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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I'd appreciate your view on this topic. As seems to sadly be the case whenever this sort of "stopping power" topic comes up, there can too frequently be a disintegration of the thread into a shouting match. Politely stated views would be appreciated without a decent into "Oh, yeah? Prove it," and that sort of thing. Some might very well have some documentation lending credence to one load/caliber's superiority over another and this is fine. Others might respond with results that are not documented and footnoted
at the bottom of a report. Both are welcome as are simply personal opinions.

Best.
 

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Good Morning :)

Doesn't matter that much to me pre se`.

More important that I feel 'comfy' with the load, based on performance and reliability _in_that_gun_.

As ELB noted in another thread, not all standard pressure loads are slower than +P.

There are some pieces I won't use hot loads in. Period.


Regards,

Pat
 
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It seems to me that if you can get decent expansion, a moderate level of penetration, and reliable feeding in your choice of weapons without going the +P route, then go for it. Shot placement is the single most important factor in stopping power (better to hit with a .22 than miss with a .45) anyway. Once in the right place, will the bullet perform as intended? That depends on so many variables (clothing, barriers, distance, angle, etc.) it's almost impossible to say with certainty. Bottom line is to keep firing until the threat is gone, and hope you are hitting vital areas with some of your shots, +P, +P+, standard pressure, or whatever. All other factors being equal (they never are), I would choose the +P or +P+, but the wear on the gun is accelerated and follow up shots might be slower as recoil increases.
 

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What an interesting topic for discussion!

My feelings vary with the caliber, and even with the gun. While I use the RA9AT +P+ 127-gr 9x19 in my Glock 26, I run the softer-recoiling 147-gr standard pressure load through my BHP.

In .38 spl, I use +P 158-gr LSWCHPs in some guns, 147-gr +P+ Hydra-Shoks in others, and home-rolled spicy wadcutters in others . . . depending on barrel length and the frame material.

For me it all depends on performance from a given gun and what it'll do to that gun. I do a cost/benefit analysis, and then decide on what to run in the individual gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello and thanks for the responses. I voted for +P in some calibers and standard in others. In 9mm I prefer the +P to standard though I admit the difference on the receiving end is probably somewhat small. In .45 ACP, I prefer standard velocity 230-gr. loads as performance is probably satisfactory and rapid-fire control is not hard to achieve. +P in the same weight bullet actually does slow me up shot-to-shot compared to standard. In .38 Special, particularly the snub, I opted for +P simply because I think that the snub benefits from a traditional weight bullet as "fast" as can be safely had from a 1 7/8" bbl.

Best.
 

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Hello,

I voted Std. in some, but +P in others. I really feel better loading my J-Frames up with +P, but, I only use Std. Pressure Ammo for everything else, and never give it a second thought.

Take Care,
The Sockman
 

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I also voted for a variety. In .45 ACP I don't use +P ammo for defense, though I always load up +P in .38 Special. In 9mm it depends on the gun, or as PFF so eloquently stated, "More important that I feel 'comfy' with the load, based on performance and reliability _in_that_gun_."

Currently my non +P 9mm ammo, which I use in both an unmodified BHP and in a Brigadier, is the 124-grain Federal Hydra Shok. In my modified Mark III BHP, it's +P or +P+ loads only, as it won't function reliably with standard pressure 115 FMJ. It does, however, function perfectly with 124-grain military ball ammo (which I categorize as +P). Based on research into real world performance, I'm comfortable carrying 115 Winchester Silvertips, though I'm not carrying them currently.

I don't carry any souped up ammo (i.e. Cor Bon) in the Smith & Wesson 2 1/2" M66 I carry on occasion, but I also don't load it down with .38 Special ammo. In that one I carry full charge Remington 125-grain SJHPs.

It's not physically comfortable for me to carry any revolver bigger than a K frame, so I won't get into my loads for the .41 and .44 Magnums. As I've gotten older I've fired less and less of the .44 stuff and have come to love and respect the .41, but a 4" M57 not a comfortable carry, and my M58 needs a bit of work (it MIGHT get carried some after I finish diddling around with it a bit more).
 

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Mr. Camp,

I voted that it doesn't make me any difference, but it does to a point.

I try to look at the velocity in any caliber where the bullet performs best. I do like most of my 9mm +P, but some, like the 124gr EFMJ, need +P to perform correct, in my opinion.

I guess what I'm trying to get around to is that I don't necessarily equate +P with speed. The 124gr EFMJ is advertised at 1100fps or so (IIRC) and needs that extra boost to get it up there with the standard pressure rounds in 124gr.

It's also a POA = POI issue with me. The 124gr +P hits correctly from my carry pistol as that pistol was designed for 124gr ammo @ 1230fps (so it states in the owner's manual). 115gr shoots too low, and 115gr +P shoots lower still. This might not matter in most SD situations, but I don't want to be playing with "Kentucky windage" if I have to make a 25yd shot for whatever reason.

I still can't figure out why the EFMJ shoots to POA when other 124gr standards are a bit high... ???

Oh well. Maybe I make things to complex, but that's me.

Josh <><
 

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I don't know. I'll have to shoot some and get back to you on it. I haven't had the opportunity or spare cash to justify +P loads in guns I only use at the range. I can say, that even if the gun was designed for +P loads, I would feel more comfortable firing standard pressure loads. I'm just that kind of guy, I think any round coming out of the end of the barrel, whether +p or standard will work fine, as long as I hit what I'm aiming for.

-Rob
 
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I like the +P in 38 Special and that's about it.

In 9 minimeter, I used to think it was necessary, but not anymore. At least not w JHP for defense. Military use? NATO ball penetrates hard stuff better, but isn't any better against bad guys w/o armor than std ball.

The 124 - 147 GD, GS, HST, RT are fine w me.

The std pressure 93g Magtech First Defense SCHP (solid copper hollow point) surprised the heck out of me; did just fine at 1330 fps from a P89, HP, and G19. Compared to CB DPX through denim it penetrated deep enough for me (18 inches of water v 24) and expanded better than the CorBon DPX (.58 DPX v .62 FD). The DPX petals folded flat against the bullet, the FD stayed extended.

The EFMJ does not need to be +P to work properly as far as terminal ballistics are concerned.

The 124/9 EFMJ is long for it's weight, so when it's loaded to "std" velocities, case capacity is reduced and pressure rises. A 124 +P EFMJ did 1065 fps from a G19 and did 14/.56 into a deer at 15 ft. I've seen much faster +P stuff do worse.

The 105/9 EFMJ is std pressure, lighter, and faster. It expands more, penetrates a little less. Through denim in gel ya get about 14/.55 w the 124 +P, about 12/.62 w the 105 std.

I haven't found any significant differences w POA/POI in my shooting either. Obviously, YMMDV. ;)
 

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I prefer +P myself. Be it .380/9x19mm/.38 Spl. I carry +p 124 gr. Gold Dot 9x19mm myself.
 

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Depends on the cartridge. Just as the .38 Special relates to the .357 strictly as a matter of velocity, it would seem that 9 being velocity dependent would benefit from +P or +P+, whereas the .45's larger bore size and weight work fine in standard pressure guise if the "statistics" are to be believed. At "normal" combat ranges, the difference in POA/POI have got to be miniscule amongst cartridges of the same projectile weight, not that any of us are going to hold that well when the elephant is heading your way ;-)
 

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A number of comments:

Firstly, speed is one factor of the kinetic energy (KE) formula. KE increases exponentially with an increase of velocity. However, a poorly designed or made bullet may not expand no matter how much KE it has. Expansion within the target seems to be what is needed to have the energy perform the work you want it to do - namely damage or destroy tissue. Finally the bullet has to be placed where it will cause the maximum amount of "most productive" damage. I doesn't matter how big, heavy, or fast a bullet is given it is a properly placed, well-designed bullet of sufficient energy.
 
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I shoot 9mm Parabellum.

I think that we have an excellent solution with bullets *designed* to perform optimal at a given velocity which is obtainable within normal pressure - as with the Speer 124 grain Gold Dot fired from a gun with 4" barrel or longer - there is no need for +P loads.

+P velocity with such a bullet/barrel would work to the contrary - giving excessive penetration and overexpantion (separation). +P would be needed with shorter barrels only.

It seems many dislike the Gold Dot at standard velocity and prefers other designs at +P levels, I don't know why. Perhaps because it was the way it had to be before this design evolved... From tests I've read the Gold Dot performs just fine.
 
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I voted it makes no difference, as to me, it does not. I have been in a self defense situation where a firearm would have been welcomed, and was not available - that said I'll take anything with gunpowder and a projectile over nothing at all. There is a wolrd of difference in potential of each caliber, in each available loading - there is also a world of difference in potential targets.

There was a suicide bomber out here, shot 3 times, center mass, with API from an M2. The guy kept moving towards his target intent on blowing himself up. A Bradley pulling security near the checkpoint ended the encounter with 25mm HE. In the end, the man was still blown up, only he wasn't the cause of his detonation - and he didn't take anyone with him.

What is the point to that little story? If there is a threat, I will keep shooting it with whatever I can shoot it with, until the threat is no more. That, to me, is why it doesn't matter if it's standard pressure, +p, +p+, AP, API, or HE. That's my take on it.

Anthony
 

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I don't use +P in any of my carry guns. Here's why:

For carry guns, I like fixed sights. That means experimenting to find a round that I shoot well, and with which POI is very close to POA at a given range, which for me is 15 yds. It would not matter to me if that round was +P or not, but somehow it never is. YMMV.
 

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"Firstly, speed is one factor of the kinetic energy (KE) formula. KE increases exponentially with an increase of velocity. However, a poorly designed or made bullet may not expand no matter how much KE it has. Expansion within the target seems to be what is needed to have the energy perform the work you want it to do - namely damage or destroy tissue. Finally the bullet has to be placed where it will cause the maximum amount of "most productive" damage. I doesn't matter how big, heavy, or fast a bullet is given it is a properly placed, well-designed bullet of sufficient energy."

Again, define "sufficient energy." 200lb-ft? 300?

The problem I have with this theory, no offense intended or implied, is that poorly designed slugs like .45 ball BECAUSE of their weight and size work about as well as the old FBI .38Spl 158gr +P LSWCHP. Why is that? Given equal placement, the larger cartridges seem to work a tad better, even without expansion, contrast the results between 9 and .45 ball. Energy alone has been a rather poor predictor of effectiveness.

Agree that expansion can help, it just makes the larger bore round even better ;-)

My .02 worth.
 
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+p is great to have in the shorter barreled guns since it makes the bullets perform as if they were fired from a longer barrel at standard pressure basically as they were originally designed for.
 

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I prefer +P in 38 Special and some of the 9mm loads but standard pressures in everything else. It mostly depends on the bullet itself and how well it will penetrate and expand. In my testing some bullets will overexpand and shed way too much bullet weight at +P velocities.
 
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