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Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by mr.454, May 29, 2011.
Haas anyone tried this ammo? If so how was the recoil, and accuracy?
For starters, there are no SAAMI standards for +P ammunition in 380 caliber. IMO, as such, any manufacturer that loaded ammo above those standards would be an open target for a lawsuit if a gun KaBoomed with their ammo and the shooter were injured. That right there tells you that the stuff is simply loaded at or near the standard pressure maximum and the +P moniker is simply a marketing ploy and essentially a lie. That bothers me some.
Having said that, there have been many threads on the subject and it is likely decent ammo, likely little better or worse than a handful of other top contenders. If you want to really get a lot of information on the stuff in a hurry, try the forum search feature. I seached for Buffalo Bore, in the P3AT forum, going back 1 year. I asked for 50 results and pulled up 50 threads.
P.S. BB makes three different 380 rounds - a 100 grain hardcase (non-expanding) round, a 95 grain FMJ (non-expanding) round, and a 90 grain Speer Gold Dot JHP (expanding) round.
Perhaps you will hear from someone who has tried or even tested these rounds. I have not. My P3AT is currently loaded with Corbon DPX.
TX is right about the +P in 380acp, it's marketing BS.
I have shot a few of the BB 100g "+P" in my P3. It was a few years old so they may have changed it but it was very smokey and dirty. To the point that someone asked me if it was a black powder load. I shot two magazines IIRC and the assembly pin walked halfway out as I was shooting. I'm not sure if it was ammo related but the two times I've had something mechanical fail with my P3at I was shooting BB.
I would only carry it if the P3 was my only weapon and I lived somewhere north so I would worry about penetration more than anything else.
IMO there are quite a few good JHP's in 380acp that would be a better choice. A load using the Barnes all copper JHP, like the DPX used to be, would be my first choice. BB has started loading it in their "Unleaded" line of ammo. Double Tap loads them too.
Yep I know about the +p lie, just making sure people knew exactly what load I was asking about. Looks like I'm going to have to try them out.
I like Buffalo Bore and so does my P3AT. In my mind the terms +p or +p+ are just generic industry terms meaning the round is loaded at a higher pressure = higher velocity. I don't believe these are copyrighted terms or somebody would be suing somebody.
The only way to test is by chrono and if it's faster, it's hotter - bullets being of equal weight. Energy can be computed by simple math.
I don't find BB any dirtier than other loads.
Don't believe adherence to SAAMI standards makes anyone immune from lawsuits. Latest published standards I could find for them was released in '93.
BB is just a small company in Idaho, doing business by filling niche needs in the industry. I'm sure they're not trying to put anything over on anybody...
They are not generic terms. They have very specific quantified meanings in terms of pressure beyond what is rated as standard pressure for that round, by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manfufactures Institute (SAAMI). Obviously, the terms are not copyrighted or BB could not put that on their standard pressure ammo. And BB did not invent this ploy. It has been done before and it did not go unnoticed by the gun community.
Nothing can much make anyone immune from lawsuits. However, SAAMI standards are used industry wide. If you exceeded them, you could certainly more easily be painted as negligent and would surely be more vulnerable in terms of liability.
I'd disagree. Most veteren shooters know the meaning of the terms +P and +P+, and they know that the lack of those indicators should mean that a round is loaded at or below the SAAMI rating for standard pressure. Deceptively using the designation of +P certainly appears to be trying to put something over people.
A member here recently talked with someone at Buffalo Bore and they admitted that their rounds were in fact loaded right up to SAAMI standard pressure level. His excuse for the inaccurate depiction of their ammo's rating was that many makers load rounds under standard pressure, so they use the +P designation to show that their rounds are higher in pressure than those others. IMHO, that is just a marketing ploy and frankly a lie designed to sell their ammo. A lot of gun folks know what +P means (over standard pressure). They don't, however, know that some rounds like 380 and 40 cal are not available in +P designations. That is, they are already considered high pressure rounds at the standard load. Again, IMO, BB is taking advantage of some people's incomplete knowlege. I'd prefer they use some other designation rather than mislead the buying public. Why not call it a maximum pressure load, max power, or some other designation that is actually true.
Now, having said all this, I don't think BB is a poor choice. On the contrary, I think it is right up there with the top contenders. I just don't like it when companies play loose with the facts, and in this particular case, they are almost insulting our intelligence. But, at least they don't call them Fang Face Anti-Terrorist Rounds. ;D
In a number of places on the BB website they say they load to maximum SAAMI standards. I have a Micro Desert Eagle that really only has a 1.5" ported barrel. The ONLY round I've found that meets any sort of muzzle energy near 200 ftlbs is BB. I have selected their 95 gr JHP for the MDE and of course that lets me use it as well in the P3AT. Difference between the 2.2" MDE barrel (less .7 for case gets you 1.5" and the P3AT's 2.7"barrel for this ammo is
MDE---937 fps----185 ftlbs
P3AT---1059 fps---237 ftlbs
Average of six round, about 45 degrees, 30% humidity, 7500 ft altitude.
I have gel tested this round and get around 10" penetration in 11% gel from the MDE. And I did a pork rib test in front of the gel and it did partially affect the expansion (maybe 15% less on one side) and cut the penetration to 9". I think if you go with the 100gr you are likely to over penetrate.
BB just came out with a Barnes DPX 80 gr load in +P for those that like the bullet and all copper. Haven't tried it.
I'm the one who talked to the BB owner via email. I agree with Dale that they should not use the +P and +P+ like they do. Only a few calibers have approved SAAMI +P and +P+ ratings. Those designations mean something in the gun community. Using them on ammo that isn't actually loaded above the standard SAAMI ratings IS MISLEADING for anyone who is new to guns and ammo.
BB has the .327 Fed Mag on their list of rounds that they are going to introduce this year. I'm interested to see if they use a +P or +P+ for their .327 Fed Mag loads. If they do, it will be misleading to the Nth degree. Why? The .327 Federal Magnum load uses a small rifle primer to generate the velocity and energy this round is known for. This is the reason Marlin won't introduce a lever action in the .327 Fed Mag caliber even though a lot of folks like me wish they would. The frames they use for their lever guns just aren't strong enough. This lowly little .32 caliber round generates exponentially more pressure than the .357 Mag or the .44 Mag. The .357 Magnum SAAMI pressure is 35,000 PSI, the 44 Magnum is 36,000 PSI, the 30-30 Winchester is 42,000 PSI whereas the .327 Federal Magnum is SAAMI rated at 45,000 PSI. As it is, the Speer Gold Dot 115gr load is so hot, the empties get slightly stuck in the cylinder and the recoil is brutal! I have no doubt though that BB will designate their .327 Fed Mag loads with a misleading +P rating.
Well, personally I don't care what they call it. It is nice that you verified they do not load above max SAAMI. One of the things the SAAMI specs manual does is explain about standard deviation in their measurements. I would imagine that BB takes great care to insure that their SD measurements are quite narrow. To load to the max within a commercial environment means that some are always higher and some always lower. I did see some ballooning of the primers around the indentation on my BB rounds (which I believe is a high pressure indicator in autos compared to primer flattening in revolvers) but it was relatively minor.
Yeah, if you're seeing signs of stress then these rounds are loaded heavy. I reload to cut costs so I can afford to go to the range. If I do ever buy any BB, I'll look the empties over with a jeweler's loupe for signs of stress. I doubt I would ever try to reload BB empties.
You make a very good point. I don't plan on reloading .380 anytime soon and will shoot a little ball ammo to stay proficient. The BB will get shot infrequently and I'll toss all the Starline brass (at least I think that's what BB uses (*---* on the case rim)).
Here's what happened to me. About 6 months ago my grip cracked right on the right rear frame pin. Now I can't say for 100% assurability that it was caused by using BB ammo. But I had bought their hot .380 round a month before and ran about 20 rounds through it. I had about 2000 rds through it already of WWB/Cor-bon. I would not recommend using this hot load in your little P3AT........ I now carry Hornady CD. Just my $.02
To be honest I'm not 100% confident in the power of .380. So I would like to get as much penetration as I can out of this little round. If it breaks my little gun, oh well it's cheap to replace. Now my PF9 I trust completly, but the .380 just disappears in my pocket.
Certainly there is the possibilty that it could use a little stiffer spring or a recoil buffer of sorts. I don't think the frame is all that thick at a number of places and I remain surprised by the strength of the Xytel (?) material used. Aside from the frame crack how did the front of the slide look at the groove stops where it hits the metal insert in the frame (if it does)?
I also don't really care if the gun shows wear and tear and parts need to be replaced, as long as it doesn't go Kaboom.
The only way I figure you'll see a kaboom is with double charged handloads. No factory ammo is going to exceed proof loads.
You mean besides the grip cracking. Funny you should mention this. It chipped a very, very, very small piece of the frame off on the right side where the slide meets the frame. I also use Wolff 16Lbs. recoil spring. Again, I can not point my finger at this ammo and make a 100% correlation with my grip cracking. I do know that compared to say, WWB, this round is VERY snappy. And I hear what everyone is saying about it being cheap. But with the grip carcked, the trigger bar would not operate correctly and not fire the weapon. I live in the DEEP South and sometimes my P3AT is my PCW due to the heat. So I am a little more protective of it if I would ever need it. I am sure experiences will vary.........
I headed down this path because I needed more oomph from a Micro Desert Eagle. That said I shot Hornady's XTP 90gr JHP out of the P3AT as well as BB +P 95gr JHP. The CD JHP has the same velocity and energy as the XTP so I think this comparison valid. Out of the P3AT the Hornady achieved 617 fps and calculated 76 ftlbs of ME (1000 fps and 200 ftlbs on the box flap). The BB +P 95 gr JHP got 1059 fps and calculated 237 ftlbs ME. If this is truly your primary carry, you might consider MagTech Guardian Gold. Out of the P3AT I got 850 fps and calculated 137 ftlbs of ME, almost twice your CD rounds on energy. Expansion in gel testing was fine and complete. If I decide I won't shoot the BB in the P3AT I will go to the Magtech GG. I have been impressed with them in every caliber I shoot them in. Oh, and chronos were the average of six rounds, altitude 7500 ft and about 30% humidty. Gell was 11% and got 10" of penetration with the BB. Didn't test the XTP in gel.
Oh, and thanks for the comment on the Wolf 16# spring and the small chip. I will keep close watch on mine. Might need some kind of buffer pad up there if possible to place one where it would do any good.
Stargazer, are you sure the velocity you measured for the Hornady is correct? I just ask because Golden loki has much different results posted on his gek tests.
He has the XTP @ 832 fps and 138 ft lbs but it still preformed very poorly on expansion. Critical Defense was 872 fps and 152 ft lbs with 11" penetration and reliable expansion.
I still think it's pretty hard to beat the DPX loaded with the Barnes bullet. The expansion is better than many 9mm and the penetration and energy are also pretty good. However there have been several reports that DPX is now sometimes loaded with an inferior JHP that dosen't expand well.
I have my P3at loaded with Critical Defense and my 2 spare mags have DPX. I will more than likely order some of Double Tap's load with the Barnes JHP when I need more ammo.
I'll recheck my numbers, but put these into a spreadsheet right from the printer and do so same day. I was pretty disappointed because I had a few rounds of this stuff. Certainly saw similar performance in the Micro Desert Eagle (worse actually). At one point I was questioning my chrono but later results made me think it was not in error. I'll check through my paperwork again. And I'll be back at the range this weekend and redo the tests.
The chrono I reported was correct. In the MDE I only got 375 fps and in a Beretta 84 I got 1028 fps. This seems huge difference to me, but if a slow burning powder perhaps not getting full ignition and longer barrels are where this would excell. No idea about Loki numbers but I'm certainly going to make another set of measurements again this weekend.