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I was not aware of CCI having a +P+ or even a +P round for 40cal, the only one I knew of was Buffalo Bore. Anyway, the 40cal factory Glock barrels are not fully supported and should not be used to fire +P. If you are planning to shoot 40cal +P you need to switch to an aftermarket barrel that has a fully supported chamber like Lone Wolf
 

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It is ammo purchased from Georgia Arms new ammo. I wanted to see if anyone has fired this ammo in particular.
Thanks, thats a new one to me. Sounds like some nasty stuff, 1300fps on a 155gr 40cal is a zinger, about the same as Buffalo Bore.

Anyway, don't shoot it in your Glocks if you are using a factory barrel, that's just asking for a kaboom!
 

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That's news to me as well. I just looked at it and sure enough, they've started offering +P & +P+ behind 155gr Speer Gold Dots. They're not calling them Gold Dots, I don't think they can, but "unicore hollow points" which are Gold Dots.

While I trust GA Arms ammo, I don't think I would fire +P+ in any gun, regardless of who makes it. There's no SAAMI spec for +P or +P+.

They list the +P at 1050 FPS and the +P+ at 1300.

Although...Speer lists their production Gold Dots 155gr, at 1200 FPS, so maybe these aren't so bad. I don't know. I tend to stay away from anything that doesn't have a SAAMI spec.

Note, though, that these are made using Speer components but are manufactured by GA Arms. Speer has nothing to do with how they're loaded or what they're loaded with.
 

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Man hot stuff +P and +P+ in .40 lol shot any yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not as of yet. I have a OEM barrel and I just replaced my guide rod assembly with a stainless steel one and I am waiting on a match grade barrel before I attempt to fire that +P+ in my gun. I have Glock 23/27 and neither have been fired more than 3 times in 7 years. Safety 1st.
 

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There are two types of +p+ rounds, those in 9mm and those that some moron company releases in another caliber. It is incredibly dangerous and you should never purchase any + rounds unless it is 9mm
 

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There are two types of +p+ rounds, those in 9mm and those that some moron company releases in another caliber. It is incredibly dangerous and you should never purchase any + rounds unless it is 9mm
This, there is no +P in .40 let alone +P+. Either they are lying to you or endangering your life.
 

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This, there is no +P in .40 let alone +P+. Either they are lying to you or endangering your life.
They are defn lying. There is no +P or +P+ for .40 as the chamber design is not made for the pressure you would see it in.

I have 155gr Federal HST LE rounds that are damn hot and have avg'ed on a chrono 1270fps over 5 shots. I also have a box of Ranger T 165gr's that have avged 1214fps over 5 shots.

1300fps in a 155gr or smaller is possible with a standard warm load. But by no means is a +P or +P+ as there is no such thing.
 

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Why the 180gr Bullet is a Bad Choice for .40 S&W
The original design of the .40S&W cartridge called for a one hundred and eighty grain (180gr) bullet pushed down a barrel with a 1-in-16 twist to a muzzle velocity between 950 and 980 feet per second (fps). This matched the "FBI Lite" or "medium velocity" 10mm loads that were becoming popular at that time.

However, in the years that followed, experience and experiment have shown that the standard 180gr bullet weight is not the best choice for .40S&W handguns. Because of the relatively small cartridge case and long bullet, this particular combination does not maximize the .40’s potential.


The official industry pressure specification for .40S&W is 35,000 pounds per square inch, just like the 9mm.
THE CASE OF THE CASES

A 10mm brass case is approximately 0.992" long, while new .40 brass is only 0.850" long; the difference is 0.142 inches. Since the size of the 180gr bullet remains constant, there is significantly less space inside the .40S&W case than the 10mm case when loaded. That means there’s much less room for error, since pressures build more quickly in that small space. Also, the 10mm was designed for a peak mean pressure higher than the .40 … which means the 10mm brass is engineered to handle greater pressure than the .40 case.
CAN'T TAKE THE PRESSURE?

As mentioned above, the .40S&W was never intended to be a high-pressure round like the .357 Magnum, 10mm, or 357SIG. In fact, the SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) specification for the .40S&W is the same as the 9mm spec (35kpsi). Furthermore, there is no such thing as "+p" ammunition for the .40S&W. Manufacturers claiming to produce "+p" .40S&W ammunition are either lying (the ammo is really within standard pressure allowances) or taking risks with your life. Using ammunition rated over SAAMI spec in a .40S&W handgun is very dangerous and should not be attempted.

However, because of the deep-seated 180gr bullets, there is very little extra case volume left after powder and bullet are added to the case. Even the smallest variation in bullet seating or powder volume drastically affects the volume of space inside the case where the chemical reaction occurs which builds the pressure which sends the bullet down the barrel. These minor variations, therefore, make it very easy to get an overpressure situation with a 180gr bullet. The table below shows how dramatically peak pressures increase when the bullet is seated too deeply.

Overall Length
Pressure
1.140" 26,195 psi
1.130" 27,521 psi
1.120" 29,079 psi
1.115" 29,924 psi
1.100" 32,900 psi
1.075" 39,641 psi
1.050" 50,954 psi
1.040" 57,926 psi
1.030" 66,890 psi
1.020" 80,345 psi
1.010" 101,286 psi
1.000" 138,744 psi

Standard OAL for the .40S&W is 1.120" ... table data from "Handloading" by Charles E. Petty, American Handgunner Jan/Feb 1998, p41.
THE MANUFACTURERS KNOW THIS

For this reason, most factory .40S&W 180gr ammunition is loaded a little on the weak side. In order to keep a given load below SAAMI specification for mean pressure, the rounds have to be loaded below their optimal performance level. Why? Because factory ammo is subject to these same minor variations. If companies produced ammunition which was, on average, maximum pressure, every once and a while a round would be significantly OVER pressure. Because such over pressure rounds are unacceptable, the average round has to be "dropped down" a notch in power so there is a wider envelope of safe operation.

This "reduced power" problem is easily seen when the 180gr .40 is compared to the 165gr bullets in the same caliber. While experience tells us that, for any particular caliber and pressure standard, heavier bullets have more momentum (as measured by an IPSC Power Factor) than lighter bullets, this is not the case for the .40S&W – an average 180gr load moves at around 975fps and as a PF of 175.5; an average 165gr load at 1,130fps has a PF of 186.5, a VERY big difference denoting significantly greater momentum (as well as energy).

Some "average" Power Factors:

Load
PF

9mm 115gr 1160fps
133.4
9mm+p 115gr 1250fps 143.8
.40SW 135gr 1300fps 175.5
.40SW 165gr 1100fps 181.5
.40SW 180gr 960fps 172.8
357SIG 125gr 1300fps 162.5
.357Mag 125gr 1450fps 181.3
.38Spl+p 158gr 890fps 140.6
.45ACP 230gr 850fps 195.5
.45ACP+p 185gr 1140fps 210.9
.44Mag 240gr 1180fps 283.2

As a side note, the full-power 165gr .40S&W has about the same momentum as most factory .45ACP ammunition out of a barrel of the same length.
A TWIST IN THE STORY

Rate of twist affects how quickly the bullet spins as it leaves the barrel. A 1-in-16 twist means that the bullet will spin one full rotation in 16 inches. So, a 1-in-14 twist (bullet rotates once in 14 inches) is "faster" than 1-in-16. Barrels are designed this way because bullets are spin stabilized, just like a football when you throw a good spiral.

Some folks in the ammunition industry have mentioned to me that one problem with the .40 and 180gr bullets is related to the 1-in-16 barrel twist used in these guns. The experts have been able to perform their own tests with alternative barrels and, with the 180gr bullets, have achieved greater accuracy and velocity (one source safely and consistently made around 1,050fps with a 180gr bullet with a 1-in-14 twist) when using something other than the 1-in-16.
THE kB! PHENOMENON

Another bit of evidence pointing toward the mismatch of .40S&W and the 180gr bullet comes from Dean Speir’s extensive research into the kB! ("kaboom") phenomenon, especially with Glock handguns. Due to their partially unsupported chambers, .40S&W Glocks tend to work the web of brass cases more than usual. Constant reworking of the brass by reloaders (who put the brass through a cycle of expansion and resizing each time) weakens the web.

According to Mr. Speir, the vast majority of kB!’s reported with .40S&W handguns have occurred when firing 180gr bullets.

So here you have a chamber design which is not as supportive as it could be, and a load (the full power 180gr .40) which has a tendency towards major pressure fluctuations. Add to this mix brass which has been aged prematurely due to the extra work at the web and it’s easy to see that a particularly unlucky brass could be the unlucky home of one of the high-end pressure spikes and result in a kB!

For more information about the kB! phenomenon, see The kB! FAQ located at at this site.
MY ADVICE AND PREDICTION

Most manufacturers have begun producing 165gr loads for the .40S&W now. While some load them light for "reduced recoil" (such as Federal’s 165gr HydraShok and Speer’s 165gr Gold Dot), other companies are squeezing the maximum potential from the bullet by pushing it to the neighborhood of 1,100 to 1,150fps out of a standard 4" barrel. As mentioned above, this results in more momentum and energy downrange as well as less risk of pressure fluctuations. And because of the reduced variation in pressure, 165gr loads tend to be the most accurate in .40S&W handguns, as well.

In my humble opinion, the 165gr is the proper choice for people who normally choose the "slow and heavy" bullets for defensive use. The FBI apparently agrees, as they broke their long standing tradition of using the heaviest bullets available when they approved two .40S&W rounds for use by agents, both of them 165 grainers.

The 165gr is really the optimum choice for .40S&W shooters. It tends to be more accurate, have greater muzzle energy and momentum, and it significantly reduces the dangers associated with possible bullet setback (a bullet can, through normal handling, seat itself more deeply just by being loaded into the chamber of a gun, etc). I think you'll see the 180gr loads become less and less popular as time goes on, and within a few years the 165gr will be the standard for the .40S&W, while the 180gr will be all but extinct.
 

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Basically, +P is fine to shoot in your GLOCK as long as it's not .40S&W.

DO NOT SHOOT ANY AMMUNITION IN YOUR GLOCK LABELED .40S&W +P OR +P+!!!!

+P ammo just increases the velocity of your round. There is no advantage to shooting +P ammo or +P+ ammo for self-defense purposes.
 

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Looking at the specs on the ammo in question, they are not loaded any hotter, or not much, than Speer factory loads. See my previous post. The "+P" is loaded lighter than Speer, and the "+P+" is only a little hotter. On 155gr bullet, there really shouldn't be an issue.

Which reminds me, I'm going to email them asking why they're labelling them as such.
 

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They label them that way for marketing, because most people do not know.
I'm sure, though I really expect better of GA arms. They're generally very good with both product and customer service.

I sent them an email last night, basically asking what they're thinking by labelling these that way. I told them that the topic has come up on a gun board, with conventional wisdom being never shoot anything without a SAAMI spec.

I also went through all of their +P & +P+ .40s and compared them to Speer's factory loads.

Their +P 155gr load is identical at 1200fps. The +P 165gr is actually loaded lighter than Speer's, 1100 at GA vs 1150 at Speer. The +P 180 gr is a whopping 25fps faster than Speer's, 1050 vs. 1025.

They only offer +P+ in 155gr at 1300fps. I don't know that an extra 100fps could be called +P, much less +P+. In a 155gr, it's really not that big of a difference.

So, realistically, none of these loads should be a problem to shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
jonm61 said:
I'm sure, though I really expect better of GA arms. They're generally very good with both product and customer service.

I sent them an email last night, basically asking what they're thinking by labelling these that way. I told them that the topic has come up on a gun board, with conventional wisdom being never shoot anything without a SAAMI spec.

I also went through all of their +P & +P+ .40s and compared them to Speer's factory loads.

Their +P 155gr load is identical at 1200fps. The +P 165gr is actually loaded lighter than Speer's, 1100 at GA vs 1150 at Speer. The +P 180 gr is a whopping 25fps faster than Speer's, 1050 vs. 1025.

They only offer +P+ in 155gr at 1300fps. I don't know that an extra 100fps could be called +P, much less +P+. In a 155gr, it's really not that big of a difference.

So, realistically, none of these loads should be a problem to shoot.
Thanks jon61
 

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Hey! I got a response! And it makes sense...it's about pressure generated and here it is:

Hi Jon,

Thanks for asking the question, so many folks just want to trashour concept without giving us a chance to explain our reasoning.

We have done an extensive amount of testing on the Speer GoldDot bullets both for pressure and velocity (P&V) and projectile expansionin various media. The velocities we have listed for each bullet weight are,what we believe, to be the best compromise between velocity, pressure,expansion and controllability of subsequent shots fired from the firearm. Where we have marketed a load at a pressure slightly above standard and called it a+P, it was because; to lower the pressure resulted in a reduction in velocity that significantly reduced bullet upset in a particular media. The +P+ load that we offer shows a significant increase in energy and bullet upset over the +P version and we added it at the insistence of some of our law enforcement customers who had tested this load for their departments.

Our velocities are measured from a service firearm, not a P&V barrel which could explain the velocity difference noted between ours and Speer's loads. Speer's data is from a test fixture which, generally speaking, tend to give a slightly higher velocity than a service gun. We are well aware that SAAMI does not list a +p or +p+ load for 40 S&W, and for those folks that are cautious about shooting anything warmer than standard loads, I understand that and would not argue that they should try them. You always want to be comfortable with the load in your weapon. I will say that we have tested these loads extensively in house and have sold millions of them, and have seen no reason to believe that these loads are not safe in any well-made firearm that is chambered for 40 S&W.

Our intent in labeling the loads as we did was not to mislead our customers as many seem to think, but to be perfectly honest in letting them know that these loads produce slightly more pressure than SAAMI specs, which is 35,000 PSI maximum average, for the 40 S&W. You may have individual rounds exceed this pressure, in testing as long as the average of all rounds fired stays at 35,000 PSI or below.

Our 155 grain load averages 36,500 PSI, which as you point out, is not very much hotter than standard. The question is; should we produce the load at this level, which we know to exceed the SAAMI spec, and not let the customer know they are shooting something above 35,000 PSI? Or should we let them know? We used the guidelines set by SAAMI for the 9mm cartridge as it also operates at 35,000 PSI. Now before you draw the obvious conclusion that the 40 S&W is a different cartridge than the 9mm and the data will not compare, let me assure you that all we used was the percentage gap from standard to the upper limit of +p which is 10%. In 9mm, anything that averages 35,000 and under, is standard pressure, 35,001 to 38,500, is +p, anything over 38,500 is +p+. That is the system we use to label our values as either +p or +P+.

Our +P+ load at 1300 FPS, as you point out, is not much over +p, but it averages 39,000 PSI, so, in my mind, to be absolutely honest, you have to call it a +P+ as it is well above the beginning of the +p pressures and, in fact, our own +p load. Perhaps the issue is a misconception that to be in the +P range, a load must be significantly higher in pressure than standard, when in fact, if a particular lot of ammo averages ONE PSI over the maximum limit, it should be labeled +P, according to SAAMI standards for the 9mm.

In any case, I hope this helps you to understand why we have chosen to label our 40 S&W loads as we have and why our numbers on velocity might not line up exactly with Speer. Please let me know if you have any further questions, I will be glad to answer.

I know from past experience that many folks will continue to call us names for selling a product that does not conform to SAMMI specs. I would remind them of two things; 1) SAAMI compliance is voluntary not mandatory, 2) if everyone always stayed inside their guidelines, we would have missed out on some pretty darn good cartridges, in fact, two of my favorites come to mind, the 25-06 and the 44 Magnum. While I would agree that it is not safe for the average reloader to take matters into their own hands as they do not have access to pressure test equipment and the resources to test thousands of rounds, I would think that as we have access to both, it would be acceptable for us to load what we feel is a safe load, especially as we have been making our living as an ammunition manufacturer for over 30 years now. We mostly know, by now, what works and what does not.

Thank you for your support and please let me know if there is anything further I can do for you.

Curtis Shipley
Georgia Arms
 
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