powr'ball vs. efmj PING --> Mr. Camp

This is a discussion on powr'ball vs. efmj PING --> Mr. Camp within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; mr camp (and anyone else with firsthand knowledge), i carry lighter loads in my short barrel .45s to ensure adequate velocity for penetration and expansion. ...

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Thread: powr'ball vs. efmj PING --> Mr. Camp

  1. #1
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    powr'ball vs. efmj PING --> Mr. Camp

    mr camp (and anyone else with firsthand knowledge),
    i carry lighter loads in my short barrel .45s to ensure adequate velocity for penetration and expansion. while shopping for defensive ammo for my commander and ultra compact .45, i looked at 165 grain .45 acp +P powr'balls that were sitting right beside the 165 grain federal efmj. the efmj is an interesting concept to me and while ive been looking forward to watching this load evolve, i kept coming back to the raw numbers. the powrball was coming in at a screaming 1225 fps with 550# of energy, with the efmj coming in well over 100 fps slower and a good 125# less energy (what was printed on the box was less than the federal website shows for some reason).
    i dont trust reviews of products from anyone who accepts advertiser dollars so i dont have a lot to go on here. have you done any conclusive testing on these two rounds? how do they compare? does the added speed and energy of the powr'ball amount to much? have you tested the powr'ball for the .45?
    thanks,

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Do a search in 'test Bed' at www.stoppingpower.net.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

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    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Mr. Camp is on sabbatical. Please do not expect an answer right away.

    That link is a good one, and Mr. Camp does seem a bit more smitten with the Pow'R'Ball.

    I, on the other hand, enjoy the Federal EFMJ because it functions in the same way hollowpoints do: Hydrostatic/dynamic pressure, thought he liquid (silicone) is carried with it.

    I do not believe the mechanism matters as much as the results, and from what I've studied, the results seem to be about the same. I am a speed freak and therefore would take the faster round, though I like heavier weights in larger calibers. I believe one should stick close to the caliber's original weight for optimum performance. All the expansion in the world won't matter if the shot's off.

    I carry 124gr +P EFMJ in my daily CCW and am happy. I would be equally happy with Corbon's offering should it prove to perform from my pistol.

    Josh <><

  5. #4
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    Hello. My friend, Josh, is correct in that I am away on some necessary and tragic family illness (and soon to be death; it is better in this case) within my wife's immediate family so I don't have access to my notes as I'm several hundred miles from home, but in my own informal testing, I have not been able to make either PowRball or EFMJ bullets (9mm, 38 Super, & 45 ACP with the former and 9mm with the latter), fail. Both have run smoothly through my pistols but for feed reliability in guns that absolutely hate anything but FMJRN for feeding, I'd say that the PowRball gets my nod there.

    Both expand reliabily as I mentioned previously. The 9mm Federal EFMJ I tried was the standard pressure version. All of the PowRball rounds are +P. In other words, if you want it, you will have to go with a +P load, something that some do not wish to do.

    I am not sure which is most effective; I suspect that the +P PowRball against its non+P counterpart might be, but I've not tried any comparisons.

    The PowRball is a most aggressive expander and is engineered to penetrate 12+" in calibrated 10% gelatin. I am aware of one report in which it penetrated roughly half that or perhaps less in a feral hog.
    I have not had the opportunity to use it on anything living and of the appropriate size to have any significant meaning.

    To me, either of these loads have characteristics that might be considered advantageous in certain situations:

    1. JHP's are forbidden by law
    2. Lower penetration is desired
    3. The user has concerns over intermediate barriers limiting/stopping expansion

    The PowRball at least might have the following negatives:

    1. Expands too aggressively
    2. Requires using +P ammo (Not a problem for me, but some folks do not want to do this.)

    In 9mm, both the PowRball and EFMJ grouped quite nicely from Brownings, CZ's, one SIG-Sauer, and one STI. The .38 Super grouped superbly from an STI. In .45 ACP, I have gotten several very fine groups with PowRball from a SA Mil-Spec as well as a couple of 1911's having match fitted bbls. It also groups quite well from the SIG-Sauer P220 in my experience.

    Unless feed-reliability or legal issues prevent it, I am personally very, very favorably impressed with Corbon's DPX in 9mm, .38 Super, .357 magnum (in small revolvers), .44 Special, and .45 Colt. If it will feed for you in your gun, their 185-gr. +P DPX in .45 ACP is a "hoss" so to speak.

    Best.

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    You need to shoot both to see if they feed properly. The pwr' balls should feed as well as ball ammo.

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    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen A. Camp View Post
    2. Lower penetration is desired
    originally i started buying powrballs because i wanted more speed from my short barrel .45s (commander and officer 1911s, as well as USPs, etc.) to ensure expansion......but not at the expense of penetration. i didnt realize that the powrballs were shallow penetrators or i wouldnt have wasted my money on them.

    in my 5" 1911s i carry 230 grain corbon +P jhps. what would you recommend from 4" and 3" 1911s? perhaps 200 grain corbon +Ps from the 4" and 185 grain from the 3"?
    thanks,

  8. #7
    1951 - 2011
    Array Stephen A. Camp's Avatar
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    Hello. Unless you are unlucky and have a "slow" barrel in your 4" gun, most of the 230-gr. standard pressure rounds should work. I do not have any forty-five's shorter than 4 1/4", but in the few instances I've helped chronograph loads from some 4" .45 pistols, expansion was fine in our own informal testing.

    A round that has a very nice reputation out of 5" guns is Winchester's 230-gr. Ranger JHP, but the Winchester LE rep advises that out of 3 and 3 1/2" bbls, the +P version should be used as the velocity drop is enough that the threshhold velocity for expansion to begin is "iffy."

    So, in a 4" gun, I'd go with Winchester 230-gr. Ranger, Golden Saber, or Gold Dots...after testing for reliability.

    In the 3" gun, I'd go with Corbon's 165-gr. DPX load which is specifically designed for such pistols. If interested, here is a review:

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/C...20gr%20DPX.htm

    I am sorry not to have more, but the compact .45's are not my cup of tea so to speak. I had to borrow the ones used in the review as the Commander and SIG-Sauer P220 have the shortest bbls of any of my .45's, the rest being 5" with one 6" long slide.

    If the DPX load mentioned feeds reliably in your pistol, it would be my first choice.

    Best.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array dimmak's Avatar
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    +1 on the DPX, I am very impressed with the consistency of expansion.....
    another reason I like the Gold Dot ammo as well....
    "Ray Nagin is a colossal disappointment" - NRA/ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.


    "...be water, my friend."

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