Question 185 grn .45ACP

Question 185 grn .45ACP

This is a discussion on Question 185 grn .45ACP within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey Pards!! Ever since I have owed a 45 acp I have always shot 230 grn ammo. There was a reference in a magazine about ...

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  1. #1
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    Question 185 grn .45ACP

    Hey Pards!!

    Ever since I have owed a 45 acp I have always shot 230 grn ammo. There was a reference in a magazine about 185 grn rounds, I think they were Hornady.

    What is your opinion on 185grn for defensive use?

    Nick


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    IMHO, either one could work for you. Let's face facts, getting shot with either WILL require several bandaids.
    I would think that the lighter 185gr is going to have a higher velocity and would work better in shorter barrels. I believe that bullet type and make is what comes into play here...I'm no velocity expert.
    I have both 230gr and 185gr in the safe. I have used both in my Kimbers, especially using the 185gr in the 3" barrels.
    I would have no problem using either load in any of my firearms.
    Normally, I would load the 230gr in my present Glocks (I sold all my Kimbers), but I would have no problem using either in any of my Glocks.

    Let's wait for the 'experts' to chime in...:
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    Senior Member Array IsaiahM33's Avatar
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    Why just 185 and 230??? What about 200? 165? 255? Oh! Then there's the plus P variants! I heard something about a 125 also! Kinda light for .45 ACP if you ask me, but whatever. To each his own....

    I like the 185 plus P. Usually the Remington Golden Sabre variety. Very good round IMO. Still, I do prefer a good 230 grainer. Call me old fashioned I guess.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    185s are light for the caliber and most tend to underpenetrate, +P tending more towards underpenetration (the copper HP's--Barnes Tac-X loaded by Barnes, Cor-Bon, Black Hills, etc being an exception).

    They also tend to lose MORE velocity (as a percentage) than a standard 230gr from short barrel as compared to a longer barrel.

    I've tried lighter bullets in a .45, had a 185gr Silvertip fail spectacularly against a large dog...I stick with 230's, and would recommend to anyone else they do the same.
    Aceoky and marcclarke like this.
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    My question is what is a high speed 185 grainer going to do for me that a 230 grainer won't? I would consider a 200 grain HP (J. Brown's original weight design for the .45 ACP).
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    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    the Hornady rounds you're referring to are probably the Critical Defense 185 grain SD loads. it should be a fine SD round, with relatively mild recoil for a .45.

    as Cuda66 said, the lighter, faster rounds tend to lose a higher percentage of their velocity from a short barrel than the slower, heavier rounds (though they'll still be going faster than their heavier cousins.)

    IMO, grain weight doesn't seem to matter so much in this caliber as it does in some other common SD calibers. i would feel perfectly confident with 185's, 200's, or 230 grain SD bullets. YMMV

  7. #7
    agalindo
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    One thing to take into account is that the more velocity a bullet looses the greater chance that it will fall below it's reliable expansion velocity window.

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    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northnick View Post
    Hey Pards!!

    Ever since I have owed a 45 acp I have always shot 230 grn ammo. There was a reference in a magazine about 185 grn rounds, I think they were Hornady.

    What is your opinion on 185grn for defensive use?

    Nick
    If you're bothered by recoil, or have a physical disability that requires a gun with less recoil, a lighter round is one way to help with that, as is a weak load in the round. As far as bullet weight, I prefer a 230 gr round in .45ACP. The heavier the round, typically the better the penetration and the larger the spread if it's a hollow point. The whole velocity versus weight/mass argument has been answered with ballistic gel tests. Heavier rounds go deeper in just about every test I've seen. If "over penetration" is a big concern for you, then the .45 isn't your round. Go to a 5.7mm and use frangible ammo. That stuff disintigrates on impact with just about anything it hits. (small, light round, high velocity)
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
    If you're bothered by recoil, or have a physical disability that requires a gun with less recoil, a lighter round is one way to help with that, as is a weak load in the round. As far as bullet weight, I prefer a 230 gr round in .45ACP. The heavier the round, typically the better the penetration and the larger the spread if it's a hollow point. The whole velocity versus weight/mass argument has been answered with ballistic gel tests. Heavier rounds go deeper in just about every test I've seen. If "over penetration" is a big concern for you, then the .45 isn't your round. Go to a 5.7mm and use frangible ammo. That stuff disintigrates on impact with just about anything it hits. (small, light round, high velocity)
    A properly performing 230gr .45 JHP is just as likely to overpenetrate as any other properly performing JHP in any other caliber.

    In fact, 180gr .40's and 147gr 9mm's will often penetrate further than a similar 230gr .45 (say, all Ranger-T, or all HST, or Gold Dot).
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I have found that 200gr work best for me and I believe that was Mr. Browning original load and the military increased it to 230.
    jem102 likes this.

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    Senior Member Array JDavisArk's Avatar
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    I pretty much like everything in 45ACP. I used to read the magazines as well, but then I started shooting more and listening less.
    My opinion of a 185gr 45ACP? It will move faster than a 230gr.
    All in all........my opinions won't make a hill of beans to anyone else. 45ACP is still a god plan

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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    My question is what is a high speed 185 grainer going to do for me that a 230 grainer won't? I would consider a 200 grain HP (J. Brown's original weight design for the .45 ACP).
    It's easier to dodge the slower 230gr round, than the faster 185gr round.
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    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    A properly performing 230gr .45 JHP is just as likely to overpenetrate as any other properly performing JHP in any other caliber.

    In fact, 180gr .40's and 147gr 9mm's will often penetrate further than a similar 230gr .45 (say, all Ranger-T, or all HST, or Gold Dot).
    apples and oranges when you start mixing calibers, because then you're mixing different powders, burn rates, barrel lengths, etc.. I'm talking about two of the same bullet brand and model fired from the same gun, with two different bullet weights.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
    apples and oranges when you start mixing calibers, because then you're mixing different powders, burn rates, barrel lengths, etc.. I'm talking about two of the same bullet brand and model fired from the same gun, with two different bullet weights.
    You said, in your first post:

    If "over penetration" is a big concern for you, then the .45 isn't your round.
    That statement is demonstrably incorrect.



    Those are all Ranger-T. Note that both the 147gr 9mm and 180gr .40 penetrate further than a 230gr .45.

    Or was your point that any JHP in a service caliber weapon is a bad choice if one is concerned with overpenetration?
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    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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    Ex Member Array all357mag's Avatar
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    Stick with the 230grn, it's what this caliber was designed for.

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