.45 Ammo Grain

This is a discussion on .45 Ammo Grain within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What are the pros and cons of 230 grain vs 180 grain ammo. It will just be used for target practice only!...

Results 1 to 13 of 13
Like Tree10Likes
  • 1 Post By automatic slim
  • 3 Post By Old School
  • 1 Post By bmcgilvray
  • 1 Post By RockBottom
  • 4 Post By gasmitty

Thread: .45 Ammo Grain

  1. #1
    Member Array 1911 Lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    16

    .45 Ammo Grain

    What are the pros and cons of 230 grain vs 180 grain ammo. It will just be used for target practice only!

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    The western edge of The Confederacy
    Posts
    2,198
    If it's strictly for target practice, you're probably better off with 180 gr as it is cheaper, but not necessarily more accurate.
    1911 Lover likes this.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
    Edge of Darkness

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Florida Treasure Coast
    Posts
    3,211
    I like to shoot the weight of the bullet that I carry for SD with my practice ammo and I carry 230 gr. That said as long as you know where your SD ammo prints it makes little difference and if you can save a few bucks on practice ammo then go for it.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

  5. #4
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9,944
    Old School shows that he made good grades back when he attended "school."

    Point of impact can vary significantly between the two bullet weights. For me it seems to vary more in the .45 ACP revolvers than it does in the automatics but it is a factor. Learn the gun and it isn't so much of an issue.

    I used to shoot a whole lot of the 185-200 grain lead SWCs in .45 ACP but in recent years go more for 230 grain round nose lead.
    glockman10mm likes this.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    somewhere
    Posts
    1,726
    I shoot 230 so that I practice with the same weight I carry.

  7. #6
    Member Array RockBottom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    349
    I'm still confused. According to Speer's website, the 185 grain hollow point leaves a 5" barrel with a velocity of 1,050 fps. At 50 yds, the velocity is 955 fps with 375 ft lbs of energy. The 230 grain hollow point leaves the barrel at 890 fps. At 50 yds, the velocity is 845 fps with 365 ft lbs of energy. So the heavier bullet is slower and has less energy. The heavier bullet also drops slightly more, but that's insignificant because at 25 yards both bullets are dead on. I'm assuming that since both bullets are the same size (other than weight), they would make the same size hole.

    What makes the slower heavier bullet with less energy behind it better for self defense? Most everybody goes with the 230 grain load. Where is my thinking getting screwed up?

    Probably because I'm not taking into consideration the stored energy in the heavier bullet. When it encounters the resistance of a body or whatever, the heavier bullet won't stop as quickly as the lighter one. Think getting hit by a two ton car vs a one ton car.
    Last edited by RockBottom; May 14th, 2011 at 03:48 PM. Reason: epiphany

  8. #7
    Member Array 1911 Lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    16
    Thanx!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array Chevyguy85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    826
    Quote Originally Posted by RockBottom View Post
    I'm still confused. According to Speer's website, the 185 grain hollow point leaves a 5" barrel with a velocity of 1,050 fps. At 50 yds, the velocity is 955 fps with 375 ft lbs of energy. The 230 grain hollow point leaves the barrel at 890 fps. At 50 yds, the velocity is 845 fps with 365 ft lbs of energy. So the heavier bullet is slower and has less energy. The heavier bullet also drops slightly more, but that's insignificant because at 25 yards both bullets are dead on. I'm assuming that since both bullets are the same size (other than weight), they would make the same size hole.

    What makes the slower heavier bullet with less energy behind it better for self defense? Most everybody goes with the 230 grain load. Where is my thinking getting screwed up?

    Probably because I'm not taking into consideration the stored energy in the heavier bullet. When it encounters the resistance of a body or whatever, the heavier bullet won't stop as quickly as the lighter one. Think getting hit by a two ton car vs a one ton car.

    that's my line of thinking but then again no one calls me a genius and i'm proven wrong every now and then

  10. #9
    Member Array RockBottom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    349
    Quote Originally Posted by Chevyguy85 View Post
    that's my line of thinking but then again no one calls me a genius and i'm proven wrong every now and then
    Actually, instead of cars I was thinking about a golf ball and a ping pong ball. Both are about the same physical dimensions but the weight differs greatly. If both were launched at you from the same distance at the same velocity, I'm betting the golf ball would hurt a heck of a lot more. My knowledge of the laws of physics may be poor, but I'm pretty sure about that one.
    Old School likes this.

  11. #10
    Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    10,088
    A debate will last long after we've all perished about momentum versus energy being the key to a bullet's downrange effectiveness, particularly with regard to defensive ammo. Momentum is the product of mass and velocity, kinetic energy is half the product of mass and the square of the velocity. The KE approach is thus weighted toward higher velocity. Which is better? Difficult to prove... ballistic gelatin is fairly consistent but fails to emulate bone and tissues of varying densities. Results from the street are generally not "controlled" or repeatable (i.e., every event is different). A lot folks (myself included) who carry .45s use the 230 grain pill for its greater likelihood to penetrate, whether it expands or not.

    External ballistics (the bullet's mass, velocity, trajectory) are AN element but are not THE element in the bullet's usefulness on targets that might harm us. External ballistics leave out things that are difficult to predict, such as how much energy is consumed in deforming the bullet. The bottom line is that catalogued data are useful for predicting trends, but not for gauging a bullet/cartridges absolute performance. (Makes for good discussions, though!)
    bmcgilvray, Cuda66, OD* and 1 others like this.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    The Valley of the Sun, AZ
    Posts
    1,018
    I just wanted to add my .02.

    You shouldn't worry about the energy or momentum of a bullet at 25 yards or 50 yards; 99% of all self defense scenarios occur at 0-15 feet.

    As for the energy and velocity differences between a 185gr bullet and a 230gr bullet... The differences are too small to make much of a noticeable difference.

    Using the Speer Gold Dot round as an example, the 185gr bullet leaves the muzzle at 1050 fps @ 453 ft-lbs whereas the 230gr bullet leaves the muzzle at 890 fps @ 404 ft-lbs. The difference is only 49 ft-lbs KE, which isn't nearly enough to cause a measurable difference in wound cavity. This is the same reason the 9mm vs .40 vs .45 vs whatever debate lives on: the differences aren't great enough to declare a winner.

    What we do know is this: heavier bullets tend, keyword being tend, to penetrate deeper and expand with more consistency than their lighter counterparts. The two most important factors in SD bullet/round selection will always be adequate penetration and consistent, uniform expansion. The MOST important factor will always be shot placement; the former two factors don't matter without the latter.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  13. #12
    Member Array gschoelles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    21
    Go into your yard and throw some bigger and smaller rocks at aluminum cans at assorted distances and you will get the idea.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    8,647
    Quote Originally Posted by RockBottom View Post
    I'm still confused. According to Speer's website, the 185 grain hollow point leaves a 5" barrel with a velocity of 1,050 fps. At 50 yds, the velocity is 955 fps with 375 ft lbs of energy. The 230 grain hollow point leaves the barrel at 890 fps. At 50 yds, the velocity is 845 fps with 365 ft lbs of energy. So the heavier bullet is slower and has less energy. The heavier bullet also drops slightly more, but that's insignificant because at 25 yards both bullets are dead on. I'm assuming that since both bullets are the same size (other than weight), they would make the same size hole.

    What makes the slower heavier bullet with less energy behind it better for self defense? Most everybody goes with the 230 grain load. Where is my thinking getting screwed up?

    Probably because I'm not taking into consideration the stored energy in the heavier bullet. When it encounters the resistance of a body or whatever, the heavier bullet won't stop as quickly as the lighter one. Think getting hit by a two ton car vs a one ton car.
    Points of diminishing returns law, and the old reality that a bullet, any bullet launched from a gun, and sighted in at an area from beginning to infinity will cross the line of sight twice. At some point, gravity will take away the advantages of both, but which one faster?
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

.45 ammo grain

,

.45 grain

,
180 grain 45 acp
,
180 grain vs 230
,

180 grain vs 230 grain

,

185 grain vs 230 grain

,

230 grain vs 185 grain

,

45 acp 180 grain bullets

,
45 ammo grain
,

ammo grain

,
ammo grain difference
,

difference between 185 grain and 230 grain

Click on a term to search for related topics.