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Old November 18, 2010, 11:22 AM   #1
kenn
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Best ammo for a short-barreled .45

I use a Taurus Mil Pro 145 with a tac light as my bedside hand gun.

I currently have regular Rem Hollowpoints in it, but is there something else I should be using? I have ran a box through this gun and it ran flawlessly, but I do not know enough about ballistics to determine what would be the best round for this short barreled little beastie.

What would an experienced shooter recommend?
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Old November 18, 2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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From a 3.25" barrel, which is what it seems you have I believe, a 185 gr. JHP round may do a bit better at expanding than most 230 gr. rounds. Remington, Federal, Hornady, Winchester, Speer, Cor-Bon and others all make decent performers in this weight.

Try some out and the ones that are reliable and accurate from your piece when fired by you, you may want to go with.

Shot placement is most important but a good bullet helps as well.

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Old November 18, 2010, 02:09 PM   #3
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Gold Dot has a Short Barrel load if I remember correctly. I think it uses a softer core to increase expansion. I'm not a fan AT ALL of short 45s. It robs the cartridge of too much velocity... and 45 doesn't have a lot of velocity to start with.
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Old November 18, 2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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"I'm not a fan AT ALL of short 45s. It robs the cartridge of too much velocity... and 45 doesn't have a lot of velocity to start with..."

Which is exactly what makes it an appropriate gun/round for close-quarters defensive CCW wherein statistically, most encounters are less than 10 ft. anyhow... (We're talkin' "bedside handgun" in this string... just sayin'.)
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Old November 18, 2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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Look at the 185 grain Critical Defense rounds from Hornady. They have a little red plastic plug in the hollow point that helps the round feed better and it has a nice punch for a 185 grain bullet. Well worth the money.
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Old November 18, 2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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RIA

I use Federal 185 gr HI-Shok JHP with my RIA W/3.5" , never had any feed problems with it.
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Old November 18, 2010, 04:42 PM   #7
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I have to agree with Donron about full metal jacket bullets. Hundreds of thousands dead men can't be wrong. FMJ does everything, its not pretty or expensive, and doesnt even come in a cool box, but it will kill you just as dead if not more so. He's right in this case!
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Old November 18, 2010, 05:27 PM   #8
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Yeah, because the 1911 was primary weapon for all our GI's... Or maybe radiomen and tunnel rats killed "hundreds of thousands." (Sarcasm; most of the casualties inflicted in the major wars of the century were inflicted by artillery; after the artillery, I suspect rifles and machineguns accounted for most of the rest. Pistols, while occasionally critically important to the soldier with a malfunctioning rifle or MG, are normally not primary weapons and are statistically insignificant in the total casualty counts of our major wars.)

Be serious. While hardball can work, and penetration beats expansion, modern HP ammo allows both penetration AND expansion. Hardball is a possible answer, but is not the best answer. Something with a Speer Gold Dot or Barnes X-Bullet will probably be much more effective.

Last edited by MLeake; November 18, 2010 at 11:46 PM. Reason: As originally worded, was kind of unclear and lent itself to interpretations opposite of my intent
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Old November 18, 2010, 06:59 PM   #9
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i shoot 230gr. remington golden sabers out of my PT-145 and have never had any problems.
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Old November 18, 2010, 07:05 PM   #10
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While I wouldn't hesitate to carry FMJ ammo in a .45, good modern hollow points are far superior. They will penetrate adequately and expand to .70 or even .90 caliber.

The catch is that it is has to be a good quality hollow point. The best for short barreled .45s is the Speer 230 gr. Gold Dot for short barrels. It has a muzzle velocity of 820 fps out of a four inch barrel.

It is obviously important to test fire enough rounds to make sure it feeds reliably in your gun.
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Old November 18, 2010, 08:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
I don't know about your tunnel rats but if they wanted to keep their hearing they would never use a .45 in a tunnel.
Thats what we had -----
What would use in 1968?

Last edited by Hoss Fly; November 18, 2010 at 08:33 PM.
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Old November 18, 2010, 08:49 PM   #12
tipoc
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I don't think he knows what a tunnel rat was.

In the Dec.-Jan 2011 issue of Handloader Magazine Charles Petty has an article on the .45 acp and velocities when shot from different barrel lengths. Good article and worth reading. Relevant to this discussion he gives the following figures. Now he fired these rounds from different guns so others may receive slightly different results but it gives you the general idea.

With a 230 gr FMJ round from Remington he got:
855 fps from a 5" GM.
805 fps from a 4.25" Commander length barrel.
780 fps from a 3.6" barrel.

With a 185 gr. load from Remington:
1.061 fps from a 5" barrel.
996 fps from a 4.25"
956 from the 3.6" barrel.

So the point of a lighter weight bullet in a short barreled gun is that they are faster and this can aid in expansion of hollowpoint rounds.

Get some information and make your choice.

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Old November 18, 2010, 11:33 PM   #13
KyJim
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Quote:
I don't think he knows what a tunnel rat was.
I don't think he knows much of anything.

Mr. DonRon joined only on November 14, 2010 and managed to post more than 13 posts per day. In that period, he has been less than consistent:
Quote:
The Rock Island Armory 1911 is as good as any of the clones today.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...44#post4318144

Quote:
Colt....ain't nothing like the real thing!
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...09#post4318509

But then, maybe he's not really a 1911 guy:
Quote:
1911's are what I show off at the range, Glocks are what I show the bad guys
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...12#post4318512

Quote:
No sir, just simply stating my mind on the matter. The 45 ACP has terrible ballistics and 1911's design is military scrap. Both are absolute truths.

I don't like either compared to the modern firearms and ammunition of today.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...46#post4317746

But "modern ammunition" apparently does not include hollow points:
Quote:
The reason I shoot ball FMJ ammo is because of reliability in feeding. At real gun fighting distances of 1 to 10 feet the ammo doesn't matter.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...56#post4317956

He has apparently never looked at any of the available testing done using FBI protocols on "modern" .45 acp hollow points showing adequate penetration through barriers including auto glass.
Quote:
Hey Guys, the military scrapped .45 ACP round is not the only cartridge that stops bad guys. We have been knocking down a bunch of them down with 9 mm NATO 124 grain FMJ all over the middle east now for over 10 years now. A .45 ACP Hollow Point won't go through a car door or a a car windshield either.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...31#post4318331

His "modern" 9mm round is FMJ as well:
Quote:
I shoot only NATO FMJ in my nines. Our military has had a great deal of success putting down bad guys with this round
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...04#post4316704

He seems settled, however, in his opinion about the most reliable handguns:
Quote:
The best in reliability for my money is the Glock 26 and the Kahr CW 40.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...56#post4316056

Or is he?
Quote:
The PM Markarov is by far the most dependable, reliable and durable pistol to have ever been made.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...66#post4314466

He is an apt student of the military's application of handguns:
Quote:
The ammo makers just love you guys, shooting all that high priced, hyped up ammo through paper and gelatin. FMJ bullets have been stopping bad guys for over 100 years now and we even won a couple of wars with them. How about that!
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...47#post4318347

Strangely, however, he apparently doesn't have a clue as to what a tunnel rat is:
Quote:
I don't know about your tunnel rats but if they wanted to keep their hearing they would never use a .45 in a tunnel.
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Old November 19, 2010, 12:12 AM   #14
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OK KyJim, at first I thought you were being a bit harsh. But then donron replied to you...

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Old November 19, 2010, 08:02 AM   #15
WESHOOT2
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back to short barrels

Use a modern-design 230g JHP from Remington, Winchester, Federal, or Speer.
They all will expand with modest velocity (I choose and use the Golden Saber, but I manufacture my own).
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Old November 19, 2010, 08:13 AM   #16
pythagorean
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I did a penetration test on layers of uniform wooded paneling using the .45 240 gr Win white box USA load in a Colt Officers Model 1911 (3.5" barrel) v a full size Colt 1911 (5" barrel) and a .44 Special Thunder Ranch (SW 22 with 3" barrel) using the 246gr Lead round nose.

Believe it or not the .44 Special went deeper than the Officer's model in .45 Ball.

The full size 1911 went through 7 layers while the .44 special and the Officer's loads stopped at 4 layers.

I was a bit surprised at the loss of penetration in a short barreled .45 ACP compared to the 5" barrel.

For this reason I favor the Commander length 1911s over anything shorter in the .45 ACP.
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Old November 19, 2010, 02:27 PM   #17
lambertiana
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I have tested many of the current brands available in my G30 (3.78" barrel) - Gold Dot 230 gr, Gold Dot Short Barrel 230 gr, Ranger T 230 gr, Ranger T 230 gr +P, Golden Saber 230 gr, Critical Defense 185 gr, PDX1 230 gr, Taurus 185 gr (Barnes copper bullet), etc. This was shooting into wet newsprint with two layers of cotton t-shirt and two layers of jeans denim in front.

The only ones that gave absolutely reliable and consistent expansion were the Gold Dots and the Critical Defense. I like the standard Gold Dot more than the short barrel because it opens wider.
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Old November 19, 2010, 02:50 PM   #18
benzuncle
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I'm with Bamashooter and WESHOOT2. 230gr Remington Golden Sabers. The shape of the round works exceedingly well up the ramp and out the end of the barrel. As some people say their firearms don't eat HP's so well, that is huge for me. I also buy my Golden Sabers and bulk and roll my own.
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Old November 19, 2010, 03:20 PM   #19
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My short barrel ccw choice is 200gr Gold Dots in 45GAP thru a G39. I believe the GAP to be a better sub-4 inch round than the acp (or 40SW for that matter).
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Old November 19, 2010, 08:02 PM   #20
Gary L. Griffiths
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You might want to look at Federal 230-gr Tactical Bonded. Like short-barrel Gold Dots, optimized for performance from short barrels. Also expand like HSTs after penetrating heavy clothing.

That's what I carry in my Millennium Pro.
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Old November 19, 2010, 08:18 PM   #21
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Out of anyhting less than a Commander size..

Ball.

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Old November 20, 2010, 02:54 PM   #22
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I use Hornady Critical Defense rounds in my 3-inch Kimber; so far, they feed smoothly and are very accurate at the 7-and-15 yard distances I practice at ...
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Old November 20, 2010, 07:32 PM   #23
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The beauty of the 45 is that it is already pretty well expanded - if it feeds thats about all it needs.
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Old November 20, 2010, 08:41 PM   #24
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Well...I own a Taurus Millennium Pro PT145, second generation DAO pistol

My weapon prefers: Corbon .45 ACP "Compact Gun Load" 160-gr. DPX . Corbon ammunition. It feeds well...has the velocity needed out of the short barrel to expand...and I shoot it accurately.

Make mine copper tops.
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Old November 21, 2010, 04:28 PM   #25
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So long as your gun will handle the ammo reliably, I think it's hard to make a bad choice from modern JHPs. That said, following our tests I have opted for the CorBon 185gr DPX +P for my 3.5" Para.

Jim D.
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