Favorite .45 ACP Self Defense Ammo?


Crazy Coot
November 21, 2008, 07:45 PM
What is everyone's favorite load in .45 ACP for self defense?

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November 21, 2008, 07:57 PM
Hornady Custom 185 gr JHP/XTP

Texas Colt
November 21, 2008, 08:11 PM
Speer 230 grain Gold Dot HP

I've had XTPs separate the jacket and core when used on wild hogs.

November 21, 2008, 08:12 PM
Federal HST

Blue .45
November 21, 2008, 08:27 PM
Any quality 230gr. hollow point. I keep an assortment of Federal HST, Golden Saber's and Speer Gold Dot. However, if i were using a shorter barrel, I might go with a +P load.

November 21, 2008, 08:38 PM
Hornady 230gr XTP +P

Craig M. Arnold
November 21, 2008, 08:38 PM
Hornady Custom 185 gr JHP/XTP +1

Best regards.

November 21, 2008, 09:16 PM
Hornady TAP 230 gr. +P

November 21, 2008, 09:19 PM
HST 230+p or DT Gold Dot 230.

November 21, 2008, 09:28 PM
W-W 230gr Ranger T is my first choice.

HERE'S (http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs2.htm#Black-Talon) why

This additional cutting mechanism gives Ranger Talon the potential to be approximately 3% to 5% more effective than other expanding bullets of the same caliber. In one out of every 20-30 shootings, Ranger Talon might make a difference.

R-P 230gr Golden Saber
Taurus 185gr Hex [same as Corbon DPX]
Federal 230gr +P HST

November 21, 2008, 09:38 PM
Speer 230 grain Gold Dot HP. Haven't tried any HST yet but if I didn't have a (small) stock of GDHP I would.

November 21, 2008, 09:51 PM
Hornady TAP 230 gr. +P

Same here.

November 22, 2008, 07:22 PM
Corbon 185DPX +P or their 200grJHP +P

November 22, 2008, 07:36 PM
Currently I am using DT 230gr gold dots, but previously I carried magtech guardian gold +P 230gr JHP's.

November 22, 2008, 08:19 PM
Hornady 230gr XTP handloads.

November 22, 2008, 08:23 PM
If I carry a 1911, it's stoked with 230gr Remington Golden Sabers.

November 22, 2008, 09:31 PM
Any of you guys ever use the Double Tap ammo?? His 200 gr ammo is GREAT!

November 22, 2008, 10:03 PM
As other have mentioned, Hornady Custom 200 gr or 230 gr XTP+P

1911 guy
November 22, 2008, 11:36 PM
230gr Federal Hydra-Shok in a 5" 1911.

November 22, 2008, 11:49 PM
Ha Ha ha...love these. USED to shoot the expensive stuff and carry the best right with you all. Then I figured out my odds of being in a gunfight and learned that training, shot placement and luck will trump the best bullets anyday. I'm not a commando, I"m not a cop...I shoot the cheap JHP's now and my wallet is much happier. Why get robbed by the ammo companies...isn't not getting robbed the point anyway? It's still a .45 do you think a BG would notice the difference between $.32 per round and $1.50ea?

November 23, 2008, 12:38 AM
Carry Load 1911
DOuble Tap - 200 gr. Speer Gold Dot @ 1,125 FPS

These are also the reloads for my 625 in FUll Moon clips
though it is loaded with
.45 Auto RIm 225 gr. Barnes XPB @ 900+ FPS

However I also am quite confident in Win. SXT 230 gr. JHP
when I find it off the shelf.

I also have a lot of 200 gr. Leadhead Hardcast SWC @ 1,025 FPS
in .45 ACP and AUto RIm.


.357 magnum
November 23, 2008, 12:40 AM
If your gun is a 4 inch Barrel or longer. The Two BEST loads are, the Winchester 230gr Bonded and the Federal 230gr Tactical HST. Both are Law Enforcement Loads. You can Purchase online at Great Prices. :)



The Best to You and Yours!


November 23, 2008, 05:19 AM
Federal HST or HST +P. I carry +P as it's better for four-legged predators while giving up nothing against the two-legged variety. There may be something else that's equal to the HST but I doubt there is anything better.

November 23, 2008, 09:13 AM

I'm not a big believer in +P or +P+, so I prefer to shoot the "regular" loads.
I used to carry Gold Dots and/or Hydra-Shok, but the HST is less expensive and appears to have proven to be more effective when going through heavy clothing.

Federal discourages the sale of HST to the public, intending the round to be sold mainly to law enforcement. But that's not a "law", so if you shop a bit, you can find it being sold by some retailers.

I got some recently from "Ammunition to Go" online, and I thought that the price at the time was pretty decent for self defense ammo.

I look at the Corbon, DoubleTap, Talon and other "designer" ammo as mostly advertising hype.
A well placed hollow point of any variety will trump a badly placed "exploder" any day. Plus, I've never had a lot of luck with reliability with some of the designer ammo.

November 23, 2008, 09:16 AM
230 grain HST +P is what resides in my XD45 and my Officer's ACP.

November 23, 2008, 10:01 AM
Currently, I've got Speer Gold Dots in 230gr in all of my .45s. But I've only shot a few of them--less than the recommended 200 rounds to check reliability. And I certainly don't use them for practice, because at about $25.00 for a box of 20, it's too damn expensive.

I'll probably be switching to the Remington Golden Sabers, because I can get a decent price buying them in bulk (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=149956&t=11082005) for hand loading.

"Oooh, but if you shoot someone with handloads, a prosecutor might..." Yeah, yeah. Save your breath. Not interested.

To me, the most important thing in a defense round used in an autoloader is reliable feeding. Hardball .45 is famous for that. The Golden Saber has a profile that is similar, and all reports I've heard say that it feeds just as well. I plan to test that for myself, in each of my guns.

After that, I want a bullet big enough (.45--check) and fast enough (I plan to work up to maximum loads), in order to hit as hard as possible.

And since it's for defense purposes, and such engagements typically take place at short range, accuracy is the least of my worries.

Anyway, that's how I'm going to determine what my favorite .45 ACP self defense ammo will be. The only better way to choose a logical favorite would be to line up a bunch of bad guys, and see what happens when you shoot them with different loads, under varying conditions. Which wouldn't be a bad idea, really. :rolleyes:

November 23, 2008, 10:33 AM
I'm not sure what the poster meant by 'Designer: ammo in regards
to .45 ACP ammo offerings by Double Tap. Try to buy Speer Gold Dot
JHPs in 20 rd boxes from Speer and it's at or more than $1 a round.
Double Tap offers either FMJ or Speer Gold Dot JHPs. Where's these
"Exploders?" DT offers the Gold DOts in 185 gr.200 gr. & 230 gr.
bullet weights at approx. $33/50 rds = 66 cents a round & most of the
brass is Starline. Seems good value and performance for the $$$ to
me so take that for what you will.


November 23, 2008, 12:51 PM
Thanks for that Midway link, Guncrazy45!

I plan on reloading my own .45 230gr Golden Sabers for defensive purposes after i get a decent powder combination. I agree wth what you said about reliability being most important.
Golden Sabers have a most excellent feed profile, excellent terminal ballistics and expand under a wide variety of scenarios.
Until Winchester offers us their excellent Ranger T as a reloading component, i'll stick with the R-P GS as a handloaded defensive round.
[I don't have a crystal ball to predict the future with this new administration]

*I'll never understand why people buy Gold Dot ammunition loaded by "Double Tap" when Speer features it as their premium ammo available in 50rd boxes, and has an excellent reputation. You can't fix or improve on good

November 23, 2008, 12:54 PM
After seeing a friend test some Federal HST in .45 G.A.P., I'm a believer in HST:)

The Bushmaster
November 23, 2008, 01:31 PM
185 grain Hornady HP/XTP seated to 1.190" over 7.6 grains of WSF and WLP primer all encased in Federal cases. 870 fps from a 3" barrel...

Here it comes...Wait for it...

Peter Gun
November 23, 2008, 07:08 PM
230 gr golden sabers, i use them in 165gr in my .40s too.
ive done some elementary ammo testing, and they always open the biggest and nastiest.

November 23, 2008, 07:08 PM
Speer Gold Dot. 200 or 230 gr.

November 23, 2008, 09:55 PM
Corbon 185 gr DPX +P.

.80-caliber expansion and easily meets FBI penetration standards.

November 23, 2008, 11:41 PM
Double Tap 230 grain FMJ fills my XD-45c. Take a look at their site or Midway.

November 24, 2008, 12:25 AM
I like Federal HST and Remington Golden Sabers, both in 230gr.

November 24, 2008, 08:09 AM
Federal HST 230gr +P (P45HST1)

November 24, 2008, 08:24 AM
I'll probably be switching to the Remington Golden Sabers, because I can get a decent price buying them in bulk for hand loading.

The Golden Saber has a profile that is similar...

+1 with Guncrazy45 and Rampant_Colt.

I have handloaded 500 rounds of 230gr Remington Golden Sabers for $14.13 per box of 50. They cycle perfectly every time through the three 45's I've tried them in.

November 24, 2008, 08:48 AM
230 HST +P here as well.

Shot one into the ground (packed clay). It opened up to a perfect .78 in diameter, and weighed 227g.

November 24, 2008, 03:59 PM
Rem Golden Saber 230gr

November 24, 2008, 04:02 PM
Hornday 185 JHP/Xp over


November 24, 2008, 07:22 PM
Since I'm thrifty (cheap) I carry Winchester USA45JHP 230gr.

November 25, 2008, 07:30 AM
Federal 200gr. +P EFMJ. I carry this in the .45 as well as the 124gr +P in my 9mm.:D

November 25, 2008, 08:19 AM
Fast, accurate, great energy transfer, but, I've only got 4 boxes left
and can't find anyone who stocks them.

November 25, 2008, 09:06 AM
230gr S&B FMJ.
I never recommend fmj loads for defense except in really small calibers (.32 etc) and .45acp. The fmj has a long history of doing quite well. I really don't see much reason to change.

November 25, 2008, 11:41 AM
Plain old 185gr. Winchester Silvertips. I'm not impressed by the latest wiz-bang bullets. I'm impressed by accuracy and reliability, and after 30+ years, thousands of rounds of many calibers & zero failures, I'll stick with what works.

November 25, 2008, 07:38 PM
FMJ is most reliable feeder in all sorts of autos. Generally heavier bullets and somewhat hot loads also tend to cycle the action most reliably.
I like to use standard power ball-type loads for practice. If that functions flawlessly than the somewhat hotter loads from Double Tap are sure to work in the same gun. The difference in recoil is not very much so I feel this is close enough to "practice with what you carry." I can't afford to practice with that stuff but find the recoil isn't all that much different.
Works for me.:D

November 25, 2008, 08:54 PM
Hmm, favorite how? Without having ever shot anyone, and hopefully never doing so, all I can do is throw in my vote for Federal HSTs (having only read about them and owning a box of their +Ps), Winchester Ranger T's (same deal), and of course Speer Gold Dots. I'd trust the police to know what they're doing by carrying the Gold Dots. A .45 is going to do a decent job regardless of hollowpoint design, in my opinion. Like I said though, I've never used them on anyone... Vote casted!

November 26, 2008, 01:00 AM
Federal 230 grain Hydra-shocks. They're pretty beasty-looking.

Mike U.
November 26, 2008, 03:10 AM
Mainly carry Ranger Talons 230 gr. +P.
I've run over 300 rounds thru my H&K USP and it feeds every time and is damned accurate to boot.
Practice ammo is usually WWB.

November 26, 2008, 01:42 PM
All my .45ACP guns get fed Rem 230Gr. "Golden Sabres"

November 26, 2008, 01:49 PM
I love the Taurus Hex bullets.

These things are laser accurate in my 1911, and relatively inexpensive.

The corbon DPXs perform about the same, but are pricey.

November 26, 2008, 03:56 PM
Federal 230gr Hydras.

However, I agree with the idea that almost anything weighing 230gr and flying out of the end of a 5" bbl is probably going to work just dandy.


J. Jay
November 27, 2008, 01:51 AM
My G21 absolutely loves Cor-bon 200grain.

July 31, 2010, 09:43 AM
185gr. Winchester silvertips. Not as new or expensive, but I dont think a bad guy will notice with a couple of half-inch holes in his vital organs.

July 31, 2010, 11:48 AM
I use Gold Dots or Golden Sabers, no real preference between the two.

Boris bush
July 31, 2010, 12:27 PM
for 230s, HST. For 200s, Reeds XTP load. For 185s I use Reeds Goldensaber or the Federal Hydrashok.

I use a 45GAP though...

July 31, 2010, 12:49 PM
Used to use XTP's, but we had a couple of feed issues with an Officer's Model, so now I'm using Winchester 230gr JHP's.

These aren't the fanciest HP on the block, but they appear to feed reliably, and that's more important for me.

July 31, 2010, 03:22 PM
I use Winchester Bonded PDX1 230g loaded in my G30. Its a good round and capable enough for HD and wilderness which is what I use the G30 for.

July 31, 2010, 03:34 PM
I switched from 230 gr hydra shoks to HSTs.

July 31, 2010, 03:45 PM
I like RA45TP. I get all warm and fuzzy at the thought of those talons shredding somebody's innards.

July 31, 2010, 05:28 PM
Any 230-grain JHP at standard pressure from Federal, Hornady, Remington, Speer, or Winchester is fine with me. I have used 'em all and cannot tell the difference.

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