Best .45 ACP Defense Round

Discussion in 'The Ammo Can' started by Scottpants, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Scottpants

    Scottpants XDTalk 100 Member

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    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?

     
  2. agalindo

    agalindo XDTalk 15K Member Founding Member

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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)
     
  3. cooks128

    cooks128 XDTalk 4K Member Founding Member

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    Winchester Ranger T for me.....feeds perfectly in every 45 I own.
     
  4. agalindo

    agalindo XDTalk 15K Member Founding Member

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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.
     
  5. cooks128

    cooks128 XDTalk 4K Member Founding Member

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    forgot to mention...a lot of places restrict Ranger T for LEO only...TDS does not.

    Winchester Ranger SXT
     
  6. Cuda66

    Cuda66 XDTalk 10K Member

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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.
     
  7. Scottpants

    Scottpants XDTalk 100 Member

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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.

    [​IMG]

    Two of you said to avoid the Hornady CD, might I ask why?
     
  8. cooks128

    cooks128 XDTalk 4K Member Founding Member

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  9. fredj338

    fredj338 XDTalk 10K Member

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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.
     
  10. agalindo

    agalindo XDTalk 15K Member Founding Member

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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..
     
  11. Boris

    Boris XDTalk 1K Member

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    Very true, but. From what I have seen they open quick, dont expand to the size of a frisbee and penetrate more than enough. Opens fast, does not over expand (which WILL limit penetration) and penetrates more than enough and if the exotic weights for caliber are left out (in the hydrashok design), they work great.

    Some projectiles will "expand" to huge diameters like the HST. Keep in mind these projectiles petal more than mushroom. They are wider at the widest point but the overall surface area is not the same if it were to be a uniform expansion like a hydrashok or other 'older' design projectile.

    My observations may not be true, they are just observations. Hydrashoks that open quick and get consistant penetration depths will work just fine. They wont penetrate like a XTP or get petals that stick way out for huge expanded diameters, but they will work.
     
  12. primeduck

    primeduck XDTalk 500 Member

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    I shoot Federal HST's thru my XD45 & Gold Dots thru my Kimber...both 230gr standard pressure rounds (non +P). Both feed & shoot well and I have total confidence in both brands.
     
  13. fredj338

    fredj338 XDTalk 10K Member

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    Any reason you use diff rounds in diff guns?
    Really, if all I had was HydraSh, I would use it. It worked well back in it's day. Are their better rounds, sure, there is always something new & improved coming down the road, but reliable ammo & your ability will be the X factor. If you find you can't hit fast & accurate out to 50ft on demand, more practice is what is needed, not this or that ammo.
     
  14. primeduck

    primeduck XDTalk 500 Member

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    The HST's feed very reliably in my XD, and the Gold Dots shoot great/are accurate in my Kimber. Each gun likes different brands.

    Gotta keep the ammo makers in business! :p
     
  15. onelochevy

    onelochevy XDTalk 500 Member

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    I carry 230gr. gold dots. I tried Ranger T ammo at first, but I was having atleast 1 FTF during each range trip with them. I switched to the gold dots and haven't had a failure of any kind so far.

     

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