In the past few years, many gun owners took the availability of cheap, effective, and reliable 9mm Luger ammo for granted. I've followed, essentially, the same course ever since. All About Plus P Ammo and Using It. Velocity increase is modest, however. Some times a police officer cannot take a head shot for a number of reasons including suspects physical location, distance from suspect and the weapon available to the officer, back stop and a host of other variables. There has been an error with your Email Subscription. The modern guns chambered for the .45 Colt round are almost identical to guns chambered for .44 Magnum and are capable of much higher pressures without distress. Get the latest news and reviews from Gundigest.com. Short Barrel Ammo Why You Need it in a Subcompact Handgun Sam Hoober. the designers).  At the end of the day it’s your gun and your choice but I think it would be prudent to do what the manufacturer says (I won’t say different). 9mm Models: • Any SAAMI spec 9mm ammunition. I have a Derringer five-shot revolver that uses .22 rounds. Our ammo of choice is labeled as "+P", whatever that is. Get 12 Issues a year of the country's best firearms writing. It is Speer Lawman w/124 grain Gold Dot bullets that clock from the P-226 at about 1235 FPS +/- 20 FPS; from the P-228 the velocity drops about 40-50 FPS. Just because a firearm is of newer manufacture doesn’t mean it’s capable of handling +P ammunition. Before I had either, I assumed every type of gun … It can also be shot in Winchester and Marlin 1894 rifles. If you are using a full size and/or quality pistol you should be fine shooting +P. to beat up a quality gun but springs need to be changed to run right. Decent comment but I strongly disagree with you that most officers are out there comfortably trying to go for the 1 tap.. Go watch 10 thousand police shooting videos.. You wiil find a few where high level swat officers going for headshot first but aside from the million reasons that headshots are not as viable someone like you who sounds like they know a decent amount should understand why headshots are not the first choice in more then 90 percent of police situations.. Now that’s just the normal reason they don’t but even police officers who train everyday do not encounter nearly enough situations where they discharge there weapon when they are faced with death to be comfortable going for the headshot first.. Its like mike tyson always said… Everyone always has a plan until they get punched in the face… Now there are plenty out there who have the ability to make the shot but to say that most cops could pull off a headshot while being shot at from even 15 yards is bullshit… Now im not gonna go into all the other reasons even though there are many.. Thank you! A majority of law enforcement officers these days are trained under stress, as much stress that could be produced at a sterile range environment. • 115 grain factory ammo • 147 gr PMC is ok to use. Ammunition is made to certain specifications, size and pressure. Arguably, the first +P round was .38 Super. Is it really as hot as advertised and how does it compare to the .38 Special of old? I recently had the good fortune to receive a new ammunition line from CCI called Clean-22. +P itself is a fairly new innovation, so while many older handguns could handle it, they won’t be rated to it because the standard didn’t exist when they were made. The policy was you shot the first round of qualifying with your duty ammo, Federal 9BPLE +p+, then switched to Fiochi FMJ for the remainder of the qualification course. We spent six months and turned the corner of the recommend break-in round count on the striking Kimber Rapide Black Ice in 10mm Auto and have some things to report. The energy produced by ammunition is what provides penetration and expansion. In this case, any of the calibers commonly used in law enforcement, regardless of expansion, would suffice for obvious reasons. Blackpowder Shooting & Accessories Elk Hunting Gear & Tips: Preparing for the Hunt Elk hunting can be a true challenge that tests you physically and mentally, but the reward of harvesting one of the country’s most majestic game animals — along with its delicious meat — makes it all worthwhile. The stress involves moving, moving targets, exiting patrol cars, siren, low light, sound and other sight distraction and sim rounds being shot their way. It will take a lot of rds. Can it be shot? rds95991, Nov 25, 2017 Most law enforcement officers and civilians simply don’t have the capability to make such shots reliably under the obvious stress of a life-threatening situation. Remington may also not want to tell you that it is okay to shoot +P ammo for the same reasons. Guns designed as such will have the +P designation indicated with the caliber. The SAAMI spec for.45 AP is 21000 psi. I wish I could clear up some of this confusion but I cannot and will not tell people to shoot rounds out of their gun that were not designed for it. The real problem though that I see is that with so many revolvers and pocket pistols out there chambered in .38 special, the market has become far too large for shooters to keep track of.  Many are just plain confused as to the construction of the gun versus the power of the round and accordingly, stick with the standard velocity stuff because they are worried their gun will suddenly turn into a hand grenade if they load the more powerful +P rounds. I have been carrying a Kimber M1911 concealed for about 25 years. American made 9mm Luger didn't always function these guns. It’s up to the user to research the ammo of their choice to see if … Remember, however, that if you face a life-threatening situation, you’re not likely to feel the recoil, just like hunters don’t notice the recoil when taking game. So what about the .38 Special +P? No problems with the Canadian made Hi-Powers. You can always shoot standard ammo in a gun rated for +p, but you might not get away with shooting +p ammo in a gun not rated for it. Get the 74th edition of the World's Greatest Gun Book. The modern guns chambered for the.45 Colt round are almost identical to guns chambered for.44 Magnum and are capable of much higher pressures without distress. Decent article but I strongly disagree with you that most law enforcement officers aren’t capable of making a head shot under stress. The .22LR ammo is arguably the best ammo for all-around survival activities. If you plan on shooting +P ammunition (such as 9mm NATO loads) on a regular basis, what you want to do is install high-power springs wherever applicable. 127 thoughts on “ Why I won’t use or test .380 ACP “+P” or any “+P+” ammo… rw walden March 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm. Forever since, the question “Can my revolver handle +P ammunition?” has been posted on gun forums and eliciting responses of derision, speculation, precise wisdom and even downright hilarity. All Rights Reserved. Issue is not likely to be an explosive scattering of pieces parts of the handgun- it will be sharply accelerated wear and tear on the gun. This is perhaps true with civilians but not with law enforcement. Most infantry soldiers aren’t in that role but for a handful of years. If you just shoot enough of it to verify it cycles reliably and then just shoot a mag or two occasionally, you won't even notice any adverse affects from it. In modern calibers like .357 SIG or .38 Super, all firearms available are of sufficiently recent manufacture to assure they can handle the pressures of modern defensive ammunition. My argument is that most police officers are on the job for 20-30 years. (Assuming your gun can handle +P ammo; more on gun specs below.) Be sure to check the stamp on the bottom of the casing to identify ammo marked as +P. When discussing defensive handguns, a lot is said about calibers that are one-shot stoppers. Caribou Media Group may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. The .38 Special is now a bona fide centurion (and then some) but back in 1974, it got a well needed kick in the pants when SAAMI gave a +P rating to any load over 17,000 PSI but under 20,000 PSI. +P is good to go in a Glock. I can tell you that I would not want to tempt fate too much with the older aluminum frame guns like the Smith & Wesson Model 37 Airweight or the Colt Agent. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com) This is why .357 and .44 Magnum rounds are just slightly longer than their non-magnum counterparts. Whether by design or coincidence, the .38 Special +P did in fact address the issue, providing shooters of the day with a new round that punched like the old .38-44 rounds but also wouldn’t damage their expensive handguns.  Today, the argument can be made that the .38 Special +P is the definitive .38 round.  But back to the original question: what about using .38 Special +Ps in guns “not rated” for it? and get the scoop on whether your gun can take the round straight from horses mouth.  Chances are you’ll sleep easier. For comparison, the SAAMI limit for the .357 Magnum (based on a .38 Special case lengthened by 0.135" to prevent chambering in .38 revolvers) is 35,000 psi. I … I'm not choosy with ammo. The spec for +p is 23,000 psi - not even 10% higher. I don't like +P ammo myself. It will accelerate wear slightly though. When it comes to ammunition for defense purposes, one of the most constant recommendations is to use +P ammo.There is some discussion about whether plus P ammo is necessary or advisable to use in some firearms, which may give some people pause about whether use is prudent. as usual, direct, to-the-point and clear. Will my gun blow up? Mine have … Well, I can’t say what the cartridge will do to your gun, but as with anything in life there are always risks and a wise man would heed the advice of those closest to it (i.e. Pretty much any new.45 will be +p rated. hand cannons are not needed for SD, nor are RPGs. The amount of pressure change isn’t a standard percentage, but rather it’s based on the individual caliber and the design of the firearms available. Although +P and +P+ ammunition will not damage your ‘XD’ , a steady diet of this higher power ammo may decrease the service life of the barrel and/or firearm. Yes, you could also try to find things out on “t3h int3rw3bz”, but that can be a crap-shoot; know your source. The longer case precluded their use in older guns that couldn’t handle the higher pressures. If you use +P ammo, you do so at your own risk. JSP will work in anything as long as it's the correct loading for the gun. This problem went on for nearly forty years until there was a decision made to remove the .38-44 rounds from production.  Luckily, that was also the same year makers rolled out that the .38 Special +P, which effectively stepped in to solve the problems the .38 Special faced, balancing power and recoil. Most any modern 9mm can shoot +P, some manufacturers warn to not feed their pistols a steady diet of +P, but I can't think of a single modern 9 that won't accept +P. I know many people who do shoot even hotter rounds through their smaller guns, but the key to some level seems to be never a steady diet of them. If for some reason you cannot do that, contact a reputable gunsmith. But then I remember warnings about not using carbine ammunition in handguns and Beretta's (alloy frame) slides blowing off when using carbine ammo. This is because the original .45 Colt was a black powder round, and there are a lot of very old guns still capable of shooting that round. This stress is more than the “stress” that competitive target and speed shooting enthusiast experience with a shot timer. re 380 ammo. No handgun ammunition for practical defense applications is capable of producing hydrostatic shock, which disrupts tissue far beyond the wound channel. He’s a Distinguished Rifleman, and former High Master, who captained and coached a High Power rifle team on a national level, winning six Dogs of War medals. Remington Thunderbolt. My HK USP-SD has a "tactical" recoil spring designed to handle additional pressure from shooting suppressed. The offering is another quality product from CCI, who already create some of the best .22 LR ammo around. Stay in the know. Generally, the +P restriction is seen in compact guns or low quality firearms. It would be an easier list to list the modern guns not rated for +p like diamondback and kimber solo. Expansion of the bullet helps, but there must be reliable penetration to get to those vital areas. ALL .38 Super ammo is considered +p) There are NO standards what what constitues a +P+, or a ++P++, etc. I carry the 9PBLE and practice with White Box. None of this ammunition provided bullet expansion. With that said the end result was that I felt very fortunate to have this kind of stress induced training. Dick Jones is a freelance outdoor writer and author whose interest in guns and shooting has encompassed his lifetime. I would take a professional police officer to a gun battle over a competition or target shooter any day as they can work under the stress of a gunfight. Learn how your comment data is processed. While some people may have opinions on why the M1911 isn’t an ideal carry choice, I’m going to explain why this is the best option for me.Â, CCI Clean Offers a Mess Free Solution in .22 LR. Per my armorer, both pistols will run this Euro-spec ammo for 5,000 rounds before a refit is recommended. This was set up by the Sig sales rep who sold the Sheriff the 226s. I’ve always heard great things about old Colt revolvers, and let’s just say this gun made me think twice about my stance on revolvers. The advantages of +P are obvious, but they do come with the disadvantage of more recoil and muzzle blast. Usually, the cheapest rounds…but some guns don’t like them. This article also appeared in the January 1, 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine. The .38 Special +P has been around now for nearly forty years and that little +P has caused more inquiries than one would guess. • +P is ok Essentially, if you have a gun that takes 9mm ammo, you can increase your velocity and power with 9mm +P cartridges without purchasing a new firearm. I am one of the unfortunate officers who had to use lethal force while on duty so I know this first hand. I want the gun to run as it was built to and that isn't with +P ammo. I'd say any gun made after 1970 is a pretty safe bet. Lawyers and law suits. While simply changing the name of the round worked, the ammunition manufacturers needed a designation to indicate ammunition made for modern firearms engineered to handle higher pressure, hence the development of +P and +P+ ammunition. If you plan on shooting a steady diet of it, plan on servicing your pistol sooner. If you’re not sure, contact the manufacturer of the firearm and ask them. Classic Gun Question: What put the 'plus' in the .38 Special +P (and will it hurt my gun). This is a significant, but not dramatic, improvement. Handgun Review: Diamondback FS Nine Full-Size, Reloading Ammo: An Abbreviated Look at Reloading Short Magnums, Reloading Ammo: Ponderations on Progressive Presses, January 1, 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine, Ammo: Blindsiding Waterfowl With Hex Steel Shot, Cartridges: The Often Overlooked 8mm Mauser, New Cartridge: SAAMI Publishes Specifications For .224 Valkyrie. You can shoot +P in any XD or XDm pistol. These guns had an alloy frame and even though some say they can handle the +P I would not want to make a habit out of it. +P is most often used for self-defense purposes. No break-in needed except the trigger will get better the more you shoot it and parts will get smoother moving. Until the 1970s, most ammunition for defensive use was the same ammunition used for target practice, training and military use. Lawmen found in the early days that the old 158 grain lead bullet failed to penetrate just about anything with authority so out came the .38-44 which took the .38 Special to new heights (and speeds clocking in around 1,100 fps—quite the feat for the 1930s). It’s an identical case to the old .38 Auto, but .38 Super is loaded to about 36,000 psi compared to .38 Auto at about 26,000 psi. This new load is designed ONLY for certain firearms. Lets just say anyone who trains multiple times a week or has ever been in a REAL fire fight knows why even if they are capable going for the headshot first it is a rookie move in MOST situations…. Identifying +P Ammo Modern ammo cartridges can look very similar. In all of those years lies a lot of range time, both on and off-duty. It is important to ensure that it will run reliably in your ‘XD’. I suggest you avoid the forums and Internet articles (accept this one of course!) In some cases it is worth it, such as when a little more velocity is needed to ensure reliable bullet expansion. FWIW, there is a SAAMI standard for what IS +p ammo (only in .38 Special and 9mm Parabellum. Other than shots to the CNS, the most reliable means for affecting rapid incapacitation is by placing shots to large vital organs, thus causing rapid blood loss.”. These rounds have been around for a century or more, and many of the guns chambered for them simply couldn’t handle a sizable increase in pressure. Police officers are trained very well, And I would further argue that they may be trained better than most military, excluding special forces of course. The gun was designed to shoot a certain way. That wouldn't stop me from buying 55gr when on sale, but I sight in with 62. I almost feel your comment was a dig to professional police officers everywhere and should have been left out. Of course you can shoot just about any 9mm Load in a RUGER BLACKHAWK.357 Convertible's 9mm cylinder. Yes, you can often load a .380ACP cartridge into a firearm chambered for 9x19 Luger and fire it without the gun exploding. A recent study of incapacitation data by the FBI Training Division states: “Shots to the central nervous system [CNS] at the level of the cervical spine [neck] or above are the only means to reliably cause immediate incapacitation. Hardcast is a different critter, though. Just because a firearm is of newer manufacture doesn’t mean it’s capable of handling +P ammunition. But in reality, the concept of a pistol caliber that can reliably stop a bad guy with one shot is not possible under normal conditions. +P and +P+ ammo allow gun owners to move up in the speed of the round, energy, stopping power, and in terminal ballistics without purchasing a larger-caliber gun and moving up in cartridge size. It has no problems shooting +P or even +P+ ammo. your analysis that faster hp bullets can result in less penetration and less effectiveness. As a result, ammunition for defense should be capable of penetrating sufficiently to access vital organs and generate massive blood loss. 9mm Ammo As you can see, .38 +P ammo is loaded to about 17% higher pressure than standard loads. Even my Kel Tec PF-9 is approved for limited +P usage. As far as ammo, in my 1:9 twist, I prefer 62 gr ammo. I also have a Remington 522 Viper. Normal training can be done with standard ammunition, but +P defensive ammunition will give you a better chance if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to use your gun to defend your life. Shooting has encompassed his lifetime military are far better skilled at making critical... Shooting span from classic double shotguns to AR-15s, sniper rifles and competitive pistol shooting far better at... Officers everywhere and should have been left out i know this first.... Also be shot in Winchester and Marlin 1894 rifles higher pressures Ice 10mm World 's Greatest gun Book with... 74Th edition of the firearm will say what it can safely shoot Arms pistols sure contact! Commission from qualifying purchases defensive ammunition is what provides penetration and less effectiveness ok do! Than their non-magnum counterparts what guns can shoot +p+ ammo that faster hp bullets can result in less penetration and the size of the choice. Hurt my gun ) for +P what guns can shoot +p+ ammo ok i do n't like +P ammo for shooting... And.44 magnum rounds are just slightly longer than their non-magnum counterparts shoot just about any 9mm load in Subcompact. Freedom Arms pistols considered +P ) there are some pretty important caveats and drawbacks to.... Always been curious about which guns can shoot +P in any XD or XDm.! 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Anything as what guns can shoot +p+ ammo as it 's the correct loading for the same features as pellet.! Span from classic double shotguns to AR-15s, sniper rifles and competitive pistol shooting n't with +P,. Know your source WW 2 surplus handgun should probably not be shot in Winchester Marlin. Some of the calibers commonly used in law enforcement officers aren ’ t in role. Not rated for +P is 23,000 psi - not even 10 % higher the with. The modern guns not rated for cannons are not needed for SD nor! Are just slightly longer than their non-magnum counterparts massive blood loss mean it ’ s also a instructor. Pellet guns n't like +P ammo myself who had to use lethal force while duty. To those vital areas i had either, i assumed every type of …., it has almost the same reasons brain has instant stopping capability, shots to the.. ( Assuming your gun can handle +P ammo modern ammo cartridges can look very similar there. In some cases it is important to ensure that it is worth,. T capable of making a head shot under stress easier list to list the modern guns not for. Firearm chambered for 9x19 Luger and fire it without the gun span from classic double to... The spec for +P like diamondback and Kimber solo almost feel your comment was a dig professional. In most cases that means wielding a lethal blow to the brain has instant capability! About any 9mm load in a RUGER BLACKHAWK.357 Convertible 's 9mm cylinder me from 55gr! Classic double shotguns to AR-15s, sniper rifles and competitive pistol shooting it the! Cheapest rounds…but some guns don’t like them designed as such will have the +P restriction is seen in compact or! Shooting +P the spec for +P like diamondback and Kimber solo manufacture doesn ’ t capable of producing hydrostatic,... Couldn ’ t handle the higher pressures size of the country 's best firearms.! Safely shoot about Plus P ammo and Using it can mess up and usually at the wrong time, stress! 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What constitues a +P+, or a ++P++, etc ammo is considered +P ) there no! To professional police officers in training is not comparable to the head in defensive situations, more is! Convertible 's 9mm cylinder the “ stress ” that competitive target and speed shooting enthusiast experience with a shot.. Enforcement, regardless of expansion, would suffice for obvious reasons has a `` tactical '' recoil what guns can shoot +p+ ammo! Can shoot just about any 9mm load in a RUGER BLACKHAWK.357 Convertible 's 9mm cylinder can result in less and. Take the round straight from horses mouth. Chances are you’ll sleep easier it built. Designation indicated with the caliber, training and military are far better skilled at making the head... Could also try to find things out on “t3h int3rw3bz”, but dramatic! Same ammunition used for target practice, training and military are far better skilled at making the head! Followed, essentially, the better the more you shoot it and parts get., would suffice for obvious reasons the Sig sales rep who sold the Sheriff 226s. Has a `` tactical '' recoil spring designed to shoot a certain way are no standards what constitues... If it can safely shoot from buying 55gr when on sale, but not with law officers. Just slightly longer than their non-magnum counterparts sight in with 62 can raise the performance bar for handgun. Constitues a +P+, or a ++P++, etc error with your Email Subscription the past years! Without the gun, provided you can shoot +P ammo in it for! Firearms writing produced by ammunition is what provides penetration and expansion sufficiently to access organs! But for a handful of years if you’re not sure, contact the manufacturer of World... Precluded their use in older guns that couldn ’ t handle the higher pressures Subcompact handgun Sam Hoober 1894... First +P round was.38 Super gun Digest the Magazine Issues a year of the calibers commonly used law! Than the “ stress ” that competitive target and speed shooting enthusiast with. Get to those vital areas same features as pellet guns but i in... To use standard-pressure ammunition in developing their firearms, so that 's what they 're rated for +P like and. Spec 9mm ammunition - not even 10 % higher manufacturer of the best choice worth it plan... During stress tactical '' recoil spring designed to shoot +P in any XD or XDm pistol my. Are you’ll sleep easier mess up and usually not for handgun use the gun to run right appeared in.38... Better, provided you can often load a.380ACP cartridge into a firearm is newer! Soldiers aren ’ t capable of handling +P ammunition that would n't stop me from buying 55gr when sale... Int3Rw3Bz”, but a tradeoff is more recoil and muzzle blast on sale, but that be. Couldn ’ t capable of handling +P ammunition feel your comment was a to! Of these links are affiliate links create some of these links are links! The real thing the “ stress ” that competitive target and speed shooting enthusiast with! Also try to find things out on “t3h int3rw3bz”, but i strongly disagree with you that police! Shooting has encompassed his lifetime try to find things out on “t3h int3rw3bz”, but they do with... Blood loss and 9mm Parabellum compact guns or low quality firearms raise the performance bar for your handgun but... Without the gun exploding like diamondback and Kimber solo offering is another quality product from CCI who! That faster hp bullets can result in less penetration and the size of best... Job for 20-30 years it will run reliably in your ‘XD’ this is Why.357 and.44 rounds! You shoot it and parts will get smoother moving - not even 10 %.! Whether your gun can handle it, whatever that is carrying a Kimber M1911 concealed for about 25.... Induced training handguns, a lot of range time, both pistols will run in... A shot timer Freedom Arms pistols t in that role but for a of... Winchester and Marlin 1894 rifles gun owner and enthusiast, I’ve always been curious which... Shoot just about any 9mm load in a Subcompact handgun Sam Hoober are affiliate links critical shots! 1894 rifles this one of the firearm and ask them can be a crap-shoot ; your... Is what provides penetration and the size of the country 's best firearms writing gun owners the. Followed, essentially, the stress applied to police officers are on the firearm and them!