.45 Defensive Ammo Choices


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JCook5003
November 2, 2007, 06:57 AM
Ok guys I am finally settled on buying a 1911 for self defense and have another thread going about which one to buy now my dilema is what barell length I should look into I figure you lose around 100 fps for every inch of barell with a 230 gr round......

So I could buy an officers model with a 3.00 - 3.25 inch barell or a CCO type 1911 with an officers frame and a 4.00 - 4.50 inch barell.....doesnt seem like it would make a whole lot of difference in concealability.......

Ok now on the topic at hand....which defensive ammo would you choose for a 3" 1911 and give some specs on it, and maybe a comparison with a 4" 1911 ballistic information along side the 3" balistic information

The ultimate goal here being, deciding based on balistic information between 3 inch or 4 inch barell lengths

Thanks Guys

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sholling
November 2, 2007, 08:48 PM
Go with the CCO type with the 4" barrel to get a bit better performance from your round of choice. I'd load it with either Speer 230gr Gold Dot for Short Barrels; Federal's LE only 230gr HST or Winchester 230gr Ranger-T. Those are all proven effective from a 4" pistol. If you go 3" then just substitute Federal LE only 230gr Bonded for the HST.

Conqueror
November 2, 2007, 09:16 PM
What do you mean by "self defense"?

CCW? Most folks prefer the smaller 1911s.
Home defense? 5" is just fine.

Gordon
November 2, 2007, 09:30 PM
"either Speer 230gr Gold Dot for Short Barrels; Federal's LE only 230gr HST or Winchester 230gr Ranger-T"

Ditto except; 230 Ranger +p, and Speer 230 Gold Dot 2nd.

Ala Dan
November 2, 2007, 09:32 PM
I like either Winchester SilverTip's or Hornady T.A.P. JHP's, in a .45 caliber
defensive handgun~! :scrutiny: ;) :D

1lostinspace
November 2, 2007, 09:33 PM
Winchester ranger T series +P 230 or 185 gr +P Golden Saber Gold Dots there are allot of good loads but there I would choose over others.

1lostinspace
November 2, 2007, 09:35 PM
I think you might look into what cycles through your gun best most all new jhp will do the job just fine. Shot placement, speed, and cycling is more important.

.357 magnum
November 2, 2007, 10:11 PM
I own a number of .45's it is my favorite caliber. I am a firm believer in not going under 4 inches in barrel length with a .45. The ammo choices in 230gr are excellent. When you go under 4 inches you start to really cut down on their penetration and expansion. At 230 gr you have The Winchester Ranger T and SXT great penetration and expansion:evil: The Federal HST and Hydra-Shok. The Speer Gold Dot. All of these are great loads. A four inch barrel is still a nice concealable gun. If you go under Four inch about the only Ammo on the market I would trust is the 185gr Remington Golden Saber. The .45 cartridge is calibrated for a 5 inch Barrel because of its lower velocities. That is why I stick with 4-5 Inch Barrels. Take care:)

The Best to You and Yours!

Frank

jungleroy
November 2, 2007, 10:24 PM
45-Auto Gold dot slugs make real pretty mushrooms. :)
I sometimes carry one of my 1911's concealed and , I would not feel undergunned with just the 230 grain ball ammo that I target shoot with.
You may feel differently, good luck with your search.

MICHAEL T
November 3, 2007, 12:45 AM
I have 185 +PCorbon DPX in my Defender Detonics and Commander over a 1000fps from Defender. and good expansion.
You loose approx 50fps not 100fps per inch when useing 230 gr in shorter barrels
I have found the compacts run best with 200 or 185 gr.

Big Boomer
November 3, 2007, 01:01 AM
+1 for the Corbon DPX
+1 for the Golddot

that being said remember 1911's are FINICKY! So make sure you break in the gun first and make sure it can reliably feed your choice of ammo. You'll need to pony up some cash for enough to trust your life with it.

Run a few hundred rounds of cheap target stuff to loosen everything up and get it worn in. Then try your defensive stuff.

R&J
November 3, 2007, 03:17 AM
Double Tap 165gr. JHP

Ballistics : 1325 fps - 643 ft./lbs. - 5" 1911

These work great in my G21!

I like the fast, frangible rounds, in an urban setting.

--Ray

.357 magnum
November 3, 2007, 09:32 AM
Excellent Ammo for Barrels under 4 inches. I know I said previously I would only trust the Remington Golden Saber at 185gr. But I forgot about Corbon-DPX. Corbon is Excellent Ammo also. So Speer [Gold Dot] makes a 185gr? They make quality ammo. If they do make 185gr where do you get them? I do not see them around Omaha? Thank You Gentleman!

The Best to All!

Frank

bigmike45
November 3, 2007, 10:31 AM
Jcook,

Here is a great place to start your search
http://brassfetcher.com/45ACP.html

bigmike

GunNut
November 3, 2007, 10:51 AM
Winchester Ranger T, Federal HST or a load using the 230gr Gold Dot bullet would be my personal choices.

Check out Tacticalforums.com for more information on recommended loads.

RustyShackelford
November 3, 2007, 12:53 PM
If I were in the market for a new CCW/1911a1 .45acp, I would buy a pstol with a officer model frame and a commander size slide/barrel or maybe a commander size frame and a full size barrel/slide. I think .45acp JHPs work better out of at least a 4" barrel but in fairness many new bullet designs are a vast improvement in short barrel/CCW size .45acp pistols. If I were to carry a .45 I'd use a well made +P 230gr JHP. A Ranger T or Speer Gold Dot(bonded).

Rusty S :cool:

GunNut
November 3, 2007, 12:56 PM
commander size frame and a full size barrel/slide

:rolleyes:



You know that is a Government sized gun, right?:neener:

RevolvingCylinder
November 3, 2007, 03:17 PM
Use the stuff you're actually going to put through your pistol and know just where it's going to hit.

32winspl
November 4, 2007, 04:31 PM
First off, under none but battlefield circumstances, should you use (as someone suggested) full metal jacketed ammo! It WILL absolutely overpenetrate, endangering anyone downrange.
Ok, what's best? Call your local Police or Sherrif's Dept and ask what ammo they are issued for their duty pistols. Really. Do this. ...And then shoot 100 rounds of that through your pistol to make sure your gun fires it reliably. See, you and your defence pistol aren't just facing a potential criminal. You're facing the bad guy, and the entire legal system, afterward. So you put two in his chest and he's now pushing daisies, and your family is safe. Now you face the DA. Say they find the shooting justifiable. Now, you face the civil suit brought on by the low-life's family. You have to make sure that your choice of ammo is defensable. If you're carrying what the cops use, that takes away from them a huge technicality. Their Defence Attorney can't say that you were just looking to shoot somebody (their good-hearted 9-time loser) with your techno man-killer bullets. Under no circumstances should you ever use any kind of reload.
My local Sherriff (Wausau, Wisconsin) are issued Remington (.40 cal. )Golden Sabers, the most accurate (.45) in both my old Springfield Armory and current Kimber. Our Police carry Speer Gold Dots. It's all good stuff. Your Police too will carry good stuff!
You can't go wrong stoking your piece with whatever your local law enforcement officers carry.
Robb

Hypnogator
November 4, 2007, 08:08 PM
You can't go wrong stoking your piece with whatever your local law enforcement officers carry.
Riiiight! :rolleyes:

And if they carry whatever their beancounters find the cheapest? And if it doesn't feed in your weapon? :what::eek:

Use any premium JHP load that will function flawlessly in your weapon. I prefer Federal 230-gr Tactical Bonded in my PT-145 Millennium Pro, but wouldn't feel a bit uncomfortable with Gold Dots, Golden Sabers, Ranger Ts, or Cor-Bon DPXs, provided I have tested them and found them reliable.

orionengnr
November 4, 2007, 08:11 PM
I figure you lose around 100 fps for every inch of barell with a 230 gr round......

I would challenge that assumption right off the bat. Between 25-50 fps per inch in most pistol or revolver calibers and loads is more in line with what I have seen...

MassMark
November 4, 2007, 08:25 PM
Check out a box of Remington Golden Sabre 185gr JHP...After testing much, I found it to suit my needs...

32winspl
November 4, 2007, 09:27 PM
Hypnogator, you didn't notice that I said that after finding out what your local cops use... to buy and shoot 100 rounds of it to make sure that it functions reliably through your gun?
Ok, so your city PD's stuff dosen't work well in your gun, try the stuff your County Sherriff uses. No good again, what does your State Police use?
One of their rounds will cycle reliably in your pistol.
Robb

jpwilly
November 4, 2007, 09:28 PM
TAP, Federal Premium, Corbon, Speer, Winchester etc etc...Like others have said use what works for you; your gun, your politics, your neighborhood, etc etc...

jpwilly
November 4, 2007, 09:29 PM
...wouldn't sweat it too much the odds of you having to use it are slim to nun. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepaired.

jimmyraythomason
November 4, 2007, 09:40 PM
230 gr Ball. If it was good enough for the United States Military for over 80 years it is good enough for me . Overpenetration isn't a concern here.

GunNut
November 4, 2007, 09:53 PM
230 gr Ball. If it was good enough for the United States Military for over 80 years it is good enough for me .

Muzzleloaders were pretty effective too, why not stick to them?:neener:

Why? Because there are better guns and rounds available today.

jimmyraythomason
November 4, 2007, 10:41 PM
Higher tech.maybe, more expensive certainly but not necessarily better. The ball ammo was intended as a manstopper and was designed with that job (and no other) in mind. Bottom line 230 gr. ball will do the job. I trust my life to it.

32winspl
November 4, 2007, 10:43 PM
Jimmy Ray, the reason that fmj's have been used for the last 100 years or so isnt because they are such good defense rounds, but because they don't expand and therefore meet the requirements of the Geneva Convention (or other) . No millitary legally uses rounds capable of "mushrooming", or expanding to more than bore size.
...Am I the only person here that understands why using fmj's is a bad idea for self-defense?

.... How many people here use non-expanding bullets to hunt deer? Why not?
Good grief!

GunNut
November 4, 2007, 10:51 PM
The technology was not there 80 years ago to produce a HP bullet that worked like the ones we use today. They used ball because that was what was available.

I'm not putting down your choice, confidence in your self defense load is all that matters.

jimmyraythomason
November 4, 2007, 11:22 PM
It's a good thing that Sgt.Alvin York didn't know that he was using an inferior round it 1918.

orionengnr
November 5, 2007, 10:49 AM
Sorry, but that's a red herring. He had no choice in the matter; there was nothing else out there. Besides, it wasn't inferior to anything else available at the time.

When I first started driving, my 69 Chevelle was pretty hot. If I owned it today, it would be worth a buck or two, but only as a collector car.

It had an 8-track, skinny bias ply tires, drum brakes, no ABS, no airbags...

Get it? Times change. Progress happens. You may ignore it if you like, but you may not deny it (except by sticking your head in the sand...).

jimmyraythomason
November 5, 2007, 11:40 AM
So why didn't you have a '69 Ford Mustang Mach 1? They came with front disc brakes and an audio cassette player. Shoot what you want just don't tell me that a Colt 1911 in .45ACP the cartridge designed for it is not a PROVEN manstopper with ball ammo. The bullet market has exploded with bigger,better,smarter,stronger ,you name it wonder slugs. They all will kill a man. Pick your poison and let me pick mine.

jabotinsky
November 5, 2007, 11:58 AM
I personally like the ball ammo in .45 for self defense, I don't think the added price for JHP is worth in that caliber.

AZ_Rebel
November 5, 2007, 01:27 PM
#1 Ok, so your city PD's stuff dosen't work well in your gun, try the stuff your County Sherriff uses. No good again, what does your State Police use? One of their rounds will cycle reliably in your pistol.

#2 You have to make sure that your choice of ammo is defensable. If you're carrying what the cops use, that takes away from them a huge technicality.

Yes!!! Go right up the line and use what the U.S. Military used/uses. The .45ACP FMJ... Chosen partly because it is not a dum-dum (i.e. hollowpoint) so utterly defensable in court if necessary.

#3 ...Am I the only person here that understands why using fmj's is a bad idea for self-defense?

I think that answers its own question.

#4 .... How many people here use non-expanding bullets to hunt deer? Why not? Good grief!

We are not talking about hunting deer with rifles at rifle velocities where bullets can be made to expand reliably. In handguns, as proven time and again, its bullet mass and cross section that determines reliable stops. Hollowpoint bullets in a large caliber will stop, whether they expand or not, due to mass and cross section. To discount fmj in the large calibers is just as foolish on this thread as it is on the other thread where this argument is made.

stephpd
November 5, 2007, 01:44 PM
Still got that Chevelle or Camaro, I'll give you a buck or two. They're selling for more then ya payed new.

For ammo I thought placement is better then speed or the size of the hole.
For self defense I would like all. Bigger hole, faster speed and better placement.
Thats why I prefer hollowpoint over fmj.
Hollowpoints make bigger hole.
Speed isn't the .45's strong point.
And placement?
Well I just practice more.:D

sniper350
November 6, 2007, 01:01 AM
Most people don't realize the reason behind the hollow point design.

INITIALLY Its primary design was not to make a larger hole, although that was a positive by-product of the design function.

In a "handgun Caliber" .............. the hollow point was designed to prevent over-penetration at close range encounters. Most ballistic experts recognized that a handgun bullet was more likely going to contact its target in a matter of a few feet ..........rather than a few yards......... and to that end they wanted a bullet that would penetrate and stop inside the target exhausting all of its energy inside. What better way to accomplish this goal, than to have the bullet's aero-dynamic shape [ built for flight to the target ] change causing the bullet to drastically dump off velocity. For the longest time rifle hunting cartridges accomplished this with various "soft point" designs ........... but this method of bullet deformation was not reliable at handgun velocities ......... born was the hollow point for pistol ammo. I am not saying this is when hollow point projectiles were invented -- only that serious design work started because of the above requirements.

Now a handgun bullet [ hollow point ] would expand [reliably ] and cause the projectile to dump all of its terminal velocity into a target only a few feet away without over penetration. A bullet exiting a target is not only dangerous, but a waste of energy [ whether or not that energy plays a significant role in stopping an attacker - that's another thread ]. The Fact that the bullet gets bigger was a welcomed by-product, but not the over riding objective. They could easily design bullets that would flatten out after striking their target .......but it was controlled penetration that the experts were after. 12" minimum seemed to become the standard in the industry.

The hollow point NEXT was required to provide sufficient penetration AND expansion while absorbing clothing as a "first barrier". So expansion then became a goal of the smart ammo makers, after penetration control was mastered.

Now companies had a platform to sell their ammo ..........and looked for new and exciting ways to draw in the handgunner. So they advertised bigger holes ......... because as we all know BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER ! :eek:

Just remember ........ pistol ammo [ no matter the caliber ] is still pistol ammo.
The differences between high-end products - from the 9mm to the 45 acp is more hype than manstopping fact.

Stay safe -

JF.

jeepmor
November 6, 2007, 07:57 AM
+1 on Brassfetcher, lots of good, easy to read work compiled there.

Any one see any gelatin work run specifically through a 3" 45ACP to put that debate to rest?

Most brassfetcher.com work was done with 4-5" barreled 45s IIRC.

abloy
November 7, 2007, 08:41 PM
I like the Golden Sabre Bonded in 45 ACP since it does OK in most barrel lengths and is reasonably priced online.

Carrying FMJ is OK, but generally silly unless one is hard up for cash or the gun can't feed JHP. Why NOT pick up some performance benefits?


I've spent a good bit of time on LEXIS, Westlaw, and the internet looking, and I have a really hard time with the idea that using the local LE ammo is a liability bonus (either in criminal or civil) over any other bullet.

From what I can tell, virtually all shootings come down to if the shooting ittself was good or bad, and the bullet involved is a very small item. To be fair, last I checked (~2004) the only OVER penetration case I could find was 00 buck from a LE shotgun.

If you carry magic depleted uranium teflon coated black JHP, and are involved in a legit shooting, its a small issue. If you carry local LEO golddots or whatever, its not going to matter much. Imagine the plaintiff's attorney on that issue:

"he carefully picked the same bullet the local police department uses...do remember when they were involved the questionable shooting of X, no doubt he heard it on the news and wanted the same sort of ability"

If anyone knows of a verfiable case where ammo selection mattered, I want to hear it.

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