3 to 12 feet Encounter> In .45 cal. what wt.gr. is best? - Page 2

3 to 12 feet Encounter> In .45 cal. what wt.gr. is best?

This is a discussion on 3 to 12 feet Encounter> In .45 cal. what wt.gr. is best? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I carry the Winchester Ranger T 230 grain in my .45ACP pistols. Is it the best? I don't know. I am sure it will do ...

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Thread: 3 to 12 feet Encounter> In .45 cal. what wt.gr. is best?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Kansas City Metro
    I carry the Winchester Ranger T 230 grain in my .45ACP pistols. Is it the best? I don't know. I am sure it will do the job if I do my part. Its accurate, shoots point of aim, and reliable in my pistols. I am a fan of 230 grain bullets in the ACP, so I didn't even consider other bullet weights.

    "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them" -Felix

  2. #17
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    I can't think of anything better than 230 gr HP. At those ranges one had better be able to shoot the instant the holster is cleared, and the gun in line. I would not spend much time on the initial shot but would want to get the round somewhere in main trunk, and work the shots up.
    We're talking about 1-4 yards. If you start trying to use the front sight you would be hit and maybe dead yourself.


  3. #18
    Member Array Texas Yankee's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Dallas, Tx
    At 3-12 feet home defense range the best .45 is a 12 guage slug. Buck shot would work good too.

    BTW, there is no such thing as the "best" bullet.

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  5. #19
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    Array TX-JB's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Sugar Land, TX
    I like the Federal 230gr Hydra Shok... in all my 45's.
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

    Retired LEO
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  6. #20
    Member Array 45XDCCW's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Little Rock, AR
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonehead55 View Post
    Does it really matter? Put the front sight in the kill zone. Twice in the chest, once in the head.
    "The Beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." -Thomas Jefferson

    "When loss of liberty is looming, as it is now The siren sounds first in the hearts of freedoms vanguard"- Heston

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    SE Texas
    Why 3 to 12 feet? Why be so specialized? More on this in a later paragraph.

    Ammunition has changed a bit since the release of Marshall/Sanow book on stopping power. I am not saying the current edition of Hydra-Shok will not do the job, and it is even possible that today's .45 ACP Hydra-Shok is identical to that loaded back then, but Evan himself, in his forum, has indicated that things have changed, and that Hydra-Shok is an older generation of bullet, that has been surpassed.

    Really, in .45 ACP, it probably doesn't matter so much which one uses. If I happened to have a .45 ACP handgun nearest at hand when a bad guy threatened, I would be equally happy with any premium controlled-expansion bullet. I used 230-grain Hydra-Shoks in various 1911 pistols, and an early "European style" SIG P220, through the 1990's and up to 2002. (I switched to .40 S&W duty pistol in 2002, and tend to CC what I use at work.) I am thinking about bringing my one last 1911 back into occasional service, and will probably go with 230-grain Gold Dot, due to availability at a good price point.

    I would not be unhappy using 185-grain .45 ACP, either, but would certainly try to research which load has done well for a large agency over a period of time, or preferably, more than one agency. I consider anything lighter than 185 grains to be a bit too experimental for my taste; I like the tried and true, and that which hits to point of aim. Lighter bullets have a different point of impact, all else being equal. POI may not matter so much at 3-12 feet, but what if things go outside? A gunfight itself is a statistical anomaly, so if I am going to keep a gun handy, I may as well not limit myself to one engagement range. What if I must go to the defense of someone, such as a family member, who is being carjacked out at the curb? With mobile communication being the norm these days, this is a very REAL scenario, even if one does not carry away from the home. (Search for news reports of follow-home robberies; these have always happened, and are getting MORE common.)

    FWIW, I don't worry too much which grain weight of bullet I use in my .40 duty/carry pistols, either. I have run plenty of 165-grain Golden Saber through my P229s to know they like it, and due to availability issues, have also run enough of one 155-grain grain Federal load to make sure it works, and am starting to do the same with 180-grain Gold Dots, which are recently more available than other premium .40 loads at my usual sources, and hit POI better than the lighter stuff.

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