There are so many types of 9mm ammo on the market it can be confusing to determine the best option for your firearm. One kind of ammo that people may not know about but should be aware of is called Plus P or +P ammo, and it is essential that you only use it in guns built to handle it.
9mm ammunition is available from many different manufacturers and in several types, but most standard rounds are designed to use similar amounts of gun powder and a standard casing that is created for a specific amount of gas pressure when the gun is fired. These standard rounds are typically safe to use in almost every 9mm firearm manufactured.
When the casing size, powder load, and head pressure inside the chamber of the gun are within the designated specification, the firearm will work fine. You can fire thousands of rounds through the gun and it will never fail, but if the powder load is increased to create a faster round that has more energy transfer and does more damage, some firearms will not stand up to the additional head pressure or chamber pressure.
Plus P Ammunition
There are brands of 9mm ammo that are made with an optional higher power powder load called a Plus P load. It may appear on the box as +P or be written out and indicates more powerful ammo than the stock ammo most people use. Plus P ammo will load into the magazine, chamber properly, and fire in any 9mm firearm, but it does not mean you should use it.
While most modern firearms can stand up to the hot loads, older guns may not be able to. The added pressure inside the weapon's chamber can cause parts to fail and damage the gun with repeated use. Determining if your firearm is rated for Plus P 9mm ammo can be challenging, but in most cases, the manufacturer can help you determine if the ammo is safe to use.
A gun shop operated by an experienced gunsmith and shooter may also be able to look at the firearm or look up the specs to determine if it has the rating for the added pressure inside the gun. High-powered ammo does not look different on the outside, so you may not notice you are using it unless you check the box or look at the stamp on the end of the casing.
Assuming you have standard 9mm ammo can get you into trouble quickly, so take the time to check the boxes before leaving the gun shop to ensure that all your ammunition is what you expected it to be.
Contact a gun shop for more information about 9mm ammunition options.