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  • .45 acp bullet weight

    Is there any significant difference between 185, 200, and 230 gr bullets in relation to effectiveness against a threat? Do the heavier bullets do more damage? Is there a recoil difference between the three? I'm trying to decide what to get for home defense for my springer loaded. Thank you in advance for the responses.
    "You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one."

  • #2
    Having hand loaded all three weights myself there is a big difference, and a big difference in recoil between the three. The 230 is going to feed the best in a 1911 in my opinion. I load up 185 for paper target practice, and I load up 230s to make sure the steel plate falls down.

    It is coming to a point where when I'm out of my 185 and 200's I'm only going to get 230s. The 230s never fail to feed, and I'll just deal with the recoil.

    I'll let others comment on balistics.

    I just know what feeds best, and what makes a nice target round.
    _____________
    "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
    - Cornelius Tacitus

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    • #3
      For home defense, I would look for a quality 230 gr HP. I am issued Winchester 230gr JHP for duty, and I keep the same in my home / carry guns
      Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
      --Winston Churchill--

      "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

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      • #4
        In SoCal weather, there isn't much need to be picky about the bullet weight. Use what functions reliably in your gun 100% of the time.
        NRA Life Member

        The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

        Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

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        • #5
          what feeds the best, and most reliably would be my answer.... some .45's can be picky depending on the ammo.

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          • #6
            The heavier bullet will equate to more recoil.

            +1 on the recommendation for quality hollow point ammunition, with my preference being for 230 grain bullets. I also used to carry the Speer Gold Dot 200 grain +P load.

            Speer Gold Dot, Federal Personal Defense, Corbon DPX, Hornady TAP, and Winchester Ranger are all good brands.

            Feed reliability is very important as well, and while it may be expensive I would shoot at least one box of your chosen self defense ammo through your gun to make sure it will feed it.
            "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

            "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

            "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bighead View Post
              The heavier bullet will equate to more recoil.

              +1 on the recommendation for quality hollow point ammunition, with my preference being for 230 grain bullets. I also used to carry the Speer Gold Dot 200 grain +P load.

              Speer Gold Dot, Federal Personal Defense, Corbon DPX, Hornady TAP, and Winchester Ranger are all good brands.

              Feed reliability is very important as well, and while it may be expensive I would shoot at least one box of your chosen self defense ammo through your gun to make sure it will feed it.

              I don't have much to add to this but I do have a thought. In my shooting experience it's quicker to recover from a light weight bullet vs. a heavier one due to the recoil (just like you mentioned) so with that in mind wouldn't it possibly be a good idea to use a midweight bullet? That way, after the first round is fired a faster recovery can be made just in case another round needs to be fired? Maybe alternating mid weight grain and heavy grain in the clip??? Seconds count and so does accuracey (no smartalec intended )

              Just for my own home protection firearm (Kimber lol) I alternate hp and normal jacketed target rounds for the simple reason I might need one round to go through a wall.

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              • #8
                Unless you have a valid reason not to, I suggest a 230gr JHP.

                The whole point of a .45ACP is to deliver the largest payload to crush the biggest hole possible.
                "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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                • #9
                  I recommend 200gr +P,

                  200gr +P
                  Feet per second
                  Muzzle 1080 50 yards 994
                  Energy per square pound
                  Muzzle 518 lb
                  50 yards 439 lb

                  185gr
                  Feet per second
                  muzzle 1050
                  50 yards 955
                  Energy per square pound
                  muzzle 453 lb
                  50yards 375 lb

                  230gr
                  Feet per second
                  muzzle 890
                  50 yards 845
                  Energy per square pound
                  muzzle 404 lb
                  50 yards 365 lb
                  sigpicNEVER FORGET!!!

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                  • #10
                    In my 5" 1911 I go with 230 gr.

                    In my 3" I use the 185s to keep the speed up a little.
                    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

                    Douglas MacArthur

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the reponses guys! Ill take that into consideration and most likely go with 230 gr. Just gotta buy some and run it through my pistol to insure reliability.
                      "You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one."

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                      • #12
                        Because of the velocity at which the impact occurs.
                        NRA Life Member

                        The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

                        Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Exodus259
                          Since I'm generally new the firearms and the selection of ammo. With those end weight measurements. You're saying on impact it's like getting hit by 365lbs, 375lbs, etc with one bullet?? How the hell do people manage to stand after that?
                          I think because the force is applied over a very small area, it will penetrate that area only. If you hold a piece of paper up and poke it with a pencil very quickly, the pencil will go through. If you threw a bowling ball on the paper, you would not have any more paper.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KimberChic View Post
                            Just for my own home protection firearm (Kimber lol) I alternate hp and normal jacketed target rounds for the simple reason I might need one round to go through a wall.
                            Umm, so what happens when you DON'T want the round to go through the wall? I would rethink this plan. To begin with FMJ makes a poorer person stopper compared to JHP. Second, I wouldn't count on zinging rounds through walls to be a good self defense strategy. Staggering rounds is never a recommended or often used plan. Better to keep it all good quality JHP and aim center mass at the target you can see.

                            In my guns (duty and off-duty) I use 230 gr Golden Sabers. On my old PD we were issued and had to use 200+P, I believe Gold Dots. Those were pretty snappy too.
                            Last edited by dogcop; 08-06-2010, 10:10 PM.
                            www.saveavet.org

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blackdog F4i View Post
                              Unless you have a valid reason not to, I suggest a 230gr JHP.

                              The whole point of a .45ACP is to deliver the largest payload to crush the biggest hole possible.
                              +1 Amen Dog..
                              it is What it is

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