Is 230gr 45ACP FMJ sufficient for self-defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sharpshooter74, May 24, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sharpshooter74

    sharpshooter74 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    I can't seem to find any 230gr 45ACP HP anywhere, but there are plenty of 230gr FMJ in the stores around here. I'm thinking about stocking up on the FMJ, because those are the only ones available. I'm going to buy at least 5 boxes of WWB 230gr 45 ACP FMJ. They're not going to be for target practice, but more for self-defense. Is it adequate enough for self-defense?
     
  2. Pyzon

    Pyzon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    329
    Oh yeah......
     
  3. DeepSouth
    • Contributing Member

    DeepSouth Random Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    4,325
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie (AL)
    Yep, it is.

    For the record, right now if you want any .45 ammo, buy what ever you can find.

    I have not seen a box of WWB for sale locally this year!
     
  4. krs

    krs Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,609
    Location:
    Tall Trees
    45spread2.gif

    du-uh! You think?
     
  5. weisse52

    weisse52 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,362
    Location:
    Bountiful, Utah
    Has been since it was first designed. And it was designed to taking down a person.

    Many will disagree, but in this case a FMJ is just fine.
     
  6. B yond

    B yond Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,270
    A HP in a lesser caliber might expand to .45", but a .45 isn't going to get smaller.

    A HP would probably be better, but a FMJ is sufficient.
     
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,861
    Are they as good as a JHP? No. Will they work for SD? Sure, any bullet will work for SD, if they don't quit comming after one shot shoot again.

    KRS, nice pic of a flattened FMJ. Metal plate or rocks? Against soft targets, esp as small as a man, they'll just punch on through and go mostly undeformed.
     
  8. Confederate

    Confederate Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,402
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    My own recommendation would be to go with a 185gr JHP or even a 200gr JHP. I'm not a big fan of FMJ in any caliber, and the lighter bullet stands a better chance of opening up, it will give you greater velocity, less recoil and ricochet less on the street. Still, to answer your question, yes, the 230gr FMJ is adequate. It will give you around a 60% one-shot stop; a 185gr/200gr JHP about an 85%. These are all more than adequate.
     
  9. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,728
    Yeah, .45 ACP in FMJ ought to do it.
     
  10. mrjig

    mrjig Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Albany NY area
    Before i got active in handloading i hunted whitetails with my wife's national match .45 with military hardball.
    Granting that deer are not enraged thugs on pcp i can nonetheless assert that deer hit in the forward 1/3 by that 230 gr fmj went down right now.
    More than a few would attest to that were they able to speak.
    From my experience, I would certainly consider the cartridge adequate.
    dick
     
  11. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,616
    Location:
    Deep in the Heart of the Lone Star State (TX)
    If you hit the right spot.....
     
  12. coltoriginal

    coltoriginal member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    I only ever have FMJ in .45, it's big enough on it's own. Always has been.

    In the world of ball ammo .45 is still king
     
  13. don95sml

    don95sml Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Near Roanoke, VA
    I don't think anyone makes a .46 caliber, so you should be OK!
     
  14. Hungry Seagull

    Hungry Seagull member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,167
    Usually hospitals send .45 patients to the under taker and patch the rest.

    I have speer lawman FMJ and gold dot hollow both in 230 grains.

    I like heavy and slow. The low drag high speed has it's place too.. but down in the South things are just plain slow the way it's done right.

    I believe it was the Marines who used the gun in the 1911 form early in the 1900's to drop narcotic crazed attackers in time of war.
     
  15. Big Daddy Grim

    Big Daddy Grim Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    618
    Location:
    Idaho
    45 round nose FMJ will stop someone cold it works great.
     
  16. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,714
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    Better than nothing, but I would urge finding and stocking (at least enough to fill your in-gun and spare mags, plus reliability testing) some JHP when it becomes available. Nine millimeter FMJ has a bad reputation for overpenetration and poor wounding, but this is less true with the larger, slower, blunter bullet of the .45.
     
  17. Greybeard7

    Greybeard7 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    NC
    Adequate, yes, optimal, no. IMO.

    However, vastly superior to being empty. :D

    Whatever WWB you have, you can always use it for target ammo when you can buy better self defense rounds.

    I would consider the WWB a stopgap measure until you can get better self defense ammunition. Will it work? Well, it is a .526 ounce bullet traveling at 835 FPS with 356 lbs of muzzle energy. That's pretty potent out of a handgun and the 230 gr FMJ was the issue round for the .45 for the military. (I'm not sure what the contract specs were for that round.)

    Whatever you have, you can always shoot the WWB for target practice later. It's not like it will go bad in your lifetime. ;)

    GB7
     
  18. RandyB

    RandyB Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    indiana
    FMJ works. Shot placement and training count for more than bullet design.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
  19. Ken Rainey

    Ken Rainey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    MS
    +1 RandyB ... shot placement with adequate penetration is the deciding factors with handgun ammunition. For a FMJ round, the 230 grain .45 is just about ideal. The dreaded overpenetration of lighter faster FMJs has carried over to this round just because it is a FMJ. A solid torso hit with the heavier slower 230 FMJ is not nearly as likely to overpenetrate as the lighter faster FMJs do...and even they don't ALL of the time, it reallly depends on what the bullet encounters on it's way to the torso and what it encounters inside of it as well...can't never tell what it's gonna have to be able to do until it's done....and a 230 FMJ will pretty much be spent if it does make it all the way thru after a solid hit. Misses and near misses will cause the same concern whether FMJ or HP ... :scrutiny:

    With todays situation with ammunition, I'd much rather spend X amount of money for a 50 rd box of 230 FMJs than the same amount of money for a 20 rd box of HPs that isn't enough to fill three magazines...especially if my practice/training had been with the 230 FMJs and the HP dependability was yet to be determined ... ;)
     
  20. Baneblade

    Baneblade Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    FMJ is not the ideal round for self-defense... it has a much lower stop rate than hollow point rounds...

    Blah blah blah. I am sure the FMJ would still stop me with one shot. And no, I won't volunteer to test that theory!
     
  21. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    N. CA.
    Shot placement is very important. However, a properly placed .45 HP will do more damage than a properly placed FMJ. (All other things being equal)
     
  22. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    The 45acp FMJ is deadly. The US Army did plenty of testing to be sure it worked. The switch to 9mm FMJ was a poor idea.
     
  23. Confederate

    Confederate Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,402
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Yes, the U.S. Army did plenty of testing. Unfortunately, only FMJ can be used in either 9mm or .45 ACP. FMJ also isn't normally what one would pick if one could have something better.

    I'm not sure what 230gr advocates think the advantage of weight is in such a round, but anytime you can get a hollowpoint to open up, it's going to increase the stopping power. With a 230gr FMJ, you're not going to get much expansion unless you hit a hip or skull. With lighter bullets, you'll get more velocity, a good chance for expansion, a better temporary wound channel and less recoil. Add a little more velocity to it (in the form of +P), and it's even better.

    I have a friend who not only fought in Korea, he wrote a book on the fighting ability of various foreign troops there. In the cold northern areas where the Chinese troops wore heavy clothing, there were many cases where they'd find bodies, pierced with machine gun ammo, but with multiple .45 ACP ammo lodged in the quilt-like coats. It was the machine gun fire that killed them, but it's the .45 bullets that didn't make it through that interested the military.

    I've talked to, and read about, a number of soldiers who didn't feel that the .45 ACP ammo lived up to its larger-than-life reputation. And though I don't go so far as to worthless (which a lot of these guys unfortunately concluded), I will say there's a lot of BS that accompanies the .45 ACP folklore.

    My friend (above) also told me that the Colt 1911s jammed repeatedly in cold weather. This was no fault of the gun or the ammo—just the fact that it was bitter cold and lubrication, being what it ain't, just wasn't doing the job.

    Until recently, I thought all the military guys would have preferred .45 Colt autos, but a friend of mine who just got back from a third tour to Iraq, said that with a choice of firepower over stopping power, that it would be firepower every time. If they used their 9mm Berettas, they wanted full magazines and the ability to throw a lot of lead at the enemy.

    So not everything's as clear cut as one might think. And as far as the military trials went, just remember that they were comparing FMJs against FMJs. Had they changed the 9mm to JHPs, the results could have been far, far different.

    .
     
  24. Clarence

    Clarence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    507
    Location:
    KCMO
    Yes.
     
  25. bernie

    bernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    806
    Location:
    The great state of Arkansas
    Yes, It will work fine for self defense although there may be better options. That being said, I would not consider myself badly prepared if I had a 1911A1 and hardball.

    That being said, I have heard and read alot of stuff during the Korean conflict that I quite frankly have a hard time believing. I was a soldier, and not all troops are equipment hounds or know much about firearms and balistics. I read a book once about an infantry officer in Korea who said the .45ACP was a poor manstopper but that the military issue
    .38 special would drop a charging Chinaman DRT every time! Come on now.

    I do not believe that the .45 ACP is a superior round for penetration, because it is not. However, I also do not believe that if I put on a quilted Chinese uniform it is the same as body armor for .45 ACP ammo. I suspect, that someone was shooting at these enemy soldiers way outside of the effective range of the round, even from a Thompson or grease gun. I do not know, but a .45 ACP hardball round fired from a subgun, would probably not have enough "umph" to poke through one of these uniforms. But I could be wrong there too!

    I am not an operator, nor do I play one on TV, so my opinions, which are just that, may be wrong. I will continue to trust the .45 ACP round, even in it's hardball form, even when I carry in the winter and people tend to wear coats!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice