Best .45 defensive round?


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sevenpoint62mm
May 22, 2004, 01:38 AM
Just moved form a 9mm to a .45. Bought a box of PMC starfires on the fly, just see how they are on the range. Would like to stay on the high grain end (200 or more) Would like to hear many suggestions and reasonings.

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Stephen A. Camp
May 22, 2004, 01:45 AM
Hello. There are many views on this. While the link below covers more than just .45 ACP, some information is there that might be of use:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Personal%20Choices.htm

Whatever choice you wind up with, the first absolute is that it must be reliable in your pistol.

Best.

George Hill
May 22, 2004, 01:55 AM
The best choice for a defensive round may not be the most powerful or the most hyped. It's the one that is the most reliable (first consideration) and the most accurate (secondary consideration here) in your gun being fired by you.
Oddly enough, my carry load is Winchester Silvertips. I've never used them as my carry load, but out of my Cougar they are the most accurate (everything i've tried in the cougar has been reliable) and are even very pleasant to shoot.


Shoot well!

sm
May 22, 2004, 02:18 AM
Mr. Camp and Mr. Hill are VERY knowledgeable .
Re- read the part about Reliable in "your" gun and the POA/POI in "your" gun.

Win STHP have worked VERY well for ME in many platforms as being reliable to feed - POA/POI. The recoil is easy to manage. I consider it a good choice for use inside a home, apt ,or office setting btw.

Shot placement...shot placement...shot placement...demands a load feed, extract and hit where supposed to.

I have many choices I can shoose from. I have run a min of 200 rds through for reliability and POA/POI. I have run as many as 1k rds of some - just in testing, before I carried.

I grab what is handy from known tested loads for said guns. I've done MY homework. :)

Oh I'm confident in Mr Camp's report's...he is great guy. He would think less of me if I didn't test in my gun though. :)

My apologies to "Mr." Mad Ogre :D

Todesengel
May 22, 2004, 05:38 AM
The Remington Golden Saber rounds are very "feeding friendly" shaped and have good balistics also.

stans
May 22, 2004, 08:11 AM
I also support the idea of the best defensive round being the one that is 100% reliable in your gun! Accuracy is important to a degree, but 50 yard accuracy is not the issue here. Defensive shootings occur up close and personal, usually less than 7 yards, frequently much less! So accuracy at longer ranges just is not that important. Now you don't want a round that shoots four inches away from the point of aim at 7 yards! So make sure your selected round goes where you want it to go.

1goodshot
May 22, 2004, 08:16 AM
I like Speer gold dots.

RWK
May 22, 2004, 08:19 AM
George,

Nothing odd about Silvertips (IMHO); in fact, I would guess they are one of the most respected personal defense rounds.

Regards.

wally
May 22, 2004, 08:50 AM
Silvertips used to be the favorite of gun writers until a 9mm silvertip failed to penetrate enough to stop the fight in the famous FBI Miami Shootout (details at www.thegunzone.com).

Now Silvertips are the poster child for over-expansion and inadaquate penetration.

I carry 230 gr Hydrashoks or Golden Sabers -- whichever is cheapest when I need more. I'd try Gold Dot if they were cheaper that these two, but it'd be a waste to have to shoot enough of them to verify reliablity in my guns as I've already done it for two brands. Federal is messing with the Hydrashok line so I may try Gold Dots if Hydrashok bullet changes and/or gets more expensive.

--wally.

who me
May 22, 2004, 09:31 AM
I use Gold Dots in all my CCW pieces. Super feeding, great accuracy, and in my own expansion test they did very well. I also want to give the Winchester Rangers a try.

Sean Smith
May 22, 2004, 10:51 AM
The generic answer, based on the assumption that it is reliable and accurate in your gun would be:

Winchester Ranger RA45T 230gr.

Brigrat
May 22, 2004, 02:34 PM
"Silvertips used to be the favorite of gun writers until a 9mm silvertip failed to penetrate enough to stop the fight in the famous FBI Miami Shootout (details at www.thegunzone.com).

Now Silvertips are the poster child for over-expansion and inadaquate penetration.

I carry 230 gr Hydrashoks or Golden Sabers -- whichever is cheapest when I need more. I'd try Gold Dot if they were cheaper that these two, but it'd be a waste to have to shoot enough of them to verify reliablity in my guns as I've already done it for two brands. Federal is messing with the Hydrashok line so I may try Gold Dots if Hydrashok bullet changes and/or gets more expensive.

--wally."


Although what you said about the silvertips is true, the cause of the inadequate penetration was more than likely the 115gr bullet, not so much the design of the silvertip. That being said, the silver tip is an older design, and is far surpassed by other modern rounds available today, such as teh Gold Dots, Golden Sabres, and Winchester Ranger T series.

Lennyjoe
May 22, 2004, 02:42 PM
My choice for the Kimber Pro Carry II is the Speer Gold Dot 200 gr +P JHP.

Feeds fine, follow up easy and the Gold Dot has a good rep.

Just my choice though.;)

Avery Goodschott
May 22, 2004, 05:23 PM
I've studied post after post on site after site

My mind is settled that any modern, well-engineered round from the major manufacturers will pass the tests.

I have function tested them in my guns and chosen the heaviest load.

#1 Ranger 230's...no +P thank you
#2 GS's when I can get the bonded 230's for my 625-3

YMMV

tbeb
May 22, 2004, 06:27 PM
(Don't get too wrapped up in what's the best round. Any will work if placed right.) Use whatever is 100% reliable in your pistol. Use what your pistol shoots to point of aim. The .45 ACP was designed for 230 gr. bullets. For these reasons I use the 230 gr. Federal Hydra-Shok.

Dr.Rob
May 22, 2004, 06:33 PM
230gr Federal Hydra Shock... by far my favorite, though the lighter 185 gr Silvertip feeds like ball ammo... nary a hitch in my old Colts.

Hypnogator
May 22, 2004, 11:41 PM
Another vote for the 230-gr Hydra-Shok. They are very accurate and reliable in my Taurus PT-145. What limited expansion tests I've done with these in shorter barrelled weapons indicate they are effective.

I'm wanting to try the new 200-gr Powerball rounds that Cor-Bon is coming out with, though.

I wouldn't be afraid of Win Rangers, Gold Dots, Golden Sabres, or any similar premium loads. I prefer to stick with a heavier bullet weight, and consider 200-gr to be the minimum for .45.

Treylis
May 23, 2004, 06:59 AM
Winchester Ranger RA45T 230gr.

That's what I'm packing in my gun.

Boats
May 23, 2004, 09:00 AM
I'll add my voice to the 230gr Gold Dot vote.

g21forme
May 23, 2004, 09:18 AM
They are all the same

cratz2
May 23, 2004, 10:49 AM
They are all the same
That's an interesting opinion... :uhoh:

Assuming 100% reliability and approsimately equal accuracy in your gun, you favorites are:

Ranger +Ps
Ranger Non-+Ps
230 Gr Gold Dots
200 Gr +P Gold Dots
230 Gr Non-+P Golden Sabers

I also would not feel underarmed with SilverTips... I used to swear by the 230 Gr Hydrashoks mostly because of Evan Marshall and the fact that it seemed like at least half of the agencies that issued 45ACPs issued the HydraShoks. Many reports of failed expansion (and thus increased penetration) in the HydraShoks have somewhat pushed me away from them though plenty of people swear by them and I'd still rather have the HydraShoks than ball ammo in a carry gun.

djf
May 23, 2004, 12:20 PM
My choices:

1. Remmington Golden Sabers
2. Speer Gold Dots
3. Everything els

Shmackey
May 23, 2004, 01:50 PM
I agree about the Golden Sabers. Good stuff.

Gold Dots are a good invention, but they haven't fed reliably in everything I've tried.

I'll throw a wildcard out there: Hornady XTP are well made, feed in anything, and should penetrate well. My Commander was very happy with the 185. The 200 +P was a handful.

Dave Sample
May 23, 2004, 03:03 PM
WWC GI Hardball any year.

George Hill
May 23, 2004, 03:18 PM
Hornady stuff is almost always universally excellent. The XTP's are a personal favorite of mine.
When I said "Odd" about the Silvertips, I didn't mean that they were odd or anything... just that I found it odd when the Silvertips turned out to be the most accurate in my little Cougar. Reliability as so far been 100% with everything so saying it was more reliable is impossible... everything though it fed well with no hint of a problem. Even an Empty shell fed. But when I was shooting groups, consistantly the Silvertips gave the tightest groups.
I think this is more important than an edge in penetration or velocity or expansion... because I believe in PLACEMENT. The Silvertip has enough grunt to do the job, maybe more or maybe less than other rounds, but I am confident in my ability to apply this round to where I determin it will do the most good with this gun. This is my formula. Yours may differ. Out of other guns, the Hornady loads have almost always been the most accurate for me... with the exception of the Hydra Shok 230's which have been most accurate for me out of my SIG P220.

Of course all if this is by very small margins.

Delmar
May 23, 2004, 03:24 PM
Interesting that you go with the XTP Shmackey. I'm of the understanding that XTP's open rather slow compared to the Gold Dots and such, but I have always been able to get really good accuracy out of them.
I would assume the +P loads will open them up faster.

Marshall
May 23, 2004, 09:59 PM
The Silvertip has enough grunt to do the job, maybe more or maybe less than other rounds, but I am confident in my ability to apply this round to where I determin it will do the most good with this gun.

Agreeable! I have been able to see the Silvertips damage in game I have taken with them, they're an extremely capable round. Granted, it was in a different caliber but they are Silvertips none the less. I have used many different types of ammo in hunting handguns and the Silvertips have been the most accurate for me too. Matter of fact, so much so that I don't shoot anything else out of my hunting handguns.

In my defensive hanguns I use them, as well as Gold Dots, Golden Sabers and Win SXT's, the latter of which I really like also.

Shmackey
May 23, 2004, 11:39 PM
Interesting that you go with the XTP Shmackey.

Either that or Golden Saber; both are excellent feeders.

sevenpoint62mm
May 24, 2004, 09:05 PM
Thanks alot guys, all great info. Going to buy 150 rounds of the following for testing, going to see how each performs for my P97dc:

Hydrashock 230s
Golddot 230s
Winchester Ranger 230s
Silvertips (though I heard these perform like those overhyped Black talons, not sure)

My priorities are:

1.) feeding
2.) maximum expansion
3.) maximum penetration
4.) recoil
5.) fps

Going to have to sweet talk the Misses for an allowance, thats alot of expensive ammo. :eek: But the price for peace of mind is worth it.

Delmar
May 25, 2004, 05:44 AM
sevenpoint62mm

In the event your particular 1911 has any feed problems not related to the magazine, try a box of Remington's 185 +P. The bullet countour is very much like ball ammo, and 1150 fps will make that hollow point open fairly reliably.

Grayrock
May 26, 2004, 12:59 AM
I just bought some of the Taurus copper hex bullets seen here: http://www.taurususa.com/products/products-ammo-45.cfm
They grouped very well for me and fed reliably.http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=1023522

M1911Owner
May 26, 2004, 02:27 AM
I thought that solid copper bullets were banned by the "cop-killer bullet" ban?

gyp_c2
May 26, 2004, 02:40 AM
...My guns shoot more accurately with the XTP than anything else, the Gold Dots feed but don't seem to have the accuracy and all the tests I've seen don't show a dimes difference in the branded modern hollowpoints.
...Overall the XTP feeds best and is the most accurate...IN MY GUNS...http://www.stopstart.freeserve.co.uk/smilie/bandit.gif

pangris
May 26, 2004, 03:23 PM
Winchester Ranger or Remington Golden Sabre. Good profiles for feeding, reliable expansion, and tested to the top of the class with consistency.

Paul

Brad Johnson
May 26, 2004, 03:50 PM
I will echo the single most important part of this thread...

IT HAS TO BE 100% RELIABLE IN YOUR GUN!!

That being said, most modern self-defense rounds will do a pretty bang-up job of ruining the Bad Guy's day (pun intended). If not restricted in your area, any modern hollow point or expanding tip (EFMJ) ammo will do the trick. Some already mentioned are

Hyra-Shok
Gold Dot
Golden Sabre
XTP
Starfire
Ranger
Pow-R-Ball

And some of the less well-knowns like

Aguila IQ
MagSafe
BeeSafe

Aside from the reliability issue, it all comes down to shot placement. If you can't hit the BG, then the biggest gun in the most powerful caliber is nothing more than an expensive, noisy club. Suppose you had the choice of A) Missing the BG completely with a .500 Smith, or B) Hitting them where it counts with a .22 LR. Which do you think will be more effective?

Safe shooting!
Brad

sevenpoint62mm
May 26, 2004, 07:57 PM
Good point Brad, though I'm working on my targeting. Trying to look at readiness on all angles: a quality holster, the quality mags, quality ammo, quality weapon, and of course quality marksmenship. If any one piece of the above fails your probably going to be the victum.

Brad Johnson
May 27, 2004, 02:26 PM
Sounds like you're really trying to get a good, all-wround education on the pros and cons of your carry situation. Good Job!

Brad

dshimm
May 27, 2004, 03:22 PM
What functions in your auto loader is the most important consideration. Since you're carrying a .45, you are fortunate since even .45 ball (which most guns will feed reliably) is a decent round. Rem Golden Sabre has a very ball-like profile, and if your gun feeds ball reliably, it will probably feed GS (though you shouldn't believe me - verify it in your firearm). Some other jacketed hollow points have a bigger hollow and more radical profile, and may not feed reliably in all guns, particularly 1911's.

Quartus
May 27, 2004, 03:24 PM
Oddly enough, my carry load is Winchester Silvertips. I've never used them as my carry load,



George, ya done confused me! :confused:



Not that that is very hard to do! :D

ddj8052
May 27, 2004, 11:24 PM
I like the Winchester 230 gr Ranger SXT's

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid117/pe853865a86966629f6d2b6f012c212b3/f89bc5a8.jpg

NEtracker
May 28, 2004, 11:54 AM
Tested these out for accuracy & cycling in my SW1911:
Corbon 200gr, 230gr
Rem GS 185gr, 230gr
Speer GD 200gr, 230gr

Out of those, all cycled fine in my 1911, I found that I prefer the Golden Sabers 230gr or Gold Dot 230gr. I still need to try out the Fed HS, which are more available & cheaper around here.

Johnny Guest
May 28, 2004, 01:03 PM
- - Just almost any of the "major brand" 230 JHPs which are dead solid reliable in my pistols. tbeb summed up my feelings rather well:(Don't get too wrapped up in what's the best round. Any will work if placed right.) Use whatever is 100% reliable in your pistol. Use what your pistol shoots to point of aim. The .45 ACP was designed for 230 gr. bullets. . . . My agency issues 230 Gold Dots and Win Ranger SXT 230s interchangeably. My everyday Commander and my primary Government Model both shoot the GDHPs a little tighter, so that is my choice. Our regs specify a factory JHP because of the (perceived) reduced risk of ricochets and over penetration. But for that rule, I could happily live with 230 FMJ - - It is controllable, accurate, and adequately powerful, and feeds reliably in almost any pistol.

My pistols also shoot the Remington Golden Saber 230 and Federal HydraShok well, and I would happily use either of them. I haven't shot enough Hornady XTP factory ammo to form an opinion. The bullets I have handloaded worked fine.

I do not feel the need for super-hot, ultra velocity light bullet ammo. The POSSIBLE added "stopping power" is not worth the trade-off: Additional muzzle flash and recoil recovery time.

Isn't it nice that there is such a wide variety of loads available? We can all exercise our free choice. :D

Best,
Johnny

W Turner
May 28, 2004, 02:31 PM
Not trying to be difficult here guys, but IIRC, Browning actually designed the 1911 around the 200gr. LRN loading. It was the military that decided that 230gr. was better. SOmebody correct me if they can find otherwise documented.

However, 230 is generally accepted as the standard these days.

My default carry load of choice is either 200gr. +P or 230 SP Gold Dots with the 200gr. being the preferred round of the two. I have used/carried Cor-Bon, WWST, WWBHP, and Fed. HS in my various .45s. My current load is 230gr. Gold Dots bc the 200gr. loading is hard to find in this area and Natchez is still discriminating against Alabama residents.


Mino

jAK-47
May 28, 2004, 08:21 PM
Reliability and accuracy for your particular gun. When it comes to the .45 for CCW purposes, you won't see too much discussion concerning stopping power. Find the one that works BEST in your particular gun and you've got it made! Hey, it's a .45! The hard part is done!

jAK-47

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