Hello. I personally like the 230-gr. Golden Saber as well as the 230-gr. Winchester Ranger JHP (RA45T). Both have consistently expanded for me in my own informal expansion testing in plain water as well as super-saturated newsprint, but I also like Hornady XTP in the 230-gr. load.
This is pretty well typical of what I've seen when firing the Hornady 230-gr. XTP into water, soaked newsprint, and animals ranging from deer to javelina (when shot lengthwise; broadside shots completely penetrate.) Expansion is not so dramatic as with other more aggressive expanders, but in the field I've noticed exactly zero difference in results. The animal jumps, falls, may stagger a bit, but usually just kicks a few seconds. The longest I recall doing a mental count (one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two....) was about 16 seconds. This is not bad performance for any pistol round normally intended for defensive use against humans. Again, I have no idea why, but the XTP has worked as well as anything else I've used on deer, coyotes, javelina, etc. I never shot anyone with this load while a police officer nor visited with anyone who has so I cannot offer much in that regard.
Federal 230-gr. Hydrashok has worked well for me in the field. This one was recovered from water or wetpack (Don't remember), but closely matches what I've seen in bullets pulled out of javelinas. The bullets are usually more deformed if bone has been hit. The only Hydrashok I've seen consistently fail to put the wiley, tough little critters down is Federal's 165-gr. Hydrashok. We shot several with it and finally quit because it just didn't do the job humanely. My 9mm Browning with select loads did noticeably better than that one...which was a bitter pill for my .45-fanatical friends. The 230...yes, but I personally don't trust the lighter version.
This is very typical of what I've seen with the Winchester Rangers in
both test media and critters. Again, if heavy bone is hit, the bullet is usually more "chewed up."
As has been mentioned, reliability is first and foremost in a defensive handgun. These three cartridges have proven very reliable feeders in my observation. L to R: Winchester Ranger, Federal Classic 230-gr. JHP, Remington Golden Saber. The Speer 230-gr. JHP has also proven a good performer but can be more finicky in feeding in some pistols. If you plan to use this round, be sure it feeds in your gun. A friend of mine used this load to headshoot felon who was trying to kill another police officer. The one shot did the trick but his gun jammed. test any defensive ammo thoroughly in your gun before depending on it.
This is a recovered 230-gr. Golden Saber that was cranked up a bit faster than the normal factory load and shot out of a six-inch 1911 into a Texas whitetail. Bone was struck and the bullet penetrated 14 to 16". The jacket was found within two inches of the bullet.
Same bullet, but with the details for those interested. Striking bone does make quite a bit of difference, but the Golden Saber expanded nicely.
Though both of these bullets (230-gr. Golden Saber and XTP) were handloads and fired into water, they were loaded to within 15 ft/sec of the chronographed factory rounds from this 1911 5" pistol. Results were very repeatable. The Golden Saber would shed its jacket in water more than the XTP, but water does enhance the chances of this. In the real world, I don't think it's a problem.
I have seen very few pistols that Remington Golden Saber refused to feed well in and frequently use it for "serious purposes" in my own forty-five caliber pistols.