.45 ammo


November 1, 2007, 01:16 PM
What is a good, reliable, and accurate .45 round for personal defence. There are so many on the market. Which ones should I stay away from.

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November 1, 2007, 01:18 PM
Can't really beat Hydrashocks, Federal HST, Winchester Ranger, Golddots... those are probably the best off the top of my head.

November 1, 2007, 01:20 PM
Depends on what works best in YOUR handgun. Any of the mid-grade to premium ammo should work well.

F'rinstance, I like the Remington Golden Sabre in my .45ACP pistols. The USA Brand (AKA Winchester White Box) hollow points also are good...a mid-range priced ammo.

November 1, 2007, 01:30 PM
Reliability should be your first concern. Certain bullet shapes don't feed well in some guns. I don't shoot 45, but for other handgun calibers, I like Golden Sabers and Hornady TAP.

November 1, 2007, 02:30 PM
It certainly isn't considered "premium" ammo, but I've had tremendous luck in Kimbers, Rugers and Springfields with Magtech .45 ammo. It's cheap, and reliable.

November 1, 2007, 02:39 PM
Any JHP that feeds 100%! Sure some are better performers than others, but reliability is #1.

November 1, 2007, 03:23 PM
Thirty years ago, Jeff Coooper, liked the 200 gr. Semi=Wadcutter in a
hardcast bullet at 1,000 FPS in .45 ACP. Not a bad choice given the
performance of hollowpoints at that time.

I've got the above with the Leadhead hardcast SWC

I finally got a bunch of 200 gr. Hornady XTP JHP that
was on back order Nice ogive is that the right term as
it curves forward to the HP opening. I got them on sale
for 16+ cents each after pricing Gold DOt at 28
cents each.

You didn't say if this was for a semi-auto or revolver, I have
both, a SW1911 and S&W 625
Trying to figure out which one likes cast vs jacketed and
vica versa....

November 1, 2007, 04:14 PM
Despite my screen name, I prefer 200 gr hollowpoints which have proven to feed 'n function with ultra-reliability. Brand is not that important as long as they feed 'n function. With ultra-reliability.

Old John
November 1, 2007, 04:38 PM
The Most Consistent, never Fail to Load, in my
.45 Colt Commander is 230 gr. FMJ.

I know it is not the "Stopper" that a HP of any kind is.
But, If you Put 'Em Where They Need to Be,
They will do the job.
Yeah, I know HP's of any Kind are Better!

But, if you carry a .45acp. And, if you do your Drills, consistently.
Why Not??

Mad Magyar
November 1, 2007, 04:39 PM
FMJ...Why? Because Skeeter Skelton & Clint Smith sez so......:D

November 1, 2007, 08:54 PM
I'm guessing that you mean .45 acp...but just in case you're not...

.45LC aka .45 Colt

Speer Gold Dot 200 gr Gold Dot; Speer Gold Dot 250 gr Gold Dot; Winchester 225 gr Silvertip; Federal 225 gr lead semiwadcutter hollowpoint; Blazer aluminum case 200 gr jhp (aka cheap Gold Dot)

November 1, 2007, 10:36 PM
I have fired many different types of 45 ammo and the most reliable is of course 230 gr jacketed round nose. I have found the most accurate round to be the Winchester Silvertip HP.However if you want a good man stopper ,you can't beat Hydroshocks or Gold Dot ammo.

November 1, 2007, 11:43 PM
230gr Winchester Ranger standard or +P, Federal HST or one of the GoldDot offerings.

I'm thinking about trying Double Tap's 230gr Gold Dot load once I pick up my next .45ACP.

November 2, 2007, 07:56 PM
In 45 ACP, 230 grn hardball will be the most reliable - will also work with good shot placement

The Lone Haranguer
November 3, 2007, 07:38 PM
I prefer hollowpoints in all cartridges when loaded for self defense. Even with a .45 that is already bigger to start with, if the hollowpoint expands it makes the hole that much bigger, and if it does not it is still a .45 caliber hole. I want all the advantages I can get. ;) I believe hollowpoints to be essential with the 9mm Luger. But, the most important consideration is proper functioning in your gun.

November 3, 2007, 07:57 PM
The only .45 ACP ammo I've ever had problems with was Remington UMC (Green/white box) 230gr. JHP's. The ones you find at Walmart for about 35.00/100 round pack. When I did my initial tests with my P90 on various ammo brands I had settled on this brand for it's performance (very accurate) and price point. So I bought several hundred rounds and started using it as range ammo. It was just barely cheap enough to do this compared to standard FMJ ammo. But I felt better because I was using my SD load for all my range practice. Well after about 3 or 4 boxes of it I ran across a "bad batch" where I had four rounds out of 100 fail to fire on the first strike. All had good solid firing pin marks, but did not go boom til I rechambered them and dropped the hammer on them a second time. I thought maybe it was just that box, but I bought 2 more boxes and had 10 out of 200 fail on the first strike. Several of them failed entirely and wouldn't fire on the second strike.

The RO at the indoor range I sometimes frequent told me that UMC ammo suffers from poor QC and poor storage conditions. I have no idea if that is true, just what he told me.

Since then I've gone to using Hornady TAP in either 200 or 230 gr +P. I don't really find a difference in accuracy, reliability, or felt recoil between the two, so I just buy whatever the shop has in stock at the time. I use Blazer Brass 230 gr. FMJ or my own reloads for range work now. I've found the TAP and the Blazer to work well in my P90, P97, and P345.

I also had good results with WWB JHP's and with Hornady Custom XTP's.

Ala Dan
November 3, 2007, 10:04 PM
I have found that Hornady T.A.P. JHP's function best in all of my .45 caliber
self loaders~! :scrutiny: :cool: ;)

November 3, 2007, 10:07 PM
Hornady's XTP bullets feed great in all my 1911's. TheTAP looks like it is shaped the same, but I don't know.

Golden Sabers also feed very well in all my 1911's.

My Kimber CDP II Ultra eats Gold Dots like candy, but I have not tried them in any other guns.


It was a tough one today. LSU 41 - Tide 34 :(

November 4, 2007, 01:11 AM
welcome to THR, with any ammo gun combo it depends on several things, when i am trying to find a defense rd for a weapon, i go for the big names, goldot, xtp, golden sabers, etc and i get a box or 2 of each and i take em to the range. the first test is reliabilty, 100% if not that load will not be used any futher. shootability, here recoil muzzle rise play into this aspect, will they shoot good at high rates of fire and be controlable. then i go for accracuy. that is the system that i have used and i have never had any issues.

November 4, 2007, 08:36 AM
My best 45 load is a 270 gr. SAA or 265 gr. Keith SWC behind a healthy dose of Unique.

Shoots great in my New Vaqueros, which I do carry quite often.

November 4, 2007, 04:56 PM
Use the same brand and type (if not same caliber) as your local Law Enforcement uses. It will be good stuff, and just might help you out after a justifiable shooting.

November 5, 2007, 12:42 AM
I prefer 230gr RN(jacketed, plated, cast, etc.) for .45ACP automatics. Can't go wrong with the golden standard.

November 5, 2007, 07:12 AM
You want to STAY AWAY from hardball as your carry ammo. It has this annoying tendency to overpenetrate. Use hardball for range/practice ammo, NOT as the choice of self-defense ammo. Do you really want to be sued by someone who was hit with your ammo after it went in and out of a bad guy? Not good. Hardball also doesn't offer the wound channels that JHP ammo does.

Ammo choice also depends on the barrel length of your carry .45 ACP. If you have a sub-compact .45 with anything less than the typical 1911 barrel, you will want a lighter bullet to "make up" for velocity loss caused by the shorter barrel.
I used to carry Winchester SilverTip 185 Grain JHP loads, or the Speer Gold Dot 230 Grain JHP "Short Barrel" loads in my PT 145. These will help offset the loss of velocity that you will have from a shorter barrel.

Try out several different loads, buy a box of some of the primo loads and see how they function out of your gun. Yeah, it might be pricey, but isn't the price of your life worth spending some extra cash on ammo evaluation?

November 5, 2007, 10:58 AM
Hornady's XTP bullets feed great in all my 1911's. TheTAP looks like it is shaped the same, but I don't know.
Yup. The XTP is the name of the bullet and TAP is the name of the catridge. There's red box TAP (LE only, but you can find it at gunbroker and cheaper than dirt) and black box TAP FPD (For Personal Defense). TAP FPD has a black nickel case while red box is plain brass. The Red Box is loaded slightly hotter than the black, but not enough for me to care. The Black Box stuff has a silky smooth feel to it, great for feeding.

I bought the XTP component bullet and loaded them to the same OAL and approximate velocity as the factory round to gauge how well they'd feed in my guns.

November 5, 2007, 11:03 AM
I like Speer Gold Dots & Federal Hydra Shok's.

November 5, 2007, 02:27 PM
The short answer is, any premuim hollow-point that functions reliably in your pistol.

I use Hyrda-shoks, but I haven't gotten around to testing HSTs for reliability in my pistol yet.

Speer is often heralded as the most used by Law Enforcement agencies, but to me, this says, Speer is the cheapest hollow-point LE agencies are willing to buy bulk.

The manual for my Kimber actually says, "Use only jacketed 230 grain ammunition in this pistol." And honestly, I have no reason to disagree. I feel that smaller .45 loads are for shorter-barreled pistols. While it wouldn't be my first choice, 230 grain fmj has probably saved more soldiers' lives than any other pistol round.

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