.45ACP: 185gr or 230gr out of Colt Officer?

This is a discussion on .45ACP: 185gr or 230gr out of Colt Officer? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Pardon my ignorance, but are lighter grain bullets, ie, 185gr, more efficient in shorter barrel 1911s? I've always been partial to the standard 230gr for ...

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Thread: .45ACP: 185gr or 230gr out of Colt Officer?

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    Member Array Skippys's Avatar
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    .45ACP: 185gr or 230gr out of Colt Officer?

    Pardon my ignorance, but are lighter grain bullets, ie, 185gr, more efficient in shorter barrel 1911s? I've always been partial to the standard 230gr for both my full-size Springfield Loaded and my Colt Officer.

    Wondering if I might be better served with muzzle velocity and energy going with the lighter rounds for SD in the all-steel Officer, which is what I carry most of the time.

    Specifically, I'm considering the difference between The Remington Golden Sabers:

    Bullet Weight :185 GR
    Muzzle Energy :423 ft lbs
    Muzzle Velocity :1015 fps

    Bullet Weight : 230 GR
    Muzzle Energy : 391 ft lbs
    Muzzle Velocity : 875 fps

    Thanks
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skippys View Post
    Pardon my ignorance, but are lighter grain bullets, ie, 185gr, more efficient in shorter barrel 1911s?
    More "efficient"? What do you mean?
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    Member Array lyodbraun's Avatar
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    Either one wil work fine, you might get just a little bit more velocity with the 185grain, but not enough to make a huge advantage.. getting hit with either the 230g or 185g will still put a nice big hole in what ever ya shoot... I carry 230g Federal HST +p in my G30SF, and in my spare mags are Corbon DPX 185g+p DPX rounds...

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    Member Array Skippys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    More "efficient"? What do you mean?
    Sorry for the vagueness... What I mean is in terms of terminal ballistics. I know the 185gr's will shoot differently, and for now I'm fairly well stocked with 230gr practice ammo and would need to shoot a bunch of 185 SD ammo if I'm going to carry it.

    I'm just wondering if there is a terminal ballistic advantage (or handling disadvantage?) out of a 3.5" barrel.

    Thanks.
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skippys View Post
    I'm just wondering if there is a terminal ballistic advantage (or handling disadvantage?) out of a 3.5" barrel.
    Meh. I'd say, so long as it meets your criteria for basic ballistics, and so long as you're comfortable with either documented terminal ballistics examples from the street and/or your own carcass testing, you should be good to go.

    While I haven't done the same sort of carcass testing on .45ACP, I did quite a bit of it in 9mm and found the shorter-bbl stuff to be (as you'd assume it would) less capable than the longer-bbl stuff. And generally speaking I found the heavier stuff to perform a bit better overall, in terms of penetration and size of the mess made. Uncertain whether the results would be similar in .45ACP.

    Here's one guide to basic ballistics: Ballistics By The Inch -- .45ACP.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Senior Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    875 fps with a 230 gr. bullet out of a Officers is pretty optimistic.

    I had a Kimber Ultra, here are chrono averages for 5 shots:
    Remington 230 JHP @ 774 fps
    Federal 230 HS @ 775 fps
    Winchester 230 Ranger T @ 814 fps
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    Cool

    In a .45 ACP the heavier the better for me.

    Get in deep and break things.

    I use either the 230 gr. Golden Saber or the 230 gr. Gold Dot in my Glock Model 36 which is close to your Colt in barrel length.

    The final choice will be yours and either the 185 gr. or 230 gr. will do the job if you do your part putting them center mass arm pit level.

    Regards,

    FlaRon

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    I'm very much of the opinion (could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time!) that about 95% of the time a gunfight is won by the shooter who puts the first round into the opposition COM. It's probably true that taking a slug to the torso pretty much takes the fight out of an assailant (if not, a shot to the genitals certainly will!!). Now, having said that, I know there are some prison hardened thugs (or those stoked up on their drug of choice) who can soak up multiple rounds and keep on fighting. SO, just because you get in the first shot don't stop pulling the trigger until the threat is neutralized. BUT, one's choice of caliber or bullet weight are not the primary considerations when it comes to winning the gun battle (let's not get into a big discussion on caliber choice here, please). That's why I'm going to start taking tactical handgun training. I want to be the first one on target with rounds outbound. YMMV

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    .45ACP: 185gr or 230gr out of Colt Officer?

    Quote Originally Posted by asldkjfqwoifqwo View Post
    BUT, one's choice of caliber or bullet weight are not the primary considerations when it comes to winning the gun battle.
    This is true, but most all would agree that choosing a quality handgun round certainly helps transfer the energy. And besides, as long as the carrier understands that shot placement and controllability are most important, choosing a round that allows this is next.

    Ballistics are fun. But if the situation called for use of deadly force, less round absorbed more frequently may be the better path.

    I use Federal HST 230 +P and Hornady CD 185. The HST gives much more punch ballistically, but there IS a difference in felt recoil and controllability. I can get followup shots on target quickly enough with both, and I feel confident carrying either in my Colt Officer's ACP (3.5"bbl).

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    Senior Member Array USM1976's Avatar
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    I wonder how most seem to know what their particular choice in ammunition is going to do to a human body. I have seen many different types and calibers of bullets come out of humans, who were all dead. I carry .40 cal and .45 caliber handguns only. I believe any 185 or 230 grain .45 will do what it should.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skippys View Post
    Pardon my ignorance, but are lighter grain bullets, ie, 185gr, more efficient in shorter barrel 1911s? I've always been partial to the standard 230gr for both my full-size Springfield Loaded and my Colt Officer.

    Wondering if I might be better served with muzzle velocity and energy going with the lighter rounds for SD in the all-steel Officer, which is what I carry most of the time.

    Specifically, I'm considering the difference between The Remington Golden Sabers:

    Bullet Weight :185 GR
    Muzzle Energy :423 ft lbs
    Muzzle Velocity :1015 fps

    Bullet Weight : 230 GR
    Muzzle Energy : 391 ft lbs
    Muzzle Velocity : 875 fps

    Thanks
    Just a thought-

    If you are really interested in making an informed decision, it might be wise to ask Remington what the minimum velocity for expansion is for each JHP weight, then chronograph each load from your OM to see if they produce velocities great enough to cause expansion. That might rule out one of the weights right there.

    If both the 230 gr and 185 gr have muzzle velocities that would cause expansion, I'd go with the heavier of the two JHPs.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I prefer 230's out of my New Agent.

    In fact, the only issues I've had with it, vis a vis reliability, were with 185gr rounds.
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    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I am a 200gr 45acp believer
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    I like 45 and I like cheese too.
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    Hmmmm.... either way you leave a big hole.... both put into a critical zone, IE the COM, the hips, the head, will do serious damage and make for a very bad day for the BG. Shoot the one you shoot the most accurately and is the most comfortable to shoot. The biggest bullet in the world does you no good if you cant put it in the kill zone.
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