What is +P ammo?

Answered by Jason Smith

+P ammunition, also known as overpressure ammunition, is a type of small arms ammunition that has been specially loaded to produce a higher internal pressure when fired compared to standard ammunition of the same caliber. The “+P” designation is used to indicate that the ammunition has been loaded to higher pressures than normal.

The purpose of +P ammunition is to enhance the performance of the cartridge, primarily by increasing the velocity and energy of the projectile. This can result in improved terminal ballistics, meaning the round is more effective at stopping a threat or achieving the desired effect on the target.

It is important to note that +P ammunition is not suitable for all firearms. It is typically recommended for use in modern firearms that are designed to handle the increased pressure generated by these rounds. Using +P ammunition in a firearm that is not rated for it can potentially cause damage to the firearm and pose a safety risk to the shooter and those nearby.

The increased internal pressure in +P ammunition is achieved through several means. The cartridge may contain a larger powder charge than standard ammunition, resulting in a greater amount of propellant being burned upon ignition. Additionally, the bullet itself may be heavier or have a different design to optimize performance at higher velocities.

One thing to keep in mind is that +P ammunition is not the same as +P+ ammunition. While both types are loaded to higher pressures than standard ammunition, +P+ ammunition is loaded to even higher pressures than +P ammunition. It is important to consult the firearm manufacturer’s guidelines and specifications to determine if a particular firearm is capable of safely handling +P or +P+ ammunition.

In my personal experience, I have used +P ammunition in some of my firearms that are rated for it. I have found that it does indeed provide a noticeable increase in velocity and energy compared to standard ammunition. This can be particularly beneficial in self-defense situations where every bit of performance matters.

However, it is worth mentioning that the increased recoil and muzzle blast of +P ammunition can be more pronounced compared to standard ammunition. This can affect the shooter’s ability to quickly and accurately fire follow-up shots. It is important for individuals to practice with +P ammunition to become familiar with its characteristics and ensure they can effectively control their firearm while using it.

To summarize, +P ammunition is a type of small arms ammunition loaded to higher pressures than standard ammunition. It offers increased velocity and energy, resulting in improved performance. However, it should only be used in firearms that are specifically rated for it to ensure safety and reliability.