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Discussion Starter #1
One of the gunzines had an article about High Powers written by Ayoob where he mentioned Bill Laughridge said do not shoot +P ammo in a High Power; he has sen them damaged w just a few magazines worth. OK, he knows what he's talking about.

But...

I remember an article Charlie wrote for the American Rifleman in Nov 89 where he mentioned (on p. 75) a report by Browning of shooting 5,000 rounds of Remington 115g +P+ ammo through a High Power w no signs of damage at all. That's about 385 magazines worth. Or 500 Clinton mags worth.

CIP/NATO 9x19 ammo is often in the SAAMI +P range, and HPs seem to handle more than a few mags of that just fine; my HP MkIIIs sure have. OTOH, I remember seeing 2 older MkII HPs break the lug in the frame at under 15K rounds each of std pressure ammo a couple yrs before Charlie wrote that article and Browning shot that ammo... just a bad run of guns? Or are the newer guns tougher than the older guns?

Wondering what y'all thought. I'll find out for myself eventually as I'm in the process of wearing out the first of several HPs at my disposal right now. ;)
 

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Hello. If interested, here are some long-term observations on this:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/BHPa ... reAmmo.htm

I have personally seen some standard pressure 9mm JHP's used with "good effect" so I wouldn't feel like I was using "underpowered" ammo if you opt to go with a standard pressure JHP. The main thing is to be sure your Hi Power's reliable with whatever load you choose.

If you'll notice, on some chronograph data from the same gun, the +P version of a particular load is not really moving all that much faster. For example, the standard pressure Remington 124-gr. Golden Saber gets right around 1100 ft/sec from one of my Mk III pistols. The +P version averages only about 45 to 55 ft/sec more. This certainly can vary from lot to lot and if one considers extreme spreads, i.e., a "high" reading on a standard pressure vs a "low" one on a +P, actual differences on the receiving end are probably nil. I think Mr. Petty would be more able to answer such than I.

I do wish someone would come up with an expanding bullet in std pressure that would expand from the snub .38 Specials. It could probably be done, but as Mr. Petty notes, there's not been so much research on that gun/load combination as with the autos in recent years.

Best.
 

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Stephen A. Camp said:
I do wish someone would come up with an expanding bullet in std pressure that would expand from the snub .38 Specials. It could probably be done….
Someone has done it, and just recently… I've had a bunch of it from the (major) manufacturer for the past 2+ months and am just waiting for a wee bit warmer weather to set up the chronograph and have at it forthwith and with a good right will.

It's already been adopted by two large huge police agencies, one of which requested its development, but I'm not allowed to identify them by name even thought it's such common knowledge that even Orick probably knows… but, as we all know, Mike doesn't know half of what he thinks he knows even though CeePee and I have been beating him around the ears now for more than ten years!
 

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Isn't there a new, non-hollow point bullet on the market that offers reliable expansion, even when it hits dry wall?
As I recall, there is a hard rubber plug in the nose of the bullet, and when contact is made, the hard rubber is forced back into the bullet, thereby causing expansion.
I beleive it is available in .38 special as well as popular semiauto calibers.
Since the ogive is the same as hardball, feeding in semi's is not a problem.
I have not seen it in stores, but then again, I haven't been looking either. Maybe it is just being tested at this point.
 

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David, are you thinking of the Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket load? I just purchased 3 boxes in .45ACP recently. Gotta get to the range and see how they do. If I like it, I may stick with that as my primary carry load in .45ACP.
 

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I'm interested in hearing about this new standard pressure .38 load as well, but I am not really excited about it. Consider a few facts. First, that SAAMI spec for standard pressure .38 Special is 17,000 psi, and +P is only 18,500 psi. (For comparison, .25 ACP is 25,000 psi, .45 ACP is 21,000 psi, and 9x19, .40 & .357 Mag are all 35,000 psi.)

Next, most factory ammo likely doesn't hit the SAAMI max, so those .38 +P loads are probably under 18.5K psi by a nice safety margin.

Next, while I forget the actual pressure figure (Charlie, help me out here), the proof loads used to test all .38 Special revolvers for a good number of decades have been well above the 18,500 psi level of +P ammo.

In my chronograph testing of standard and +P loads from snubbies, I've found very little velocity increase between these loads in a given bullet weight from the same manufacturer. For example, the standard pressure 125 grain Federal Nyclad was only 30 fps slower than the +P 125 grain Nyclad from the same 2" Colt Cobra. [I am sure some Cor-Bon loads are considerably hotter, but I seriously wonder if these hotter loads are within SAAMI spec.] And note that the standard pressure 125 Nyclad load (aka "the Chief's Special load") was designed to be efficient from a snubby.

I'm sure we've all heard the of claims of accelerated wear from use of +P ammo in alloy framed revolvers, but I have to wonder how much of a real concern this is for most people. The round count necessary to start seeing problems is likely to be well above what the large majority of shooters will reach in practicing with their revolvers. I don't think a catastrophic failure from the additional 1.5K psi is a real probability with any quality .38 revolver made in, say, the last 35 years.

So I don't have any real concerns about carrying +P ammo in an alloy framed gun (like a first series S&W 442/642/042) and practicing with a good amount of it as well. While in an auto pistol I like to fire several hundred rounds of a given load before I trust it for carry ammo, usually a box or two of ammo is all that is required to see if it is suitable for carry in a revolver (with periodic testing of future lots to check for consistency).

I am pretty confident that the only reason that SAAMI specs on .38 and .38 +P are so low is because of how many really old .38 Special revolvers are still in circulation. This is the same reason why .45 Colt is kept down at 14,000 psi, i.e., the number of Colt SAA and clones out there. (NB the SAAMI spec for Ruger revolvers is 25,000 cup, and can probably be loaded considerably hotter with complete safety.)

SAAMI could probably bump the .38 +P pressure up to around 21,000 cup, where the relatively modern .32 H&R Magnum was set. Sure, it would not be a good idea to fire such loads in old .38 Special revolvers, but it isn't a good idea to fire .38 Super ammo in a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer or heavy .45 Colt loads in an SAA. The ammo just has to be labeled appropriately.

So, forgive me if I yawn at a new standard pressure .38 load. I am always impressed by engineering advances, and if they can get a bullet to perform better at lower pressures (and lower velocities), that's good news. But I'll bet we won't see performance considerably different from the better current offerings, like the 125 +P Gold Dot and SXT loads that are, when you really look at things, not pushing any pressure limits to be concerned about.

Oh, and I'm a bit perplexed at why any large huge police agencies would be concerned about issuing a .38 +P round. Could they seriously be issuing (or even authorizing) revolvers so old that they're unsafe with +P loads? I guess I'll just have to wait for Dean to make like Paul Harvey and give us "the rest of the story."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow!

It has been that long! Youse guys have been smackin' me down since 1991 at least!

I remember scooping Dean on Cobb county GA dumping bad S&Ws for Glocks all the way from Turkey in 1993... I'll always have that, if nothing else. ;)
 

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Rob said:
I guess I'll just have to wait for Dean to make like Paul Harvey and give us "the rest of the story."
Well, (heh heh), here 'is:
[IMG=center]http://www.thegunzone.com/images/speer135jhp.jpg[/IMG] In my memory this was a non +P round, and clearly it is not! My apologies to Mr. Camp for my misleading post.

Althought it is apparently no longer in production, the Federal (nee S&W) 125-grain Nyclad "Chief's Special" round operated at standard pressure, and expanded very well from a nominal 2-inch barrel.

More to come, of course.
 

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Actually the proof pressure for .38 +P in psi is 18,500 the old CUP method is 20,000.

It seems to me as if folks often think that proof loads are some astronomical pressure. SAAMI uses the following table:

maximum load proof load
15,000 psi or less 140-150%
15,100-18,000 psi 135-150%
18,100-21,000 psi 130-145%
21,100 or more 130-140%
 

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Discussion Starter #11
For SAAMI 9x19 proof loads, would it be 130% of the SAAMI std 35,000 psi, or 130% of the SAAMI +P 38,500 psi?

IIRC, the military proof load for 9x19 was 50,000 psi, which would be about 140% of the max 36,250 psi for the M882 ammo.
 

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critical thinking time... since +P ammo is fired in the same guns there is no longer a need for standard pressure proof loads so you won't see them for .38 Special, 9mm or .45 ACP- only the +P @38.5.

One of the problems with NATO ammo that pressure measuring procedures are based on CIP European standards rather than ours. The location of the transducer is very different so you must define what method is used. I don't think M882 gets quite that high.
 

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DeanSpeir said:
Well, (heh heh), here 'is:
I've known about the 135 GDHP for over a month now (probably 2+ months?) but Dean's description as "standard pressure" threw me. From the testing I've seen, the gel penetration of the 135 is a tad shallow, and I don't see a real reason to prefer the new 135 to the current 125 +P GDHP.
 

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I disremember the exact numbers right now, but the 135 was tested in a Model 36... most of the other 38 data is from a 4".
 

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Back to the original question, I once managed to blow up one of those Hi Power GP competition models in search of 9mm major...I seem to recall something about a compressed TRIPLEX load under a 90 or 100 grain bullet. Whoopie! Aside from a fierce hand massage (rubber grips with steel panels!), the slide cracked at the ejection port. Most of the moving parts didn't move anymore. It made major, by god! By a big margin.

Michael B
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wonder if we will see a 9x19 135 GD at about 1050 fps, kinda like Federal's PDA?

Or a .38 Special version of that Federal 9x19 135 HS bullet?

Seems like the EFMJ would be a good snubby bullet? Unless it's too long to be loaded to std pressure at any weight/velocity combo that would sell?
 
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