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If my firearm is designed to shoot +P can I safely go past published max load?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by zippygaloo, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. zippygaloo

    zippygaloo Oregon Member

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    If my pistol is designed to shoot +P can I safely go past published max load to try and achieve better velocity or accuracy?

    Also, could I assume the same for a 5.56mm chambered AR15?
  2. joken

    joken Corvallis Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would not. If you choose to, be carefull and increase the charge very little at at a time and look for signs of excessive pressure.

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    No, not safely. That is why a max load is published as such, to inform you NOT to exceed it. As far as that is concerned when loading anything you need to decide what your objective is IE. higher velocity or accuracy because normally you cannot have both as accuracy usually suffers as a result of higher velocity. Load for accuracy unless you need the higher velocity such as for a hunting load which is one of the few reasons you would.
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    depending on the lenght of the barrel on your pistol you may actually loose accuracy trying to shove the bullet faster. My Charter Arms Undercover shoots much more accurately with its 2" barrel with reduced loads. And pretty much all heavy loads do is cause a bunch of powder to burn past the muzzle which pushes the bullet around as it leaves the bore. And make a huge ball of flame that will blind you are night. And causes a much louder report.
    DootyBeet and (deleted member) like this.
  5. OldGrayDog

    OldGrayDog San Juan County New Member

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    The safe way to do it is to use published data. The Alliant and Hodgdon web sites both have +P data, the Accurate web site has some. Another good reference for +P loads is the Speer manual.
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Those published loads are maximum for a reason. Even then, there is a caveat that not all firearms will be safe at these published max loads. Yes, +P is a published standard but most firearm manufacturers that say it can be shot in their firearms warn that it will cause premature wear and possibly failure. Remember, you may not break something with the first blow of a hammer but if you bang on it long enough ~~~~~

    With AR-15's and any other gas operated rifles you're typically asking for trouble if you exceed the loads recommended for gas operated rifles. With the AR-15 the extra load can lead to broken cam pins and even the eventual failure of the upper. With the garand style rifles the operating rod, piston, bolt, all take an excessive beating.

    As for pressure differences in .223 vs NATO, most of it is because the standard and where the pressure readings are taken in the rifle.

    Stick with published max unless you are well versed in reading pressure signs. For accuracy or increased effectiveness of the round, change bullets, find the speed that is most accurate for your rifle/pistol and bullet/load combination.

    Faster isn't always better unless you're trying to keep a bullet supersonic out at the half mile or more mark.
  7. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    Lets get your terminology straight. "Better" and "Faster" don't mean the same thing.

    Unless you have an Oehler, or a Pressure trace system, you have no clue what your pressures truly are. So what is +P, Vs. HOLY CRAP is a mystery.

    As for the ASSuming about the AR, same deal.
    OFFICIALLY the 223 is 55,000 PSI, and the 5.56 is 60,000PSI.
    I have yet to see any army TM, or data over a pressure trace; that ACTUALLY has the 5.56 running THOSE pressures.
    With an AR, you can really beat the action if your port pressures are too high.
  8. mortre

    mortre Yelm, WA Active Member

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    +1. Published +P loads should be fine, I would still recommend a chrono just to be safe. As someone else mentioned, you results and published results can be very different. I've gone beyond published load data before. But only in the cases where my chrono was showing velocities well below published or I needed to go over to get the action to cycle. I've also stopped well below max because I reached or exceeded published velocity prior to published max charge weight.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
  9. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    I'm assuming pistol and not revolver ?
  10. warnerwh

    warnerwh Portland, OR Member

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    If you mean max load for +P then no. If past a standard .38 then you can go past the maximum load there. Just don't go over a +P maximum load. I wouldn't shoot many +P loads through most snubbies.