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View Poll Results: Is weight or speed preferred in a self defense round?
Speed -- e.g. 45ACP 185g 1000fps 20 31.75%
Weight -- e.g. 45ACP 230g 800fps 43 68.25%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 6, 2002, 12:18 PM   #1
tstr
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Defense ammo: speed vs. weight

All other things being equal, which do you think would be a better defensive round and why?

45ACP
185grain moving 1000fps

or

230grain moving 800fps

Same question goes for any caliber. Which has better all around stopping power?

tstr
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Old February 6, 2002, 01:01 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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What it would really come down to, for me, would be which round penetrates adequately (min. of 12" in gelatin)?

If both penetrate adequately, I'd say they're both good choice. If one penetrates adequately, but the other one doesn't, the one that doesn't is eliminated.

If neither penetrates adequately, both are eliminated and I find something else.

Penetration is what gets it done. Nothing else.
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Old February 6, 2002, 02:20 PM   #3
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What Mike said. I really like a 230gr bullet through a 5 inch tube.
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Old February 6, 2002, 02:58 PM   #4
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230 gr!
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Old February 6, 2002, 03:13 PM   #5
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I just love these over simplified sorts of summary poles. A significant question concerns how the speed is tested and whether or not you have comparable equipment. Are these speeds measured from a 3", 4", 5", or 6" barrel and is that the same barrel length you have on your gun?

The 800 fps 230 gr round seems a little slow for standard .45 acp coming out of a 5" barrel. The velocity should be around 850 or so and a lot of brands are closer to 900 than 800. I definitely would not want it in a shorter barrel. The 185 seems to have the appropriate velocity and most likely even out of a 3" barrel will have greater velocity than the 230 gr round at 800 fps.
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Old February 6, 2002, 03:48 PM   #6
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Actually, both velocities look slow.

Ought to get 850-900 fps for the 230gr, and close to 1100 for the 185.

How about a 200gr at 1050?

Wait a minute. Time to verify numbers.
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Old February 6, 2002, 04:03 PM   #7
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Yep. I was right. Depending on the bullet manuf., gun, etc., (the usual cautions, start low, look for pressure signs):

1. You should be able to get close to 900 (890)fps for a 230gr FMJ, but this is a max load. (Speer)

2. 200gr Speer JHP should be ~ 1000 fps, this is not quite a maximum load for this bullet (see cautions).

3. 185 gr Speer Gold Dot HP should go max to 1034 fps (again, w/cautions).


These were tested by RCBS (#12) in a Sig P220 4.4 inch barrel. Little more barrel length will give slightly higher velocities.
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Old February 6, 2002, 04:27 PM   #8
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How about a 200gr at 1200fps? Oops, I am talking 10mm not 45acp.
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Old February 6, 2002, 04:32 PM   #9
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Textbook vs Real World

According to the formulae, increasing the velocity will have a greater impact than increasing the mass.

According to shooting stats, the 230-gr JHP is the best way to end a confrontation that's gotten out of hand.

- Aion

"Hydra-Shok Therapy: 230 grains of conflict resolution."
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Old February 6, 2002, 04:57 PM   #10
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The bank vault door is open - you have one swing to close it... would you use a framing hammer or a sledge hammer???

I can't get it to go very fast, but when it hits, boom - the door is a movin'

I choose the sledge hammer. 230gr.
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Old February 6, 2002, 05:03 PM   #11
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230gr Ball - me loves it!
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Old February 6, 2002, 05:38 PM   #12
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LOL!
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Old February 6, 2002, 05:47 PM   #13
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Sledgehammer or framing hammer...

Great analogy if you're teaching a physics class, but I'm not sure just how applicable it is when you're trying to pick a bullet. Momentum doesn't really factor neatly into the stopping power equasion. Penetration, which increases certainty of disruption of vital body systems, does factor into the stopping power equasion.

If I had the choice between a 230-gr. bullet that didn't penetrate well and the framing hammer, I really think I'd rather have the framing hammer.

Flip those claws around, get a good nogging shot, and it's scrambled brains time.
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Old February 6, 2002, 06:25 PM   #14
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" All other things being equal " -

The question is - slower but larger vs. faster but smaller.... all else is equal. It doesn't say wad cutter versus hollow point.

If you are going to toss in other factors, the most important is shot placement.
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Old February 6, 2002, 10:11 PM   #15
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This is a quote from Corbon Ammunition web site. I think they've done some research on weight vs. velocity.

Quote:
There continues to be a misconception that a heavier bullet somehow has more energy and that a long deep wound channel is necessary. That may be true in a hunting bullet, but in close quarters combat, the trade of less weight and added velocity is a positive increase in energy. Energy is energy and if effectively transferred into the target - it does not matter whether it is energy from a 9mm or a .45 ACP.
Check out the whole article at:http://www.corbon.com/selfdefense.html
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Old February 6, 2002, 10:24 PM   #16
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You really can't say that either weight or velocity has an edge over the other. In .45 ACP the slow, heavy rounds are dominant. The reverse is true with the 9mm. There the lighter, faster rounds are much more effective than the heavy subsonic rounds. And with the .40, it appears the medium-weight 155-165 grain rounds are delivering the best results.
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Old February 6, 2002, 11:05 PM   #17
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Wanted both, so I got a 10mm

In a .45 i prefer 230 grain Hydrashocks
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Old February 6, 2002, 11:29 PM   #18
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Kinda like the old question...

What's the difference between a duck ?

Sam
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Old February 6, 2002, 11:31 PM   #19
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With all due respect, Corbon is writing something that is CLOSELY tailored to suit the particular product that they're selling. In some ways, it's not unlike the CEO of Enron telling employees to put all of their money into company stock -- it's the issue of faith in the messenger based on supporting evidence that is either not there, is unclearly understood, or is fraudulent (please be clear that I am NOT in any way accusing Corbon of fraudulently promoting their products, but I'm certainly not buying into their theory that energy, and not penetration, gets the job done).

I'd actually be VERY surprised if they were doing any true quantatitive ballistics research of the type necessary to determine the effectivness of any given bullet at any velocity.

In other words, they're selling a product with the view that the highest velocity is the most desirable aspect of stopping power.

None of the forensic research supports that, at least not directly. The work being done by the Army's Wound Ballistics Research Laboratory, and by its former director, Dr. Martin Fackler, under the aegis of his group (the specific name escapes me now), is making it clearer and clearer that with handgun rounds, the only truly sure way of effecting reliable stopping is through penetration that allows disruption of vital body structures.

To put it quite frankly, deep penetration is EVEN MORE CRITICAL with a handgun round because you have, in reality, such a poor device for stopping an attack.

The Corbon blurb talks about the effective application of energy. Good statement that actually DETRACTS from Corbon's premise, that deep penetration isn't necessary.

It's simple physics that the energy developed by a handgun bullet, if applied to the body in a way as to not penetrate, really isn't enough to cause serious injury (unless it's to the head or another very sensitive area). To put it simply, there's not enough energy dump.

In order to make the most of the energy that a handgun bullet does pack requires that the bullet penetrate and disrupt vital body structures -- organs, the central nervous system, blood vessels, etc.

Anything less than adequate penetration leaves you in a VERY dicey situation, without any sure way of stopping a determined attacker.
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Old February 6, 2002, 11:31 PM   #20
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damn this thing!
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Old February 6, 2002, 11:40 PM   #21
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Either in the proper circumstances.

230 Grains as a rule, 185 when over penetration is a serious issue.
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Old February 7, 2002, 01:03 AM   #22
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O.K., lets say the Corbon thing is all hype to sell their ammo (for the sake of argument).

http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/chrono/45acp.htm

That link demonstrates the principle Corbon is talking about.
-Faster bullet= usually higher muzzle energy. And that's where I want it- not 25 yds past the barrel, where a heavier bullet has more energy. I want that energy at the barrel.

But that energy is no good if it does not penetrate, expand, and stop inside the crook's body.

As far as the bullet expanding- .45ACP- I think overpenetration would be the problem in most situations, not underpenetration. An overpenetration would not effectively dump the energy. As the bullet flies right through the guy with little or no expansion, all that knockdown power hits some unintended target to the rear.

We want that energy to slam into the villian, the bullet must expand and give a tremendous shock. I think a lighter, faster bullet (If the bullet is a decent design) is the best way to put the crook on the ground for good.

marteny's vote- 185gr
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Old February 7, 2002, 01:09 AM   #23
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Nice thing bout .45.....it's pre expanded.

Sam
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Old February 7, 2002, 01:16 AM   #24
Mike Irwin
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Well, quite frankly, I'd rather have OVERpenetration than underpenetration.

Why?

You're guaranteed of cutting a wound channel deeply enough to get to where the bullet needs to be to be effective.

Yes, overpenetration expends energy needlessly. But, given the low levels of energy in a handgun bullet in the first place, and the dubious nature of the "energy dump" theory in the first place, I'm not too worried about it at all.
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Old February 7, 2002, 12:32 PM   #25
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I'm on the lookout for the Triton Quick-Shocks. They break into three pieces for more likelihood of cutting arteries, etc. In 45acp, those three pieces are each twice the weight of a .22lr.

200gr sounds like good compromise, but, hey, I don't know .^$^%$^&
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