M*CARBO Brotherhood

To P or not to (+)P

The power debate over 9mm VS .40 brought back to mind an article I read back in the mid 90’s where this guy suggested-and I believe he was speaking all calibre-that one should consider carrying (+)P loads in the winter to compensate for heavy outer garb.seems to have merit,more so depending on your geography too me thinks thoughts? ALSO,what with the modern era of the “tech savy pshyco” and body armor,I’m wondering if a backup mag of 124grn FMJ is like what one would consider carrying if one was unlucky enough(or lucky/depends on your point of view)to run into one one of these maggot breath “active shooters” or whatever the PC term is for them…


My dear old dad taught me that concept early on. I carry +p+ xtreme defenders 9mm (penetrators in .380) during heavily clothed seasons here in MI, and standard charge custom hollow points through the summer. Ive often thought about the random yahoo in body armor, and ive debated leaving the last few rounds loaded as xtreme penetrators, regardless of season, but havent decided the merits of that yet.


If your hollowpoint plugs due to heavier clothing its going to act more like a FMJ. The problem with multi layer heavy clothing is a possible reduction in depth of penetration. +P will help a bit with the penetration factor, but not all handguns are designed to handle those heavier pressure loads. With typical shorter barreled carry guns you will get more substantial recoil, muzzle flash and noise level. If you are going to carry +P, practice with it. As far as the bad guy wearing a vest, a FMJ in a handgun cartridge isn’t going to penetrate it either. Depending on the level of vest, they will stop rifle rounds. Your best option is to go for head shots, a difficult ad usually moving target. Alternatively go for pelvic/groin shots. Lots of bone, major blood vessels and nerves there. They are not going to be very mobile after a hit there and likely it will drop them to the ground. Follow up shots are much easier to achieve on an immobilized attacker.


Three comments:

  1. Handguns are rated as to the pressure allowed. Of my handguns only one is rated as +P – my S&W J Frame revolver. The handgun I most often carry, a S&W M&P 9 1.0 is NOT rated for +P and certainly not +P+ but the S&W forum has comments that +P can be used in the M&P without overpressuring the chamber, but that frequent use will cause accelerated wear of the components.

  2. A couple of ammunition manufacturers (e.g., Speer and Hornady) have begun offering JHP ammo with an insert in the hollowpoint specifically designed to achieve greater penetration through thick clothing but still achieving good expansion. I think it was originally available only to law enforcement but may be commercially available now. That greater penetration is achieved without +P or +P+ loads.

  3. In self defense situations we are taught to shoot to “stop the threat” – Never saying “I shot to kill.” If you are in a self defense situation and you have “immobilized” the attacker further shots may place you in legal jeopardy – unless, of course, the “immobilized” attacker still presents a threat. Situational decisions…


Uhh-RUH ROH RAGGY! Yeah…i guess assumption is the mother of all Fu-errors…i ASS used a modern firearm (S&W M&P9 1.0) would handle (+)P no sweat…might better check on my GEN4 G19 with the Alpha Wolf barrel.


The designation +p or +p+ is usually stamped into the barrel or on the slide. If it’s not there, you should assume that the chamber is not rated for the higher pressure generated by the hotter load.


Really…i did not know that.huh,well THAT’S a handy peice of information to have!

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Glock said (+)P is good to go.as a matter of fact,I think the FBI’s standard issue is +P+ Hornady critical duty.and LWD says the Alpha Wolf barrel is rated for+P(they ALSO said my bloody trigger works TOO…)wich it does,every 3or4 rounds,and if I don’t WANT a drop safety​:poop::dash:


Speaking of the M&P9 1.0, i believe I put my trigger spring in backwards DOH! I noticed after I remedied the missing “take down lever retaining spring” issue with a 15cent castle nut pin,the trigger felt a little spongy and like it had a rub.well one end of the spring coil is filled with felt and I hooked it to the trigger bar.im thinking that was WRONG.


Im not the most fluent gun nut around here, so i defer to the collective wisdom… but ive never seen a gun or barrel stamped or marked +p or +p+. Manuals supplied with my 1911, G23, p238, and lone wolf barrel all came noted on paper to shoot production ammo per chamber (caliber) spec. Ive only ever seen specific prohibition of reloads, remanufactured, or hand loads. It seems that if there were some inherent dangers, +p would be listed as prohibited also.
If i remember right, my lone wolf barrel actually insisted to run a mag of +p just for break in.


I didn’t find anything like that with my Alpha Wolf,but they gave it the official okey-dokey.Glock is good for +P outta the box…


You are very correct on “stopping the threat”. My reference to immobilized was meant that the threat was down but not out - the legs are no longer working but the hand holding the gun still does. In this situation if the weapon is a knife and the attacker is now on the ground and unable to reach you, follow up shots could no longer be considered defensive, but punitive. You would likely have some serious legal problems.


We have discussed +P P and +P+ several times before. I remember reading somewhere
if the barrel isn’t stamped with +P you shouldn’t but I can not find it.

Hipoint states their firearms are rated for +P.


What type of ammunition do you recommend for your handguns?

+P ammo manufactured to SAAMI specs is fine to use as a defensive round or for occasional range use only. Our pistols are rated to handle +P ammo. However, we do not recommend a steady diet of them, as they are rough on the pistol and will accelerate the wear on the gun and may shorten the life of the recoil spring.


The Hi-Point Models C9, CF380 and CF380 COMP pistols are blowback operated, semiautomatic, striker fired pistols with an eight round detachable magazine. They are rated
for safe use with +P ammunition. Some parts and operating elements are identified in
the picture above


That surprises me. Everyone of my firearms has the acceptable ammunition stamped on the barrel or slide. In fact, when I teach any NRA firearm class there is a part of the presentation material that makes a direct point of looking at the barrel, the ammo box and the cartridge case head to make certain that one is using the proper ammo for a given firearm. Sometimes those notations on the firearm are hard to see…


You would think they’d that CLEAR.idk,my glock OEM GEN 4 has 9x19with 3D in a circle, and the glock trade mark followed by AT on it…All Types?? My M&P says 9mm and that’s it.

I’m not sure what the 3d is, but if you don’t see a +P or +P+ than you are limited to standard 9mm cartridges.


Tech support at glock told me I was good to go with +P in my Gen4

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Idk,I’ve sure never seen one heard of a pistol stamped with a cartridge rating…not saying it isn’t true,but as I said before,Lone Wolf says yes on the Alpha Wolf barrel,Glock says yes on my Gen4 G19,no indication on barrel,slide or frame.it stands to reason however that one would NOT WANT too go to the range and punish one’s self&gun with a couple hundred rounds or so of +P ammo!HOWEVER-point in case,these days,I was in a gun store just yesterday and a guy came in wanting some 9mm bullets.“solid and that other kind,with the hole in the end” yeah…all he had left was a box of +P golden sabers so point(hollow point ha ha)being I guess,this guy had NO clue what he was buying.so we shouldn’t assume that it’s common knowledge not shoot a crap load of +P it’s a different world with ALOT of people that really don’t know what we take for granted.i almost gave him all the HST’s I had in my gun,I’m not impressed with golden sabers in the LEAST-other than they’r consistent jacket/core separation :roll_eyes: :poop:boom: :gun: :chipmunk:


So many complete novices bought handguns recently and have zero idea of how they work. It’s downright scary. Ranges here haven’t been closed during the shutdown, and if I don’t recognize someone, I watch them closely until I see they’re not frikkin’ dangerous.

I like Federal HST’s, They’re consistent, all my guns eat them without burps, and my LGS has them for $45/50 round box.


Head on a swivel, brother. I’ve been muzzle swept twice at the outdoor range I go to, I don’t assume anyone knows what they’re doing. I also try to avoid the busiest times, makes it a lot easier to keep your eye on others.