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most reliable 230 grain hollowpoint

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by squinty, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. squinty

    squinty Member

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    I like standard pressure 230 grain .45 ammo for everything except short barreled pistols. I don't know much about bullet shape (What does "ogive" mean - never mind) and I don't care as much about terminal performance as I do about reliability, though I want something that will expand, instead of just ball. So I'm soliciting opinions - which .45 Hollowpoint has been the most reliable, across a variety of guns, for you, fellow high roaders?
     
  2. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    I carry Federal HSTs in my .45 and my 9mm. They always test out on top, and are the choice of many police agencies.
     
  3. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Member

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    I have read that Speer Gold Dots are pretty stable across the board for a bonded bullet.

    From all the articles on bullets and ballistics that I have read, I don't really expect my Hollow Points to expand. Ballistic gelatin is not a real life , living, breathing mammal, so its hard to tell what the rounds will do.
     
  4. Bill_G

    Bill_G Member

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    Rem golden saber. it feeds in pistols that can't feed any other HP. selected by the FBI HRT teams.
     
  5. mgjohn

    mgjohn Member

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    I am a fan of the Federal Hydra Shock. But any of the new generation HP's do well. Go with what the gun shoots best.
     
  6. Kingofthehill

    Kingofthehill Member

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    DPX Full copper and no jacket to come off or fall apart.

    JOe
     
  7. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    According to FBI Stats....................Federal 230gr. JHP is the 1.
     
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I switched from Federal Hydra-Shoks to 230 gr Federal HSTs.

    But REALLY, I think you have to start splitting hairs to see the real world difference between the effectiveness and reliable expansion of most premium JHPs. If, for some elaborate hypothetical reason, I had to shoot defensively and I was stuck with hardball ammo, I wouldn't have anxiety.
     
  9. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    I have had good performance from Winchester 230gr .45acp JHP in my 1911. 100% reliable feeding and shoot virtually to the same point of aim as 230gr hardball.
     
  10. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    Gold Dots have run flawlessly in everything I've tried them in. I just made the switch to HSTs, and they run great in the one 1911 I've tried them in so far. I've never used them, but Golden Sabers seem to have the roundest bullet profile, so they may be more likely to feed in guns that don't like hollowpoints.
     
  11. rmfnla

    rmfnla Member

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    Will any of that stuff really expand at the velocities you get from a short barrel?

    One of the things I like about the 230 grain .45 ball is it is an effective stopper without needing to expand, and it feeds reliably in any decent-quality gun.
     
  12. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    Charles Petty did a series of gelatin shoots with a very small .45 a few years back and got good expansion on the latest JHPs - velocities were in the 650-750 FPS area, IIRC.

    So, get a premium JHP and shoot a couple of boxes through your handgun. Good to go! :D
     
  13. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    The people who designed these bullets knew the velocity they would be traveling when they designed and tested them.

    The only times I worry about performance is when they start loading bullets to move at velocities OTHER THAN the velocities they were intended.
     
  14. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    How much you willing to pay? I'm a cheapskate so I buy WWB JHP no problems yet after shooting a couple hundred rounds.
     
  15. Manco

    Manco Member

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    Short as in shorter than a rifle barrel or shorter than, say, 4"? If you mean the former, then most modern JHPs are pre-cut (some all the way down like the HST) and should expand as designed at normal .45 ACP velocities (and the relatively close range of self-defense). If you mean the latter, then they should expand a little, which is better than nothing. And even if they don't expand at all, the shape of a JHP is more effective at crushing and tearing the flesh it encounters than that of a round-nose bullet, or so I tend to believe.

    In comparison to what? A 9mm bullet, for example, is fairly close in size and they're both small in comparison to their targets. I think that "ball" rounds shot from pistols, whatever their always small size, tend to mostly tear a minimal hole and push the flesh out of their way by stretching it. That's probably why their wound tracks appear so narrow in ballistic gelatin. For comparison, in tests I've seen semi-wadcutters appear to carve a ragged permanent cavity as wide as the bullets themselves, crushing everything in their path. Of course, flesh is not exactly gelatin, so the results may not be identical. I just haven't seen any convincing evidence that .45 ACP ball, with its smoothly curved shape, kills more effectively than, say, 9mm ball (they both can certainly kill, but act sort of like icepicks).

    Maybe I'm just paranoid, but do these rounds have sealed primers like premium (and military) rounds do? I feel a tad more comfortable knowing that unexpected environmental contamination won't make my self-defense rounds into duds at the worst possible time.
     
  16. MK11

    MK11 Member

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    That's like that old saying, "A 9mm may expand but a .45 won't ever shrink." Well...if it's ball, yeah it does, kinda.
     
  17. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    Nope, to be honest I can't afford to shoot enough of the +$1.00 a round stuff to feel proficient so I compromise.
     
  18. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Gold Dots. They make good ashtrays too.
     
  19. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Exactly how does a .45 'shrink'?
     
  20. SC_1911Shooter

    SC_1911Shooter Member

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    Federal HST & Speer Gold Dots are supremely reliable & great terminal performance in my experience...of course, not having been shot by them :).
     
  21. Manco

    Manco Member

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    It supposedly "shrinks" (not literally, of course) like I described in the post right before the one that you responded to. The theory is that solid round-nose bullets, due to their streamlined shape, tend to "squeeze" their way through very small holes torn in flesh rather than punching a caliber-sized permanent cavity all the way through. While the entrance wound may be caliber-sized (not sure as I haven't closely examined any myself) because the bullet's velocity is so high at that point, the bullet obviously slows down very rapidly when it encounters flesh and is therefore much less likely to crush every bit that it encounters, pushing most of it out of the way temporarily (part of the temporary cavitation that absorbs the bullet's energy). Supposedly bullets with different shapes such as flat-nose, wadcutter, and semi-wadcutter will use more of their energy to create a caliber-sized permanent cavity rather than a larger temporary cavity. Tests in ballistic gelatin that I've seen appear to bear this out, although gelatin is not exactly the same as flesh, of course. Flesh, however, is generally more elastic and resilient than gelatin, I believe, so take that for whatever it's worth.

    Admittedly, this unproven theory depends partly on the real effects of temporary cavitation or rather the lack thereof. The consensus (which proves nothing ;)) among both forensics experts and gun enthusiasts seems to be that service handgun calibers lack sufficient energy, by a long shot, to cause meaningful damage to flesh outside of the permanent cavity. Kinetic energy makes a nice pattern in gelatin and blows up milk jugs just fine, but (most) flesh is tougher and more elastic as long as there is enough support and total resistance to stretching around it; the latter accounts for exit wounds, which would merely be small holes if the flesh around it were well supported.

    What this all boils down to is that some believe or strongly suspect that with round-nose bullets specifically, shot out of handguns, the diameter of the bullet doesn't matter very much (it must count for something but extremely little). Hollow-points and other bullet designs are a different story, but supposedly all round-nose bullets poke tiny holes through most of the target, whatever their caliber. Obviously this runs counter to the popular theory of .45 ACP's pronounced superiority over narrower calibers when using FMJ-RN rounds, such as for military purposes. Both contradictory theories are based on consensus opinions and backed by some anecdotal "evidence" in the field as well, so which is more likely to be correct? :evil:

    Sorry about the unintentional thread hijack, by the way--sometimes I just respond to what I read. :eek:

    OK, whatever works for each of us is fine, but I get around this by training with far less expensive FMJ rounds loaded to similar specs. For me that's close enough, but I totally understand why some folks prefer to train with the exact ammo they would use for defensive purposes--it's a personal thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  22. Coltman 77

    Coltman 77 member

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    Everyone above pretty much nailed it.

    I like Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, Remington Golden Saber, Hornady TAP.
     
  23. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    We run Speer Gold Dots in everything from 9mm to .50 AE and have yet to have any problems with them. Solid reputation on the street as well. The 230 gr Gold Dot is our preferred JHP for our .45s, and it tends to function reliably and accurately out of all of them, including a 1911, a SIG P220, and a Ruger P90.
     
  24. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I have heard that Golden Sabers feed the best because of their rounded ogive.
     
  25. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    My experience in shooting small-medium sized game shows that a .45 leaves a healthy wound channel at least the diameter of the bullet. I think it takes a bit of imagination to think how it would be otherwise.
     
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