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Understanding “38sp+p” Ammunition in the United States


When it comes to firearms and ammunition, the United States boasts a rich and diverse landscape. One term that often comes up in discussions related to ammunition is “38sp+p.” In this article, we will delve into the world of “38-sp+p” ammunition, exploring what it is, its history, uses, and legal aspects.

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What is “38sp+p”?

The Basics

38sp+p” refers to .38 Special ammunition that has been loaded to higher pressure levels than standard .38 Special rounds. This higher pressure results in increased velocity and energy when the round is fired.


The development of “38sp+p” ammunition can be traced back to the need for more powerful rounds in law enforcement. In the early 20th century, police officers required ammunition that could penetrate barriers and provide effective stopping power. As a response to this demand, ammunition manufacturers began producing the “38-sp+p” variant.

Uses and Applications

Law Enforcement

38sp+p” ammunition found its primary niche in law enforcement. Police officers needed ammunition that could effectively incapacitate threats, and the increased velocity of “38-sp+p” rounds made them suitable for this purpose. However, modern advancements have led to the adoption of other calibers in law enforcement.



While “38sp+p” ammunition is no longer the primary choice for law enforcement, it remains a popular option for concealed carry and self-defense. Its manageable recoil and reasonable stopping power make it a reliable choice for those looking to protect themselves.

Target Shooting

Many firearm enthusiasts use “38sp+p” ammunition for target shooting. Its accuracy and availability make it a favorite among recreational shooters.

Legal Considerations


38sp+p” ammunition is widely available in the United States. It can be purchased at most gun stores and online retailers. However, buyers must adhere to federal, state, and local laws when acquiring ammunition.



It’s essential to be aware of any restrictions regarding ammunition ownership in your state or locality. Some areas may have specific regulations on the purchase and possession of “38sp+p” ammunition.


In summary, “38sp+p” ammunition is a specialized type of .38 Special round known for its increased pressure and velocity. While it was originally developed for law enforcement, it has found its place in self-defense and target shooting. Understanding the legal aspects of owning and using this ammunition is crucial for responsible firearm owners.


  1. Is “38sp+p” ammunition suitable for concealed carry?
    • Yes, “38-sp+p” ammunition is often chosen for concealed carry due to its manageable recoil and stopping power.
  2. Are there any safety concerns with using “38-sp+p” ammunition?
    • Like any ammunition, safety precautions should always be taken. Proper firearm handling and storage are essential.
  3. Can “38-sp+p” ammunition be used in any .38 Special firearm?
    • Most .38 Special firearms can safely fire “38-sp+p” ammunition, but it’s essential to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific firearm.
  4. What is the price range for “38-sp+p” ammunition?
    • Prices vary depending on the brand and quantity, but expect to pay more for “38-sp+p” ammunition compared to standard .38 Special rounds.
  5. Where can I find more information on the legality of “38-sp+p” ammunition in my state?
    • You can check your state’s firearm regulations and consult local law enforcement or legal experts for guidance.

Additional Information