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Hey y'all, I'm new to pistol shooting and definitely new to revolvers. However, I just purchased some nice S/W revolvers from my father's lifelong friend who recently passed away in February of 2020. That man died with over 99 handguns on his Concealed Carry Permit and my brother, sister and I are now the proud owners of 8 of those handguns and 2 rifles. Of the 8 handguns we purchased at his auction, 3 of them were S/W revolvers and I also purchased a M&P shield 9mm (NIB) in September of 2020 from a local shop here in town.

Now the revolvers in question are a Model 36 - Serial #14192 and a Model 15-2 - Serial #85827, I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but can these guns fire the Plus P rounds?

The reason I guessed yes was because the man we bought these guns off of reloaded 38 special ammo, in the ammo I won he had a ton of Plus P PMJ rounds, I just wanted to be sure I could shoot it. He also had a bag of maybe 30 or so Western Loads and some 38 shorts? WTF are those and what the hell do I do with them?

We also won the 38 special Bodyguard with the Laser; man, I hope that laser is adjustable. However that gun literally says Plus P on the barrel and the 4th s&w we have was one my dad gave my sister, an old Police Issue 38 special and I'm pretty sure that can shoot the Plus P as well.

In closing, I was just wondering if anyone was a S/W aficionado and might be able to give me some insight on my recent purchases I enclosed some pictures as well.
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Welcome to the forum. Love that m15 snubby! I believe S&W says that all model marked revolvers are able to handle plus P ammunition. The Plus P designation did not come about until about 1971, so guns made before that will not be marked as Plus P capable, but they are. That being said, I would shoot standard pressure as much as possible to avoid undue wear on the guns
 

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Welcome to the forum. Love that m15 snubby! I believe S&W says that all model marked revolvers are able to handle plus P ammunition. The Plus P designation did not come about until about 1971, so guns made before that will not be marked as Plus P capable, but they are. That being said, I would shoot standard pressure as much as possible to avoid undue wear on the guns
I mostly agree with Jonesy. The only difference is I think both guns can handle the +P all day long, forever. Especially the 15. Today’s +P ammo is what regular.38 Spl was loaded to back in the day.

BTW, those two models are the quintessential.38 Spl S&W revolvers.
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! As stated above, yes, you can shoot +P. Many folks practice with target ammo, then load the cylinder with +P for self protection. That would be particularly true for the Model 36 as you will probably not enjoy shooting a lot of +P in it, but you definitely want the improved stopping power that +P provides.

As far as your ammo question, I'm not sure what you mean by Western loads and .38 Short. Do you mean cowboy loads or Western headstamps? There has not been a .38 Short since .38 Short Colt went obsolete. Do you mean .38 S&W? It is not a short version of .38 S&W Special. They are different cartridges. .38 S&W has a larger diameter case and slightly larger bullet than .38 Special. .38 S&W usually will not insert into a .38 Special chamber. .38 Special will insert into a .38 S&W chamber but will stick out and prevent the cylinder from closing.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

The numbers in the crane of your revolvers are likely internal assembly numbers, not the firearm's legal serial numbers. Take a look on the bottom of the grip's metal frame (you may have to remove the grips carefully to see them). Those serial numbers should be on any receipts you keep from the transaction, and any paperwork you have to file.

Most of these revolvers and your Shield should work with +P, but only the manufacturer could confirm that.

Reloaded ammunition is another thing altogether. I do not allow other people to shoot ammunition that I reload unless I'm with them at the time - and then I warn them that I reloaded it. You're completely at the mercy of the skills, and attention to detail that the person that reloaded the ammunition practiced at the time, including their focus and attention span. It's easy to make an error when reloading and those can be catastrophic.

I teach reloading, and am confident in the precision and quality of my rounds but still don't give them to others. I urge you to use extreme care with reloaded ammunition that you have purchased from an estate.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I would not hesitate to shoot Plus P but in the little model 36 my hand would give out long before the pistol did, the Model 15 would probably be different because of the weight difference.
 
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