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45acp penetration question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by DeepSouth, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Well-Known Member

    I recently killed a deer with a 45 and the bullet busted through two ribs and stopped just under the skin of the out going side. This was a 230gr Gold Dot Short Barrel, I honestly wouldn't have expected that amount of penetration out of a 45 (especially one with a 3in barrel.) Anyway, it got me to thinking about which would penetrate more, a 185gr jhp or 230gr jhp?

    My thinking is that the 185gr is faster so it might penetrate more, but it doesn't have the weight behind it so it could be easier to stop, not to mention the higher velocity could result in better expansion also resulting in less penetration. The 230gr might have more weight behind it but would the lower velocity prevent penetration, and result in less expatiation?

    I don't really think it would be enough difference to notice, but the question has been bouncing around in my head for a while so I figured I would let you chime in and put an end to my pointless pondering and nitpicking.:uhoh:
  2. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    In short, 230gr bullets tend to hold onto their momentum for longer, and penetrate even better relative to 185gr bullets when shot out of shorter barrels, as well. For more detailed information, read the following thread until you just can't stands the pain no more: ;)

  3. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Well-Known Member

  4. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting the data, REAPER4206969, although unfortunately there aren't any numbers for 185gr .45 ACP for comparison. If you look at the first image, however, you can see that the heavier-for-caliber bullets penetrated the deepest for 9mm and .40 S&W, and the same would probably hold true for .45 ACP as well.

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