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Velocity loss of .45ACP in 3" and 4" barrels?

  1. I know in 9mm and .40S&W velocity drops something like 50-70 fps per inch of barrel loss. What is the average loss for .45ACP?

    Since most ammo testing is speced with 5" barrels I'm a little concerned about ammo performance out of a 3" barrel. That's a lot of velocity loss. Would it be better to use 200gr bullets instead of 230gs so you don't lose too much speed?

    Anyone have links to testing of Gold Dots, HSTs, etc, out of 3" barrels? Want to see how expansion and penetration compare to the 5" tests.
  2. You can even get 185gr +Ps in a few brands, like Golden Sabers. I carry them in my 5" 1911.

    In the battle of big and slow versus small and fast, I sidestepped the whole issue and got big and fast. :supergrin:
  3. I use the same in my kimber pro carry II and 220 sig . great stuff . I also use 200gr hornady TAP fpd with good results.
  4. I can give you a little data. Shooting the 230 gr Gold Dot bullet in the Double tap load I lost only 30 fps from the G21 (4.6") to the G30 (3.8"). It went from 890 fps out of the G21 to 860 fps out of the G30. I see about the same difference with my practice loads and fmj bullets, though velocity is less to begin with. The topic has come up before. I recall that generally the lighter the bullet the greater the velocity loss as the barrel gets shorter. Most modern bullets work over a fairly wide velocity range. Gold Dot's are a good example of that.
  5. Picking loads like the Speer 230 grain Gold Dot SB, 185 grain Gold Dot and Hornady's upcoming 185 grain Critical Defense helps offset velocity loss in 3" barrels. In my G36 and the G30 and Sig 245 that I used to have I just used whatever grouped good and was well made.
  6. Here's a few loads I chronographed.
    Personally I carry the 3 inch Kimbers loaded with Aguila IQ but wouldn't be concerned with carrying most any weight good defense ammo.

    Bond Arms Derringer (3 inch barrel)
    Aguila IQ
    1245 FPS

    Kimber Ultra (3 inch)
    Aguila IQ
    1280 FPS

    Kimber Tactical Ultra (3 inch)
    185 gr Remington Golden Saber
    888 FPS

    Kimber TU
    200 gr Speer Gold Dot
    967 fps

    Bond Arms Derringer
    230 gr Federal Hydro Shock
    787 FPS

    Kimber Eclipse (3 inch barrel)
    230 Gr Federal HS
    775 FPS

    RIA (5 inch)
    230 gr Federal Hydro Shock
    860 FPS
  7. I put the same handload (230 grain XTP / WSF) over a chrono from various guns not too long ago. Glock 30 averaged 827 feet per second, Sig P220 averaged 824 (might be something to the glock rifling after all, huh?) and from a 5" 1911 the average was 856 fps.
  8. You lose less with heavier bullets at slower MV to begin with than you lose with lighter, faster bullets whenever you start reducing barrel length. With the 45 ACP, you give up very little with 230 grn when you go from the G21 to the G30, for example.
    Take a look at some CF rifle cartridges, like the 223, with 16" bbls and then with 24" bbls. Considerable loss of MV but then, the 16" bbl typically is on a rifle that is not used for shooting ground squirrels at 300 yards like I do with my Sako bolt action. I used to own and shoot a Thompson Contender with a 223 bbl and would really had to modify my loads. I forget the bbl length of the TC but it probably was 10".

    With a combat handgun, I don't think the BG on the wrong end of the bbl will care too much, but to answer your question, you'll lose more velocity with the 200 grn than with the 230 grn going to a 3" bbl from a 5".
  9. With standard pressure loads I lose very little from the G21 to the G36. With +P loads I lose around 100 fps or more. The factory +P loads aren't very "+P" from the shorter barrel, except for muzzle blast. They are faster in the G21.
  10. Most handgun loads get the majority of thier velocity in the first couple inches. Higher pressure usually benefits more from a longer barrel. Like others have said you should lose less velocity using heavy standard pressure loads.
  11. As long as the bullet pokes a hole in somebody, it ain't gonna make a difference.
  12. About a 5% loss in the 3".
  13. I agree
  14. 50 feet per half inch.............:whistling:
  15. +1 , It all boils down to this..