If all you got was a box I would go throw at least a mag down range so you know it functions. Aside from that the XTP is a great round. If tap someone with a 185gr bullet they will take notice. Carry in confidence and chive on.
I just bought the gun and haven't had a chance to even shoot it yet. I've got some 230gr FMJ to break it in before I try out some defensive ammo. I was able to pick up two boxes of the XTP to try. I was just curious if the 185gr would be better expansion due to higher velocity out of the short barrel. I'd love to find some gold dot short barrel but I probably have a better chance at hitting a unicorn in the morning driving to work!
I carry 230 grain hydra-shocks. Available locally so I can practice regularly. I know the round may be outdated and there are better options but its a proven round. I'm looking into ordering some winchester ranger T in 230 grain, that round seems brutal.
You have to "test" your gun, every gun will not be exactly the same. I spent a whole day shooting every different round we could find and get in my XD, and it didn't care what I stuck in it, it worked flawlessly.
After viewing some calibrated ballistic gel test done with an XDs, it looks like the Speer 230 grain Gold dot is the top performer as it penetrates more then 12 inches. I usually carry 185 gr. Golden Sabers with my small .45's but after seeing them both tested out of an XDs I went to the Gold Dots and that I what I recommend. Check them out on YouTube.
This old dog still thinks that the 200gr hp is the best but as I have said b4 shoot what you use and use what you shoot. For me sticking with the same set up I know what is going the happen when the need is at hand no question no doubts.
I'm carrying the 185gr +P Speer Gold Dots right now but only because they were available last refresh and I had thought I was picking up 230gr, but made mistake. I did test this ammo and it was devastating and nearly explosive on the line of cola bottles I shot with it. Nothing I shoot seems to deliver this much energy at impact. Just watch this very short video. Out of a full size gun these get about 1050fps but with the little XDS 3.3" barrel they get about 950fps 45acp .vs. Strawberry Soda - YouTube
Notice in that video what happens to the second soda bottle... I think most will be surprised.
Due to the ammo shortages I've had to resort to reloading self defense ammo. I use speer gold dot HP bullets 230gr SB which is the short barrel version of this bullet. Out of a full size gun my loads can get 950 which is screaming for that weight bullet and it's the max powder load that is safe. Out of my XDs45 they go about 850fps which is really excellent for this SB bullet. The SB is designed to give the same expansion in a short barrel as the regular faster 230gr gold dots get from the full size barrel.
In other words if you shoot all regular ammo designed for full size pistols in the XDs 3.3" you will not get the same expansion or velocity. Those bullets are designed to compensate for that difference. Be aware the Hornady XTP is a good bullet but by nature does not expand nearly as much as for example a Critical Defense or most other HP. It leans more toward penetration which is not a bad thing. I have a bunch of those raw and unloaded also.
I think of the more expanding bullets as a better choice in some situations like home defense but if I'm on the road driving, parking garages and lots of barriers I dont believe the large 45acp with a lot of expansion is the greatest choice. I've seen plastic garbage barrels stop 45acp before. I'm still testing and deciding on loads and bullet types.
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