230 vs 185

This is a discussion on 230 vs 185 within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; was talked into getting some Gold Sabers for my .45 ACP. Picked up a box and did not realize they were 185 grain. I looked ...

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Thread: 230 vs 185

  1. #1
    Member Array Danger Mouse's Avatar
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    230 vs 185

    was talked into getting some Gold Sabers for my .45 ACP. Picked up a box and did not realize they were 185 grain. I looked it up and they do travel 1150 FPS as oposed to the 230 grain at 950 FPS. I am assuming the 185 wont have as much impact at the target. Any thoughts?
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    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danger Mouse View Post
    was talked into getting some Gold Sabers for my .45 ACP. Picked up a box and did not realize they were 185 grain. I looked it up and they do travel 1150 FPS as oposed to the 230 grain at 950 FPS. I am assuming the 185 wont have as much impact at the target. Any thoughts?
    Actually I'm surprised at your numbers. I've not seen a 230 grain that could get more than 860 FPS even out of a slightly longer barrel. unless it was a handload carefully charged a bit higher.

    I am a propenent of the slightly lighter loads for those that are carrying sub-compact type .45 ACP's. In fact the industry it's self realized the need to jump up the velocity of the .45 ACP cartridge since more and CCW holders where opting for more small .45 platforms such as a 3.5" barrel 1911.

    The logic being that the 230 grain was originaly designed to be thrown out of a 5" barrel not a 4" or certainly not a 3.5" barrel. Thus the lighter +P and 165 grain loads are showing up more and more. The tests seemed to indicate an expansion reliability issue with the 230 grain when thrown from a short barrel, the loss of velocity and some failure with the weapons themselves.

    Just my .02 with some input from those in the know.
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    Member Array forestranger's Avatar
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    The 185+p GS clocks 1141fps out of my 5"1911 and 1100fps out of Commander. The 230 GS runs 825fps to 862fps( two different ammo lots?) from 5". +p little hot for my taste. I shoot the 230 better. It shoots to POA w/fixed sights better in mine. Skygod has point about short barrels. Don't have 45 shorter than 4 1/4" but would look at lighter weight if I did.

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    Member Array Danger Mouse's Avatar
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    Interesting. I am going to soak that in and check on it. I used the HK USP .45 full size with those 230 grain rounds. Now I have 3 Glock 30's and they do have shorter barrels than the HK.
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    I reckon either one would end it.
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    I'm shooting 230 +P HST out of my 3.5" RIA the recoil is very manageable and run flawlessly
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    Either one is gonna' leave a mark!
    I use 230gr in my Kimbers and Glocks!

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    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    I also use 230 gr.
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    I use 230 rain in every thing from FMJ to HP... I tried the 165gr "lower recoil" HS loads and their recoil actually left the same to me, you might as well use a heavier round IMHO.
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    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    My choice for carry is the 185gr DPX standard velocity loading from Tarus.---good stuff.

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    Distinguished Member Array 4my son's Avatar
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    230 gr Gold Dots here, I have a partial box of the Golden Sabers in 185Gr +P, Did some wet pack testing on both of them out of the same G21, 4.5" barrel.

    The Gold Dots penetrated slightly further, and the GS were not the bonded ones, the jackets came off of all of them. I stuck with the God Dots. with no big difference in the cavity left by the bullets, and the Gold Dots were far more uniformed in expansion, I'll go with less recoil standard pressure any time.

    230gr Gold Dots for me.

    Your results may vary.


    ETA:
    Oops, The wet pack testing was done with 200gr Gold Dots +P, not the 230Gr standard Pressure. I then changed back to the 230 gr for the recoil reason's. I'll try to do some testing of all three, and post back. May be a while though.
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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    To clarify your numbers a bit. From Remington's web site, the listed velocities are:
    GS 185 grain standard -- 1015
    GS 185 grain +P -- 1140
    GS 230 grain standard -- 875
    These were all from a 5" barrel. They show no +P load for the 230 grain GS and I don't believe they make one for that round. I may be wrong but I can find no reference to one.

    To your actual question. Using numbers from Remington's chart, the 185s would hit harder than the 230.
    185 grain standard -- 423 ft. lbs.
    185 grain +P -- 534 ft. lbs.
    230 grain standard -- 391 ft. lbs.
    Energy is energy and in anyone's book, 423 (or 534) is greater than 391 and assuming that none of the bullets over penetrate and pass through the target, the lighter bullet will hit harder as it has more energy to transfer to the target. The difference will come in the amount of penetration as the heavier bullet will hold onto it's energy longer which should translate to deeper penetration and a larger wound channel. Talking only about the GS rounds as that is what your question was about, if I were using standard pressure rounds, I would opt for the 230 grain as the 32 ft. lbs. of energy difference is not that great but if you throw the +P round into the question, I would opt for the 185 grain load. 143 ft. lbs. difference would be too much for me to discount. JMHO.

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    Ex Member Array echobaby's Avatar
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    230gr. HST + P feed perfectly through the XD45 Service. A little more recoil.

  15. #14
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    One of the best things about 45ACP is that it will do the job with nearly any ammo you feed it. If all I had to shoot was a light weight JHP, or a 230g FMJ, I still have confidence in the gun.

    Given my choice, I load +P 230g JHPs.
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    With the exception of my 1911, I tend to prefer 200+P--either Gold Dots or TAP (G30 & G36).

    They get good velocity out of shorter barrels, yet still have good weight for penetration.
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