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Carry ammo suggestions for .45


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#1 Tim4k5

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:38 AM

I recently picked up a new 1911 to be my primary carry piece when we are finally given the go ahead to exercise our Constitutional right to protect ourselves. Pistol is a Kimber Ultra CDP II, so a 3" barrel 1911. I know there are a wide variety of dedicated defensive rounds for the .45 and I would like to try a variety of different brands/types to find what the gun prefers. What do those of you who run 1911's suggest?

Here's what is currently on my "try list"

Hornady Critical Defense 185gr
Hornady Critical Duty 220gr
Federal GuardDog 165gr
Winchester PDX1 230gr

These are just the few I've got on my list so far....I'm currently laid out from back surgery for a few more weeks so it will be a bit before I get any trigger time. I'm just wanting to try a few kinds to see what works best and don't want to waste time wandering in the dark. Any input you guys may have would be appreciated!!

#2 C0untZer0

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:55 AM

I like the Winchester 230gr bonded - RA45B

That's a good round IMO, 14 plus inches of penetration through various barriers and minimum expansion of .67"
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#3 MrMike

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:59 AM

Find out what feeds reliably for you.....

You may or may not like 230 grain with the 3 inch barrel. Still worth a try just for comparison.

Try 185 grain Speer Gold Dots or 185 Remington Golden Sabers.


I am partial to the Gold Dots
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#4 MrMike

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

Count made a great suggestion......though I usually prefer something bigger for the 230 grain. I've also got high opinions of the winchester jhp.


And I'm not a huge fan of the hornady
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#5 Agney5

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:12 AM

The Winchester and critical duty would be my top picks. I keep critical defense in my night stand gun because I live in a town home and pass through is a big concern. I'm not saying its still not possible just less likely in my eyes. For concealed carry though I want something that will pass FBI protocol for barrier penetration. JMO

Gold dots are a good option as well.

#6 MrMike

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:21 AM

Also.......the critical defense is designed for shorter barreled ccw stuff and run a bit tamer...... while the critical duty is "full power"


The Second Amendment does not grant to the people the right to keep and bear arms, but merely recognizes the prior existence of that right and prohibits its infringement by Congress

#7 xmikex

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:23 AM

People's opinions don't really matter when it comes to carry / duty rounds because they typically haven't shot enough people in a lab setting to document each load's effectiveness :frantics: (this is a good thing I think) :cool:

Go with whatever:
1) RUNS reliably in YOUR gun. (up to YOU to test)
2) Meets the FBI penetration standards. (available here: http://www.ar15.com/...ndex.htm#.45ACP


.45ACP

  • Barnes XPB/TAC-XP 185gr HP loaded by:

    • Cor-Bon (DPX45185)

    • Taurus (TCB45ACP185HP)

  • Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP (RA45T)

  • Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP +P (RA45TP)

  • Federal Tactical 230gr JHP (LE45T1)

  • Federal HST 230gr +P JHP (P45HST1)

  • Federal HST 230gr JHP (P45HST2)

  • Speer Gold Dot 230gr JHP (23966)
  • Speer Gold Dot 230gr +P JHP


Keep in mind that shorter 1911s tend to have more reliability issues than traditional government 5" guns.

It's a shame that Hornady's Critical Duty loads don't meet the minimum standards as they're generally pretty available... :(
I order ammo online and look for good pricing here:
http://gun-deals.com...caliber=.45 ACP
http://www.slickguns.../ammo?caliber=4

Good luck with your testing hand have fun :)
Mike
"I may disapprove of what arms you bear, but I will defend to the death your right to remain armed." -xmikex

#8 C0untZer0

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:37 AM

If I had an HK Mk 23 I'd stoke it with the RA45TP but I wonder what that would be like out of the little Kimber,,
“Most gun control arguments miss the point. If all control boils fundamentally to force, how can one resist aggression without equal force? How can a truly “free” state exist if the individual citizen is enslaved to the forceful will of individual or organized aggressors?
 
 It cannot.” 

 

― Tiffany Madison― 


#9 huntall6

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:10 AM

i run remmington el cheapo hollow points in my 3" 1911. 200 rounds with them exclusively without one hiccup convinced me they will be up to the task. but i also carry on my property and am not hesitant to lay down a coyote or coon if the opportunity presents itself, so in my situation a cheaper, reliable HP is what i choose to invest in.


now, if i had the money, i would go for hornady

#10 Agney5

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:12 AM

People's opinions don't really matter when it comes to carry / duty rounds because they typically haven't shot enough people in a lab setting to document each load's effectiveness :frantics: (this is a good thing I think) :cool:

Go with whatever:
1) RUNS reliably in YOUR gun. (up to YOU to test)
2) Meets the FBI penetration standards. (available here: http://www.ar15.com/...ndex.htm#.45ACP


.45ACP


  • Barnes XPB/TAC-XP 185gr HP loaded by:

    • Cor-Bon (DPX45185)

    • Taurus (TCB45ACP185HP)

  • Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP (RA45T)

  • Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP +P (RA45TP)

  • Federal Tactical 230gr JHP (LE45T1)

  • Federal HST 230gr +P JHP (P45HST1)

  • Federal HST 230gr JHP (P45HST2)

  • Speer Gold Dot 230gr JHP (23966)
  • Speer Gold Dot 230gr +P JHP


Keep in mind that shorter 1911s tend to have more reliability issues than traditional government 5" guns.

It's a shame that Hornady's Critical Duty loads don't meet the minimum standards as they're generally pretty available... :(
I order ammo online and look for good pricing here:
http://gun-deals.com...caliber=.45 ACP
http://www.slickguns.../ammo?caliber=4

Good luck with your testing hand have fun :)
Mike


I knew their critical defense didn't meet standards, but critical duty is news to me. I know it hasn't been independently tested yet but that was the whole point of the critical duty, to meet the standards. Plus the 45 line was just recently released.

#11 Tim4k5

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:24 AM

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I know it's gonna come down to which round my particular gun prefers the most but it is always nice to have a variety to try out to start with.

#12 WeldorJP

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:33 AM

I would normally recommend win ranger t's, but not in 45. They don't expand well. With a barrel that short, in 45, you really need to do your homework on the ammo you're going to stake your life on. That heavy bullet needs to spend some time in the barrel to achieve the velocities needed for proper expansion. If I remember correctly, corbon dpx doesn't need too much velocity to do its thing. Google docgkr, or Dr Gary Roberts. That guy is a wealth of information on ballistics, with actual testing to back up his claims.

#13 GarandFan

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:25 AM

I don't know if it really matters all that much ... but I am usually inclined to go with lighter bullet weight loads in the super compacts and subcompacts with very short barrels. There is a velocity threshold under which hollowpoints won't reliably open up, and the lighter bullets will maintain higher velocities out of short barrels.

In my 4 and 5 inch 1911s, I use 230gr Winchester Ranger T-series +P. For my 3" I currently have 200gr gold dots (mainly because a buddy gave me several boxes of it when he sold his .45s).

Remember ... being capable of consistently hitting the target is priority number 1.
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#14 TTIN

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:56 AM

Also.......the critical defense is designed for shorter barreled ccw stuff and run a bit tamer...... while the critical duty is "full power"

This I don't understand. Seems you'd need something hotter yo make up for less muzzle velocity.
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#15 RonOglesby - Now in Texas

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I know it's gonna come down to which round my particular gun prefers the most but it is always nice to have a variety to try out to start with.


This is key, and dont make it the "second" consideration on the list. it should be the FIRST. Look pretty much any .45 JHP is a pipe hitting round. Yes there can be arguments for the heavier round and what not, but the most important thing is that you feel good and have control shooting that round and your weapon likes it.

When I get a new model for defense (like I did with my first glock a while back) I fed 4 boxes of 4 different types of JHPs through it. 3 fed just fine. 1 had 1 round fail to feed properly. That box was off my list. I then focused on the three that fed properly and picked 2 that I thought felt the best as I shot them. I then did another 50 or so rounds of each and picked one. It felt the smoothest and wasn't "too much" movement in the gun, I had great control for a second shot.

Thats the key. Shooting under stress is hard. Your heart rate will sky rocketing, your palms will start to sweat, vision will narrow, fine motor skills start go since the fight or flight will be kicking in and your body will be all pumped up! I wanted a round that just SEEMED right when I fired it because so much else will be going.
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#16 RonOglesby - Now in Texas

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:21 AM

oh, and if you're willing to invest in this testing for a good, comfortable round for you, invest in night sights if you can.
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#17 Tim4k5

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:55 AM

:) The gun actually has night sights and Crimon Trace grips installed from the factory. :)

#18 MrMike

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:53 AM

:) The gun actually has night sights and Crimon Trace grips installed from the factory. :)



Ooooooooooo.......fancy. Haha
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#19 scough

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:08 AM

Just recall that the shorter the barrel, the higher the probability of a FTF with a 1911, so it's very important to actually test the hollow point you are thinking to use. I had an Ultra Carry years ago that I shot a lot with 230 ball, and it was rock solid, so I never questioned how it might perform with HP rounds. I later found when I did switch to HP and did some testing for the heck of it (because I ran out of the cheaper stuff), I ran into alot of problems and I was kind of shocked - and glad I stumbled on this.

It had just never dawned on me to try the actual carry load when practicing. That was a big eye opener. Now, while I will still primarily plink with the cheaper ball (when I can find it now), I do make sure I do a clip or two (oops, magazine) of the primary defensive round just to make sure things are still going smoothly. I will also add that a 1911 will 'break-in' a bit and tends to get more reliable after 500 to 1,000 rounds in my experience, so don't get discouraged if you run into a few hiccups during the first couple of boxes, especially with the shorter barrels.

I do prefer Hornady with the smaller hollow point that in theory should help with the feed, and the plastic thingie does help with keeping the round clean. if you do run into consistent probelms after the break-in with your preferred round, don't hesistate to send it back to the mfr. Kimber is pretty good about reworking the ramp if necessary. Lastly, chit can that crappy stock mag and get some good Wilsons or McCormicks and go with the +1's. Even the Kimber Kim Pro Tac's are pretty good, which I think are made by McCormick.

My .02 fwiw.

#20 MrMike

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:01 AM

Also.......the critical defense is designed for shorter barreled ccw stuff and run a bit tamer...... while the critical duty is "full power"

This I don't understand. Seems you'd need something hotter yo make up for less muzzle velocity.


The comparison was between Critical Defense 185 grain and Critical Duty 220 grain.

In general, the slightly lower weight/lighter bullet will achieve good penetration, higher velocity helps with expansion , and at the same time lower recoil.

Edited by MrMike, 08 February 2013 - 11:11 AM.

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#21 pyre400

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:42 PM

Watch for setback. Many 1911's have a steep fed ramp and will push the bullet back in the case a little upon loading. Different ammo and different guns will determine the degree of setback.

I find that hollow point hornadys (xtp and ftx) are composed of soft lead (which helps in expansion) - this limits the amount of crimp/pull that can be employed before deforming the projectile. As a result, one should expect setback - even with cannelured bullets. I did a fair amount research on the matter after hearing from a member (lockman) about how his FTX (critical defense) would setback. I wasnt shocked, but I was a little surprised at what I'd found out.

The amount of initial setback in most situations should be fine, but repeated cambering of the same round can create a higher pressure situation.
IMO, the likelihood of kaboom is rather minor, but its something that folks should be aware of, just the same. It can eventually lead to an unsafe condition in extreme situations.

Again, pistol and ammo configurations will dictate the level of concern, just be aware. This coincides with feed reliability, as mentioned by a previous member.

ETA: forgot to mention that 185/200 grain bullets in .45 will have less bearing surface, also contributing to the likelihood of setback. (less contact area for the case to grip the projectile)

Edited by pyre400, 08 February 2013 - 12:46 PM.

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#22 DesertRat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

My personal preference is Federal Premium 230gr Hydrashock in all of my 1911s (except the 10mm). I'd also try out Speer's Short Barrel load for .45 ACP if you can find any. :cry:

Edited by DesertRat, 08 February 2013 - 02:28 PM.


#23 xmikex

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

I knew their critical defense didn't meet standards, but critical duty is news to me. I know it hasn't been independently tested yet but that was the whole point of the critical duty, to meet the standards. Plus the 45 line was just recently released.


The Critical Defense has gotten mixed reviews - and while Hornady's marketing / propaganda have hyped it up, I have not yet seen independent testing. Is it going to be better than ball ammo? Probably. Is it going to be as good as the list above? No. (at least not from what testing I've been able to find).

To be honest, ALL pistol rounds suck pretty much equally at stopping people from doing bad things. Rifles and Shotguns are a MUCH better choice and SHOT PLACEMENT (with rifle shotgun or pistol) trumps all. The problem is that shot placement is VERY difficult to achieve on shooting / moving / resisting human beings. A deer in the woods 100 yards away munching on some grass while you line up your shotgun on him? EASY shot placement. A pair of 16 year old kids with a knife and a jennings pointed at your chest? Not so easy. :fear:
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#24 GWBH

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

I don't know if it really matters all that much ... but I am usually inclined to go with lighter bullet weight loads in the super compacts and subcompacts with very short barrels. There is a velocity threshold under which hollowpoints won't reliably open up, and the lighter bullets will maintain higher velocities out of short barrels.

In my 4 and 5 inch 1911s, I use 230gr Winchester Ranger T-series +P. For my 3" I currently have 200gr gold dots (mainly because a buddy gave me several boxes of it when he sold his .45s).

Remember ... being capable of consistently hitting the target is priority number 1.


There ya go - research, discuss, spend what you want - it won't mean squat if ya' can't hit the target!

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#25 papa

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:48 PM

I have a Kimber tactical ultra and use Hornady TAP and /or XTP 230 gr. +P for carry .

#26 bngracing

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:23 PM

HPR uses XTP bullets (230gr) and are normal pressure. Cabela's carries HPR on their website and a box of 50 used to be $34...so not a bad deal. Bought 5 boxes and have 2 more boxes on backorder due end of the month. I've heard nothing but good things about Federal HST but I have yet to see those on a shelf or last on a website long enough to have them look at and file my emailed FOID before it backorders (Midway).

I have a 4" 1911 (Wilson CQB) and it has eaten anything I've loaded in it. I'd give your gun a decent workout on the range with normal ball ammo for break in and then see how it handles hotter loads and different JHP shapes. Might not be a bad idea to test how it feeds when it is a little dirty as well. A few mags of WWB or UMC should take care of getting your gun a little filthy in short order.

Edited by bngracing, 08 February 2013 - 10:24 PM.