Defensive Carry banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I'm a pretty diehard 9mm fan and have a good supply of 9mm self defense rounds, so I'm not seriously considering my first .45 ACP since I was a young MP dog handler back in 70-71. On the other hand, I find it intriguing to kick around the IDEA of a single stack .45 that's light enough and thin enough to be easily concealed. The Shield 45 and Kahr CM45 fill that bill nicely.

However, before I get worked into any kind of lather, I'm curious how each gun has performed for those who own them. Also, I'm wondering what HP ammo is the best for achieving penetration and expansion within the parameters of the FBI protocol. I've heard that running many of the top rounds through 3"+ barrels seriously hampers expansion and penetration.

Thanks for your experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,981 Posts
When I went looking for a lightweight single stack 45 .. I picked the XDS45 .. Just a great pistol ..

But I dont think i would have made a bad choice with the S&W Sheild 45 or the CM45 or the Glock 36. All seem to good pistols!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What kind of loads are you folks carrying? Based upon the Lucky Gunner ballistic gel testing, it would seem the standard pressure Federal HST 230 grain load does very well in terms of penetration and expansion, but that was from a Kahr CW45, with a barrel about .3 of inch longer than the CM45 and longer than the Shield's barrel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,497 Posts
I have not shot the Kahr however my neighbor recently got a Shield in .45 acp and we combined put 125 rds through it right out of the box (mostly 230 gr fmj Remington). There were zero malfunctions. The recoil is not bad at all. (My LCP has more recoil:frown:) It was just as accurate as my 9mm Shield. As typical with Shields the trigger will need some more rounds downrange to smooth out. IF... I didn't already have a Glock 36 this .45 Shield would be on my radar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,029 Posts
I would go with the 45 Shield. I got one four weeks ago and it is surprisingly nice to shoot. Recoil is less disruptive and less problematic than that of the 40 Shield, in my opinion. And the trigger is actually quite decent right out of the box. Smith and Wesson has made improvements in the triggers of their M&P line of pistols so unless you're of a mind to just punch paper targets with the 45 Shield, you should be fine with the trigger as is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. Maybe if I'm near a gun shop I'll stop in and give the Shield 45 a squeeze and see how comparable the trigger is to my Gen 4 Glock 19.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I admit the Kahr warranty isn't the best. They expect the owner to send in their Kahr on their dime and the only folks that will ship it are either FedEx or UPS (can't recall which one). When I did a cursory check it would have cost me about $80 for overnight delivery and that's nearly 25% of the purchase price for a CM9 ... so I've been working through some nose-dive jams with input from a number of sourced, including people on KahrTalk. It all seems to come down the magazine followers. Hmmm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I love kahrs and have owned the pm45 along with many other kahrs. The only one that remains with me now is the cw380 and I have the shield 45. The trigger is excellent out of the box and I carry it more than my glocks now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
S&W MP .45 Shield
January 20,2017
Weather 35*, Pressure 30inHg, Humidity 83%
FBI clearballistics 16x6x6 block with T bone 6x6x20" resulting in 22" in length
Block stored in 68* and utilized in 2 minutes of being outside
Block had one layer of each of medium weight nylon filled with polyester winter coat, followed by 200gr polartec fleece and 5.3oz Tshirt
This is typical winter attire here in NY. I used no denim as no one seems to be wearing denim around their chest
Results
Underwood 230+P XTP 20.5" penetration, .593" expansion
Underwood 185+P XTP 22" penetration, .55" expansion
Underwood 230+P bonded JHP 14" penetration, .677 expansion
Underwood 185+P bonded JHP 13.5" penetration, .690 expansion
Underwood Xtreme defense 120gr 17" penetration not designed to expand.
This Xtreme defense bullet went to 17" penetration in bare, 4 layers of denim and this test. Very consistent
Winchester Ranger 230+P over 22" and no expansion
Federal HST 230+P was the BIG surprise for me yet again. In bare gel it only went to 11 3/4" penetration and .880 expansion
In 4 layers of denim it passed through 20" of gel 3 out of 4 times. The 4th time in 4 layers it penetrated to 11 1/2" and .820 expansion.
Today the HST 230+p gr was STELLAR. Penetrated to 16" 3 out of 3 times and expanded to .859 on the widest one and .771 on the lowest expanded bullet.
So I did a 2 layer Hanes white cotton t-shirt test and the Federal 230gr HST+P penetrated to 13" and expanded to .875 on one round and penetrated to 13" and .818" on the other round
The standard pressure HST 230 did not do well at all in regards to penetration.
Through winter layers it penetrated 11-12" but expansion was incredible .912!!!
Through the two layer cotton t-shirt was 10 1/2'-11" penetration with .922 expansion!!!
Corbon DPX 185+P is by far the most consistent JHP so far out of the Shield. Penetrated to 14 1/2 to 15 1/2" regardless of bare, 4 layers of denim and this winter wear test. Expansion was between .750 and .780.
Looks like I will use Federal HST 230+P in the fall and winter time and undecided for the spring and summer. Either the Underwood Xtreme defense or the Corbon DPX 185+P

Here is results from 4 layers of denim test using a 6x6x20" clear ballisticgel block. Temp 28degrees, humidity 47% and pressure 30.3inHg.
With both HST and Ranger 230+p and 230 standard pressure was very inconsistent. Around half the rounds would clog with denim and pass through 20" with no expansion. When they did expand penetration was only 11 1/2" This was the exact same results as Federal HST 230+P and standard pressure. 3 out of 4 rounds would fail to expand and passed through
Hornady XTP 230 gr +P also failed to expand 3 out of 4 times and then one time it went to 19" and .51 expansion.
Magtech 230gr JHP failed to fire! The striker would not even dent the primer!
Underwood 120gr Xtreme defense did very well and penetrated to 17" 4 out of 4 times. Of course no expansion with the solid copper bullet
Corbon 165+P DPX expanded beautifully and penetrated 9-10" each time.
There were two clear winner's today. One was Corbon 185+P DPX and the other Underwood 120gr Xtreme Defender.
The Corbon 185+P DPX 4 out of 4 expanded beautifully and penetrated to 14 1/2-15" each time. It also performed exactly the same in bare gel.
The Underwood Xtreme Defender penetrated to 17" every time with 4 layers of denim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,029 Posts
Thanks everyone. Maybe if I'm near a gun shop I'll stop in and give the Shield 45 a squeeze and see how comparable the trigger is to my Gen 4 Glock 19.
They will feel different. The Glock trigger has always been a 2-stage DAO design. On the other hand, the M&P trigger is a single stage trigger and is more appropriately defined as a SAO design, though S&W classes it as a DAO trigger. The new 45 Shield trigger is quite good and for a close quarter defensive sidearm, very nice and very adequate for pretty much anyone wanting something like this. S&W did a good job improving the M&P trigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Folks seem to either love or hate the Kahr triggers. I LOVE mine... (CW45).
I have never particularly cared for the feel of most striker fired triggers (I prefer a trigger with a smooth take-up & 'surprise' release, as well as a smooth trigger face, without protrusions or hinges).

That being said.. after approx. 1500 rds my Kahr failed me at the end of a training class. Trigger just went soft... Very sinking feeling, realizing that had this been for real I'd have been SOL.
In the end, it was sent back to Kahr. Needed both the trigger bar & frame replaced (this gun had only seen <100rds of Federal HST standard pressure loads and the remainder were 230gn factory standard pressure loads). Dealer I purchased it from sent it back to Kahr (cost me $17 to ship). Kahr had the gun nearly 8 weeks... they were less than forthcoming about what was wrong & their progress on repairing the firearm. When it was finally returned to my dealer... they hadn't even been clear about what was done by them. I had to pay for an additional background check & 3 day wait due to the fact they'd changed out the frame. As well as I now have to maintain paperwork for the BATFE explaining I no longer possess the gun, it was returned to Kahr. The whole experience left a sour impression. I still have the Kahr. It no longer is carried...

The 45 shield is on the short list for it's replacement.

Best of luck in finding something that works for you.

Respectfully,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
S&W MP .45 Shield
January 20,2017
Weather 35*, Pressure 30inHg, Humidity 83%
FBI clearballistics 16x6x6 block with T bone 6x6x20" resulting in 22" in length
Block stored in 68* and utilized in 2 minutes of being outside
Block had one layer of each of medium weight nylon filled with polyester winter coat, followed by 200gr polartec fleece and 5.3oz Tshirt
This is typical winter attire here in NY. I used no denim as no one seems to be wearing denim around their chest
Results
Underwood 230+P XTP 20.5" penetration, .593" expansion
Underwood 185+P XTP 22" penetration, .55" expansion
Underwood 230+P bonded JHP 14" penetration, .677 expansion
Underwood 185+P bonded JHP 13.5" penetration, .690 expansion
Underwood Xtreme defense 120gr 17" penetration not designed to expand.
This Xtreme defense bullet went to 17" penetration in bare, 4 layers of denim and this test. Very consistent
Winchester Ranger 230+P over 22" and no expansion
Federal HST 230+P was the BIG surprise for me yet again. In bare gel it only went to 11 3/4" penetration and .880 expansion
In 4 layers of denim it passed through 20" of gel 3 out of 4 times. The 4th time in 4 layers it penetrated to 11 1/2" and .820 expansion.
Today the HST 230+p gr was STELLAR. Penetrated to 16" 3 out of 3 times and expanded to .859 on the widest one and .771 on the lowest expanded bullet.
So I did a 2 layer Hanes white cotton t-shirt test and the Federal 230gr HST+P penetrated to 13" and expanded to .875 on one round and penetrated to 13" and .818" on the other round
The standard pressure HST 230 did not do well at all in regards to penetration.
Through winter layers it penetrated 11-12" but expansion was incredible .912!!!
Through the two layer cotton t-shirt was 10 1/2'-11" penetration with .922 expansion!!!
Corbon DPX 185+P is by far the most consistent JHP so far out of the Shield. Penetrated to 14 1/2 to 15 1/2" regardless of bare, 4 layers of denim and this winter wear test. Expansion was between .750 and .780.
Looks like I will use Federal HST 230+P in the fall and winter time and undecided for the spring and summer. Either the Underwood Xtreme defense or the Corbon DPX 185+P

Here is results from 4 layers of denim test using a 6x6x20" clear ballisticgel block. Temp 28degrees, humidity 47% and pressure 30.3inHg.
With both HST and Ranger 230+p and 230 standard pressure was very inconsistent. Around half the rounds would clog with denim and pass through 20" with no expansion. When they did expand penetration was only 11 1/2" This was the exact same results as Federal HST 230+P and standard pressure. 3 out of 4 rounds would fail to expand and passed through
Hornady XTP 230 gr +P also failed to expand 3 out of 4 times and then one time it went to 19" and .51 expansion.
Magtech 230gr JHP failed to fire! The striker would not even dent the primer!
Underwood 120gr Xtreme defense did very well and penetrated to 17" 4 out of 4 times. Of course no expansion with the solid copper bullet
Corbon 165+P DPX expanded beautifully and penetrated 9-10" each time.
There were two clear winner's today. One was Corbon 185+P DPX and the other Underwood 120gr Xtreme Defender.
The Corbon 185+P DPX 4 out of 4 expanded beautifully and penetrated to 14 1/2-15" each time. It also performed exactly the same in bare gel.
The Underwood Xtreme Defender penetrated to 17" every time with 4 layers of denim.
Very nice research and presentation! Thank you very much for the time, effort and expense.....to share this information.
I would be very interested if you measured the velocity from the various rounds out of the Shield?
Penetration and expansion is certainly important, but I also aspire to the ballistic speed.

Thanks again for the work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Holy Malloy! Thank you GCQLLC! What great documentation. The more I see of these results I feel I'm better served by sticking with the 9mm that I know instead of wandering into a different caliber, different platform, different felt recoil, different recovery on double taps ... etc., etc. Even though I want to get warm and fuzzy over the .45 ACP in a small, CC gun, I can see that my 9mm experience is what I should bank on, not the caliber. For now I'll stick with my limited battery of handguns: Glock 19 (Gen 4), Kahr CM9 and Ruger LCP2. In the final moment, I need to be confident in my placement, not bullet performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Thanks guys. I tested 9mm, .357Sig and a couple of .40's. I have a chronograph but forgot to use it.
I carry Federal HST 124gr in all my 9mm's. I would also not hesitate to carry Corbon DPX 115+P as well
In .40 I carry Federal HST 165gr
In .357 Sig I carry Corbon DPX 125 gr
In my Shield .45 I will most likely settle on Corbon DPX 185+P or Golden Saber 185+P
Glock 43 9mm
Weather 42*, Humidity 86%, Pressure 29.8inHg
Winter wear with one layer of medium weight nylon outer polyester fill, one layer of polartec 200gr and one layer of T-shirt Hanes cotton.
Federal HST 124gr standard penetrated to 15", expansion .628", second round 18 1/2" penetration and .614 expansion
Federal HST 147gr standard pressure penetrated to 16" expanded .614", second round penetrated to 18 1/2" and expanded .595"
Underwood Xtreme defense 90gr+P penetrated to 17 1/2" no expansion
These Xtreme defense rounds in .45 and 9mm are extremely consistent as all of them penetrate to 17-17 1/2"
So I took out my 380 Underwood 90gr Xtreme Penetrator and out of my LCP II it penetrated 17 1/2"!
Corbon DPX 115 +P penetrated 16" with beautiful expansion of .685". Both .45 DPX 185+P and 115+P were very consistent in all media's
Critical defense penetrated to 11 1/2" and expanded to .485"
I will continue to carry the 124gr HST standard pressure as it has been the only HST in 9mm to continuously expand and penetrate. It does seem that you will be well protected in virtually any of these rounds.

I also tested 9mm out of a Glock 43 with 4 layers of Denim
HST 124gr standard pressure was the clear and decisive winner by a land slide
5 out of 5 penetrated to 18 1/2" and all expanded beautifully
Hst 147 and 147+P also clogged with denim and some expanded and some passed through 20" block
Speer gold dots 124+P did not perform well. Only 1 expanded and penetrated to 14". the 4 others did not expand and passed through 20"
I did two .357 sig out of a G33
Corbon 125gr DPX pentrated 14 1/2" and expanded nicely
Underwood 125gr gold dot ROCKED the block. It hit so hard the block lifted up.
Penetrated 16" and expanded beautifully to .60"
Sig .357 Glock 33 test as well
Underwood 125gr speer gold dot penetrated 19 1/2", expanded .584
Corbon DPX 125gr penetrated 17", expanded to .680


Glock 23 .40 cal
Weather 42*, Humidity 92%, Pressure 29.8inHg
FBI clear ballistics gel 16x6x6 block with Thug wear LOL,
Medium weight nylon shell polyester fill vest, medium weight 100% cotton hoodie and then 100% cotton t-shirt in front of the gel
Federal HST 165gr penetrated 16", expanded .668"
Federal HST 180gr penetrated 14", expanded .761
Federal HST 155gr penetrated 14 1/2", expanded .655"
Winchester PDX1 165gr penetrated 15", expanded .694
Speer 155gr gold dot penetrated 15", expanded .622


All the .40 ammo did very well. I have been carrying the Federal HST 165gr for years. In .357 the Underwood overpenetrated 1 1/2". The Corbon DPX continues to be very consistent in regards to expansion.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top