+P PP/K?

This is a discussion on +P PP/K? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a PPK/S that I had 2-tone Cerakote on, and a Crimson Trace Laser. I had planned to shoot Buffalo Bore +P ammo in ...

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Thread: +P PP/K?

  1. #1
    Member Array Shutterbug's Avatar
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    +P PP/K?

    I have a PPK/S that I had 2-tone Cerakote on, and a Crimson Trace Laser. I had planned to shoot Buffalo Bore +P ammo in it, but learned that due to its blowback design the manufacturer recommends against +P ammo. What part of the gun is in jeopardy if fed +P's? Can they be digested if a heavier spring is installed?

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    Just don't.

    Blowback designs don't use a locked breech, as guns built for higher-pressure rounds do. The breech - part of the slide - starts moving back about the instant the cartridge fires. The timing to make it all work right is dependent on the power of the cartridge being balanced against the force exerted by the recoil spring. Too light a spring, and the slide moves rearward too fast, potentially battering the frame and slide stop, but also potentially giving the shooter a face full of hot gas as the spent round gets yanked out of the chamber too soon. Too heavy a spring and the gun won't reload, and the gas pressure in the chamber and barrel may exceed safe limits. So conceptually, if all the gun's parts were made of unobtanium, you could shoot a hotter round if a heavier spring was installed, as you suggest. But what you don't know is just how strong the barrel is. And since there is NO industry standard (as yet) for .380 +P rounds, there is no way short of running your own proof tests to know that the +P load is safe for your barrel's design.

    I guess since the dawn of firearms, people have always wanted to shoot more powerful stuff out of the gun they have on hand. Elmer Keith, for one - how many guns did he blow up hotrodding the .45 Colt and subsequently the .44 Special?

    Unless you're willing to risk your gun, I'd just shoot the regular-pressure stuff. If +P is important to you, get another gun that's designed to handle it.
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    Smitty
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    I love the Buffalo Bore products which seem to really work as advertised however there is no SAAMI standard for .380 +P. As gasmittty eloquently explains, your gun would be "hammered" by shooting it very much at all with heavy loads.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Does a list exist anywhere of which guns are compatible with the +P stuff?
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    Member Array Shutterbug's Avatar
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    Thanks, gasmitty. You made it understandable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    Does a list exist anywhere of which guns are compatible with the +P stuff?
    Unlikely, for a round for which there is no SAAMI spec... although it would be worthwhile inquiring of Buffalo Bore.
    Smitty
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    Practice with the cheapest .380 that you can find.

    BUY a +P in Buffalo Bore - Pick One for carry.
    Buffalo Bore tests their +P ammo in a PPK as part of their published velocity testing.
    Shoot just enough of it to make sure that it feeds and functions reliably in your PPK/S
    The BuffaloBore loadings are comparatively expensive .380 ammo so I don't shoot it all the time.
    I do carry it because I know it feeds just fine.

    I carry BuffaloBore .380+P in my own PPK/S

    I have not noticed any signs of battering in my PPK/S & I have a LIGHTER than standard WOLFF recoil spring installed in my PPK/S because my Wife cannot "work the slide" with the factory recoil spring.

    Me & Mrs. QK have fired about 80 or 100 rounds total of BuffaloBore +P in our PPK/S and (with regard to condition) it's just fine with not the slightest hint of frame or slide battering.

    The factory installed recoil spring in the PPK/S is quite heavy & it can easily handle the +P .380 loadings.

    The newer Buffalo Barnes offering is supposed to really kick butt (with regard to penetration) but, I've not tried that one yet. I'll probably buy that next.

    Compare the SOLID, HEAVY, STEEL, WALTHER PPK/S to the little Kel/Tec .380 (with its little bit of Aluminum frame rail) & if folks are shooting the BuffaloBore +P in their KelTecs (and they are) with no problem then it for sure is not going to bother the PPK/S very much.

    The PPK/S is built like a dadblamed TANK compared to the KelTec.

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