Ruger Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The P-95 9mm, as we know, has a polymer frame. Sure, it's a Ruger, but I got to wondering: How does this frame stand up to +P+ ammo? Mind you, I'd only use such hot stuff for defense, and of course, a limited amount of same to be sure it feeds okay, but still....anyone got any info to offer here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm afraid you caught me off guard there, Brewster...I haven't actually tried or even bought any +P+ yet. Thought I'd ask for opinions here first.:eek:
 

·
/Brownster/Blk Dynamite
Joined
·
1,128 Posts
:) well I can just give you an opinion about what I've used. I use Federal Hydra-Shok +p+ as my HD ammo in my sr9c(and also have fired it in my CZ SP01, Beretta PXStorm). I've shot roughly 20 rounds with no issues through it. They are by far my favorite round to shoot. Believe it or not to me anyway there was less felt recoil. It's almost like the bullets are coming out of the gun so fast that it doesn't have time to recoil :D Check this: This post was made by member K57 because I had this same question on my sr9c.

Brewster, the maximum SAAMI spec for 9mm +P is 38,500 PSI and while it is said that there is no SAAMI spec for +P+ it is also said that the max is held under 40,000 PSI. I have been loading and shooting 9mm for many years and I can tell you that I have handloaded 9mm with higher performance than +P+ without exceeding +P pressure. That is because I have loaded 9mm to the older pressure spec of 35, 700 CUP. Please note that CUP means Copper Units of Pressure and is different from PSI. In the late 80s or early 90s the ammo makers changed the pressure spec of 35,700 CUP to 35,000 PSI and this is when +P was created by the ammo makers. As I said, +P max pressure according to SAAMI is 38,500 PSI and while the test parameters are different between CUP and PSI and there is said to be no equivalent correlation between the two, 38,500 PSI in the newer system is pretty close to the older spec of 35,700 CUP. Two different pressure measuring systems but pressure is nearly identical. So when you shoot +P now you are essentially shooting loads that would have been standard pressure by the CUP standard of 35,700. BTW, both systems are still in use today in reloading data and the pressure limit for standard 9mm is 35,000 PSI/33,000 CUP. The main difference being that ammo makers chose to reduce the pressure of standard 9mm ammo.

I have handloaded 9mm ammo to higher velocity than the current +P without even going to +P pressure by the selection of the correct powder and loading technique. I believe that +P+ is a bit of a misnomer and I find that Federal has used it more often than any of the major ammo makers. For instance, the highest performance ammo that is commonly available is the 124 gr. Gold Dot +P as loaded by SPEER and Black Hills. Velocity is a bit higher than your +P+ Federal load and yet SPEER and Black Hills hold it to the +P rating. As I said I have loaded to some pretty high velocities by the proper selection of powder and loading technique. I can't believe that the major ammo makers would use a powder of incorrect burn rate to develop +P or +P+ ammo. A lot of this had to do with the importation of pistols of questionable quality and sometimes chamber dimensions.

I bought a P-85 MkII in 1991 and in the manual Ruger stated then that all SAAMI spec ammo was acceptable for use in it and it and included both +P and +P+. The one thing I would caution you about would be the overall length of your +P+ Federal ammo and its use in the SP-01. CZs are known to have short chambers and for safety's sake if you want to check to see if the Federal load is safe for the SP-01, remove the barrel of the SP-01 and hold it muzzle down and drop one of the Federal rounds into the chamber. When you do you should hear an audible "clunk" and then the round should be easily removed or tilt the barrel muzzle up and the round should drop out freely. If it does not then the load may be too long for the SP-01s chamber. As far as your Ruger goes, Ruger does not use short chambers in their pistols and the +P+ Federal load should not be a problem for it. I would still exercise caution when it comes to using +P or +P+ in guns when the gun maker warns against its use. It could be that these pistols are indeed a bit more fragile and it is good to know this before said pistol is purchased. Since the days of the internet it is now easy to find out. I would not own a 9mm that isn't rated for +P because all of the best defense loads in all weights are +P.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That's a boat load of info, Brewster...much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,723 Posts
I have a question in the comparison of CUP and PSI measurements....I've been told...and have no reference for what I was led to believe..that there is not only a difference in raw pressure data between CUP and PSI measurements but that there can be a significant difference in the "curve" of the ignition. I was told that CUP could only measure "gross" pressures while PSI measurements can pick up spikes in pressure...the net of all this is that I was told loads that appear safe when looking at gross pressure numbers can be unsafe based on where in the pressure curve spikes of pressure can occur and that there may be instantaneous spikes that are far higher than pressures that might otherwise appear safe. I was told that unless one understands the pressure make up it can be dangerous to load to higher levels when comparing cup to psi.

Sounded logical to me with my understanding of how the "copper pellet" got crushed in measuring CUP...it just flattens in a gross amount and no way to tell how or when it flattened in the pressure curve and if there were spikes of higher pressure that were not enough to further affect the pellet.

I don't play in the stratosphere on loads so it's not an issue with me but my friend loads 10mm and .40 a lot and said it's really easy to get in trouble with the narrow pressure band they have .... especially with heavy projectiles and when making the assumptions of pressure when comparing CUP and PSI.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
619 Posts
opos, that's why the ammomakers and component makers test more than a single round. To determine the pressure maximum for a given cartridge they use a value called Maximum Average Pressure, or MAP. I would not argue that along the way in testing various pressures there won't be differences. What I am saying is that if you take the three known maximums (MAP) I mentioned for 9mm +P (38,500 PSI) the former max for standard pressure 9mm (35,700 CUP) and the European max CIP (36,200) you'll find that there is very little difference. Put another way, take loads all loaded to the same spec's and loaded to max pressure and test them using the three different systems and they will give nearly identical max pressure readings in their respective system of measurement i.e. 35,700 CUP, 36,200 CIP PSI and 38,500 PSI SAAMI.

I don't argue that one PSI system or the other may be more telling as far as the actual technical details such as spikes and such, but just when I thought the SAAMI psi system was best, the component makers began using the CUP system again for the newer and higher pressure Magnum revolver round loads (.357, .41 and .44 Magnum) in their load data, so even though it is the much older system of the three, the CUP method is still very much trusted in the industry.

I had a conversation with the ballistician for Western Powder Co. (Ramshot and Accurate Arms Powder) and he told me the system that he favored was the European CIP Piezzo transducer method in PSI. He also said that he believed that it would eventually become the standard used in the US.

As far as your friend goes he is being very prudent. But as I mentioned, when loading 9mm to max. pressure special techniques have to be observed. OACL and the powder used are two of the most determining factors. If you go to Brian Enos' Forum you will see data for the IPSC loading of 9mm MAJOR. to make it with a 115 gr. Jacketed bullet the minimum velocity has to be at least 1435 FPS and with a 124, minimum velocity required is 1331 FPS. NOTE THAT THESE LOADS ARE FOR SPECIFIC RACE GUNS THAT ARE BUILT AND CHAMBERED FOR THESE LOADS. DO NOT TRY THIS WITH YOUR SERVICE PISTOL. OACL is very long and the most commonly used pistol is based on the 1911 whose magazine allows for much longer loads than typical. Just as important is the correct selection of powder. Only three or four are commonly used.

Typically the fast burning pistol powders tend to spike the most and there are reloaders that use fast burning powders in .40 S&W and 10mm. The .40 S&W is the worst case scenario because of its naturally fast pressure peak characteristics caused by small case capacity with a heavy bullet. That's why I recommend powders no faster than AA#5 or Ramshot True Blue in the .40 S&W. To a lesser extent the same can be said of the 10mm. You just don't want to load with fast burning powder although some only load them to target velocity when they use faster powders like W231. When faster powders are used to achieve full pressure loads they are definitely susceptible to pressure spiking. There are people out there exceeding the pressure spec of 10mm and they do so at their own peril.

Anyway, as far as factory 9mm +P (or +P+) goes, the ammomakers are all very aware of the pressure characteristics of the 9mm. They use slower burning powders specifically designed to achieve higher velocity without exceeding the max pressure spec of the cartridge. Careful reloaders can do the same if they use the proper technique. Finding data is the trick. Older data in CUP is available in older reloading manuals and I have never heard of problems with 9mm pressure when people were using the older spec and that was for over 80 years. ;)

To answer the OP's original question, yes, I believe the P-95 will stand up to +P+ and I believe it was tested with a pretty high number of Federal +P+ for a report that appeared in Shooting Times
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,972 Posts
K57, Most of your information in the previous post is right on ... however there are a few things I'd like to clarify.

SAAMI standards for chamber pressure plus case dimensions, bore, and chamber specs are "voluntary" for gun and ammo manufacturers, however there has always been a fight between ammo and gun manufacturers to keep specs uniform. Like any other organization, unique testing methods and standards have been established to keep both sides happy. There were many times when standards changed to keep peace in the shooting industry.

SAAMI now maintains two sets of standards for pressure testing ... the old "crusher" method (measured in copper units of pressure or CUP) and the new piezo transducer method (measured in actual pounds per square inch or psi). It's up to the ammo manufacturers to choose which one they want but because of "strong influence" from gun manufacturers, nearly all ammo manufacturers now test with modern piezo transducers. This "crusher to piezo" transition started in 1995 and coincidentally at the same time, S&W was in a quandary with their magnum revolvers. Turned out, 357 Mag chamber pressures were lowered by 25%, 41 & 44 Mag pressures were lowered by 10% at S&W's request. These changes were only reflected in the new piezo pressure standards, leaving the old crusher method standards (CUP) the same as before.

Simply put, if you see load data with pressures rated in CUP, it is the old crusher method standard and if you see pressures rated in psi, it is from the new piezo transducer method. Because both standards still exist at SAAMI, ammo manufacturers or reloading manuals can use either, but nearly all are now psi. Eventually, SAAMI will phase out crusher (CUP) standards but in the meantime, we all get the opportunity for confusion.

I used to work in a lab back in the 60's when the crusher method was the only game in town. Being a lab rat, I tested thousands of loads on a certified SAAMI crusher system. At best, pressure ratings were nothing more than an educated guess. Here's how it worked: a special test barrel was used that had a side chamber. A precise length copper pellet (new pellet required for each test shot) was placed inside the side chamber where a drive rod mechanically linked it to the cartridge chamber at the center of the case. When a test round was fired, chamber pressure impinged on the rod, which in turn pushed on the copper pellet and crushed it to some degree. The copper pellet was then removed and measured with a calibrated optical ruler. The operator would then look at a chart and find the same pellet measurement, which was adjacent to a column for CUP. 5 tests were typically done for each specific load then averaged. Further, crusher tests were unique so trying to accurately convert CUP to psi is not possible. Although crusher tests were far from accurate, they were usually close enough to prevent unsafe conditions.

Later when piezo devices were first used, several transducers were coupled to a special test barrel then electronically connected to storage O'scope. When a test round was fired, the pressure trace was displayed on the scope in a "time domain". The height (amplitude) of the pressure trace was calibrated in psi and the width of the trace was calibrated in time (microseconds). With the turn of a knob, the operator could actually see the entire trace from the moment the primer flashed until pressure peaked and started dropping as the bullet traveled down the bore. The trace width was calibrated in units of time so the operator could see what effect powder burn rate had and directly correlate it with pressure. Many interesting things showed up on the scope with some loads ... such as multiple peaks, very fast and very high pressure spikes, and in some cases actual pressure was lower than expected. Here's why: it is impossible for a copper pellet to respond fast enough for short pressure spikes and there's no way to determine if the load had multiple pressure peaks from looking at the pellet. Further, if pressure was applied to a pellet for a longer period of time, it would crush more, giving a false indication of higher pressure. Piezo transducer tests are very accurate and because they are measured in actual psi, they can easily be converted to other units of measurements. Today's piezo measurements are displayed on a digital readout for normal tests whereas storage scopes are still used by load developers to look at the entire pressure trace.

After 1995, all SAAMI certified pressure testing labs started converting to piezo transducer testing. Speer, Hornady, and Sierra retested nearly all their listed loads then rewrote their reloading manuals to reflect the new "psi" pressures. Some loads were entirely eliminated due to multiple peaks or high pressure spikes that didn't show up with crusher tests. Some loads ended up with reduced powder charges while other loads actually used more powder because of falsely low information from crusher tests. There are still some "classic" loads for older cartridges that have not been retested and are stated in CUP in the manuals. What got confusing was ... during the same time period, SAAMI lowered it's standards for 357 Mag, 44 Mag, and 41 Mag, making people think "lawyer loads" instead of "make your gun last longer loads".

When CIP started testing with piezo transducers, they took it a step farther and experimented with transducer placement. They found pressure tests were more accurate when the sensors were placed at the case mouth, unlike SAAMi, which had traditionally tested at the mid-point on the case body (a carryover from the old method). Other than sensor placement, CIP and SAAMI use basically the same test procedures, however actual tests will show different pressures because of sensor placement. SAAMI uses US units of measurement (psi) and the European CIP uses "BAR". There is a direct conversion for the two units of measurement but there isn't a conversion for sensor placement. The US military also tests much like CIP at the case mouth but uses psi. Further, CIP maintains different pressure standards than SAAMI. In most situations CIP max pressures are either the same or lower than SAAMI but in cartridges such as 357 Mags, 41 Mags, and 44 Mags pressure standards are much higher and reflect the pre-95 levels. Who knows ... some day maybe the military, CIP, and SAAMI will all sing off the same sheet of music. Meantime, it creates confusion and a lot of arguments.

9mm ammo is by far the most confusing of all. That's because many countries in the world load 9mm ammo and don't subscribe to either SAAMI or CIP. I know of at least 5 sets of pressure standards ... SAMMI regular, SAAMI +P, NATO, commercial +P+, and Israeli sub-machine gun. With exception of Israeli sub-machine gun ammo, any of the other ammo can safely be used in any Ruger 9mm pistol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brewster

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,940 Posts
If you think you need to use 9mm +P+ ammo you would be safer and better off using a bigger caliber instead. There's no need to run +P+ ammo in anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,722 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
SafetyJoe: I typically use a P-90 .45 for defensive purposes; I bought the P-95 for monthly paper punching. Still, if ever I should decide to use it for serious matters, I thought +P+ ammo would be worth a look.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
619 Posts
Thanks, Iowegan, for expanding on the CUP and PSI systems of pressure measurement. Especially since I forgot to mention that SAAMI also uses the piezoelectric transducer system measured at the mid case location vs the CIP system that measures at the casemouth. This is the reason why Western Powder Co's ballistician felt that the CIP system is the better piezoelectric testing method.

For those of you interested, you'll find a very good explanation of the CUP system vs. the PSI system in the Lyman 46th edition loading manual. Hopefully it is in the newer editions also.

As far as using +P+ 9mm in your Ruger pistols, I would have no trepidation about its use. The first +P+ rated loads I am aware of was the "Illinois State Police" that was loaded by Winchester and the "Secret Service" load made by Remington Both used their conventional 115 gr. JHPs loaded to between 1250 and 1300 FPS. I have loaded both bullets and achieved similar velocity using older data that was pressure tested in the CUP system and I very much believe that if pressure tested by today's SAAMI PSI system, it would not exceed the 38,500 PSI limit for +P. I must note that I used Vihta Vouri's recommended OACL of 1.142"/29mm. I also used a good deal of the 3N37 powder as well as a couple of others of similar or slower burn rate.

Based on the velocity performance of +P+ ammo, I see the rating as actually meaning higher velocity and most of it is targeted for LEO use. I really can't see it exceeding the 38,500 PSI rating for +P.

One of the highest performance loads I am aware of is Winchester's LEO loading that I believe uses their SXT 127 gr. JHP rated at +P+. A load that performs just as good, IMO, is the SPEER Gold Dot 124 gr. +P JHP. And if I carried with the 9mm, that would be my choice for a carry load. In fact, that is the ammo carried by my shooting partner in all of his 9mm pistols and I have fired a good deal of it, myself. ;)
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top