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Hi there! New to the forum.
I own an H&K USP COMPACT 9mm, and I am trying to find out how much pressure it can handle.
I was looking at: Winchester Ranger sxt 9mm +p+ 127 grain ammo, but I want to make sure it won't damage my handgun.
If someone had some experienced with this I will appreciate your input.
Thanks
 

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I would strongly suggest against +p+ in any HK, or any pistol for that matter.

+p+ would be better suited for a more robust SMG type application, in my opinion. Also, I'm skeptical of the benefits +p+ would offer out of a pistol when compared to a +p round.

+p 9mm is high-pressured enough and has plenty of velocity. If you want any more speed out of your projectile then get into 357 sig or 9x25 dillon or something, LOL
 

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HK USP's and HK45(c) are rated for +p and +p+ ammunition but states in the manual that any +p or +p+ ammunition accelerates wear on the pistol. I ran 300 rounds of Speer Gold Dot +p 124 grain through my HK P2000 and those pistols aren't rated for +p and +p+ ammunition and that thing is still kicking. I think it was just up on the forum for sale last week. You should be ok. I think it was GTmtnBiker that said "You can't afford enough +p/+p+ ammunition to break a HK"...
 

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Ranger 127gr +p+ will be fine in your pistol, it is not subgun only ammo. It is made specifically for service pistols. There are PD's that use it in their service pistols without issue, including one of the most liability-adverse agencies in the nation in their old as dirt Gen 1 Glock 17's (Metro PD, Washington DC). No problems.

Good to ask, though. If you see some +p+ ammo, like Hirtenbirger L7A1 of Samson/IMI "9mm Carb," then no, those are not safe to shoot as they're developed for sub-guns.....and beefed up sub guns at that. They usually have chamber pressures over 50,000psi. As comparison, the ammo you're looking at buying has a chamber pressure of 42,000psi.

Safe ones for use in pistols are:
Federal 115gr +p+ JHP (code 9BPLE)
Winchester Ranger-T 127gr +p+ (RA9TA)
Buffalo Bore's 115gr and 124gr +p+
Winchester Ranger 115gr +p+
Speer Gold Dot 115gr +p+

+p and +p+ ammo will wear your gun faster, but not noticeably so. Take it from people who've shot 93,000 rounds through their P30, with thousands of rounds of that being either +p, +p+, or NATO standard(which is in the ballpark of +p). Here's what he says:
I wouldn't worry about the +p issue. I've fired 2,464 rounds of NATO/+p and 498 rounds of +p+ through my P30 endurance gun.

Shooting +p through your HK will accelerate wear in the same way that driving 70mph in your car will accelerate wear compared to driving 55mph.
I've personally put a similar amount of +p+ (Ranger 115, RA9TA and Buffalo Bore) through my P2000, as has at least one other member here I can think of off the top of my head. My gun also has another 13,000 rounds through it, with a large amount of that being +p or NATO spec. No problems, the gun is fine.

It's a non-issue. I would like anyone to find a case of where pistol oriented +p+ (not sub-gun stuff like L7A1 or the 1980's Navy NSW load) was the definitive cause of premature parts failure in a modern service pistol, and HK especially.
 

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double post. woops.
 

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That's good to hear. I guess I'd just rather be more cautious.

But honestly, what sort of performance benefit would a +p+ round offer when compared to a +p round with an identical projectile weight and barrel length?
 

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But honestly, what sort of performance benefit would a +p+ round offer when compared to a +p round with an identical projectile weight and barrel length?
Legit question, no doubt.

With many rounds, it's actually bad for the terminal performance. Speer's 115gr +P+ is actually a pretty bad performer. I believe the old Winchester Silvertip 115gr was also +P+ (before it became popular to market it as +p+), and that resulted in several instances of LEO's failing to stop a threat with solid hits to vital areas that would have definitely physiologically incapacitated the threat with a proper round meeting Fackler/IWBA/FBI standards. One of these instances was in 1986, the famous Miami FBI shootout. Another was in San Diego in 1989, when the SD Sheriffs tactical team pounded a perp with 27 rounds of Silvertip, making good hits to the "A" Zone. The guy finally dropped when a round "missed" and hit the guy in his carotid artery. Some of these situations resulted in the deaths of LEO's. Same with the infamous "Treasury Load", a 110gr+p+ .38 Special load used by the USSS and still marketed by Winchester as the Ranger 110gr+p+ .38.

The 9BPLE's failings are more related to bullet design as it will clog up and fail to expand with barriers. In BG testing it usually gets 11" to 12" of penetration, so it's what could be classified as marginal.

With the proper bullet, such as Ranger-T 127gr, it's a fantastic load. It makes 13"+ penetration, great expansion. Better than a +p load? Not really. But the extra energy on target isn't necessarily a bad thing, even if it can't be quantified in wounding mechanisms. It does not recoil any more than any other good +p SD ammo, or even good standard pressure practice ammo like GECO or Speer Lawman. Nor does +p+ have excessive flash if using proper powders like RA9TA or Buffalo Bore's loads.

The Buffalo Bore offerings that I purchased were loaded with the Sierra JHP in 124gr and Montana Gold in 115gr. This has a high-antimony lead core, and HKPRO member Valorius and I punched their 115gr stuff through a kevlar jacket. If you want that load or like the ideas for which it was chosen many years ago, go for it, but the Sierra will perform similarly or worse compared to the 9BPLE load in Fackler/IWBA testing standards. Same with the Winchester Ranger (NOT Ranger-T, they're different bullets).

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Essentially, +p+ is most definitely a hold-over of the days when people thought that hydrostatic shock or "energy dumping" was a reliable wounding mechanism in legacy handgun rounds. Today, there is still no evidence to support that it is. That doesn't mean that all +p+ loads suck, or are stupid to buy. RA9TA is without doubt one of the best loads you can buy for 9mm according to Fackler/IWBA/FBI standards.

+p+ has an ability to make a come-back with Barnes' SCHP bullets. Unlike conventional lead/copper JHP's, Barnes SCHP bullets do not over-expand and underpenetrate or fragment. They just fold back their petals at some point, and then keep penetrating. It'll be exciting to see when Buffalo Bore finally comes out with their +p+ SCHP loads using Barnes bullets.
 

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Closing in on 10,000 rounds total through my USPc9 with over 1000 rounds of Ranger T 127gr +P+ (RA9TA). Not a single hiccup.

-424D57
 

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Firstly, apologies for resurrecting the necro-thread. Secondly, thank you for the useful information herein.

Interestingly, in my HK USP9 (Standard Size) manual, it states: "USP Selfloading pistols in calibers 9mm x 19,.....have been approved for all ammunition types according to SAAMI and C.I.P., including US +P ammunition" This is a bit different to the USP Compact's manual, but hey.

That being said, and the above thread being read, I have function tested a lot of Winchester Ranger T 127 gr +P+ through my pistol, and it is my carry round for self-defence. No problems, and no exacerbated wear perceived on my weapon.
 

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I've never understood folks wanting to go over pressure with 9mm.
+P+ isn't even SAAMI.
Why not just upgrade to 357 Sig or 40 S&W and be done with it.
 

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In my case, the unique factor is ammunition availability. We have a limited selection of hollow point manufacturers and calibers, and price can be prohibitive. For example, we haven't seen Speer here since about 2009 or 2008. If all you can get is Hornady Critical Defense, Hornady 147gr XTP and Winchester Ranger T +P+, then those are the ones you tend to buy. All of those are better than S&B or PMP FMJ.

Besides, if overpressure works and you trust the specific manufacturer, why not do it? You won't blow up your gun, you won't have feeding problems, and you are getting a decent bullet into your attacker at a higher velocity than a standard pressure cartridge with the same bullet. Much of a muchness sure, but I don't see anything particularly bad about it.
 

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It seems like a full size USP would be the among the strongest pistols for using the +P+ 9 given that the USP was designed around the .40.
 

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I would stick to 9mm +P if I were you. In a compact you're not going to see that much gain out of a +P+ over the +P to warrant the wear ad tear on the pistol. I load my compacts with +P ammo for carry and other than the usual practice rounds at the range I fire 124 grain FMJ for all day shooting. JMHO
 

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TGS brings up a good point about Winchester Silvertip 9mm & it's historic failing in Miami back in '86. Since then, 9mm hollow point ammunition has improved greatly to the point that most major ammunition manufacturers offerings will reliably perform in standard pressure loads. Is there still a place for +p and +p+ 9mm ammo? Sure. Is it worth the extra blast & recoil? That's an individual/agency decision. ... Barth makes a good point about the option of moving up in caliber if one does not have confidence in 9mm standard pressure rounds....
As TooSixy points out, the owners manual states your HK can handle +p & +p+ but these higher pressure rounds my lead to premature wear of your firearm.

Battista
 

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TGS brings up a good point about Winchester Silvertip 9mm & it's historic failing in Miami back in '86. Since then, 9mm hollow point ammunition has improved greatly to the point that most major ammunition manufacturers offerings will reliably perform in standard pressure loads. Is there still a place for +p and +p+ 9mm ammo? Sure. Is it worth the extra blast & recoil? That's an individual/agency decision. ... Barth makes a good point about the option of moving up in caliber if one does not have confidence in 9mm standard pressure rounds....
As TooSixy points out, the owners manual states your HK can handle +p & +p+ but these higher pressure rounds my lead to premature wear of your firearm.

Battista
+1 Mirrors my thoughts as well. Still, If I get 4+ armed home invaders at 3AM, I would rather shoot them with +P+ HP's of a trusted manufacturer than with standard pressure FMJ. :) This is due to the fact that where I live, sometimes the only premium HP ammo I can reliably source happens to be Winchester RA9TA. Yes, occasionally we do get Hornady XTP and Critical Defense, and even some Hydra-Shoks once in a while...and I do buy those as soon as I see them. I guess what I am trying to say is that when faced with a life-or-death situation, I wouldn't worry about shooting +P+ through my USP too much. I mean, it isn't remotely cheap enough to substitute for range ammo anyway.
 

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I've never understood folks wanting to go over pressure with 9mm.
+P+ isn't even SAAMI.
Why not just upgrade to 357 Sig or 40 S&W and be done with it.
yup. especially in compact guns. +P I do get for certain uses.... but +P+ ? if you're pushing the envelope that far... why not go with .40 S&W instead.

Same applies for folks buying +P ammo in the already high-pressure .40 S&W round.... why not go with 10mm then...
 
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