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Your Favorite Self-Defense Load in .45 ACP

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Patocazador, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I'm looking for an ideal .45 load for self-defense using a 185 gr. HP bullet. Can you share some of your favorites?

    I use a Hornady 185 HP-XTP with 9.1 gr. of Longshot but its bark is pretty loud.
     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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    I use factory Speer Gold Dot HP, Remington Golden Saber JHP and Winchester PDX-1 for SD/HD in 380Auto, 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP because I don't want my entire reloading equipment held as evidence if I am involved in a shooting. ;)

    I do reload "duplicate" rounds using bulk Gold Dot and Golden Saber projectiles to factory specs for range practice. I used to use WSF but now switched to BE-86 - http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/powderlist.aspx?type=1&powderid=38&cartridge=35
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  3. greg_r

    greg_r Member

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    I use a truncated cone. Matter of fact, I use a Truncated Cone in 380acp get a 95 grain, 38 spl, and 45 acp. They preform better than hollow points in cartridges that are below 1000 fps. My second choice though are the Hornady XTP's.
     
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  4. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    my favorite load is 6.5 (six point five) grains of Unique, in front of a 230gr XTP.
    I used to favor the Sierra JHPs, but the XTP is sweet
     
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  5. SamT1

    SamT1 Member

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    5 grains red or green dot under a 200 grain LSWC. Seatem pretty well shoulder level with the case mouth and they feed as well as ball in a 1911.

    I like the penetration the lead offers over a jacketed bullet. The load works much better than an XTP on wild hogs and coyotes. Especially the hogs.
     
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  6. Dwb1957

    Dwb1957 Member

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    I use 9grs of power pistol with a 185 gr jhp which is very stout but very accurate or 5.8 grs of sport pistol with a 200 gr swc. The power pistol load is about the same as your long shot load so you may not be interested in it lol. Both loads are below powder manufactures max loads but always work up slowly.
     
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  7. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I carry Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 230grn JHP's in my 4" Kimbers. I also load practice ammo using component bullets and 6.5grn Unique. My second bullet choice would be the 230grn XTP.

    I tried factory +P ammo, I think Speer Lawman 185grn, but BOY HOWDY those things put out a muzzle blast from the 4" barrel. Since then I stick with standard velocity factory.
     
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  8. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    185 XTP
    7.8gr CFE Pistol
     
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  9. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I think you'll find they work better if you put the bullet in front of the powder. ;)
    I only use factory ammo for SD; My favorite load is still the 230 Hydro-Shock. in 185 I like the Hornady Critical Defense.
     
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  10. irishlad

    irishlad Member

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    5.3 grs of W231 and 230 gr XTP
     
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  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    5 grains 700-X and 230 FMJ/RN works for me in the 45 ACP.
     
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  12. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    oh, so that's the problem! id always been afraid to ask for help with powder retention:confused:
     
  13. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    I like Speer Gold Dot 230s or Rem Golden Sabre 230.
    I prefer factory ammo for self defense,
    I got a bunch of XTP 185 with my press.
    Worked them up to 8grs of CFE-P close to 1100fps (stout) I am saving these in case of zombie attack.
    I just prefer to use factory ammo for SD. If I was to ever need to use reloads it would be one more thing that might be turned against me. Easy just to take it out of the equation and use the factory stuff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  14. CrankyCraig

    CrankyCraig Member

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    230 grain hydro shocks or gold dots.
    My better half uses the Hornady critical defense I believe there 185gr.

    I do not load my own self defense ammo because it’s just one more thing that could be used against me if god forbid I ever had to use my weapon to defend myself or my family.
     
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  15. greg_r

    greg_r Member

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    Pig hunting is what got me started using the TC. The TC and SWC are in my opinion 1st cousins, I just think the TC feeds better.

    We shot up some hams covered in khaki work pants. Enlightening.
     
  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Describes 90% of my co-workers....:p
     
  17. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Generally use hardball. I also like my 200 swc over 6.0 Unique gives me 950 fps and about 400 ft/lbs without stressing the gun.
     
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  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I haven't done much work with defensive 45 ACP ammo because I don't usually carry my 1911 but I have done a little. I do like W231 and the Speer 230 GDHP bullet. I usually charge 5.5gr. I am doing a little testing with W244 and W572 but nothing to report yet. W244 seems to be delivering high velocities and good accuracy but I will need to confirm.
     
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  19. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    I carry daily a Kimber UCC II loaded with 185 gr. XTP over 7.7 grains of WSF in Federal nickle plated brass primed with WLP. It gives me 850 fps +/- a few from a 3" barrel and it's clean burning.
     
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  20. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    How about WW case and WW primer with 5 grains of Bullseye using 225 grain pure lead hand cast hollow point @.451?
     
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  21. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    ArchAngel,
    cool W244 seems to be working for you, just picked up a lb, but testing last weekend got ruined by :cuss: work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  22. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    I tend to use whatever brand and a similar load to what the local law enforcement is using. That way, should I ever need to in court, I can say "I wasn't sure what to buy, but went and asked what the local law enforcement was using and simply used what they use. I figured it would be the best choice to do so."
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have 200 Gr Gold Dots in my 3" Kimber .45, 230 Gr Golden Sabers in my 5" 1911, and 124 Gr HSTs in my P-365 and XDm.

    Most any good modern JHP will work if we are up to the task.
     
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  24. RugerOldArmy

    RugerOldArmy Member

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    If I have a .45 ACP intended for self/home defense duty (and I usually have a shotgun behind the door and a .357 in the nightstand), I load it with factory ammo (Ranger loads or Gold Dots).

    I fell for the Internet Legend, that may or may not be true, that using handloads would potentially put me in legal jeopardy of using 'especially deadly handloads' in the event of a justified shoot.

    Otherwise, I'd likely feel comfortable with plain old hardball (5.4 Gr of Bullseye and a 230 FMJ), but would load 230 Gr XTP with a similar load just because I'm a reloader and would have confidence in it shooting accurately.

    Your mileage may vary.
     
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  25. TRX

    TRX Member

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    I use 250 grain Keith semi-wadcutters over 5 grains of Unique. None of my 1911s have any problems feeding the bullets even with their big flat noses.

    5 grains cycles the gun reliably without a lot of recoil and commotion. I have no idea what the velocity is, but the "baseball" trajectory indicates it's not all that fast. I've found them to be quite accurate.
     
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