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Discussion Starter #1
I have always shot my .45s with 230g rounds, but lately I have been seeing more and more guys talking about 185 and 200g rounds. They talk about less recoil, and therefore, I would think- you'd have a better chance for follow up shots in case you needed them (especailly if you had to shoot one handed). Any thoughts on this? Like I said, I've only shot 230g, but the thought of a bit less recoil in my XDc .45 is a little tempting, not that the 230's are too bad at all. I know that less mass hitting the taget, which means less stopping power, in theory- but if you can get back on target (especially if you miss) wouldn't that be a benefit? Thoughts?
 

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My advice is to get a box or two of each and try them out. I carry Federal 165gr H/S which do have noticably less recoil than the Federal 230gr H/S and does allow me to get back on target faster plus I'm consistently more accurate. According to the charts the 165gr are still plenty effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will have to give the 185s a try. So far I have shot only 230g in my XD (Golden Sabers, and HydaShok) and they worked flawlessly. I'm just curous to see what less recoil does for my shootting, especially one handed if need be.
 

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Like my FBI buddy says based on FBI ballistics shoots and tests, "Shoot 230gr. If that absolutely doesn't work shoot 200gr. If that doesn't work trade your .45 and get a .40". :cool:
 

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A friend of mine, retired secret service, swore by the 230 gr. bullets in his .45....until he did some testing with ballistic gelatin. His 230 gr. Hydra-shoks went through two blocks of the (calibrated) gelatin, and lay spinning around on the range floor...unexpanded.

Now, calibrated gelatin isn't readily available to most of us, so my next best choice is gallon jugs of water. Line up enough to capture your bullet, and see what you get. My results have been nearly identical to shooting into gelatin. And very eye opening. Like, you can't assume that XTP's, for example, will perform similarly, when fired in different calibers. Or Gold Dots. In the .40, the 155 is awesome; in the .44, the bullet went through numerous jugs of water, unexpanded, and shed the jacket.... Bottom line, don't believe all you read. Try them yourself.
 

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The lighter bullets go faster and so expand more reliably with less recoil.
The FBI shoots 165 gr Lawman .40 as their carry ammo (180 gr is standard for .40 cal).

I shoot 200 gr out of my .45 and the added control from the lower recoil is a big improvement.

Of course, it's really a matter of many variables so by all means try it out for yourself.

You can make ballistic gel that works GREAT (nope, it's not calibrated, so what?) I've run many tests and found the HydraShock ammo has textbook expansion and weight retention characteristics plus it shoots 100% in all my guns. PLUS I'm old and set in my ways. And I'm never gonna shoot a person anyway.

How to Make Your Own Ballistic Gel

 

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.40's a whole different story than .45. ;)


The lighter bullets go faster and so expand more reliably with less recoil.
The FBI shoots 165 gr Lawman .40 as their carry ammo (180 gr is standard for .40 cal).

I shoot 200 gr out of my .45 and the added control from the lower recoil is a big improvement.

Of course, it's really a matter of many variables so by all means try it out for yourself.

You can make ballistic gel that works GREAT (nope, it's not calibrated, so what?) I've run many tests and found the HydraShock ammo has textbook expansion and weight retention characteristics plus it shoots 100% in all my guns. PLUS I'm old and set in my ways. And I'm never gonna shoot a person anyway.

How to Make Your Own Ballistic Gel

 

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The old Hydra Shok bullet isn't as good as the new ones and the HST are even better. I have shot HST's, Gold Dots and Silvertips (230g) into ballistic gel and all have expanded within the first block. I have also shot the rounds following the FBI protcol and have not had any rounds not expand. All of the rounds were not +P. I also shot 200g and 185g Gold Dots and 185g Golden Sabers using the same protocol. All expanded within the first gel block. They were fired from a XD45 service 4" and a Colt Commander. My preference is a 230g round. The more mass that is projected, the bigger the disruption to the central nervous system - my theory.
 

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I have always shot my .45s with 230g rounds, but lately I have been seeing more and more guys talking about 185 and 200g rounds. They talk about less recoil, and therefore, I would think- you'd have a better chance for follow up shots in case you needed them (especailly if you had to shoot one handed). Any thoughts on this? Like I said, I've only shot 230g, but the thought of a bit less recoil in my XDc .45 is a little tempting, not that the 230's are too bad at all. I know that less mass hitting the taget, which means less stopping power, in theory- but if you can get back on target (especially if you miss) wouldn't that be a benefit? Thoughts?
I have shot some of the top brands but I find Cor-Bon 200 grain + P the best. I am a strong believer, that .45 with a 4" barrell, the best load is 200 grain. There is some difference in recoil between 185 vs 230, but it's very minor. Between 200 and 230 there's hardly any difference.
Try yourself various brands with different loads and shoot a load that you are accurate with, especially the followup shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Do you feel the 200g has better expansionin a 4" than the 230 or 185? Just wondering, like I said- I have never shot 185 or 200g rounds in my .45s, so any info is very helpful. Thanks a bunch!
 

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Expansion is determined by bullet design and velocity on impact. A 230 gr FMJ military round has tremendous overpenetration. I have shot 230GR for 30 years but recently tried 185 and 200 gr Hornady XTPs. Bullet design has come so far that there is little reason not to take advantage of the JHPs out there. My pet SD load is 185gr XTP @ 1150 fps- it runs flawlessly in my 4" XD and is quite accurate. The Corbon/Glaser loads are proven stoppers-I have little experience with other loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will just have to try some of the 185 & 200g loads for myself, but I do appreciate all the feedback! Thanks guys!
 
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