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Old November 5, 2022, 12:36 PM   #1
JJ45
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Sgt York and Jeff Cooper

The pistol I favor as a carry piece lately is a Colt LW Commander .45 ACP

My carry ammo is 230 grain ball. Sometimes called range ammo or target practice rounds, I have come to this conclusion because it has been the most reliable in the three 1911s I have owned.

I think a lot of the JHP 45 recommendations are more sales hoopla and not necessarily better defense rounds than 230 ball.

Jeff Cooper said it was good enough defense ammo and York supposedly killed seven Germans in a fire fight in France, WWI with a 1911 and ball ammo. So who to believe, facts or hear say?
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Old November 5, 2022, 12:50 PM   #2
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Look no further than Jeff Cooper if you are looking for "sales hoopla". He didn't do much pistol shooting aboard a battle ship, and "sensitive operations in Asia" doesn't mean much of anything. His articles in Guns and Ammo were unreadable but somehow taken as gospel.

But he sold the heck out of a technique.

Carry what you want. I wouldn't carry what you choose to but I'm not you. It's a shame that ammunition technology hasn't advanced since WWI, or the mid 1960s.
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Old November 5, 2022, 01:55 PM   #3
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if you are looking for over penetration, look no farther than a FMJ .45ACP


Seriously, the perfomance of Golden Sabers, Gold Dots, and HST is not "sales hopla"

If your guns won't feed top shelf hollow points, you need a new gun.
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Old November 5, 2022, 01:59 PM   #4
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It's a shame that ammunition technology hasn't advanced since WWI, or the mid 1960s.
The people who support 9mm Luger, (particularly), and .40S&W, and about every other round out there that isn't the .45ACP seem to think ammo technology has advanced a lot in the last few decades.

Do hollowpoints work better than FMJ?? POSSIBLY, but stopped is stopped and there is no "dead ++".

No one has, to date, (that I'm aware of) come up with a situation where everything was the same except for JHP vs FMJ where the JHP bullet worked and the FMJ failed.

I don't think anyone can. Sure, you can look at performance in clay, or ballistic gelatin, and today they even have very complex targets that replicate tissue very well. And people even shoot animal meat, but none of those are breathing, conscious human beings.

Here's a question, about the "sales hoopla"..which claims JHP's work better, ever hear any that say FMJ DOESN'T WORK?? I haven't.

It is implied that ball ammo isn't good enough, but I've never seen anyone come out and say it doesn't work, only that this or that (whatever they're pushing) works better....

Personally, I've always enjoyed Cooper's writing. Yes, its a style taken to extremes, but then, that was common with writers in those days, and, still often is, in various directions. A good friend of mine, thinks "Cooper was so reactionary he barely believed in fire", and he's welcome to his own opinion, as we all are, Cooper included.

I believe that, when it comes to stopping an attack, where you hit someone, what the bullet goes into (and hopefully through) matters more than what you hit them with. Haven't been shown anything to change my mind about that, yet....
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Old November 5, 2022, 03:20 PM   #5
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Good points, well taken.

Supposedly York was charged by a German Sargent and 5 (or maybe six) soldiers from 25 yards. He killed them all with a 1911 and obviously mil issue 230 grain ball...if this legend is true, I don't think there is a better endorsement of 45 ball for SD. Remember, he only had a max of 7 or 8 shots to accomplish this.

Anyone have an equivalent endorsement of 45 JHPs? Or is it just a clay or gelatin experiments to support the assertion? Or maybe we should take this legend with a large dose of salt? I don't know.

Of course, I doubt if I can shoot as well as Sargent York
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Old November 5, 2022, 03:42 PM   #6
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Here is the truth. By the end of WW-2 the military was disappointed with both the 45 and 1911. My dad served in Europe during WW-2 and told me most of the troops didn't much care for the pistol.

After the war the military tested 9mm and 45 side by side using FMJ ammo and found no difference in lethality. Both were effective at one shot stops 65-70% of the time. They did find 9mm penetrated barriers much better. The 45 was bouncing off steel helmets at ranges over 10 yards while 9mm continued to penetrate at ranges over 100 yards.

That combined with greater mag capacity, less recoil, and better accuracy led the military to recommend changing to a hi-cap 9mm pistol in 1946. But with thousands of 1911's in inventory, budget cuts, and no war, the plan was delayed for 40 years.

Most of the 45 and 1911's legacy came about from the creative writing of Cooper and other gun writers long after the war ended. That doesn't mean that York didn't do what he is credited with. I have no reason to not believe it.

With modern HP ammo all of the common cartridges have proven to work around 90-95% of the time. It matters little if you're using 9mm, 40, 45, or 357 mag they all do about the same.

For the average person the difference between a round that is 70% effective and one that is 90% effective probably doesn't matter. Most of us will never shoot anyone, and only a handful will ever shoot more than one. But you do put the odds in your favor by choosing modern HP ammo.

The pistol and cartridge you choose is personal preference. The truth is that they all work, use what you like.
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Old November 5, 2022, 04:00 PM   #7
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This might be anecdotal but comes from an interview with a Soviet WWII Tank veteran.

Actually was about his opinion of the Lend Lease M4 Sherman medium tank that we supplied the Russians with during the war. He had a good regard for the Sherman compared to his T34s but mostly the ergonomics of the GI tank compared to the Russian, not really combat efficiency, without getting into it.

Anyways, the US Tanks came equipped with two Thompsson 45 machine pistols as well as an M2 50 Cal and of course ammo (Uncle Sam was pretty darn generous, huh?).

He told the story of an argument between two Russian tankers that turned violent, not unusual for soldiers under a great deal of stress, etc. One of the Russians fired a burst from the Thompson and the slugs failed to penetrate the heavy, quilted jacket of the guy he shot. Bullets lodged in the heavy jacket! Had to be short range.

Not sure if it really happened but doubt if it was made up.
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Old November 5, 2022, 04:43 PM   #8
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Sorry, but carrying FMJ when your gun will reliably feed modern JHP is just stupid.
Cops carry JHP because, in tens of thousands of gunfights, it does the job better than FMJ.
As someone already said, if your gun won't feed JHP, you have the wrong gun.
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Old November 5, 2022, 05:12 PM   #9
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The 1911 gained it's reputation in a world where there wasn't anything better. Just like the Colt revolver became legend in a previous era where there wasn't anything better than it. Firearms evolve and what was king yesterday has probably been surpassed by what's available today.

I like Jeff Cooper and enjoy his writings, and while he does speak good sense about firearms he is hardly the ultimate authority. His real world experience was minimal. The people I listen to nowadays are the ones that the government has spent millions of dollars sending to learn from the best in the business and have been there and done that.

As for Sergeant York, I read recently that his story may not be all that it appears. That there were other men with him who were completely written out of the story. There is a book about this somewhere but I haven't read it.
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Old November 5, 2022, 06:08 PM   #10
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If you want to carry FMJ more power to you, but please do so for more than the fact one guy in WWI was able to kill a number of people with it. People have used all sorts of firearms and ammunition to kill people over the course of history during wartime, and peacetime for that matter. Whether that makes that ammunition and firearm the best choice for you personally is another story.

If you want to carry FMJ because your 1911 isn’t reliable with JHP I think that’s fair.
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Old November 5, 2022, 07:22 PM   #11
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The 45 was bouncing off steel helmets at ranges over 10 yards while 9mm continued to penetrate at ranges over 100 yards.
Well that certainly stretches the imagination!
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Old November 5, 2022, 07:57 PM   #12
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Well that certainly stretches the imagination!
9mm is smaller in diameter, which means it transfers that energy to a smaller point and has less material to move out of the way. My understanding was, through barriers, 9mm out perfomed both 40 and 45 in getting through.
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Old November 5, 2022, 08:29 PM   #13
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According to the story, the Germans were coming down a hill at him, right after he emptied his rifle. Figuring he didn't have time to reload the rifle, he used the pistol and shot all 7 "right where he wanted, in the belly" shooting the last guy first and working his way to the front guy, one shot each putting them down "hollerin' like stuck pigs". (York's words)

Apparently they died after that, likely but not expressly stated in what I've seen.

SO, here we have a story backed with historical evidence where the "worst" ammo, (FMJ) and intentionally not shooting them COM chest not only worked but entered the history books.

True in all details?, or not, its a heck of a story. And, I'd say if there was any one thing that built the .45's legend, that would be it, not the writings of Jeff Cooper seveal decades later.

Look up Alvin York and see what else he is credited with doing. Impressive, to say the least!
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Old November 5, 2022, 08:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
According to the story, the Germans were coming down a hill at him, right after he emptied his rifle. Figuring he didn't have time to reload the rifle, he used the pistol and shot all 7 "right where he wanted, in the belly" shooting the last guy first and working his way to the front guy, one shot each putting them down "hollerin' like stuck pigs". (York's words)

Apparently they died after that, likely but not expressly stated in what I've seen.

SO, here we have a story backed with historical evidence where the "worst" ammo, (FMJ) and intentionally not shooting them COM chest not only worked but entered the history books.

True in all details?, or not, its a heck of a story. And, I'd say if there was any one thing that built the .45's legend, that would be it, not the writings of Jeff Cooper seveal decades later.

Look up Alvin York and see what else he is credited with doing. Impressive, to say the least!
Good post...had old Alvin known his 1911 was an inferior pistol and not loaded with JHPs he might have folded right then and the Germans might have captured him
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Old November 5, 2022, 09:48 PM   #15
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I always found Cooper's writing quite readable. He acknowledged that they were his opinions, and the 45 was not the be all and end all. He recommended
the 41 Magnum to those still wedded to the revolver and he told a reader "As much as I favor the 45 I wear a 44 in bear country." He made the valid point that a smaller expanding bullet might not work but a 45 never shrank and the gunfighters of the Old West used 44s and 45s.
I received zero training on the M1911-never went to the range ONCE, and I suspect few of those WWII GIs did either. Charlie Askins said when he was in the UK during WWII he was tasked with instructing officers on the M1911. He acknowledged it was a crash course and many of his charges did poorly.
Bill Jordan said that the 38 Special was the most powerful round the average
man-most of us-could hope to master. Jim Cirrillo relied on the department mandated 38 Special. Again, only the hits count.
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Old November 5, 2022, 09:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JJ45
Supposedly York was charged by a German Sargent and 5 (or maybe six) soldiers from 25 yards. He killed them all with a 1911 and obviously mil issue 230 grain ball...if this legend is true, I don't think there is a better endorsement of 45 ball for SD. Remember, he only had a max of 7 or 8 shots to accomplish this.

Anyone have an equivalent endorsement of 45 JHPs? Or is it just a clay or gelatin experiments to support the assertion? Or maybe we should take this legend with a large dose of salt? I don't know.
Sorry, but IMHO you are setting up a straw man argument. The U.S. military doesn't issue JHP .45 ACP ammunition, and there haven't been any German soldiers charging our soldiers since 1945. The likelihood of anyone carrying a 1911 loaded with hollow-point ammunition needing to shoot six or seven adversaries is so slight as to be insignificant.
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Old November 5, 2022, 10:09 PM   #17
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I used to wonder if someone shot Cooper with a .25 would he notice and get mad.
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Old November 6, 2022, 04:28 AM   #18
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Sorry, but IMHO you are setting up a straw man argument. The U.S. military doesn't issue JHP .45 ACP ammunition, and there haven't been any German soldiers charging our soldiers since 1945. The likelihood of anyone carrying a 1911 loaded with hollow-point ammunition needing to shoot six or seven adversaries is so slight as to be insignificant.
Points well taken. By "anyone have an equivalent" was not mean't to mean to reconfigure the exact scenario of Sargent York killing 7 German soldiers with a 1911 and mil issue 230 grain ball ammo.

Does anyone know of an incident where 7 bad guys were killed with 7 JHPs from a .45? Single hits, Seven shots, seven fatalities? This would be a comparison.
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Old November 6, 2022, 08:18 AM   #19
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I used to wonder if someone shot Cooper with a .25 would he notice and get mad.
I used to wonder about this myself, even when reading Cooper as a young and even dumber than I am now, teen-ager. Still he was entertaining, as was Elmer Keith, but I prefered Jack O'Connor and Skeeter Skelton.
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Old November 6, 2022, 08:24 AM   #20
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"He told the story of an argument between two Russian tankers that turned violent, not unusual for soldiers under a great deal of stress, etc. One of the Russians fired a burst from the Thompson and the slugs failed to penetrate the heavy, quilted jacket of the guy he shot. Bullets lodged in the heavy jacket! Had to be short range.

Not sure if it really happened but doubt if it was made up."


Sorry, but this statement sounds very hard to believe. I guess anything is possible, but I am having trouble imagining this.

Ty

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Old November 6, 2022, 09:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by redlightrich View Post
"He told the story of an argument between two Russian tankers that turned violent, not unusual for soldiers under a great deal of stress, etc. One of the Russians fired a burst from the Thompson and the slugs failed to penetrate the heavy, quilted jacket of the guy he shot. Bullets lodged in the heavy jacket! Had to be short range.

Not sure if it really happened but doubt if it was made up."


Sorry, but this statement sounds very hard to believe. I guess anything is possible, but I am having trouble imagining this.

Ty

Rich
Id be willing to bet they did lodge in the jacket. But i bet in was on the back side, after it went through the front of the jacket, and through the other tanker.
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Old November 6, 2022, 09:50 AM   #22
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I always find these sort of discussions to be interesting if somewhat rhetorical. I don't think that anyone with an ounce of common sense could say that the .45acp isn't an impressive round. It is most certainly capable of putting a lot of hurt on anyone unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of one.

However, let's use some logic here. The thing that determines how effective a handgun round is the amount of energy that is imparted to the target. It is simple physics and there in no way to get around it. This is where a properly designed hollow point bullet is going to be superior to ball ammo. Mostly the expansion of a particular bullet is going to be related to it's velocity, in other words if it isn't moving fast enough to expand, it isn't likely to be any more effective than a non expanding bullet of the same caliber. The fact that a .45 caliber bullet is already the size of most smaller caliber hollow point bullets after expansion is a point in it's favor.

But, if it goes all the way through and exits the body, the primary terminal effect is going to depend on any vitals hit and blood loss. The same can be said of a expanded hollow point, but there is the added factor of hydroscopic shock that increases the lethality. In other words, you might nick a lung with a non expanding bullet and there will be eventual death due to blood loss, but if there is a great deal more tissue damage due to hydroscopic shock, in my mind the greater damage is going to result in faster incapacitation.

There is a reason why hunting bullets are designed to expand inside game and cause faster death of the animal. No body in their right mind would opt to use ball ammo for hunting game over bullets designed to give quick and humane kills. In my mind that is the same logic that should be applied to the ammo used in your defensive handgun.

I realize that everyone has their own opinion of what is best for them, but due to concerns about over penetration and actual ability to stop an attack, I will always choose to use a proven design of hollow point ammo.
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Old November 6, 2022, 10:04 AM   #23
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Sgt York and Jeff Cooper

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Originally Posted by highpower3006 View Post
I always find these sort of discussions to be interesting if somewhat rhetorical. I don't think that anyone with an ounce of common sense could say that the .45acp isn't an impressive round. It is most certainly capable of putting a lot of hurt on anyone unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of one.

However, let's use some logic here. The thing that determines how effective a handgun round is the amount of energy that is imparted to the target. It is simple physics and there in no way to get around it. This is where a properly designed hollow point bullet is going to be superior to ball ammo. Mostly the expansion of a particular bullet is going to be related to it's velocity, in other words if it isn't moving fast enough to expand, it isn't likely to be any more effective than a non expanding bullet of the same caliber. The fact that a .45 caliber bullet is already the size of most smaller caliber hollow point bullets after expansion is a point in it's favor.

But, if it goes all the way through and exits the body, the primary terminal effect is going to depend on any vitals hit and blood loss. The same can be said of a expanded hollow point, but there is the added factor of hydroscopic shock that increases the lethality. In other words, you might nick a lung with a non expanding bullet and there will be eventual death due to blood loss, but if there is a great deal more tissue damage due to hydroscopic shock, in my mind the greater damage is going to result in faster incapacitation.

There is a reason why hunting bullets are designed to expand inside game and cause faster death of the animal. No body in their right mind would opt to use ball ammo for hunting game over bullets designed to give quick and humane kills. In my mind that is the same logic that should be applied to the ammo used in your defensive handgun.

I realize that everyone has their own opinion of what is best for them, but due to concerns about over penetration and actual ability to stop an attack, I will always choose to use a proven design of hollow point ammo.

“Hydroscopic” relates to observing objects under water. What exactly is hydroscopic shock?

I’m not trying to be pedantic. Over the years I have seen people apply scientific terms to firearms related discussions, seemingly to add authority to an argument, and when you look up the term it doesn’t seem to fit the discussion at all. I’ve been guilty of parroting these terms myself.

https://lambdageeks.com/hygroscopic-vs-hydroscopic/

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Old November 6, 2022, 10:16 AM   #24
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Highpower3006

I would say energy is a big factor. But you have to look at what the bullet does with that energy. Or rather how it transfers the energy to the target to cause damage.

With ball ammo, or lead bullets diameter and bullet shape make a significant difference. With lead wide flat nose in revolvers is my go to. I have seen wide flat nose bullets do more damage than hollow points in 357 and 44mag. The same can apply to jacketed or plated bullets with truncated cones or wad cutters with flat points.

Expanding bullets arguable transfer energy exceptionally well. Whether they are hollow points, soft points, polymer tips, or others. But you can run into issues of failure to expand, or over expansion leading to poor penetration.

With ball ammo, especially in large cartridges, you dont have to worry about a bullet failing as the size of the bullet itself is the waybis transfers its energy to do damage.

The other advantage to ball type ammo, is that it is generally cheaper than Expanding bullets. And depending on your needs it might be a suitable choice.
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Old November 6, 2022, 10:31 AM   #25
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"He told the story of an argument between two Russian tankers that turned violent, not unusual for soldiers under a great deal of stress, etc. One of the Russians fired a burst from the Thompson and the slugs failed to penetrate the heavy, quilted jacket of the guy he shot. Bullets lodged in the heavy jacket! Had to be short range.
Obviously the same phenomenon that kept .30 carbine from penetrating Korean coats.

I once read that .45 ACP hardball penetrates less than logic and calculations predict, while the good old .38 RNL "widow maker" penetrates more.
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