Can I Use 38 Special +P in my 38 Special Revolver
Can I Use 38 Special +P in my 38 Special Revolver

Yes, a 38 Special revolver can shoot 38 Special +P rounds. The "+P" designation indicates that the round is loaded to a higher pressure than standard 38 Special ammunition, but most 38 Special revolvers currently in production are designed to handle the increased pressure of +P rounds.

The main difference between 38 Special and 38 Special +P is the pressure at which the cartridges are loaded. 38 Special rounds are loaded to a maximum average pressure (MAP) of 17,000 pounds per square inch (psi), while 38 Special +P rounds are loaded to a MAP of 18,500 psi.

The 38 Special cartridge was developed in the late 19th century as a more powerful alternative to the earlier 38 Smith & Wesson cartridge. It was originally designed for use in revolvers and was introduced in 1898 by Smith & Wesson and the United States Army.

Given the higher pressures of 38 Special +P ammunition and the fact that revolvers chambered in 38 Special date back 120 years, the age of the specific firearm should be considered.  Older revolvers or those with extensive wear and tear may not be the best candidates for 38 Special +P.

While a 38 Special revolver can shoot +P ammunition the increased pressure on the firearm may result in damage, especially on older revolvers and in some situations, this could pose a hazard to the shooter.  Therefore, it is generally recommended that +P ammunition be used in revolvers rated for 38 Special +P (or +P+). When in doubt consult the owner's manual for your firearm to determine whether it is safe to use +P ammunition or consult a gunsmith or the manufacturer.

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