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Is jhp overkill in 45 acp?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by brewer12345, Aug 8, 2018.

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  1. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I just bought a Springfield xdm in 45 and after shooting paper with it using flat point bullets, I am driven to wonder if jhp bullets are overkill for self defense. I saw gel tests of hornady factory ammo showing .75" expansion and 15 inch expansion. This is fineand well, but it seems deflection off bone or heavy clothes could reduce penetration. Is making a 45 caliber hole with a big meplat and likely complete penetration enough?
     
  2. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Personally, I would rather have my JHP bullet deflect inside a bad guy than have my solid bullet pass through... and hit something beyond.
     
  3. AZAndy
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    AZAndy Contributing Member

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    It's probably enough, yes, but I carry HST in mine. Luckygunners' gel tests used four layers of fabric to simulate clothing, and the HST expanded to .85" with 14" of penetration. That's good enough for the likes of me.
     
  4. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    This subject is overkill. Just kidding brewer ;). For handguns, I've always done JHP for two leg creatures and hard cast lead for four leg creatures.
     
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  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    This is a quote from Gunshot Injuries from LaGarde. This is a foundation book in wound ballistics. And this quote is from the board that recommended the Army adopt a 45 caliber bullet.

    "We are not acquainted with any bullet fired form a hand weapon that will stop a determined enemy when the projectile traverses soft parts alone. The requirements of such a bullet would need to have a sectional area like that of a 3 inch sold shot the recoil from which when used in hand weapons would be prohibitive"

    Based on that, unless you have a hand cannon with you, what exactly are you expecting from a handgun? All you are really doing is poking a hole in a creature. If you get lucky you hit the central nervous system, and the animal stops. If not lucky, than you are going to have to wait till that creature bleeds out, and strange things could happen between start and finish. Sure an expanded 45 caliber bullet is better than a not expanded 45 caliber bullet, and if it goes all the way through, that is a good thing.

    The current wave of jacketed bullets are the best we have ever had, they are being tested against better media, but nothing is perfect. Practice on your aim, pick your aim point, and worry less about bullet types and advertising.
     
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  6. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    For self defense why wouldn’t you use the most effective mainstream ammo that you have available to you that you can afford???

    There is no such thing as over kill in a pistol. They are not crazy powerful even with the best ammo available.

    I think running a good hollowpoint is absolutely the best course of action for a myriad of reasons whether it is HST or White Box HP.

    Where I think .45 does shine is if for some reason you have absolutely no access to defensive or quality ammo the FMJ or flat nosed stuff is better then the alternative in 9mm for example. (With quality defensive ammo it’s a wash)
     
  7. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Perhaps the word overkill is.the wrong one. I guess I wonder if one gives up too much penetration with a jhp. I suppose the mag holds 13 rounds so I could always alternate types of shell.

    If I really expected trouble I would have a 12 gauge stoked with 00 buck.
     
  8. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Handguns are a compromise. They are anemic when compared to even the most pedestrian rifle calibers. But they make up for it with the convenience of having one on you versus a long arm. So we choose projectiles that maximize the effectiveness of an otherwise marginal defensive tool. Yes, I know hardball works. Seen it, done it. But I have also read many reports that convince me of the increased effectiveness, however marginal that increase, of a jacketed hollow point.
     
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Define “overkill”, I don’t think I have ever killed anything deader than I intended to.
     
  10. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I carry .45cal 185gr GoldDot JHP's over 5.8gr of Bullseye in my 3.3" XDS. I feel comfortable with this load. I shoots well and cycles 100%. I think a lot of people over think their carry loads way too much.
     
  11. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    ALL service handgun rounds are under-powered.

    Get as much as you can shoot well, in a pistol as big as you can carry.

    ...then use it to fight your way to your rifle/shotgun.




    GR
     
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  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I've read that quote, or something very similar, dozens of times over the years and the facts don't agree. All of the typical service handguns 9mm and up tend to be effective the vast majority of the time in actual shootings with good JHP ammo. With old school FMJ they tend to be effective about 2/3 of the time. Caliber seems to be a non-issue and equal shot placement with a rifle is only slightly more effective.

    What a rifle does is improve accuracy and range, but at extreme close range the ability to use a handgun with one hand outweighs that.

    The best judge of what is effective is a handgun round that you can shoot accurately that will penetrate around 12" in gel along with good expansion. Expansion is good, and more is better unless it starts to limit penetration.
     
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  13. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    No way. So 10mm, 45 acp, 357 mag, 45 colt, are all "under-powered"? They are service handgun cartridges. Too many variables with your statement.
     
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  14. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I would say they are underpowered compared to the alternatives. Rifles and shotguns are significantly more powerful. The higher powered handgun rounds (45, 357, 10MM, etc.) have a reasonably good track record of stopping attackers. That said, they don't hold a candle to a high powered rifle or a 12 gauge loaded with buckshot or slugs. It is what it is. I am under no illusions that I am making a compromise when I put the 38 snub in my pocket or strap on the Makarov. That is the reason that I carry a 4" 357 or (now) the 45 when I am in a place where I can readily carry a full sized handgun. Carrying a long gun when I am not hunting or (never happens) expecting trouble is not practical.
     
  15. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Not really "underpowered" for their purpose, but they are not nearly as powerful as we think. Compare the .44 Magnum with even the .30-30. Old and slow rifle round wins every time in every measurable point. Handguns come into their own when it comes to portability and close quarters. If those are not significant concerns, choose a rifle. Don't get me wrong, I like handguns and am pretty good with one, particularly a 1911. But I'm also not under any illusions about them being magic death rays.
     
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  16. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Any bullet that hits something vital is better than any bullet that doesn't. Service calibers have enough energy to both penetrate deep enough and to expand while they do it. Just remember that there is no such thing as a magic bullet- shot placement is vital to achieve a hard-stop.
     
  17. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    No.
    If you need to use it, you need things to stop now. A bigger hole is more likely to do that.
    No one ever ended up in a gunfight wishing for less gun.
     
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  18. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Check out the link that AZAndy post #3 put up . That's the most thorough test results I've seen. Then you ca decide for you're self.:)
     
  19. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    If you carry a handgun for self defense, it is not to scare or wing shot the threat. It is to stop the threat, and to stop it you shoot to kill. And trust me, you can't kill a threat too much. A 45 bullet is big and will cause damage, but an expanded 45 HP bullet will cause a larger permanent wound cavity which equals more damage.
     
  20. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Member

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    Please, please don’t “be that guy” with alternating rounds in his gun...Or do...whatever floats the ol boat, right?

    As far as everyone else is concerned, cartridge type is pretty much irrelevant. 9mm, 44mag, and everything in between has essentially the same “one-shot-Stop” average based on a bunch of data that was collected. Link: https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

    There’s another chart that shows how long it took a goat to bleed out or something like that, here’s the link: https://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

    All those articles and charts do is confirm what’s already been said - just buy the best you can afford and carry quality ammo you shoot well and forget the rest.
     
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  21. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Don't worry that .45 HP won't penetrate unless you go with one of the so called "wonder bullets" that are woefully light for caliber. 185-230 grains is lots of mass, and that is the most important factor when it comes to penetration.
     
  22. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    My question to the O.P. is;

    Can you overpractice by going to the range and shooting your gun?

    My point is quit dwelling on the pencil and concentrate on the skill of the writer.
     
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  23. JONWILL

    JONWILL Member

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    45 FMJ has been killing since it was invented. Through 2 World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts.

    It will definitely get good penetration
     
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  24. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    .45ACP starts with an advantage over all the lesser-diameter cartridges and generally just gets even better when pushing a quality JHP when encountering 2-legged threats. If your threats include bigger-than-man-sized 4-legged critters, maybe truncated cone or round nose flat point is the best compromise.
     
  25. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Heh, guess I knew this would be controversial. Ok, jhp it is. Based on the linked ballistic tests I will be looking for gold dots or golden saber.

    The comment about practice is spot on, but I have to laugh. I have had to work to be proficient with a 38 snub. A full size duty pistol is so much easier to shoot it is amazing.
     
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