The first “+P” headstamps

I was searching this Forum to find out the dates when the +P first appeared in the headstamps for the .45 ACP, .38 Spl and 9x19 or others. I could not dig too many things up. Was the .38 Spl the first in the sixties/seventies? Did the others followed it soon?
Other calibers and +P+ informations are also welcome!


I can’t be of much help since I have not really collected Winchester or Remington boxes since the mid 1980s.

On Remington boxes, I have nothing from 1986 and back with +P or +P+, but I do have a 1989 +P Remington box.

I also have a Winchester box dated 2000 that it a +P+.

I can date the boxes in this period 1980 -2000 pretty well. If you have box photos that include the date code, typically inside the end flap, post images and i can probably date them for you.


William C Davis in the March 1979 issue of The American Rifleman (p. 77-79) answers a reader question about .38 Special +P+ loads.
He mentions that +P at that time already was an industry standard with a pressure of 20000 CUP for .38 Special.
He also writes that +P+ loads were produced only for large volume customers like the Treasury Department, California Highway Patrol and some state police agencies. Pressure was about 23500 CUP. Winchester was the first maker, with a contract for the Treasury Deparment. Headstamp was WCC and the ammunition symbol Q4070. It had a 110 gr jacketed hollow point bullet, yielding 1020 fps from a 2 inch barrel at 15 feet.
From this, +P in 1979 already was an industry standard.


Thank you for your help!
I do not collect boxes, and the few books/printed stuff I have are not helping me with this question.
Sometimes I see collectors list the .38 Special and the .38 Special +P as different calibers - and I was wondering what was the year when the +P version first appeared. And I couldn’t find anything useful online.
I hope others can add their own piece of information to this puzzle.


Remington first shows the .38 Special +P in their 1974 catalog.


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Winchester makes their first mention of .38 Special +P in their 1975 catalog, and of the .38 Auto +P (Previously known simply as the .38 Super) in their 1976 catalog.

John Moss

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Thank you for your helpful answers!