Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,063 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently switched from carrying a Taurus 709 loaded with 147g SGD's standard pressure. I never considered +P ammo as the gun wasnt rated for it. Then I switched to a S&W 908. The 908 is "kind of" rated for +P. S&W says that you can use a "limited amount" of +p ammo but not to use it all the time.

So thus the question becomes is it worth changing over from standard pressure to +P ammo for defense purposes? I am inclined to stick with standard pressure as I think it would be eaiser to put more rounds on target in less time because of recoil but I don't wan't to rule out +p if it is mpre effective. Since we all know that hanguns aren't the instant death rays portrayed in the movies I want to milk every bit of performance I can out of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
I will not claim to be any sort of expert. Of any type. For much of anything. I will give you my thoughts based solely on my experience, and my research. 'Research' being: reading books on shootings, speaking w/ officers, depts, and soldiers who have shot someone in the course of their duties. (my father was a firearms instructor in this county, and that gave my a lot of access to these guys for q/a).
In a pistol/revolver round for defense, my criteria are:
reliability in THAT gun,
poa/poi,
fast, ACCURATE follow up shots,
availability.

First, reliability. If it dont work, it dont work. It wont matter what sort of organerupting Nitrislipperyvestdefeatingterroristincapacitating hollowpoint it uses, it does me zero good if it wont go bang in that particular gun.
Second, poa/poi. All of my sd handguns have fixed sights. So, I want my ammo to hit where my sights are telling my that it should hit. At most sd distances, you wont see a huge change in ammo placement, even amongst different bullet weights or stnd, +p, or +p+. But, it is a confidence builder when you find a round that hits 'perfectly' for that gun.
Next, fast, ACCURATE follow up shots. Its a handgun. In talking w some depts who were forced to shoot an attacker, most relayed that not only did the bg not drop at the first shot, most didnt even register they'd been shot. So, more than one will need to be used. We are all different when it comes to recoil sensitivity. Some can manage it better than others. If you can shoot +p or +p+ ammo out of your selected handgun and can put multiple, very fast shots on target accurately, then do it. If you notice a lag between shots because you are battling the recoil to realign the muzzle to the target, maybe souped up rounds are'nt really helping.
Finally, availability. Its gonna take some testing to select this perfect ammo we are in search of. Just make sure you can find/purchase enough to satisfactorily test and evaluate it.

Again, this is my list.
I hope it helps.

dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
If you'll indulge me a minute more......
When evaluating your potential ammo, dont just test it in a ransom rest, or w/ a two hand perfect hold. May not tell you the whole story. Test it w a variety of grips. One hand, weak hand only, shooting in low light while utilizing a hand held light. Also, may want to do some low light shooting just to check the muzzle flash of that ammo/gun combo.
Certain ammo/gun combo's may run fine under ideal circumstances. Your sd shooting may be far from ideal. Make sure that ammo/gun runs as close to 100% under the worst conditions you can introduce into your testing/eval methods as possible.

dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,063 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you'll indulge me a minute more......
When evaluating your potential ammo, dont just test it in a ransom rest, or w/ a two hand perfect hold. May not tell you the whole story. Test it w a variety of grips. One hand, weak hand only, shooting in low light while utilizing a hand held light. Also, may want to do some low light shooting just to check the muzzle flash of that ammo/gun combo.
Certain ammo/gun combo's may run fine under ideal circumstances. Your sd shooting may be far from ideal. Make sure that ammo/gun runs as close to 100% under the worst conditions you can introduce into your testing/eval methods as possible.

dan
Good information. I generally take everything you said under consideration when testing SD ammo execept for shooting in less then ideal circumstances. However that makes a lot of sense so I will be adding it to my list of things to test for SD ammo. At this point I think I will be sticking with non +p ammo as I carry a fairly light pistol so any reduction in recoil for follow up shots I think is worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,245 Posts
Any firearm that the manufactor stated it was suitable for limited +P useage would cause me to use only standard ammo. I would assume that +P ammo in that firearm created accelerated wear which could result in reliability issues. Reliability ranks high in my concerns. If I wanted more power I would go with a different firearm or caliber.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
480 Posts
If your shooting hollow points, the faster the bullet, the better the chance of expansion and penetration. When shooting my wife's Taurus M 85 .38 spl. snubby, I feel very little difference in recoil between the standard load and the +P.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
480 Posts
Any firearm that the manufactor stated it was suitable for limited +P useage would cause me to use only standard ammo. I would assume that +P ammo in that firearm created accelerated wear which could result in reliability issues. Reliability ranks high in my concerns. If I wanted more power I would go with a different firearm or caliber.
My dad carried a Taurus M 85 .38 spl. snubby for backup when he was a LEO over 40 yrs. ago. Standard gun with no +P rating one way or another. He fired +P and carried with +P, never had a problem with the gun. Thousands of rounds & 30 yrs. later it became one of my guns. It was still tight & solid, if it was worn at all there was no evidence. If anyone however has any concern then I suggest practicing with the standard load and carry the +P for more reliable expansion and penetration. The circumstances are much different with auto pistols due to the mechanics of the gun, such as slide, springs, ejectors, etc. For instance, I have an older(1989) SIG 220 .45 cal. that specifically states DO NOT USE +P due to pressure tolerances.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
144,232 Posts
Helpful hint.
If you should decide to shoot it with +P then install a fresh recoil spring before you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
High velocity (+p) does not necessarily equal greater penetration. Shot placement and penetration are what will put the bad guy down, and it may take several shots regardless of caliber.

Here's an example: Trooper Mark Hunter Coates, South Carolina Highway Patrol

Notice that the BG took 5 .357mag rounds to the chest - and lived!

Carry and shoot what floats your boat. Just know that +p doesn't really add much to the equation, but does lighten your wallet more than standard pressure rounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
I personally prefer standard pressure loads, because I practice with rounds that are as close to what I carry as possible. Since almost no one makes +P practice rounds that match SD rounds (and I'm not handloading +P rounds!), that means I shoot standard loads and focus on accuracy and speed, in that order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts
+p is for 1 thing. To get a greater MV Since V is squared in the energy formula In a perfect world it will make a bigger impact then a standard pressure round. Whether or not you carry +p (and I do) is up to you. Keep in mind that in a SD situation you'll always want the best chance of getting out alive. If a +p round gives just a little extra somthin' then that is what I would go for.

In my carry piece +p rounds don't produce a huge difference in feel, but the chronograph doesn't lie. The +p rounds consistantly fly just over 200fps faster then non +p when compairing 230grain .45
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
.....and I'll go along w/ that logic, as well, Razor.
As long as the controlability (sp?) remains intact, and the firearm is rated to take it, I'd say run it.
It's all about balance.

dan

ps, hey Razor, what is the increase for that 230gr round in footpounds for a gain of 200fps? I dont have chart or a good reference right here handy.
And what is the barrel length?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,245 Posts
My dad carried a Taurus M 85 .38 spl. snubby for backup when he was a LEO over 40 yrs. ago. Standard gun with no +P rating one way or another. He fired +P and carried with +P, never had a problem with the gun. Thousands of rounds & 30 yrs. later it became one of my guns. It was still tight & solid, if it was worn at all there was no evidence. If anyone however has any concern then I suggest practicing with the standard load and carry the +P for more reliable expansion and penetration. The circumstances are much different with auto pistols due to the mechanics of the gun, such as slide, springs, ejectors, etc. For instance, I have an older(1989) SIG 220 .45 cal. that specifically states DO NOT USE +P due to pressure tolerances.
40 Years ago there was not +P designation. The firearms industry adopted the +P headstamp in 1974. High pressure 38 spl ammo however has been around since the 1930's. It was for use in heavy frame revolvers.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
480 Posts
40 Years ago there was not +P designation. The firearms industry adopted the +P headstamp in 1974. High pressure 38 spl ammo however has been around since the 1930's. It was for use in heavy frame revolvers.
Okay, but for over 30yrs. that my dad had the gun he fired +P. Give or take a year or two either way, the +P had no adverse effect on the gun such as accelerated wear or reliability issues. And, I believe that the high pressure .38 spl.158gr. ammo of the 1930's, is still to this day much higher than our modern .38 spl.+P ammo. In fact, closer to pressure of today's .357 magnum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,421 Posts
If the pistol is rated for the pressures of the +p round, use it for SD and shoot the standard pressure loads for practice. Less wear on the pistol in the end.

GBK
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
High velocity (+p) does not necessarily equal greater penetration. Shot placement and penetration are what will put the bad guy down, and it may take several shots regardless of caliber.

Here's an example: Trooper Mark Hunter Coates, South Carolina Highway Patrol

Notice that the BG took 5 .357mag rounds to the chest - and lived!

Carry and shoot what floats your boat. Just know that +p doesn't really add much to the equation, but does lighten your wallet more than standard pressure rounds.
No where does it say he was shooting .357 mag rounds, only carrying a .357 revolver... Did the agency issue the duty ammo?

greater velocity generally equates to greater penetration...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
No where does it say he was shooting .357 mag rounds, only carrying a .357 revolver... Did the agency issue the duty ammo?

greater velocity generally equates to greater penetration...
You need to read this: Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

Take special note of this observation:

(All you "+P junkies" - note how little difference there is between the high-velocity .357SIG and other "slow-poke" rounds. The temporary cavity size is also virtually identical.)
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top