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Best .45 ACP Defense Round

This is a discussion on Best .45 ACP Defense Round within the The Ammo Can forums, part of the Armory Talk category; I'm wondering what you all keep handy for either your home defense/carry round (same thing for me)? Back when I first got my XD45C, I ...


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Old 08-09-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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Question Best .45 ACP Defense Round

I'm wondering what you all keep handy for either your home defense/carry round (same thing for me)? Back when I first got my XD45C, I bought some Federal Premium HydraShok 230gr JHP. I shot through a few magazines worth and what was left over, I keep loaded in it.

Since then, I know there have been quite a few developments in hollow-point ammo. Even when I bought the Hydra-Shok ammo, there were some people saying that it was on the way out because it was an older technology and there were better options available. The main critique was that it doesn't expand properly when shooting through fabric, especially thicker fabric like denim. Now, in Phoenix, I very rarely have to worry about people wearing heavy jackets, but in the winter, who knows? It's also probably not very likely that I'll encounter a threat that's not wearing clothes either... So I'm examining options for a new round to replace the Hydra-Shok as my standard defense round.

A while back, an article in American Rifleman was singing the praises of the Winchester Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1 round and the Hornady Critical Defense FTX round. Does anybody here have experience with one or both of these rounds? I'm not sure I like that the Hornady round is 185gr, as I'm partial to the 230gr of my Hydra-Shok or the PDX1.

What do you all keep loaded and what went into your decision making process in selecting that round?
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:08 AM   #2
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Hornady CD is a gimmick round with a very good promotion I wouldn't consider it in the league of the quality HPs such as PDX, Ranger Ts, HST, Gold Dot, etc...

45 ACP:
Barnes XPB 160 & 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:18 AM   #3
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Winchester Ranger T for me.....feeds perfectly in every 45 I own.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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Forgot to mention as cooks 128 says try several brands listed and choose the one that shoots most accurate and function and feeds reliably.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:36 AM   #5
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forgot to mention...a lot of places restrict Ranger T for LEO only...TDS does not.

Winchester Ranger SXT
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:16 PM   #6
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Anything off the list that Agalindo gave that feeds 100% reliably in your pistol in your hands, and shoots with what you consider acceptible accuracy & control, particularly in rapid fire.

Personally, my .45's are loaded with 230 Gold Dot or 230+P Ranger-T/230 PDX-1.

And I'd avoid the Hornady CD like the plague.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for the opinions so far. I'm really liking what I see about the Ranger T. And the expansion on it is magnificent! It's almost beautiful, like a flower.... like a murderous, death-bringing flower.



Two of you said to avoid the Hornady CD, might I ask why?
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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the petals make all the difference the Ranger T is the evolution of the Black Talon ammo of the 90s.

Opinions on the Hornady CD ammo

Hornady Critical Defense FTX 115 gr 9mm
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #9
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Fortunately, there are few bad choices in 45acp, even the Hydrashok still does the job. Ranget T, HST, RGS bonded or not, XTP, GoldDots, all work well, any real diff is measured w/ calipers. Buy a box of each & shoot em. They need to be:
#1 100% reliable
#2 reasonably accurate (for me 3" or better @ 15yds)
#3 terminal performance is nice but last place. It has to work, it has to be accurate. I'ld rather shoot ball ammo (& I hate ball ammo) than ammo that is not reliable or shoots into 4" @ 15yds.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
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Agreed reliability and accuracy are the most important.

BUT while yes the expansion size between the rounds mention is very small the reliability of the rounds expanding is much greater in the newer HPs than in the Hydrashock.

The difference between the older designs and the newer designs is more of reliability of expansion rather than size of expanded bullet.
So a hydrashock has more of a chance of being an FMJ (failed to expand) than the newer designs..
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