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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a Walther P99 QA and I just found a good deal on 1000 rounds of Federal 9 mm 115 gr. JHP LE +P+ ammo. I feel a Walther is well built and can handle the +P+ but how I feel and what the facts are may not simpatico. What say you folks that have been shooting Walthers longer than me?(I'm a brand newbian.)
 

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The instruction manuals say to not use +P+. I had e-mailed Walther a question about some ammo and they told me not to regularly use +P+.
 

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There is no SAAMI specification for a "+P+" load. So, anything rated as such will be beyond any approved pressure specification. Also, your owners manual specifically admonishes against it.

Indeed, I don't even use +P loads, for which there are SAAMI specs, and which Walther approves for use in the P99. Don't see the need.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I read another post that said +P+ was not recommended for P99 QA. Dang it is good deal on 1000 rounds. I guess I'll see what other rounds they have in bulk.
 

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Define, "ok"?

If you are asking if it will shoot it, the answer is unequivocally, yes.

That said, it may void the warranty (can't remember) and Walther will likely state that your components will "wear out" or "require service" much faster/sooner.

That said, i appreciate UE's approach as it mirrors my own-- don't feel the need for +p, standard loads are fine for my requirements.
 

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There's +P+ ammunition out there that's proven in reliability through 9mm handguns. Ranger 127 +P+ comes to mind. Yes it'll increase wear, no it's not recommended; however the P99 is a highly durable firearm and is proofed with very, very hot ammunition to begin with.

There's also +P+ ammo out there that is spec'd for sub-machine guns, or reloaded by someone who can't do math, or who is pressurizing it outrageously with good reason for them, but then it's resold or acquired somehow without being properly marked. This ammo may cause a kaboom.

And then there's everything in between.

If you're gonna use +P+, stick to name brand, premium self-defense rounds and you'll be fine, with the possibility of having to replace parts sooner, rather than later.
 

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Reloading issues aside, I'd recommend that the OP run a search, here and elsewhere, on +P+ ammo. We've beaten this question to death ... it's one of the forum's remaining zombies, apparently. It's not recommended by Walther, and there's no good reason to use it, given the improved performance of many brands of 9mm ammo on the market today. But if you want to beat your pistol to death for no good reason, it's your pistol: Have at it.

A random sampling ... plenty more where these come from:

http://www.waltherforums.com/forum/p99/23347-p99-qa-ok-p-ammo.html

http://www.waltherforums.com/forum/p99/2999-p99-compact-9mm-p-ammo.html

http://www.waltherforums.com/forum/p99/167-ok-shoot-p-ammo-p99.html
 

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This question gets asked so often that it warrants a more extended answer. While it is true that Walther explicitly says --with very good reason-- not to use +P+ (and that should be reason enough) it seems that practically nobody will read the instructions (let alone the warnings), and those who will don't believe them or refuse to take them seriously. They blame the lawyers.

The main problem with using +P+ is that, because there is no accepted standard, unless one is willing to dissect, weigh and chronograph each different load, one has no way of knowing what that second "plus" sign represents. The pressure might approach, or perhaps even exceed a proof round. And, of course, the higher the pressure, the more critical become quality control factors such as bullet and case neck diameter, brass hardness, primer and propellant consistency, etc., etc. If any one of those is off, the consequences at maximum pressure can be serious; there is no room left for forgiveness.

Every gun design is engineered to perform optimally with a specific loading of a given cartridge, or within a specific range of loadings. With semi- and full-automatic firearms whose function depends on the force and timing of energy from the fired cartridge, the permissible spectrum may not be very wide before reliability and durability complications are encountered at one end or the other. The military understand this principle very well, and their insistence on compliance with detailed ammunition specifications is fanatical. Pressure, velocity, brass hardness, port pressure, bullet pull force and a host of other tolerances are specified with precision and rigidly adhered to, or the ammo is rejected.

In most cases military weapons are designed around their ammunition, not the other way around. When the ammo specifications are changed, as occurred with a seemingly minor switch of propellant in 5.56mm ammo for the M16 rifle in Vietnam, the results can be disastrous. As Gene Stoner patiently pointed out to the Ichord Subcommittee investigating the M16 troubles, increased pressures mean higher bolt velocity, and dynamic forces on all the parts that are stressed in recoil increase not commensurately but exponentially by the square of that higher velocity. Higher bolt velocity (or in the case of pistols, the barrel/slide velocity) also reduces the time within which all the components associated with cycling must complete their mechanical performance; many of them rely on springs which might not be able to keep up.

In civilian use there is an additional problem. Strict adherence to uniform ammunition is not possible. The civilian gun owner is offered a candy store full of loadings, and often makes his selection primarily on price. There is also much loose (and misplaced) consumer reliance on compliance with SAAMI standards, which are widely misunderstood. Some domestic and most foreign ammunition makers are not members of SAAMI. In any event SAAMI standards are purely voluntary, and apply only to the specific loads actually listed. It's worth noting that SAAMI lists only one +P load among its standards for 9mm Luger: 115 grain JHP at 1235 fps from a 4" test barrel; if your favorite +P load has a heavier bullet or higher velocity you're already outside the realm of SAAMI standards.

Gun designers cannot foresee all the possible loadings that users might try to use, and new guns are engineered for whatever load the manufacturers predict will be the most probable fodder, or for what their largest (and sometimes fickle) customers say they intend to use. Add handloaders to the mix and the potential scenarios become really chaotic; some of these geniuses whose pumping arm is ingrown with the handle of their reloading press couldn't tell a pressure limit from a Pap smear.

Now IF (notwithstanding the manufacturer's instructions) you use +P+ in your pistol, AND there is nothing dramatically wrong with the way the cartridge was manufactured (no double-charge, misdimensioned brass, etc.), you will NOT blow up the gun. If the pistol was proofed without damage, it's not likely to explode with +P+. However, it's a mistake to think that the only downside is to incrementally reduce service life, which some folks are perfectly willing to accept on the theory that "a little bit ain't gonna hurt it."

The application of exponentially greater stresses can produce not only malfunctions that don't happen with standard ammo, but sudden and unexpected breakage of various parts that were not designed for such stresses-- which in turn may put the gun out of action when you need it most. Moreover, one result of battering may not be the gradual deformation that many imagine, but rather the abrupt appearance of a crack. Once a crack appears, things can go south in a hurry.

In my view one should be suspicious of any "surplus" LE ammo that is offered, especially when it is a "great deal". Such ammo may be pilfered, in which case trouble may find you; you should consider whether your good name is worth more than saving a few bucks on a "great deal". Or the ammo has been found unsatisfactory for one reason or another. Some ammunition makers will, even against their professional judgment, specially produce for a large LEA customer damned near any hot loading the cops insist they want, so long as the LEA signs a waiver of liability and hold-harmless for any mishaps. Sometimes these loads are specially concocted for a single specified model of service pistol where its performance may be acceptable (and its detrimental aspects at least tolerable); its suitability for some other make or model of handgun is undemonstrated. My preference is not to be the one who conclusively discovers the reason why it was discarded.

All of the above is also true about +P (no second plus) ammo, though to a lesser degree. While most new pistols designed in the past 15 years or so were engineered to accommodate +P (sometimes at the expense of reliability with ordinary target loads), it's abusive to older guns and the benefit isn't worth the burden. In many cases a longer barrel will make more difference than +P. If you still want .45 striking power, buy a .45 to start with. As Deputy is fond of reciting, a .45 may not expand but it sure as hell won't shrink.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just to let you all know.I bought my P99 QA used and it didn't come with an owner's manual. I have trouble with the PDF manual on the Walther USA website.
 
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