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.45 out of 3" to 3.5" Barrel

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Redstate, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    This stuff is all an exercise in balancing the various parts of the overall "compromise" you're willing to accept. ;)

    These things may look like a huge Venn diagram, with different parts being:

    *Feeding reliability
    *Extraction/ejection consistency (slide run & recoil force)
    *Inherent & practical accuracy in any particular gun
    *Controllability & recoil management
    *Bullet design
    *Velocity window for optimal expansion

    Where do these things overlap in your gun, being handled & fired in your hands, using your selected ammunition, on whatever day you check, in whatever range of weather/environmental conditions exist at that moment in time?

    Dunno. Can't predict such things. :)

    All I know is that I tend to prefer using standard pressure loads, myself, offered by one or another of the major American ammo makers, using a modern hollowpoint of 230gr weight.

    The rest is up to me.

    Sure, I've used +P (as both approved/purchased & issued loads), and I still have a supply of it in a couple of brands/bullet weights, but I prefer to keep it aside for my larger .45's, for the most part.

    I've also used 185gr & 200gr loads, going back for years. As long as they feed & optimally function in my .45's, in my hands, when the guns are being run fast & hard (under demanding conditions of different courses-of-fire), I'll not lose any sleep if I have to use them.

    I just prefer the 230gr loads, given my druthers.

    My preference for 230gr loads was one of the reasons I didn't add any .45GAP guns to my working collection. (That, and the fact that my hands fit the standard size .45 ACP guns just fine.) Winchester managed to put a 230gr bullet into their GAP offerings, but it wasn't easy to find at any of the stores within a couple of the counties where I live & worked. I don't care to use a cartridge which can't be easily found among gun & sporting goods stores. Call me old-fashioned, if you will. :)

    I liked the idea of a subcompact .45 similar in overall size to my G26's/27 ... but I already enough compact/subcompact .45's, and I'm decently invested in small .40's, too.

    The shooter-variable in using .45 +P needs to be considered, too. I can't remember if I already mentioned it in this thread topic, but I still remember being called to assist a small agency with their familiarization and qualification using their brand new G30's several years ago. Their ammunition of choice? A well known brand of 200gr +P hollowpoint.

    More than half a dozen of their shooters had repeated feeding & functioning issues with the guns that day, all of whom were expressing some level of dissatisfaction with the felt recoil of the 200gr +P load chosen. One of them was even an existing G30 owner (and someone who claimed to be a gun enthusiast). He said he didn't use +P loads in his own G30, and it appeared he wasn't particularly comfortable with the felt recoil of his new issued G30 using the +P loads.

    Bottom line? I learned a few months later that their agency had traded their G30's for G23's, and had selected one of the good quality LE-only 180gr loads. I was told they were very pleased with the change. I always wondered if their experience might have been different if they'd been willing to use standard pressure 230gr loads in their G30's, though.

    My prioritization of earlier still remains.

    More range training/practice time ... less over-analyzing of subtle (real or perceived) nuances of specific ammunition choices.

    Good familiarity with the weapon, meaning safe and proper manipulation, as well as maintenance (which can be where some folks seem to get really derailed in their practices :whistling: ).

    Good holster selection and carry method if the gun is lawfully carried as a dedicated defensive weapon. Applicable to anticipated needs and circumstances. Good user understanding and practiced skillset using that carry method & holster selection.

    Good quality ammunition ... which in my case means preferably made by one of the major American ammo makers who have acquired a lot of experience in making ammo which meets the Q& performance specifications of LE/Gov users. (Obviously, the ammo selection needs to be legal to possess and use within whatever local laws may exist.)

    Then remember, when using smallish .45's it isn't unknown for them to be less tolerant of both shooter & ammunition influences.

    Choose wisely.

    Training & practice. (The needs of different people in this regard can be ... different.)


    Over the years I've increasingly become prone to respond to questions of gun make/model, caliber and specific ammo choices by taking the person asking me such questions ... (especially those wanting to hotly debate or even argue with me about it) ... downrange to the firing line.

    I have them run through some demanding drills and/or courses-of-fire, which are unexpected and done cold (they don't get to watch others do them first), and which might stress them a bit.

    Then we discuss how things went. ;)

    I do this to myself, or have other instructors do it to me, just to try and keep things in perspective.

    Worry about first things first, in the real world ... unless it's the internet, of course.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  2. Z28ricer


    Aug 4, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    230+P HST in my aluminum frame, 3" 1911

    Sorry its likely never going to get fed anything different for SD.

  3. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    It must be a serious undertaking - mugging - with all of these .45 carriers out there . . . . :shocked:
  4. spcwes


    Feb 22, 2005
    Also just to note, a 230gr FMJ at 750-850fps was the load that made a 45ACP famous as a man stopper. As long as the gun shoots straight and every time you press the trigger that slug will do the rest.
  5. Excellent information here. My company mandates the 9mm, so that is what I have used for years.
    Recently I bought a Springfield XDs .45acp. I love this little pistol.
    With all that said, I have greatly enjoyed this thread. :)

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
  6. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    BTW, who drove off in the video, the shooter?
  7. WinterWizard


    Jan 17, 2012
    Yes, to escape the 2 men assaulting him. He called the police from the road and returned shortly thereafter. He was never charged with a crime, obviously. And since the assault began while he was half in his car, the scumbag who was shot can never sue him in civil court because of Ohio castle laws.

    There is a huge thread over at Ohio concealed carry forums (can't remember the exact website) that the shooter started and comments on. It think it was called "Had to shoot someone today" or something like that.

    His first round was a Corbon Pow'r Ball 165gr +P, and the subsequent rounds in his magazine were 230gr FMJ, probably because he couldn't afford much expensive hollow point ammo. Both shots were to the lower side of the stomach, which is why the scumbag lived. A little higher, and he would have been a dead duck. There were even pictures of the wounds that the perpetrator posted to his Facebook page. The Pow'r Ball looked nasty. The FMJ was just a small, pucker hole wound, but did pass completely through, exiting his lower back.

    That video shows only clips from the news. The entire one is out there. Two guys start beating the hell out of this guy for no reason, and continue to beat him as he is struggling to retrieve the G36 from his center console. He does, shoots the first guy twice in the stomach, and the other flees (as criminals often do when shots are fired). Almost every time when shots are fired, the criminals flee, because they are scared, weak people. It is a common misconception that when you fire, the criminals come after you even more vigorously. This might be true in a very small percentage of times, but probably 99% of the time, even with large groups, when shots are fired, they scatter like mice, even if they have guns themselves.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  8. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    Go G36 go!!!