158g lead semiwadcutter hollow point. This is a excellent standard pressure round. Much like the +P round. Another excellent round is Federal Premium Defense 38s 125g nyclad hollow point. Very good round. I have used it in my Smith and Wesson combat masterpiece 38s made in 1951. For practice use 158g American Eagle round nose ammo. Very good practice round. Another practice round that is good is Magtech 158g round nose ammo.

    Hope this helps,
    roaddog
  14. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    If you have a CHL, you should be able to carry concealed in the woods while hunting. I know you can in Texas, but then we can shoot people fleeing with our stuff too. :eek:
  15. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan New Member

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    I use P+ ammo in my Sig P6 and use "higher then standard pressure" ammo in my S&W 10-5.
  16. ski9393

    ski9393 New Member

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    45nut, the Va department of game and inland fisheries said that I could carry it with me if I have a concealed carry permit. We do pretty good for our gun owners up here in Virginia too. I really hope we follow Texas and gain soverienty and adopt the Castle doctrine aswell.
    And to everyone else, I'm glad to hear about your Colt's and S&W's, but what about my crumby little Armscor and the P+ ammo? I don't think that I want to test it because I can't remember buying something (including this weapon) that said "made in the Philipenes" and thinking "well this is the last one of these I'll ever have to buy". Especially after Alpo stated that it is approximately 2000Psi overload. Anyway, thanks to everyone again.
  17. 38 special

    38 special New Member

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    The whole +P thing from a reloading stanpoint makes no sense to me at all. I have collected over the years a dozen or more relaoding manuals from 1950's to 2009.
    For a given bullet and powder and primer, A certain number of grains of powder in 1 manual is a "+P "and in another manual it is a medium 38 special load and in another it is a hot "regular" 38 special load.
    THe various manuals are all over the place with this +P thing.
    AS far as factory loaded "+P" who knows what they are. maybe they are no different than a hot 38 load(non+P) in a speer manual or maybe they are way hot loads. I dont use factory ammo so I dont know what they are actually making.