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Old July 30, 2013, 08:15 AM   #1
simonrichter
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The use of (and hype around) +P ammunition

These days, you read a lot about +P ammunition, with new guns being advertised as rated for, and forum questions about whether older guns are suitable or not.

Call it a somewhat too straightforward approach, but with the plethora of ammunition types around I really wonder why one would want still more... In other words: If .380 is to weak for me, I can easily find me a 9mm of comparable compact dimensions today, with no obvious need for a .380 +P version; same for .38 and .357, 9mm and .357 SIG and so forth.

In do understand that overpressure ammunition has first been proposed for military handguns in order to bridge a certain performance gap without the need of changing the existing inventories, yet for the individual user who can choose between literally dozens of calibers (and at least several even in the same performance range), it does not make sense to me...
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Old July 30, 2013, 08:38 AM   #2
skoro
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The 38spl+P has noticeably more mustard than the std round, in my experience. the +P sure stings my hand a lot more, especially in my 642. An old friend who was a cop in the 70s and 80s was in a dept that issued 357 revolvers, but required they use 38+P ammo. He says it worked real well. So, I stoke my revolvers with 38+P and feel well armed.

In the case of 9mm, the figures show a negligible increase in velocity with +P loads, so I don't pay much attention to preferring which style I purchase when I need ammo in that caliber.
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Old July 30, 2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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I was reading an American Rifleman magazine where they tested several defensive loads in different calibers. On their list of 9mms, some 115 ammo marked +p have less velocity than some standard 115s.
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For the most part, I trust the markings on the box but I still do some research (as best I can with buying test equipment) to determine which ammo to choose.
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Old July 30, 2013, 11:02 AM   #4
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When revolvers were the main gun carried by LE many were restricted to 38 instead of 357 mag for political reasons. Many got around this by purchasing 357 revolvers, but special ordering 38 +p+ ammo that was loaded to very near 357 performance.

USA made 9mm ammo has always been very mild compared to what was commonly used in the rest of the world. What we call +p here is actually pretty close to standard power levels everywhere else. I'm getting 1250 fps from my G-19 with +p 124 gr bullets. That will match 125 gr 357 mag loads from 3" barrels. To match 357 perfromance in a gun that is lighter, more compact, has far less recoil, muzzle blast and holds 3X more ammo makes +p a winner for me.
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Old July 30, 2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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I'm not aware of ANY manufacturers that sell "overpressure" ammunition, regardless of whether it's called "+P" or not. Period. If you can share some examples, by all means please do.

When ammunition exceeds SAAMI specifications, ammo makers expose themselves to all manner of unpleasant civil litigation, unfavorable publicity, etc. So, if you can find even a single example of a well known manufacturer loading ammo in excees of SAAMI specs, please share.
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Old July 30, 2013, 01:17 PM   #6
BigMike349
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Re: The use of (and hype around) +P ammunition

Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss View Post
I'm not aware of ANY manufacturers that sell "overpressure" ammunition, regardless of whether it's called "+P" or not. Period. If you can share some examples, by all means please do.

When ammunition exceeds SAAMI specifications, ammo makers expose themselves to all manner of unpleasant civil litigation, unfavorable publicity, etc. So, if you can find even a single example of a well known manufacturer loading ammo in excees of SAAMI specs, please share.
What about the buffalo bore 45 colt +p ammo? That definitely exceeds the SAAMI pressure of 14,000 cup for the caliber. Buffalo bore specifically states what class of firearm can handle this ammo.
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Old July 30, 2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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I don't buy over priced defense loads +P or not.
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Old July 30, 2013, 01:36 PM   #8
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We keep reading that there are not any SAAMI spec's for +P+ in any caliber.

And if we see it enough on the Internet, then it must be true, right?

As for +P, then yes, there are spec's and nobody will exceed them, since that would be by definition become +P+. And I treat +P+ very carefully.

In other words, I shoot +P+ .38 Special only in .357 revolvers. And while I have some +P+ 9mm factory loads, I haven't shot any of them. I think the only gun of mine in which I would, is the all-steel heavily built S&W 5906.

Simon, sometimes people don't want to change guns or calibers, they just want to get the most self defense capability. And in some countries not all calibers are available, I understand. For instance, in Austria are you able to find guns or ammo in .38 Super, or .40 S&W, or .357 SIG etc? If the answer is no, then can you easily go more powerful than the 9mm loads?

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Old July 30, 2013, 01:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
I'm not aware of ANY manufacturers that sell "overpressure" ammunition, regardless of whether it's called "+P" or not. Period. If you can share some examples, by all means please do.
So are you saying Buffalo Bore's +P 380 ACP, and 9X18 Makarov is nothing but advertising hype because there is no SAAMI +P standard for those calibers
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Old July 30, 2013, 03:37 PM   #10
Bob Wright
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One of the greatest advantages of +P .38 Special is its use in short barreled .357 Magnum revovlers. The +P gives more punch, more closely to that of .357 Magnum, while packing it in a shorter case for easier and more positive extraction in guns with short ejector throws.

And the high stepping lighter bullets offer slightly flatter trajetory for small game/varmints in .38 Special guns.

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Old July 30, 2013, 03:54 PM   #11
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"The 38spl+P has noticeably more mustard than the std round, in my experience."

Only when compared to current standard ammo. Standard ammo in decades past was hotter. In the 1950s the std load was a 158 at 870 (usually ran an actual 800-820). Now it is a 158 at 730. Much weaker.

+P was created by lawyers. IMO it is a mild target load. No idea why it hurts your hand. To me it's a wimp.
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Old July 30, 2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
I'm not aware of ANY manufacturers that sell "overpressure" ammunition, regardless of whether it's called "+P" or not. Period. If you can share some examples, by all means please do.

When ammunition exceeds SAAMI specifications, ammo makers expose themselves to all manner of unpleasant civil litigation, unfavorable publicity, etc. So, if you can find even a single example of a well known manufacturer loading ammo in excees of SAAMI specs, please share.
You will see surplus 9mm ammunition being sold as +P or as "sub gun" only. I don't believe the military ammunition being sold was ever made +P, rather, as gunpowder gets old and deteriorates, combustion pressures rise. So sellers have created this illusion of a +P ammunition when in fact, what they are selling is old ammunition discarded by a military precisely because the stuff was unstable.
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Old July 30, 2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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L7A1 9mm ammunition produced by Hirtenburger of Austria provided this 9mm ammunition to the British Government for use in the Sterling sub-gun. The ammunition was manufactured in '91-'92.

This was over and above +P SAAMI specifications at around 50,000 PSI. From a Glock 19 it moves out at an average of 1,350 FPS.

Don't fire this in a handgun if you find any of it. I bought two boxes of it back in '98 before looking up the SAAMI specs.
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Old July 30, 2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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BTW- Nobody sells 38 Special ammo loaded beyond 21,500 PSI. This is the max. That +P everybody seems to think is so hot is loaded to around 17,500. Not even close to max. The Buffalo Bore and other specialty ammo makers just use the 21,500 standard. In other words, BB is what the 38 Special was meant to be without all the +P nonsense.
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Old July 30, 2013, 07:15 PM   #15
skoro
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Quote:
In other words, BB is what the 38 Special was meant to be without all the +P nonsense.
I hear ya. And it's the BB +P loads that make my little 642 feel like I'm holding a mad hornet. And I'm not recoil sensitive. But that combo makes me wake up and take notice a whole lot more than my pal's 44mag Blackhawk.

But I think you're right about lawyers and the 38 Special. There are so many old and beat up 38 revolvers in circulation I'm sure that ammo manufacturers are downloading to avoid kabooms in weak old iron.
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Old July 31, 2013, 03:05 AM   #16
6.8
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Does the extra velocity produce real world benefits? A. Deeper penetration? B. More devestating wound channels C. Better performance thru barriers? Ive heard from several sources that the NYPD uses 9mm Speer gold dots in the 124gr+p. I know it's popular to dismiss these hopped up +p and +p+ loads. Does Anyone have any links or videos comparing a standard vs +p or +p+ load. I can't prove it but I tend to believe the faster bullets would do more damage/perform better in the various scenario's listed above. This issue gets a lot of attention, their must be some research/testing out there somewhere, anybody got a link. Thanks
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Old July 31, 2013, 03:11 AM   #17
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Extreme Shock ammo is like ++++++P+++ they also explode when they hit evil.
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Old July 31, 2013, 06:51 AM   #18
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In theory, by carrying a +p load I can get the same performance / power from a Glock 26 as a Glock 17 loaded with standard pressure ammo.
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Old July 31, 2013, 10:25 AM   #19
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I absolutely love how the Internet has made it possible to have volumes and volumes of information at my fingertips with a few keystrokes. I love how countless forums containing the accumulated thoughts and experience of countless persons on thousands of subjects are available in the same way.

BUT...

This thread is a typical example that if I came to it to learn about the use of +P ammo, I would come away little wiser as it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. I've been reading threads on plus P since first having access to forums and trying to read with an open mind and have read the same truths, half-truths, and outright fictions repeated over and over again with great certainty. Often times what seems to be common Internet lore turns out to be the repeated postings of a small handful of people repeating their held beliefs over and over on every forum available. Is it true? Is it false? Is it merely ubiquitous?

All this technology and we are still left with "Caveat Emptor".
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Old July 31, 2013, 11:59 AM   #20
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The use of (and hype around) +P ammunition

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1375289814.947386.jpg

Just made that. Enjoy.
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Old July 31, 2013, 02:39 PM   #21
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RBid (Rabid?) If you want that electric saw to be more powerful just plug it into 220 volts

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Old July 31, 2013, 05:19 PM   #22
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The only time I will really go out of my way to get +P rounds is for .38 special. In anything else there is really not enough difference for me to go crazy about it, although I am not opposed to using them.
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Old July 31, 2013, 05:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
I'm not aware of ANY manufacturers that sell "overpressure" ammunition, regardless of whether it's called "+P" or not.
Buffalo Bore in .45 Colt +P. You cannot use them in Ruger New Vaqueros, Colt SAA's, SAA clones, or S&W revolvers in .45 Colt. Only the original Ruger Vaqueros, Blackhawks, Redhawks, and anything chambered in .454 can handle them.
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Old July 31, 2013, 05:28 PM   #24
RBid
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The use of (and hype around) +P ammunition

Bart Noir,

Nah, not rabid it's my first initial and the start of my last name. I've been called, "Bid" most of my life


@ original topic,

My personal preference is heavy for caliber, standard pressure rounds. I like 147 for 9mm, and 180 for .40. I think all of us seem to prefer 230 for .45.


I may very well be mistaken in saying this, but the 124 +P loads seem to be good for hard barrier penetration, but expand & dump energy more aggressively in soft media, penetrating less, in relation to standard pressure 124 or 147. This is splitting hairs, as the difference tends to be negligible.
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Old July 31, 2013, 05:40 PM   #25
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" I'm getting 1250 fps from my G-19 with +p 124 gr bullets. That will match 125 gr 357 mag loads from 3" barrels. "

You are seriously mistaken if you think ANY 9mm even comes close to a full 357 load.
I have chronoed 125 Grain XTP's at 1500 FPS from a 2 1/2 " barrel .

PP
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