I don't willy nilly switch ammo to the flavor of the month but I do believe some of today's offerings beat most of those from yesteryear. Who wouldn't want a .45 acp caliber bullet expanding to .75 inches and above while penetrating adequately, even through denim and auto window glass? Federal HSTs and Speer Gold Dots can do this. Just because a lead ball can kill you from a black powder gun doesn't mean it's the best choice available.
There is one older load, however, that I think meets or exceeds most of today's. That's the Remington 158 gr. LSWCHP +P. It performs well in both four inch and two inch revolvers. The Remington uses a soft lead and seems to expand better than other manufacturer's similar loads. http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/3...on%20Tests.htm