What's the difference with all the different grains, +p, and +p+ ?

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Thread: What's the difference with all the different grains, +p, and +p+ ?

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    Member Array Shrugs's Avatar
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    What's the difference with all the different grains, +p, and +p+ ?

    What's the different with all the different grains that ammo comes in ? I see some using HST in 185 and others who use 230 grain.
    The more grain, the heavier it is ? What affect does this have on performance ? Lesser grain, less recoil, easier follow-up shots ?

    Also, what does +p and +p+ mean ?
    Does it pack a stronger punch than non +p ammo ?

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    There are 7000 grains in a pound so the more grains a bullet weighs the heavier it is,also a lighter bullet will travel faster behind the same powder charge so heavier bullets get a little more powder to increase velocity which also increases recoil,most +P+ ammo is designed for rifles or sub machineguns
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    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Make sure your gun is rated for +p or +p+ before shooting it. Should be stamped on the barrel. Shooting +p or +p+ in a gun not rated for it could be cause for a catastrophic failure.
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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    +P and +P+ have additional powder in the casing and develop a greater pressure, hence a greater velocity for the projectile. With shorter barrels +P rounds may be necessary to achieve a minimum muzzle velocity. If you have a longer barrel, the bullet has more time to accelerate and reaches a greater velocity.

    Whenever reviewing ballistics tables always check to see what length barrel was used to develop the numbers in the table. I shoot a Glock 19 and it has a 4 inch barrel yet the ballistics tables usually are printed from using a 6 inch barrel. So I do not expect my bullet to reach the velocity and energy in the table unless I choose a round with a little more powder.

    We are getting to the finer points of ammo and shooting, but a previous poster already warned against using a "hot" round in a barrel not designed for it.
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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Here's a very detailed article about ammo pressures:

    Overpressure Ammunition
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    Member Array Shrugs's Avatar
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    Okay, so when people say their gun is loaded 'hot', it means they are using +p or +p+ ammo ?

    And the +p is mainly used on handguns with short barrels ?

    And how do you choose which grain to use ? Since there's 7000 grains in a pound, a difference of 20-50 grains or so doesn't seem like much. Is it ?
    Do most of you just grab a type of ammo, shoot a couple hundred or so to make sure it works with your gun and leave it at that ? Or do you test several different grains too ?

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    In some cases, lighter bullet weights work better out of shorter barrels--they'll have higher velocity, which tends to give better expansion & penetration (not always, though).

    If you judge simply by Kinetic Energy, most light, fast rounds will show that they have more energy than slower heavier rounds (because, and let's all say this together: "Energy equals (mass) times (velocity squared)").

    However, Kinetic Energy alone is a very poor way of judging how effective a round is. Penetration, expansion...all much more important. I'd rather have a 400 ft/lb load that will reliably expand to 150% and penetrate 14+ inches than a 500ft/lb load that won't penetrate 6 inches (cough...glaser...cough)...

    Also, I've found that lighter bullet weights seem to work better in some pistols than others; my 1911 adores 230 grain; my Glocks and USP's seem to do better with 200+P's.

    It all just comes down to what works for YOU. Not the next guy.
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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Shrugs,
    The argument between heavier slower moving bullet vs lighter faster moving bullet goes way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden!! I would use what you shoot the best and are most accurate with. Shot placement is 100 times more important that the difference between a 180 grain and 200 grain bullet.
    Take Care

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCHornet View Post
    Shrugs,
    The argument between heavier slower moving bullet vs lighter faster moving bullet goes way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden!! I would use what you shoot the best and are most accurate with. Shot placement is 100 times more important that the difference between a 180 grain and 200 grain bullet.
    Take Care

    NCH
    I agree here...and I'm pretty sure that if given a choice, Adam would have protected his family with a Kimber Ultra...240gr (.45) Speer Gold Dot...
    What do you think?
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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I agree here...and I'm pretty sure that if given a choice, Adam would have protected his family with a Kimber Ultra...240gr (.45) Speer Gold Dot...
    What do you think?
    I think he would have used a Glock 9mm with 124 grain bullet.
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    Shrugs,

    Read the internet to your heart's content on such things as caliber wars , or bullet wars , but while you do try and remember that at the end of the day it will matter less what you shot them with than that you shot when you had to , and kept shooting untill they quit doing what made you shoot them in the first place . All else is theory.
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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Shrugs,

    Take a look at all the different ballistics charts for the ammo you are interested in.

    These will give you bullet speeds and muzzle velocities for the different weights of each bullet in a certain caliber.

    These figures vary due to the pressure developed in the cartridge which is due to the bullet weight, powder charge, type of powder (fast or slow burning) and how compressed or not compressed the powder is in the finished round.

    Then look at bullet construction. What the bullet is made of, its shape and how these different shapes expend the muzzle energy they yield.

    A hard, solid bullet may pass through a "target" and just make a hole without dumping its energy into the target. A bullet that is designed and constructed to open up or mushroom will dump its energy into the "target" causing a larger wound cavity and therefore more damage (usually the effect you are looking for when hunting or in an SD scenario) to the intended target.

    The amount of combinations with regular loads and +P and +P+ is never-ending as is the amount of discussion as to which caliber and which bullet is best for any given purpose.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrugs View Post
    The more grain, the heavier it is ? What affect does this have on performance ? Lesser grain, less recoil, easier follow-up shots ?
    Yes, there are effects. Generally speaking, the same gun in the hands of the same person with two different bullets will behave a little differently, and that's based on the character of the recoil and flash.

    My $0.02.

    But what those effects will be depends completely on you, the gun and the bullet in question. Simply because a bullet goes a bit faster or recoils a bit more doesn't necessarily mean it equates to reduced on-target performance on your part. Not every gun responds poorly to a bit hotter load. Some do so very well. Depends on the specific gun.

    For example, I carry a CZ P-01 with the DoubleTap 9mm JHP 124gr +P rounds. These are loaded quite a bit hotter than other 9mm cartridges I've used. Yet, they are low-flash. They are also noticeably smoother in this gun than most other rounds I've shot. As well, the P-01's weight, length and bore axis location sucks up much of the added recoil nicely. The result is very little impact on my ability to remain on-target as compared to nearly every other gun I've handled. Your fitness also plays a part, as does familiarity and competency with a given gun, since the timing and handling of each varies.

    In the P-01, I've tried lighter and heavier loads, hotter and more lightly-loaded. And yet, the best round for this gun and my abilities seems to be the hottest round on the market. Go figure. The 124gr packs most of the speed of the 115gr (for expansion purposes) and yet much of the momentum/punch of the 147gr. I prefer the 147gr feel, a bit more, but want assurances for expansion (hence, the selection of 124gr). I've tried a dozen other rounds, all of which were loaded to standard pressures or slightly over. Interestingly, the next most reliable and consistent round came from another hotly-loaded round, the Federal Hydra-shok Tactical 9mm JHP +P+. These two rounds work very smoothly and reliably. The Federals have much, much more flash and a bit sharper recoil than the DoubleTaps. Overall, either of these two work noticeably better than all others, in this specific gun. And I continue to be nearly as accurate with these rounds as compared to standard "range" rounds. Go figure.

    Short answer: it depends on you, the gun and the bullet.
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  15. #14
    Member Array Shrugs's Avatar
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    thanks for the help everyone, it all boils down this I guess

    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Short answer: it depends on you, the gun and the bullet.

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    Member Array prepared1's Avatar
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    What I see in the difference between standard pressure, +P, and +P+ is like a parachute. A parachute opens faster when the speed of the item it is trying to stop increases. The same in regards to a bullet with equal mass and design. A 124gr. Ranger will open more slowly than a 124gr. Ranger +P. The added velocity opens the hollow point faster, get it?

    I.E. a +p round will open faster than a standard round and get less penetration if they are of equal mass and design e.g. both 124gr. Ranger.

    A +P+ round will open faster yet than +p or standard pressure rounds. You just have to calculate yourself what kind of penetration you are looking for out of the length of your barrel, and use the appropriate pressure needed to get into the 12"-16" range that the FBI uses. I know everyone will not agree with me, but this is my $0.02.

    Shorter barrels = less velocity than longer barrels. This is a fact, not an opinion (same mass and design of bullet).

    Standard pressure < +P < +P+ in the category of velocity. Fact, if they are the same mass and design.

    +P+ < +P < Standard pressure in penetration.

    What it all boils down to is:

    More weight = less velocity = more penetration because it weighs more and the parachute opens at a slower rate.

    More velocity = less penetration because the parachute will open faster and stop itself quicker.

    Gosh I'm rambling. I hope I can get my point across. Please let me know if you need any extra clarification.

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