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The Ins and Outs of +P Ammunition: Leveraging Power and Performance

In the ever-evolving landscape of firearms and ammunition, one term that you might come across is “+P ammunition.” Here we dissect what +P means, its applications, benefits, and considerations when using it. Let’s dive into the world of +P ammo and explore if it could be the optimal choice for you.

What Does +P Mean?

“+P” stands for “Plus Pressure.” It refers to ammunition that is loaded to a higher internal pressure than standard rounds, resulting in a higher muzzle velocity and potentially greater stopping power. These rounds adhere to established industry standards but utilize this higher pressure to deliver enhanced performance.

Is +P Good for Self-Defense?

+P ammunition is often favored for self-defense situations due to its increased stopping power compared to standard ammunition. The heightened muzzle velocity can result in a more substantial impact, potentially stopping threats more efficiently.

Benefits of +P Ammo

  1. Enhanced Stopping Power: The higher pressure yields greater muzzle velocity, translating to enhanced stopping power — a critical factor in self-defense situations.
  2. Improved Ballistics: The heightened velocity can also offer improved ballistic performance, allowing for more accurate shots at longer distances.
  3. Versatility: +P ammo is available in several popular calibers, giving a wide variety of firearms the option to leverage the benefits of increased pressure.

Can You Use +P Ammo in Any Gun?

Not all firearms are designed to handle the increased pressure that +P ammunition generates. It is imperative to refer to your firearm’s owner’s manual or consult with the manufacturer to determine if your specific gun can safely fire +P rounds.

Is +P Ammo Better?

Whether +P ammo is “better” largely depends on individual preferences and specific use cases. While it offers undeniable benefits in terms of stopping power and ballistic performance, it might not be the best choice for every gun owner, considering the increased recoil and potential wear and tear on the firearm.

Using +P Ammo in 9mm Guns

Many modern 9mm firearms are capable of handling +P ammunition, but always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure safe usage. Utilizing +P ammo can indeed augment the defensive capabilities of a 9mm firearm, offering higher velocity and energy on the target.

Calibers Available in +P Spec

While +P is most commonly associated with 9mm rounds, several other calibers offer +P options, including but not limited to:

  • 9mm
  • .38 Special
  • .45 ACP
  • .380 ACP

The Downsides of +P Ammunition

  1. Increased Recoil: The higher pressures generate greater recoil, which can make handling the firearm more challenging, particularly for new shooters.
  2. Wear and Tear: Continual use of +P ammo can accelerate the wear and tear on your firearm, potentially reducing its lifespan.
  3. Cost: +P ammunition tends to be more expensive than standard ammo, making it a less economical choice for regular use or training.

Will Shooting +P or Overpressure Ammunition Void my Firearm Warranty?

Using +P or overpressure ammunition can potentially void the warranty of your firearm, depending on the manufacturer’s stipulations. Many firearms manufacturers specify the types of ammunition that can be safely used in their products without affecting the warranty. This information is typically provided in the firearm’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website.

Before using +P or any other type of overpressure ammunition, it’s highly recommended to:

  1. Check Your Firearm’s Manual: The manual will often provide detailed information on the kind of ammunition that is safe to use with that specific firearm.
  2. Contact the Manufacturer: If the manual doesn’t provide clear information, contact the manufacturer directly to get clarification on whether using +P ammunition will affect your warranty.
  3. Understand the Specifications: Be aware that older firearms, especially those manufactured before the 1950s, might not be equipped to handle the increased pressures generated by +P ammunition.
  4. Safety Considerations: Beyond warranty concerns, safety should always be your paramount consideration. Using ammunition that your firearm is not designed to handle can result in damage to the gun and potentially cause injury to the shooter or bystanders.
  5. Professional Advice: Seek advice from a professional firearms instructor or gunsmith if you are unsure about the compatibility of +P ammunition with your firearm.

Remember that using appropriate ammunition not only helps in maintaining the warranty but also ensures the longevity of your firearm and, most importantly, your safety and the safety of others. Always prioritize using the correct type of ammunition that is suited to your firearm’s specifications.


While +P ammunition offers enhanced stopping power and ballistic performance, it comes with increased recoil and potential downsides regarding wear and tear on firearms. As with any ammunition choice, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs, preferences, and the capabilities of your firearm. Ensure to always prioritize safety by adhering to manufacturer guidelines when using +P ammo.