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+P vs. Standard Pressure

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On the issue of +P vs. Standard Pressure. Are there any pure tactical advantages to +P over Standard pressure? I realize there is usually increased penetration, kinetic energy, and expansion, but not always. Particularly in a caliber such as 9mm, is it absolutely necessary to carry +P or will you be fine with standard pressure loads?

I think it's a trade off really. You're getting increased power (theoretically), but you're getting increased muzzle flash and recoil. Not too mention the added expense.

So, set me straight gents, I know there is the all important factor of personal comfort. But set me straight on the myths and truths of +P vs. Standard Pressure.

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Chris, thanks for the link.

I searched for it previously, thinking we had discussed this before, but couldn't find it.

In my observation over the last 10 yrs is that some +P loads are hotter than others. Depends on the manufacturer. Corbon and Black Hills offer pretty hot +P loads. Speer and Remington offer +P loads that are not significantly much more faster than their standard loads- the advantage is a marginal increase in velocity and recoil at the expense of increased chamber pressure, wear, and tear to your beloved pistol.

I do believe that a stock Browning Hi Power (or any other high quality handgun) in good working condition is very well capable of handling these +P loads on a regular basis. Keep in mind that NATO spec 9mm ammo is in the velocity range of these commercial +P loads and the FN HP as well as many 60 year old Inglis HPs are still in service with some NATO members militaries today. Also keep in mind that the original European 9x19 parabellum loads of yesteryear were hotter than todays standard pressure loads offered today. All those old Lugers, Hi Powers, and Berettas seemed to tolerate it just fine;D

I've always been of the opinion that 9x19mm performs best in a 4 to 5 inch barrel gun with a 124 grain bullet traveling out of the muzzle at approx between 1150 to 1220 ft/sec. Just my observation on penetrating abilities and accuracy when shooting at non-living targets.
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I feel quite comfortable with Winchester 115gr Silvertips. They are not +P, but very accurate and seem to work in all my pistols quite well. I like the fact that you can buy them in 50 round boxes too and I can use the less expensive 115gr white box JHP for practice. If you've read Stephen Camp's website, the two rounds appear to be identical except for the silver plating.
hi, pointblank,
I agree, the old standby, Win Silvertips generally do an adequate job for most SD, except maybe wintertime thru heavy clothes. With so many new types of ammo now I'm finding the Silvertips harder to find at ammo stores.
Keep in mind the jacket is aluminum on the bullet. Silver would be too expensive but if it was we could use them for vampires. ;)
I thought silver was for werewolves.... Perhaps wooden bullets would work against vampires, as they perform like little wooden stakes!
Seriously, years ago there was a company that sold genuine silver bullets. I remember thinking "that's pretty cool", but could find no reason to justify purchasing them beyond the "unique-ness" factor.

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Gee Whizz!! Now I'm not sure if my "Silvertips" will work if I ever meet a vampire. Does that mean we have to use wood bullets??
But with dogs, you never know if a mean one might be a werewolf.
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Dadnab whippersnappers, trying to confuse old og.

Just did a search and silver bullets, etc. work on vampires!!
Here is one website....


And an excerpt from that site....

Silver: When most people think of silver weapons killing monsters they think of silver bullets and werewolves, however, silver stakes, spears and daggers have also been known to slow down and kill vampires. Silver is considered to be a metal of purity and has been used for protection against evil in almost every world culture throughout history. Silver can be melted down to form amulets, jewelry, bullets, daggers and religious symbols such as crucifixes. Silver amulets and daggers can be put into the ground above the grave to prevent evil spirits from escaping. Silver nails drove into coffin lids are said to help prevent evil spirits from rising from the grave.

Cheers, and happy vampire hunting,
og...love them Silvertips :-*
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The aluminum jacket is only found on some of the sub calibers like .32acp and .380acp. The 9mm and .45acp have a bright silver plating. I get my Silvertips from MidwayUSA. It's a good place to do business with and like I said, I can buy the same round with a brass jacket in bulk for practice. The boys on Evan Marshal's board recently did the 4-ply denim/gelatin test on the 9mm Silvertip. I'm comfortable with it:

[color=blue:l2ithmvg]10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
Winchester 9mm 115 gr STHP

Testing Platform:
Glock 19

Four Layers of Denim


Round # 1:
Penetration: 13.25
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Random Man,
I've carried Winchester Silvertips for years. Bill Laughridge recommended them when he did my custom Hi-Power. Silvertips or Federal JHP (9BPLE) are my choices in standard pressure loads. BOTH have excellent street records (discount the Silvertip/FBI/Miami shooting...that was a FBI tactical goat rope and the rounds fired performed EXACTLY as designed).
Standard pressure 115 grain JHP's from Winchester and Federal clocked 1,131 FPS and 1,190 FPS, respectively, in my BHP.
In 9mm +P the Cor-Bon 115 grain load clocked 1,392 FPS from my BHP. It would be my load of choice for +P loads in that bullet weight.
In 9mm +P+ I would go with the Winchester Ranger 127 gr. SXT (RA9TA) at 1,265 FPS. Again, from my BHP.
Standard pressure heavies Iwould use the 147 gr Ranger SXT (RA9T).
There are no magic bullets. Use what has a proven street record and you are comfortable with...
Does +P or +P+ give an edge? Perhaps, but bullet placement and a resolute shooter mean a lot more than the latest wonder bullet.
Semper Fi,
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So, just curious gents, what's the difference between Silver Tips and standard copper jackets?


The first Silvertips were rifle bullets with a thin aluminum covering on the lead nose. Someone at W-W got the bright idea that since they had brand recognition due to literally decades of advertizing, why not use the name on their premium pistol loads also. Of course, this required they colour them 'silver'. :) :)

The ones for low velocity revolver rounds like the ,45 Colt retained the soft lead with a thin aluminum coating.

For hot loads, especially in autos, this wouldn't do so they used a nickel plating over the regular gilding metal jacket. Performance is identical whether the plating is there or not (assuming identical designs and velocities).

Only way to tell for sure which is which is to section a bullet and see whats inside.

I've carried them since the early 80's at least. First in .45 Colt and .44 Special, then in a .44 Mag and S&W 669 (9mm). I'll prolly switch to the USA variant in 9mm when the remnants of the last case are gone. Been running up a round count already, checking function, etc.

Hope this helps.


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I asked Winchester on their website what the jacket material is on Silvertip ammo. This is the reply I received....

Thank you very much for taking the time to contact us here at Winchester Ammunition. We are always glad to hear from our many friends and customers who share in the shooting sport.

It is an alluminum alloy.

Thank you again for contacting us here at Winchester Ammunition. If you should require additional information, do not hesitate to contact us.


Winchester Technical Department

So if you think it is silver plating or nickel plating, you might want to contact them and ask again. In all the wetpack tests with various calibers where I used Silvertips, the jacket was always a thin aluminum.

Whatever, anyway it won't kill werewolves or vampires.

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Hello. I contacted them a while back and was told that the only cartridge for which they were still using aluminum bullet jackets was .32 ACP. In any event, their bullets do expand nicely. That reminds me; I was told that Winchester tweaked the STHP a while back and that a "2" somewhere in the product code indicates that the bullets in the box having it are of the new version. Has anyone else heard or verified this?

I just checked. I have a box of 9mm 115 Silvertips, and the code is X9MMSHP.

And then I realized that these could have been here for a year or more, so I went to Winchester's website, and the code is the same. The 147-grain code is X9MMST147.


The 185-grain .45 ACP Silvertip, however, has product code X45ASHP2, though there's not a clue that the 2 means anything special.

Hello. I THINK that the 2 at the end means it is the tweaked version. I'll see if I can find out more and will pass it along if and when I do.

So, the silver tip is held together by a thin aluminum/nickle/silver(still unknown) jacket. This is a superior jacket to a copper jacket in that it allows great penetration or expansion?

I'm curious as to what the performance differences are between Winchester 115-grain USA and 115-grain Silvertips.

I'll pull a couple tomorrow and section them if I have time. I have 115 and 147gr in 9mm, 155gr in .40 and maybe some more.

I have sectioned a .45 Colt and its just a thin layer of aluminum over the lead.


As far as I know, it's mainly marketing and doesn't affect the performance much if at all.


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