This is a discussion on 230 vs 185 within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've carried both. 230 or 185gr. I like Remington Golden Saber actually. I like the notion of the faster mover if it came down to ...
I've carried both. 230 or 185gr. I like Remington Golden Saber actually. I like the notion of the faster mover if it came down to a one or the other choice though. That would obviously be the lighter 185gr.
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411 ft# of energy for the 185's and 391 Ft# of energy for the 230 by the math your better off with the 185's
Any decently constructed (state of the art) .45 projectile will have no trouble giving adequate penetration. Heck, a "good" .38 will go into the core of any assailant if shot correctly. Assuming again a good modern bullet - the expansion will be as desired IF the projectile itself is chosen according to the velocity expected from the powder charge/barrel length.
Check out the data yourself:
Muzzle Energy Computer
Anyone can figure the data for their own particular weapon and compare it to other weapons or to velocity/projectile changes with their own particular weapon.
Note particularly the "efficacy" stats at the bottom of the chart. Just shooting a .45 vs. a smaller bullet kicks that particular stat up a whole bunch.
Obviously, you'll see that the 185 grain wins both energy and efficacy hands down compared to the 230 grain (assuming your speeds are correct) - shoots flatter too (not that that's much of a factor at most self defense ranges). Just pick ammo with modern bonded core construction with a cavity that opens well at the speed expected and you'll be about as equipped as a man with a pistol can be whichever grain choice you choose.
As I understand it, a lighter projectile will decelerate faster than a heaver one when passing through an obstacle. It is also more prone to deflection. As an example, think of a car vs. a truck passing through a deep puddle of water.
Which is part of the reason that the 185 gr. is less likely to pass on through the assailant vs. the 230 gr. Both .45's (with good bullets) will be able to penetrate to the vitals of most any assailant. What you don't want is for the bullet to "over" penetrate.
It is this combination of more impact energy and the most likelihood of dumping 100% of that energy into the core of an assailant that makes the 185 gr. the better choice of the two (IMO).
Sure - if the assailant was wearing several layers of denim under a motorcycle jacket and or you had a quartering shot through the scapula from the rear -the choice of the 230 gr. could be justified.
Every choice is a compromise of sorts considering the likely eventuality, I suppose.
The more I learn about ballistics, the more I realize just as long as you have a quality bullet (Which isn't hard to find), shot placement is going to be the deciding factor in an unfortunate skirmish.
Do yourself a favor and find ammo that works well, and keep practicing with it; muscle memory will be increased, and so will your shot placement.
With all of that said, I am a sucker for 230 grain ammo in the 45; no real reason other than I like it. Simply put, if it's coming out of a short barrel, I'll try to find the faster round; if it's got a longer barrel you can bet I'll wedge the heaviest bullet I can possibly put in there.
Momentum=Weight(grains)divided by 7000 x Velocity(fps)
Golden Saber's been my carry choice since day one. I use the 185 gr. +P in my PX4 .45, 185 gr. +P in the M&P45, and the 230 gr. standard pressure in 1911. All three shoot POA=POI.
I had some different lots of GS in 9 mm, .40 (bonded and unbonded), and .45 and see Remington changed the designs of their HP cavity every so often. The newer rounds have a deep, cone-shaped cavity while the older ones had sort of a "hollowed out" shaped cavity.
Vis consili expers mole ruit sua.
I agree with others, after shot placement, all other is pretty much personal preference.
My personal belief is to use the biggest heaviest bullets I can control. .45 in 230gr standard pressure. Gold Dot's to be specific. Just my .02 worth.
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If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand
With the .45 ACP you'll have at least 7 rounds to test on your attacker. What the heck, test'm all!! When you get done he'll not know if they were 185's, 200's, or 230's!! (Actually, you just keep shooting until the threat is neutralized}