June 9, 2003, 09:25 PM
I can't find an appropriate spot to post this so I'll open a new one. I carry a Llama Mini-Max .45 ACP. (The FACT that this is an absolutly reliable firearm is not open to discussion.) My question is would it be better to carry 230 gr ball-vs- for example, 185 gr Silvertip given the decreased velocity of the short bbl? The pistol will shoot whatever I load, I am concerned about 'adequate' penetration. I guess it is OK if the hollow point doesn't expand as long as it gets deep enough to hit vitals. I hope I never have to shoot another human, but if I do then I want them to STAY shot. Thanks for a wonderful site.
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June 9, 2003, 09:50 PM
The general concensus is that the shorter the barrel, the lighter the bullet weight needs to be to insure proper expansion. However, I contend that a .45" bullet, even unexpanded, is still plenty damaging and not something I would like to be the recipient of.
Remember, a 9mm might expand, but a 45 never shrinks. Carry what feeds reliably and shoots accurately.
June 9, 2003, 09:53 PM
IIRC, they sell Hydra shoks in a 165 gr weight, do they not?
I cant be 100% sure as I always get the 230's for my 5" tube.
June 9, 2003, 10:32 PM
There is a school of thought that says that a 230 grain bullet is fully capable of doing the job, regardless of velocity. We are well aware that some .45 loads are only in the 700+ fps range in full length barrels but I can only guess at the velocity from a short barrel.
The question is: at what level does this slow bullet not meet the objective? If it is efficient at 750 fps, is 500 fps acceptable? Will it perform at 300 fps?
I am constantly told that velocity is not an important component of stopping power but I don't believe it for a moment. I use Remington Golden Saber 185 grain +P loads in my 3.5 inch barrel Para Ordnance and my Pact Pro chrono says they are just nudging 1050 fps.
I will depend upon that.
June 9, 2003, 10:41 PM
I'd take the 185 grain. The 230 might not be fast enough(if the .45ACP can be called fast) to be worth the extra mass.
June 10, 2003, 12:04 AM
Remington Golden Sabres.
June 10, 2003, 12:55 AM
I currently have 200 grain +P CorBon, which say 1150 FPS on the side of the box, loaded in my Para Ordnance P-14.
June 10, 2003, 01:02 AM
What barrel length for that 1150, Unknown?
June 10, 2003, 03:59 AM
This right here is in my opinion the gold standard for use in shorty 45s:
The 185 Gold Dots have promise too, but don't have the extremely reliable feeding characteristics of those, nor are they "clog-proof" like Cor-Bon's answer. Cor-Bon is promising to phase out JHPs completely in favor of this concept, and I think that's a good idea.
We've had well documented cases of expansion failure of even the best 230 JHPs in 3"/3.5" barrel lengths. One such happened to a THR member, the "National shooting club" incident in San Jose, California. A really nasty perp was stopped via multiple shots well placed, but still lived and if he'd had the *will* to fight while wounded, could have. The guy who successfully defended now runs something else in the same gun.
June 10, 2003, 10:07 AM
I use Winchester White Box 230 JHP's in both my 5" and 3" Kimber. They feed reliably....and that's what I want.
June 10, 2003, 11:46 AM
185 or 200 gr. COR-BON +Ps...
Or Same in Golden Saber +Ps...
But don`t discount Good `Ol 230 gr. HARDBALL.
June 10, 2003, 11:57 AM
I use 230gr FMJ in all my 1911s. I've shot HP in them and they all functioned, but I don't want to take the chance and if 7 .45in projectiles at 25 feet or less can't neutralize a threat, then I doubt that hollow points would do me any better.
June 10, 2003, 04:51 PM
Full size Para-Ordnance double stack. 5"
June 11, 2003, 05:49 PM
I've got to side with Jim March here and recommend the Corbon PowRballs!! After testing for reliability and accuracy, I've now switched all my carry guns over to this ammo. It's really good stuff and IMHO, a much better choice than the Hydrashoks I've carried since they made it so difficult to get Black Talons. There have been several studies done that showed less than acceptable expansion with the Hydrashoks and while I'm no expert on the subject, I have my doubts and that's enough for me to want to switch. The Federal "Expanding Full Metal Jacket" also looks promising, though I have not tried them. There are some very impressive results posted at the Ammolab.
When I can get a 165 grain bullet to exit the muzzle of my little 3 inch Kimber and Para P-10 at over 1000 fps, I'm a happy camper :) Just another Old Marine's opinion...;)
Semper Fi, Sgt
June 11, 2003, 06:51 PM
I carry Proload 230 grain +P in all my .45's regardless of barrel length.
June 11, 2003, 08:47 PM
The Gold Dot projectile is very good, probably the best JHP design today, and is what Proload uses exclusively. In a 5" barrel, the 230 is possibly a better bet than the Cor-Bon because the extra weight does come in handy for some tasks.
The Gold Dots have a major advantage in carbines as they strongly resist "being driven too fast and coming apart" - the bond between the lead core and the copper jacket is the very best in the industry. In a pistol-caliber long gun, Gold Dots are THE choice, period, end of discussion.
It's a "delayed expansion" round to get a "deeper punch". Which means it needs velocity to expand well, and in a 3.5" or so barrel I would question whether you'll get the velocity it needs (in 45ACP). This issue is why Proload also offers the 185grain Gold Dot 45ACP.
BUT, the 185 Gold Dot doesn't offer a significant weight advantage over the Pow'R'Ball and that latter has MAJOR advantages in both feeding and expansion. At 165grains, it's down in weight.
3" barrel gun, Cor-Bon Pow'R'Ball. Period.
4" gun, I think I'd still go Pow'R'Ball, unless my gun shot a LOT more accurately with 185 Gold Dots (Proload is the best of the Gold Dot suppliers, Georgia Arms almost as good (and cheap if you want to shoot 'em in practice), Speer themselves are in last place oddly enough (but they're still OK).
5" barrel: Gold Dot 230 by a nose, unless the gun had feed issues, in which case the Pow'R'Ball's "roundnose profile" wins. Gold Dots aren't *bad* for feeding, they're quite good among JHPs, but the Cor-Bon answer rocks.
Longer barrel, esp. carbine: GOLD DOT 230 above all others.
June 11, 2003, 10:27 PM
I carry 230g FMJs in all my 1911s, regardless of barrel length.
That applies to guns that will reliably feed JHPs.
I absolutely do NOT want a jam if i need the gun, and would much rather trade off potential expansion (which is arguably unnecessary in the first place) for potential increased reliability.
June 12, 2003, 04:30 AM
Hold up a Pow'R'Ball to an FMJ. Compare the shape.
Identical. No BS.
There is NO longer any need to "stick with FMJ for feed reliability".
None. Zero. Nada. Zip.
June 12, 2003, 05:01 AM
Remember, a 9mm might expand, but a 45 never shrinks. Carry what feeds reliably and shoots accurately. ,I want to start carrying a .45 at work in a year or so.
my GF wants a ring b4 I get anymore guns:rolleyes:
they are great guns... I might have to get sneaky...;)
C. H. Luke
June 12, 2003, 02:51 PM
Win. Ranger SXT 230 gr. +P..........
June 12, 2003, 09:26 PM
Ammolab tested the Pow'R'Ball in a 5" barrel:
These tests show wonderful and stable expansion. The rounds appear to be "close to the edge" of going too fast, as the jacket is just starting to come unglued around the edges.
That's good, because it implies they'll do just fine out of shorter tubes down to 3", which matches other test results. They're still doing OK at 5" but if shot out of a 7.5" Ruger SA with a 45ACP cylinder, I'll bet you'll see 'em come unglued. In a carbine, definately.
They also test some Black Hills ammo:
One of the 185grain Gold Dots "clogged up" in the denim-clad test and failed to expand.
The 230 Gold Dots all worked well, denim or not. Exactly what I'd expect from a 5" tube. The 230 XTPs didn't do well at all - I think they're not running fast enough, as the XTP is really a hunting load. Load it in a 45LC case and run it up around 1,100 - 1,200+ and it'll do better BUT even then, a Gold Dot at the same speed will still hang together so I'd rather run those.
Here's ammolab's "general 45ACP smorgasboard" test:
Note how the old Cor-bon 165grain JHP came catastrophically unglued in a 5" barrel (test 16) and did poor penetration. THAT is what I mean by "going too fast" - that load was meant for 3" or 3.5" tubes. The Pow'R'Ball is clearly a major improvement as it's still (barely) holding at 5".
June 12, 2003, 09:44 PM
Quote "I want to start carrying a .45 at work in a year or so.
my GF wants a ring b4 I get anymore guns
they are great guns... I might have to get sneaky..."
My suggestion would be to get a new girlfriend ;)
Semper Fi, Sgt
June 12, 2003, 10:41 PM
Do you think the 165 g Power Ball is a little light? It would have a low cross sectional density?
Wouldnt this decrease penetration, especially if overcoming cover?
June 13, 2003, 04:53 AM
RBCD has a new Tactical load at over 2300 fps and 1000 fpe, BUT it can only be fired in a supported chamber. The load is standard pressure, but it maintains the high pressure over a longer period. The standard line is 1600-2000 fps depending on bullet weight. Nice SP profile as well.
June 13, 2003, 07:01 AM
Well...ya, it's a bit on the light side, but then again everybody considers 158 in a 357 "heavy". Right, sectional density but...given they're gonna expand regardless, sectional density is gonna change a heck of a lot, right?
I think 165 grains moving fast enough is gonna have some punch. Jeez, that weight is considered "on the heavy side" for 40S&W and it's only 1/5th smaller...
The *shortest* penetration Ammolabs got on the gel testing was 12". Clothed tests ran about an inch or a bit more deeper. That's from a 5"; from a 3", guesstimate around 10? Maybe even 9 worst case?
You know what? I'll take 9" worth of expanded round versus blowing clean through with ball.
The Ammolabs tests seemed to show that you're basically throwing a lead ball at crazy-fast speeds, plus some scrap metal "extras" from the jacket.
Now, that's not necessarily bad. Back in the percussion days, true round ball was known as a man-killer, although with poor long-range flight. At close ranges, even in 36cal it'd mess people up, and that was at speeds around 800 - 900fps.
But was there supposed to be some other result? Should the "lead balls" have broken up?
What's the current specs on 357Magnum RBCD?
June 13, 2003, 08:52 PM
John Farnham had some interesting comments on ammo choices for the 40S&W that seem relevent:
5 Mar 03
Locker room AD:
"Our department (suburban, Chicago) had an AD in our locker room recently. Gun involved was a G22 with 180gr HP (Gold Dot).
The single round went through the sheet metal locker shelf and back panel, three dry-walled walls (total of six layers of drywall), and across two hallways. It continued through an office (narrowly missing an officer sitting therein), ricocheted off the office floor (concrete) and then went up through an open doorway and penetrated a hallway ceiling tile, where it finally came to rest. It traveled a total of thirty feet. There were a few anxious moments but no injuries. The bullet's hollow point cavity was plugged with drywall, and the only deformation was from its impact into the concrete floor.
The involved officer was not officially disciplined, but he did get a stern talking to by the chief and others. No report was made. Damage was quietly repaired. As far as the department is concerned, it never happened."
[ed. note: John was quoting a message from an unknown police trainer; John's comments on the incident follow]
Comment: The above is pretty standard when there is a police AD that does not involve personal injury. True statistics on police ADs can thus only be estimated.
Lesson: Heavy pistol bullets will render substantially more penetration than will light ones. In addition, slow HP pistol bullets will often plug up and subsequently fail to expand. The only way to solve the plugging problem is with increased velocity. Because of the forgoing, I don't regard 180gr bullets (40S&W) to be the best choice for serious use. In 40S&W, I recommend 135-150gr HP bullets. I carry Cor-Bon 135gr PowerBall. No plugging problem there!
First, John is a "been there, done that" kinda guy and a well respected instructor.
Second, the 135grain 40S&W would be around the same sectional density as a 165 45ACP.
Third, he likes Pow'R'Ball too :). Apparantly for the same reason I do - the "clogproof" property.
June 13, 2003, 09:31 PM
I prefer to not use JHP... hardball or flatnose is my normal carry 180gr .40S&W... However, the Pow'R Ball looks to be something that would suit nicely as a SD ammo... However.. they don;t seem to come in anything heavier than 135gr... :(
June 13, 2003, 10:32 PM
The Pow'R'Ball concept needs speed to work right. Prototypes in 9mm have been tested, with 100 grains projectile weight.
Given enough speed, and the apparant 100% successful expansion due to being "clogproof", I think that's a reasonable tradeoff.
A 135grain 40S&W sounds OK to me, esp. with the trend towards shorter CCW barrels. With a 3.5" or so tube, I would question whether or not 155grain 40S&W JHPs would expand reliably. I would NOT run a 180 JHP in a short tube, and...heck, why run hardball at all?
A 9mm with reliable expansion beats a 40cal hardball any day of the week, with less peak pressure, better supported case, more rounds to the same size mag, etc. If you don't trust JHP, go with E-FMJs.
If it's feed issues you're worried about, what the heck are you doing with a slidegun? Get a revolver and run GOOD ammo!
June 14, 2003, 01:08 AM
Jim, no lead in RBCD ammo. Well, less than 1% so the ammo qualifies as lead free.
357 Mag. 60 gr. TFSP 1975 fps / 520 flbs
June 14, 2003, 03:33 AM
Jeff, what is that sort of round SUPPOSED to do in a torso shot? Pulverize? Break into large bits? Small? Stay a ball, and let the speed do the work?
June 14, 2003, 03:54 AM
In you case I think the 185 grain Silvertip would work just fine, provided your pistol feeds it well. The whole ammo debate is overdone. Every pistol and every single cartridge is unique, as is every shooting. Even 230gr FMJ does some strange stuff every once in while. I think middle of the road is best. A premium hollowpoint that is of moderate weight for caliber pushed at moderate velocities well within it's design parameters is probably as close to optimum as you can get. As long as it feeds and goes bang everytime it isn't wrong.
June 14, 2003, 10:34 PM
Kidd: Those Powerballs as well as the new Taurus Total Copper look pretty good on on paper and in Jello trests. I've switched to the Powerball, but I live in a year long hot climate. Where you are I might think about 230 JHP during the winter to get through all the heavy clothing. The WORST that can happen is that they might "clog-up" and act like 230 FMJ.
June 15, 2003, 12:49 AM
If the Pow'r Ball round expands, then won't that make cross-sectional density even worse?
I am not so sure about 9" of penetration. If a barrier has to be overcome, or the person shot is at funny angle, or has an extremity in the way, I am not sure 9" is all the penetration you would need.
I am not poo-pooing Powr Ball, it might work just fine, just saying I dont know, and I think I would have been happier if it had been a little heavier.
June 16, 2003, 03:25 AM
Jim, the speed works on temporary stretch cavity. Since the bullet is light to start with and breaks up into pieces (how many depends on caliber and velocity at impact), they will weigh even less, but will penetrate to different depths, as a Glaser or MagSafe does, to cause the permanent crush cavity. The 'meteor' round is pretty incredible, though not available to the public nor general LE, a shot in the neck within 25 feet will cause decapitation. It is strictly a velocity driven effect.
June 16, 2003, 04:10 AM
OK, so the RBCD stuff is supposed to break up. Hrrrm. I wonder why they failed, even if it was just three of 'em?
In any case: Lone_Gunman, 165grains pulling 1,200fps is in my opinion all we need. While the weight might not be "optimal", the fact that they'll expand more or less every time without clogging plus they'll feed like ball FMJ, means the "light" weight is a tolerable tradeoff in my opinion. They're still a LOT heavier than RBCDs :neener:.
June 16, 2003, 04:20 AM
First, no round is the so-called "magic" one shot stop super bullet. You may need more than one to get the job done. That's why God invented the "double tap"!! ;)
That said, I use 230gr Remington Golden sabers in my .45's from the 1911 to the short barreled G36 (when it was working)!!
Your last name would not happen to be Rock, would it??? :D
June 16, 2003, 10:38 PM
June 18, 2003, 10:44 AM
230 grain Federal Hydra-Shok crono'd out at an average 783.4 out of my 3 inch Ultra Carry. SD was 5.4.
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