The deal with +p

The deal with +p

This is a discussion on The deal with +p within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; i'm looking into some rounds for my new G36. We dont have too many places to get ammunition round my area. Pretty much only see ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Twiggy's Avatar
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    The deal with +p

    i'm looking into some rounds for my new G36. We dont have too many places to get ammunition round my area. Pretty much only see the gold saber JHP from remington. Now i see they have like 200 something grain, or 185 +p. Whats the real difference here. Its seems every manufacturer has the same deal going. What do i want in my Glock? I'm going to try different manufacturers to see what rounds work well but just dont know about the grain situation...help. Thanks


  2. #2
    Member Array MadDog's Avatar
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    This is the info I was able to dig up:
    230 grain = Muzzle velocity: 875 fps Muzzle energy: 391 ft/lbs
    185 +p = Muzzle Velocity :1140 fps Muzzle Energy :534 ft/lbs

    Difference will be the velocity and energy. The higher the muzzle energy the more felt recoil the shooter will have. Glocks are fine with the higher pressure loads, but I wouldn't recommend feeding them only a +p diet.

    Try several types of brands and grains and see what you are able to control and go with that. hope this helps.
    I believe in gun control...... Thats why I use TWO hands.

  3. #3
    Member Array vodekz's Avatar
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    Practice with +P but not too much, since they wear out the guns faster.
    I still prefer NON +P loads for 45 acp. Why? the practice ammo from Federal American Eagle in 230 grain is loaded to the same pressure as HST or Hydra Shock 230 grain NON +P rounds.
    It is easier on you pocket. You can buy them online at www.ammunitiontogo.com Vodek

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    Practice with a magazine of +P every so often to be read for the increased recoil should you have to defend yourself, then limit them to carry use only otherwise. Nice thing about the 45ACP, should you have financial problems (or the SHTF), your FMJ rounds will do well for defensive purposes, unlike virtually every other caliber.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In a SD shooting I will bet that you don't remember how many times you shot much less recoil,
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  6. #6
    Member Array Twiggy's Avatar
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    ok cool, i just didnt know if i could use the +p in my gun or not. I'm going to get a couple boxes of the saber +p and try them out.

  7. #7
    Member Array Jim Downey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    In a SD shooting I will bet that you don't remember how many times you shot much less recoil,
    Bingo.

    +P for SD makes sense to me, regardless of caliber. The energy calculation is just too attractive. But for regular shooting, go with your standard pressure loads, except, as Squawker says, the occasional mag/cylinder of your carry ammo (good way to cycle through it).

    Jim D.
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    Ballistics by the inch: "Four guys, two chronographs, and 8,500 rounds of ammo."

    Like Science Fiction? Read *or listen to* my novel, Communion of Dreams, for free.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array dripster's Avatar
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    With the 9mm +p rounds are better with bonded bullets. They retain there weight when hitting heavy objects.
    One more step and it's on!

  9. #9
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    In a .45acp Glock you can shoot +P all day long.
    The pistol was designed and built to handle +P.

  10. #10
    Member Array Twiggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    In a .45acp Glock you can shoot +P all day long.
    The pistol was designed and built to handle +P.
    good to know. I just got a box of 25. You can really feel the difference in the +p ammo. But nothin outta control, still feels great.

    One thing id like to know is how they make the +P, what exactly makes it have more pressure being i see some shells with the same grain ammount but its not a +P?

  11. #11
    Member Array Wuchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiggy View Post
    good to know. I just got a box of 25. You can really feel the difference in the +p ammo. But nothin outta control, still feels great.

    One thing id like to know is how they make the +P, what exactly makes it have more pressure being i see some shells with the same grain ammount but its not a +P?
    Typically nothing but more powder in the case. They can also use a powder with a different burn rate.
    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.-H. L. Mencken

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    +p will work in any glock. just don't know how well your pocket book will work when you buy a lot of +p ammo.
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  13. #13
    Member Array MadDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiggy View Post
    good to know. I just got a box of 25. You can really feel the difference in the +p ammo. But nothin outta control, still feels great.

    One thing id like to know is how they make the +P, what exactly makes it have more pressure being i see some shells with the same grain ammount but its not a +P?
    "Grains" is a measure of weight. So is "Grams" but they are not the same. 1 gram = 15.4324 grains.

    1Lb. equals 7,000 grains.

    here are the SAAMI specs of the preasure:

    9mm Luger 35000 psi
    9mm Luger +P 38500
    40S&W 35000
    357 Sig 40000
    10mm 37500
    45 ACP 21000
    45 ACP +P 23000
    454 Casull 65000
    I believe in gun control...... Thats why I use TWO hands.

  14. #14
    Member Array Twiggy's Avatar
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    now what makes it have more pressure? Im still confused.

    You can buy 185 gr. saber rounds, or 185 gr. +p saber rounds. What makes the +p have more pressure?

  15. #15
    Member Array MadDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiggy View Post
    now what makes it have more pressure? Im still confused.

    You can buy 185 gr. saber rounds, or 185 gr. +p saber rounds. What makes the +p have more pressure?
    Here is a great article that maybe will answer your questions, otherwise read some reloading books and it should be clear...

    Firearms - +P Ammunition by MarkFreburg

    Gas pressure, created by rapidly burning propellant (usually referred to as gun powder) is built up in a given cartridge upon firing. This pressure is what propels the bullet out the barrel. The maximum average amount of pressure a particular cartridge case and the guns chambered for that cartridge can handle is regulated by an industry organization known as SAAMI, or the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Association. After input from gun and ammunition makers and much testing, SAAMI specifies how much pressure a cartridge may produce.

    Sometimes a given cartridge, especially one that has been around for a long time, is actually capable of being loaded to higher pressures than SAAMI has previously established. For example let's consider the .38 Special, a cartridge more than 100 years old. Many modern guns in this chambering can handle higher pressures than SAAMI has set. However, changing the set standard can't be done because of all the many older guns still in circulation which cannot handle any increased pressure safely. In this case SAAMI establishes a second standard that they refer to as "+P."

    In our example then we have a standard pressure .38 Special cartridge and an increased pressure--or +P--.38 Special cartridge. These can now be considered two separate cartridges. Most older guns are safe to use only with (standard pressure) .38 Specials, while a modern gun may well be safe to use with either .38 Special or .38 Special +P. Outwardly the cartridges are identical, with the only difference you can see being the headstamp, or marking on the rear of the cartridge, which usually will have the maker's name and the name of the cartridge. If it is a standard .38 Special it will usually read ".38 Special" or ".38 Sp." If it is a +P cartridge, "+P" will be added to the name.

    Some cartridges have +P counterparts, some do not

    There are several different cartridges for which SAAMI has established a second, higher pressure, +P version, including the .38 Special, 9mm Parabellum (aka 9mmP, or 9mm Luger), .38ACP, and .45ACP. You will note all of these are old rounds that were created before WWI, and because of that pressures have been held down due to older, weaker guns in these chamberings. Their modern counterparts are referred to as .38 Special +P, 9mm +P, .38 Super +P, and .45ACP +P. Note the only one in which the name has changed is the .38ACP, which in high pressure guise is called the .38 Super +P. Because of the use of "Super" instead of "ACP," many people refer to that round simply as the .38 Super, but it properly is the .38 Super +P. There is no "standard pressure" .38 Super--the standard pressure version of the same cartridge is called the .38 ACP.

    Note also that modern cartridges such as the .357SIG or the .40S&W do not have a +P counterpart. There is no need. These rounds were designed in the 1990s, and all guns made for them are equally modern, thus these two rounds are already as powerful as they can be.

    What's good about +P?

    What does a +P cartridge offer? Increased pressure means increased power in the form of higher velocity. Higher velocity means increased energy, or the ability to do work. This in turn means a cartridge that has a better chance of incapacitating an attacker quickly than does a non-+P version of the same cartridge. A +P round however cannot be thought of as a more powerful cartridge in general, but only when compared to its older standard pressure counterpart. As an example, the 9mmP is a more powerful cartridge than the .38 Special. In most cases, a standard 9mmP is still more powerful than even a .38 Special +P.

    What's not good about +P?

    There are two downsides to a +P cartridge. It will have more recoil or kick than the standard version of the same cartridge when both are fired in the same gun. It will also be harder on the gun. Even if the gun in question is rated by the manufacturer to be suitable for +P ammo, the gun will wear out sooner. The pressure of firing is what wears out guns, and the more pressure the more eventual wear. Many people choose to use +P ammo for defense and standard ammo for practice for this reason. If you do choose to go that route, be sure to practice with enough +P ammo that you know what it feels like to shoot, and you also know where it strikes the target compared to a standard pressure load.

    If, on the other hand, you want to practice with ammunition of the same power you load for self-defense, then just be aware you may need repairs or replacement sooner than you would if using standard pressure ammo all the time. How much sooner? It's impossible to say because there are many factors that go into this including how well you otherwise maintain the gun, how often you change springs, and mostly--how often you shoot. Even with lots of +P shooting most modern guns will last many thousands of rounds with no damage.

    Should you choose +P ammo for yourself?

    All I can offer you here is my opinion. I think .38 Special +P should be chosen if one can handle the increased recoil. A .38 Special is not a particularly powerful round, and while the +P version doesn't turn it into a .357 Magnum by any stretch of the imagination, every little bit helps.

    In 9mmP, +P is useful, but the only gun I use it in is a 9mm revolver. Almost all modern 9mm pistols can also be had in .40S&W. If you feel you need more power than the standard 9mmP offers, consider buying the same gun in .40S&W instead of 9mmP to begin with.

    .38 Super is one round where everyone will normally use .38 Super +P ammo, as .38 ACP ammo is obsolescent.

    In .45ACP the difference in recoil between the standard round and the +P version really begins to be noticeable. I don't use .45ACP+P in my .45ACP pistols and don't feel they are needed. Again I must emphasize this as merely my opinion. I certainly don't begrudge you increased power however and if you want it, test fire some +P ammo and decide for yourself.

    Power versus controllability

    At this point the only thing I would caution you on is not to go for power at the expense of controllability. If using +P ammo makes the gun too difficult to control--to shoot rapidly and accurately--then +P may not be worthwhile.
    I believe in gun control...... Thats why I use TWO hands.

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