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Thread: Caution !

  1. #1
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    Caution !

    As you can tell from my screen-name I carry a Bersa .380 as well as a Beretta PX4-Storm.

    I carry the .380 in the summer as it's easier to conceal under a t-shirt .. .. .. ANYWAY ! I thought I'd try some Buffalo Bore ammo in it, they state they push a 90 grain JHP to 1200FPS and close to 300 Ft.Lbs. of smack. After shooting about 40 rounds through it my Bersa started acting up, I found out two things:

    1.) The recoil from them would bounce the transfer bar spring out of position.
    2.) It also bent a little arm on the transfer bar that releases the hammer.

    Hence, I replaced the transfer bar ($6.00 from Bersa USA) and had the chamber and slide inspected.

    No "Hot Loads" for me any more !

  2. #2
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info I do have a Bersa Thunder .380 and do not use +P in any of my guns.
    My view is if a 9MM is not enough then I go for a .40S&W and so on.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Almost all of the "lightweights" have a prohibition in their owner's manual in regards to +P ammo. Even those who manufacture firearms that are considered "stout" warn against +P due to increased wear and tear on the firearm.

    I have several 9mm's and load for them using Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points. The "optimum" speed for this bullet (9mm, 124gr) is between 1150 and 1200 fps. I can achieve this speed (I chronograph every batch I load) without going into +P pressure territory. Why beat up a firearm for little improvement in it's ability to kill or maim. Shooting "hot" ammo only contributes to reduced reliability of the firearm.

    The only exception to this, in my opinion, is in a 38Spl which needs all the help it can get. Since these are almost always revolvers, they tend to hold up better under higher pressures than a semi that wants to beat itself to death every time the slide cycles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Almost all of the "lightweights" have a prohibition in their owner's manual in regards to +P ammo. Even those who manufacture firearms that are considered "stout" warn against +P due to increased wear and tear on the firearm.

    Shooting "hot" ammo only contributes to reduced reliability of the firearm.

    The only exception to this, in my opinion, is in a 38Spl which needs all the help it can get. Since these are almost always revolvers, they tend to hold up better under higher pressures than a semi that wants to beat itself to death every time the slide cycles.
    Please refrain from making these types of blanket comments.

    Read the manual of the firearm that you have and find out if it does in-fact recommend the usage of +P ammo. Which of "All of the lightweights" are you talking about? Keltec, Walther, Taurus, Kahr??? Because ALL of them say that their guns ARE RATED for +P usage. Can't say I've owned a Bersa, but if its not rated for it, then don't do it. (Or buy a gun that can, if you want to shoot/carry +P).

    The 124gr Gold Dot (in a +P configuration---part #53617) is one of the most-experienced Law-Enforcement loads, and has NUMEROUS documented shootings, in part due to the fact that the NYPD issues this load to all of its uniformed personnel, fed through GLOCK 19s. Out of a 4" bbl, it is rated at 1220fps/410ft.lbs whereas the standard pressure 124gr (#53618) is rated at 1150fps/364ft.lbs.

    And if you have an autopistol that feels as if it's "beating itself to death every time the slide cylcles," dude...you need to buy a different auto. Answer me this: Does a car wear faster driving at 55mph or 65mph? (The answer is---there's not enough information to give an answer.) The key, instead, is proper maintenance. Clean and lubricate your weapon properly, change springs at suggested intervals and you won't have a problem...regardless of if you use +P or non. Hell, most of us can't afford enough +P ammo to "wear out" our chosen weapons. I know I can't.

    I shoot and carry +P+ (Ranger 127gr) in many of my 9mm's and I've never had a problem with them. My 3" Kahr "ankle gun" loves them and will shoot 2" groups at 15 yards with them all day long.

  5. #5
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G20-IWB24/7 View Post

    The 124gr Gold Dot (in a +P configuration---part #53617) is one of the most-experienced Law-Enforcement loads, and has NUMEROUS documented shootings, in part due to the fact that the NYPD issues this load to all of its uniformed personnel, fed through GLOCK 19s. Out of a 4" bbl, it is rated at 1220fps/410ft.lbs whereas the standard pressure 124gr (#53618) is rated at 1150fps/364ft.lbs.
    My 9mm, 124gr loads are achieving speeds averaging 1250fps using Vihtavouri 3n37 and pressures are still within SAAMI specs for "Standard" pressure.

    As for my comments on recommendation against +P, I used the word "recommendation", not prohibition. I'm sure that for every manufacturer I say recommends against, you can present one that approves.

    I load and shoot an average of 10,000 rounds of 9mm, as well as another couple of thousand rounds of rifle ammo (.223 and .308), each year. I can assure you that the higher pressure loads cause accelerated wear on any weapon. I used to own a S&W 459. I still have the e-mail somewhere from S&W which recommended against the use of +P other than "infrequently as it accelerated the wear and tear". I broke the frame on a compact 9mm (a Skyy CPX-1) which I considered a lightweight. My kel-tec P3-AT is painful enough with standard loads. My Sig P-229 and CZ75 SP-01 can handle anything. Over 40,000 rounds through the Sig and over 10,000 rounds with the CZ. Since I can get +P performance in my firearms without resorting to +P pressures I see no reason to do so.

    As for your Car analogy, I retired from the auto service industry. I can assure you that the data does exist that shows a car driven at higher speeds does wear out faster. Same for those driven over rough roads, in the rain, in snow, etc, etc,. The point is that EVERYTHING wears out faster when the design limits are pushed.

    Go ahead and shoot what you want but in the case of the original post, it appears that shooting +P ammo in this person's Bersa exceded it's limits as the bent parts indicated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    My 9mm, 124gr loads are achieving speeds averaging 1250fps using Vihtavouri 3n37 and pressures are still within SAAMI specs for "Standard" pressure.

    I load and shoot an average of 10,000 rounds of 9mm, as well as another couple of thousand rounds of rifle ammo (.223 and .308), each year. I can assure you that the higher pressure loads cause accelerated wear on any weapon. I used to own a S&W 459. I still have the e-mail somewhere from S&W which recommended against the use of +P other than "infrequently as it accelerated the wear and tear". I broke the frame on a compact 9mm (a Skyy CPX-1) which I considered a lightweight.

    Go ahead and shoot what you want but in the case of the original post, it appears that shooting +P ammo in this person's Bersa exceded it's limits as the bent parts indicated.
    You said earlier that the "optimum speed for the 124gr bullet is between 1150 and 1200fps"---now you're saying you load them to 1250. Why would you do that as the "optimum speed" (according to your own standard) is much less than that???

    If you read the owners manual of almost ALL firearms, they state that using reloaded ammunition is unsafe and voids the warranty, so factory +Ps or reloaded standard pressure, you're screwed either way, huh?

    A 2nd gen Smith Auto is not the greatest example, as it is a fairly old design. The newer 5900 series guns are much stronger, and the point I made still stands, that one should do what the manufacturer recommends as far as ammo choice.

    Given the fact that the only issues from 'hot' ammo mentioned in this thread are in guns that are less than $300 new, I'll submit that you get what you pay for. You can call it "lightweight," I'll call it "low quality" as there are plenty of 9mm's of the Skyy's size and weight and even smaller that are happily rated for +P.

  7. #7
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G20-IWB24/7 View Post

    If you read the owners manual of almost ALL firearms, they state that using reloaded ammunition is unsafe and voids the warranty, so factory +Ps or reloaded standard pressure, you're screwed either way, huh?
    Are you implying that ammo loaded by anyone other than a "Big Name Factory" is automatically a reload?

    Ever hear of a Class VI FFL (sometimes refered to as a Type VI license)?

    Sorry, I don't consider myself screwed.

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    Amlevin---I can see we're going to continue to disagree on the details here, and that's fine, but you're missing my points...

    *You stated in your first post in this thread that +P is NOT to be used in the lightweights, and you used the words "prohibition" and "warn." I said that this is incorrect in all but the cheapest hanguns, and I said you get what you pay for. Am I wrong?

    *Not every shooter on this board loads his own, and if you do, more power to you, but my point is that scare tactics should not be used to pursuade people away from ammunition that is tried and proven on the street time and time again, and is approved for usage in most commercially available handguns on the market. There are quite a few of us who have shot countless rounds of +P or +P+/NATO spec ammo through our guns and have never had a problem, because we didn't choose the cheapest handgun to put them through.

    *Read the manual, and/or ask the manufacturer. Had the original poster done this, he might not have tried to push the limits on his particular handgun.

  9. #9
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G20-IWB24/7 View Post
    Amlevin---I can see we're going to continue to disagree on the details here, and that's fine, but you're missing my points...

    *You stated in your first post in this thread that +P is NOT to be used in the lightweights, and you used the words "prohibition" and "warn." I said that this is incorrect in all but the cheapest hanguns, and I said you get what you pay for. Am I wrong?

    *Not every shooter on this board loads his own, and if you do, more power to you, but my point is that scare tactics should not be used to pursuade people away from ammunition that is tried and proven on the street time and time again, and is approved for usage in most commercially available handguns on the market. There are quite a few of us who have shot countless rounds of +P or +P+/NATO spec ammo through our guns and have never had a problem, because we didn't choose the cheapest handgun to put them through.

    *Read the manual, and/or ask the manufacturer. Had the original poster done this, he might not have tried to push the limits on his particular handgun.
    And in turn I believe you missed my point. Yes, I did start out by offering that SOME manufacturers recommend or warn against the use of +P. I then went on to make the point that +P performance can often be achieved by other means without resorting to higher pressures associated with the +P loads (as defined by SAAMI).

    I agree with you that you get what you pay for. That choice is up to the purchaser.

    If you have had no problems, great. Not everyone is all that fortunate. FWIW I watched a Beretta 92S loose a grip and slide lock with standard factory ammo that blew off a case head (sold by the range yet). It can happen to all firearms, not just "cheapies".

    We disagree on some points and that's life.

    BTW, my 9mm loads "clock" a little faster through my CZ than the Sig as it has a much longer barrel. I carry the sig and it runs much closer to 1200 fps.
    Last edited by amlevin; 07-27-2010 at 03:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    And in turn I believe you missed my point. Yes, I did start out by offering that SOME manufacturers recommend or warn against the use of +P. I then went on to make the point that +P performance can often be achieved by other means without resorting to higher pressures associated with the +P loads (as defined by SAAMI).

    I agree with you that you get what you pay for. That choice is up to the purchaser.

    If you have had no problems, great. Not everyone is all that fortunate. FWIW I watched a Beretta 92S loose a grip and slide lock with standard factory ammo that blew off a case head (sold by the range yet). It can happen to all firearms, not just "cheapies".

    We disagree on some points and that's life.
    RE: Achieving the same results w/out the increased pressure- I agree, but for many on this forum that do not reload, this is not an option. It is the factory loads or nothing. And many that do load their own for practice ammo still rely on factory ammo for carry, for whatever reasons they choose. To scare people away from getting the most out of their defensive firearm that they can, in their current situation, just isn't the right thing to do. OCDO is a place where information is backed-up, references quoted and sound information is offered. Opinion isn't the same as a manufacturer's owners manual.

    I'll agree it "can" happen with all types of firearms, but you sound like you know what you're doing, I'm sure you'd agree that the frequency of failures is much greater in $200 handguns than in $600 handguns. See if you can find a $200 revolver in .38 that is rated to handle +P's (which caliber needs all the help it can get).

  11. #11
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G20-IWB24/7 View Post
    RE: Achieving the same results w/out the increased pressure- I agree, but for many on this forum that do not reload, this is not an option. It is the factory loads or nothing. And many that do load their own for practice ammo still rely on factory ammo for carry, for whatever reasons they choose. To scare people away from getting the most out of their defensive firearm that they can, in their current situation, just isn't the right thing to do. OCDO is a place where information is backed-up, references quoted and sound information is offered. Opinion isn't the same as a manufacturer's owners manual.

    I'll agree it "can" happen with all types of firearms, but you sound like you know what you're doing, I'm sure you'd agree that the frequency of failures is much greater in $200 handguns than in $600 handguns. See if you can find a $200 revolver in .38 that is rated to handle +P's (which caliber needs all the help it can get).
    I paid $160 for my Rossi 88. The manufacturer merely said to use ammo that conformed to SAAMI Specs. That would be 17,000 PSI Chamber Pressures for .38Spl Standard Loads and 18,500 Psi for +P. Revolvers are more forgiving than semi auto's as the case is always supported by the cylinder. Compare these pressures with the 35,000 PSI (Std) and 38,500 PSI for +p in 9mm.

    Yes, I bought this revolver back in 1985 but inexpensive revolvers are available in the sub $300 range in some reputable names like Ruger etc. Plenty of used ones in the same range, again good brands, not the SNS's of old.

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    this topic makes me love my CZ-75 SP-01 even more! the CZ-75 was built around the 9x19 NATO cartridge which is about the same as 124gr +p ammuntion.

    back on topic, as was said before, its unwise to use +P ammunition in any firearm the doesnt recomend its use in the manual. if you do not have the manual then call the manufactorer, if you cant do that... its safer to assume it will not fire +P ammunition.

    -matt

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt85 View Post
    this topic makes me love my CZ-75 SP-01 even more! the CZ-75 was built around the 9x19 NATO cartridge which is about the same as 124gr +p ammuntion.

    back on topic, as was said before, its unwise to use +P ammunition in any firearm the doesnt recomend its use in the manual. if you do not have the manual then call the manufactorer, if you cant do that... its safer to assume it will not fire +P ammunition.

    -matt
    Likewise here on the SP-01. Couple of nice features. It holds 20 rounds (19+1) and at almost 2lbs it is a good weapon even if empty.

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