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View Full Version : S&W 442 with 38 +P ammo


kygen
08-17-2012, 11:40 PM
I just got my baby 442 out of jail today, estimated manufacture date is mid 90s. I bought a box of Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1. 130 grain JHP Bonded. Me being the person I am did not check if my 442 could handle +P before I bought the ammo. Now the question is, can my 442, which does not state on the gun +P, can handle +P loads? I have looked a bit online, and some say that a low diet of +P in a early 90's S&W 442 is ok, others say that since it is not marked for +P, one should not use it. I come to the infinite wisodom that is Calguns to ask is it ok?, or will I blow my hand off by running 20 rds of +P?

motogenius
08-18-2012, 12:10 AM
I have no experience with that particular firearm but I've always heard its ok to shoot +p. it's just a hot load.

It's the "+p+" ammo you should stay away from. If it were me I'd call s&w before attempting it. Or at the least wait for someone else to chime in. It may be fine 99.9% of the time but that small chance of failure doesn't sit right with me unless the manufacturer says its ok.

kygen
08-18-2012, 12:22 AM
thanks for your input :D i think i may call them tomorrow to make sure, and to get an exact date on the production year

Code7inOaktown
08-18-2012, 12:22 AM
If it is a model that has a -1 in the model I it will -- but don't trust me. Swing out the cylinder and look for the 442-1 and then write S&W customer service and ask if it will handle +P. My 442-1 will (according to S&W customer service) but does not say +P. Late models did say +P. I would ask S&W first.

kygen
08-18-2012, 12:27 AM
I just checked, did not see a -1 on her

Code7inOaktown
08-18-2012, 12:49 AM
I just checked, did not see a -1 on her

Yeah, likely not a +P gun then. Email Smith with the serial range and maybe they can verify or not but the lack of the -1 likely indicates not +P.

kygen
08-18-2012, 12:51 AM
ok, ill send them an email right now. thanks for the help ;D

jessegpresley
08-18-2012, 1:37 AM
If it is a model that has a -1 in the model I it will -- but don't trust me. Swing out the cylinder and look for the 442-1 and then write S&W customer service and ask if it will handle +P. My 442-1 will (according to S&W customer service) but does not say +P. Late models did say +P. I would ask S&W first.

The only difference between a -1 and a -2 is the lock. They still make -1's. +p is fine in modern revolvers not marked for it, just don't do a steady diet of them.

kygen
08-18-2012, 1:47 AM
Me being dumb, I bought 20 rds of hollow points for HD, and thats all I ever plan to buy now. I just want to be sure that if i use like 5 HP rounds at the range to get used to it, it wont blow up in my hand.

rromeo
08-18-2012, 6:16 AM
The only difference between a -1 and -2 is indeed the lock, however, there are no dash models prior to the -1 that are not +p rated.

littlejake
08-18-2012, 7:34 AM
It should not be fed a steady diet of +P. Get used to it with standard pressure loads. Then if you use it for defense you may use +P. If it saves your life but damages the gun, it would be money well spent.

The alloy frame is rather thin on the top strap of the 442. I've had one -- and replaced it with a 640.

This advice does fly in the face of those who advocate, practice with what you carry.

Sunday
08-18-2012, 8:53 AM
I just got my baby 442 out of jail today, estimated manufacture date is mid 90s. I bought a box of Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1. 130 grain JHP Bonded. Me being the person I am did not check if my 442 could handle +P before I bought the ammo. Now the question is, can my 442, which does not state on the gun +P, can handle +P loads? I have looked a bit online, and some say that a low diet of +P in a early 90's S&W 442 is ok, others say that since it is not marked for +P, one should not use it. I come to the infinite wisodom that is Calguns to ask is it ok?, or will I blow my hand off by running 20 rds of +P?
Yes you can but why would you want to except for self defense. I love the j frames and own 5 of them 1,442- 2, 642- 1,649- 1,615 and +p are rather stout [ IMO a big owie ] in the airweights and fine in the steel ones.

erik_26
08-18-2012, 4:33 PM
My 442 says it will handle +P. But mine is only 1 or 2 years old.

Personally, that little guy is a beast with just standard .38spl. My .44 magnum is more tame then that little guy.

Anyways, I can't vouch for yours. When in doubt, leave it out. So do as others have suggested and call S&W to confirm (better to be safe than sorry).

If you can't use the +P ammo, you can always sell it and get close to what you paid for it (basically minus tax).

Raider888
08-18-2012, 4:56 PM
I have an older 442 and do not recommend +p. Do you really need +p ammo?

kygen
08-18-2012, 4:57 PM
I bought her for 385, so I am going to keep her for awhile. If she can't use a lot of +P it is fine by me, I will just keep the 20 rds I have as self defense loads, if it is safe for me to use them as such. If not, I will just sell the rounds. Still waiting on a response from S&W, I will be sure to let you guys know what they say

G-forceJunkie
08-18-2012, 7:37 PM
I assure you, you will stop in pain before you ever shoot enough +p's out of that to hurt it. They are brutal to shoot with very hot ammo.

SVRider
08-18-2012, 9:13 PM
The traditional wisdom with the older airweights was shoot a few to get used to it, just not a steady diet. I've put a few hundred rounds through my old airweights (pre +P), and not had any problems.

The increased pressure will stretch the frame eventually, but it would take a while, so if you are only putting a box through to check things, don't worry about it, just don't do it every trip to the range.

Now, if you want a real hand beating, put a couple of cylinders through a 342 (scandium frame/titanium cylinder). At something like 11ozs, even with relatively mild mannered 38+P ammo, it feels like somebody hitting you in the palm with a baseball bat every time you pull the trigger. It's amazing what a couple of ounces less does for felt recoil (vs a traditional airweight).

Shoot it and enjoy it. They are great pistols.

SVRider
08-18-2012, 9:17 PM
BTW, the 342 is so brutal, I've gone to the Corbon 110gr DPX 38+P as the defensive load in it. It is "slightly" better mannered than the 135gr Gold Dot (the only 2 loads I'd trust out of a 38 snubby).

If recoil is an issue, give them a try. They are expensive, but it is not like you are buying cases of the stuff.

kygen
08-18-2012, 9:44 PM
I appreciate all of your inputs. From what I am gathering, I am going to shoot a few rounds at the range to get used to the recoil, and save the rest for defensive purposes. I do not intend to shoot more than 20 +P rounds out of her, so I believe I should be ok :)

cal3gunner
08-18-2012, 9:58 PM
...

kygen
08-20-2012, 2:29 PM
This was the response i got from S&W

"Hello,



Based on the serial number provided, your revolver was manufactured in 1994. The Model 442 was not rated for +P use until 1996. We would recommend against using +P ammunition in your revolver.



Regards,



Dave"

kygen
08-23-2012, 10:21 PM
went to burro today, fired 5 +P rounds out of her, everything seems to be fine ;D

snubbyfan
08-23-2012, 10:37 PM
This was enlightening. My 442 was made in 1994 and I always wondered.

Wicked Pete
09-06-2012, 8:11 PM
This was enlightening. My 442 was made in 1994 and I always wondered.

Glad I caught this thread. I've been wondering the same about +P in my snubby. For Carry: +P JHP. For plinking: "standard pressure", or "wad cutters".

I gained from this information; say Hallelujah.

HKMadness
09-06-2012, 8:29 PM
I doubt it'd be something that's gonna blow up your gun on the first few rounds. More likely to just wear it out and loosen it up quicker.