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Old 07-05-2012, 02:00 PM
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Default 9mm +P and +P+

I have a case of Federal Hydra Shok (P9HS3G1) that is +P+ ammo. It is rated at 1170 velocity and 375 energy. In reading the S&W catalog for a modern revolver, it says not to shoot +P+ ammo. My 9mm revolver is a 940-1.

I've looked at Speer 9mm Short Barrel that is +P ammo and it is rated at 1150 velocity and 364 energy.

My thoughts are that the +P+ (in this case) is not significantly different than the +P and that there would be no difference in shooting either round through my 940-1.

Before I do this, is there something I'm missing? I wouldn't hesitate to shoot the Speer Short Barrel +P. Is there some reason not to shoot the Hydra Shock?
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Last edited by Jerry N.; 01-27-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:33 PM
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I dont think you will find one firearms manufacturer, that says its OK to shoot +P+ in any firearm. That being said, it is at your own risk ,if you decide to do so.
From first hand experience, I shoot Winchester Ranger +P+ 127 gr. in my 9mm Glocks, all the time with no ill effects, as do I shoot +P+ in my S&W 640, and 60 that are rated for .38 +P, with no ill effects. JMO.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:40 PM
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First, that's spelled Hydra-Shok, not "Hydro."

And there is a reason not to shoot any Plus P Plus ammo. . You cannot deduce pressures by looking at the velocity alone. Plus P Plus ammo is not loaded to standard, stated, pressures; it is loaded to the specs from the ordering agency, and is not normally available to the public.

In other words, you have no idea what is in that ammo. But it is probably going to be pretty hard on guns. I would avoid it in Beretta and Browning 9mm's and the Luger and P-38/P-1 and probably others.

I think MAYBE S&W's 9mm autos are Rated for Plus P Plus. SIG 's MAY be. But for almost no velocity gain, you are risking longtime life expectancy of your gun.

Plus P 9mm ammo is hot enough, and will sometimes exceed 1200 FPS in a four-inch or longer barrel. And you know the specs to which it was made, or can ask. I suggest Speer's Gold Dot Plus P 124 grain or Federal's HST ammo. Federal's 115 grain JHP in their old Classic line may be the best non-Plus P 9mm. It has a pretty good street rep, and is easy on older nines and on Beretta and Browning arms.

If you need more than the above, go to a more powerful cartridge.

Of course, you have all of that expensive ammo... I'd try to contact the manufacturer and ask if they'll tell you for whom it was made and the pressure peak. They'll need the lot number. You may be asked how it got into your hands. If you're lucky, they'll tell you that it isn't too much above normal Plus P pressures and to use it. But probably not in a 940 or in any gun with a light alloy frame. Do not fire in a Lahti, either Finn or Swedish make. You may damage the gun in short order.

I suspect a Glock may handle it. Sweden adopted the Glock because it stood up better with their hot 9mm SMG ammo than other brands of handguns tested.

OH: I have been advised by Browning and Beretta that their guns will handle NATO ammo. Obviously, they do, in NATO service. But many feel that they are best used most of the time with standard pressure ammo, that they may endure longer. Naturally, the less hard you drive any horse, the longer it will last. My M-92FS is loaded with HST or Gold Dot Plus P's for defense use. But range time usually calls for milder rounds. My M-66-3 .357 Magnum also shoots mainly .38 Special ammo.

The extensive breakage of Browning Hi-Powers in UK service is probably due to excessive use of their very hot ammo, loaded by Radway Green arsenal. They practiced a LOT with those guns, and the Brownings used were not the current MK III, which has been beefed up a little with more steel around the ejection port. I have heard (not confirmed) that current Brownings also have a stronger steel formula.

Last edited by Texas Star; 07-29-2012 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:11 PM
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Thanks. I think I'll leave it for my GLOCK. I kind of thought the 940, being made of steel, would have no problem with the hot ammo but I know I can repair or replace the GLOCK if something happens so I'll leave it for that. I will get a little stronger recoil spring for it though.

Thanks for the advice.
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Last edited by Jerry N.; 07-05-2012 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:38 AM
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It has to do with the pressure spike or curve. You can load a 357 with 2400 powder to achieve 1300 fps safely. If you used Bullseye powder to attain the same 1300 fps velocity you would have a bomb in your hand.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:25 AM
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I used the 127+P+ for a few years as a carry load and shot a lot of them. With all the performance data that's available,and along with my own actual testing in my own guns I switched to the 147gr. Ranger (RA9t).
The bullet designs are all tweaked these days to perform well at their own respective velocities and the newer 147 grainers give excellant penetration and expansion and do so with regularity. I am now using the 147gr.HST almost exclusively in all 9mm's of any barrel length. Performance stays the same.If these weren't available I'd go with he same loads in the 124+P versions. I see no reason to have the often excessive pressures of the +P+,as you're really not gaining much in true terminal performance(although they do work well) and it causes more wear on the pistol if you shoot a lot as I do.
It's actually pretty difficult to find a poor 9mm load these days. I think we've about reached the pinnacle in ammo development. After years of less than stellar ammo production,all the ammo companies have been forced by shooter demands to turn out good performing ammunition to stay competitive in the market.
ETA: If you want to stay with a plusP load,then,as Texas Star suggested,the Speer 124gr.+P is one of the best available with an actual excellant street record,and is a true bonded bullet.No way to go wrong with it.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:00 AM
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I have a 940 with a 2" barrel and I shoot 147 gr. bullets at 1080 FPS and 124 gr. bullets at 1170 FPS. These are loads that have been shot over the chronograph so there is no guessing. I shoot enough of these to verify point of impact and to ensure that there is no sticky extraction. The 940 is one of the toughest 9mm handguns that was ever made. The cylinder stop notches are offset and there is no unsupported chamber. The only potential problem could be the sticky extraction, a problem which afflicted some 940s. You have nothing to lose by trying that ammo in your 940. If it works well for you, then by all means carry it with confidence.

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Old 07-29-2012, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeBee View Post
I dont think you will find one firearms manufacturer, that says its OK to shoot +P+ in any firearm. That being said, it is at your own risk ,if you decide to do so.
From first hand experience, I shoot Winchester Ranger +P+ 127 gr. in my 9mm Glocks, all the time with no ill effects, as do I shoot +P+ in my S&W 640, and 60 that are rated for .38 +P, with no ill effects. JMO.
The USP is rated by Heckler & Koch to shoot any type of 9mm ammo including +P+. It is stated right in the operator's manual. Bill
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:52 AM
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You might find it worth while to do some googling to find Doc Roberts' duty ammo recommendations. While I avoid arfcom like the plague, I suspect it is the easiest open forum in which to find those commentaries. Gary is probably the leading source of testing and information on duty/defense ballistics.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry N. View Post
... In reading the S&W catalog for a modern revolver, it says not to shoot +P+ ammo. ...
That statement is reiterated in the owner's manual. So you have been advised against it by the manufacturer at least twice.

But you obviously want to do it, so you seek permission to do so from total strangers.

If the gun doesn't break, good for you.

If it breaks, don't complain if S&W refuses to replace it under warranty.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:40 PM
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That +P+ Hydra Shok was the FBI issue load for years and years, when all manner of Sigs and Smith autos were authorized. The 940 was also briefly on the POW list, until issues with the full moon clips caused it be pulled.

If it was breaking guns, my overly cautious employer would have pulled it.

I've got a stash of it and shoot it any 9mm I can stuff it in.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug M. View Post
You might find it worth while to do some googling to find Doc Roberts' duty ammo recommendations. While I avoid arfcom like the plague, I suspect it is the easiest open forum in which to find those commentaries. Gary is probably the leading source of testing and information on duty/defense ballistics.
....or look at M4Carbine.net. he does a lot of extra things there,including posting.All of his recommended loads that he has tested are listed in the Terminal Ballistics section.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:48 PM
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Somewhere in this thread I was told to ask Federal what the pressure was on these rounds. I re-read the thread and didn't find the question so maybe it was a PM. Anyway, I finally got around to asking Federal and their response was:

"Our work limit on these loads is 38,000psi."

So how would I find out if the 940 can handle 38,000psi?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:24 AM
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I think Ruger P series autos were rated as ok with +P+ 9 mm ammo
and there are lots of them around for sale at reasonable prices.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:03 AM
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The Illinois State Police carried the S&W M39/59 in various generations before they transitioned to the Glock. They fired probably millions of +P+ rounds through those guns without failures.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:31 PM
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If you are lucky enough to own a 32 oz Beretta 92FS Brigadier, 9mm auto.....................

it will eat 115gr +P+ ammo like M&M's all day long.

The Speer actually has three velosity loads for the 9mm.
standard vel, +P velosity and the short barrel which used a 3" barrel to achive its velosity.
All three have a different code number on the boxs.

As a note on the +P+ 124gr ammo.
It was first designed with a slower powder that would burn longer,since it was intended for the 8 inch submachine gun,in its day. One reason it only gets 1170fps in a pistol with only a 4 inch barrel or less. A standard +P with correct powder for a 4" barrel is what we should use if possible, since the pressure are with in specs and easier on the weapons.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 01-31-2013 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: 9mm +P and +P+

If you have a modern quality semi auto gun +p and +p+ are fine to shoot in it. It will put more wear on the gun but not to the point where you'll notice it in 6mo or even years, unless youre shooting tens of thousands of rounds a year.

Glocks
HKs
Walther P99/PPQ
S&W M&P and steel autos
Sig
New Hi Powers
Springfield XD
Berretta
1911 9mm
Kahr
Shield

Are all good to go.
I would NOT use it in

Keltec
Jennings
Hi Points
Skyy
Ruger P9
Any surplus guns

The reasons most gun manufacturers say not to use it is because there is no standard. So they dont want to be responsible if you buy Billy Bobs ammo who might or might not take a chug of moonshine after every round.

No current ammo manufacturer wants to be sued for blowing up your gun and hurting you so its not like this ammo is a bomb inside your chamber

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:57 PM
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For what it's worth, the established SAAMI ceiling for 9mm +P is 38,500 PSI, which is about 500 PSI above the "working limit" Federal gave you. It is possible that P9HS3G1 could, under some circumstances, exceed 38.5k by a small margin, hence the "+P+" designation.

Is it worth the admittedly small risk of shooting a round that could spike above +P pressures but nowhere near "proof load" territory? That's something only you can decide. As a rule, I don't tell people what they "should" use in their own personal firearm.

What I can say is this: Try a cylinder full just to see how it shoots in your particular 940. If it performs less than satisfactory or you just don't feel comfortable with shooting any +P+ ammo at all, there are plenty of other 9mm loadings that are excellent choices, Winchester Ranger RA9T being one of them.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:37 PM
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Is it possible = Most certainly, yes

Is it advisable = More than likely, no

There's my .02

Your .02 may vary

Krusr
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Ammo Thread, 9mm +P and +P+ in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; I have a case of Federal Hydra Shok (P9HS3G1) that is +P+ ammo. It is rated at 1170 velocity and ...
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