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9mm +P+ just rare because of ammo shortages?

664 Views 28 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  hardluk1
A while ago I settled on Winchester Ranger HP 9mm +P+ for SD.

I really liked the Winchester .357 sig Winchester .357 sig Ranger HP out of a G31. Speer options were a very close 2nd (Lawman practice / Gold Dot SD). I went this direction when I was testing out 9mm (for a different firearm). 10 years ago, or so, I purchased a decent amount of Winchester Ranger in .357 sig and 9mm. Now, having whittled my stockpile, shooting SD ammo once a year or so. I fully expected .357 sig to be hard to find, was surprised by the +p+ 9mm is hard to find.

Speer was likely better, but I like the Winchester.

I just purchased a new 9mm to carry, and it appears that 9mm +P and +P+ have become more of an outlier. 10 years ago, maybe 15, half truths about 9mm+p near .357 sig performance made it a must have. I trust Underwood ammo and see they have it.

Long story short. is the ammo shortage the limiting factor for 9m+P or did 9mm SD go a different direction since last I jumped down a caliber / ballistic rabbit hole?
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A while ago I settled on Winchester Ranger HP 9mm +P+ for SD.

I really liked the Winchester .357 sig Winchester .357 sig Ranger HP out of a G31. Speer options were a very close 2nd (Lawman practice / Gold Dot SD). I went this direction when I was testing out 9mm (for a different firearm). 10 years ago, or so, I purchased a decent amount of Winchester Ranger in .357 sig and 9mm. Now, having whittled my stockpile, shooting SD ammo once a year or so. I fully expected .357 sig to be hard to find, was surprised by the +p+ 9mm is hard to find.

Speer was likely better, but I like the Winchester.

I just purchased a new 9mm to carry, and it appears that 9mm +P and +P+ have become more of an outlier. 10 years ago, maybe 15, half truths about 9mm+p near .357 sig performance made it a must have. I trust Underwood ammo and see they have it.

Long story short. is the ammo shortage the limiting factor for 9m+P or did 9mm SD go a different direction since last I jumped down a caliber / ballistic rabbit hole?
It’s probably rare because bullet technology has made +p+ loads unnecessary.
The R&D that has been dumped in to the 9mm in the last several years is mind numbing.

If they continue they will eventually make it as good as a 230 grain FMJ😉
 

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I use 124gr HST +P's in my Taurus G3. They shoot to point of aim at 25yrds and I haven't had a hiccup yet. That sort of spoils me to any +P+ load. 124gr bullet at ~1200 fps should be unpleasant on the receiving end.
 

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A while ago I settled on Winchester Ranger HP 9mm +P+ for SD.

I really liked the Winchester .357 sig Winchester .357 sig Ranger HP out of a G31. Speer options were a very close 2nd (Lawman practice / Gold Dot SD). I went this direction when I was testing out 9mm (for a different firearm). 10 years ago, or so, I purchased a decent amount of Winchester Ranger in .357 sig and 9mm. Now, having whittled my stockpile, shooting SD ammo once a year or so. I fully expected .357 sig to be hard to find, was surprised by the +p+ 9mm is hard to find.

Speer was likely better, but I like the Winchester.

I just purchased a new 9mm to carry, and it appears that 9mm +P and +P+ have become more of an outlier. 10 years ago, maybe 15, half truths about 9mm+p near .357 sig performance made it a must have. I trust Underwood ammo and see they have it.

Long story short. is the ammo shortage the limiting factor for 9m+P or did 9mm SD go a different direction since last I jumped down a caliber / ballistic rabbit hole?
As others said, +p is pretty available. +p+ is harder to find
 

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+P and +P+ loads are at the very top SAAMI pressure for 9mm. The loads are used to get velocity. With some of the new powders they are able to achieve this velocity without quite as much pressure. They have also developed bullets that expand reliably at lower velocities.

My current carry load in my small pistols is a non +P 108 grn MHP @ 1300 fps. Even if it fails to open it will punch a hole. Shot placement counts.
 

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I still have a box of Winchester Ranger RA9TA 127 grain +P+ in one of my safes and quite a bit of +P rounds in 124 gr in both HST and Speer Gold Dot . I even had some 147 gr +P HST rounds, too. I also have some Federal 9BPLE +P rounds left. One tester reported that the famed RA9TA Winchester Ranger round produced 42,000 psi. That is nearly at the very peek pressure for most 9mm pistols. He tested this round out of a Glock 19. I have never fired any RA9TA rounds out of anything other than a Glock and won't, for that matter.

My preferred loads for my carry 9mm pistols is either the Federal HST 124gr in +P or the Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP, also in +P. Currently I am using the aforementioned Gold Dot ammo.
 

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One tester reported that the famed RA9TA Winchester Ranger round produced 42,000 psi. That is nearly at the very peek pressure for most 9mm pistols. He tested this round out of a Glock 19.
I would like to see his test. I have spoken to both Federal and Winchester when inquiring about ammo for my agency. and the both stated that their +P+ loads do not go above the SAAMI specified pressure of 35K pressure. The tester could have manipulated conditions to increase pressure. I would be interested in what test equipment he used.
 

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Isn't that (from memory) the SAAMI spec for 9mm +P? If they're not exceeding that, why are they rating them as +P+? The latter is essentially saying a load is off the SAAMI chart, even for +P

I would like to see his test. I have spoken to both Federal and Winchester when inquiring about ammo for my agency. and the both stated that their +P+ loads do not go above the SAAMI specified pressure of 35K pressure. The tester could have manipulated conditions to increase pressure. I would be interested in what test equipment he used.
 

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Isn't that (from memory) the SAAMI spec for 9mm +P? If they're not exceeding that, why are they rating them as +P+? The latter is essentially saying a load is off the SAAMI chart, even for +P
What they told me was that Their +P+ loads did not go any higher than SAAMI for liability reasons. You are correct +P is a bit higher, I had forgotten.... DUH. Nato ammo is 36,500 and people shoot the snot out of that. L7A1 9mm subgun ammo is even hotter.
 

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Both of these sites state they have the Federal 9BPLE (115 grain +P+) in stock, both are priced with the current market for a 50 round box of 9mm JHP great ammo. As an additional side note from me personally, I have been involved in three police shooting investigations with this ammo. Three instant deaths with one shot each on larger than average male adults. One upper abdomen from four feet, one lower rib to center of shoulder from 50 feet, one upper back/left of spine from 10 feet. All three autopsies showed dramatic damage without bone strikes. Like the Illinois State Police, Secret Service and CBP, my agency has fired tens of thousands of these rounds, in full size duty handguns, for decades. No gun damage.
Federal 9mm +P+ F9BPLE 115 gr JHP 50 rounds
Federal 9mm 115gr +P+ JHP Ammunition 9mm Luger 115gr +P+ JHP 50rd Box
 

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Both of these sites state they have the Federal 9BPLE (115 grain +P+) in stock, both are priced with the current market for a 50 round box of 9mm JHP great ammo. As an additional side note from me personally, I have been involved in three police shooting investigations with this ammo. Three instant deaths with one shot each on larger than average male adults. One upper abdomen from four feet, one lower rib to center of shoulder from 50 feet, one upper back/left of spine from 10 feet. All three autopsies showed dramatic damage without bone strikes. Like the Illinois State Police, Secret Service and CBP, my agency has fired tens of thousands of these rounds, in full size duty handguns, for decades. No gun damage.
Federal 9mm +P+ F9BPLE 115 gr JHP 50 rounds
Federal 9mm 115gr +P+ JHP Ammunition 9mm Luger 115gr +P+ JHP 50rd Box
That was THE 9mm load in the late 1980's to the late 1990's and it still works as well as it did then. I saw two fellers that were DRT after being shot once with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all who replied. I must have had a run of bad luck finding reasonable priced (maybe I should not have said rare) 9mm+P. I'll hit some places this weekend.

I also gather +P+ has fallen off the radar in the last 10 years. Thanks again all.

+P+ loads are, I think, overrated. They're a handful and can be slower on accurate follow-up shots. A steady diet of them can also be hard(er) on a firearm. I've got about ten boxes of 9mm NATO FMJ and rarely shoot it for that reason.
I've never had a problem with follow up shots with the Win Ranger +P+. I can agree +P and more so +P+ can add up to increased wear and should not be the goto practice round. But once a year 50 rounds or so, and for SD, it can't be much on a firearm that is regularly maintained and only sees range time every three months or so (most people don't shoot their SD firearm every week). But I admit, I may not shoot my EDC as often as others. Especially +P+ , not a SAAMI published round, fiream never designed.

I do disagree the NATO FMJ would be harder on modern 9mm handguns. I think they are designed with this round in mind.

...My preferred loads for my carry 9mm pistols is either the Federal HST 124gr in +P or the Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP, also in +P. Currently I am using the aforementioned Gold Dot ammo.
I'll take a closer look at the Federal HST 124gr in +P.
 

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I would like to see his test. I have spoken to both Federal and Winchester when inquiring about ammo for my agency. and the both stated that their +P+ loads do not go above the SAAMI specified pressure of 35K pressure. The tester could have manipulated conditions to increase pressure. I would be interested in what test equipment he used.
Certainly. Here's the link to the tester's report which also includes info from Winchester.

 

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Certainly. Here's the link to the tester's report which also includes info from Winchester.

Very cool...... That is very interesting about Winchester. It fly's in the face of what I was told. I love TN outdoors tests......

I understood from your post that HE tested it. I was skeptical about him having the test equipment.
 

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Thank you all who replied. I must have had a run of bad luck finding reasonable priced (maybe I should not have said rare) 9mm+P. I'll hit some places this weekend.

I also gather +P+ has fallen off the radar in the last 10 years. Thanks again all.



I've never had a problem with follow up shots with the Win Ranger +P+. I can agree +P and more so +P+ can add up to increased wear and should not be the goto practice round. But once a year 50 rounds or so, and for SD, it can't be much on a firearm that is regularly maintained and only sees range time every three months or so (most people don't shoot their SD firearm every week). But I admit, I may not shoot my EDC as often as others. Especially +P+ , not a SAAMI published round, fiream never designed.

I do disagree the NATO FMJ would be harder on modern 9mm handguns. I think they are designed with this round in mind.


I'll take a closer look at the Federal HST 124gr in +P.
I haven't seen 9mm +P+ even at the gun shows over the past couple of years. I understand from anecdotal information that Winchester got serious about selling its "Law Enforcement"-branded ammo to only LE agencies, so its retail availability would thus be limited.
 
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