355 Super - Info Needed

I have been in a conversation on whether the 355 SUPER is a new caliber of simply a new name for the 9x19mm/9mm Luger.

The box label specifically warns against using in “Standard 9MM”.

The cartridge is specifically designed for use as IPSC “Major” with a power factor of 165 (bullet weight x muzzle velocity) or greater. A “Minor” must have a power factor of 125 or greater. Research indicates that a normal 9mm Para/Luger load qualifies as a minor but not a major.

A bit of research on the net yielded the following info (the first five are from Wikipedia and the last is from ingunowners.com/forums/accessori … 9mm_p.html).

• CIP Spec requires the 9x19mm case handle 235 MPa (34,083 psi)
• SAAMI requires 241.32 MPa (35,000 psi) for a standard load
• SAAMI requires 265.45 MPa (38,500 psi) for the +P load
• 9 mm NATO is rated at 252 MPa (36,550 psi)
• Proof, both CIP and NATO are rated 315.0 MPa (45,687 psi)
• +P+ loads in 9x19 have been proposed at 42,000psi with proof pressure at 49,800 psi

By my calculations, a 125gr bullet can have a muzzle velocity of 1000ft/sec and qualify as “minor” but must have a muzzle velocity of 1320 ft/sec to qualify as “major”. The nominal velocity of a “standard” 9x19mm with a 124gr bullet is about 1120-1150 ft/sec according to information on commercial loads from the internet-see the end of this posting.

The nominal velocity with a 124gr bullet
• Standard 9x19mm: 1120-1150 ft/sec.
• +P: 1180-1220 ft/sec
• +P+: 1170 to 1240 ft/sec

Comparing the Max Pressure and Max Velocity from this limited data

The nominal velocity with a 124gr bullet> of a “with a
• Standard” 9x19mm: 1150 ft/sec and 35,000 psi
• +P: 1220 ft/sec and 38,500 psi
• +P+: 1240 ft/sec and 42,000 psi

and just eye balling the numbersimplies to me that to achieve a muzzle velocity consistently above 1320ft/sec with a 125gr bullet would require a pressure approaching 50,000 psi! That is well above normal 9mm proof pressure of about 45,700psi and about the same as the accepted +P+ proof pressure of 49,800 psi.

It appears to me that the .355 Super would be a dangerous load to shoot regularly through most 9x19mm pistols. This is probably why it has a name and a headstamp that has nothing to do with 9mm.

This is just back of the envelop but it sure appears that the 355 Super would require a different class of pistols from the standard 9x19mm.

Does anyone have additional information on the 355 Super???

How about insights into my speculation above???

Do you think the 355 Super is really a new caliber???

Is it different enough from the 9mm Luger to be a different caliber (like the 9mm Glisenti)???


Cheers, Lew

I have found the following information on commercial loads:
• Federal Hydra-Shok 124gr +P+ (P9HS3G1)Muzzle velocity is rated at 1170 ft/sec (4" Barrel) [frag.110mb.com/]
• Federal Hydra-Shok 124gr (P9HS1) Muzzle velocity is rated at 1120 FPS (4" Barrel) [same ref]
• Federal HST 124gr JHP (P9HST1) Muzzle velocity is rated at 1150 FPS (4" Barrel) [same ref]
• Remington Golden Saber BONDED 124gr +P BJHP (GSB9MMD) Muzzle velocity is rated at 1180 FPS [same ref]
• SPEER Gold Dot® 124gr GDHP (23618) Muzzle velocity is rated at 1150 FPS [same ref]
• SPEER Gold Dot® 124gr GDHP +P (53617) Muzzle velocity is rated at 1220 FPS (4" Barrel) [same ref]
• Winchester Ranger T 127gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA) Muzzle velocity is rated at 1240 FPS (4" Barrel) [same ref]
• 124gr +p ProLoad Tactical Gold Dot at 1,200fps [greent.com/40Page/general/defammo.htm]
• 124gr +p Remington Golden Saber at 1,180fps [same ref]

FWIW: The .356 TSW made Major Power Factor back in the days when it was 175. While the case was longer, it was still within the COAL of the 9x19mm. Around the same time, I believe that Fiocchi advertised Major PF loads in 9x21mm IMI for the countries that did not allow handloading. The same COAL applies there as well.

Lew, I picked up one of those at Landhorst and did a bit of web research myself. Users who have chronographed Atlanta Arms ammo report around 1,330 fps from a 4.5" barrel and 1,405 fps from a 5 inch. Thats going some…

I am myself wondering whether to give it a separate entry in Jane’s Ammunition Handbook or to include within the 9x19. I am tending towards the former, since I already give a separate entry for the Russian 9x19.

I have a similar problem with the .223 Timbs, which is just a 7.62x25 Mauser loaded with a saboted .22 bullet. This is also a hot loading, intended for the CZ-52 only.

Dan, thanks for the information.

Tony, This is why I’m asking. Heinrich K wrote me with the same question, and his interest is whether it should be listed as a new caliber in the ECRA database. I think he has decided to list it as a new caliber.

There was an article on this cartridge published in Front Sight in May/June 2008 which claims that the .355 Super is slightly longer overall than a 9x19mm, but I find it shorter overall than traditional Winchester, Remington, Peters ball loads from the 1930s to the 1960s. These 124gr loads all run 29.4mm to 29.6mm overall length and my .355 all run 29.0mm to 29.12mm. The author claims a MV of about 1420FPS from a 4.25inch Glock barrel (as I read the article).

I’m trying to figure out if this is just another +P+ load in 9x19mm or if it is really something different. I can’t find anything to indicate +P+ loads reach anywhere over 1300FPS with a 124gr blt. To be a Major, the .355 Super must reach 1320FPS by my calculation. Your info and other reports indicate it can get above 1400. That has got to be a pressure that is right up around +P+ proof pressure or higher (yes I know there are lots of things that effect pressure).

I have pretty well reached the conclusion that the .355 Super is a seperate cartridge, and published this thread to see if there was any information out there that indicated it is just a +P+ load. I am still troubled by the fact that I can’t find any description of a weapon specifically designed for the .355 Super. It appears it is intended to be used in specially built/modified weapons made for “major” competitions (there is discussion of reinforced chambers, etc) or in normal 9x19mm weapons with the recognition that they will wear out much faster shooting this cartridge. Does that still constitute a new caliber???

Cheers, Lew

Since the sole competitive use of the .355 Super is for IPSC/USPSA Open Division pistols, the high pressure is actually a virtue. It increases the effectiveness of the Hybrid ports and compensators. I suspect this is part of the same reason why folks are trying to run 5" and shorter barrels; the remaining gas pressure will be higher at the muzzle of a shorter barrel. At one time, the push was for very light bullets and very slow burning powders. Some competitors had even played with 90gr bullets at ~2,000fps, but couldn’t get decent accuracy with the combination. This was also part of the rationale for the 9x25mm Dillon; the big case could hold lots of slow burning powder. The 9x25mm Dillon could work ports and compensators so well that the muzzle could recoil down instead of up. However, when the various 9mm and .38 Super loads using 115gr bullets at ~1,600fps started to wreck steel plates; USPSA put their foot down at added a minimum weight for bullets loaded to Major PF.

None of the 9mm are legal for scoring Major PF in Limited Division, even if they actually exceed it. At one time, S&W was positioning their Model 3566 pistol and .356 TSW to be legal Major PF in Limited Division. The rules had a production number requirement for the pistols and also required that three manufacturers offer factory Major PF loads for the cartridge. Once S&W had made enough 3566 pistols, they were also on the verge of, or had actually succeeded in, coaxing a third ammunition vendor to offer the .356 TSW. (Federal and CorBon were already on board.) At this point, the USPSA Board of Directors quickly conferred and added the .40 caliber floor for a legal Limited Division Major PF cartridge.

Dan, Your info is a big help. I think the .355 Super does constitute a new caliber just like the 38 Super and some of the other cartridges specifically designed as IPSC major loads. Your discussion of the Limited Division also helped me understand the explaination of the ALAMO 40S&W cartridge pictured in the last IAA Journal. The guy who loaded it told me that it was specifically loaded longer than the normal 40 S&W with the bullet seated further out the case and that his only customers were a number of competition shooters who needed the higher powered load.

Thanks for the excellent information. I suspect that the IPSC competitions has lead to the creation of a host of pistol caliber headstamps that few if any of us have seen.

Cheers, Lew

The objectives in loading for Limited Division are generally the opposite of Open Division. You aren’t allowed to have ports or compensators, so there is no reason to run high pressures. For awhile, it was trendy to load extra-heavy bullets with fast burning powders. We are talking 250-260gr bullets in .45 ACP, and 200-220gr bullets in .40 S&W and 10x25mm. With the heavy bullets, you can run much lower velocities and still make Major Power Factor.

The long loading of .40 S&W for Limited Division is more about increasing feed reliability in a M1911-type pistol, designed for .45 ACP length cartridges. On the surface, it would make more sense to switch to 10x25mm; however, .40 S&W brass is far more available, both new and as once-fired surplus. In a pinch, you are also more likely to find factory .40 S&W ammunition on the store shelf. With .40 S&W, if you are already loading for an Open Division pistol in 9mm/.38 Super, you don’t have to change your reloading press over to the Large Pistol primers needed by the 10x25mm. (You may still need to stock different primers, as some Open Division shooters use Small Rifle primers in their 9mm/.38 Super cases to cope with the increased pressures.) I once tried to talk Starline into offering a Small Pistol primer pocket 10x25mm case, but was snubbed.