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August 16, 2005, 02:17 PM
GD 230 in the winter
165 Hydra shoks in the summer :)
August 16, 2005, 03:29 PM
200gr out of anything 4" or less.
If I had a 5" 1911 I would use 230gr bullets.
That's just my personal opinion though. FWIW, I carry 200gr +P Gold Dots in my Kimber Pro Carry and Bersa Mini-Firestorm .45 ACP.
August 16, 2005, 04:11 PM
200 grain JHP's
August 17, 2005, 11:55 AM
230gr GD's ...
I've observed too many folks experience feeding & cycling malfunctions in too many different pistols with the 200gr +P GD's for my taste. I've also experienced it myself in different pistols, and these are pistols that have proven themselves reliable with every other type of .45 ACP ammunition I've ever tried.
I try to remain with standard pressure 230gr .45 ACP for the most part. The exception is for full-size steel-framed 1911's, or steel-framed S&W 45XX pistols, in which case I'll sometimes use the RA45TP +P T-Series load.
I've had decent experiences with some standard pressure 185gr loads from time to time, but I simply prefer the heavier 230gr bullet.
Ballistic 'performance' of the lighter weight, higher pressure +P .45 ACP loads is another issue entirely ...
August 17, 2005, 06:26 PM
And the correct answer is.....
The 230-gr Hydra-Shok! :neener: :neener: :neener:
August 17, 2005, 07:11 PM
Both will work for me. In the wintertime the JHP could clog up with clothing and
then perform like ball ammo. 200 or 230 wouldn't matter much. Unlike some people, I don't believe that bullets will expand 100% of the time.
August 19, 2005, 03:51 AM
The 1911 was designed for a 230 gr bullet. While a lighter bullet may be needed to maintain velocity when shooting a short barrel 1911 (especially the 3"), I would always choose a 230 gr. with a Government-sized (5") 1911. Personally, I prefer the 230 gr. Golden Saber as they are a proven load and I can buy Golden Saber bullets in bulk and reload them for practice. I believe in using defense-spec practice loads for practice when shooting semi-auto pistols. In my Commanders and Defender, I will choose 200 gr. +P or 185 gr. +P Gold Dots loads to keep velocities up, due to the shorter barrel lengths.
August 19, 2005, 10:20 AM
I had heard that JMB orginally designed it for a 200gr bullet and that the Army latter specified the extra 30gr's.
August 19, 2005, 10:25 AM
LoadedDrum is correct.
JMB's original loading was for a 200gr. FMJRN bullet going ~900 FPS. I may be a little off on the velocity, but the Army specified the 230 gr. bullet after their testing.
August 19, 2005, 11:17 AM
Double Tap's 230-gr. +P Gold Dot achieves 1,010 fps out of a 4" pipe. Ranger T 230-gr. +P (RA45TP) = 990 fps from 4" barrel. (Versus about 850 fps from regular 230-gr. loads.)
Recommend both of these +P rounds over the 200-gr. Gold Dot. Penetration first (230-gr.) and expansion second (200-gr.).
+P 230-gr. loads are outperforming standard loads and although both standard and +P's will get the job done, if given the choice - choose the +P to put more odds in your favor.
P.S. Double Tap 230-gr. +P loads average 15.3" of penetration and .95" expansion in Cloth & Denim Tests using a 4" barrel. Ranger T's achieve the same penetration with a tad less expansion. Something the 200-gr. Gold Dots cannot accomplish. Gold Dots expand the most near the end of penetration, while Ranger T's sharp talans reach full expansion much earlier.
August 19, 2005, 01:01 PM
Yes, as I recall, LoadedDrum is correct on 200 being the bullet weight of the original design... but the military wanted a weight closer to what they were accustomed to with the Colt SAA .45 Colt round, which was quite effective. Basically, the army was thrilled with the heavy weight .45 caliber bullet moving at 800-850 fps from their venerable Colt SAA's and wanted a "semi-auto .45 Colt"!
August 19, 2005, 01:35 PM
The best we saw with the 230gr Ranger T-Series +P was 901 fps from a Commander 4.25" barrel (versus 839 fps from a CS45's 3.25" barrel).
Winchester uses a 5" barrel for their .45 ACP T-Series testing, which accounts for the slightly faster 990 fps average they list.
"Basically, the army wanted a semi-auto .45 Colt!" Nothing wrong with that desire ...
While I've never really been interested in using lighter weight .45 ACP bullets, the development that's been done on them because of the .45GAP may cause me to reevaluate my thinking at some point. If Winchester has improved their 185gr STHP for the .45GAP, and Speer has improved their 200gr GD bullet for the .45GAP, and both bullets offer improved consistent potential penetration and expansion ... then I may give them a try if I pick up a .45GAP at some point. (The G39 interests me a bit, because of how well the G26/27 fills an off-duty role in some circumstances.)
Although I do find it interesting that Winchester has found a way to use the 230gr bullet weight in the .45GAP cartridge. ;)
August 19, 2005, 02:06 PM
My Ranger T handbook says that 4" barrels were used in all of their testing, so that makes the 230-gr. +P (RA45TP) at 990 fps that much more impressive.
Any other testing out there on the 45 auto in Ranger T, Double Tap, or Gold Dots would be appreciated.
P.S. Have heard good things about CorBon's newly released Barnes X bullet. CorBon's Sales Manager (Mike Shoval) mentioned that that their 45 ACP Short Barrel line now includes a 160-gr. Barnes bullet at "1050 fps from a 3" barrel". He concluded by noting that "expansion is excellent (.80+) with 13-15" of penetration" and it's his new carry load!
August 20, 2005, 05:24 AM
I had heard that JMB orginally designed it for a 200gr bullet and that the Army latter specified the extra 30gr's. Not for the 1911.
The Colt 1905 and 1907 models were designed around the 200gr bullet.
While testing the Colt 1907 model the Army settled on the heavier bullet.
The Colt 1909, 1910 and 1911 pistols were all designed around the 230 gr loading.
August 20, 2005, 12:35 PM
It's certainly possible Winchester may have been releasing other data about the Ranger T-Series regarding 4" test barrel results, but I was just going by the advertising (L/E Brochures) printed in the last couple of years. The .45 ACP & GAP loads are listed with 5" barrels, although the other L/E calibers in the Ranger line are tested using 4" barrels. The Rep told us at one gel shoot that they favored testing the .45 rounds through 5" barrels because the Government 1911's have 5" barrels, and that was basically the accepted 'standard' barrel length.
We didn't use a 5" 1911 for our chronographing back then, since the fellow organizing the event for us was curious how his Commander would do, and then I tossed in a CS45 to see how it did with the shortest length .45 barrel we had among us which would represent some of the shorter off-duty weapons becoming increasingly popular.
I had some earlier testing results stashed somewhere from a couple of years previous to the last testing, but I can't put my hands on them at the moment. In that testing we had some results comparing some Speer loads and some W-W Ranger loads using a G21 ...
August 20, 2005, 02:39 PM
While you're more knowlegeable than me, all I know is that my 2004 LE Catalog says "4" Test Barrel" on the bottom of page 19 where the Handgun Barrier Test Protocol data is listed.
How do you think the 230-gr. +P Rangers (990 fps in 4" pipe) will perform in a 3 1/4" barrel?
August 21, 2005, 06:07 AM
Knowledge, smowledge ... ;)
Take a look at Page 4 and you'll see the various barrel lengths used for the T-Series ballistics results listed for each loading. Why did they list it differently on Page 19? Dunno. Maybe an oversight ... Like typos and errors don't get past editors in books and magazine articles every day.
The notes I have for the limited testing done with my 3.25" barreled CS45 (4-layer denim/gel):
802fps/13"/.76 standard pressure load
839fps/12"/.77 for the +P load
Take a look at the two recovered bullets in the image and tell me which was which ...
Anyhow, I have another couple of measurements from another day's session (hosted by another agency), of rounds fired from a provided service-type .45 ACP pistol (I think it was a SIGARMS, but the notes don't reflect the weapon & model for some reason) into 4-layer denim covered gel:
853fps/12.5"/.747 standard pressure
and then, through a glass barrier into 4-layers of denim covered gel:
841fps/13"/.659 standard pressure load
Don't get too wrapped up around the axle over each and every example of ballistics testing you may come across, because you just can't know what may happen at any given moment, in any given circumstances. Last I checked, nobody offered any guarantees about this stuff.
August 21, 2005, 07:10 AM
The 200 grain golddot plugs easily in heavy clothing. The 230 grian load does better. The Hydra shock is also a poor choice because it clogs easily and acts like ball.
August 21, 2005, 08:00 AM
The Hyrda-Shok was, at one time, just about the best bullet out there.
But even Federal will admit that there are better designs now available. Even they have one they say is better. But they still make it for two reasons. 1) It's still a damn good bullet. and 2) it still sells very well.
However, I agree that there are superior designs out there.
Would I feel undergunned if that's all I had available to me? No.
But even though I still have a noticable amount in my ammo locker, they are no longer my first choice.
But remember, no bullet is perfect.
There has never been a prefect bullet and there never will be.
August 21, 2005, 09:38 AM
Gold Dot, Golden Saber, Hydrashok, I buy what's cheapest when I need more and worry about my ability to place the bullet where it needs to be when the time comes rather than the mojo of some super bullet. Ball will do the job if placement is right.
August 21, 2005, 01:18 PM
The diameter and hollowpoint are there on both bullets. I like the heavier weight option, for a little more penetration.
August 31, 2005, 11:46 AM
While I PREFER 230-gr. Gold Dots or Ranger T's for self defense, here's a little info from Double Tap (www.DoubleTapAmmo.com) to help with your decision:
Double Tap 45 ACP loads are the fastest on the market and do so without extra flash, pressure, or +P rating!