Self Defense .45 load

Self Defense .45 load

This is a discussion on Self Defense .45 load within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am very close to buying a Kimber Crimson Carry (Short butt commnder). Would like recommendations on a SD round. Does t really make sense ...

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Thread: Self Defense .45 load

  1. #1
    Member Array Shutterbug's Avatar
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    Self Defense .45 load

    I am very close to buying a Kimber Crimson Carry (Short butt commnder). Would like recommendations on a SD round. Does t really make sense to expect a .45 HP to expand, or is it better to just let the big-ass bullet plow through flesh. Years ago I shot MANY 200gr SWC's in IPSC competition, reloading all my own.

    I am also purchasing a S&W 442 for my wife and have the same concern for a SD round for that gun. Would Glasers be the best choice for that?


  2. #2
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    With .45, if the hollowpoint doesn't expand, which it should, you basically still have a fmj round, so there really is no reason not to use a quality, current manufacture self defense hollow point, that really applies to any caliber that is sensible for self defense. Find one that feeds reliably in your weapon, and use it.

    As far as the 442 goes, same thing applies pretty much, stick with a brand name JHP. I think speer even makes a round designed for shorter barrels.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    I am very close to buying a Kimber Crimson Carry (Short butt commnder). Would like recommendations on a SD round. Does t really make sense to expect a .45 HP to expand, or is it better to just let the big-ass bullet plow through flesh. Years ago I shot MANY 200gr SWC's in IPSC competition, reloading all my own.

    I am also purchasing a S&W 442 for my wife and have the same concern for a SD round for that gun. Would Glasers be the best choice for that?
    The Kimber Ultra Crimson Ultra Carry II is a nice SD .45 pistol. It is lightweight with the alum. frame but not too lightweight. With the 3" barrel it is going to have a good amount of recoil. Spend your time during break in, 200 rounds 230 gr. FMJ (WWB or better) learning to grip it tight and not limp wrist. After the break-in I would recommend Federal Hydra-Shok JHP for SD.
    Personally, I would add the Crimson grips latter.
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  4. #4
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    All the main-line ammo manufacturers have good defensive loads in .45 ACP these days - Winchester, Remington, Federal, Hornady, and more. While .45 FMJ has a good track record as a fight-stopper, for defensive use the JHPs have a clear edge and are less likely to overpenetrate. There are endless posts here in DC and in countless other gun forums about just which JHP is the best, but if you stick with the major brands, they're all pretty good and way better than anything available 20 years ago.

    My personal preference for all my .45s is the 230 grain Federal Hydra-Shok. Not the latest technology, but it has a fine record in the field, it's widely available, and I know it works in my guns.

    The Kimber you're considering has an aluminum alloy frame, and my recommendation is to stay away from the +P loadings. You'd probably have to shoot a couple thousand of them to harm the gun, but the standard-pressure .45 has a fine record. The +P loads will give you that much more recoil and muzzle flip in the lightweight 1911s as well.

    Same pretty much holds for the 442; stick with name-brand hollow points. If your wife can handle the extra snap, in this gun I would recommend the +P rounds for carrying in the gun, since the .38 is starting off at the lower threshold of power for defensive use. A real good load offered by most of the makers is the so-called "FBI" load, which is a 158 grain, lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoint in +P. These do penetrate a bit more than the 125-135 grain jacketed hollowpoints, which might be worth considering if you live in the snow belt and a defensive round may have to penetrate more layers of clothing in winter. In standard pressure loading, the Federal Nyclad 125 grain has a good performance history in snub guns.
    Smitty
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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    Does t really make sense to expect a .45 HP to expand, or is it better to just let the big-ass bullet plow through flesh.
    Yes, it is best to have a bullet that expands, and delivers a good amount of hydrostatic shock. The human body is mainly water, and the pressure wave caused by higher velocity expanding bullets causes additional devastation to the body, than just the immediate wound area. This was first discovered in research by Professor E. Harvey Newton at Princeton University shortly after WWII in 1947, and has since been confirmed by newer research at CalTech University by Duncan McPherson, Phd. His research confirmed that bullets at handgun velocities do have this effect on living tissue and blood vessels. Dr. Ibolja Cernak at John Hopkins University also supported this conclusion in his research, where he shot numerous animals in the lungs, and noted extensive neural damage in the animals.

    Swedish neurophysiologist A.M. Goransson also documented this effect in his recent research at Lund University. He wired the brains of pigs to EEG machines, and then shot them in the thigh, an area that should not have damaged their brain. Two thirds of the test pigs had their EEG go completely flat at the moment of being shot. Goransson has stated that a "neural overload" had been created in the pig's body by the gunshot. Another Swedish researcher by the name of A. Suneson followed up further on this. In his experiments, he implanted high-speed pressure transducers into the brains of his pigs, proving that a significant pressure wave reached the brain of these pigs that were shot in the thigh.

    Chinese researcher Zhengguo Wang, MD has done a great deal of work in this field recently in China too. He also did extensive similar experiments with pigs. He not only monitored the EEG's from their brains, but also examined them postmortem for spinal cord damage. He also experimented using ammunition that delivered different levels of kinetic energy. What he found was that a bullet with only 100 ft lbs of energy had little effect on the brain, and none on the spine. At 300 ft lbs ( roughly 9mm in power ), he began to see more rapid incapacitation of the pig, and measurable neural damage. At the 500 ft/lb level ( a heavy .40 S&W, 357 Sig, or .45 Auto load, neural damage to the brain was quick and much more dramatic. With ammo generating 600 ft/lbs ( full power 357 Magnum and 10mm level performance ), neural damage became very extensive and noticeable spinal cord damage was also observed.

    So there has been a great deal of research by actual scientists to show that the theory supporting big heavy slow bullets is false. If you want real stopping power in a handgun, get a gun that develops a lot kinetic energy. That means using loads with lighter bullets at higher velocities.

    Now it is true that human beings are not exactly pigs. But pigs are actually quite close to humans in many ways. The funny thing is that for a long time folks believed that the .357 Mag was the most effective handgun cartridge for self-defense. And now scientific research is proving in the laboratory why it has been so effective in the real world.

    I would thus recommend that you consider using this 573 ft/lb CorBon load in your Kimber:

    Last edited by LanceORYGUN; November 10th, 2010 at 05:20 AM.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Very interesting reading Lance, thanks. Why not a heavier Cor-Bon?
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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Lance,

    Very good, and well written, post sir.

    The funny thing is that for a long time folks believed that the .357 Mag was the most effective handgun cartridge for self-defense. And now scientific research is proving in the laboratory why it has been so effective in the real world.
    It's not that we believed it was the best, it was that we KNEW it was the best, and still is.

    Biker
    Last edited by BikerRN; November 10th, 2010 at 03:15 AM. Reason: typo

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    Very interesting reading Lance, thanks. Why not a heavier Cor-Bon?
    You could go with a heavier bullet like a 180 gr, or even a 200 gr, and still get a decent amount of kinetic energy from a 45 ACP, especially if it is a +P load. Go with a 230 gr bullet, though, and energy levels will be significantly lower.

    Less energy = less hydrostatic shock.

    This is my favorite 200 gr load for the .45. It still has 494 ft/lbs of energy, despite having a heavier bullet.


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    I carry both 230 grn Gold Dots and PDX1s. I wouldn't want to get hit with either, and I'm sure no one else would. Any of the current top-of-the-line SD rounds that feed in your gun will serve you well.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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  10. #10
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    Definately use JHP's, there are no good reasons not to.

    Everyone has their prefered load, and that's fine. My preferd load, and what I carry for On/Off Duty is Speer GDHP in 200+P. IMO it has the best mix of weight/velocity.
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  11. #11
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    Can I take this a step further and recommend a HP that will work well in your Kimber? I think the use or not use portion of this thread is over, but learning lessons from others on bullet selection will help. Let me make this easy, Golden Sabre's and Hornady Critical Defense both work well in 1911's and Kimbers. Your mileage may very, but I found that my "go to" of Gold Dot's did not feed well in my 1911's because of the bullet shape. Pick a HP that is more shaped like a hard ball and save yourself some heartache and money.

    Oh and enjoy the Kimber, I have two of them and they are great. Don't worry about the Kimber haters, the water is just fine!
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    If I get stuck with a needle, my brain flatlines!

    Any load for the 45 will be fine. No need to not use a hollowpoint, as long as it feeds properly.
    38 snubbie, go for penetration first. Smitty's mention of the 158 grn plus p in lswchp configuration, is the best choice.

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    One very good, street proven, load for the 38 Special is the Gold Dot 135 Grain JHP.

    Biker

  14. #14
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    Self defense ammo is a gimmick. A FMJ 45 round is all you will ever need. Take the extra 15$ you will save on each box of ammo and spend it elsewhere.

  15. #15
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renegade01 View Post
    Self defense ammo is a gimmick. A FMJ 45 round is all you will ever need. Take the extra 15$ you will save on each box of ammo and spend it elsewhere.
    Must... resist... urge to turn thread into FMJ/JHP war

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