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Best .45 defensive round?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sevenpoint62mm, May 22, 2004.

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  1. sevenpoint62mm

    sevenpoint62mm Member

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    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.
     
  2. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    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 Choices.htm

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

    Best.
     
  3. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    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!
     
  4. sm

    sm member

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    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
     
  5. Todesengel

    Todesengel Member

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    The Remington Golden Saber rounds are very "feeding friendly" shaped and have good balistics also.
     
  6. stans

    stans Member

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    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.
     
  7. 1goodshot

    1goodshot Member

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    I like Speer gold dots.
     
  8. RWK

    RWK Member

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    George,

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

    Regards.
     
  9. wally

    wally Member

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    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.
     
  10. who me

    who me Member

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    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.
     
  11. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    The generic answer, based on the assumption that it is reliable and accurate in your gun would be:

    Winchester Ranger RA45T 230gr.
     
  12. Brigrat

    Brigrat Member

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    "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.
     
  13. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    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.;)
     
  14. Avery Goodschott

    Avery Goodschott Member

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    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
     
  15. tbeb

    tbeb Member

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    (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.
     
  16. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  17. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Member

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    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.
     
  18. Treylis

    Treylis Member

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

    Boats member

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    I'll add my voice to the 230gr Gold Dot vote.
     
  20. g21forme

    g21forme Member

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    They are all the same
     
  21. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    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.
     
  22. djf

    djf Member

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    My choices:

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

    Shmackey Member

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    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.
     
  24. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    WWC GI Hardball any year.
     
  25. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    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.
     
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