Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    I am getting back into the shooting thing. I have seen ammo listed as +P+.

    1) What the heck is this stuff?

    2) How do I know if my pistol will handle it?

    3) I heard that the +P+ ammo in 9mm makes it rate with a 45 acp. Is this true? This would make a 9 mm very good for self defense wouldn't it?

    4) What are your thoughts on the +P+ ammo out there?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    +P is hot ammo
    +P+ is extra hot ammo
    both are higher pressure loads

    +P+ is not recommended in many firearms.
    It will also beat you and your gun up more than is necessary.

    In most circumstance you would be better off with quality standard 9mm or perhaps..... +P 9mm. Both offer plenty of stopping power with less recoil/control issues or possible flinching.

    Accuracy and shot placement carry much more weight than an extra + sign or two IMO.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Holleta View Post
    +P is hot ammo
    +P+ is extra hot ammo
    both are higher pressure loads

    +P+ is not recommended in many firearms.
    It will also beat you and your gun up more than is necessary.

    In most circumstance you would be better off with quality standard 9mm or perhaps..... +P 9mm. Both offer plenty of stopping power with less recoil/control issues or possible flinching.

    Accuracy and shot placement carry much more weight than an extra + sign or two IMO.
    Thanks that helps me out... I was about to ask the same question

  4. #4
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nate View Post
    Thanks that helps me out... I was about to ask the same question

    Be careful, +p is a SAAMI standard, where as +p+ or other designations like it are not. It can be dangerous in some circumstances and just a marketing tool in others...

    +p is safe in any pistol that is rated for it. Most modern pistols have no problems with +p

  5. #5
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Drew View Post
    Be careful, +p is a SAAMI standard, where as +p+ or other designations like it are not. It can be dangerous in some circumstances and just a marketing tool in others...

    +p is safe in any pistol that is rated for it. Most modern pistols have no problems with +p
    Thanks for the warning, I plan to stay away from the +p+ loads. Sounds like a good way to ruin my new gun.

    I just bought 2 boxes of Cor-Bon 20 RD. 380+P 90GR. JHP ammo.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    Just to expand on what The Drew said:

    +p+ is a meaningless designation. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute ("SAAMI") sets pressure standards for most sorts of ammunition. Basically, they set up what is or is not an acceptable pressure designation for any given load.

    A given load of 9mm ammo, for example, must have a pressure averaging no greater than 35,000 psi.

    9mm +p must be no greater than 38,500 psi.


    Anything over 38,500 psi for 9mm is not able to be graded and is, certainly, not SAAMI compliant.

    There is no SAAMI +p+ grade for 9mm.

    The flip side, of course, as The Drew mentioned, is that precisely because +p+ doesn't exist, anyone can call their ammo +p+ and SAAMI isn't going to say anything. Thus, you could market 25,000 psi at +p+ and it wouldn't be untrue, simply because the designation is meaningless.

    Most companies, though, tend to use +p+ to mean "really hot." The two main sellers of +p+ 9mm ammunition are Remington and Winchester (and Federal to a lesser extent), who sell a couple of specialty loads to police or other law enforcement agencies that sign waivers. Any dealer stocking Remington or Winchester +p+ ammo is "technically" supposed to have executed an agreement that they'll only sell to law enforcement. The Federal stuff is easier to get, IMHO.

    Anyway, this isn't widely true in practice -- most shops sign off, and then sell to anyone.

    In any case, most modern guns are fine with +p+ from Winchester and Remington. Glock, HK (except the P7 series due to the gas piston), S&W, & Sig. guns made in the last 20 years can pretty much be run on a heavy diet of +p+ ammo without worry from Remington or Winchester. They'll wear out faster, but I've never seen a Kaboom! because of +p+ ammo in any of these guns. I've fired thousands of +p+ loads out of Glocks with no problems at all.

    One last comment: NATO spec for 9mm is 42,000 psi. If someone is selling "NATO" 9mm, and it's in real NATO marked boxes, you can be fairly sure it is hot ammo. This is what is shot in the Beretta 92s issued to the US Army, I think. There have also been limited import runs of really really hot 9mm NATO marked "submachine gun only." The last will, definitely, damage most pistols.

    EDIT TO ADD: Federal's +p+ 9mm 124 gr. Hydrashok load is completely lame. It is actually slower than Winchester's regular +p 124 gr. load. Waste of money.
    Last edited by Rule10b5; March 8th, 2007 at 04:14 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule10b5 View Post
    Federal's +p+ 9mm 124 gr. Hydrashok load is completely lame. It is actually slower than Winchester's regular +p 124 gr. load. Waste of money.
    LOL! thats ridiculous.

    Thanks for the added info

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    Is there a decided advantage in using such +p ammo in say a 9mm? If it is not dangerous in modern guns, why not standardize it and issue warnings for older guns familiar to "normal" 9mm loads?
    Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: +P+ Ammo. I give up, what is it?

    Correct me if i am wrong, but I do believe the +P is also more resistant when reloading. Is it possible that +P+ would be even more so?

    Not talking original store bought here, but for people who reload I am thinking a +P+ in say 38 would be like a cut down .357 as far as the casing goes. Walls a bit thicker to allow for more pressure a longer time. = (More reloads before they crack or split)
    At least this is what i seem to remember having been told.
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