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Thread: Who Makes the Best Defensive Ammo .45 ACP 230gr JHP (NON +P) ???

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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    How many ft/lbs and fps are ideal for defensive ammo for a .45 ACP 230gr JHPNON +P cartridge?

    What do you recommend as the minimum ft/lbs? What’s too much and is likely to over-penetrate?

    What manufactures sell reputable loads in .45 ACP 230gr JHP that are NOT +P ?
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    I carry a 1911 with a 200gr. Hornady +P in the pipe but 230 gr Pow-R-Balls in the mag. Since it's a 1911, I choose Pow-R-Balls for follow up shots because of their shape for reliable feeding. I've never had a problem with anything feeding correctly, but carry them anyway just for peace of mind.

    Before I made the decision to switch, I carried 230 gr. Federal HydraShoks. Never had a FTF and after shooting them into barrels of water, (I even tried it through 4 layers of denim) they've always expanded. I've also noticed that the brass has a slightly larger primer hole then other brands. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but it seems like it would be better for ignition IMHO.

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    A few years back, an FBI agent friend of mine told me that the Department uses the Remington Golden Saber (.45 ACP - 230 gr).

    He said that all studies aside, that round works the best.



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    Iceman,



    I my opinion only....we tend to get far to wrapped up looking for the magic bullet. I carried Hydro Shocks for years, but with the price of them $25.00 for 20, I started rethinking the whole HP thought. In the 45acp I have not seen any studies that show reliable expansion. 45's are not a fast round in the 230 gr rounds, plusP or standard rounds.



    I still have the Hydro Shocks, but I just carry 230 gr ball now. For absolute reliability and function, ball cannot be beat. Expanding HP’s are nice, but what counts are hits to the CNS. Good solid hits, not magic bullets.



    Steve


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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    After two days of studying about ammo these are the four loads I have settled upon as suitable carry ammo. What do you think?

    Federal Hydra Shock .45 Auto 230gr 900 fps 414 ft/lbs

    Speer Gold Dot .45 Auto 230gr 890 fps 405 ft/lbs

    Winchester .45 ACP 230gr 880 fps 396 ft/lbs

    Remington Golden Saber .45 Auto 230gr 875 fps 391 ft/lbs



    And yes, youre correct I am looking for that magic bullet sort of, I just don’t want to find myself with a round so anemic in stopping power that the threat can continue to advance or pose a threat after being hit center mass even one time.

    I figure in a real firefight I’ll probably only have one opportunity to get off a good shot (which will be my first one) after that both parties begin backing away from one another and scrambling for cover, after that it’s a crap shoot.

    And I hate to gamble.
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine

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    If I carry Golden Sabers or HydraShocks, I don't practice with them because of their cost. I will fire a few magazines with them to make sure they function, then save the rest for carry.

    Remember the history of the .45 ACP. It was designed to replace the anemic .38 Specials, which were not doing much of anything against the Moro Warriors during the Phillipine American Conflict.

    The big, slow-moving bullet bowled them over with one shot and was vastly superior to the .38 Special.

    You can't go wrong with any .45 ACP ammo for personal defense, even ball; it puts a big hole in it's target even without expansion. It moves slow so it does not over-penetrate. Because it is a low-pressure round and moves slowly, the recoil is very manageable.

    Why the military went to the 9mm is beyond me, unless they were following the current"fad" of having high capacity magazines.

    The police department in my county went back to the .45 ACP after a few years of carrying 9mm's.

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    cmdr_iceman71 wrote:
    After two days of studying about ammo these are the four loads I have settled upon as suitable carry ammo. What do you think?

    Federal Hydra Shock .45 Auto 230gr 900 fps 414 ft/lbs

    Speer Gold Dot .45 Auto 230gr 890 fps 405 ft/lbs

    Winchester .45 ACP 230gr 880 fps 396 ft/lbs

    Remington Golden Saber .45 Auto 230gr 875 fps 391 ft/lbs



    And yes, youre correct I am looking for that magic bullet sort of, I just don’t want to find myself with a round so anemic in stopping power that the threat can continue to advance or pose a threat after being hit center mass even one time.

    I figure in a real firefight I’ll probably only have one opportunity to get off a good shot (which will be my first one) after that both parties begin backing away from one another and scrambling for cover, after that it’s a crap shoot.

    And I hate to gamble.
    If I was to carry any of the above it would be the Hydro Shocks. As I said I carried them for years and my do so agian (I have 200 put away). If you are really interested in carrying a premium ammo, buy a box and clock it across a chrono, unfortunately you'll find they do not hit the advertised vels. If you are shooting a bbl length less than 5", you may find a significant difference from the published vels.
    I’ll be on the range tomorrow clocking a couple of rifles, I’ll clock 5 hydro shocks and post them tomorrow. I think I have a box or two of Gold Dots, If I do I’ll clock five of them also. That said, I still don’t think you’d see a difference shooting ball in a gun fight. With a lesser caliber yes, but with the 45acp I don’t believe so.
    Steve


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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    cmdr_iceman71 wrote:
    How many ft/lbs and fps are ideal for defensive ammo for a .45 ACP 230gr JHPNON +P cartridge?

    What do you recommend as the minimum ft/lbs? What’s too much and is likely to over-penetrate?

    What manufactures sell reputable loads in .45 ACP 230gr JHP that are NOT +P ?
    Generally I think that any of the modern .45 ACP JHP is going to effective at stopping most threats.

    My primary .45 carry mags are currently loaded with 230 gr Ranger SXT. As it is getting a little old I was planning on replacing it with Federal HST which testing seems to indicate expands just a little better with similar terminal energy. However, I made that decision and did the feed/POI testing just before ammo started getting rare and missed the boat on buying it in any needed quantity for a decent price. I keep watching for a decent deal to swap out.

    My primary backup mag is loaded with 185 gr. CorBon DPX. It is a deeper penetrator than the SXT or HST. I carry it as my backup with the thought that if I ever need to go to a second mag it may be an issue of penetration. I started with DPX exclusively, however, penetration testing led me to concerns about an over penetration situation in an urban environment. Besides that it is really pricey.

    All three of those rounds do have equivalent "combat accuracy" POI in my XD45 at 5-15 yards giving me confidence that switching between rounds does not cause a significant difference in my accuracy. Also they have similar recoil although the DPX is a little more of a snap and therefore switching between the rounds does not effect my combat accuracy.

    I have shot Hydra Shock and it seems to have a little more drop/lower POI at 15+ yards in my XD so I choose to use the other ammo that is more consistent with one another in POI in my handgun.

    I have not shot Gold Dot in my .45 but I carry a Black Hills load with 124 gr. Gold Dot bullets in my 9mm without problem or concern.


    My point of typing all that stuff is that there are many good self-defense loads for the .45 and it is really easy to get bunged up on all the numbers and stats. As with the choice of your handgun, what works best for you and your gun and your primary environment may not be the best for someone else. I suggest choosing a few different ammo options that look good on paper for your needs, buy 20-50 rounds of them and try them in YOUR carry pistol. If it has good terminal ballistics on paper, you can afford it, it fits your self-defense environment, it feeds properly in YOUR gun and has a consistent, confident inspiring POI for you then that becomes your choice of SD ammo.


    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Take a look at Double Tap ammo, imho it gives the most bang for the $.

    [line]


    All of these tests were done using 10% ballistic gelatin provided by Vyse gelatin using all FBI protocols and 4 layers of denim and two layers of light cotton T-shirt in front of the gelatin.

    DoubleTap 9mm+P
    115gr. Gold Dot JHP @ 1415fps - 12.00" / .72"
    124gr. Gold Dot JHP @ 1310fps - 13.25" / .72"
    147gr. Gold Dot JHP @ 1125fps - 14.00" / .68"


    DoubleTap .40 S&W Penetration / expansion
    165gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1200fps - 14.0" / .70"
    180gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1100fps - 14.75" / .68"

    DoubleTap .357 Sig
    125gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1450fps - 14.5" / .66"

    DoubleTap .357 Magnum
    125gr. Gold Dot JHP @ 1600fps - 12.75" / .69"
    158gr. Gold Dot JHP @ 1400fps - 19.0" .56"

    DoubleTap 10mm
    135gr JHP @ 1600fps - 11.0" / .70" frag nasty
    155gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1475fps - 13.5" / .88"
    165gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1400fps - 14.25" / 1.02"
    165gr Golden Saber JHP @ 1425fps - 14.75" / .82"
    180gr Golden Saber JHP @ 1330fps - 16.0" / .85"
    180gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1300fps - 15.25" / .96"
    200gr XTP @ 1250fps - 19.5" / .72"
    230gr Equalizer @ 1040fps - 11.0" and 17.0" / .62" and .40"

    DoubleTap .45ACP
    185gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1225fps - 12.75" / .82"
    200gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1125fps - 14.25" / .88"
    230gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1010fps - 15.25" / .95"

    DoubleTap 9X25
    115gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1800fps - 10.0" / .64" frag nasty
    125gr Gold DOt JHP @ 1725fps - 15.0" / .74"
    147gr Gold Dot JHP @ 1550fps - 17.5" / .68"

    For those who are asking, here it is!
    -Mike
    Signature:
    DoubleTap Ammunition
    "When second best just won't do

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I carried 230gr HydraShoks in my Para for years. Never had to use them, but I trusted them with my life. They were clock-work reliable and accurate as a laser.

    I carried 230gr Speer Gold Dots for about a year. They are very accurate (even better than the HydraShoks), cheaper (and easier to find) than HS's, but it's my experience that they tarnish within about 48 hours of taking them out of the box. But maybe it's because I live near a river, and less than an hour from the ocean, and I CC in an IWB about 10% of the time...

    Now I'm carrying 230gr Winchester PDX1 Extremes. Haven't shot any yet, but they are rated very highly.

    The FBI (and other Fed agencies, and various state and local LEAs) have ALL carried all three of these rounds at one time or another. The way I see it, if they are good enough for the FBI, they are good enough for me. In fact, I generally base my defense ammo purchases on the current FBI service round, or what the local Sheriff Deputies carry (if I can get that information).
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Dreamer wrote:
    Now I'm carrying 230gr Winchester PDX1 Extremes. Haven't shot any yet, but they are rated very highly.
    :shock: How do you know they will feed reliably in your sidearm if you need them? Or if they have the POI as your other ammo?
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    .45acp wrote:
    I my opinion only....we tend to get far to wrapped up looking for the magic bullet. I carried Hydro Shocks for years, but with the price of them $25.00 for 20, I started rethinking the whole HP thought. In the 45acp I have not seen any studies that show reliable expansion. 45's are not a fast round in the 230 gr rounds, plusP or standard rounds.

    I still have the Hydro Shocks, but I just carry 230 gr ball now. For absolute reliability and function, ball cannot be beat. Expanding HP’s are nice, but what counts are hits to the CNS. Good solid hits, not magic bullets.
    I've come across several reports that ball has a history of perforating (going through) bad guys.

    On a battlefield, where there are just more bad guys behind the one you shoot, perforation is probably less of an issue. Off the battlefield would bea different situation.

    Anybody else come across similar reports?
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    Citizen wrote:
    .45acp wrote:
    I my opinion only....we tend to get far to wrapped up looking for the magic bullet. I carried Hydro Shocks for years, but with the price of them $25.00 for 20, I started rethinking the whole HP thought. In the 45acp I have not seen any studies that show reliable expansion. 45's are not a fast round in the 230 gr rounds, plusP or standard rounds.

    I still have the Hydro Shocks, but I just carry 230 gr ball now. For absolute reliability and function, ball cannot be beat. Expanding HP’s are nice, but what counts are hits to the CNS. Good solid hits, not magic bullets.
    I've come across several reports that ball has a history of perforating (going through) bad guys.

    On a battlefield, where there are just more bad guys behind the one you shoot, perforation is probably less of an issue. Off the battlefield would bea different situation.

    Anybody else come across similar reports?
    Citizen, I've heard some of the same, but have not seen any conclusive evidence of it. Most of the +P .45 stuff goes thruoh 14 to 17 inches of ballistic gel. With any thing less than a solid full body hit, it will pass thru also.
    Would you take a shot with people standing right behind the target? At that point tactics and movement would dictate the shoot don't shoot reflex.
    Steve
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    Ok, thanks for all your help and input gentlemen, but now my next hurdle is finding a merchant who has either: Federal Hydra Shock, Speer Gold Dot, or Golden Saber ammo in stock.

    When I Bing these names I haven’t encountered a single merchant who has these ammo types/brands in stock.

    Can someone direct me to a good website for purchasing ammo?
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine

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    cmdr_iceman71 wrote:
    Can someone direct me to a good website for purchasing ammo?
    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...hp?cPath=21_34

    The Bonded is a Gold Dot bullet butfor some reason they are no longer allowed to say that.

    The 45ACP loads aren't +p.

    I personally use their 200gr Bonded load when I carry a 45acp.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
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    deepdiver wrote:
    Dreamer wrote:
    Now I'm carrying 230gr Winchester PDX1 Extremes. Haven't shot any yet, but they are rated very highly.
    :shock: How do you know they will feed reliably in your sidearm if you need them? Or if they have the POI as your other ammo?
    I measured them with a micrometer, and they are actually "rounder" than the Speers and Hydras, so I figured they would feed as well or better.

    But to update my last post, I went to the range this weekend, and shot a few "short" magazines (my mags hold 13 rounds--for this test, I loaded each mag with 5 rounds) of these new carry rounds. They ded, fired, and ejected flawlessly and are every bit as accurate as the other brands I've tried....

    But I suppose you are right. I SHOULD have test-fired them before committing to them as a carry round. I USUALLY follow that procedure, but in this one instance, I was just assuming that scientifically measuring the bullet's profile was OK. I won't be so lazy in the future. You make some good points, and I will stick to my usual routine in the future before committing to new carry rounds.

    All that said, I think the POI issue is a little overblown in a self-defense situation, ESPECIALLY if you are using high-quality factory ammo. Most SD shootings occur at ranges less than 7 meters. If a round is so radically different than most other factory rounds at these distances, they shouldn't even be making it out of the factory.

    With a hunting rifle (or a sniper or battle rifle), where you're talking about distances of hundreds of feet (or even hundreds of meters), tiny variations in bullet performance and accuracy can make a HUGE difference at the point of impact. But at SD distances, with a handgun, if a particular round is so deviant from the factory norms that you think you need to adjust for it, I'd suggest getting a different brand, NOT figuring out what the difference is and then compensating for it. Or maybe you need to take your firearm to a qualified gunsmith and have it checked out for accuracy and reliability...

    I shoot all sorts of rounds through my Para--from the cheap "yellow box PMCs" to Remington FMJs to the cheap Winchester White Boxs, to Federal Hydra Shoks, Speers, CorBons, and Winchester PDX's, and I have not seen much variance in POI at 3,5, and 7 yard distances. In my experience, most brand name factory ammo hits in about the same spot every time. The main difference is that the cheaper "range rounds" tend to have a slightly wider pattern of grouping, and I'm talking REALLY slight.

    I mean, like 2" groups instead of 1" groups at 7 yards firing quickly--even less "spread" at closer distances, or when firing slowly. And I haven't noticed much difference in actual POI either--from brand to brand or on the price scale. Most brand name ammo that I've tried hits where I point--well within the 9 ring (and mostly in the X-ring) on a standard B-27 target. I don't see much variance up or down, or left to right from brand to brand, with a few glaring exceptions (in my firearm, steel-cartridge ammo like Wolf tends to shoot high and to the left in the 8 or 7 ring for some reason, and Winchester non-jacketed semi-wadcutters tend to shoot low and to the right by about 2")...

    Of course, every firearm (and every shooter) is different, so YMMV. I can only speak from my own experience. And it's been my experience that with regards to 230gr, 45acp ammo fired from my Para Ordnance S-14.45, just about anything I put through it tends to go where I point.

    But like I said, YMMV...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    It seems that the problem with JHP feeding is most often not that the case is out of round or bulged or that the OAL is off, but rather that some sidearms are finicky about certain shaped bullets especially those with a larger HP mouth. Hence the development of ammo such as Pow-R-ball. Now I say "it seems" because I am not claiming to be an expert but rather am repeating advice I have read and been given time and time again and which not only have I not seen refuted, but have read confirmation.

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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    Well I'm carrying an FNP-45 for my primary carry gun and it has a 4.5 in barrel and at the common self-defense ranges that most encounters take place I suppose I should be fine.My carry ammo isPMC Gold Starfire right now.
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine

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    Regular Member cmdr_iceman71's Avatar
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    Yesterday, I acquired some Winchester Supreme Elite .45 auto 230gr BJHP so now I’m using that as primary carry ammo, the specs look promising even when fired from a 4.5 inch barrel.
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." - President George Washington

    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." - Thomas Paine

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