SD/ Civillian carry ammunition for 45 ACP

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by StarfoxHowl, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. This is an RFI going out to the members here. I currently own a 21 SF that I use for general carry when I'm Stateside.

    There has been a lot of talk here about the various self defense ammo types, HTX, frangible, and all the others.

    Does anyone know of any side-by-side comparisons of the various types? Site pointers? Personal Experience? Personal preferences with explanations?


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  3. Nope I don't buy my carry ammo I make it myself, 200 gr GD!:supergrin:

  4. Well I will give it a shot,

    First I like my 45ACP's to be a 230 grain bullet.

    I don't see the need for +P in 45 (9mm OK but 45 will never be a speed demon) it shoots OK from the Glock 21 but is very robust from the 30 and 36.

    Federal HST would be a top choice for me.

    Ranger T or SXT would be another high choice.

    I would make it my goal to get some of the LEO only ammo in either HSt or Ranger.

    My friend who is a big 1911 guy shoots Remington golden saber the best and swears by them.

    And Gold Dot is tried and true.

    Never been a fan of frangible ammo expecially in a big slow moving slug of lead like a 45. You would want it to stay together a be a big slab of lead.
  5. Warp


    You almost surely want a jacketed hollow point

    The big three are Winchester Ranger Talon, Speer Gold Dot and Federal HST. Personally I like Gold Dots, and in .45 would choose a 230gr.
  6. cole

    Millennium Member

    Agreed. :thumbsup:
  7. I use the Ranger RA45TP in 230Gr mainly or the non juiced version the RA45T's

    I got a good deal off TDS one time for their Ranger +P was like $29.00 p/box of 50 so I got I think 20 boxes.
  8. Kalmah

    Kalmah Supreme Member

    Good place for info...
  9. The great thing about he 45acp, there are few bad choices. I would shy away from prefragmented & FMJ or solid lead, but most any of the majors JHP from 185gr-230gr, non +P work fine. Just make sure you test them in your gun, regardless of what you are told. Trust but verify.
  10. Different situations call for different ammunition. If you don't have a shotgun for home defense frangibles that cycle reliably are a good choice so the odds of having your bullets pass through your home into a nieghbors goes down. I use 5 rounds of Glasser Silvers in my home magazine for my G-33, followed by what I carry out and about for CCW. That being Cor-Bon 224gr JHP's. Since you have a .45 ACP I would just study up on that round.

    I'm a big fan of Cor-Bon in anything, but there are a lot of good ammo manufactures out their. Hornady has their Critical defense line that seems very sound in using a soft polymer to keep the hollowpoint unclogged (main reason for JHP's to fail to expand, and cause the most damage)

    Bonded seems to be the big thing now as well. instead of having a copper jacket placed on a lead bullet mechanicly, the copper is "bonded" through some process that keeps the bullet solid for penetration, yet seems to peel back like flower petals when a soft medium hits the hollow soft lead cavity in the nose of the bullet. Also since the copper outer covering is bonded to the lead atom by atom or molecule by molecule the bonded bullets hold more of their original mass or weight instead of shedding their copper jackets as in traditional JHP's (jacketed hollow points) after hitting tissue.

    Cor-Bon is also working on a blended metal technology that compresses powdered metals of different kinds into a solid form. Once the bullet enters into tissue, the sudden deceleration causes the bullet to pretty much explode delivering all the energy into the target. I'm not sur if these are true fragnibles or not, but I think I'll be doing my own research into them soon. I think these are called DRT's

    For practice I often use WWB (Winchester White Box) It's their generic line of "practice ammo" and you would prob. use .45 ACP 230gr FMJ's (Full Metal Jackets)

    There really is no magic bullet, and because pistols are generally used for self defence all the "normal" rules of what should have happened after firing your weapon can fly right out the window. The human body is composed of many different consistancies of hard and softness and everything in-between along with curveture of bones and elastisity of skin, well lots of stuff can happen that goes beyond the expected or anticipated. If you are practicing with a pistol to save your life or someone elses someday, do just that. Practice a lot, and often. quarter sized groups may not always be the ideal, yet the tighter your groups at all distances will increase the odds of hitting what your aiming at.

    Back to bullets and the Glock 21 you own. Some ammo feeds and can be the most accurate round ever fired in your friends gun, yet may be all over the place in yours. In my experience some pistols just prefer certain types of ammo, and that can be a trial to figure out what your G-21SF happens to like. All marksmenship training is good, yet if you can find a personal defense round that comes close to how your main training ammo runs in your gun that can be a plus as well. Some one can practice all the time with one weight of ammo like in the before mentioned WWB, and shoot like a dream, but then load his conealed carry weapon up with a different weight bullet and a lot more powerful powder charge and if he never practiced with it, might actually work against him if he were in a situation that might need him to shoot as accurately as when he trained with his practice ammo...just a thought.

    Actually take everything I wrote with a grain of salt until you have a chance to study up and figure out what works best for you as well as what some of the other guys on this forum have to say. there are a lot of good informative folks that would like to help out in anyway possible. Best of luck.

  11. racer88

    racer88 NRA & SAF mbr

    I see a few comments suggesting non-+P. Any disadvantages to +P? I recently tested some Ranger T +P in my FNP-45T. Ran fine. Found a good deal online and picked up 1,000 rounds. Any reason NOT to use +P in .45-ACP? Thanks!
  12. Warp


    1k rounds of RA45TP? Nice.

    If you shot it and liked it then that is a very good choice.

    I had a bum G30SF recently. Out of the box and after a trip to Glock it couldn't make it through more than 15-35 Ranger T without failing. It was perfect through 50 of the +P Ranger T, though.
    #11 Warp, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  13. racer88

    racer88 NRA & SAF mbr

    Yep... 1000 rounds of the good stuff. :) No problems feeding in my FNP-45T. I could DEFINITELY feel the difference (recoil) between "regular" .45-ACP and the +P stuff, though. :wow:
  14. Warp


    What regular were you comparing to? I can often feel a difference between typical cheap lightweight practice ammo and good defensive loads even when they aren't +P. Today for example I could feel the difference between 230gr PMC Bronze FMJ and 230gr Speer Gold Dot. Of course that difference isn't as big as comparing the plinking stuff to +P.
    #13 Warp, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  15. racer88

    racer88 NRA & SAF mbr

    True and good question. I was comparing to FMJ range ammo. Might have been Champion or PMC. All 230-gr.
  16. Just recoil. I find the add'l. recol isn't worth the slight vel gain. The 45acp doesn't need +p help like the 9mm or 38sp. So while +P won't hurt your gun, it may hurt your shooting. The only way to tell is shoot them both under a timed event. Standing firing slow fire, I could be effective w/ a 45Cas.:dunno:
  17. racer88

    racer88 NRA & SAF mbr

    I get that. And, yes.. the additional recoil would become annoying in extended shooting.

    My rationale was that the +P is for SD. I won't care much about (or notice) recoil in that situation. And the added performance (while perhaps negligible) may be a slight edge. Also, the +P was priced the same as the regular stuff.

    For range practice / fun, I will stick with regular pressure FMJ.
    #16 racer88, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  18. Warp


    I don't think the 9mm needs +P either. Now, the .38spl...yeah, I think it should probably be +P
  19. You can review ballistics testing & "real world results" until your eyes cross, and probably without arriving at a definitive "answer". :whistling:

    Suit yourself. Buy the best quality defensive ammunition you can get in good quantities.

    I've carried and used either whatever was being issued at the time, or whatever I might decide to buy over-the-counter which I knew would be approved (and I was involved in the 'approval process' for some years). That's included Remington (Express & Golden Sabre), Winchester (T-Series & USA/Duty/Subsonic), Speer (GDHP) and Federal (Hydra-Shok).

    I prefer the 230gr standard pressure, but I've also used +P in 185gr, 200gr & 230gr bullet weights. The increased velocity might be useful if a bullet's nose cavity notching cuts might have been made with a dulling cutter ... and an extra little bit of velocity might help the nose cavity expand ... but it will generate some additional muzzle blast & felt recoil which might adversely impact the shooting abilities of some shooters. Just depends.

    Whether the +P ought to be used in a particular make of .45 is something to find out from the gun maker. (You said you owned a G21SF, though, and as an armorer I've never heard Glock recommend against using QUALITY +P in their .45's.) Expect a shorter service life with your recoil spring assembly, though, which isn't unreasonable. Whether you shoot as well with +P is up to you to figure out.

    I have the most .45 on hand in Rem GS and Win T-Series (both issued loads in recent years). I'm not overly particular which box is closest at hand when I'm loading magazines and carrying one of my .45's. I also have a fair amount of the old-style USA45JHP 230gr loads, too, but given my druthers I'd prefer to have the more modern hollowpoints loaded with the GS or T-Series bullets. Why not?

    I haven't jumped on the band wagon for the HST, myself. Not because I have any issues with the improved starfire-type hollowpoint. I don't. It's just that I don't really care for Federal's late efforts in the way of QC in their pistol ammunition, myself. (Not that other manufacturers don't have their own occasional issues, though.) Besides, Federal just doesn't seem to generate much in the way of LE sales in my area, so I don't see it in working guns as often as the other brands/types. Why go out of my way to try and get it, even if I wanted to use it?

    If I couldn't get the T-Series, I'd be completely satisfied with buying either Speer Gold Dot or Rem Golden Sabre, over the counter, and pretty much in that order (and in 230gr). I wouldn't lose all that much sleep if occasionally forced to go back to carrying either of the old style hollowpoints offered in the USA or Express lines, though, either. I just wouldn't expect as consistently robust expansion in some conditions.

    Bonded? Well, aside from a major fed user of bonded loads, I've come across far more desire for "bonded" loads on the various public internet gun forums than I've heard among actual LE users. Gold Dot is bonded pretty easily found, if that floats your boat, though. Now that Winchester has released their latest bonded hollowpoint to the public (PDX), you can probably find it around, too ... but it might cost a bit more than the Speer. Dunno. Check for yourself. Me? I don't get too excited worrying about fragmentation or jacket shedding if veh window glass penetration is required. Suit yourself, though. I do.

    Sufficient quantities of whatever good quality ammunition is chosen, needed for practice and periodic live-fire function checks in my own .45's ... accompanied by frequent training/practice and periodic weapon inspection & maintenance. The basics.

    The weapon/ammo considerations really take second seat to the awareness, mindset, training/practice and experience issues, anyway, right? ;)

    It's just a handgun chambered in one of the common major service/defensive calibers, when it comes right down to it, anyway ...

    You have to consistently and accurately hit your intended target for the bullet type to make a difference. First things first. ;)
    #18 fastbolt, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  20. I was the first to say something non positive about +P but in actuality I don't say anything negative about the round I just don't like the recoil in a G30SF. In a G21SF the recoil is just fine.

    Nothing wrong with +P just don't think it adds enough to what is already a big slow moving hunk of lead.

    I am not a subscriber to the +p will batter your gun to mush school of thought, in fact I wish I could shoot enough +P to break a Glock - sadly that isn't likely to happen.

    Enjoy the +P its fine ammo I just wouldn't carry it in a G30 or G36.
  21. 230gr Federal HST

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