Shooting +P Ammo


Gen 2 G19, Gen 3 G26 and Gen 5 G43. Not sure on the “bulge” because I don’t collect/save my brass so I never inspected it after firing.


Agree!! When the + rounds started coming out I just felt that they were a gimmick to invite people to buy a more expensive round. Don’t know for sure, but it seemed that probably all that was done was to add a few more grains of powder or a faster burning powder. Wasn’t worth the price delta. Then again, I could be totally wrong. :thinking: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


All you have to do to see a difference is just watch some gelatin penetration test videos. There’s a gazillion of them on Youtube. :+1:


For me, I get a ‘testoserone kick’ using the +P’s, Mike. However, with my neuropathy problems, I don’t like the ‘added’ nerve tingling! My follow up shots suck and then shooting is less enjoyable… My NEW excitement is what I can CREATE in a 17/22 version!!! My vise is being an ‘innovator,’ now. I enjoy the challenge of building firearms now that I am learning HOW they operate. It is all about design, function and repair? How about an S2K in a 22MAG or 17HMR version? I already have my AR platform parts list. I am just trying to raise the funds to make it! :thinking:


When I first saw the +P’s coming out, over 40 yrs ago, they were quickly adopted by LE. We were issued them , but rarely practiced with them. Too expensive and a bit more recoil and muzzle flash. At that time in order to create a more “powerful” round, the focus was on the powder charge. Same bullet, just more/different powder. These rounds were considered ok for occasional duty use, but not recommended as a regular diet in our issued guns (revolvers back then) The real changes came when the manufacturers started researching and experimenting with bullet design. There are many good choices out there now, even ones designed for shorter barreled handguns. I don’t think as much is gained by a +P designation as there is from an effective bullet design that you are able to accurately and efficiently put on your target.


@Dane Those are my thoughts as well, you just said it so much better!

As shooters, as an industry we tend to get swept up in fads. We focus on a single element and forget the other aspects that are important for an effective round.

A good cartridge design really is a balancing act between pressure/velocity, mass/energy, penetration, and expansion.


I don’t think +p ammo is a “fad”. It’s been around for a long time and fads are generally short lived.


Very well said sir. I can remember all the complaints about the 9mm when the military switched from .45. Things such as no knock down power, over penetration, etc. With the improvements in the bullet designs that doesn’t seem to be an issue today. The modern hollow point of today is devestating compared to what you saw 20 to 40 years ago.


These were a fad, Mercury encapsulated rounds. from 22 short to 45, ELP that was then . now i have to have a special license to purchase Mercury to fill my carburetor synchronizer (6 lead) . 2 oz is $150, and there is one place , on the west coast, i can still obtain it. who woulda thunk it…


Wait a minute they used to put mercury in ammo?


Yeah, wouldn’t that be harmful/unhealthy for a person shot with it? Or, turning a shooting into a hazmat spill. :rofl:


@xxKilgore92xx yes they did, and there was a way to enhance it , but we wont go into that here. they used to have a couple of recoil reduces that used it to, but they off the market as well.
@Wedge or if the capsule leaked in your magazine… mercury spill walkin… LOLOL we used to play with it as kids, “quicksilver” lift the dates off buffalo nickles and such.
didnt “twitch” do me" twitch twitch" any harm…:roll_eyes::rofl::rofl::rofl:
very bad for you . causes heavy metal/mercury poisoning . nasty stuff… but sometimes necessary to use. 70s harley davidson used to use it in the license plate alarm systems they used. 2 glass vials filled with Mercury. if the bike was moved the mercury shifted and “made” the switch setting off the alarm. those switches are extremely sensitive and hard to bypass in other applications as well


Old school mechanical thermostats used them, too. Mercury is especially dangerous because it doesn’t have to be ingested orally to cause harm. It will absorb right through your skin on contact.


@Wedge this is from a few years ago, when i used to do ripouts of the stuff… yep, just like this. I used to dispose of them all the time. if you have a home built in the 60s/70s with baseboard electric heat, you have a mercury switch on every wall… dispose of properly, dont throw em in the trash…and whatever you do , do not break the tube…

not a Mercury warning anywhere on it…


Surprised I’m still alive. I played with it as a kid too. Not to mention lead paint, asbestos, drinking from a water hose, etc. The house I grew up in now days would probably be considered a super fund site with all the stuff the government has deemed hazerdous today.
Bet that was some nasty ammo. Can you imagine all the lttle mercury molecules flying out and into your bloodstream as the bullet fragmented? If the gunshot didn’t kill you, the mercury poisoning would. They’d never get it all out of your blood.


The T-1000 melty man terminator liquid metal is warning enough. :rofl:


it was nasty in liquid form on wounds. it was even worse if it could be in the other form.:scream::scream:


I was not referring specifically to +P but to things like this:

I remember the time when bullet performance was judged by penetration. Then it shifted to greater expansion. (In both cases I have seen extremes that were ridiculous.) I have a friend who carries 55gr deep hollow point aluminum 9mm rounds!

My point is you can have to much of one or another, a good balance is the key.

Myself I like a good bonded 135gr JHP with supersonic velocity that will still expand to about .57 diameter reliably.


Scott, I don’t think the +P’s are meant to be a ‘fad’ per se… There has been plenty of study with ammunition and barrels. Is the extra money worth the ‘hotter round?’ How is accuracy affected? What is the shooter’s purpose for using such a round? These are the questions that one should ask themselves… It ends up being a ballistics challenge when one hunts with such a round in their firearm. It is usually questioned when pondering over a ‘humane’ kill (a once and done shot!) It is my opinion to use the caliber as intended and understand its effectiveness and limitations. Select and invest in firearms PURPOSEFULLY and RESPONSIBLY. Safe shooting.


What are you talking about?

Ammunition and calibers that are +P are defensive/duty ammunition not typically used for hunting. And I have never heard of a “study” that shows +P is inaccurate or significantly reduces barrel life. (For most pistol calibers the difference is negligible.)

As far as purpose? Simple, greater bullet energy due to increased velocity.