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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Y'all,

So I just bought a PC Shield EZ 380 and 2 x Shield EZ 380's and had ordered some Underwood Extreme Defender rounds from an online store. Well my order was delivered but they ended up sending me the Underwood Extreme Penetrator +P rounds instead of the Defenders because they were out of defender rounds...

My question, can the PC Shield EZ 380 or the regular Shield EZ 380 handle these Penetrator +P rounds or am I better off trying to send them back for a refund? Or even just keeping them for possible future use since ammo is so hard to find now?

I'm a total newb with handguns and ammo so any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Did you read the manual? Here's what it says.:

“Plus-P” (+P) ammunition generates pressures in excess of the pressures associated with standard ammunition. Such pressures may affect the wear characteristics and may result in the need for more frequent service."

Underwood makes great stuff, but "hot" doesn't begin to describe it.
Do yourself a favor, get some cheap .380 ball ammo and save the Underwood stuff for later.

try ammoseek.com
 
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Did you read the manual? Here's what it says.:

“Plus-P” (+P) ammunition generates pressures in excess of the pressures associated with standard ammunition. Such pressures may affect the wear characteristics and may result in the need for more frequent service."

Underwood makes great stuff, but "hot" doesn't begin to describe it.
Do yourself a favor, get some cheap .380 ball ammo and save the Underwood stuff for later.

try ammoseek.com
Thanks, I guess my curiosity is if it's dangerous to use +P since it will only be for SD use and that's it. Not range use or non-SD use, I have regular FMJ rounds for practice shooting with.

I would hope the +P would never be used, but if something happens and it is used, is there anything to be worried about other than requiring more service on the gun? Could it potentially damage the gun itself or cause harm to me to some unknown way?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Underwood shouldnt be a problem for carry ammo, but for range practice, what he said. ^^^
Thanks! That's exactly what I was curious about. I have FMJ for range use and if it won't damage my gun, then the +P will just be for SD use only, so hopefully it'll never be used.

So I'll just keep the penetrator +P rounds for carry/SD use only then and not return them.
 

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My recommendation is that you learn how to shoot using standard velocity ammunition, and keep to that until you've developed some basic skills. Only then, shift to the +P ammo, and mainly use it in self defense, with a few rounds occasionally for training purposes at the end of a practice session.

Consider a NRA Basic Pistol class. It will teach you necessary fundamentals, safety and help you improve accuracy.

You can't play golf very well the first few times you try, and it always takes longer if you don't have a good coach. It's really the same thing with the physical skills needed for handgun shooting - except that safety takes a much more central position in training.
 
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My recommendation is that you learn how to shoot using standard velocity ammunition, and keep to that until you've developed some basic skills. Only then, shift to the +P ammo, and mainly use it in self defense, with a few rounds occasionally for training purposes at the end of a practice session.

Consider a NRA Basic Pistol class. It will teach you necessary fundamentals, safety and help you improve accuracy.

You can't play golf very well the first few times you try, and it always takes longer if you don't have a good coach. It's really the same thing with the physical skills needed for handgun shooting - except that safety takes a much more central position in training.
Yup, that's exactly what my plans are. I took it to the range last weekend and I plan to go again this weekend. I already told my mom she needs to take the beginner class, so I plan to just take it the same time she does. I've watched a few training videos already just to get me started at least, hopefully a good starting point until we can take that class. :)
 

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.380 ACP ammo has no approved SAMMI +P pressure specification.

There are only 4 cartridges that have the SAMMI +P rating, all others are overloaded cartridges without the SAMMI certification, and here they are:

.38 Special: 125 grain bullet at 850 fps
.38 Special +P: 125 grain bullet at 945 fps

9x19mm: 124 grain bullet at 1140 fps
9x19mm +P: 124 grain bullet at 1200 fps

.38 ACP: 130 grain bullet at 1050 fps
.38 Super +P: 130 grain bullet at 1280 fps

.45 ACP: 185 grain bullet at 1015 fps
.45 ACP +P: 185 grain bullet at 1140 fps

Anything else stamped +P or +P+ is overloaded beyond the certified pressures as specified by SAMMI.
If it isn't one of those 4, I won't put it in any of my handguns.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
.380 ACP ammo has no approved SAMMI +P pressure specification.

There are only 4 cartridges that have the SAMMI +P rating, all others are overloaded cartridges without the SAMMI certification, and here they are:

.38 Special: 125 grain bullet at 850 fps
.38 Special +P: 125 grain bullet at 945 fps

9x19mm: 124 grain bullet at 1140 fps
9x19mm +P: 124 grain bullet at 1200 fps

.38 ACP: 130 grain bullet at 1050 fps
.38 Super +P: 130 grain bullet at 1280 fps

.45 ACP: 185 grain bullet at 1015 fps
.45 ACP +P: 185 grain bullet at 1140 fps

Anything else stamped +P or +P+ is overloaded beyond the certified pressures as specified by SAMMI.
If it isn't one of those 4, I won't put it in any of my handguns.
Possible consequences of firing it off once or twice if necessary in a SD situation?
 

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More than likely, no adverse wear on the pistol..

More info below. This information is copied from one of Chuck Hawks web pages.
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Non-standard "+P" Ammunition

How about the "+P" cartridges for calibers such as the .32 ACP and .380 ACP that are offered by some specialty ammo makers, such as Buffalo Bore? The answer, as far as I can determine, is that there are no SAAMI standards for +P ammunition in these calibers.

Ammunition so labeled is not true +P. It is either loaded to the standard SAAMI MAP for the cartridge (perhaps right at the upper limit), or loaded to higher than permissible (thus potentially dangerous) pressure. The former is a marketing gimmick to stimulate sales and the latter (over-pressure loads) are not safe for use in all guns and may degrade your pistol's reliability and longevity.

Almost all .32 ACP and .380 ACP semi-automatic pistols are blow-back operated, not locked breech designs. In these pistols only the mass/inertia of the breech bolt and the pressure of the recoil spring keep the action closed during firing. These are carefully calibrated to the anticipated pressure of the cartridge for which the pistol is chambered. Any increase (or decrease) in the cartridge's MAP can create an unsafe and/or unreliable condition.

In other words, these cartridges are intended to be loaded within a narrow range of pressures that cannot be exceeded if the guns designed to shoot them are to operate correctly. Since any handgun used for personal protection must, above all, be reliable, I recommend against the use of ersatz "+P" ammunition. Stick with ammunition loaded to SAAMI specifications.

A different situation is represented by hot .45 Long Colt revolver loads, such as the Cor-Bon .45 Colt +P, which Cor-Bon clearly states is not loaded within the SAAMI pressure limit for the .45 Colt cartridge. This over-pressure ammunition is equivalent to the loads listed in most reloading manuals that are intended for use ONLY in Ruger Blackhawk and T/C Contender pistols.

These loads are unsafe in other .45 Colt revolvers and specifically should not be fired in S&W N-frame revolvers, Colt Single Action Army (P-frame) revolvers or copies of such. The SAAMI standard MAP for the .45 Colt is 14,000 psi and .45 Colt +P ammunition is reportedly loaded to about 27,500 psi, a 97.4% increase in pressure! At almost double the standard pressure, these .45 Colt +P loads are far in excess of even the heaviest proof loads and are likely to destroy guns not specifically designed to handle them.
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Conclusion

Compared to standard pressure loads, +P ammunition generally provides a useful increase in velocity and stopping power. The difference is much less than between standard and magnum calibers, but it is real. There is also an attendant increase in muzzle blast and recoil, but it is usually moderate.

Conversely, the improvement is not so great as to make +P ammunition mandatory for successful personal defense. In particular, handguns designed only for standard pressure ammunition should not be fed +P loads.

The limited performance advantage offered by using +P ammunition is more than offset by the attendant decrease in reliability and the potential for gun damage. Self-defense firearms must be as close to 100% reliable as possible. A gun that malfunctions may get you killed. Gaining a few percentage points in theoretical stopping power is certainly not worth the risk of catastrophic failure in a life and death situation. By far, the most important factor in stopping power is bullet placement, not cartridge power.
 

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I agree with the above. Not likely anything catastrophic in the extremely rare instance of self defense and if that comes up you will have other more important considerations going on...shooting to protect yourself which hopefully will never happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very informative, thanks. They sent me two boxes of those penetrator +p's. I was planning to keep one and give one to my dad. Maybe I'll just keep them both and give him the hollow points for SD instead since reliability seems to be a major factor.
 
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