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Thread: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

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    .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Shooters, I've always been an advocate of HydraShoks but I've been told there are better new bullets. So my simple question is how are some of the new bullets compared to a 230 grain HydraShok?
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Most police depts use Speer gold dots. When I get lost on what caliber to buy, I just get a speed gold dot.

    that being said, I recently got winchester ranger +p for my Mk23 and 1911, mainly because I wanted the +p and that's all that was available. it's still a very popular (another very common) le round.

    so go with Speer Gold dot or winchester ranger.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    My own take on it is not to sweat the differences. I'm in the "whatever's clever" camp: H-Shoks, GDs, GSs, Rangers, if it's from a decent manufacturer and on sale when I go to swap out carry rounds, in it goes. The other year I came up on some Black Hills 230gr JHP for less than $25 per 50. The Federal Hi-Shok line is pretty reasonable and often on sale at the major on-line retailers.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I agree with Veer. I might be more concerned if I was LE and more likely to need to think about barriers, auto glass, eyc. But for something I will hopefully never have to use, I trust about any name brand.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    What length barrel are you using? What works in a 5" 1911 may not expand reliably at the lower velocities from compact-length pistols.

    A lot of research several years ago led me to the Ranger +P load as one of the very few that are suitable for shorter barrels (I was carrying a 3" 1911 at the time).

    Here is the full list of recommended .45ACP loads from Dr. Gary Roberts ("DocGKR" on several forums):

    http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.p...f-Defense-Ammo

    Barnes XPB 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
    Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
    Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    You should be using a bonded bullet. Some of the older ammo is not bonded and there is no reason to ignore the newer and better bullets. The Federal Tactical line is excellent but difficult to find.

    It is worth the extra few dollars if you carry this ammuntion with any potential for use in defending your life or those of others. Conditions are fluid in shootings and there is no way to determine if you will have to shoot and penetrate another medium to impact your target. Some of the bullets don't do well in the penetration tests and will not make it to the intended target with sufficient penetration to do what is needed.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?


    My opinion is unpopular because I prefer penetration to expansion. Therefore, I prefer a hot, hand loaded fmj.

    Penetration is good.
    Penetration is good.
    Penetration is good.


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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

    This guy seems to have studied and written a lot on the issue. This chart contains quite a bit of data supposedly gleaned from actual shootings.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I believe Casey is right in that penetration is more important than expansion if you have to choose between one or the other...however, I'm not aware of any 45ACP non-exotic self defense loadings that have inadequate penetration on humans so you shouldn't have to make that compromise. Glaser? Maybe. Otherwise, I haven't seen any lead 45ACP load 185 to 230grains that will fail to penetrate to the vitals on a human. Therefore, you should choose rounds that expand. I think Casey's logic is sound if you were shooting a .380, but 9mm or 45acp typically dont experience underpenetration so you are definitely giving up some performance by insisting on FMJ.

    I second Speer Gold Dot, and like HST in the 45 ACP as well even though it isnt bonded-if the 45 looses its jacket it is still heavier than most pistol rounds. I have shot both though deer in the 180 lb range broadside, both expanded and exited.

    I do think Casey's point deserves to be re-iterated...without penetration you have nothing, and you may need more than you think in a self defense shooting. Consider an aggressor wearing winter clothing, with his arms in front of him in a typical fighting "blade" stance. In that reasonable scenario, you may need to penetrate an arm, thick clothing, and then an oblique angle to the vitals in the torso. This is why the FBI calls for 12 in minimum penetration even though most big men are not 12 inches front to back. That being said, most 9mm and 45acp FMJ will penetrate far more than that so you still have the capability to choose expanding rounds.

    Casey - have you at least considered staggering FMJ and a good bonded HP in the magazine?
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I would really take a look at these loads and perhaps read some of Dr Roberts threads on M4 carbine
    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887
    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=34714
    I carry bonded bullets either Winchester, Ranger or Speer, Gold Dots they retain mass, have adequate penetration.
    Originally Posted By: Eric Bryant


    Here is the full list of recommended .45ACP loads from Dr. Gary Roberts ("DocGKR" on several forums):

    http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.p...f-Defense-Ammo

    Barnes XPB 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
    Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
    Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    What are your thoughts on double tap ammo? I really like the 200 gr. Also like the staggered concept for home defense.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I would personally never use a FMJ bullet or stagger different rounds or bullet types.

    A FMJ handgun round will penetrate well but it will not create tissue disruption which is critical. Handguns are not great for stopping and you need every possible advantage in your favor. The threat needs to be rapidly stopped and a FMJ can't be counted on for rapid incapacitation of a threat. Penetration is a critical factor but it is not the only factor. The newer high quality bullets will penetrate to great depths and create significantly more "stopping power" than any FMJ bullet. A deadly threat needs to be stopped as quickly as possible and a non expanding FMJ bullet does not perform that task.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    All thanks for the input so far. I am looking at a shorter barrel, Glock 30, 3 3/4 inch barrel. Should be in late next week.

    I've been looking at new ammo types and different weight bullets. I'm a traditional 230 grain for 5 inch. I plan on chronographing a few different loads and stocking up on one or two of the better performers. Knowing the velocity will help determine suitability and a prediction of bullet performance.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Depends,
    For a carry gun I like the Guard Dog round (or any other type of filled hollow point). Smart design, expansion is consistent, the round will expand and stop faster if you miss and hit something hard like a wall, Hollow points will keep going, if you hit, the tip won't get clogged with clothing or other sh*t and it will expand the same. Very smart design.

    like I said up top, it depends on a lot. I live in the city so a round like the above mentioned works well for me (in theory). I wouldn't want something like that, for say the Mountains. I would rather have a higher velocity and deeper penetrating round.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    NOw that you've said a Glock 30, that takes away what I was going to say; whatever feeds well in your pistol.

    My Dept issues Fed HST 230Gr +P loads. This also feeds very well in my 5" and 4" 1911s. I do not have the capacity to test expansion from these weapon platforms however, so I can't give you that insight. I'm pretty sure one of our SWAT Snipers is who does do testing through various media for retention, expansion, etc. Why I say that is because I trust my SWAT guys, and the one that does the testing is brutally honest(good thing) and wants to get the job done.

    So, I'm running what I said above, no issues. Prior to that it was the hydra-shoks, and I had no feed issues with those either!

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I too have a stock of 230 gr. Federal Hydra-shock ammo that I use for carry and home defense purposes. I also have a new batch of Ranger-T that will replace the Hydra-shock when I take them out of service.

    I rotate ammo, so it will eventually be all Ranter-T. But I would not and do not consider it a bad thing to use the Hydra-shocks at this point.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I shot a Winchester ranger .45 into a phonebook a couple weeks ago - lets just say it was nasty. I have never seen a hollow point open up so widely with such jagged edges.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    185+P Golden Sabers always worked good for me. Penetrated 4 Milk jugs at 5yds and opened up into a nice pettle that stayed together. Shot a few animals with it and everything died rather fast.


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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Just to chime in here. Shot placement is #1 and practicing with the ammo you're going to carry is paramount.

    Regarding barrel lengths and expansion. Speer has 2 lines of Gold Dot bullets for the .45ACP in 230gr. One for "short barrel" and the other is for standard barrel pistols. An email back from Speer stated they want to see 750-850FPS for the short barrel GD's. I asked but did not receive an answer for the velocity range for the std barrel. One would have to assume 850+ FPS...
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Originally Posted By: b7tac
    I shot a Winchester ranger .45 into a phonebook a couple weeks ago - lets just say it was nasty. I have never seen a hollow point open up so widely with such jagged edges.


    Curious, was the phone book wet or dry?
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    From what I've heard Glocks will feed most anything so that takes a big part of load testing out. I've noticed a lot of lighter bullets in a +P load seems to be the ticket over a 230 grain bullet. I won't carry a round I'm not content with so I'll shoot a bunch of it before I carry it.

    My wife carries the Short Barrel Gold Dot's in her .38, never thought to see if they had a .45 ACP load.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    The benefit of 45ACP is that you need only look for a bullet that, when fired, will expand to .45 caliber.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    What an idea: 50 AE necked down to .45 ACP, a la .357 SIG.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    A few years back I used a 230 gr Fed HS to take a small 6 pointer at about 40 yards with my Glock 21. Bullet went in one side of his chest & out the other side. He dropped at the shot & when I opened him up his chest was a mess

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I have always liked corbon

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Your best bet it to order from a small company like Underwood, Georgia Arms, or Double Tap. You get a better bullet selection for a better price than if you buy at your local box store or retail outlet.

    Hornady XTP and Speer Gold Dot are some of the best bullets out there. Plus, if you buy from a company listed above, you aren't limited to the Hornady or Speer brand of ammo.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    sgammo.com has great selection and prices - I order almost all of my defensive handgun ammo from them.

    Generally speaking, I stay away from the "boutique" brands when it comes to self-defense ammo, simply because it can get prohibitively expensive to fire sufficient amounts to ensure function.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Just to add an update, got the Glock 30. Shoots great, ran about 60 rounds of ball and a mag of Federal 165 grain Hydra-Shok Personal Defense Low Recoil. This will do until I get a chance to chrono a few different loads. Online for a case at once after picking a round is a good idea.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Well drat, this whole thread ALMOST messes up my carry load. Plain old every day Glaser safety slug. I mean, I'm going to be shooting at less than 3 FEET and most likely shoving into the attackers nostril ... so the old Glaser should work ?? ya think ?
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Great may be a little overstated. The trigger is heavier than I'd prefer.

    Will, I know a few people who carry Glaser's.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I carry 185g CorBon's in my 45 , they function great and actualy clock a bit faster than whats listed , ive shot a few stray dogs , a deer and a pig with them and all died very quick , no over penitration

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    As others have stated, there is no reason to overlook the current new bullets that have past the test of passing through heavy clothing and expanded well. Penetration may be important but the last thing I would want is my bullet to pass through and harm someone else.
    Gold Dots are a bonded bullet and have been the standard and still are good bullets however the new Hornady Critical Defense are designed to expand even through heavy clothing however won't pass the FBI penetration test so they came out with their new load called Critical Duty. Winchesters Bonded PDX has not only passed the FBI penetration test, they also have been tested extensively and expand every time even through heavy clothing. All these new bullets are even priced very competitively also. I carry the Hornady Critical Defense in my G21 and the Winchester bonded or Spreer Gold Dots are in my .38 snubby.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I use hornady on duty. Well thru my rifle as well.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    There's no magic bullet for pistols. What worked well years ago still works good today. They didn't quit working just because they're a few or quite a few years old design. New bullets do some great things but I still like Gold Dots, Golden Sabre, and currently use Winchester Ranger ammo. One of the local shops has ranger a a good price so that's what I use. When JHPs were in short supply a few years ago I used FMJ and never felt under gunned.

    As much or more important than they brand of ammo is shot placement. The newest whiz bang ammo won't do any good if you can't hit the target!!
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I still carry the Corbon 200 +P .45 HP ammo. I am going to replace it with something in the 230 weight range.

    Penetration it key and most heavier bullets penetrate better.
    I think a 230 anything will do better than an expanding bullet with less penetration.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Originally Posted By: Gunsnjeeps
    Shooters, I've always been an advocate of HydraShoks but I've been told there are better new bullets. So my simple question is how are some of the new bullets compared to a 230 grain HydraShok?


    The Hydra shock worked ok but it did fail in certain circumstances that we see a lot of up here in Alaska. It plugs more easily than most JHP designs and acts like FMJ when plugged with heavy clothing. Federals HST is a far far better bullets.

    The HST is my preferred load in 9mm as well. Its also a great choice if you like the .40.

    Here is a Hydra shock for comparision.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I agree with my Ak sourdough, Fed HST if you can find them. They expand with talons that have barbs, sharps edges and such on edges of the talons, that slice and dice for a better chance at blood lost. Plus they expand larger for bigger hole. All mean a larger wound channel with greater chance of bleed out. I run the 230gr +p in my 45s.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    In a word, Corbon!
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Originally Posted By: Niles Coyote
    In a word, Corbon!

    Had some bad experience with Corbon several years back and won't carry them again. Missfires primer flow etc.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Originally Posted By: beretta989
    185+P Golden Sabers always worked good for me. Penetrated 4 Milk jugs at 5yds and opened up into a nice pettle that stayed together. Shot a few animals with it and everything died rather fast.


    These are exactly what Ive carried in my 1911s for years. Never had a misfeed/misfire and they've "opened" every time Ive tested them over the years.

    That being said, has anyone had any experience with the Wilson Combat Custom Carry Ammo? They supposedly have lower flash/recoil than normal ammo.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    We are issued Gold Dot and for good reason I think. It is a much tested round, both formally and informally and all in all it seems to perform consistently well with all barriers. I have also shot lots and lots of critters with Winchester Ranger SXT in both 9mm and 45acp with good results. Other than that, I like and will shoot Hornady TAP, and Federal HST and would have no qualms about carrying any of the above on duty. I do second the above opinions of never ever mixing rounds for duty or CHL use. POI is likely not the same and perceived recoil may differ as well. Anytime I wind up with a "litte of this and a little of that" as far as good quality handgun ammo goes I put it all in a folgers can. That is my go to stash when I check traps.

    All things being equal, I have always had a bit of a hard on for Corbon DPX...for what reason I have no idea other than I find it sexy. Have shot very little of it due to price and availabilty in my area.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Some more photos.
    I prefer HST followed by Winchester Ranger, followed by Remington Golden Saber followed by Speer Gold Dot.
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Anyone have experience with Hornady Personal Defense rounds?
    "Don't know it, own it."
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    Current Arsenal: GA Precision GAP-10, Ruger 10/22, Vis Radom MOD 35, Ruger MkI, Rock Island 1911.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    By the way, just for the record - there is no cartridge called 45 ACP. It is called 45 Auto.
    300 AAC Blackout has as much energy from a 16 inch barrel as 5.56mm from a 24 inch barrel. You get 8 inches of barrel for free.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    rsilvers, better do a check/search. Try https://s5-us4.ixquick.com/do/search
    and look up 45 ACP (aka 45 AUTOLOADING COLT PISTOL) even better look up the info in the NRA Handloading book. NOT 45 AUTO but listed as 45 ACP.
    yep it is called 45 Auto but better known as 45 ACP.
    Have a good one,
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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    I like federal hst. A coworker shot them into a bucket full of water and phone books. Opened up like a flower and even kept their jackets.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Originally Posted By: rsilvers
    By the way, just for the record - there is no cartridge called 45 ACP. It is called 45 Auto.


    Thank you for trolling, please come again.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    .45 Auto is the C.I.P. common name for .45 ACP - could be he's European (his profile isn't filled out) and doesn't know the history, etc.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Originally Posted By: thebolt
    I would personally never use a FMJ bullet or stagger different rounds or bullet types.

    A FMJ handgun round will penetrate well but it will not create tissue disruption which is critical. Handguns are not great for stopping and you need every possible advantage in your favor. The threat needs to be rapidly stopped and a FMJ can't be counted on for rapid incapacitation of a threat. Penetration is a critical factor but it is not the only factor. The newer high quality bullets will penetrate to great depths and create significantly more "stopping power" than any FMJ bullet. A deadly threat needs to be stopped as quickly as possible and a non expanding FMJ bullet does not perform that task.



    I would have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. Seems like there's been a couple of wars where the .45 and FMJ did pretty well. I'm not saying it's the best choice, but it certainly works and that's what a 1911 was designed to run on. As far as tissue disruption goes or temporary wound cavity, I would pretty much write that off on a handgun round.

    There's a video around featuring an anesthesiologist giving a seminar. The first interesting point he brought up is that human skin has a resistance equal to 4" of tissue penetration. The video also showed perfectly expanded .40 HP on an x-ray showing a center mass hit. Failed to penetrate deep enough to reach the pulmonary artery, but just barely. The person also had a lung shot that stopped in their back. They survived.

    He discusses how to keep handgun GS victims alive through surgery and stated that death is only going to occur from them bleeding out and/or being pushed the wrong combinations of replacement fluids. So you've only got whatever tissue that bullets crushes in the permanent wound cavity and IF it hits a major vessel. Obviously, a CNS shot changes everything.

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    Re: .45 ACP Hollow points, new opinions?

    Federal HST! One of the best out there, only downside kind of hard to find.

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