One Hydra-Shok, Six Ball


Detachment Charlie
January 4, 2003, 11:18 AM
I often carry my Officer-sized .45. I'd love carry a full mag of Hydra-Shoks, Gold Dots or other hi-performance defensive rounds, but don't trust my piece to feed them reliably.
What I am carrying now (Condition 1) is a Hydra-Shok in the pipe and a full mag of 230 gr. FMJ.
I figure the first shot is the most important in a social situation. With the Hydra-Shok in the pipe, I don't have to worry about feeding problems and get the confidence of a very serious defensive round for the first shot.
Any opinions?

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January 4, 2003, 11:25 AM
I think your set-up would work fine, but I do the opposite when I load a .45 for defense; I put all HP except for the last round FMJ, as this will be the 1st to feed and is sure to ALWAYS feed (in my gun). :) I have had occasional feed problems with HPs, but only when I'm racking the slide on one; never have FTF when the slide is cycling during shooting, thus my loading progression!

January 4, 2003, 11:52 AM
A round of hardball on target beats a jamed up HP....But, I would personaly invest the time and money to either make my weapon feed HP's, or find on that does. Just my opinion

January 4, 2003, 01:45 PM
How many rounds of HP have you tried to run through it?

I would send it off and have it fixed if it will not feed HP ammo.

January 4, 2003, 01:53 PM
With the growing availability of decent 1911 gunsmiths, there's not really any excuse to accept less than reliable functioning with a 1911 using any of the major manufacturers ammunition.

One thing I thought I'd mention,however, is regarding the manner in which you may be loading your JHP round in the chamber ...

Unless you're loading it from a magazine, in the regular manner, you're probably risking a potential feeding malfucntion, even with FMJ ammunition in your magazine. By this, I mean that if you're simply dropping the JHP into the ejection port, and allowing the slide to close on the round, with the extractor having to cam over and around the JHP's case rim from behind the round dropped into the chamber ... you're most likely going to cause a loss of proper tension in your extractor.

Once your extractor loses the proper tension, you can easily experience extraction & ejection related problems.

If you're feeding & chambering your JHP round from a magazine, in the proper manner, then forget everything I just mentioned ...

Once the head armorer worked on a friend's Officers Model, and mine, several years ago ... our pistols have fed, chambered and fired EVERY bullet design and shape we've tried ... Before he worked on them, mine was "okay" on feeding most ammunition, but my friend's OM would choke and fail to reliably feed FMJ.

Of course, then you have to get into the subject of what makes for a "proper" JHP feeding magazine ... but that's another story. ;)

January 4, 2003, 01:54 PM
If you dont trust it why carry it? There are plenty of great .45's that you can trust with quality JHP's.

My Sig 220 feeds them reliably. I had an H&K USP-C .45 that performed without a flaw.

January 4, 2003, 02:56 PM
Your method seems sound, but I have never been comfortable carrying a gun that would not function with whatever quality ammo I fed it. All those of "questionable" reliability ended up being traded for something that works every time, or at least were never a "carry" piece again.

Detachment Charlie
January 4, 2003, 05:31 PM
Thanks, guys.
I trust the piece with FMJ loads. Eats them like Homer eats donuts.
I'll probably trade it off...really want a full size 1911...or an RPG. Does Uncle Mike's make a IWB for these? :neener:
Thanks, again.

Sean Smith
January 4, 2003, 06:09 PM
Just spend $80-100 and have it fixed so it is reliable with the load you want.

January 4, 2003, 06:43 PM
Actually, the idea of a first and last round being a hollowpoint sounds like a darn good one to me. I have a small .45, the Taurus PT-145. I have not yet tested it with hollowpoint ammo, but I don't want the slightest chance of a feed problem...and smaller guns sometimes have magazine to chamber issues...

I think I may do it...

January 4, 2003, 07:01 PM
Load the piece full of Federal's EFMJ
Expanding Full Metal Jackets

Best of both world I suppose.


January 5, 2003, 08:57 AM
Actually, Uncle Mikes does make an IWB, but it is not very secure. I like HS/LD's idea as well.

January 5, 2003, 11:46 AM
Just spend $80-100 and have it fixed so it is reliable with the load you want

What I hate about this is that so many manufacturers of "premium" ammo are selling only in 20 or 25 round boxes at PREMIUM prices.

That means you spend $100 on smithing, then another $170-$220 for 200 rounds (what I'd consider minimum) of carry ammo to test reliability with. Of course if you get a jam on round number 182 are you gonna pay for the whole thing over again:uhoh:

Something to be said for cheaper "good" ammo you can shoot a lot of.

January 5, 2003, 02:07 PM

"Load the piece full of Federal's EFMJ
Expanding Full Metal Jackets

Best of both world I suppose"

Not hardly. EFMJ is a truncated cone shape, and more blunt than most JHPs

January 5, 2003, 02:38 PM
Detachment Charlie: Why do you still insist on carrying at least one round of Federal Hydra Shok when you know that it isn't feed reliable in your gun? Because of the erroneous stopping power data that's been constructed to sell ammunition to those who really don't know any better? :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, the Federal Hydra Shok is an archaic design that is over 20 years old. And unbeknownst to many, it has been supplanted by more modern and more effective designs like the widely available Speer Gold Dot. (among others)

Rather than carry just one round of Federal Hydra Shok, why not try a jacketed hollowpoint with a more rounded ogive like the Remington Golden Saber Bonded?

If that doesn't feed reliably, then there is always Corbon's 165gr. Pow'R Ball.

Edit: That should have read 'erroneous stopping power data' not 'erroneous stopping power'.

January 6, 2003, 01:17 AM
Try some Remington Golden Sabers. They have a rep for feeding well in most guns, including older ones. I use them in my Sistema for that reason, even though I had the barrel throated.

January 6, 2003, 10:26 PM
I did the exact same thing for a little while. I had my Colt 1991A1 polished and throated better and it started to feed Hydra-shoks. I tested 300rds threw it without a bug.

I still don't trust it.

I carry hardball and don't look back. I really don't expect the big fat 45acp to expand at such a slow velocity anyway. Why worry about it and just practice hitting what your aiming at.

January 7, 2003, 12:23 AM
I only carry guns that run with whatever I feed them.

With that said, I carry Ball in my spare mag. I figure the most likely reason the spare mag is coming out is if I have some sort of malf. So in that situation I'm clearing the malf and probably going in with the spare mag (assuming I'm still alive). At that point I think I want ball.

Double Naught Spy
January 7, 2003, 10:50 AM
Blueduck, you can get 230 gr. Federal Hydrashok (premium, not personal defense) in 50 round boxes for $20 plus shipping from Cheaper than Dirt. That beats the heck out of the $15 a box for 20 rounds I see so many places.

January 7, 2003, 11:18 PM
Thanks Double Naught Spy, I actually did happen to be looking for some 45 ammo, but CTD's already out of stock :cuss:

Luckily though I have a 4506 so I have no reliability issues with anything I feed it:neener:

January 8, 2003, 12:42 AM
Blueduck, if you like Golden Saber's, try Kiesler's Online. They have Bonded 230gr for $9.09 for box/25.

Double Naught Spy
January 8, 2003, 10:54 AM
Blueduck, periodically check back with CTD. The do a lot of business and have a lot of inventory turnover. Being out of stock is usually a short term issue for them with ammo.

That being said, the price on the Golden Sabers at Kiesler's sounds dandy as well.

January 8, 2003, 05:13 PM
Thanks guys, I'll wait a bit and see if some Hydra-shoks come in just because that was my last load for it and had good luck with that batch. If not I'll go with Kieslers who I've had very good luck with in the past (+p+ 38 Hydra-Shoks for $12.95).

Appreciate the help, Best Blueduck

Zak Smith
January 8, 2003, 06:39 PM
The 230gr .45ACP Hydra-Shok isn't that bad: link to FBI expansion/penetration data (sorted by average wound "volume" for bare and clothed gelatin) (

The 230gr H-S is up near the top, along with the following other .45ACP loads: Remington Golden Saber, Federal Hi-Shok, Winchester Black-Talon, Speer Gold Dot, and the Winchester Ranger SXT. It's also comparable to the .40SW 180gr Remington GS and the Speer PHP 10mm.


January 8, 2003, 07:42 PM
Zak, In my testing, I have found the 230gr .45 Hydra-Shoks to be great performers. But only in the Classic trim. Unfortunatly the whole "Personal Defence" line are dismal performers. I have also found some of the Classic Hydra-Shoks toward the lower end of the power curve to be simply ball ammo with a hole in the end.

April 2, 2007, 07:46 AM
If you are looking for a quality IWB Holster for your piece, i Highly reccomend the Bianchi 3S Pistol pocket. I have carried everything from a Beretta 92F to a sig 226 to my Para C7 in this Model and have been extremely pleased. Its is made of high grade leather, has a solid belt loop with two snaps and a reliable thumb break. They are hand boned to fit your particular firearm and are made for so many different types of firearms its not funny. They fit great under a polo shirt in the summer and perfect under a vest or jacket in the winter. and they are comfortable in the car. I personally prefer to carry my para C7 concealed but i for duty purposes i have carried the sig and the beretta also. I own this holster for all three types of gun and its all i will use for concealed carry. Anyhow, i hope this helps. Phil

April 2, 2007, 09:57 AM
I'd recommend that you drop down to a 185gr or 200gr HP bullet like Golden Sabers or Gold Dots. They will perform better than 230 grain FMJ out of a 3" barrel. You won't get optimal performance out of 230gr Hydrashocks in 3" barrels.

Do a search for the Santa Clara National Shooting Club Shooting from about 10 years ago. A BG planning to kill all the employees was put down by an employee with a Glock G30 firing 230gr Hydras. While they did stop the BG, it was later found out that the 230grs failed to expand due to lowered velocity from the short barrel. In a short barrel, 230gr Hydrashocks are nothing more than FMJs. This Hero who saved everyone is a member here on THR.

You will need faster and lighter .45ACP loads if you want penetration and expansion in a short barrel. Otherwise, just stick with FMJs.

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