I found this Winchester “150 Round Value Pack” of 9mm NATO 124 gr ammo for sale at my local Gander Mountain for $49.99 recently. That works out to about $16.66 per 50, which is not bad for reloadable brass cased 9mm in the current market.

That is, until you read the (very) fine print on the bottom of the box that says, “These cartridges are loaded to military velocity and pressure; average pressure is 10% to 15% higher than industry standard pressure for 9mm Luger.”

This is obviously part of some military contract overrun packaged in bulk as cheap plinking ammo. The problem is the “10% to 15%” higher pressure puts this square in the 9mm +P category.

via Winchester 9mm NATO ammo is the same as +P.

Notice that it is only 15% that sets the difference between normal loads and +P . If you are a reloader, it is imperative that you have a precise scales and that whatever powder thrower you are using dispenses the chosen amount every time. Check your reloading manuals and pay attention on the increase of pressure that results from Starting Load to Maximum Load and compare it to the actual percentage of grains increased. With Hodgdon CFE Pistol, a 10% increase on weight (0.5 grains) results in almost 25% more pressure.

A Kaboom is not a nice reminder you screwed up.


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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

5 thoughts on “Winchester 9mm NATO ammo is the same as +P (Also a tip for reloaders)”
  1. Unless shooting a WWI Luger or a Lorcin (?) I don’t see this being a major issue.

    NATO service pressure for 9mm is 252MPa while CIP service pressure is 235MPa, +7.2%.

    Here in Europe we often have NATO loads for .223 and 9×19 ammo, usually without even a hint it is loaded to slightly higher pressures.

    Most commercial 9×19 ammo is CIP though with 124gr ammo clocking 1100-1120fps out of a Glock 17. 9×19 NATO is supposed to be > 1150fps.

    In spite of the massive price hikes you sadly had to experience over the last few years, prices here in Europe haven’t been impacted too badly. I feared the phenomenon would ripple over the pond but prices have be stable. Or to be more accurate ammo inflation has been in line with overall inflation.

    Russian ammo maybe saw slightly higher increases but it’s not that bad.

    The supply of US-made cartridges in various calibers – even 22LR ! – stayed surprisingly constant.

    And there’s Fiocchi, RUAG and Sellier&Bellot/CBC/Magtech.

    But I assume the whole European ammo market must approximately equal the typical Fla county 🙂

    1. Unless shooting a WWI Luger or a Lorcin (?) I don’t see this being a major issue.

      I would go with any pistol manufactured prior late 1980s? I can’t find exactly when SAAMI set the standard. Or go the NRA way, if it is not in the manual, don’t use it.

      1. If the gun comes from a CIP country and shipped from the 70s onward, you’re good to go.

        CIP proofing is done at +30%.

        But yeah being on the safe side is never a bad idea ! 🙂

  2. The better measure is the groove diameter of the barrel. I had been developing some high powered loads in a Hi-Power. The Hi-Power digested them with no problem other than case life was reduced. When I tried the same load in a Smith & Wesson Model 39, the first round blew the case out down the loading ramp. What Happened? I slugged both barrels. The Hi-Power measured 0.358. The 39 was 0.352. It was enough to raise pressures and cause the blow-out.

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