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Old May 12, 2013, 09:55 AM   #1
Brutus
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Best .45 defensive ammo

Reload all my stuff including loads for personnel protection but given todays politically correct world I don't want to be the first guy tried for making super duper bullets. In the past I have purchased Federal 230gr. hydra shocks and I'm wondering if these are still a good choice. Since premium ammo costs so much today I don't want to buy 10 different boxes of twenty to try out so narrowing the list would be appreciated.
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:00 AM   #2
Water-Man
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A better choice would be Federal HST which is the successor to the Hydra Shok.

It's great ammunition and one of the best choices on the market.
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:02 AM   #3
Dashunde
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What 45 model do you carry?
Knowing what other people have found reliable in your specific gun is a good starting point.

Then you'll still probably want to buy 3 boxes of it, burn 2 proving it reliable and keep one to load it up for carry.
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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No matter what he carries, he will still have to test it in his OWN gun.
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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I like the 230gr PDX-1
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:51 AM   #6
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I have 4 boxes of Hydr-Shoks on the shelf plus multiple mags loaded with the same. I have no plans for replacing them with the latest and greatest offering. They run reliably in both of my .45ACP carry pistols.
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:06 AM   #7
ClydeFrog
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Top .45acp pistol rounds for duty or concealed carry...

There are a few .45acp ammunition posts on TFL you can review.
In general, for duty or protection uses, Id look at these brands;
Hornady TAP & Critical Duty(220gr), the Ranger T/T Series 230gr +P, Remington Golden Saber 230gr JHP +P, Corbon DPX & PowRball, ATK-Federal HST 230gr, Speer Gold Dot 230gr +P JHP, DRT Ammo .45acp, DoubleTap Ammo 230gr bonded defense, MagSafe SWAT.
Frangibles or special purpose rounds like TAP/DRT/Msgsafe are best for home defense. They do not ricochet or over-penetrate.
The fairly new Critical Duty .45acp 220gr is the best for regular carry/duty. It does well in the FBI protocols T&Es.

CF
www.drtammo.com www.doubletapammo.com www.sgammo.com www.midwayusa.com www.cabelas.com www.shopcorbon.com www.grafs.com www.natchezss.com www.policehq.com www.sportsmanguide.com
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:06 AM   #8
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My SR1911 has eaten everything I've fed it, so I generally stock Speer Gold Dot 230gr, Remington Golden Saber 230gr and Winchester PDX-1 230gr around for it.

Definitely find out if your gun likes whatever you choose.
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Definitely find out if your gun likes whatever you choose.
Likes as in how it groups or as in how reliably it feeds. The first priority for me in defensive handgun ammo is how well it feeds.
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Old May 12, 2013, 01:42 PM   #10
Constantine
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Best .45 defensive ammo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto-Pride View Post
Likes as in how it groups or as in how reliably it feeds. The first priority for me in defensive handgun ammo is how well it feeds.
Both! If it feeds well and if you're accurate with it. But most high end JHP's are accurate. Remember, the guns are more accurate than us.

So mainly check for reliability. I like PDX-1's too. But I have a special bond with Corbon DPX-1's and Speer Gold Dots in 230gr.
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Old May 12, 2013, 03:43 PM   #11
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im partial to Speer Gold Dot, or Hornady Critical Defence. both feed 100% in my 1911. but have only tried Hornady in my CW45 so far.
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Old May 12, 2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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I cannot say who makes the best or what criteria is used to determine the best but for a reasonable price I get Winchester 230 gr JHP. They are not +P, they don't have super velocity nor any magical black dots or gold dots but in my gun at least they are as reliable as hardball and point of aim accurate at 25 yards. In a gallon milk jug full of water they expand surprisingly well. Numbers I get are 880 fps which works out to 396 ft/lbs, not magnum performance but respectable unless you are the bad guy.
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Old May 12, 2013, 04:53 PM   #13
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Our local department loads their MP .45's with Gold Dot.
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Old May 12, 2013, 05:00 PM   #14
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There are newer technology bullets available for sure, but I wouldn't miss a minute of sleep if my .45s were loaded with the 230 gr. Hydra-Shok.
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Old May 12, 2013, 06:56 PM   #15
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For me... priority of "gun likes":
1. Proper feed/fire/eject
2. Accuracy

Definitely want to make sure whatever ammo you choose functions reliably. Accuracy is also definitely nice, but center-mass at "typical" self-defense distance is a pretty generous target. Any quality firearm with quality ammunition should be more than sufficient in that regard.

I've never had any brand of ammo shoot so poorly out of any of my pistols that I couldn't keep everything in a hamburger bun sized circle at 10 yards, as long as I was "doing my part".

All that's just what philosophy works for me. YMMV.
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Old May 12, 2013, 07:32 PM   #16
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On the advice of several retired law enforcement officers, I chose the Remington 185 Golden Sabre +P. Apparently it leaves a rather nasty wound.
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Old May 12, 2013, 09:02 PM   #17
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The 230-grain Speer Gold Dot Law Enforcement stuff runs well in my Springfield XDs and Ruger SR45. It's not +P (at least the box doesn't say it), but I'm pretty confident that it would do the job if needed.
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Old May 12, 2013, 09:14 PM   #18
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Best .45 defensive ammo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelwik View Post
The 230-grain Speer Gold Dot Law Enforcement stuff runs well in my Springfield XDs and Ruger SR45. It's not +P (at least the box doesn't say it), but I'm pretty confident that it would do the job if needed.
^ + 1. It is not + P and feeds very well in my Kimbers. But what ever load you choose test it well before you carry it.
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:09 PM   #19
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Reliability is key.

My neighbor, who is a retrired instuctor from the police academy, advised me to get a pistol very dirty. At least 200 rounds.

Then fire 100 rounds of the "duty" type ammo without cleaning or lubricating the pistol.

I purchased 4 boxes or the 185 grain Remington +p and proceeded. (I hadn't realized how expensive this type of ammunition is) Both my 1911 and my SIG 220 passed this test with the Remington ammo.

That is why my .45s are loaded with it..

Perhaps even more importantly, I learned how to conduct a good reliability test.
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Old May 13, 2013, 09:04 AM   #20
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I don't normally carry a .45, they are more for house guns. But my "serious ammo" for both of them is the same. Win 230 grain PDX-1. Hard to find in stock but very nice ammo.

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Old May 13, 2013, 11:47 AM   #21
hardhat harry
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I have been using Federal HydraShok ammo since forever. Started with .38 Special back in 1986(?-maybe 87). I carry it in .380, 40S&W and .45ACP. If it was highly effective before, time has not changed its' effectiveness.
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Old May 13, 2013, 07:59 PM   #22
KyJim
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My three choices are all 230 gr. standard pressure loads -- Speer Gold Dots, Federal HSTs, and Remington Golden Sabers.

The HSTs have turned in some truly incredible results in ballistic gel and Speer is reasonably close. I just haven't tested all my potential carry pistols with HST. The other big advantage is that I can typically find HSTs cheaper than the Gold Dots because the Gold Dots are bonded bullets and this increases their production costs.

I like the Remington Golden Sabers for two reasons. First, I can usually find them when I cannot find the others. Second, the bullet profile seems to feed a bit easier on a couple of pistols that "clunk" when cycling the other rounds. Golden Sabers come in two varieties -- bonded and brass jacketed. The bonded are better but the brass jacketed do pretty well and are a bit less expensive and more commonly found.
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Old May 13, 2013, 08:17 PM   #23
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The 230 gr. HST, PDX1, and GoldDot JHPs are the best available for the .45ACP.
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Old May 14, 2013, 07:46 PM   #24
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Surprised no one has suggested hardball. A .45 1911 is the only one of my guns that I don't have to shop for exotic ammo to make up for the fact that it's not a. 45.
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Old May 14, 2013, 09:56 PM   #25
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I'll stick with my Speer Gold Dot in 200gr +p
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