History of the Federal 115-gr+P+ ??

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Valmet, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Valmet

    Valmet M62/76 Silver Member

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    This is a question for the ammo historians here. I've been ccw'ing Federal's 115-gr+P+ in a Glock 19 for some time now. It is moderately available, not too expensive, and I shoot it particularly well.

    I'm aware that Winchester 115-gr Silvertip was kinda the standard for LEOs carrying 9mms for much of the 1980s until the Miami HP shootout shed some light on the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of that particular cartridge. I'm also aware that around the same time (late-80s I believe), Federal began mfg'ing Hydra-Shok ammo. Since Hydra-Shok took off and became so popular for a long while, when then, did Federal introduce their 115-gr+P+ load, and for what (if any) specific purpose? Was it to ensure more consistent expansion in their 115gr JHPs with the propellants of the time? Was it simply to offer a hotter load?

    I'm not interested in hashing and rehashing how "Buffalo Bore this, or Underwood that, or instert-boutique-load-here is so much better than the old Federal load", just looking for some historical context for what has become my preferred ccw load. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    I just recall the ISP used it in the 80s and into the 90s with 5900 series S&W and Glock pistols, though pretty sure it was winchester loaded and a little hotter.
    Supposedly worked well.
     
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  3. TeaDub

    TeaDub

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    If I'm not mistaken, one of the members here was a part of it's development, or at least had close knowledge of it. Do a search of @isp2605 and his posts. He has given a fair bit of detail.

    I really like the round still. The local PD issued the Winchester sister load starting in 1990. They didn't change for well over a decade. BTW, they were loaded in aluminum framed 3rd Gen Smiths (5903). It's my understanding that Smith authorized the +P+ in the guns.

    The round worked well for them on the street.
     
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  4. Valmet

    Valmet M62/76 Silver Member

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    You know, now that you mention it TeaDub, I vaguely recall someone here PM'ing me that info (regarding another member involved in the development), but for some reason it isn't showing up in my folder. Would be great if he could weigh in here.
     
  5. cheygriz

    cheygriz God Bless Trump

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    The Federal 9BPLE, 115 +P+ was pretty much "standard" issue for most departments that I was aware of for a couple of decades.

    It had more "Street cred" than just about anything out there.

    I still carry them in my G-17.
     
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  6. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    SGammo and TargetSports have it for around $15 but out of stock. That's pretty dang cheap.
     
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  7. Valmet

    Valmet M62/76 Silver Member

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    Yes, it is. Unfortunately it’s been out of stock for about a year.
     
  8. M 7

    M 7

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  9. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

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    And they shoot straight.
     
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  10. brair

    brair

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    If I recall correctly the 115 grain STP was considered only a mediocre round even in its day.I remember one scribe saying it was a shallow penetrator and might serve well in a home defense role as the likelihood of overpenetration was remote.
     
  11. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    Shallow penetration is never a good thing.
     
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  12. cheygriz

    cheygriz God Bless Trump

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    There's a world of difference between a Silvertip and Federal's 9BPLE.
     
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  13. brair

    brair

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    Tnoutdoors9 has a gel test for both these cartidges.You are 100% correct.A world of difference.
     
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  14. GunsNweights87

    GunsNweights87

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  15. Valmet

    Valmet M62/76 Silver Member

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  16. Wyoming

    Wyoming

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  17. cheygriz

    cheygriz God Bless Trump

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    I dunno. It served LE extremely well for several decades. Still has "Street Cred" in LE circles.
     
  18. walkin' trails

    walkin' trails

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    Sannow and Marshall, in their research of “one shot stops” rated the 9BPLE as something like an 86 percenter in real world incidents. As I recall, the 9BPLE’s street record was about even with some of the better 230 grain .45 ACP hollow point loads. The Federal or Remington 125 Grain .357 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point was the king at 96 percent one shot stops. The 9BPLE was issued to Border Patrol Agents who choose to carry approved, personally owned 9mm pistols circa 1990-91, at least. Then the Winchester 115 grain +P+ appeared for a little while before being replaced by the Federal 124 grain Hydra Shok +P+. I remember that the Winchester nor the Hydra Shok seemed as hot as the 9BPLE from my G17. Nevertheless, all the +P+ rounds performed well in shooting incidents. The local PD and SO where I worked issued a 147 grain HP, and swore up and down that our 9mm ammo was inferior. At the same time, all the gun publications, as well as word-of-mouth were trashing the 147s (no Internet at the time). None of the 115 grain 9mm +P+ rounds performed well in FBI testing protocol, with penetration missing the mark. In the real world, those shortcomings didn’t seem to be an issue. I would have to say that there are better bullet designs today, but I can’t provide any real-world examples where the 9BPLE failed to stop a threat.

    I’ve thought about getting a case since its still relatively cheap and available, but I also carry a 43 a lot and the hot rounds have a reputed tendency to run faster than the slide and its better for me logically to carry the same load that works 100% in everything.
     
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  19. Dave Richardson

    Dave Richardson

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    I just had to buy a case of Gold Dot 124 +p because I couldn’t find 9BPLE, I still have a case and a half of 9BP for practice.