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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a Smith and Wesson Model 60 stainless steel revolver. It is marked Mod 60-3 , and is chambered for .38 special ammo.


I have fired 5 rounds of +P ammo in it, but am worried about doing so again.

Can someone please advise if it is safe to use +P ammo in my beloved snubby? Thanks...
 

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Hello. It is my understanding that about March of 1976, S&W advised that +P ammunition was fine in any of their revolvers having a model number with a dash, ie: Model 10-8, Model 36-3, etc. I think that your Model 60-3 would be fine with +P.

In the '70's I fired many very hot .38 Special handloads through both steel Model 36's (and a Model 60 or two) as well as some Airweights from back then. I did manage to stretch the frame of an Airweight in a
relatively few shots of super hot handloads. I'm not sure that this was the revolver's fault; these loads were quasi-357 in velocity. I have not harmed or seen a steel J-frame damaged from the use of factory +P ammunition or handloads in the same velocity range.

The only snubs I've seen damaged from firing warmer ammo have been two 2" Model 12's. Even though their K-frame size makes them larger than the J-frames, both cracked frames beneath the barrel when fired with the then-available Winchester "Armor Piercing" ammunition. I am not sure and don't have a Model 12 to measure compared to a Model 10, but maybe the frame/yoke area is smaller or perhaps the alloy was different; I flat don't know, but such is what I saw.

Best.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stephen, thanks for the advice.. it is extremely useful. Very kind of you to take the time to share it.

Anybody have similar (or other relevant) experience? Please do help by sharing it here..

Regards

The Wise Owl
 

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hi, wiseowl,
I had the same question with my S&W Model 37-3. You can e-mail S&W with your model no. and serial no. and they will tell you if +p is OK. That way you will have written proof.
Mine was.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did email S&W support, and they indeed did email me back. They said it is ok to use +P in my revolver. Thanks to all who extended support and advice here.
 

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The Model 12 frame is indeed thinner than a standard K frame. Add in that the barrel shank is larger than a J frame and you can see why they crack so easy.

Also, metals vary with composition and heattreat, so that just because a particular stainless gun is +P rated doesn't mean my older one has the same alloy; the tensile strength might be 2/3 of yours, tho they are both stainless J frames.

Aluminum is even worse, in that it fatigues and develops cracks with repeated stress. The reason they can make aluminum Magnum revolvers is that Scandium in the alloy helps prevent fatigue.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Pat
 
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