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Thread: .45 ACP Ammo of choice.

  1. #1
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    .45 ACP Ammo of choice.

    I've checked out a few Ballistics comparisons of .45 ACP ammunition and I decided that the most devastating, effective round appears to be the Winchester Ranger-T 230 GR JHP. The problem is, the only people who seem to stock it refuse to sell these rounds to civilians.

    Anyone know where I can acquire these rounds? It's not as though these are the only rounds that will get the job done, so why limit them to LE/MIL only? Is there something else about them that Makes them illegal for civilian use?

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    Regular Member Vegas Rick's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I think this is what you're looking for, at Ammunition To Go. They say: "It says a lot that Winchester will not sell this ammo to the general public, they will only sell this ammo to law enforcement and military agencies directly. That is a Winchester rule, NOT a law, so don't worry you can have it."

    http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/produc...acturers_id/30

    "50rds - 45 ACP Winchester Ranger Talon 230gr. +P HP Ammo
    [RA45TP] $39.95

    IN STOCK!

    This is 45 ACP Winchester Ranger Talon 230gr. +P Hollow Point Ammo. This ammo contains the 3rd generation of the Black Talon bullet. It is basically the same bullet as the original Black Talon, except for that it is not black, which was a Lubaloy coating. This ammo still has the reverse taper bullet and expands out the talon petals upon impact. When the Talon petals expand out they are as sharp as a razor and then the bullet will spin inside the target and the talon petals will cut anything in the bullets way. It is still considered by many the most deadly ammo you can get. It says a lot that Winchester will not sell this ammo to the general public, they will only sell this ammo to law enforcement and military agencies directly. That is a Winchester rule, NOT a law, so don't worry you can have it. We get this ammo from police department trade-ins and a little from law enforcement distributors. It is completely legal for you to own, buy and sell this ammo. We don't always have this ammo available, so get it while you can. It is not only the best defense ammo available, it is a great investment, It will only continue to go up in price as the availability decreases. It comes packed in 50rd boxes, 500rds. per case."
    "Let your gun be your companion on all your walks."
    -- Thomas Jefferson
    who might have wished he carried my .45ACP G-36 1+6+1

  3. #3
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Thanks mate! I ordered a box of 50.

    Now to get some of these for my mouser!
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 08-15-2010 at 10:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Just received my box of 50 Winchester Ranger-T .45 ACP +P. I hope I never have to use them but if I do something tells me I'll be glad I had them.

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    One of the very few things I liked about my CCW class is that when the instructor asked what sort of ammo one should use for self defense, I replied Speer Gold Dot or Federal Hydra Shok - and the instructed asked "why?" and I said, because its distrubuted to 95% or more of law enforcement. And he agreed 100% because... if ever in a civil lawsuit, even if criminally you were justified in saving your own life...you stand to lose al you own to the family of your robber. Their lawyer will make you out as an evil person, intending to hurt and maim people with "drastic" ammo like "talons" blah blah blah, you get the drift.

    No other negative thing to say - why not use the most effective ammo to save your life? Is it that much more effective than speer gold dot? Will it save you in court for civil junk? is the civil matter as important as the life and death matter? Those are for you to decide on. Nothing like saving your own life in your own home and losing that home to the bad guys(family). Which can happen regardless of what ammo you use, but just another thing to think about should it come to that.

    This is slightly outside the scope of the OP, but felt like commenting. =)

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    If I ever have to defend my own life or the life of a loved one with deadly force, I will demand that my case be handled by coroner's inquest. Good enough for the police, good enough for me. The next thing I have to say about the civil liability of killing in self defense, is that I get the feeling that judges and the general population that make up the pool of jurors are getting less and less likely to find someone liable for wrongful death unless there is a criminal conviction. I really can't substantiate that with facts nor do I really want to do the research, I'm just speaking from my gut on this one. This does not address the financial impact of the cost of defending yourself, which of course I would attempt to recover on counter suit.

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    Just a word of caution. Make sure your gun will eat the ammo you chose to carry without failures to feed or eject. It's no good going to the range with FMJ then finding out too late that your expensive Talon JHP ammo gets stuck in the gun. If you intend to defend yourself with expensive ammo, practice with it too.

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    When I carry any kind of non-hardball ammo, I "Dutch load" -- that is, alternating the advanced ammo with hardball.

    The advantages are:

    A) If the advanced ammo has any kind of feed issue, tap-rack-bang will be a known-good-chambering round

    B) If the advanced bullet doesn't penetrate, the next one will.

    Considering the chance that an opponent will be behind cover, I want to know that I can shoot through it. Most advanced ammo is designed NOT to penetrate -- if it won't go through 6" of meat, it won't reliably go through both sides of a metal car door with the window down.

    Before carrying ANY kind of ammunition (new design, mfr or if it's been two years since the last time I evaluated it), I put 100 rounds through the pistol, as fast as I can load and shoot, watching for feed failures or flyers. If a single round fails to go off, then that whole batch is PRACTICE ammo, not CARRY ammo.

    I don't carry ammo so that I can show it off. I want to be confident with what I'm carrying. If that means pure hardball, that's what I will carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostlittlerobot View Post
    One of the very few things I liked about my CCW class is that when the instructor asked what sort of ammo one should use for self defense, I replied Speer Gold Dot or Federal Hydra Shok - and the instructed asked "why?" and I said, because its distrubuted to 95% or more of law enforcement. And he agreed 100% because... if ever in a civil lawsuit, even if criminally you were justified in saving your own life...you stand to lose al you own to the family of your robber. Their lawyer will make you out as an evil person, intending to hurt and maim people with "drastic" ammo like "talons" blah blah blah, you get the drift.
    Who was the instructor? I want to make sure I never send anyone to him.

    Think of the day you're sitting there in court:

    DA: "Mister Robot, you shot the deceased with HydraShok ammunition. Why did you choose that ammunition?"

    You: "Because most cops carry it."

    DA: "Are you a 'cop,' Mister Robot?"

    You: "No."

    DA: "But you have these FANTASIES about being a police officer, don't you . . ?"

    That answer opens up a long line of Make-Robot-Look-Extreme questions.

    Try this one:

    DA: "Why were you carrying HydraShok ammunition?"

    You: "Because the only justification for shooting someone is if they are doing something so bad that it has to be STOPPED IMMEDIATELY, even if they die from it. HydraShok is proven to reliably do that job -- with a reduced chance of going through the criminal and being a danger to someone behind him."

    When you look at it from that angle, ANY advanced ammunition will do as well in court as any other.

    Carry what works for YOU, not what someone else is carrying.

  10. #10
    Regular Member crisisweasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC View Post
    Who was the instructor? I want to make sure I never send anyone to him.

    Think of the day you're sitting there in court:

    DA: "Mister Robot, you shot the deceased with HydraShok ammunition. Why did you choose that ammunition?"

    You: "Because most cops carry it."

    DA: "Are you a 'cop,' Mister Robot?"

    You: "No."

    DA: "But you have these FANTASIES about being a police officer, don't you . . ?"
    It depends on how the instructor made the point. It is, of course, unreasonable to use this line of reasoning in court - that by seeking to use effective ammunition designed for self defense, you had some kind of special violent intent, but nevertheless, this is what happens. The question is not whether or not it is reasonable for a prosecutor to use this angle, but whether they will. (Frankly if I wanted to sway the jury this way, I could probably do it better by emphasizing the terms "FULL METAL JACKET" because of the movie and because it sounds scary. I wouldn't think hollowpoints would register as much with a jury - hollow sounds "weak." The point is, either way - hollowpoints or FMJ or whatever, it's going to be spun.)

    Look at this story about Harold Fish, which may have even been the specific case the instructor had in mind:

    And the jury had another issue to think about: Fish’s gun.

    The firearms investigator said that Fish’s gun — a 10mm — is more powerful than what police officers use and is not typically used for personal protection. And the ammunition Fish used to shoot Kuenzli three times, called “a hollow-point bullet,” is made to expand when it enters the body.

    When he decided to pull the trigger, the prosecutor said, Fish should have known what the consequences would be.

    Lessler: Mr. Fish knew well what a hollow-point bullet does.

    Larson: And the end product of his shooting is going to be death?

    Lessler: Yes.
    My only point here is that it is a fair point to make that using this kind of ammunition will probably be used against you in court.

    All of my guns have hollowpoints of various types. My main reasoning is I'd rather deal with the aforementioned problem in court than overpenetrate, especially considering I live in 'new construction' with very thin walls and very little space between houses. I'd like to think that if I ever had to shoot, I'd only hit my target but I'm realistic about the fact that this might not be the case, given stress and all.

    Anyway, I think it is reasonable to bring this up in firearms courses, just as it is reasonable to bring up the possibilities of civil suits and the fact that you could be financially ruined for doing the right thing. It isn't right, but it is what it is.
    Last edited by crisisweasel; 08-25-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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    I just researched the hell out of this for myself. Here are my top three, in order of preference:

    Federal HST 230 gr JHP - There is no round on the planet that penetrates AND expands as reliably to .70 PLUS! Federal is generally really good, accurate stuff. Some SA XD45s occasionally have issues feeding these because of their wide-mouth HP profile.

    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP- Speer Gold-Dot is used by more law enforcement agencies than any other round, and for good reason. Reliable expansion and penetration through denim, car glass, drywall. Outperforms everything but Federal HST.

    Winchester Ranger T 230 gr +P JHP - Reliable expansion and penetration through denim, car glass, drywall. The latest Talon. Pretty much neck and neck with Gold Dots.

    Honorable mention: Winchester SXT Bonded 230 gr, Federal HydraShok 230 gr.

    Did not perform as expected - Remington Golden Sabers 230 gr. Lot of JACKET seperation when going through denim or other barriers. (edited to say jacket seperation, NOT case seperation)

    BTW, I am splitting hairs here, folks. These rounds are all so good, I wouldn't want to try to live on the difference between them.
    Last edited by Maestro Pistolero; 08-25-2010 at 03:44 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro Pistolero View Post
    I just researched the hell out of this for myself. Here are my top three, in order of preference:

    Federal HST 230 gr JHP - There is no round on the planet that penetrates AND expands as reliably to .70 PLUS! Federal is generally really good, accurate stuff. Some SA XD45s occasionally have issues feeding these because of their wide-mouth HP profile.

    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP- Speer Gold-Dot is used by more law enforcement agencies than any other round, and for good reason. Reliable expansion and penetration through denim, car glass, drywall. Outperforms everything but Federal HST.

    Winchester Ranger T 230 gr +P JHP - Reliable expansion and penetration through denim, car glass, drywall. The latest Talon. Pretty much neck and neck with Gold Dots.

    Honorable mention: Winchester SXT Bonded 230 gr, Federal HydraShok 230 gr.

    Did not perform as expected - Remington Golden Sabers 230 gr. Lot of case seperation when going through denim or other barriers.

    BTW, I am splitting hairs here, folks. These rounds are all so good, I wouldn't want to try to live on the difference between them.
    I would probably say that any round used by law enforcement is chosen based on cost first with performance second. What Agency may get a good deal on Gold Dots, another may get a good deal on Federal HST. All the rounds you listed are effective as you said, what it really boils down to is the bottom line. the manufacturer throws incentives and buy-in-bulk deals at law enforcement agencies trying to become number one, then they make the claim that it's the performance that was responsible.

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    I would probably say that any round used by law enforcement is chosen based on cost first with performance second.
    No doubt. Nice thing about being a civilian, we get to decide. They often make a list of the premium rounds that will do the job, then get their bids. But some agencies do, in fact, conduct tests and decide based on performance alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crisisweasel View Post
    It is, of course, unreasonable to use this line of reasoning in court - that by seeking to use effective ammunition designed for self defense, you had some kind of special violent intent, but nevertheless, this is what happens.
    OFTEN.

    The prosecutor tries to convince the jury that the shooter is a psychopath who was just waiting for a chance to prove that he's Wyatt Earp. WHATEVER your choice in ammunition, it will be used against you, but the DA will provide a lurid description of the damage done by advanced ammo. If you give ANY reason for selecting it other than the increased stopping efectiveness -- and increased safety to bystanders -- you will be torn to shreds by the DA's questions and descriptions.

    The question is not whether or not it is reasonable for a prosecutor to use this angle, but whether they will. (Frankly if I wanted to sway the jury this way, I could probably do it better by emphasizing the terms "FULL METAL JACKET" because of the movie and because it sounds scary. I wouldn't think hollowpoints would register as much with a jury - hollow sounds "weak."
    That's why the DA will use the trade name: "Talon," "HydraShok," etc. He will show enlarged, black-and-white photos of the recovered bullet, showing the scary-looking, razor-sharp edges and points. He will describe the features which make it "especially deadly and dangerous."

    The only way to counter this is to FIRST put in the minds of the jury the concept that you considered carefully which ammunition to use, and your primary consideration was the need to stop the criminal immediately, thus reducing the risk to innocent third parties. After you tell them that, no matter what the DA says, your defense attorney can bury him with all the other stuff, such as "cops carry it" and so on.

    YOUR JOB, as defendant, is to get the jury to look at you as someone who is sane, deliberate and has a conscience. You can't do that if you selected your pistol or ammo based on what cops carry.

    Conversely, selection of a HOLSTER is the exact opposite. If you pick what the cops carry, you will appear to be relying on their expertise -- but carry gear is "benign" in the mind of the average person, just an article of clothing.

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    When I went through my last CCW refresher, the instructor had the best answer I have ever heard to the question of why a particular ammunition was chosen:

    "It was what was on sale at the time."

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