Question for all the .45 cal. experts


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Old Navy
August 8, 2009, 12:20 PM
I know that it is very important to use a defensive round such as Cor Bon, or DPX when using a .380, 9MM or even a .40 S&W as a primary carry weapon. I would never choose a round nosed FMJ round that's desined for target practice to defend my life.

Is the same premise true for the .45 ACP round? Isn't it big enough and doesn't it have enough knock down power that it will stop just about anybody with a decently placed shot, even with round nosed ball ammo?
Just curious. There's a BIG difference between $20 target ammo and $30- $50 defensive ammo.

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Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2009, 12:30 PM
I've carried a .45 for many a year, and always carry premium defensive ammo.

At one time, not enough work had been done on defensive ammo for the M1911 -- everyone was carrying 9mms, so .45 ammo lagged in both effectiveness and feeding reliability, but that's all past now.

The best policy seems to me to develop a handload that shoots to the same point of aim as your carry round, with the same bullet weight and muzzle velocity, and practive with that. I make friends with the local tire dealer and get wheel weights for free. I cast bullets by the thousands -- Lee makes low cost, effective moulds -- and use them for practice. And for carry, I use the premium stuff.

After all, isn't your life worth a few bucks extra?

M2 Carbine
August 8, 2009, 02:35 PM
Is the same premise true for the .45 ACP round? Isn't it big enough and doesn't it have enough knock down power that it will stop just about anybody with a decently placed shot, even with round nosed ball ammo?

Big is good but bigger is better.
So, if available, for a reasonable price, why not go bigger.

45 ACP hard ball has been getting the job done since the early 1900's and it will continue to do so but there's nothing wrong with using a bullet that will expand to a greater diameter and will have numerous jagged cutting edges.

Speer Gold Dot. (the 22 on top is a .223 55gr Remington JSP shot from a Kel Tec PLR pistol).
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/PLRRemJSPand45GD.jpg

I would never choose a round nosed FMJ round that's desined for target practice to defend my life.

In the mid 1960's one of my Army helicopter students was awarded the Silver Star for killing a bunch of Vietnam VC. He shot them from (a measured) 7 yards to 97 yards with his 1911A1 and GI hard ball.

But I still load my Kimbers with +P JHP.:)




.

ROBBY.1911
August 8, 2009, 02:41 PM
let JHP be your mantra--not the fancy stuff just good old hollowpoint

Publius1688
August 8, 2009, 03:00 PM
I think that with other handgun rounds: especially 9mm, the difference between FMJ & "defense" ammo is much greater than with the .45 ACP. We should really carry what we can shoot, and shoot well. You are correct that a torso hit with a .45 ACP is effective. Actually, it's devastatingly effective.
There is a principle of diminishing returns at work here. For defense, the difference between ball .45 and expensive, premium ammo may not be worth the cost. If your CCW is a 9mm, it probably is.

SDDL-UP
August 8, 2009, 05:51 PM
Your life is worth a few extra bucks! Get a good JHP round and don't worry about it.

cyclopsshooter
August 8, 2009, 05:59 PM
I used to carry FMJ until i discovered how much they over-penetrate- JHP is the way to go- i use 230gr gold dots now

rcmodel
August 8, 2009, 05:59 PM
Total 100% reliability is far more importent then bullet type, weight, or velocity.

If your gun is 100% reliable with 230 grain hardball, and 98.7% reliable with JHP?

Then 230 grain FMJ hardball it is!

rc

Lone_Gunman
August 8, 2009, 06:24 PM
I also believe that reliability is of utmost importance. I prefer hardball for that reason.

LeonCarr
August 8, 2009, 06:26 PM
Several big time firearm instructors (Chuck Taylor, Clint Smith, the late great Jeff Cooper) carried/carry 230 FMJ in their .45s. Are JHPs better for "stopping power"? Statistically yes, but 230 FMJ is still the best choice for reliability, especially in 1911s (Yes, I said it, flame suit on).

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

mljdeckard
August 8, 2009, 06:33 PM
I believe that the real world effectiveness of pistol rounds differs little. I think that only when measuring from one extreme end of the spectrum (say, 9mm FMJ vs 230 gr .45 JHP), are you going to see any noticeable difference at all, and then it's still not as big as internet scientists claim it is. All pistol PD rounds are a compromise, too weak, and not good enough. (Yes, I said ALL.) For this reason, I feel it is necessary to give yourself every possible advantage when using one. Meaning, the fattest, nastiest round you can shoot well. For me, I use the 230 gr HST.

Having said that, if for some reason I was carrying hardball and had to use it defensively, it's not like I would do a panic while I tried to do some new math to decide if I should shoot more times or in a different place. No change to pattern or plan. I'm believing that three good hits of JHP and three good hits of hardball will have VERY similar results.

When you say Corbon, I think of +p ammo, bigger, faster, more. I think that it is best to use the gun and ammo as it was designed. The regular setup is proven to work. Messing with it is to mess with something you know works. I see no reason to do it. Standard pressure rounds through a full-length barrel. I'll call that yet another reason I only carry full-size autos.

And like Leon mentioned, there is a historical precedent for FMJ feeding more reliably than jhp rounds. I think you should shoot plenty of whatever you carry to make sure, but some people choose to reduce the odds of a stoppage.

pinkymingeo
August 8, 2009, 08:54 PM
I completely agree that handguns stink for self-defense. Better than nothing if you can't run fast, though. Statistics are meaningless. Too many variables. If you deliver a central nervous system hit, your assailant is out of the fight regardless of caliber. If you make a crummy shot, caliber doesn't matter. I figure a bigger bullet can't hurt my cause, though, so I use them when possible. I carry my handloads with 200gr swc's, and have no doubt that they'll do as well as anything else, if I do my part.

Archie
August 10, 2009, 12:01 AM
I prefer JHP bullets of full weight and standard velocity for self defense. Second place comes 200-230 grain cast lead SWCs at 800-1000 fps. But, if all I had were FMJ in the standard GI loading, I'd be okay.

kanewpadle
August 10, 2009, 01:09 AM
Several big time firearm instructors (Chuck Taylor, Clint Smith, the late great Jeff Cooper) carried/carry 230 FMJ in their .45s. Are JHPs better for "stopping power"? Statistically yes, but 230 FMJ is still the best choice for reliability, especially in 1911s (Yes, I said it, flame suit on).

Just my .02,
LeonCarr
While I respect your opinion, YOU are not Chuck Taylor, Clint Smith, or Jeff Cooper.

There is no logical or ethical reason and no excuse why we should carry FMJ ammo when proven self defense ammo such as Corbon Powrball and Federal EFMJ is available.

As they saying goes "every bullet has an attorney attached to it". FMJ will overpenetrate. Are you prepared for the consequenses?

The Lone Haranguer
August 10, 2009, 01:19 AM
If you shoot hardball, it makes a .45-caliber hole. If a hollowpoint expands it makes an even bigger hole. If it fails to expand it will still make a a .45-caliber hole, so you've lost nothing by trying. I want all the advantages I can get. ;) And don't forget to repeat as necessary.

C-grunt
August 10, 2009, 05:43 AM
You should use the JHP for several reasons. One is that it makes it more effective. Even if it doesnt expand, the sharp edges will make a bigger wound than the round profile of the FMJ. Flesh being somewhat stretchy will move around the outer rounded surface of the bullet. Ball type ammo does not make a full caliber hole in its targets.

Another reason is over penetration. Ive seen expanded .45s exit a bad guy, so I believe a FMJ wouldnt have a hard time doing so either. Also, I have heard that JHPs ricochet less than FMJ.

Truth is that with proper shot placement it probably doesnt really matter what kind of round you use. Either way you are putting a good size hole through vital organs. But a properly expanded JHP makes bigger holes and is more likely to hit stuff that the FMJ might have just missed.

REAPER4206969
August 10, 2009, 06:30 AM
Is the same premise true for the .45 ACP round? Isn't it big enough and doesn't it have enough knock down power that it will stop just about anybody with a decently placed shot, even with round nosed ball ammo?
There is nothing magical about a .45 ACP.
http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t8/REAPER1911-A1/handgun_gel_comparison.jpg

redneck2
August 10, 2009, 09:01 AM
Note on the above photos that they're all JHP, FWIW...

anyway, a deer is about the size of a human (160# +/-). I suspect .45 JHP would be adequate, though perhaps marginal, for deer. I'd NEVER try to use hardball for deer. There's a reason that solids are illegal for hunting (at least in Indiana)

Nothing always works. Nothing never works.

SupraBo
August 11, 2009, 12:24 AM
Old Navy,

I was shooting in a competition once and had 45 match ammo issued to me at the truck. Well the next day the ammo boxes we had issued were different. The new box gave me a 6in drop at the long line(50 yards).
I know the Army marksmanship unit has there own ammo made for each gun
Something to consider when using fancy ammo. You have to sight that blammo in also.. Much more expensive.

But I would say 45 ball worked great in WW2

jwr747
August 11, 2009, 07:08 PM
I've kicked this around since about 1958.hard ball or what ever "wonder round" is in fashion.was moving some military issue 45 ACP hard ball the other day,just me,by myself and the hard ball,took a round out and contemplated the hard ball bullet.decided on that day Aug,5th,2009 at 4:00 PM that it may not be the best,but it will do the job,45 ACP hard ball works for me for self defense....jwr

hddeluxe
August 11, 2009, 07:46 PM
Speaking from real world experience, I prefer the FMJ Hardball. Excellent feeding reliability and I want all the penetration I can get. Take a look at a heavy wool jacket and wool shirt together after they have been shot with a HP and Ball ammo.
I also am a believer that if it goes through the bad guy then I have two holes for him to bleed out instead of one.
It worked for me for more than 26 years in the USMC. And yes, I know there are those who say we only like hardball because HP is against the Geneva Convention.

broncobob
August 11, 2009, 08:17 PM
I say use whatever you're comfortable with.But remember this,if ever you're in A gun fight, and when the smoke clears if you're standing,you'll know what you used worked,if he's standind you'll know it did'nt.

orionengnr
August 11, 2009, 10:11 PM
I'm not going to call myself an "expert" but I have done my homework...

Isn't it big enough and doesn't it have enough knock down power...
There is no such thing as "knock-down power" out of a handgun. If you learn nothing else, learn this, learn it well and never forget it.

This is Physics 101 (remember the equal and opposite reaction thing?)
If it doesn't knock you down when you pull the trigger, it will not knock down the recipient of the bullet.

Simple concept, but it is so frequently misunderstood and mis-quoted thaat it has become legend (yeah, when I was a kid my dad told me that hitting the Japs with his .45 would blow them outta their boots. Imagine my surprise when I later found out that he told a bunch of other whoppers too :rolleyes:).

To answer your question directly, the only reason to use hardball ammo is if it is all you have. The military uses it because they are bound by the Hague Accord (has nothing to do with the Geneva Convention, just another myth). Show me one Police force that uses ball ammo. I'll be waiting right here...but I won't be holding my breath.

bri
August 12, 2009, 08:47 AM
I used to have the fancy Corbon as my carry load, then switched to plain old ball ammo after I had a couple feed issues with the Corbon in my glock 21.

Whatever you go with, just make sure you actually shoot the carry ammo once in awhile.

Dave T
August 12, 2009, 04:26 PM
Given the choice I would pick one of the better JHP loads for the 45ACP but if push came to shove I would not feel un-armed with Ball. The 45 ACP made its reputation with ball ammo and people haven't changed that much since the first half of the 20th Century. And, the over penetration stuff is largely fiction. My LEO experience was that ball would generally go through the chest cavity and stop just under the skin on the far side.

Dave

Deanimator
August 12, 2009, 05:15 PM
Is the same premise true for the .45 ACP round? Isn't it big enough and doesn't it have enough knock down power that it will stop just about anybody with a decently placed shot, even with round nosed ball ammo?
Just curious. There's a BIG difference between $20 target ammo and $30- $50 defensive ammo.
I ONLY carry hollow points, not for greater stopping power, but to prevent through and throughs and collateral damage.

I'm not worried about defending a good shoot in criminal or civil court. There's NO defending shooting a mugger AND the two year old on the far side of him. You probably won't be prosecuted, but you'll lose your behind in civil court, and I can hardly blame the family. Should they just eat the consequences of somebody else's actions, no matter how justified?

I'd rather prevent a bad situation than try to survive it.

Eightball
August 13, 2009, 11:03 AM
All I've got at the moment to carry that I know is 100% reliable is some Mk.1 mod. 0 standard 230gr. ball loads, and I feel totally confident that it'd get the job done. While my 1911 is my primary winter CCW, it gives me summers to experiment and try to find a 100% reliable and decently accurate JHP without my life resting on an untested/unverified load. Sure, before I find the "magic" JHP, there's a risk of the FMJ overpenetrating......but something's better than nothing, no matter how you slice it. FMJ's taken down a crap-ton of people in its day, and until I find the PD rounds my firearm likes, it's FMJ all the way--because I don't trust my life to marketing hype.

krs
August 13, 2009, 05:30 PM
.45 FMJ.......1.16" in clay dirt. Who says it makes a .45" hole?

USAFRetired
August 13, 2009, 05:46 PM
Federal HST!! I mean, just look at this thing!

mesinge2
August 13, 2009, 05:53 PM
I always carried JHP in my 9mm autos, but my first 1911 had trouble feeding JHP so I carried FMJ's. Then I tried Pow'r Ball ammo and it feeds perfectly.

http://www.dakotaammo.net/products/glaser/powrball.htm

103341

This is a 3.8" Barrel

The quote below is from: http://brassfetcher.com/.45ACP%20165gr%20+P%20Cor-Bon%20Pow'r%20Ball.html


Many thanks to Cor-Bon for providing the ammunition used in this test.

Cor-Bon .45ACP 165 grain +P Pow'R Ball

Firearm was semi-automatic action with 3.8" barrel length

Block calibrated at 9.3cm penetration and an assumed impact velocity of 600 ft/sec. (chronograph malfunctioned due to rain at the test site).

Shot 1 - Penetrated to 10.9". Average recovered diameter 0.659".

Shot 2 - Penetrated to 12.6". Average recovered diameter 0.687".

Shot 3 - Penetrated to 11.8". Average recovered diameter 0.698".

Shot 4 - Penetrated to 12.2". Average recovered diameter 0.668".

Shot 5 - Penetrated to 11.4". Average recovered diameter 0.684".

Average diameter = 0.679". Average penetration depth = 11.8"

P.S. I love this site for making comparisons of expansion and penetration.

Al Thompson
August 13, 2009, 07:39 PM
krs, dirt ain't flesh. I've shot too many critters to carry hardball. The wound channel with FMJ is very unimpressive. :(

However, rc is completely correct - 100% reliability is key - if you don't have it with a good JHP, stay with ball ammo (regardless of caliber).

Eightball
August 13, 2009, 08:24 PM
As a side note: That Powerball stuff is sold at .45ACP +P. How would that fare out of an alloy-framed 1911 without "+P" stamped on the barrel?

JTQ
August 13, 2009, 09:02 PM
That penetration test graphic is a wonderful illustration. One thing to consider is that "most" of those penetration tests are done at 10' (I don't know the range used for the one pictured, though). Do the results change when the range is 21' (still just only 7 yards, the distance at which much of combat training is done) or farther?

Food for thought - When hunting animals that can hurt you, how many hunters use hollow points (with any kind of firearm)?

kanook
August 14, 2009, 08:35 AM
Show me one Police force that uses ball ammo. I'll be waiting right here...but I won't be holding my breath.RCMP, OPP, and most of your neighbours up in the GREAT WHITE NORTH. :neener:

el gato
August 14, 2009, 09:21 AM
Jeff Copper said that .45 ball worked just fine in WWII

mesinge2
August 14, 2009, 06:11 PM
Eightball, Pow'r Ball is made by Corbon/Glasser and all of their ammo, except for 45 Colt +P, is loaded to SAAMI specifications. So if your gun is built to SAAMI specs it should be fine, but just to be safe you should call the gun manufactor and ask before using them. I did that with my Para P14, and they said that it was fine to use.

I added the image of the Ballistic Gelatin to my eariler post in case anyone was interested.

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