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Posted: 8/21/2004 8:55:41 PM EDT

Nobody responded to my post in the handgun ammo section so I thought I would post it here where the ammo experts hang out.

The Winchester .45acp USA45JHP 230 grain "personal protection" round is the cheapest hollowpoint whitebox ammo in my area, usually going for $12-14 for a 50rd box.

I cannot find any ballistic gel tests on it anywhere. It is a mystery. A .45 caliber mystery.

Here is the Winchester page on the round:

It looks like a decent round, but at half the cost of other defensive rounds, is it comparable? A dollar+ per round for the other stuff is a bit steep for weekly practice. Is this Winchester ammo the best deal for weekly practice with a good carry round?
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 9:02:29 PM EDT
I can't say. However, I reccomend the absolute best round you can get for defense. Put 200 rounds through your gun to make sure it works, then run FMJs for practice. Any good 230gr harball will have a similar recoil and report.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 10:31:29 PM EDT
Remington has 100 round Value packs at Wall Mart of JHP for around $23 IIRC. 9mm .40 and .45
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 2:55:05 PM EDT

I just found a test. In "newspaper wet packs" it expands to .730" and penetrates 7" .

On the site they say, "It looks like a 'correctly made' wet pack gets about 3/4 penetration of gelatin (75%), while expansion is close to the same."


This is bad bad bad if true. It means this .45 round expands too much and would only penetrates 9.3" of gel if the formula is correct.

Soooo, does anyone have a real FBI spec gel test on this round?
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:39:02 PM EDT
Might be good against packs of angry wet newspaper.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 7:48:31 PM EDT
I am pretty sure they did a test on this ammo at some point at ammolab.com. Unfortunately, that website is down at the moment. I can't remember the result.

I will say, I don't think the penetration data mentioned above is correct. I have seen lots of tests of 230 gr 45 ACP JHP in which the bullets expanded into the .70" range. I can't ever recall seeing one that penetrated that little. I would be surprised if it did.

You might go over to www.tacticalforums.com and do a search for that particular load. I remember we had a discussion about it at some point or other, but again, my memory is not allowing me to remember the general consensus everyone reached. But please use the search function first before posting the question there, as they tend to frown on repeat questions that have already been answered.

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 9:21:25 PM EDT

I did a search there last week and found two instances of the same question, but no answer. It looked like it would be a waste of time to ask a third time.

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:53:14 AM EDT
My suggestion would be to just forget the Win USA load that nobody seems to have any info on and go with PROVEN loads such as Winchester Ranger 230 gr JHP or Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP. Both of those loads have been tested numerous times and they perform very well. That way you'll eliminate the guess work.

The good thing about 230 gr.45 ACP is that about all of them are close enough in ballistics to shoot to a similar point of impact. So save the inexpensive stuff for practice and shoot the highest quality you can find when your life hangs in the balance. Afterall, if you find yourself in a life and death struggle in which the quality of ammo may mean the difference between living and dying, wouldn't you want the best you could get, even if it costs a few dollars more per box?

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 8:23:58 AM EDT
I use the Winchester 45 AUTO 230 GR SUPREME SXT Hollow Point ammo in both my SS Gold Cup Colt and my S & W 1955 Target 45 ACP 6" revolver.

12 years ago I got some IMI 45 ACP 185 GR hollowpoint ammo that shot extremely well, I've got 6 rounds of it left (found it in an old full moon clip) and I'm going to shoot it up this afternoon along with the Winchester and some Wolf 45 230 GR FMJ which seems to have a bad rep, but is actually quite nice and cheap.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 4:02:31 PM EDT
I predict....pain.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:34:49 AM EDT

Hmmm. I just looked in the Winchester law enforcement catalog and in the back it says 45 auto 230gr "T" series RA45T only penetrates 11.6" in bare gelatin and expands to .75".

The 9mm 147gr RA9T goes 13.9" in gel at .65".

Then the .40S&W 180gr RA40T goes 13.8", but only expands .60".

What's deal with the terrible penetration with the standard 45 load? It makes the 9mm look great.

They do have a +P .45, the RA45TP which goes 13.2" and expands to .79". It's the only .45acp made my Winchester that I have data on that I would trust.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 12:57:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 6:50:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2004 6:51:45 AM EDT by Robert2011]
As far as I can tell Speer is the only company that trusts civilians with decent pistol bullets.

Companies like Winchester go out of their way to make sure civilians get crappy bullets for self defense. They name it "Supreme," put it in show piece see through 20rd boxes that go for a whopping $12.99 and say it's for "Personal Protection." It's target audience is Yuppies who will to pay more for a better product.

I suppose if someone dies using it their family could sue Winchester for false advertising.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:46:42 AM EDT

Hmmm. I just looked in the Winchester law enforcement catalog and in the back it says 45 auto 230gr "T" series RA45T only penetrates 11.6" in bare gelatin and expands to .75".

What's deal with the terrible penetration with the standard 45 load? It makes the 9mm look great.

I wouldn't go as far as saying the penetration is terrible. The minimum penetration standard is 12", but I'm really not gonna make that big of a fuss over less than 1/2 inch. If it's that close, expands that well, shoots well in my gun and is reliable, then I would likely use it without much worry.

With any standard, you need some point of reference. That's not say that a bullet that penetrates 12" is awesome while one that only penetrates 11.6" sucks. Now if we are talking about a bullet that penetrates 10" or less, then I would be more concerned. But I doubt there are many people who would really allow a half an inch of penetration either way that much of an issue.

BTW, all of the tests I've seen of the 230 gr Ranger usually show slightly less expansion and a little better penetration. It seems most times in the factory's own tests, that the expansion is a little greater than with independent tests. I've seen the same with Speer, Remington, etc. Also, penetration tends to be a bit deeper when clothing is encountered. But again, I would carry the Ranger 230 gr JHP .45 ACP load without any reservations.


Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:34:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2004 3:06:19 PM EDT by Robert2011]
I know 4/10s of an inch is small, but with handgun ammo every inch or fraction thereof is vastly important. Gel tests represent the best penetration possible, not what you are actually going to have once bones and ligaments get in the way. I'd be much happier with 15" of penetration, so 11.6" does look bad to me. The 9mm went to 13.9" which would make me feel alot better about using it if I had too.

Now for the antidotal:
If you've ever shot a skunk with a .22LR, just to have it retaliate with spray, you will go to a bigger gun quick. I've shot two skunks and two opossums this week. One of the skunks took a .40S&W HP (I'll have to double check on what ammo I was using later) in the shoulder, but I could not find an exit wound or the bullet, despite being in an enclosed wooden feeder where it had no place to go. A vulture ate it before I had time to get back. It appears it expanded and never exited. I used a Glock 22 because it was after dark when the nightsights were helpful. [edited to add: I found the pelt and there is an exit hole. What happened to the bullet in an enclosed space is a mystery. Maybe it ricocheted back toward me]

Later I shot another smaller skunk with a .380 using Remington HPs (I think they are called Golden Sabers). It tore a massive wound through both shoulders, hit a 2x4, and bounced back into the shoulder. I was impressed. Then this morning I shot a big male opossum with the same .380. There was no visible wound, but he did have some blood appear on his feet. So I shot him again. This time he dropped and started bleeding from the shoulder, but I could not find an exit wound. I kind of lost faith in the .380 for the tougher of the smaller critters after this morning. [edited to add: On close inspection there is a exit wound on it too. The backround was dirt, so there is little hope of ever recovering the bullet]

[edited out]

(If anyone wants to jump on me about shooting skunks or opossums I'll relate the incidents where I found headless chicks, ducklings, and the gold kitten missing most of its body ).
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