Springfield XD Forum banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,938 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have always liked 45 APC. I seem to like slow and fat. I fully understand that with modern defense ammo there is no difference. I fully concede, that between all the major pistol calibers there is just not much difference.

However.... I know a detective/firearms instructor. He too says there is no real advantage between all major calibers... except, from his experience, it seems slower fatter rounds tend to not over penetrate or ricochet as much as the lighter faster rounds. Now that has kind of stuck with me, all though I have no reason to buy it.

Soooo... I tend to go for heavier bullets for what ever caliber I have. Yet when I look for what is best.... most of the best performing bullets are the lighter loads. Bottom line is I am looking for the best defensive loads, and I'm willing to give up old thinking.

Regardless of caliber, what roll does bullet weight play in defensive ammo?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,831 Posts
So I have always liked 45 APC. I seem to like slow and fat. I fully understand that with modern defense ammo there is no difference. I fully concede, that between all the major pistol calibers there is just not much difference.

However.... I know a detective/firearms instructor. He too says there is no real advantage between all major calibers... except, from his experience, it seems slower fatter rounds tend to not over penetrate or ricochet as much as the lighter faster rounds. Now that has kind of stuck with me, all though I have no reason to buy it.

Soooo... I tend to go for heavier bullets for what ever caliber I have. Yet when I look for what is best.... most of the best performing bullets are the lighter loads. Bottom line is I am looking for the best defensive loads, and I'm willing to give up old thinking.

Regardless of caliber, what roll does bullet weight play in defensive ammo?
Actually, when it comes to conventional JHP's, heavier bullets tend to do better.

Read this: Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,949 Posts
Excellent article that cuda posted.

For the 9mm, I like the 124.

I don't deal in .40.

I like 230 in .45. HST, Gold Dots, Ranger T's, and PDX1's.

.357, can't beat the 125 grain if you are ok with the blast.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,938 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ya, I've looked there before. Always a good read again. Actually does discuss over penetration a bit. But I do forget the causes... slow bullets can over penetrate just as good as fast ones.

I have 45 and 40, and now a 9. I'm new to 9. My current rotation is due for replacement. Hence the renewed interest. I'm partial to Federal since my hammer springs are a little light. that might be another myth... but it is a pretty wide held one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,831 Posts
Ya, I've looked there before. Always a good read again. Actually does discuss over penetration a bit. But I do forget the causes... slow bullets can over penetrate just as good as fast ones.

I have 45 and 40, and now a 9. I'm new to 9. My current rotation is due for replacement. Hence the renewed interest. I'm partial to Federal since my hammer springs are a little light. that might be another myth... but it is a pretty wide held one.
Heavier bullets will penetrate because of greater momentum; it's harder to slow down a heavier object than a lighter one.

I like 147's in 9mm; they tend to show great accuracy and lower recoil in many of my pistols. That being said, my current nightstand pistol is a Sig Mk25 loaded with Winchester's 127gr+P+ Ranger-T; when I started proofing defensive loads, it shot the most accurately, with no discernible loss of control when rapid firing.

I have confidence that it will work just as well as the 147gr HST I have in other 9mm's, assuming I do my part and out it where it needs to go.

In short, there isn't a magic bullet.

Well, besides the 230gr load in a .45, that is. ;)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,938 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That goes without saying. :-D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,879 Posts
Powerman, there are some very good loads out there and I'd start the search of with SPEER Gold Dots.

The thing about momentum is that some opinions carry over from the old school of thought that 230s are always the best. That's just not the case and I'll give you an example. In water jug testing with 1 gallon jugs lined up 4 or 5 deep and touching, typical factory 230 gr. JHPs at around 825 FPS or less or my handloads at around 850 FPS from my 4.5" SR45. These loads will penetrate through 2 jugs and stop in the 3rd. With my 185 gr. Golden Saber handload at 1087 FPS, they will penetrate 3 jugs an into the 4th. Penetration beyond that is too much, IMO.

So let's look at the actual momentum numbers. At 850 FPS a 230 gr. JHP has a momentum of .868 Lb-seconds. My 185 gr. GS handload at 1087 has a momentum of .893 Lb-seconds, so the math reinforces what I've observed in my own tests. My handload is standard pressure, not +P.

A lot of this is going to boil down to your own level of recoil tolerance and ability to achieve fast follow up shots. The REM. factory 185 gr. +P Golden Saber load is rated 1140 FPS, 534 Ft/Lbs with a momentum of .936 Lb-seconds. Comparing apples to apples, there are some very good 230 gr. +P JHP loads as well, but to achieve the same level of momentum, they will need a velocity of 917 FPS. Bullet construction is definitely a factor in any evaluation of energy or momentum because the bullet must be constructed well enough for its level of energy/momentum and obviously, a lighter bullet will require more velocity to equal the momentum of heavier bullets.

I don't really have but one preference when it comes to .45 ACP JHPs because I load all 3 of the common weights, but even with my 185 gr. Golden Saber load at 1087, performance is outstanding but I also like 200 and 230 gr. JHPs and plan to load 230 gr. XTPs to 900 FPS when I can find some and lately, I've been shooting and testing the 200 gr. XTPs. My personal preference being that I don't shoot any Sub-Sonic loads in any caliber until I get to 200 gr. JHPs in .45 ACP. With any well constructed 185 like the GS, they will get loaded to or above 1080 FPS which is the speed of sound at sea-level. 200 gr. JHPs are not a bad compromise at all and you can find standard factory loads at around 1000 FPS. SPEER happens to make a 200 gr. Gold Dot +P load at 1080 FPS which qualifies it as Super-Sonic, but you can expect it to be a handful at 518 Ft/Lbs with .959 Lb-seconds of momentum. There's little doubt about how good performance is with that first well-placed shot. The question becomes how fast and accurately you can get off the 2nd or 3rd.

So when you go here: Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo
keep a couple of things in mind, the author definitely has a preference for sub-sonic loads and many of the best are either glossed over or not even tested. The 9mm IS a good example because some of the IWBA opinions are somewhat predicated on magic bullets. As in the example Cuda brought up with 147 gr. sub-sonic loads. In "doc" Roberts test they somehow managed to get a velocity that you're never likely to see from a handgun. If you actually chrono 975 FPS, consider yourself lucky. At 975 FPS, a 147 gr. JHP will give 310 Ft/Lbs of KE with momentum at .617 Lb-seconds. 147s have always penetrated well even to the point of over-penetrating in first generation sub-soni loads. This is partially due to the very high sectional density for caliber and sectional density is simply a ratio of weigh/length, but at .167, the 147 gr. 9mm is slightly higher in sectional density than a 230 gr. JHP in .45 ACP and to better it in.40/10mm you'll need a 190 gr. bullet where that are no JHPs between 180 and 200 grs. so far as I know. If I knew the exact velocity of the Ranger 127 gr. +P+ load I'd use it here. Since I don't, I'll just use the example of 124 gr. Golden Sabers and the standard 124 gr. REM JHP that are being worked up to 1250 FPS with energy at 430 Ft/Lbs with momentum at .688 Lb-seconds. My standard REM 124 gr. JHP is at 1238 FPS at the moment and the last time I tested the 124 gr. Golden Saber at 1222 FPS, it penetrated as deeply as my 185 gr. GS load in .45 ACP: through 3 jugs and into the 4th with both calibers achieving .7" of expansion. So there is some truth in equality of the different combat calibers in this case. I expect the Ranger 127 gr. +P+ would give about the same velocity as my goal of 1250 FPS. The only way I'd use any 147 gr. JHP would be above 1080 FPS to around 1150 FPS which at that point, the .40 S&W becomes kind of moot.

I'd recommend you try as many .45 ACP defense loads as possible to find what you like best. A 185 gr. Sub-Sonic load will never equal a 230 gr. Sub-Sonic load, but then the question of recoil tolerance comes into play because a 230 gr. standard JHP load is not going to equal the 185 gr. +P Golden Saber load, nor the SPEER 200 gr +P Gold Dot load. Comparing them all at the velocity that +P loads have the potential of achieving makes the playing field a bit more level. But a good standard pressure 200 gr. Factory load at 1000 FPS shouldn't be overlooked, where the 230 if you actually find one that gives 850 FPS, KE is 369 Ft/Lbs with momentum at .868 Lb-seconds while a 200 gr. at 1000 FPS will give 444 Ft/Lbs with a momentum of .888 Lb-seconds and as always, the math/physics just don't lie. ;)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,938 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
57, thanks a bunch. Right now I use HSTs and Gold Dots. I use 230 gr +P HST, and 180 gr Gold Dots in 40. I have some 165 gr Gold Dots too. I have used GS, and Cor-Bons too. I don't really have a problem with any of them. But to be real honest, I don't have the sort of money to sit there and train with defensive loads to see how good I am with them.

When a range trip can cost me $200, I do not go to the range nearly as much as I would like. To make things worse... the range I usually go to, which is nice, does not allow any rapid fire or holstering. So all it is there is just plain old hole punching. I am looking to see if some of the smaller ranges near me allow more.

I could skip an arsenal, but I really would like to shoot more. It is not exactly a cheap hobby. And trust me, I have had some expensive ones. Reef tanks, Jeep, bikes.... I think about getting into hand loading, but then that would seem like taking on a second job. So much I want to do.... time and money....
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,879 Posts
57, thanks a bunch. Right now I use HSTs and Gold Dots. I use 230 gr +P HST, and 180 gr Gold Dots in 40. I have some 165 gr Gold Dots too. I have used GS, and Cor-Bons too. I don't really have a problem with any of them. But to be real honest, I don't have the sort of money to sit there and train with defensive loads to see how good I am with them.

When a range trip can cost me $200, I do not go to the range nearly as much as I would like. To make things worse... the range I usually go to, which is nice, does not allow any rapid fire or holstering. So all it is there is just plain old hole punching. I am looking to see if some of the smaller ranges near me allow more.

I could skip an arsenal, but I really would like to shoot more. It is not exactly a cheap hobby. And trust me, I have had some expensive ones. Reef tanks, Jeep, bikes.... I think about getting into hand loading, but then that would seem like taking on a second job. So much I want to do.... time and money....

I understand and encourage you to get into handloading. That will make it less expensive to evaluate different bullets with those that are available. I'd have no problem carrying that 230 gr. +P HST and like I said, I really don't favor one weight over another where it's more of an issue about momentum/energy. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,197 Posts
As noted, heavier bulletss hold their momentum & even with expansion, will penetrate deep. I'm ok with light & fast, as long as the bullet is designed to not fragment, you'll still get adequate penetration. If you can't decide, middle wts in all calibers always work fine. IMO, +p in the 45a, just not needed, especially with good bullets like the HST & GD.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,938 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I understand and encourage you to get into handloading. That will make it less expensive to evaluate different bullets with those that are available. I'd have no problem carrying that 230 gr. +P HST and like I said, I really don't favor one weight over another where it's more of an issue about momentum/energy. ;)
I certainly have thought about it. I have a couple of friends that do a ton of it and they could certainly help get me started. I have about 600 rounds of .308 in the garage I've saved.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,879 Posts
I certainly have thought about it. I have a couple of friends that do a ton of it and they could certainly help get me started. I have about 600 rounds of .308 in the garage I've saved.

We're here to help. Investing in a Lyman manual is a good place to start. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,473 Posts
I'm glad to see that for the most part we are putting aside the old "which caliber is better" debate in favor of the recognition that all the defense calibers have something to offer with the right combination of components and an understanding of what is going on. Though it is impossible to predict under just what circumstances one might have to employ any defensive rounds, a knowledge of what the parameters are and how you can get there with any adequate caliber will be a step in the right direction and help the knowledgeable at least sleep better at night.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,938 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm glad to see that for the most part we are putting aside the old "which caliber is better" debate in favor of the recognition that all the defense calibers have something to offer with the right combination of components and an understanding of what is going on. Though it is impossible to predict under just what circumstances one might have to employ any defensive rounds, a knowledge of what the parameters are and how you can get there with any adequate caliber will be a step in the right direction and help the knowledgeable at least sleep better at night.
The data does not lie. And I don't have any illusions about one caliber doing more damage than another when a vital structure is not actually hit. But I will freely admit to being biased when I set a 9mm next to a 45 ACP. It's just human nature. I'm just now getting to the point of getting the best out of what ever caliber I'm using. Because they are all equally effective pretty much.... as long as you are driving them right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Technology is here, 9mm is as devastating as anything google "cutting edge bullets" like a black Talon/ranger round. Another thing to consider is capacity, you can carry about twice the 9mm as .45 and considering most of your shots will miss in a SHTF moment. I like the LAPUA LOAD check out the: 9 mm Luger - Handgun reloading - Reloading Data - Vihtavuori Bottom, 147gr XTP with 6.9 gr of 3N38 at 1207 fps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,353 Posts
I too prefer slow and heavy. I wouldnt consider anything less than 230 gr in 45acp. Overpenetration with 45 acp at this weight is not a huge concern for anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,197 Posts
Technology is here, 9mm is as devastating as anything google "cutting edge bullets" like a black Talon/ranger round. Another thing to consider is capacity, you can carry about twice the 9mm as .45 and considering most of your shots will miss in a SHTF moment. I like the LAPUA LOAD check out the: 9 mm Luger - Handgun reloading - Reloading Data - Vihtavuori Bottom, 147gr XTP with 6.9 gr of 3N38 at 1207 fps!
The more ammo argument only applies in free states where you can carry more than 10+1. My XD45c is the same size as my G19, same 10+1 & I shoot the XD45 better. Any add'l edge I get from a slightly heavier/larger bullet is icing on the cake.
Its a lot easier to get a larger bullet to 65cal + than a smaller bullet. More metal = larger expanded dia, with the right design. Hard to get a 115gr 9mm to 65cal & have enough mass to drive it deep, why 147gr are popular in good designs like the HST.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
The more ammo argument only applies in free states where you can carry more than 10+1. My XD45c is the same size as my G19, same 10+1 & I shoot the XD45 better. Any add'l edge I get from a slightly heavier/larger bullet is icing on the cake.
Its a lot easier to get a larger bullet to 65cal + than a smaller bullet. More metal = larger expanded dia, with the right design. Hard to get a 115gr 9mm to 65cal & have enough mass to drive it deep, why 147gr are popular in good designs like the HST.
So you favor the "heavy for caliber" stuff for SD? The argument you make is similar to some of the things I've been reading recently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
My concerns with heavy for caliber bullets especially the 230gr 45ACP is the bullet performing like ball ammo and/or terrible variation in expansion because the round is usually at the bottom of the velocity window to perform. In a northern state you could lose 100fps because of temperature change and that could cause the bullet to not even expand at all if your at the bottom of the velocity window. Not even taking into consideration the considerable added clothing variable....meaning the possibility of plugging the cavity and hindering expansion.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top