9mm +p+ and longevity?

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by dwillia29, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

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    Hi all -

    I'm well aware that high pressure loads and accelerated firearm wear is a topic that's been discussed into the ground, but my question is (hopefully) a bit more theoretical. It's not like there's an entire pallet of Ranger 127gr. +p+ in my guest bedroom!

    But, for the sake of argument, let's say there was...

    It seems to make common sense that the hotter the ammo, the more strain it puts on the handgun. Agreed?

    If so, wouldn't that strain primarily be limited to the recoil guide god spring? Assuming so, even if one shot +p+ exclusively, all that would be required to ward off the possibility of a cracked frame would be to change out the spring every 5k rounds instead of, say, 8k?

    Additionally, since the Steyr was conceived as a .40 -- and reworked as a 9mm -- wouldn't that make it more +p+ friendly?

    My thinking is that the fully supported chamber, the polymer/metal alloy frame -- or both -- would make the Steyr better suited for hyper-velocity loads than a Glock or other pure polymer framed handgun.

    Again, I'm just curious. I have no plans to stock up on hot ammo as, from what I've read and heard, the added muzzle flip, increased flash, and of course, wear, makes the benefit of the high pressure defensive rounds somewhat dubious.

    Any thoughts, answers, (or corrections) appreciated.

    Thanks!
    David
     
  2. MrApathy

    MrApathy Active Member

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    no standard for +p+ ammo so no way to say.

    +p is easier to guess its 35,001-38,500 psi
    +p+ is 38,501 to who knows what or could also just be +p marketed as +p+ for gimick to get the
    tactical ninja crowd.

    M9 should last many rounds of it no idea how many let us know if you wear one out.
     

  3. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    Doubt one would not practice with enough expensive +P+ ammo to make much of a difference over a long period of time after function testing was completed.
     
  4. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    Well let's refine the arguement a bit more - lets speak of Winchester Ranger +P+. It seems to be the most common +P+ folks shoot, and chamber pressure data should be readily available online (somewhere). Anyone want to volunteer to do the legwork and find the #'s? :)

    I've shot several boxes of the Ranger load with no ill effects whatsoever, but I'm sure no one is surprised by that.

    Perhaps worth mentioning - the latest and greatest 147gr. offerings seem to outperform the hot +P+ stuff and eliminate the need to worry about these things.
     
  5. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

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    I purchase "premium" ammo at MAH Supplies (http://www.mahsupplies.net/).

    They state -- and I believe this is straight off the winchester leo site -- that 127gr. +p+ is: "loaded to 20-25% higher pressure and velocity than standard ammo.".

    The claimed chrony is 1250 ft/sec., which imo, isn't THAT hot. I "think" that factory std pressure, factory .357 Sig is even a bit faster?

    Again, I was just curious if the Steyr would theoretically stand up better than other polymer offerings from Glock, Springfield, HK, etc. if one had the money and inclination to shoot +p+ exclusively.

    I've shot the +p+ a few times, but I also suspect that it's a marketing gimmick for mall ninjas who drool at the thought of carrying something "restriced to law enforcement personnel only".

    Personally, I'm with Syntax insofar as I'm partial to 147 grain rangers. I'd always heard negative comments about 147 grain -- no reasons IIRC, just disdain -- but the tests I've seen show that it performs so much like the hot 127 +p+ that it's uncanny.

    More importantly, I tend to shoot faster, tighter groups with 147 gr.

    And believe it or not, but ammo selection is of minimal importance to me -- I often ust but whatever's on sale. As long as it's a HP that feeds reliably (which ranger does in my case), practice and careful shot placement will trump every "magic bullet" on the market.

    David
     
  6. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    If Steyr can -- and does -- build an MA1 that will stand up to 357 Sig, I don't think there's a thing in the world to worry about shooting 9mm +P+. Look at the ballistics and you'll find 357 Sig is about the hottest auto pistol round going with the possible exception of full-house 10mm loads and those are few and far between.

    My M357-A1 is just getting warmed up as it reaches its first 1,000 rounds and I see no signs of wear at all. My confidence is that Steyr has built one of the strongest pistols in the world and I wouldn't be afraid to shoot any ammo in mine as often as I can find time to pop a cap. :mrgreen:
     
  7. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    If Wulf's M357A1 is still ticking, that's gotta count for something! :lol:

    The 147's do not enjoy a great reputation because of the early designs mostly used by LEO back in the day when 9mm was king. The older 147gr's rarely opened up, and as a result, performed like ball and had a nasty habit of overpenetrating. We enjoy better technology these days, and this is no longer a problem with most modern brand-name stuff.
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    9mm +P+ loads

    From what I understand, the damage with high pressure loads, wether labelled +P or not comes from the repeated impact between the slide and the frame. The .357 Sig guns handle the hot stuff because they are set up to do so. I would highly reccomend a buffer if anyone makes one for the Steyr. You can find them for almost any popular semi-auto. If you are shooting +P ammo exclusively or primarily, you might also look at a stiffer recoil spring. The buffer and the spring will help with recoil (a bit) and longevity as well.

    Live Free or Die
     
  9. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    As mentioned previously - the M9A1, M357A1, and M40A1 all use the same recoil spring.
     
  10. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Springs and buffers.

    No kidding!? That really is strange. I haven't read that anywhere, but I believe you. Are there differences in the weight of the slides? What about the M9, M357 & M40? I would definitely reccomend a buffer then, especially for the .357. Even though the Steyr is probably a much more durable platform (than other polymer framed guns) because it has the steel frame, I can't imagine it would be good for the gun to shoot .357's or even.40's using a recoil spring made to function with a niner. Does anyone know of someone offering such a buffer? Thanks for the info Syntax.

    Gator out
     
  12. revchuck

    revchuck Guest

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    FWIW, Speer Gold Dot 124 grain +P ammo, and the version that Black Hills loads of it as well, chronograph 1220-1250 fps from my CZ-75 B and Beretta 92 Brigadier. They have longer barrels that the Steyr; I guess these rounds would run about 1200 fps from the shorter barrel. If the +P+ Ranger chronographs its advertised velocity, it just ain't that much hotter than +P, certainly not enough to make you switch from a round you like. I doubt that it would faze a Steyr in good condition.
     
  13. dwillia29

    dwillia29 New Member

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    ^ Agreed ^

    I suspect that too often gun owners overanalyze things like this, and to be fair, I'm hardly an exception.

    After mulling (overanalyzing?) it over, I think the +p+ designation is primarily just marketing. Any spec. factory load -- be it +p, +p+, or extreme ++++P++++ can YOU handle it? -- won't show any appreciable difference in wear on your handgun.

    Handloads, of course, can be a different story. But I doubt any reputable ammo manufacturer would market ammo so hot that even prolonged use would crack the frame or otherwise trash the gun. If they did, all the owners with more $ than brains who shoot +p+ only (and I'm sure they're plenty out there) would demand that Winchester or CCI or Remington or whomever replace their ruined guns.

    I don't think any factory ammo, regardless of caliber, is really very hot. Nor does it need to be. A 9mm loaded past 1500 ft/sec. is blazing fast toward the law of diminishing returns.

    I've seen KB's related to handloads, I've seen KB's related to defective factory ammo, but I've never seen a KB -- or even inordinate wear -- caused by typical factory ammo, regardless of designation.

    That doesn't stop instructors at the range or gun writers from preaching "You should NEVER use +p+ unless your handgun is rated for it" (whatever that means?), or "You can shoot a box or two to test reliability for carry, but never practice with it."

    I wonder what they know that I don't?

    All things being equal, I'd surmise that a 9mm handgun loaded exclusively with tame factory loads would generally outlast the same handgun chambered in .357 Sig. Generally. And not by much.

    I'm aware that buffers are all the rage for AKs, ARs, FALs, G3s, etc., but when was the last time you observed an AK w/ a cracked receiver? And I mean the '50s-era, stamped guns that were/are maintained with spit and used motor oil?

    Ugh, now I'm overanalyzing again. :?

    I guess I'm trying to say that any structurally sound, modern firearm that's fed factory ammo should last a long, long time. No matter what's printed on the box.

    At least I think so...

    David
     
  14. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    the slides are lighter on the 9 guns. strategic metal removal.

    recoil springs are the same, but rather than thinking of the .40 using the 9 recoil spring... keep in mind that the pistol was developed as a .40 first. thus... the 9 operates using the .40 spring.

    consider energy.

    a 180gr .40 bullet at 950 fps vs. a 124gr 9mm at 1250. certainly in the range of "similar" energy.

    and that steyr sells the .357 which could throw the same 124 gr over 1300fps... says to me that the frame will certainly stand the impact.

    the barrel? no sweat! the chamber size was dictated by the .40 round. the chamber has all kinds of safety margin.

    i'm not sure what the metallurgy is in the steyr barrel. let's consider that it may be regular old chromoly. this material will stand upwards of 120,000 PSI in tension. good rule of thumb is to double that in compression.

    considering the hottest of the hottest 9mm loads can't possibly hit 60,000 PSI, you've still got a very large safety margin.