low velocity, low recoil, reduced grain size ammo?

low velocity, low recoil, reduced grain size ammo?

This is a discussion on low velocity, low recoil, reduced grain size ammo? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I really don't understand the point of buying a .40 or 45 caliber pistol if the majority of the defense ammo is low velocity, low ...

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Thread: low velocity, low recoil, reduced grain size ammo?

  1. #1
    Member Array condition1blog's Avatar
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    low velocity, low recoil, reduced grain size ammo?

    I really don't understand the point of buying a .40 or 45 caliber pistol if the majority of the defense ammo is low velocity, low recoil, reduced grain size. I see boxes that read 45ACP 180 gr, reduced power?!! So whats the point of buying a 45? and dont even get me started on 10mm....


    Is this low recoil nonsense another form of gun control, or do I have a complete lack of understanding?


  2. #2
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    Who says the "majority" of SD ammo is reduced-velocity, low weight? The reason they load 185 grain bullets in a .45 is to increase the velocity. If you do due research, you'll find with the larger caliber ammo (and 9mm to a point) is to the heavier side, even the 147 grain 9mm has a loyal following. The 230 grain .45 bullet is the standard for that caliber, not the 185.
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    Senior Member Array Spalt's Avatar
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    It has to do with 3 related variables: recoil, bullet weight, and velocity. The perfect bullet hits like a Mack truck and is a pussycat to shoot. Ammo companies tend to get carried away with the Mack truck part and forget the felt recoil to the shooter. You end up with a rather unpleasant practice load. As a reloader, I developed loads that increased accuracy and decreased felt recoil. There is no firm rule for reducing felt recoil in my experience. Sometimes you end up with a lighter bullet, sometimes a heavy one. In 9mm, I settled on 124 grain bullets with a light charge of fast burning powder as the most pleasant to shoot, but not suitable for SD carry.

    The SD ammo craze is more about marketing than effectiveness, assuming a good expanding hollowpoint. The .45 acp is a problem child because the velocity is relatively low with any load so there is not much room to play there, only bullet weight. Ironically, only the military and police routinely train with duty loads. Felt recoil is not really a concern in a life and death situation. I would purchase the best performing ammo and reserve that for SD as a civilian. I would then purchase cheap ammo to practice with or reload my own.
    BadgerJ and dondavis3 like this.

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    My mantra is carry the most powerful gun you can shoot well and conceal. We are not all equal.
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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    The point of reduced power is for target shooting, not defensive ammo. Changing bullet weight or powder burn rate can have minimal effect on perceived recoil, but when it comes down to to it, the force the bullet applies to recoil equals the force it has exiting the muzzle. A .45 that hits the target with more energy will have more recoil energy.

    Ironically, only the military and police routinely train with duty loads.
    Police, as in all federal agencies as well, right? They train with JHP because we're buying the ammo (by the billion). I'm no longer military, but I practice with the same ball ammo (FMJ) they issue.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    Here is a partial list of sidearm rounds that have passed the rigorous FBI standardized testing:

    The Rounds listed bellow in 9mm, .40 Cal and 45 ACP, have been tested extensively and/or meet carry standard for LE Duty use.

    9mm

    Barnes XPB 115gr HP (35515) such as loaded by Cor-Bon (DPX09115)
    Winchester Partition Gold 124gr JHP (RA91P)
    Winchester PDX1 124 gr +P JHP (S9MMPDB)
    Winchester PDX1 147 gr JHP (S9MMPDB1)
    Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
    Winchester Ranger Bonded 124 gr +P JHP (RA9BA)
    Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+ (RA9TA)
    Winchester Ranger-T 147gr JHP (RA9T)
    Winchester Bonded 147gr JHP (RA9B/Q4364)
    Speer Gold Dor 124gr JHP
    Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P (53617)
    Speer Gold Dot 147gr JHP (53619)
    Remington Golden Saber 124 gr +P JHP bonded (GSB9MMD)
    Remington Golden Saber 147gr JHP (GS9MMC)
    Federal Tactical 124gr JHP (LE9T1)
    Federal Tactical 135gr JHP +P (LE9T5)
    Federal HST 147gr JHP (P9HST2)
    Federal HST 124gr JHP +P (P9HST3)

    .40 S&W

    Barnes all-copper bullets (140 & 155gr) loaded by: Cor-Bon (DPX40140)
    Winchester Partition Gold 165gr JHP (RA401P)
    Winchester PDX1 165 gr JHP (S40SWPDB)
    Winchester PDX1 160 gr JHP (S40SWPDB1)
    Winchester Ranger 165gr JHP (RA40TA)
    Winchester Ranger 180gr JHP (RA40T)
    Winchester Bonded 180gr JHP (Q4355)
    Speer Gold Dot 155gr JHP (53961)
    Speer Gold Dot 180gr JHP (53962)
    Federal Tactical 165gr JHP (LE40T3)
    Federal Tactical 180gr JHP (LE40T1)
    Federal HST 180gr JHP (P40HST1)
    Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)

    .45ACP

    Barnes XPB/TAC-XP 185gr HP loaded by:
    Cor-Bon (DPX45185)
    Taurus (TCB45ACP185HP)

    Winchester PDX1 230 gr JHP (S45SWPDb)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP (RA45T)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP +P (RA45TP)
    Federal Tactical 230gr JHP (LE45T1)
    Federal HST 230gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
    Federal HST 230gr JHP (P45HST2)
    Speer Gold Dot 230gr JHP (23966)
    Speer Gold Dot 230gr +P JHP (53969)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    Not many people are using "low recoil" ammo in semi auto's, that type of ammo is typically geared toward snub revolvers and even then its still a minority. Lowered bullet weight is usually an attempt at gaining velocity. I woundnt get all worked up about it being some sort of gun control
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    Member Array Rugeroo357's Avatar
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    This is why I use Buffalo Bore .357 magnum 125 grain JHPs in my S&W M&P-340 snub nose revolver.

    I want max BOOM factor for the baddy when it's time to take out the trash!
    NewportReds likes this.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    How does one reduce the grain size?
    glockman10mm and Fisher10 like this.
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    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  10. #10
    Member Array NewportReds's Avatar
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    Low Recoil ammo seems to be less common than regular ammo.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array hdhnict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    How does one reduce the grain size?
    Easiest way to reduce bullet weight is a hollow point or hollow base.
    But some bullets are shaped different (conical) to reduce mass.
    The extreme method is to reduce diameter of the fwd half, leaving a full diameter base.

    Targets don't care! Wadcutters, hollow points, reduced diameter and conicals all make round holes or go splat.
    The more mass you push, the more pressure you need to push it to the same speed.
    That requires more slow powder, or a faster burning powder. The limit being the volume of the case and/or the strength of the chamber. Therefore, light bullets with modest amount of powder, become low recoil (target) rounds.

    Imagine the opposite design, a maximum mass bullet. A full diameter cylinder as long as practical (wadcutter).
    For the first few yards, the front end shape doesn't help or hurt accuracy.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    How does one reduce the grain size?
    Quote Originally Posted by hdhnict View Post
    Easiest way to reduce bullet weight is a hollow point or hollow base.
    But some bullets are shaped different (conical) to reduce mass.
    The extreme method is to reduce diameter of the fwd half, leaving a full diameter base.

    Targets don't care! Wadcutters, hollow points, reduced diameter and conicals all make round holes or go splat.
    The more mass you push, the more pressure you need to push it to the same speed.
    That requires more slow powder, or a faster burning powder. The limit being the volume of the case and/or the strength of the chamber. Therefore, light bullets with modest amount of powder, become low recoil (target) rounds.

    Imagine the opposite design, a maximum mass bullet. A full diameter cylinder as long as practical (wadcutter).
    For the first few yards, the front end shape doesn't help or hurt accuracy.
    Cuda, I think he missed your point!
    NewportReds and glockman10mm like this.
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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I shoot a lot of 160 grain 45s. They put the same size hole in a paper target! I have worked out a load that has the same point of impact at 25 yards as my 230 grain load. But, The 160 grain loads only cost .06 cents each to make. My wife likes the 160 grain ammo best. She shoots it well, so I keep her plenty of ammo on hand. DR

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    Cuda, I think he missed your point!

    Ya think?
    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

  15. #15
    wrinkles
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    Gains are units of weight measurement not volume so you can't reduce grain size, you can reduce weight by lowing the grains a bullet weighs.

    FYI there are 7000 grains in a pound.

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