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Old March 23, 2013, 12:53 AM   #1
ScottRiqui
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Highly-regarded self-defense load for .45 ACP?

A friend gave me a bunch of defense-oriented .45 ACP ammo - enough that I'll be able to test each type thoroughly in my particular pistol. Assuming they all feed & function well, I was wondering if any of these are widely considered to be significantly "better" than the others? I'm pretty sure they're all 230gr.

1) Remington "Golden Saber"
2) Winchester Jacketed Hollow Point
3) Federal "Hydra-Shok"
4) Winchester PDX1
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:03 AM   #2
Webleymkv
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There are very few "bad" .45 ACP JHP loadings though some are better than others. Of the four you mentioned (I'm assuming that the Winchester JHP is their generic white-box loading), the Remington Golden Saber and Winchester PDX1 are the most modern designs and thus would be my choice unless they're unreliable in your pistol. As I alluded to before, however, part of the beauty of the .45 ACP is knowing that even if generic JHP of dated design is all that's available and/or reliable in your pistol, it's likely still at least an OK choice for self-defense.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:08 AM   #3
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+1 on what Webleymkv said.

I'll add that there are two varieties of Golden Sabers. One is a brass jacketed hollow point. It is a good load. The other is a bonded bullet. The bonded GS is even better than the brass jacketed GS.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:45 AM   #4
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Like Webley said, even outdated JHPs are great in .45. The .45 Hydra-Shok is actually pretty darn impressive. But the .45 Gold Dot and HST are flat out amazing, so that's the way I'd go with it.
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Riqui
1) Remington "Golden Saber"
There are more than two types. There is the distinction between the older, non-bonded and the newer bonded bullet, and then both are available as a 185-gr +P load or a 230-gr non +P load. All are excellent.

Quote:
2) Winchester Jacketed Hollow Point
Would this be the JHP "Personal Defense" round in the Winchester USA ammo line? If so, it's an older bullet design. It doesn't expend as well as some of the newer, premium personal defense bullets but it's not bad.

Quote:
3) Federal "Hydra-Shok"
Another older bullet design. This was once the state-of-the-art, but almost all the "name" makers now have bullets that outperform the venerable Hydra-Shok.

Quote:
4) Winchester PDX1
Good stuff.
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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I carry the Corbon DPX I love the copper bullet . I has showed relieable expansion in all kinds of tests .
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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plus 1 on the Corbon DPX

It's in my 45 and 40
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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Highly-regarded self-defense load for .45 ACP?

The Cor-Bom DPX is great ammo, my only issue with it is that it's considerably more expensive than other top-shelf JHPs without being clearly superior.

A great choice for states with lead bans, though. and an effective loading.
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:32 PM   #9
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I have to agree with
Quote:
Aguila Blanca
about the bullet designs. The Gold dot's have nice reviews as well.

The biggest thing is bullet weight retention and even mushrooming, staying uniform due to the design of the bullet.

Older hallow points tended to fragment more and have non uniform shapes. That can lead to tumbling and trajectory changes as the bullet passes through tissue as well as loss of weight end energy.

The ideal hallow point retains weight, holds a uniform mushroom shape, keeps a decent trajectory through soft tissue and insuring the energy doesn't bleed off or disperse due to fragmentation.
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:49 PM   #10
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Of the rounds on your list I would rank the Winchester PDX1 at the top. The newer bonded version of the Remingtn Golden Saber a very close second. So close as to be called a tie. Only to be decided by the accuracy,and reliability performance in your particular gun.
I will not throw in with any personal favorites that are not on the OP list as others have done. The question was about four spacific rounds, not a poll of personal favorites!
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Old March 23, 2013, 11:13 PM   #11
LockedBreech
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Highly-regarded self-defense load for .45 ACP?

Edit: Mistaken post
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Old March 23, 2013, 11:15 PM   #12
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Highly-regarded self-defense load for .45 ACP?

The PDX1, Golden Saber, and Hydra-Shok are all great loads. The only thing I don't like is that in my experience the Golden Saber has a large muzzle blast which again in my opinion makes it unsuitable for home defense.

Even though it isn't listed, I am a big fan of the 230 grain Speer Gold Dot JHP.
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:47 AM   #13
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Of the four listed by the OP my Ruger SR1911 has had problems feeding both the Winchester loads, so they're out for me in my 1911. My PX4 .45 loves the Winchester Ranger +P 230 grain JHP, so that's what I carry in the PX4.

I had sub-par velocity issues with several lots of the 230 grain Golden Saber, so it's also out for me, though it is a great feeding round.

I have fired 58 (eight magazines worth) rounds of the Federal HydraShok 230 grain JHP with no feeding problems, and nice accuracy. I fires it strong-handed, weak-handed, and two handed with no problems, so it's my current preferred carry round in my 1911. I know it's "older" technology, but for me reliability trumps "better bullet". I'm very comfortable with it.
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Old March 24, 2013, 07:39 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies. I haven't gotten to the range yet, but I should be able to early this week.
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Old March 24, 2013, 08:49 AM   #15
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Clint Smith likes hardball.
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
3) Federal "Hydra-Shok"
Another older bullet design. This was once the state-of-the-art, but almost all the "name" makers now have bullets that outperform the venerable Hydra-Shok.
The next-gen hydrashoks are right up with the best of them now. Excellent performers. The older design is a fair performer.
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:19 AM   #17
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with common loads like the Winchester USA 230 JHP. I turned down an issue of Ranger 230 JHP because the USA load fed better and shot exactly to the sights of the 1911 I was carrying at the time.


http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2...1_archive.html

Find the load that-

A. feeds slickest in your gun
B. is widely available, and
C. don't cost an arm and a leg

...and stop worrying about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:23 AM   #18
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The Corbon DPX has tha ability to go through things like sheetmetal then EXPAND !! I use DPX for carry and hunting [handgun or rifle ] very impressive.

Gold Dot has an excellent reputation and their hunting bullet , Deep Curl, too, with similar but stronger construction.
In any case the premium bullet are the best way to go.Just pick the one that functions in the gun and is accurate !
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:41 AM   #19
Nakanokalronin
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230gr. HST
230gr. Ranger-T non-bonded

Both open up aggressively with good penetration in barrels ranging from 3"-5"+ very well. As far as 45acp goes though, I'd be fine with 230gr. FMJ if that's all I had.
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Old March 24, 2013, 10:47 AM   #20
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Yeah, if you can find Federal HST, I think that would be your best choice. Of the choices you list, I would put Hydrashoks at the bottom.

Quote:
Clint Smith likes hardball.
Clint Smith may suggest using ball ammo, but on two different trips to Thunder Ranch in Texas, I watched him unload hollowpoint ammo from his 1911 before inserting a mag of ball ammo for his pistol demonstration. Smith also notes that properly hitting your target is more important than ammo choice in defensive calibers. This is a correct statement, of course, but he seems to be hedging his bets like most of the rest of us.

There really isn't any reason to worry about what Smith does or does not carry unless your particular skills, situations, and needs match those of his.
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Old March 24, 2013, 11:05 AM   #21
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I have the PDX1 for my 45, and the Golden Sabre for the my other pistols. All are good!
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:57 PM   #22
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Hey, I was just sayin. Smith and Jeff Cooper were fans of FMJs. I shoot cast in my 1911s and would be talkin out my patoot about HPs of any flavor. I don't know what twenty designer .45acps go for, but I'm thinking I can cast and load close to a thousand rounds for the same money. That is how you get to Carnegie Hall after all, practice, practice, practice.
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Old March 24, 2013, 07:00 PM   #23
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Oh yeah, I wouldn't want to face a nutria, particularly if charging, with hardball unless my PH was backing me up with his 375 H&H.
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Old March 25, 2013, 02:09 AM   #24
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
Hey, I was just sayin. Smith and Jeff Cooper were fans of FMJs. I shoot cast in my 1911s and would be talkin out my patoot about HPs of any flavor. I don't know what twenty designer .45acps go for, but I'm thinking I can cast and load close to a thousand rounds for the same money. That is how you get to Carnegie Hall after all, practice, practice, practice.
Yeah, Smith likes hardball...for practice. There isn't any reason you can't practice with hardball and carry hollowpoint, especially since you load your own and can customize your practice ammo to match carry ammo whilst on your way to Carnegie Hall.
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Old March 25, 2013, 03:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Yeah, Smith likes hardball...for practice.
That's not what I remember reading, but maybe he changed his mind. I don't have any personal experience shooting anyone with HPs or anything else, but unlike roberg, I find a properly shot jackrabbit will not be recussitated(sp), there may not be teeth hair and eyes all over the concrete, but said rabbit is on his way to the great hay stack in the sky.

I did buy 100 HPs to reload a few years back and if I took the time I bet I could still find the unopened box. I guess the only advantage to being a trogladyte is never having to say...Did you guys get any .45 ammo in?
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