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Q:
what's the difference between .38 special and 38 special +P??? or .32 ACP and .32 ACP +P?? could i use .32 +p in my semi auto colt model 1903?

Question by the cowboy. Uploaded on June 17, 2010

Answers (15)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

Look it up :)

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

.38 Special +P ammunition might be called "hot loads" because of their higher chamber pressures and velocities. They are not recommended for very small or ancient firearms, like the old S&W Chief Special, although the modern Colt Detective Special can handle them.
I didn't know the .32ACP had a +P loading, but I would refrain from using it in a pre-war model auto like the 1903. I don't use 9mm +P loads in my 1976 vintage Browning Hi-Power, but use 147 grain subsonic loads instead. I hope this helps.

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from Treestand wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

Cowboy donot use +p ammo in that Colt 1903 Mod-M!

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from BungeeMan wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

99explorer is right about +P loads, especially with browning hi-powers. Even modern hi-powers get torn apart by +P loads (as in cracked frames and slides) but any other modern pistol should be able to handle +P loads unless the manual specifically mentions not to shoot them. +P just means that the load generates pressure exceeding the SAAMI specified maximum for that round. For old rounds, like .38 special, .32, and 9mm the spec pressure is low relative to what the cases and modern handgun metallurgy can handle so it's not too big a deal.

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from furbuster wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

THey are rite about pressures in old guns. In autos you may have to change to heavier slide springs to slow down the action so they will preform rite with +P rounds.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

Never use +P ammunition in any firearm not stamped for use of that ammo. If it doesn't have +P on the barrel or slide, do not shoot it. Recoil or blowback autoloaders are designed for a set pressure range, usually SAAMI specs. Use anything else at your own risk.

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from Treestand wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

furbustre THAT is a NoNo!! the gun is of 1903 vintage
the fram and barrel is old time IRON Well be for +p ammo.

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

I agree with WAM in principle. but I don't think I've ever seen +P marked on a barrel.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

good question. that's what this site is for.

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from the cowboy wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

it was my great grandpa's so i don't want to take any chances. old all steel construction. no nylon!

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

You have made a wise decision, cowboy.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

That is why 99explorer you look it up to remove all dought and possibility of injury!

WA Mtnhunter is absolutely right!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

cowboy, going by what you said being your Grandfathers, in no way would I attempt shooting a +P in that firearm! I've seen a many handguns at gun shows and on the range blown up because someone tried to fudge something it wasn't capable of.

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from the cowboy wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

thanks all.

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

I would like to add that the condition of any particular firearm is another factor to be considered in determining whether +P ammunition is safe to shoot in it.

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

.38 Special +P ammunition might be called "hot loads" because of their higher chamber pressures and velocities. They are not recommended for very small or ancient firearms, like the old S&W Chief Special, although the modern Colt Detective Special can handle them.
I didn't know the .32ACP had a +P loading, but I would refrain from using it in a pre-war model auto like the 1903. I don't use 9mm +P loads in my 1976 vintage Browning Hi-Power, but use 147 grain subsonic loads instead. I hope this helps.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

Cowboy donot use +p ammo in that Colt 1903 Mod-M!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from BungeeMan wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

99explorer is right about +P loads, especially with browning hi-powers. Even modern hi-powers get torn apart by +P loads (as in cracked frames and slides) but any other modern pistol should be able to handle +P loads unless the manual specifically mentions not to shoot them. +P just means that the load generates pressure exceeding the SAAMI specified maximum for that round. For old rounds, like .38 special, .32, and 9mm the spec pressure is low relative to what the cases and modern handgun metallurgy can handle so it's not too big a deal.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

Never use +P ammunition in any firearm not stamped for use of that ammo. If it doesn't have +P on the barrel or slide, do not shoot it. Recoil or blowback autoloaders are designed for a set pressure range, usually SAAMI specs. Use anything else at your own risk.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

furbustre THAT is a NoNo!! the gun is of 1903 vintage
the fram and barrel is old time IRON Well be for +p ammo.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

good question. that's what this site is for.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

You have made a wise decision, cowboy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from furbuster wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

THey are rite about pressures in old guns. In autos you may have to change to heavier slide springs to slow down the action so they will preform rite with +P rounds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

I agree with WAM in principle. but I don't think I've ever seen +P marked on a barrel.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

That is why 99explorer you look it up to remove all dought and possibility of injury!

WA Mtnhunter is absolutely right!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the cowboy wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

thanks all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

I would like to add that the condition of any particular firearm is another factor to be considered in determining whether +P ammunition is safe to shoot in it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the cowboy wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

it was my great grandpa's so i don't want to take any chances. old all steel construction. no nylon!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

cowboy, going by what you said being your Grandfathers, in no way would I attempt shooting a +P in that firearm! I've seen a many handguns at gun shows and on the range blown up because someone tried to fudge something it wasn't capable of.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

Look it up :)

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