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Should I continue to use +P ammunition as my defensive ammo of choice?


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So let me preface all this by saying that I've always been super partial towards carrying Federal 124 gr HST +P for my EDC defensive round. Nevertheless, I was skimming through the Safety & Instruction Manual for the M&P 2.0 pistol and came across this little gem:



Should I be concerned? Should I start using the 124 gr standard? What are your thoughts?
Don't worry about it.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it, unless you're shooting more than 2 or 3 hundred rounds of it a month.
 

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OP - I stumbled onto the Lucky Gunner tests a few years ago. I understand their gel isn't the organic compound that is supposed to more closely resemble human tissue but I am more interested in comparing the assorted loads available on a head-to-head basis and the LG tests seem to accomplish that.

So, based on that assumption, I've settled on the HST 124 standard pressure for my Sig P365 and the HST 180 grain for my G23.2 and my soon-to-be G27.4. I carry the HST 99 grain loads in my G42. I have confidence in their performance data from the Lucky Gunner tests.

As a fellow member of this forum has said to me on a couple of occasions: "Put the bullet where it needs to go and it will do its job." A person can only go so far in planning for contingencies. And, every person's life experiences and individual threat assessment will determine what firearm they choose to carry based on caliber, size, CC comfort, capacity, etc.

Personally, I moved from a pair of Glock 43s to a pair of Sig Sauer P365s based mostly on comparative size, magazine capacity and OEM night sights. Also, with the G43 I always have had to fight a tendency to let my right thumb drift up and prevent slide lock … a bit of an annoyance in an IDPA match, but a potential fatal flaw in an actual gunfight. So far, the Sig has performed without flaw (and I've sold my other Sig dedicated to home defense and replaced it with an old LEO Glock 23.2, which will soon get night sights).

Finally, even though I'm not recoil sensitive, I can definitely feel a difference in recoil between 115 grain target loads and 124 grain self defense loads … and the step up to +P loads is even more noticeable to me. YMMV
 

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I don’t use +P. Don’t see the effectiveness of it adding value.
 

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You are surely not using enough of your defensive ammunition in practice to be of concern. I don't, for mostly economic reasons. As for self defensive ammo used in self defense, odds are you won't even use one round ever.

Use your expensive defensive ammo in practice just enough to stay in touch with it and to know your gun will cycle it and don't give it another thought.
 

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It might be a concern for some handguns, but I wouldn't worry at all for a duty gun like an M&P. Where you want to be careful is with +P+. The +P designation is actually a standard spec with an upper limit to pressure (for 9mm); +P+ means it's above that limit, and it might be a little above it or a lot. So for that you'd want to know the details about the manufacturer's spec. (For most other calibers +P means the same thing that +P+ means for 9mm.)
 

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If you are a lawyer, worry about it. Worry about it much. Worry about it so much you get hives.

If you're not a lawyer...forget about it. It is "lawyerese." Go watch some advertisements for prescription medicine and you will immediately understand. According to the "lawyerese" associated with every prescription medicine ever marketed in the last 60 years, no one should ever take even so much as an aspirin - it will kill you. :oops:
 

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I only trust 9mm for bad-breath fighting distances. My one and only 9mm is a Sig P938 for pocket carry. It is loaded with and practiced with CorBon +P ammo. If I could pocket carry a larger caliber handgun, I would.

All of my primary carry guns are loaded and practiced with standard pressure self-defense ammo. If I feel the need for more power, I go to the next higher caliber. Why increase the wear on a gun when you can go to the next caliber?
 

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I got distracted and forgot to add. I practice with inexpensive ammo - not the cheapest I can find because that is usually light years more dangerous than the hottest correctly loaded +P+.

Shoot your defensive ammo only enough to verify functionality and write down the difference between point of aim and point of impact between it and your practice ammo. It doesn't matter where on the target your practice shots land as long as the proper ammo lands on target when it counts.
 

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I use standard pressure carry ammo for most applications because I like to shoot drills with what I carry and $40 a box ammo is ridiculous at best so no more HST for me.
 

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For me its pretty simple. I shoot what I shoot best! Let the target tell what I should be shooting.
In a full size gun the difference between +p+ and standard pressure ammo is very little But from the J frame that I EDC, the difference is UGE! DR
 

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If you are at all concerned with over penetration, be extremely cautious about using +P ammo. I used to keep .38 special +P in my S&W 686 snubbie revolver, until I found that it easily goes through a heavy, fluffy quilt, thick berber carpet, extra heavy duty pad, 3/4" plywood subfloor and thick insulation batting. If I ever have to use a gun for SD I only want it to stop the BG, not to keep traveling and making holes in everything else behind the BG.

However, do what you feel is right.
 

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The quote from the manual sounds like lawyer blather to me. The same platform supports .40, which is tougher on guns. You'll be fine. Maybe you should just price in a recoil spring replacement every 2-3 years (and even if you didn't shoot +P.) And just for cost reasons, I'd shoot less carry ammo on the range. Every month or two, I'd shoot down your carry magazines, and call it good. Otherwise shoot range ball. If you can find decent prices on 124 grain ball, use that.
 

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I reload all my ammo, so my practice ammo is my carry ammo. Don't have to worry about guessing poa/poi. I practice like I play.

I also use the max charge from all of my modern loading manuals on all calibers, if that means anything.
 

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I don't use +p ammo. I have seen a couple of 9mm handguns that are +p rated, however. The one that springs to mind is the Remington R51.

I don't see a problem with you shooting +p ammo in your gun. The only reason for the warning is so the manufacturer won't have to do warranty work on it if the +p stuff causes an issue.

I'm not sold on +p ammo making that much difference at typical self defense distances. If it gives you the warm and fuzzy you need to feel comfortable, then go ahead.
 

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In 9mm, the +P just doesn't give much of a boost. Other calibers get more from a +P loading, so I don't pay a lot of attention to std or +P in 9mm ammo. As the chart shows, the difference is almost negligible.
 

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agree with the rest +p is fine in a modern gun rated for it ..+P+ or the like or the weird sub gun pistol ammo that I would be very leary of it ... But I dont really see then need for + p in most pistol
 
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Probably not much difference, but I’m sticking to +P.
 
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