Will '+P' ammo mess up your handguns?

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by Alexy, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Alexy

    Alexy Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2016
    Hello everybody! Long time I have been away.

    I have a single question regarding +p ammo. I've got some Hornady hollow points that are +p and I recently saw a couple of gun guys on TV say that +p ammo will shorten the lifespan of your firearms.

    Is this true? And if I train with +p hollow points will this mess up my 1911 and my Glock 19 which I also use? And God forbid this happens in rifles as well... I hope not!

    I researched a bit but could find no clear answer, that's why I'm asking the community.

    Thank you! And it's good to be back!
  2. Dwe

    Dwe I'm a terminal 1911 Addict!

    Sep 4, 2011
    Most modern handguns are rated for +P ammo. That being said, on a EDC gun I would make sure that the it fed the SD ammo reliably, then practice with factory, or in my case reloaded ammo.
    The real worry is finding indicators of
    high pressure in your brass. Bulging brass and pierced or flattened primers
    are all indications you’re asking for trouble.
    A case blowout can ruin your day and your gun and in some cases injure yourself.

    Even Steel framed 10mm 1911s can show signs of battering if they shoot a great deal of high pressure rounds, however aluminum alloy framed guns will show signs of battering sooner than steel framed pistols. The key here is to spring them correctly to minimize battering.

    Not sure this was helpful.
    In any event...Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019

  3. gaijin

    gaijin Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2015
    Yes, +P handgun ammo will wear your pistol quicker than standard ammo.
    All of this depends on the gun and caliber you’re shooting.

    A .45 ACP does fine with standard pressure ammo in a defensive role.
    +P is much harder to control, or to shoot rapidly and accurately.
    The 10mm is a handful with standard pressure ammo. +P 10mm has to be at nearly anyone’s upper limit with a defensive gun.
    The 9mm will benefit from +P in defensive ammo generally.

    A Flat Bottom Firing Pin Stop is a good idea with hot(ter) ammo in a 1911, in addition to proper springs for the ammo you’re shooting as Dre said.
    Colorado Sonny and BR549er like this.
  4. Alexy

    Alexy Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2016
    Yes this was helpful. I usually shoot FMJs in my 1911 and Glock. You're saying if I trained with hallow points this would mess up my Glock?

    Even if it does it can be repaired, no?
  5. 41 Charlie

    41 Charlie Get off my lawn...

    Feb 4, 2014
    A steady diet of (most) everything in life, is probably not a good thing. Everything in moderation is the key... :cigar:
  6. EB_KC9

    EB_KC9 Active Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    My gun seems to prefer +P, functions flawlessly thus far
  7. Colorado Sonny

    Colorado Sonny Deo Volente Supporting Addict

    Sep 25, 2015
    Alexy, The type of bullet used does not usually matter. What we are referring to here is the amount of energy in the round. There are standard power rounds and then there are +P and even +P+ rounds. Some revolvers are for use with .38 Special some are rated for .38 Special +P.

    Are you going to join us for the 1911 Addicts Shoot West down in New Mexico on October 5? It is only about 200 miles away! https://www.1911addicts.com/threads/addicts-shoot-west-oct-5.72939/ :D
    Capthobo likes this.
  8. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    Well as general rule there is no exception to the law of physics!!! THAT is what +p is all about. It is over the standard pressures as prescribed by the industry and there is NO standard.

    That being said---on my weapons I carry in my vehicles they carry +p+ 9mm Win LEO Ranger T. I do not shoot those a great deal and they are in Legion 9mm Sigs so it is of no concern.

    The others semi auto's are built guns most in 10mm some in 38 super and a couple now in 9x23 which is the King of pressure. When my 10mm's are built I specifically request and insist btw that the weapon be made to function with Underwood full power loads buy bullet name and weight (exception being 9x23 win). That specific ammunition is used and the builder decides the mainspring and recoil spring rates to function WITH THAT AMMUNITION. Have absolutely no idea if it will work with Hornady or Remington etc. less than full pressure loads because I do not use them.

    No doubt shooting higher pressure ammunition is going to get the mass moving faster BUT much of that can be mitigated. Downside is ammunition that functions at a lower pressure MAY not be reliable any longer.

    There is no free lunch with +p in the long run. :)
  9. Dwe

    Dwe I'm a terminal 1911 Addict!

    Sep 4, 2011
    No I haven’t said anything about Glocks as this is a 1911 forum.
    Although I own and shoot Glocks, those questions should be raised in GlockTalk forum or Glock itself.
    I will say this about Glock 9mms.
    They are notorious for having loose unsupported chambers and will bulge brass with standard
    ammo. I will not shoot +P ammo in my Glock 19 with a stock barrel. I prefer Lone wolf or KKM
    barrels if I plan on carrying high performance ammo.
    Alexy and Colorado Sonny like this.
  10. Alexy

    Alexy Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2016
    Oh, the FMJs I use have the same muzzle velocity as te hollow points do, just about. It says "9mm Luger +P 135 gr flexlock. 1115 fps" I usually shoot FMJs, 115 and 124 grain. Not sure if that makes the hollow points worse or not. It doesn't appear to be THAT heavier or have that much more velocity (FPS) than the range ammo.

    I've shot FMJs and the hornady and haven't felt any difference in recoil.
  11. Alexy

    Alexy Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2016
    Ah, I see. I was just wanting to make sure my 1911 and my Glock wouldn't get messed up if I tried to practice with +p. I also wanted to minimize the chances I have to take it to a gunsmith. So the main danger is to the barrel? If I get a custom barrel for my 1911 or Glock this would protect from any damage that +p ammo would cause?
  12. Dwe

    Dwe I'm a terminal 1911 Addict!

    Sep 4, 2011
    I’m not saying anything of the sort.
    Again. I said what I would do in the case of shooting +p ammo.

    You need to contact the MFG, for recommendations concerning your guns and your shooting habits.

    You’re asking for absolute answers
    to questions filled with variables outside of anyone’s control but your own.

    That said....
    I’m out!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  13. Capthobo

    Capthobo NRA Endowment member Supporting Addict

    Nov 9, 2016
    Most new manufacturer owners manuals reference the use of high power and +P ammunition in the information supplied with the firearm. If at all in doubt about if your particularly gun is capable of handling the +P loads I would recommend a call to the customer service Dept of said manufacturer for the most reliable instructions of it’s use in the firearm in question.
  14. 1911fanatic

    1911fanatic Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2011
    Why practice with +p ammo? Seems expensive. I know for a fact, that every Colt I’ve owned, has had a reference to +p. They don’t recommend a steady diet due to accelerated wear on the pistol.

    I’ve taken that and applied it to all of my guns. I do carry +p and I do make sure the gun works with it. I don’t however, practice with it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    UBOATDOC, 41 Charlie and Dwe like this.
  15. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011

    Replace springs much more frequently if a steady diet of +P is used
    Alexy likes this.
  16. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    Running hot(er) ammo is like boosting the HP on your car's engine with a turbo or supercharger. It will run just fine when properly tuned, but it's not going to last as long because the higher pressures and temperatures accelerate wear. Just my $0.02
  17. Alexy

    Alexy Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2016
    Thanks friend! By "not last as long" do you mean the entire gun would be totaled? Or could it be repaired by a gunsmith?
  18. Alexy

    Alexy Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2016
    Same here friend. I don't train with hollow points very much. Just a couple mags here and there of Hornady hollow points to make sure they feed properly. 98% of my range ammo is just standard 9mm 115 grain FMJs for my Glock, and 230grain FMJs for my 1911. It is indeed expensive to practice with just hollow points & other +p ammo. I can't spend almost $30 for a box of ammo :)
    1911fanatic likes this.

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Draft saved Draft deleted