View Full Version : +P ammon in S&W Model 49 revolver

11-05-2009, 7:34 AM
I have a S&W Model 49 revolver, Bodyguard model. This pistol was made in 1977, when +P ammo was not made as far as I can tell. The pistol is made completely of steel.

I was at local gunshop and the equivalent pistol now has a frame that is aluminum. That pistol is rated for +P ammo.

It seem to me that steel is more durable than aluminum in a firearm and therefore I should be able to use +P loads.

I need to check my old reloading manuals but I suspect that the loads in the pre +P ammo are the same or higher than the loads for current +P ammo.

Can anyone shed some light on this subject?

11-05-2009, 7:54 AM
Not to threadjack you, but I've also wondered if +P is suitable for my Model 15.


11-05-2009, 10:06 AM
I called S&W technical support and asked if it was approved for +P ammo. The technician said when my pistol was made +P ammo was not sold and that the gun was not made nor tested using +P ammo and therefore S&W did not recommend it.

I then asked if the S&W recommendation was based on reasons relating to liablility; and I was told yes.

I next pointed out that the model now made which is equivalent to my Model 49 has an aluminum frame. I then asked if the aluminum frame was stronger than than my steel frame model. The answers was no my steel framed revolver is stronger.

It would seem that the only reason for not recommending +P ammo for my revolver is liability concerns. There is no way they could have recommended +P ammo for the revolver when it was made because +P ammo did not exist.

11-05-2009, 10:49 AM
I have a early 49, and a model 38 (aluminum frame bodyguard)

I don't recommend +P ammo in either... I don't doubt that they will take a cylinder full from time to time, but a steady diet will shoot them loose...

They are a light gun...

11-05-2009, 2:38 PM
Okay, what in the hell does +p mean? I know what it means when a firearm bears it but what type of ammo is that?

Jonathan Doe
11-05-2009, 3:59 PM
It will handle +P ammo on occasional use. There is nothing wrong with using regular pressure ammo. Remember, 38 Special LRN bullets killed a lot more people than all those high grade/ premium ammo.

11-05-2009, 4:14 PM
Okay, what in the hell does +p mean? I know what it means when a firearm bears it but what type of ammo is that?

+P is basically standard handgun ammunition casings with extra (read: more than a typical round) powder packed in to create a higher velocity and a greater stopping power. It's usually for PD/HD.