I know the long winded answer to this. Alpo is correct if your side arm was made after 1982 then your firearm will handle anything in .38 special loading ranges includeing 38 +p loads. I have ran into this question befor and with a little investagation and a few phone calls a few years back say, about 20 i learned the answer directly from smith. But prior to 1982 the S&W 38 were not heat treated for extra cylinder hardness and it is not safe to shoot +P loads in a .38 special made prior too 1982. good shooting
leo66 if ALPO is correct about your SR # then you can put anything in it you want in .38 special ranges includeing +P+. good shooting. However if you have a question you should take it to a good gun smith and have him examine it for stress cracks.
I am new at this and may be posting this in the wrong place...I just purchased a 38SW Iver Johnson top break 3rd generation revolver made between 1930 - 1941. It has a coil spring in the grip. I need to be sure that it, in fact it is a 38 S/W rather than a 32 S/W.. How do I tell the difference? serial # H 90758 and is there any way to nail down the exact date of mfg? Looks like possible 1930 - 1941 ? Thanks, Carl