PDA

View Full Version : To +p or not to +p?


camacho2727
03-02-2010, 6:35 PM
If money was not an object, would you use +p or +p+ for self defense? Or is a regular load JHP just fine? Does it void any warranties? I read some where that they are not recommended for polymer frames, is that true? I just purchased an M&P 9mm and want the best most reliable ammo for self defense for this pistol. New to CALGUNS and really enjoy this site, it has a ton of info if you just look, but i did not see this question anywhere. Thanks for your help and input!

nn3453
03-02-2010, 6:46 PM
Doesn't really matter. When it comes down to it, how many hits you can score under stress, confusion, limited visibility, etc will matter. JHP should be fine. Not really sure about the +p+. I'd call the manufacturer and ask.

Peter W Bush
03-02-2010, 6:52 PM
buy a few boxes of hydrashock, winchester ranger sxt, and speer gold dots and see which one your gun likes more

Synergy
03-02-2010, 6:56 PM
Every range trip I try a few mags of my +P, just to keep my skills up. I find it is not as accurate in my 1911. I have gone back to standard Win Ranger SXT.

Sam
03-02-2010, 7:40 PM
I tried HST +P in my 1911 when I was choosing self defense ammo. In my own experience it would have required a different strength recoil spring and whatever benefits I received in extra power were contrasted with extra recoil. Additionally, even if I wanted to go with +P, it provides a different recoil than standard practice ammo which would have made it harder to use as a self defense ammo since it's too expensive to practice regularly with. I now use regular strength HST in my 1911.

robert101
03-02-2010, 8:15 PM
I'm agreeing with Sam with the exeption of - If you can shoot it then a few magazines for self defense are fine. If you practice with it, then you should look into a new (up-sized recoil and firing pin spring). Springs are cheap and good insurance to protect your gun. I'm buying a new 1911 45 and after I get my reloads dialed in, I will look into the possibility of handling +P rounds. I currently shoot 10MM so I'm thinking that +P's will work for me.

hollowpoint
03-02-2010, 8:25 PM
I was hesitant as well to shoot +p out of my ruger sr9 but after talking to the guys at my local range they said it would be no problem. I had received remington +p 9mm ammo for Christmas and didn't want it to just sit in the safe. I practiced with it for a bit, getting used to the recoil and overall different feeling of the load and I am glad I did. If you are going to use +p ammo as you primary self defense round it is a good idea to practice with it and the range. You can definitely feel the difference in +p ammo and I'm sure an offender used in a self defense situation would feel the difference on the receiving end. I have been stocking up on the Hornady Critical Defense round as an alternative. If you are looking for a good self defense round but don't want to shoot +p I would recommend picking up some of this. I did some expansion tests with the Hornady Critical Defense and let me tell you those are some mean hollow points, the expansion was amazing.

Army GI
03-02-2010, 9:11 PM
If money was not an object, would you use +p or +p+ for self defense? Or is a regular load JHP just fine? Does it void any warranties? I read some where that they are not recommended for polymer frames, is that true? I just purchased an M&P 9mm and want the best most reliable ammo for self defense for this pistol. New to CALGUNS and really enjoy this site, it has a ton of info if you just look, but i did not see this question anywhere. Thanks for your help and input!

Hey, welcome to Calguns! Hope you stay around for a while and learn lots of great information!

As far as your question is concerned, I always tell people this: If you need more power than your current round can provide, go with a more powerful cartridge! Need more punch than a 9mm? Go with a 357 Magnum. If it has to be an autoloader, make it a 357 Sig:).

tbhracing
03-02-2010, 9:18 PM
I own Glocks and Sigs, all 9mm. No +p ammo for me.

bohoki
03-02-2010, 9:37 PM
what ever groups best in your gun?

5ohguy
03-02-2010, 9:42 PM
Out of my HD 1911 5" I use 230gr JHP +P Black Hills. Out of my 3" 1911 I use 185gr JHP +P Corbon DPX Lead Free.

If you can handle the recoil, why not use +P rounds? Theoretically more velocity means more energy, more rapid expansion, and therefore better energy transfer... but in reality shot placement is everything and +P won't make a baddie magically vaporize on contact.

So especially for a defense gun, use the round you feel the most comfortable with.

IrishPirate
03-02-2010, 9:46 PM
not all guns are made for +p or +p+....check with the manufacturer because it will definitely void the warranty if you use it and the gun isn't made for it and something breaks.

i haven't shot any yet but since shot placement is more important than anything else...i'd just see what round is the most accurate for you and use that as your self defense ammo. JHP, FMJ, +p, +p+, wadcutters, LRN...whatever hits the spot you want it to the most often....

Freagan
03-03-2010, 1:20 AM
Ive shot standard and +p through my 9mm sig, and the difference feels very minor at most (to me anyway). IMO I find the difference from going from 115gr round to a 147gr round is more noticeable than just going from standard pressure to +p in the same weight of bullet.

paul0660
03-03-2010, 6:07 AM
The difference IS minor......+p is approximately 10% hotter than standard. I feel sorry for a gun that cannot take that once in a while, especially if the manufacturer approves it. The most important thing, as others have pointed out, is hitting what you aim at.

BTW, +P+ has no specific standard, just has to be less than the gun's proof test pressure.

camacho2727
03-03-2010, 6:10 AM
Thanks for all the advice, i will read the owners manual thoroughly this Sunday when i get my pistol out of "jail" as you guys put it. The reason i got a 9mm was cost cost cost, i wanted to be able to afford many trips to the range to get very comfortable with it, and gain a skills to become a safe and accurate shooter. That said ,that does not rule out bigger and better down the road, i just had to start some where.

nn3453
03-03-2010, 7:48 AM
The reason i got a 9mm was cost cost cost, i wanted to be able to afford many trips to the range to get very comfortable with it, and gain a skills to become a safe and accurate shooter. That said ,that does not rule out bigger and better down the road, i just had to start some where.

I like how you think. Too many new shooters out there who go with a 40 or 45 because it is more powerful and can drop a bad guy faster, etc. etc. All of that comes into play if you can manage to actually hit your target under stress. Go with whatever you can practice more with.

vandal
03-03-2010, 8:14 AM
I run the 127gr +P+ in my Glock so I guess I have to vote that +P is good.

zinfull
03-03-2010, 8:21 AM
Try this. Take your gun out at night and shoot the different loads. +p will have a lot more flash. It can tend to mess with your eyes for HD night time shooting.

stix213
03-03-2010, 11:06 AM
The manual for your firearm should say if it supports +P. Since there is no +P+ standard (unlike +P), and "hotness" varies between ammo manufacturer because of this, its common that it will be specified that shooting +P+ will void your warranty.

BigDogatPlay
03-03-2010, 11:49 AM
FWIW, and my experience only, +p+ should only be shot in steel framed semi-autos. YMMV, but I've found that with the most up to date bullets (such as Hornady's CD and the Winchester PDX) is that +p and +p+ don't seem to be necessary to achieve results.

Also +1000 to zinfull suggestion to take whatever ammo it is you plan on using out at night and see how much flash it generates, then decide if it's right for you.

NeoWeird
03-03-2010, 2:02 PM
Take a moment and really think about what you are going to use the gun for. Sure, +p+ sounds great for pushing the envelope of performance but is that what you want, let alone need? In the same cartridge a +p round is only going to increase velocity of the bullet. Most military grade handguns will already have the capability to shoot through a target and cause collateral damage. This can be VERY bad in a CCW type scenario since most confrontations are going to happen within arms length, and at worst MAYBE 10 yards out - anything past that and you should probably re-evalute the situation as a self defense case is going to be about avoiding harm and not stopping someone; if they are that far out it might come back as you being an aggressor in the situation (but that's a whole different can of worms all together).

Now switch over to a home defense type scenario and you're using a cartridge that already has over-penetration issues in a home enviorment and you want to increase it's penetration capabilities? Why? Most people will have at most 20 yards of open room in their home, and you will almost NEVER have a scenario where you will need to protect your family at one extreme of your home from someone at the exact opposite extreme. It will be the same distances as a CCW type scenario and should be handled in that manner.

For home defense I always encourage people to go with a lightweight .223 or other small and fast rifle cartridge; such as a Mini-14 using sub-50 grain varmint bullets. It's ability to have the bullet rapidly fragment on impact with even soft building materials prevents collaterial damage to innocent people as well as structural damage.

CCW loses the ability to have a rifle so a pistol is your best bet. If you are just carrying for "just in case..." then I recommend using standard loaded ammo. Hollow points being the most desireable to facilitate expansion.

Now if you're military, a contractor, LEO, etc and you highly anticipate encountering threats with soft body armor or behind cover than +p FMJ ammo will really come into play and be a plus.

Outside of that, it's probably more trouble than it's worth.

vandal
03-03-2010, 2:10 PM
Velocity contributes to expansion, which reduces penetration. A quality HP round is going to be designed to expand AND provide the appropriate level of penetration in a given velocity range. If you're talking FMJ, then sure a +P will penetrate more. But who uses +P FMJ ?

POLICESTATE
03-03-2010, 2:15 PM
Velocity contributes to expansion, which reduces penetration. A quality HP round is going to be designed to expand AND provide the appropriate level of penetration in a given velocity range. If you're talking FMJ, then sure a +P will penetrate more. But who uses +P FMJ ?

Funny you should ask, I have a magazine of +P FMJ 9mm for my sig in the safe, but I also have 4 mags of +P JHP and 1 mag of low powered frangible as well. Basically I use frangible first, if they are still coming I go to the JHP, if they are STILL coming I go to FMJ, if they are EVEN STILL coming I throw the gun at them in frustration and jump out the window.

vandal
03-03-2010, 2:19 PM
Glad I didn't ask "Who uses frangible?" I hope you live on the 1st floor! ;)



Funny you should ask, I have a magazine of +P FMJ 9mm for my sig in the safe, but I also have 4 mags of +P JHP and 1 mag of low powered frangible as well. Basically I use frangible first, if they are still coming I go to the JHP, if they are STILL coming I go to FMJ, if they are EVEN STILL coming I throw the gun at them in frustration and jump out the window.

POLICESTATE
03-03-2010, 2:22 PM
Glad I didn't ask "Who uses frangible?" I hope you live on the 1st floor! ;)

We have VERY thin walls so I have a mag of frangible because I don't want to mess up non-perps :)

camacho2727
03-03-2010, 3:33 PM
I was simply asking about +p ammo Mr. Neo, I have not bought any ammo yet, i am just gathering information so someone doesn't talk me into buying something i don't need, i am looking for sound sensible input which you have provided, I really appreciate that. THANKYOU.

Suvorov
03-03-2010, 3:44 PM
Your M&P will have NO PROBLEM with +P loads and as long as you are using factory loadings, then Smith will honor the warranty. I would SERIOUSLY consider using +P ammo. If you do have to use a gun in a fight, we can all strive for accuracy (and as we know, mall ninjas are able to do Mozambique drills at 50 yards in their sleep), but the truth is you may not be able to get a good hit and you will need your bullet to do as much damage as possible. +P loads are consistently at the top of most tests and will perform better than their standard pressure counterpart. The extra velocity will assist in expansion and in barrier penetration. While it may add a little extra wear on your gun, keep in mind that the standard NATO loading is about on par with a +P round and Glocks, Berettas, Sigs, Brownings, and many other military pistols gobble that stuff up year in and year out. You also won't be using it for range practice, just enough to make sure it functions well in your gun. +P rounds are commonly issued by many law enforcement agencies including here in Kalifornia. The ones I would look at are the Gold Dot 124gr +P, Federal HST 124g +P, and Winchester Ranger-T 124gr +P (many are also fans of the 127 gr +P+).

Here is a good link to another site that will shed some light on the matter. http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887

ALSystems
03-03-2010, 7:17 PM
FWIW, and my experience only, +p+ should only be shot in steel framed semi-autos. YMMV, but I've found that with the most up to date bullets (such as Hornady's CD and the Winchester PDX) is that +p and +p+ don't seem to be necessary to achieve results.

I disagree.

I suggest you look in your manual. My manual specifies the maximum that the gun was designed for. For example, 9mm 124gr bullets should be no faster than 1225fps which is +P+ range. This is an alloy framed semi-auto which handles +P+.

There are plenty of modern bullet designs that are not +P or +P+ which should work well. It's your choice.