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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may have been asked before.....is there any way for a regular civilian with no ties to law enforcement to get my hands on +P+ ammo like Winchester Ranger? One of my gun mags seemed to intimate that there might be a way to get some, but didn't elaborate. What are the liability concerns if I had to use this ammo to defend yourself? Would the fact that civilians aren't supposed to have this ammo come into play? Thanks for any help you can lend !! ;D
 

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You can buy it and use it as a civilian. However, I would check with the gun's owner's manual to make sure the gun will handle it.
 

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I'm no expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once. The way I figure it, if I can buy it a gun shop, it's legal for me to use for self defense. If I have to jump through hoops to get it, I'm not going to use it. My opinion is that a decent prosecutor would be all over that.

Just my 2¢
 

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If you wander around online some sites have it listed for sale. But yes, check to see if your gun will handle it. I know that I wouldn't be comfortable using it in a smaller auto like my subcompact XD, a mini-Glock or a Mill Pro. Or to put it another way, anything that the company hasn't put out in 357 Sig (I'm assuming we're discussing 9mm +P+ here).

The real hot stuff tends to accelerate wear on the gun. Departments have a budget for that sort of thing, you just have your job. And anymore, there are some very good loads that are only +P. I know that the hot Corbon ammo gets equal to higher velocities with their +P stuff as other companies +P+ loads (in the same bullet weight). And Buffalo Bore's stuff seems to be higher yet.

Steelheart
 

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I personally do not shoot even just the +p ammo. I think there is enough good "regular strength" ammo on the market to fit my needs.
 

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paulrabe78 said:
I personally do not shoot even just the +p ammo. I think there is enough good "regular strength" ammo on the market to fit my needs.
+1

if you really want the absolute most power you can get out of your caliber go with the +p or +p+, but im quite happy with standard load 9mm.

for SD/HD extra hot stuff should be ok.. i just would'nt make a habit of it at the range.

i've seen people selling ranger at gun shows and stuff.. you can defiantly get and use it as a civilian..

i just use basic JHP's from winchester.

although ima pick up some of those federal HST's once i get a chance.. those things look brutal in tests i've seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I pack my 24/7 45 cal and my MilPro 145 with Corbon traditional JHP - pretty hot load. I've just read alot of stories about the extreme, radical expansion of the hollowpoint in the Winchester Ranger +P+ - I know this was in 9mm and I may get a 9 pretty soon.....they don't make ammo for 45acp do they?
 

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There are pros and cons as already noted by you folks.

+P+ has had dynamic stops on the order of the .357 SIG or .357 magnum class. That's been thoroughly documented.

However, you folks knew this was coming, the trade off is muzzle flash,recoil, and the battering or extreme wear and tear on the gun and user are accellerated to a high degree.

As has been pointed out,again,there are plenty of standard pressure and +P loads that work well and don't batter the gun or user. Not a lot of need for the +P+ ammo.

Most guns were not made to tolerate a steady diet of +P+ or even casual use of such ammo.

There are a few gun brands, makes and models that are engineered and built like tanks. Ruger metal frame and bodied pistols and some SIGS may qualify for this.

With metal fractures/ gun parts breakage from overstressing, from over pressure or severe pressures, these are all part and parcel possibilities and occurences with +P+ ammo.

Is the increased performance on paper( don't use +P+ in compact guns) worth the safety, fit and function,and stresses put on gun and person?

Gun powders in any number of new loads( Buffalo Bore,etc. among them) have less pressure
and more velocity coming out of standard pressure type loads.

So what's the gain and draw of +P+?
If I were facing mostly LEO or military shooting scenarios I would be more inclined to go with +P+ or a accurate velocity champ in a self defense round.

It's easy to get bit by the velocity bug or the fastest of the lot. Let's face it, we like speed.
It's not the end all in defense ammo though. Standard pressure and +P ammo fill the bill and have excellent track records in the real world.

Then again one cannot condemn those who use +P+ ammo. The track record in actual shootings has something going for it.

If the gun is made for it, will tolerate the +P+ and the shooter can handle it, then there is no reason not to go with +P+ is the shooter so chooses. Just be aware that catastrophic gun events do take place and will. Cracking or breaking of parts can and will happen.

This is not a dire warning that it will happen immediately or very near future. On the contrary, but they can and have been known to happen with high pressures. The greater the pressure the more chance and certainty it will happen some where down the road.

I have +P and standard pressure loads that have excellent real world track records. I choose to stay with those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Qwiks, that makes alot of sense.
 

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+P+ LE rounds are perfectly legal for civilian purchase and use as others have stated.
I don't feel they are necessary in any situation except for special police applications.
Most PD agencies aren't even using the +P+ any longer. In NYC our issue round was Speer GD 9mm 124 grain +P. Worked fine for me and has an outstanding real world track record.
 

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Yup, +P+ rounds are avaialable and if they were a necessity they'd be more prevalent. As already exclaimed +P cartridges are probably just fine but I can understand everyone's apprehension about relying on something relatively anemic like a 9mm. Just a reminder to consider its use, then choose your caliber, then the gun. But as for handling the loads, try putting in a slightly heavier recoil spring on the arm your using these in (when you use them) -- though you don't HAVE to it'll help in most respects.
Alden
 

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I use the old Winchester 110gr. Treasury Load +P+ 38spec as my CCW and HD load.don't plink with it,do a cylinder full every now and than. but the only reason I use this load is I was given 1000 rounds of it,normally regular old 38 sp. stuff would work. jwr
 

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I would not use the +P+ in a PT-111. It broke mine. You can usually get the SXT at gun shows in my area cheaper than in the local shops. Funny, around here you can get 20 rounds of GD for around $20. The gun shows have the 50 round boxes for about $24. I'll pick up a box or two of carry loads every show. .357s and .45s I get local, though.
 

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HIgh pressures are tough on a firearm, especially a small or alloy one. Add to that +P or even standard pressure .38 is plenty effective. Hey, if I want .357 power I'll tote my Taurus 66 or my Ruger SP101. Otherwise .38 is plenty IMHO. It's proven on the street. 158 SWCHP +P is one of the more effective loadings in .38. I shoot a jacketed version in my M85SSUL because lead doesn't seem to shoot that well in it. Jacketed stuff is quite accurate.
 

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If you have a pistol that was designed for military and police applications, such as the 24/7 or Model 92, you should feel comfortable shooting a few magazines worth of the +P+ ammo at the range, and using it for your carry ammo. Personally, I can't afford to shoot the stuff more than that anyway!

Others are right to dissuade you from using the hot stuff in compact pistols. Outside of the wear and tear on the gun, there is the flash to think of. I do not perceive abnormally great muzzle flash when I shoot it out of a 4" barrel (H&K P7M8), but I think if you go down from there it will get pretty bright.

Availability will depend on your local gun store. Mine offers up the Ranger SXT +P+ like it was WWB. And good for them for doing it. As has been stated here, Winchester puts the "police only" warning on the box and discourages the sale to civilians only as a CYA. I might boycott them for doing it, if they didn't have the best stinkin' 9mm SD ammo around(IMHO).

I know that there are other rounds that come very close to the performance levels of the SXT +P+. If I ever can't get the Rangers, I will simply switch to one of the other excellent hot loads and won't lose much sleep over it. However, if I can get the exact ammo that has been repeatedly shown on the street to provide best-for-caliber performance, I will snap it up in a heartbeat.

Owing to the nature of a defensive shooting situation, I will like as not be unable to "get there firstest." I would like then, at the very least and within reason, to have "the mostest."*



*I will credit Nathan Bedford Forrest for the root quote I mangled there, even though I used the more popular but erroneous version. ;)
 

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I actually picked up a few boxes of the Winchester "Law Enforcement Ammunition" Ranger .40 S&W 155gr JHP a few days ago @ Cabela's. I didnt notice any +P markings on the box, but had wondered with the special "Law Enforcement Ammunition" nomenclature on the box. Checkout girl didnt blink an eye so I just thought it was some marketing hype, So, I guess the question (on the lines of this whole thread) is, what did I buy?
 

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There's no one right answer for what has occured with all this.

Sometimes LEO Ammo printed on the box is just marketing. Civilians like to use what the LEO and goverment agencies are using. We civilians take our cue from the military, Federal, and LEO agencies.

There is another side to this. There are many times over production runs of ammo for the LEO market. Happens very frequently. The boxes are marked so the warehouse ,marketing, and shipping people know this ammo is destined for LEO agencies as opposed to civilian consumption.

.40 S&W ammo is loaded to much higher pressures than for the 9mm. or the .45 ACP. Nature of the beast.

Middle weight .40 bullets of the 155-165 grain guise are extremely high pressure rounds and much faster than the sedate 180grain loads. Many, if not most, Federal and LEO agencies use the middle weight bullet loads with the increased pressures and velocity.

Light weight 135gr. cartridges are real screamers,recoil more, and are usually the highest pressure loads there are in .40 S&W.

One caveat. There are exceptions to the high velocity middle weight bullet loads. There are some standard sedate 165 gr. loads, but these are for the most part are no longer being manufactured.
 

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Qwiks Draw, I entirely agree. I tend to use bullets in the 155-165 gr range. I do know about 10-15 years ago civilians werent supposed to legally purchase +p and +p+ ammo as it was regulated alot better than what all these posts seem to indicate now.
 

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jtodero,
You will not find any +p .40 S&W. That appellation is applied only to older cartridges that have been loaded to higher pressures, so that we who can read know not to load them in older or weaker guns. The .40 is a modern cartridge that has not received such an upgrade. Yet.

The boxes of .40 S&W Ranger SXT ammo I've seen, while marked as law enforcement ammo, have not had the same "not for retail sale" warning on it. I've only seen that on the 9mm +P+ loads. Does your box of .40 have this on the box:
"FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY
NOT FOR RETAIL SALE
PRESSURE LEVELS EXCEED INDUSTRY STANDARDS
USE ONLY IN PISTOLS"
 

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Dave85 said:
jtodero,
You will not find any +p .40 S&W. That appellation is applied only to older cartridges that have been loaded to higher pressures, so that we who can read know not to load them in older or weaker guns. The .40 is a modern cartridge that has not received such an upgrade. Yet.

The boxes of .40 S&W Ranger SXT ammo I've seen, while marked as law enforcement ammo, have not had the same "not for retail sale" warning on it. I've only seen that on the 9mm +P+ loads. Does your box of .40 have this on the box:
"FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY
NOT FOR RETAIL SALE
PRESSURE LEVELS EXCEED INDUSTRY STANDARDS
USE ONLY IN PISTOLS"
Dave85, that is exactly as I was saying. Someone brought up the mention of the Winchester Ranger ammo, which I had recently purchased, and I was questioning the "Law Enforcement Ammunition" package markings they had on them.
 
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