.45 acp ammo for a 3" barrel?

This is a discussion on .45 acp ammo for a 3" barrel? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Howdy.....I bought a Colt New Agent a couple weeks ago. After 400 rounds of hardball I have started to think about a carry load. I ...

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Thread: .45 acp ammo for a 3" barrel?

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    Member Array Woodsman's Avatar
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    .45 acp ammo for a 3" barrel?

    Howdy.....I bought a Colt New Agent a couple weeks ago. After 400 rounds of hardball I have started to think about a carry load. I have a few questions:

    It seems there were loads available a few years back that were specifically for short barreled semi automatics...are they still around?


    Will ANY hollowpoint reliably perform out of a 3 inch tube?

    Will fmj overpenetrate out of this short barrel or is the fps diminished enough so that the are viable? Reliability with hardball in the this Colt is 100%

    thanks

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    VIP Member Array 40Bob's Avatar
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    The biggest problem you may have is reliability with the short barrel. Standard 230 loads are probably going to be in the 650-700 fps range, +P's will offer no real advantage with the short Barrel. Speer makes a "short barrel" load loaded with the gold dot bullet, that may be your best option if it feeds reliably.

    Detail Page for Part # 23966

    Velocity listed is for a 5" barrel, you will probably lose 150-200 fps with the 3" barrel.

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    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

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    Member Array Woodsman's Avatar
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    Thanks....I will try some of the Gold Dots, I like them in my other handguns.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I've gotten decent expansion with more than adequate penetration using HST's in my New Agent.

    The 185gr Barnes-X (in the original Taurus loading) got good expansion with adequate penetration out of my 2.5" 325, but my New Agent won't feed them.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    So what's your opinion of the NewAgent now that you've fired it....?
    We hear so many negatives about 3" spring guns and their finicky dispositions.....wammer jammers.

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    Member Array Woodsman's Avatar
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    I like it. 400 rounds FMJ, no jams. 100 rounds of some old Remington HP's (I wish to hell I had saved the box), no jams.....Hydra Shoks, 100 rounds, 2 FTF's, 50 Hornady "Low Recoil" loads, 3 FTF's. Mine came stock with the XS sights....I dropped it off Monday to have a Wilson beavertail installed. It's going to be a handy CCW.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I also like mine a lot. About the same amount of FMJ through mine, half a mag of the Barnes, and about 50 rounds of the HST. Not certain how many rounds were through it before I bought it.

    With the exception of the Barnes, not a single problem...mine just has the trough along the top of the slide, though, and that took a little getting used to. It point shoots incredibly well, and I can keep hits in the chest out to 25 yards, so...it'll do.

    I like it as a smaller, yet full-power option to my other 1911's.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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    New Member Array LEADTOWN's Avatar
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    I have a Colt 3" lightweight Defender and I really like the Remington Golden Sabre 185grn +P JHP's

    The extra power is a good idea with the shorter barrel as it gives better hollow point performance
    and it functions/feeds real nice.

    I get it [and many other things] @ AIM SURPLUS

    Here's the link:
    Rem. Golden Saber .45 185grn +P JHP 25rd box


    .................................................. .......COLTDEFENDER.jpg

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    Senior Member Array Kimberpackn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
    Howdy.....I bought a Colt New Agent a couple weeks ago. After 400 rounds of hardball I have started to think about a carry load. I have a few questions:

    It seems there were loads available a few years back that were specifically for short barreled semi automatics...are they still around?


    Will ANY hollowpoint reliably perform out of a 3 inch tube?

    Will fmj overpenetrate out of this short barrel or is the fps diminished enough so that the are viable? Reliability with hardball in the this Colt is 100%

    thanks

    My 3 inch Kimber shoots anything I put in it. So try a few and see what your colt likes.
    We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. -

    Patrick Henry

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    Member Array IsaiahM33's Avatar
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    My 3.5" barrel RIA 1911A1 is 99% reliable. The ONLY problem was with 230 grain +p Corbon. No problems with Hornady, Federal, or Speer in the same loading or with 200+p Corbon. According to BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Home, +P ammunition doesn't lose that much velocity. In fact, the Corbon 200 grain +p stays well over 1,000 fps in a 3.5" barrel (you have to do a little calculating). Those velocities from a 5" barrel with standard pressure ammo are sure to expand a hollow point. There should be no problem in a 3-4" barrel provided it's +p.

    As stated the RIA is almost completely reliable, save for that one loading. My 3" barrel Colt New Agent (in 9mm) is 100% reliable. No FTF, FTE, nothing. Goes POW everytime you hit the boom switch. Maybe I just got lucky, but these two short barrel 1911's have me spoiled!
    R040607 likes this.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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    CorBon now has a standard-pressure DPX load for short .45 ACP barrels.

  14. #13
    Member Array IsaiahM33's Avatar
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    I found some Corbon DPX 185+p at one of the local gunshops here. Doing the calculations (I don't have a chronometer), it appears that it too will still be over 1,000 fps out of a short barrel 1911. I may pick some up today.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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    Member Array forestranger's Avatar
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    Some 5 rd avgs out of RIA CS 3.5" barrel. Surprised me.

    WWB 230fmj...797fps
    WWB 230jhp...851
    Rem 230GS.....811
    Rem 185GS+P.1059
    Fed 230HS......858
    R040607 likes this.

  16. #15
    Member Array IsaiahM33's Avatar
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    Put several loads of hollow points through my new Colt New Agent .45 yesterday. Brands were Winchester USA (230 FMJ), Hornady (185 FTX, 200+p HP, and 230+p TAP), and Federal HST (230 JHP). Didn't get a chance to try out the Speer GDHP 200+p, Corbon 200+p and 230+p HP, or Federal 230+p HST. With the loads tested, no failures. No problems. I think short barrel 1911's have come a long way. My RIA 1911 compact and both Colt New Agent's (9mm and .45) have been extremely reliable. I have a buddy that has an older Springfield EMP 9mm. Nothing but problems but I'm sure that's due to it being an older version that didn't quite have the bugs worked out yet. I hear the newer EMP's are spot-on. I'm sure he's tired of me telling him to stop being so cheap and get a new one. LOL

    Never did get that Corbon DPX 185+p.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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