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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yesterday I tested my 637 w/bobbed hammer and 8#/13# springs. The gun performed flawlessly. However, after 200 rounds (I was also testing a 640 that I modified) of mostly +p and a few .357's in the 640, my hand was a bit weak. Driving home I noticed a slight twitching in my hand as it rested on the steering wheel.

My shooting did improve with the lighter springs, but with the +p's the little airweight is a handful. Not bad but if I practice with more than 30 rounds or so it gets sporty. It doesn't hurt, my hand just gets weak. Liked holding onto a vibrating weed wacker for too long a time.

I had some non-+p .38's as well. I was amazed at how much easier it was to control the grouping in point shooting. I could actually compensate and change the POI, as the gun did not kick much as compared to +p's. With the +p's, however, it's as if every shot is a first shot, and it is much harder to redirect relative to a prior shot.

Got me to thinking - if I can quickly group five shots in a large fist pattern at five yards v. five shots in a pie plate (or pizza pan at times) at five years for +p, and I can shoot regular 38's much longer out of my j-frame carry, why am I going with the +p's?

One could say I need more practice, but to practice more in +p's is futile - fatigue begins to set in and then I'm wasting ammo.

Shot placement, right? Same logic as to why a lot of people don't carry .357's in the 60's or 640 j-frames.

I'm a much better shot with my CZ, but even though its a "compact" there are times I just don't want to lug that around and I go for the airweight.

I'll just keep the hotter '38's for my 686.

Anybody recommend a defensive non-+p .38 load?
 

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Smart to listen to what your body's telling you. Glockman has a thread around here talking about heavy/slow 38's that's worth looking for - I think it was 200 gr's at 700 fps.
 

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.38 non plus p got it done for a long time. Unless you are attacked by a bunch of Maury (sp?) Warriors I wouldnt feel undergunned. As you mention, shot placement is key!
 

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Considering ditching .38 +P for standard .38's in my airweight j-frame

... after 200 rounds of mostly +p and a few .357's in the 640, my hand was a bit weak.
IMO results of 200rd sessions, alone, doesn't justify dumping +P's from use.

If you do feel the +P's give you a decided performance gain you want for SD, then I'd recommend simply doing, say, ~175rds of std and ~25rds of +P's in a normal range session, and carrying the +P's in your SD gun.

One could say I need more practice, but to practice more in +p's is futile - fatigue begins to set in and then I'm wasting ammo.
Yup. Use the +P's to retain sufficient competency, then leverage the "range" rounds to your heart's content. Best of both worlds, it seems to me.
 

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So yesterday I tested my 637 w/bobbed hammer and 8#/13# springs. The gun performed flawlessly. However, after 200 rounds (I was also testing a 640 that I modified) of mostly +p and a few .357's in the 640, my hand was a bit weak. Driving home I noticed a slight twitching in my hand as it rested on the steering wheel.

My shooting did improve with the lighter springs, but with the +p's the little airweight is a handful. Not bad but if I practice with more than 30 rounds or so it gets sporty. It doesn't hurt, my hand just gets weak. Liked holding onto a vibrating weed wacker for too long a time.

I had some non-+p .38's as well. I was amazed at how much easier it was to control the grouping in point shooting. I could actually compensate and change the POI, as the gun did not kick much as compared to +p's. With the +p's, however, it's as if every shot is a first shot, and it is much harder to redirect relative to a prior shot.

Got me to thinking - if I can quickly group five shots in a large fist pattern at five yards v. five shots in a pie plate (or pizza pan at times) at five years for +p, and I can shoot regular 38's much longer out of my j-frame carry, why am I going with the +p's?

One could say I need more practice, but to practice more in +p's is futile - fatigue begins to set in and then I'm wasting ammo.

Shot placement, right? Same logic as to why a lot of people don't carry .357's in the 60's or 640 j-frames.

I'm a much better shot with my CZ, but even though its a "compact" there are times I just don't want to lug that around and I go for the airweight.

I'll just keep the hotter '38's for my 686.

Anybody recommend a defensive non-+p .38 load?
The following are all standard pressure defensive loads that will work very well for you..........
Federal® Premium Ammunition - Handgun
Hornady® Manufacturing Company 38 Special 90 gr FTX® Critical Defense® LITE
Hornady® Manufacturing Company 38 Special 110 gr FTX® Critical Defense®
Hornady® Manufacturing Company 38 Special 125 gr XTP®
Hornady® Manufacturing Company 38 Special 158 gr XTP®
Magtech® 38Special First Defense 95gr Solid Copper Hollow Point

Magtech® 38 Special Guardian Gold 125gr Jacketed Hollow Point
Magtech® 38 Special 125gr Semi Jacketed Hollow Point
Magtech® 38 Special 158gr Semi Jacketed Hollow Point

Now what I choose to carry, in both of my Taurus® Mdl 85SS2UL 38 Special revolvers is this..........
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=110

This load has all the velocity, and energy; of the FBI (158gr LSWCHP +P) load; WITHOUT THE PRESSURE OR RECOIL!

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^^^^
Thanks!
 

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Load it up with 158 grn hardcast SWCs and forget the +Ps. They're too much of a handfull for many. Put the 158s in the boiler and you're good to go.
 

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Load it up with 158 grn hardcast SWCs and forget the +Ps. They're too much of a handfull for many. Put the 158s in the boiler and you're good to go.
I agree. You dont really gain anything resembling the hammer of Thor with an extra 50-75 fps or more. Let the weight do the work, thats the entire idea of going heavy on the bullet.
 

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Just practice with the non +P's. You gain some advantage with the +P. I will take ANY advantage I can get, it may just be enough to make a difference.
 

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I broke skin on my strong hand in two places today with some of those higher pressure loads out of my LCR with boot grip.

Note to self. Keep round count at 50 or less.
 

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I carry +P loads in my .38 revolvers but would be fine with standard velocity ammunition using 158 grain bullets.

Another alternative is to avoid lightweight alloy-framed revolvers. The steel versions of the J-Frame hide just as readily and offer a bit more weight to aid in control.
 
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I broke skin on my strong hand in two places today with some of those higher pressure loads out of my LCR with boot grip.

Note to self. Keep round count at 50 or less.
On a KelTec P3AT .380ACP and a S&W 442 Airweight, I've bruised the heck out of the bones in the web of my hand (betw thumb/forefinger) on a few occasions, with anything more than 50rds. With stouter ammo, they can certainly be a handful, beyond shooting just a few rounds of the "hot" stuff.
 

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You might want to check out some Pachmayr Decelerator grips. They eat up a lot transmitted shock and recoil impulse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Because if you ever have to use your revolver in self-defense, you probably won't be doing it 200 shots at a time?
The 200+ shots was mainly to verify my wolf spring kits worked in both revolvers. Typically it's 50 - 100. But, as I stated in my post, after about 30 rounds of +p my hand begins to get fatigued. So the point is it is very difficult to practice with +P for any extended period, and when shooting I do not have the control that I have with standard loads.

Normally I will not blow through 200 rounds in a j-frame. A 686, yeah, but not j-frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I carry +P loads in my .38 revolvers but would be fine with standard velocity ammunition using 158 grain bullets.

Another alternative is to avoid lightweight alloy-framed revolvers. The steel versions of the J-Frame hide just as readily and offer a bit more weight to aid in control.
Yep. I have some 640's and 60's. A bit clunky for the pocket carry in terms of weight, which is why I frequent the j-frames.
 

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I just looked up your revolver on the S&W site because I had heard/read some others report that the Airweight versions of the J-frames don't like +P loads, or at least a steady diet of them. I don't know if you would be gaining a whole lot in velocity from a snubby using a +P load anyway. Maybe someone with more experience than me can chime in here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just looked up your revolver on the S&W site because I had heard/read some others report that the Airweight versions of the J-frames don't like +P loads, or at least a steady diet of them. I don't know if you would be gaining a whole lot in velocity from a snubby using a +P load anyway. Maybe someone with more experience than me can chime in here.
The 637 is still tight as a tick! They are rated +p. Apparently, though, I am not when shooting them....
 
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