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Page 17 of the HI Power Manual:

The barrel and action of this firearm have been made with substantial safety margins over the pressures developed by established American loads. However, we assume no responsibility for incidents which occur through the use of cartridges of nonstandard dimension or those developing pressures in excess of SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) established standards.•

9mm Hi Power pistols must be used only with 9mm Luger (Parabellum) cartridges.


I'd stick with 9mm Luger...
 

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Question. When was your High Power manufactured? And, whose High Power is it - Browning, FN, Girsan MCP35, Springfield SA35, or other? Current FN High Powers are okay with +P according to FNs website. Not an expert on SAAMI by any means. But, that said since SAAMI removed 9mm Luger from their specifications and now only list 9mm Luger +P specs, it is logical to assume current manufactured High Powers built to SAAMI specs would handle +P ammo. You and I both know what "assume" means....

Additionally, SAAMI is a voluntary specification. Most/all manufacturers follow it, but it is voluntary. C.I.P. is legally required if manufactured in a signatory country to C.I.P. Here are 2 quotes re C.I.P. from C.I.P.'s website, "In 1914 the Liège Proof Master (1908 - 1946) Mr. Joseph FRAIKIN, was involved from the very beginning in the creation of the Permanent International Commission (the C.I.P.) for the Proof of Small Arms." And, "In 1914 the Liège Proof Master (1908 - 1946) Mr. Joseph FRAIKIN, was involved from the very beginning in the creation of the Permanent International Commission (the C.I.P.) for the Proof of Small Arms."

My FN Browning High Power is circa 1968-1969. Booklet that came with the gun does not address +P or +P+ ammunition. There isn't even a section that addresses ammunition except under specifications and it references 9mm Parabellum in 115 and 124 gr weights. Not certain, but do not believe +P or +P+ ammo was made then in 9mm Luger/Parabelllum so lack of info is not surprising. My guess is since the pistol is Belgium manufactured it complied with C.I.P. standards assuming (there's that word again) C.I.P. was around then and Belgium a member. So, if you have a FN High Power made after C.I.P. testing became mandatory, then at a minimum your pistol complies with C.I.P. standards and C.I.P. does not list +P specs for 9mm Luger.

And, if sold in the U.S. and the manufacturer complied with SAAMI specification, then the pistol should be good for standard 9mm Luger SAAMI specs up to the time +P was approved. If made in the window from standard pressure 9mm Luger specs to the removal of 9mm Luger standard pressure specs then it may be okay for +P ammo. You need to see what the manufacturer's documentation says. If manufactured under current SAAMI specs, then the firearm should be tested to SAAMI 9mm Luger +P specifications. And, all that is worthless since the SAAMI specs are voluntary, and now you're back to what does the manufactuer say.

Finally, pressure testing on C.I.P. or SAAMI specification lists minimum specifications for the firearm. Which begs the questions, "To what pressure specifications, is the firearm actually built?" It could be to 9mm Luger, +P, or +P+, or higher. Doubt we would ever get a manufacturer to tell us.

You just love tort lawyers and torte law....... But, then the world is not a simple place with regards to standards, and how to apply them.
 

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...You just love torte lawyers and torte law....... But, then the world is not a simple place with regards to standards, and how to apply them.
.
 
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Being a S&W revolver nut/enthusiast and on their page quite frequently the "+P or not to +P" thing comes up as regular as sunrise.
IMO, revolver or auto - if you feel the need for +P for carry ammo, and find your pistol functions fine with it, then a limited amount will not reduce it to shattered pieces.
It will accelerate wear, and in some designs more so than others. For many, that amount of wear is entirely acceptable for the given purpose.

I have run +P through many of my 9mm's with ~zero~ issues - a BHP (c.1980), FEG clone, HK P7, Kahr PM9, S&W M39 and many others. None see a steady diet of it - no reason to.
 

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Being a S&W revolver nut/enthusiast and on their page quite frequently the "+P or not to +P" thing comes up as regular as sunrise.
IMO, revolver or auto - if you feel the need for +P for carry ammo, and find your pistol functions fine with it, then a limited amount will not reduce it to shattered pieces.
It will accelerate wear, and in some designs more so than others. For many, that amount of wear is entirely acceptable for the given purpose.

I have run +P through many of my 9mm's with ~zero~ issues - a BHP (c.1980), FEG clone, HK P7, Kahr PM9, S&W M39 and many others. None see a steady diet of it - no reason to.
Your common sense comment has been offered many times on this forum. Put in a heavier recoil spring (18.5 lb) then shoot it sparingly with +p. I will add one caveat. I am a big FM Detective fan. These commander length BHPs are particular susceptible to having their locking lugs peened. And you cannot easily find "heavier" recoil spring options for these guns because of the "spring within a spring" design.

I would recommend NEVER running +P or hotter in a Detective. Take it from a guy who has ruined 2 slides over the years because of hot ammo and/or bad springs.

And change your Detective slide springs every 1500 rounds not 5000 rounds. They are cheap and will save you a lot of heartache.
 

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My 1982 BHP had the locking cam break a few years ago. Cylinder and Slide charged $459.24 to repair it. I probably ran too many +P and NATO rounds in it.
Been there, done that, including handloads, with my 1979 Standard. Never exceeded published data and worked up to the maximum load. Learned the hard way that all bullets of the same weight are NOT created equal. Cylinder and Slide did a beautiful repair. Standard factory loads only from now on. Save your hotter ammo for at least a Mark III and use sparingly. Replace your recoil spring with the 18.5 pounder from Wolff if you wish (I did) but expect some failures to fully cycle with SOME 115 grain ammo. 124s worked every time. Avoid +P+.
 

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Just went to the SAAMI site and SAAMI has no 9mm Luger with a NATO designations listed in its centerfire pistol cartridge standard (SAAMI Z299.3 – 2015) Voluntary Industry Performance Standards for Pressure and Velocity of Centerfire Pistol and Revolver Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers. Additionally, 9mm Luger pressure standard says "Obsolete, use 9mm Luger +P proof loads". Early in the document there is a discussion on "Maximum Average Pressure." In the tables showing pressures, there is a column labeled "SERVICE Maximum Average Pressure" (SMAP). Typical...use undefined terms in standards. Testing is with a 115 gr bullet and the SMAP is 38,500 psi.

C.I.P. (the European standards organization equivalent to SAAMI) does not list 9mm Luger NATO in it's specifications. The pressure for 9mm Luger is 2,350 bar which equals 34084 PSI. Did not locate +P or +P+ in the C.I.P. data.

NATO uses NATO STANDARD AOP-4090 for 9mm Luger NATO. Pressure at 21 deg C (69.8 deg F) is 38,435 PAI or 285 MPa. Bullet weight must be between 7.0 & 8.3 grams (108-128 grains). Muzzle energy when calculated at the muzzle must be 542-814 joules (400-600 ft-lbs) (greater >= 482 and <=704 joules at 16 meters which is 654-954 ft-lbs at 52 feet from muzzle). The metric number came from the 2020 NATO spec which I believe is current. The English equivalants are rounded to nears single digit when converted from metric.

The NATO spec has higher allowable pressure than C.I.P. and is comparable to SAAMI 9mm Luger +P specification for pressure. If you look at bullet weight and energy NATO requirements, you may find it difficult to find load data that reaches the NATO energy requirements with loading to +P or possibly +P+ pressures/velocities.

I would guess that most U.S. manufactured ammo that is not +P or +P+ is has pressures lower than SAAMI's +P (remember SAAMI now does not list a pressue for 9mm Luger ammo, only 9mm Luger +P.

You will have to make you decision as to what to do. I will tell you that I own an FN Browning High Power circa 1969 and I would not fire a steady diet of +P+ or +P+ ammo for the simple fact that I don't want the gun to fail. Too valuable to me as it is. I have not issues with any stand 9mm Luger loads in the gun.
Agreed. And if you want HOT, there's always the Army's new M1152(?) round that is showing up. 39,000+ PSI! Exceeds +P. Use at your pistol's risk. I do not believe it is NATO, so I wonder how interchangeability requirements are being circumvented and how existing M9s are handling it. Ditto other NATO sidearms.
 

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^^^^^
Comparing chamber pressures isn't easy.
Some systems measure the pressure at different places along the cartridge case, I don't know how much difference that makes. There is said to be some differences in piezo electric measurements, not to mention old copper crushers vs electric.
I've seen different chamber pressure numbers for the same cartridge: Max, Average, etc.

SAAMI measurements seem to be done differently from CIP and from US military measurements.
Military chambers are probably different from SAAMI.
Etc.
39,000 psi seems like a lot, but it could mean anything from "kinda warm" to "wrap your gun with duct tape."

I'll let someone else try it first...
 

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P89DC, The velocity you mention with a 115 grain bullet in the Hi Power's ~4.7" barrel would be in the non +P velocity range, and should be fine in your MKIII. I have used many thousands of rounds of factory and hand loaded 115 grain ammo loaded to similar velocities in my MKIIIs and other Hi Powers without issue.
 

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In this thread I read about "recoil spring" and also "mainspring". I know what the recoil spring is but what is the mainspring and what is its function? I looked a picture of the parts list for the Hi Power and it did not show a mainspring. What am I missing?
Thanks.
 

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In this thread I read about "recoil spring" and also "mainspring". I know what the recoil spring is but what is the mainspring and what is its function? I looked a picture of the parts list for the Hi Power and it did not show a mainspring. What am I missing? Thanks.
The two major springs in the HP are the hammer spring and the recoil spring .People are incorrectly using "main spring" to describe the recoil spring.
 

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The two major springs in the HP are the hammer spring and the recoil spring .People are incorrectly using "main spring" to describe the recoil spring.
Some history:

Way back when, the "Main Spring" was the hammer spring (biggest ) in a revolver and semi-autos were not in use so nobody worried about them.

When semi-autos came into use, the recoil spring was/is bigger than the hammer spring, but the term main spring was sometimes still used to denote what powers the hammer, following the previous practice with revolvers. That confuses people, so now days they are usually just called hammer spring and recoil spring.
 

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9mm NATO pressure runs somewhere between SAAMI 'standard' and +P.
I see this comment constantly on gun forums. This is incorrect. There is nothing “between” standard pressure and +P. A round is either overpressure or not overpressure.

9mm NATO is +P, full stop. Any 9mm load with an average maximum chamber pressure greater than 35,000 psi and up to and including 38,500 psi is +P. 9mm NATO falls within this range. The 38,500 psi figure is the ceiling for +P, not the floor.
 

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To summarize an earlier longer post:

SAAMI:
9mm Luger Obsolete use 9mm Luger +P proof loads
9mm Luger +P 38,500 SERVICE Maximum Average Pressure (SMAP). Testing is done with 115 gr bullet.
9mm Luger +P+ Not in specification
9 mm Luger NATO Not in specification

C.I.P.
9mm Luger 34,084 PSI (2,350 bar)
9mm Luger +P Not in specification
9mm Luger +P+ Not in specification
9 mm Luger NATO Not in specification

NATO STANDARD AOP-4090
9mm Luger Not in specification
9mm Luger +P Not in specification
9mm Luger +P+ Not in specification
9 mm Luger NATO 38,435 PSI or 285 MPa. Bullet weight must be between 7.0 & 8.3 grams (108-128 grains). Muzzle energy when calculated at the muzzle must be 542-814 joules (400-600 ft-lbs) (greater >= 482 and <=704 joules at 16 meters which is 654-954 ft-lbs at 52 feet from muzzle)
 

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SAAMI is a voluntary specification, and applies to ammunition. I believe the same can be said for C.I.P. and NATO specifications except possibly the “voluntary” part. I believe it safe to assume a manufacturer wishing to sell firearms in the U.S. would design firearms to work within SAAMI ammo specs. Any firearm designed to fire SAAMI specification 9mm Luger ammo using current specification means the firearm should safely fire 9mm Luger +P. For how long before damage/wear/parts breakage is an entirely different issue. If the firearm is designed to meet SAAMI specifications for ammo, the firearm exceeds C.I.P. standards so there should be no issue as to safety. I will state the pressure standard for 9mm Luger NATO is functionally identical to 9mm Luger +P SAAMI specification. That means any firearm designed to fire 9mm NATO can handle 9mm Luger +P without issue and vice versa. Durability is again another issue.

To complicate the issue, the standards are not written in stone and do change overtime-witness the change in SAAMI 9mm Luger specification which now says use 9mm Luger +P. Likewise, metallurgy is not a static either. My High Power is an FN manufacture circa 1969. Wiki, for what it is worth, says 9mm +P loads began to hit the market in the 1990s. I don’t have an issue about vary rarely using +P in the pistol, but will not give it a steady diet +P ammo.

What does the standard change for 9mm Luger to using the +P pressures mean to us as the end user? That depends on the manufacturers regarding ammo or firearms. The standard lists maximum pressures. SAAMI spec contains tables by caliber and bullet weights on velocities and pressure. There is not explanation for the charts, and there are two sets on for "crusher" measurements and the other piezoelectric transducer. I suspect those two charts are a good place to start for determining ammo safe to shoot in your firearm using velocity as a basis for determining a safe loads

Some of the issues to you have to sort through are:
  • When was your firearm made, by whom, and to what standard was the firearm designed to shoot? SAAMI, C.I.P., NATO?
  • What ammo is available to you?
  • What standard is used for the manufacture of the ammo?
  • Is a civilian model of a military firearm manufactured to the same standard? For example, Sig P320-M17 is marketed as the civilian version of the military’s M17 variant. The specifications for the civilian version say 9mm Luger. Well, the 9mm Luger spec is obsolete so is the P320-M17 civilian model made to 9mm Luger +P ammo standards or not? Anyone doubt, the military version is not designed to SAAMI +P (which exceed NATO specs for pressure) or at least the NATO standard for 9mm NATO ammo? I don’t. Then why list the firearm as 9mm Luger and not 9mm Luger +P or 9mm NATO for the ammo? For that matter, has anyone seen a firearm marked as “9mm NATO” for the caliber?

- Would a firearms manufacturer make the same firearm to different versions of the ammo standards? And, if so how would the mark the barrels? (Anyone have a Sig P320-M17 civilian variant? If so, how is the barrel marked for caliber? Anyone seen the M17 military variant? How is the barrel marked? 9mm Luger, 9mm Luger +P, or 9mm NATO?

The point is this is a very complicated issue. You need to understand at least to some degree the interaction of standards to practice. I think it a testimony to the firearms industry in general that there are not more issues with durability and safety regarding ammo than I read or hear. That said, there may well be more than I am aware.

More importantly is the fact you will be holding the firearm when you discharge the cartridge. You or bystanders may the ones injured or worse if there is a problem like a catastrophic failure of the gun. Make good decisions, and to use a term I dislike now days – be safe.
 
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