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Making a case for 45 Hardball

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by Iceman cHucK, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Iceman cHucK

    Iceman cHucK

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    Jun 23, 2008
    WA state
    I know everyone has and will recommend hollow points, but I find it very assuring to often carry 230 Hardball in my 45s, especially during cold weather. It has been proven an effective round for almost 100years in our military. I do not care that it may not be the "most effective" round in one shot stops. Shot placement and penetration are most important, but I will add reliability equally important. Trying all different brands of HPs to prove their reliability is a task and expensive. I stock up on Federal American Eagle 230fmj which has proven 100% reliable in all my 45s. My Glock 21s feed anything, but not always the case with others. I realize that over-penetration could be an issue but getting 100% reliability gives me confidence and peace of mind. Can you make a case to carry 45 Hardball for self defense?
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2005
    Chuck, I'm familiar with the points you make, but I have to respectfully disagree with them. I can't make a case for hardball for self-defense, quite the opposite.

    First, hollow points aren't going to stop on even the heaviest winter clothing. At worst, their cavities will plug and they'll turn into ball, but a more efficient flat-nose ball than what you're now carrying.

    Second, the dangers of overpenetration can't be dismissed. In the swirl of movement that may accompany a violent encounter, whether on the street or in the home, there's a high chance that the people we love and carry the gun to protect can end up behind the perpetrator. Tunnel vision, darkness, or the simple fact of the perp's body blocking our view can leave us unaware that those loved ones are now in a position behind the threat, perhaps even trying to counter-attack him to save the shooter. Dr. Martin Fackler's own extensive tests indicated some 26"-27" of penetration with .45 hardball in his muscle tissue simulating ballistic gelatin, and Patrick Sweeney has documented 30" of penetration with some .45 hardball loads in calibrated gel. That's almost a guarantee of an exit wound through even a large standing man's torso with more than enough power to kill whoever is unfortunate enough to be behind him. One of the reasons we use hollow point is to mitigate that danger as much as possible. The nose configuration of hardball is also more likely to cause an unpredictable ricochet than the cookie-cutter nose of a JHP round.

    Third, while it isn't cheap to "prove" your gun with hollow points, it's a lot cheaper than a funeral if less than optimum-power defense ammo fails to keep the threat from murdering you or someone you love. It's also a helluva lot cheaper than the many hours of hundreds of dollars per hour legal fees if the bullet overpenetrates and strikes an innocent person, let alone the incalculable horror of realizing that you've caused the death of an innocent person.

    For these reasons, I can't recommend hardball for SD/HD. Since your Glock 21 feeds hollow points, I'd urge you to carry the G21 with JHP until you've proven your other .45s with JHPs.

    Another option to consider is expanding bullets with "hardball feeding configurations." These would include the Cor-Bon Pow'rBall, the Federal EFMJ (Expanding Full Metal Jacket), the Hornady Critical Defense, or the Remington Express line of 185 grain jacketed hollow point .45 ACP, available in standard pressure or +P, which in my experience over the years will feed reliably in any gun that reliably feeds hardball.

    Hoping you'll reconsider,