Recommended Defense Ammo for 3" 1911s


PDA






CDR_Glock
September 3, 2010, 11:11 AM
Reading the ballistic reports of 45 ACP through various length barrels, the velocities are lower in shorter barrel pistols.

I have tried some Golden Sabers, Corbon +P, Blue Dot Glaser and Critical Defense 230 grain without an issue in reliability of feeding.

Anyways, what ammo do you find is effective for your 3" 1911? In your opinion what is the most effect ammo for stopping power?

If you enjoyed reading about "Recommended Defense Ammo for 3" 1911s" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
EdLaver
September 3, 2010, 12:04 PM
I use the Corbon PowR'ball 165gr +p in my 3" 1911. Feeds reliably, bullet speed is fast, and recoil is pretty tame.

TIMC
September 3, 2010, 12:10 PM
I hand load for mine but I like the 185 grain Golden Saber bullets out of my Para LDA Carry.

dogsoldier0513
September 3, 2010, 01:05 PM
My wife's SA Micro Compact Operator is loaded with CorBon 165gr. DPXs. My Glock G36 is currently loaded with W-W 230 gr. JHPs (white box).

Ben86
September 3, 2010, 01:25 PM
I don't own a subcompact 1911. However, I would like to add that IMO you should use the same ammo weight for your subcompacts as you do your full size handguns. Many people think they should use a lighter bullet for a shorter barrel because of the loss of velocity and therefore loss of expansion. Loss of velocity also means loss of momentum which means less penetration. When you decrease both the weight and velocity of the bullet you are really going to decrease its momentum. Sure they may expand less when shot out of a shorter barrel, but adequate penetration will be better assured.

Also, heavier (therefore longer) bullets loose less velocity than lighter bullets because they stay in the barrel longer than shorter, lighter bullets.

So I think you ought to stick with some premium 230 grain jhps or 200 grain at the lightest. I keep 124 grains in all my 9mms, I could go with 115 grain in the guns with 3'' barrels, but it seems like penetration is less than satisfactory from my patented "double jug" test. SD ammo must be able to pass through at least 2 full size jugs (milk jugs) filled with water and expand well to be up to par with me. That's just my philosophy though.

MICHAEL T
September 3, 2010, 09:39 PM
I use Corbon 185gr DPX +P this has worked in My Defender and Agent fine my 2 Officers like it also.

DustyVermonter
September 3, 2010, 10:08 PM
230gr Gold Dots would be the top choice, then Corbon DPX.

orionengnr
September 3, 2010, 10:30 PM
All of my 1911s are well tested with Winchester Ranger 230 +P.
A few of the 3 and 4 inchers have been tested with CorBon 185+P DPX.

I am confident with either load.

The Bushmaster
September 4, 2010, 10:33 AM
7.7 grains of WSF under a hornady 185 grain HP/XTP. 850 fps (+/- a few) from a Kimber UCC II 3" barrel. Believe that will do the trick.

bigfatdave
September 4, 2010, 10:43 AM
Dump the frangible stuff, maybe try some Hornady or Speer offerings, then stock up on whatever HP (or HP with squishy ball) round that:
1 - you can find at a decent price
2 - feeds reliably from your carry mags
3 - expands well in your own testing, if possible

I wouldn't lose sleep over which premium HP round was in my carry magazines. The difference in "stopping power" within duty calibers is minimal, and within ONE duty caliber is negligible. Stocking plenty of them and cycling them through once in a while is (in my opinion) far more important than picking the ultimate death-ray ammo (that doesn't exist in ANY duty handgun caliber anyway) out from a bunch of stuff designed to meet the same criteria and feed reliably in the same guns.

Walkalong
September 4, 2010, 10:51 AM
Any premium JHP that will feed 100% in your gun. Mindset and shot placement trump everything.

rd2007
September 4, 2010, 03:45 PM
230 gr Ranger T-Series work fine in my Defender and ESP.

gofastman
September 4, 2010, 04:08 PM
HST 230gr +p's
Gold Dot 200gr+p's if you are made of money.

G27RR
September 4, 2010, 08:19 PM
I like 230gr JHP in any of the following...
Gold Dots
HST
Winchester PDX

As someone else mentioned, I like to use the same rounds as I do in my larger 1911s.

W.E.G.
September 4, 2010, 08:20 PM
Anything that FUNCTIONS RELIABLY is all you need.

Its a .45

gofastman
September 4, 2010, 11:36 PM
Its a .45
...out of a 3" barrel

Walkalong
September 5, 2010, 09:43 AM
My Kimber CDP II Ultra eats 200 Gr +P Gold Dots like candy, but I stand by my first post. Any premium JHP that feeds 100% in your gun.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=127161&stc=1&d=1283690603

DasFriek
September 5, 2010, 10:42 AM
Ben86-
I don't own a subcompact 1911. However, I would like to add that IMO you should use the same ammo weight for your subcompacts as you do your full size handguns. Many people think they should use a lighter bullet for a shorter barrel because of the loss of velocity and therefore loss of expansion. Loss of velocity also means loss of momentum which means less penetration. When you decrease both the weight and velocity of the bullet you are really going to decrease its momentum. Sure they may expand less when shot out of a shorter barrel, but adequate penetration will be better assured.

Also, heavier (therefore longer) bullets loose less velocity than lighter bullets because they stay in the barrel longer than shorter, lighter bullets.

So I think you ought to stick with some premium 230 grain jhps or 200 grain at the lightest. I keep 124 grains in all my 9mms, I could go with 115 grain in the guns with 3'' barrels, but it seems like penetration is less than satisfactory from my patented "double jug" test. SD ammo must be able to pass through at least 2 full size jugs (milk jugs) filled with water and expand well to be up to par with me. That's just my philosophy though.

This is some of the best thoughts on the subject that ive read in many different threads like this.
Myself im all about penetration, And to get that you need 2 things. Weight and speed, But Weight being the biggest factor.
Ive read, Studied, And watched video's until i was sick of it and i found one thing thats true.
Its that paper lies. What you read on manufactures sites never seems to match real world testing threw chronometers. One caveat is you do need to research if a certain load will perform better than the maker says it will as many times if its a powder meant for a 5" gun it will cause velocity issues in a 3"
People read they get less velocity with shorter barrels, The problem is its a higher percentage the lighter the bullet is. The heavier bullet will not slow down as much percentage wise.
I never went threw this with my 1911 as i carry a full sized one. But my .40 is a sub-compact 3" and i battled over bullet weight in both threads and in my head.
With that gun i went with 165 gr as i wasn't pleased with the thought of a subsonic 180gr bullet mainly for expansion. But it will penetrate more then 2" more than a 165gr bullet.

I want a 3" 1911 also, And ive given this much thought also.
Ill either use a 230gr +p but most likely a 200gr +p will be what gets the job.

But as others have said feeding and expansion are more important than weight as long as you dont go too lite,IMO.

KyJim
September 5, 2010, 09:05 PM
Speer makes 230 gr. Gold Dots specifically designed for short barreled pistols. http://www.smokewagongear.com/p-1194-45-auto-short-barrel-ammunition-speer-gold-dot-45acp-230-grain-spee23975.aspx

I would also feel comfortable carrying with any good quality 230 gr. FMJ.

Mags
September 5, 2010, 09:07 PM
^^^^^ +1k

bigfatdave
September 5, 2010, 09:14 PM
I tried the SB Gold Dots out in mine, I remember getting 3 feed failures in the box of 20.
On the other hand, regular 230 grain GDHP rounds fed just fine ... maybe a bad batch of the SB GDs?

If I could find some for less than $1/round I'd try again, until then I'll accept the minor velocity loss as a trade-off for reliable feeding.

To the OP or anyone coming in via search:
Sometimes it isn't the ammo, if you are getting occasional failures with one brand, try a magazine swap. Wilson makes a great officer's size mag, and they make a nice 8x with a spacer at the base to fit the short magwell properly, too. Chip McCormick makes good ones as well, not quite as spiffy as the Wilson (in my Citadel, at least) but a bit cheaper.

Ben86
September 6, 2010, 03:01 AM
This is some of the best thoughts on the subject that ive read in many different threads like this.

Oh golly, thanks. :o

I used to be a "lighter is better in tiny barrels guy" because I was only concerned with velocity, until I started doing my own testing that revealed that light bullets in small barrels are significantly lacking in penetration. The 115 grain gold dot hollow point, fired from my Taurus 709 with a 3'' barrel, opened up nicely but just barely made it into the second jug and bounced off the back of that jug. 124 grains on the other hand pierced both and expanded more. :confused: I guess it's that whole "more lead to spread" thing.

This doesn't apply to fmj, which is never lacking in penetration no matter the barrel length. Not that I'm an fmj advocate.

JoelSteinbach
September 6, 2010, 10:11 AM
I have been using 230 gr Hornady +P TAP CQ, they feed reliably, and have been recommended by the local LE supply shop.

Rokman
September 6, 2010, 11:07 AM
I would definately give the Speer Gold Dot short barreled ammo a try if it were my pistol. I am a big believer in Speer Glot dot 230 grain ammo in my 5" 45acp's.

DasFriek
September 6, 2010, 12:13 PM
Oh golly, thanks.
Oh jeez, Your welcome.
So sorry to add a comment prior to my thoughts on the subject at hand.
Or if i read more into your comment it may mean my reply means nothing to you and is worthless since i didn't shoot a water jug.

S&Wfan
September 6, 2010, 06:35 PM
I use Remington 230 grain Golden Sabre in my 1st generation Kimber Ultra CDP . . . and for the same three reasons I once used original Federal Hydrashok in 230gn.

1. It is utterly reliable

2. It shoots right to point of aim.

3. It shoots really tight groups.

T'ain't rocket science ever when selecting ammo for any bottom feeder. It is as easy as "1 - 2 - 3."

Ben86
September 7, 2010, 12:16 AM
For me it goes:

#1 Reliability

#2 Accuracy

#3 Ballistic Performance

Cost and availability to also things to consider. Still I am not against paying about $1 a cartridge and ordering off the internet if it means I get what I want.

roo_ster
September 7, 2010, 01:41 PM
To echo others...

1. Reliability
Can only be determined by the shooter. Mas Ayoob's standard was/is 200 rounds without failures (usually after a break-in period).

2. Accuracy
Can only be determined by the shooter.

3. Terminal Performance
Usually by reference to gun rags or studies

4. Cost
If you can't afford to determine if it is reliable, it costs too much. 200 rounds is likely 10 boxes of premium HPs. If your weapon is a Kel-tec, you may have just spent more $$$ finding a reliable load than you spent on the weapon purchase.

Even given contemporary hollow-points' superior performance, some are just less likely to perform well in short bbls, negating the benefit of the HP.

I could not find anything that expanded worth a darn out of my AMT DAO Backup and eventually went with hardball in it.

As for specific suggestions of premium HPs, they are all darned good, nowadays. Remington Golden Sabre HPs in their various chamberings have been the most reliable in the most of my autoloaders.

Ben86
September 7, 2010, 01:57 PM
There's no way I would spend the money to put hundreds of rounds of premium through my guns to make sure it works. That seems excessive. I do one or two boxes that's it.

skoro
September 7, 2010, 02:42 PM
I like the Buffalo Bore 185gr hollow points. Gold Dots and Golden Sabers have worked well, too. But the BBs feel like they have a little extra over the others. And they'd better - they're more expensive.

marcus40
November 8, 2010, 04:06 PM
I use the Corbon Power Ball 165gr bullet as my concealed carry load. The Glock 36 is a shorter barrel than most 45acp guns, and I figure the lighter grain bullet will get out of the muzzle with sufficient energy to handle self defense issues.
Just my own preference,
marcus

Ben86
November 8, 2010, 07:01 PM
Thread Necromancy! :D

Oh well. You've got to be careful about using lighter bullets in short barrels. It can significantly decrease momentum and therefore penetration. Don't make the mistake of only looking at how things look on paper. Velocity is not everything.

wally
November 8, 2010, 08:16 PM
Much as I love my 1911s, I'm of the opinion than when the barrel get below 4" the .45ACP is best replaced by a .40S&W. More velocity same sectional density, smaller and lighter pistol.

If you enjoyed reading about "Recommended Defense Ammo for 3" 1911s" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!