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BB,

My daily carry gun is an aluminum-framed, Commander-length Les Baer. The load I've settled on is the Winchester Ranger LE 230gr, standard pressure.

I tried a couple of boxes of the +P loading, same round when doing my evaluation. In a five inch steel gun, the +P's recoil and blast are acceptable to me, but in a lightweight, shorter gun, I have to admit that getting the front sight back on target for follow-up shots is a bit more of a challenge.

The standard pressure loading fares well from places like ammolab.com and is used by a number of agencies and people whose experience and judgment I trust, so that's what goes in my EDC pistol.

I would have no issues with the +P in an all-steel Government-length gun, but I seldom carry one concealed.

Just one data point for your consideration.

Best Veterans Day weekend wishes to all!
 

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For me, even in a 5" steel gun, I find I don't like the recoil of .45ACP +P.
The only load I've tried was Gold dot 200gr +P, and for me they were too much. I now carry 230gr standard pressure loads. Although the recoil of the 230gr Gold Dots is slightly more than my practice loads, the difference is not significant. I feel more confident in my abilities to shoot the standard pressure loads quickly and accurately than I do with the +P loads.
On the other hand, if I needed a deeper penetrating bullet for whatever reasons, I would think +P would be the way to go. I just don't think, atleast for me, that a +P .45 round is necessary.

In .38sp? I would probably go with +Ps, due to the fact that standard .38sp loads may not deliver as deep of penetration as I would like.
Right now I have standard pressure Hydra-shoks in my S&W Mod 27, but may dump them for something +P. It's a big gun and +Ps are no problem as far as controllability.

9mm? I have no idea.

YMMV, and all stated above is just my opinion.
Take care,
John
 

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+P or not ?

In .45 acp - no. Doresn't need it.

In 9mm - no, but as much because I use a BHP and a Kahr PM9, neither of which do well with it.

in .38 spec. - in my snubbies, +P 129 Hydroshoks. In my .357, +P+ .38 147 Hydroshoks (no longer available).
 

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I am no ammo expert but I just figure a standard pressure .45 cal round is plenty enough stopping power. I just don't see the point in subjecting my guns to the extra added stress.

I use 230 grain JHP HydraShocks and I feel comfortable with this round. :rock:
 

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Tim said it.........No! Why? Because it's not necessary.
 

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Anyone who feels they shoot lower pressure rounds better or are just more comfortable shooting low pressure rounds should absolutely do so. However to say +p rounds are unnecessary is misleading. By definition a handgun is a very poor manstopper. If you can comfortably shoot a round that causes more damage and delivers more energy to stop the threat quicker then that is what you need to do.
 

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The accepted mechanism of wounding is penetration, not energy transfer. There is no good evidence that, in the range of commonly used handgun rounds, increasing the energy increases the effectiveness. Increasing the velocity of modern hollowpoints decreases penetration, unless the bullet is reengineered for the higher velocity. Even people that carry +P loads do most of their shooting with standard pressure loads. Shot placement is critical.
I do not think a cartridge that recoils more, has more blast, penetrates less, and is subjectively different from my practice load may be said to be better.
 

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Tim Burke said:
The accepted mechanism of wounding is penetration, not energy transfer. There is no good evidence that, in the range of commonly used handgun rounds, increasing the energy increases the effectiveness. Increasing the velocity of modern hollowpoints decreases penetration, unless the bullet is reengineered for the higher velocity. Even people that carry +P loads do most of their shooting with standard pressure loads. Shot placement is critical.
I do not think a cartridge that recoils more, has more blast, penetrates less, and is subjectively different from my practice load may be said to be better.
Very well said. "Energy dump" from a handgun is meaningless. The very real downsides to +P in a .45 are extra recoil and increased chance of malfunction. The 230-grain +P Ranger Talon load also penetrates less than the standard-pressure load. It expands a little quicker and a touch larger, but at the expense of about a inch of penetration. The last +P Rangers I saw fired into bare gelatin didn't make 12 inches (barely), while the standard velocity loading went closer to 13. The +P load can also be more prone to shedding its jacket in some circumstances.

I have no problem with shooting +P loads in a .45, but stay away from them mainly because they can cause functioning problems and there is no real benefit. I also don't want to shoot them in my Yost-tuned Çolt LW Commander, which is what I carry off duty 90% of the time. Accelerating wear in that gun is a concern for me. My .45 load for all of my 1911s is the standard-velocity Ranger T, and it works perfectly in every one I own. If I couldn't get the Ranger load I'd use a standard-pressure 230-grain Gold Dot without hesitation.

In 9mm, a +P load can give you some benefit when using a shorter barrel. The 124-grain +P Gold Dot is an excellent load. I shy away from +P+ because it really isn't necessary and does beat up the guns quicker. One of the best loads going in 9mm is the Federal Tactical 124-grain. It's not rated +P, but it is a snappy load. My agency has used it to very good effect in a number of shootings. Just my .02
 

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I have never used them for carry purposes and only occasionally shot them (in other people's guns). I don't see the need for them and agree that faster follow-up shots are more important. I mean... handguns are weak and defensive no matter the caliber.
 

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Carry Corbon 45acp 185gr +p and Rem Golden Saber 9mm 124gr +p. I'm no expert. But I believe in taking every advantage I can. I guess the bottom line is shot placement with a major caliber and a decent self defense round.
 

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Only regular Winchester Ranger RA45T here, and that goes for both the 5" & 3" 1911's.



BTW, anyone bothered by +P in the .45 should try shooting a S&W 340 (12oz J-Frame) with full power .357 Magnum loads! It's like a bomb going off in your hand & leaves your palm numb if you squeeze off all 5 shots at once! :rock:
Yeah, this is definitely loaded with .38spl hydroshocks when carried.

 

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I have already said if you feel better with standard pressure loads then that is absolutely what you shouls shoot in your gun. I disagree with the benefits of +p ammo and also with the difficulty in shooting +p ammo. I can barely tell the difference between a lighter grain +p and 230gr FMJ at the range. When shooting double taps or rapid fire strings I am just as accurate with either.
 

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I use standard pressure loads, but I would carry +P in one of my guns if it would feed them reliably. While I agree that the extra push isn't needed in a full size gun, in a 3" barrel, you are giving up a good amount of velocity and a 230 grian bullet drops below the "magic" 800 FPS that is claimed to be the minimum for reliable expansion. The +P might be enough to get you up over 800 FPS and if it does, I would say its worth swithcing to if it feeds reliably.
 
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