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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