Ammo differences

This is a discussion on Ammo differences within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey everyone, some pretty obvious questions but I'm a beginner when it comes to handgun ammo (and handguns in general). I was just wondering what ...

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Ammo differences

  1. #1
    Member Array lambo969's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    143

    Ammo differences

    Hey everyone, some pretty obvious questions but I'm a beginner when it comes to handgun ammo (and handguns in general). I was just wondering what the difference between +p, +p+, and all other ammo that doesn't carry that suffix in the name? (I know the differences are probably too many to count, but a general idea will do) Also, does grain measure the mass of the bullet or the ammount of gunpowder loaded between it and the primer? And finally, does anyone have any suggestions for what to shoot on the range or plink around with on the farm and what to load for defense? (for reference, I am shooting a 9mm) Thanks everyone, I appreciate it!

    -CRL

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member
    Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    S. Florida, north of the Miami mess, south of the Mouse trap
    Posts
    15,752
    +P and +P+ are (supposedly) loaded hotter than normal factory loads, but I'm not convinved the person on the recieving end will notice the difference. It's more an issue of putting the bullets where you aim rather than how much power is behind them.

    A 230 grain .45 ACP means the bullet weights that much. As for plinking/target shooting, I'd suggest the least expensive ammo your gun will feed reliably. Paper and tin cans don't know the difference. Any good name brand SD ammo in 9mm will perform well. Endless threads on that topic. I carry Speer Gold Dots and Win. PDX1s.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  4. #3
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Fayetteville, AR
    Posts
    13,687
    9mm? I like to carry the 124gr+P HPs and practice with 147gr FMJ personally. Similar recoil characteristics for me. +P means a little over standard spec, and +P+ is pretty much maximum for the cartridge. One can use any terms they'd like to describe +P ammunition (extra power, extra powder, or more penetration). I prefer the latter term myself.
    When you read the box of ammo as in 147gr.......this refers to the weight of the bullet in grains.

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    The western edge of The Confederacy
    Posts
    2,198
    The term "grains" can refer both to bullet weight and powder charge. A bullet might weigh 124 grains and be loaded over 7.6 grains of powder. +p and +p+ are loaded to higher pressures than standard.
    Not all guns can handle higher pressure rounds, check yours before firing them. Also, +p ammo is not always made by increasing the powder charge. Sometimes the brass is made with a smaller capacity which results in higher pressure. This type of brass is marked with +p on the headstamp.
    Most current 9mm defensive ammo gets the job done. Nearly any HP high velocity
    projectile will stop an attacker if the shot is well placed.
    Cor Bon ammunition is very high velocity and is of the +p variety. I currently use it.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
    Edge of Darkness

  6. #5
    Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    10,019
    Quote Originally Posted by lambo969 View Post
    Hey everyone, some pretty obvious questions but I'm a beginner when it comes to handgun ammo (and handguns in general). I was just wondering what the difference between +p, +p+, and all other ammo that doesn't carry that suffix in the name? (I know the differences are probably too many to count, but a general idea will do) Also, does grain measure the mass of the bullet or the ammount of gunpowder loaded between it and the primer? And finally, does anyone have any suggestions for what to shoot on the range or plink around with on the farm and what to load for defense? (for reference, I am shooting a 9mm) Thanks everyone, I appreciate it!

    -CRL
    An industry group (SAAMI - Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturing Institute) establishes a recommended maximum chamber pressure for commercially available ammunition. About a generation ago, higher-pressure rounds began to be marketed by the major ammo makers, notably in .38 Special, .38 Super Auto, and 9mm... these were given the "+P" designation. Chamber pressures for +P ammo is typically 10% higher then the standard pressure for that round. With more pressure in the chamber, they launch the bullet to a higher velocity which usually translates into more downrange energy and a slightly flatter trajectory than the standard round. "+P+" is a designation for which there is NO SAAMI standard, so just accept that it's loaded to higher pressures still.

    For 9mm, the SAAMI max pressure is 35,000 psi. For +P, it's 38,500 psi. There is no standard for +P+, but 9mm NATO ammo is loaded very hot at 42,000 psi.

    It's probably not smart to shoot +P and hotter ammo in older guns; for example, I wouldn't shoot 9mm +P in a WWII or older Luger or P-38, not would I shoot .38 +P in a pre-war revolver other than a S+W N frame.

    Economics dictates that you'll likely shoot standard pressure ammo for practice. If you elect to carry +P or hotter, first make sure your gun is rated for them (check the manual, or search on line). Then if you do, make sure you practice with your carry loads periodically so you know if the carry ammo has the same point of aim as the practice stuff, and that you manage the increased recoil OK.

    We were all beginners once upon a time... feel free to ask lots of questions, since that's how you learn.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  7. #6
    Member Array Magnum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    206
    Quote Originally Posted by lambo969 View Post
    And finally, does anyone have any suggestions for what to shoot on the range or plink around with on the farm and what to load for defense? (for reference, I am shooting a 9mm) Thanks everyone, I appreciate it!

    -CRL
    For range or plinking shoot anything you want. For defense in public places and close quarters hollow points are best. For defense anywhere there are not a lot of people around, shoot the nastiest thing you can find.

  8. #7
    Member Array lambo969's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    143
    Thanks guys, good suggestions. Cleared up my questions as well. Great community on here I am extremely impressed so far.

  9. #8
    Member Array rickmn50's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    188
    There are some many possibilities and availabilities...that is why I reload my own. I find what works for each of my guns and then I stick with it. Plus it is very relaxing and cheaper...most of the time.

    Good luck.
    Best Regards from Minnesota,

    Rick

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. 1911 differences
    By Teaser261 in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: January 12th, 2011, 08:02 PM
  2. NRA Differences
    By AutoFan in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: July 11th, 2009, 12:42 AM
  3. .45 GAP vs .45 ACP Differences
    By SaddleSC in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: April 13th, 2009, 07:31 PM
  4. AK AR differences
    By me in forum Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: April 14th, 2007, 01:24 AM
  5. Differences between a S&W 686-3 and 686-4?
    By Ridge Runner in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: October 6th, 2005, 09:24 PM

Search tags for this page

ammo difference
,

ammo differences

,

ammunition differences

,
difference between handgun ammo
,

difference in ammo

,
difference in ammunition
,
difference in handgun ammo
,
difference in pistol ammo
,

differences in ammo

,

differences in ammunition

,
differences in handgun ammunition
,
what is the difference in ammunition
Click on a term to search for related topics.