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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/25/2005 5:38:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2005 5:38:21 PM EDT by Carbine_Man]
I have been around long enough that I ought to know this.

I have been shooting 230gr JHP in my 1911 and USP45, and kinda took it for granted that this is a good choice for a defensive round. Winchester 230gr JHP function flawlessly with good accuracy out of both guns.

However, I see a lot of 200gr and 180gr HP ammo available for defensive use.

What advantage do these lighter projectiles offer?
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 5:54:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2005 5:57:50 PM EDT by ISED8U]
Lighter projectile = higher velocity.

www.neiassociates.org/caliber.htm

I refer people to this study all the time. Scroll down to the 45 acp spread sheet. Two of the top 5 are 230 gr, and the rest are around 185 gr. Go figure.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 5:59:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ISED8U:
Lighter projectile = higher velocity.

www.neiassociates.org/caliber.htm

I refer people to this study all the time. Scroll down to the 45 acp spread sheet. One of the top 5 is 230 gr, and the rest are around 180 gr. Go figure.

I read it briefly, but it doesn't answer the question. Of course a lighter projectile will go faster, all other things being equal. What I want to know is what advantage does that offer? Since bullet drop isn't a factor at defensive handgun ranges, I don't see the point. Maybe I'm just slow on the up-take.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:07:44 PM EDT
The real question here is how much faster? If the projectile does not exit the muzzle with a velocity in excess of 1,000 fps the hoolow point ammo will not reliably expand on contact with the target. I have chrono'd some custom made handloads that will reach 1,050 fps, but, they did not expand reliably on contact with various small game animals. I personally think that these loads stress the 1911 frame and design at levels it was not designed to operate. remember it is a gun designed to operate in the 18,000 PSI range. Charles the Gunsmith.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:36:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Carbine_Man:

Originally Posted By ISED8U:
Lighter projectile = higher velocity.

www.neiassociates.org/caliber.htm

I refer people to this study all the time. Scroll down to the 45 acp spread sheet. One of the top 5 is 230 gr, and the rest are around 180 gr. Go figure.

I read it briefly, but it doesn't answer the question. Of course a lighter projectile will go faster, all other things being equal. What I want to know is what advantage does that offer? Since bullet drop isn't a factor at defensive handgun ranges, I don't see the point. Maybe I'm just slow on the up-take.



Some say the advantage is a higher hydrostatic shock.

www.jobrelatedstuff.com/forums/topic.html?b=5&f=20&t=19563
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 11:04:53 AM EDT
I'm by no means an expert but I have read a lot on the topic of ammunition lately. My understanding is that the lighter projectiles originated from the "velocity cures all ills" train of thought that was prevalent some years back. Velocity does improve the ability of hollowpoints to expand. However, after people started looking into bullet penetration, the lower weight bullets started to lose some of their following.
Examples from AmmoLab.com(please give them the credit)
Corbon 230gr +p, 933fps 13.0 inches into ballistic gel, expanded to .67inches
Winchester 185gr silvertip, 985fps, 10.3 inches of penetration, expanded to .68 inches
Corbon 165gr +p, 1270fps, only penetrated 7.2 inches and disintegrated.

If you subscribe to the FBI 12" of penetration minimum philosophy, only the 230gr meets the standard among these three choices. I have heard that the new all copper bullets in 185 grain meet the penetration standard and reliably expand down to 700fps*(Again, credit goes to Ammolab.com).
Bottom line: lower weight bullets have higher velocity and which increases probability of expansion(depending on bullet design) but they tend to have less penetration. Makes sense since penetration seems to be related more to momentum(Mass*Velocity) than Energy(Mass*Velocity*Velocity). Hope this is helpful. Others may be able to clarify this better than I.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 11:59:09 AM EDT
Carbine , you are a wise enough man to ask the question of which is better for defensive use and since you skimmed one of the links - sounds like you are willing to roll up your sleeeves and learn in order to make a decision for yourself.

On those notes, review the following:

www.firearmstactical.com/briefs7.htm

The Cliff Notes take away - penitration of a minimum of 12" is required. Penitration of 16" is better.

My own thought - 2 holes bleed out faster than one. Everyone loves to squawk about 'overpenitration'; however I have yet to see any study that examines the velocity of a projectile after exiting the subjects body - i.e. if the bullet exits the subjects body but is only moving at 30 ft per second - who cares? It won't do any damage to anyone else.

Hydrostatic wounding does not occur at subsonic velocities. The speed of sound (at sea level) is 1,100 fps. Most agree that hyrdrostatic wounding takes place at @ 1400 fps and greater. (Recall that hydrostatic wounding is a wound created by disruption [cavetation] of the largely water filled anatomy of the human body. Think of it like a ripple effect expect that the disruption has the ability to tear open organs as the 'wake' spreads out beyond the primary [perminant] wound channel)

Short and sweet answer to your question -

A HG is a poor means to defend yourself, although it is concealable and short of a SG or high powered rifle it it is about the best alternative.

Heavy bullets (particularly round nose) penitrate better than light bullets.

Ceasation of life comes about as the result one or more of the following - CNS diruption (head shots that blow apart the brain - best is a shot to the pons) or bleed out.


Good luck

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 3:23:02 PM EDT
+1 Face in the Crowd.... Charles.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 3:26:21 PM EDT
Less recoil. Which can mean faster follow up shot. This I know for sure. Cant help you with penetration, shock, etc.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 4:21:43 PM EDT
It really depends on which school of thought you subscribe to...big and slow or small and fast.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:13:03 PM EDT
Was wondering the same thing myself Carbine_Man. Glad I saw this thread

Face n the crowds answer makes sense, thanks for the link also.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 3:51:36 PM EDT
I don't know about .45, but with my .40, I shoot 180 grains pretty well. The 150/155 grains have a much higher noise content and worse muzzle flip.

Bottom line is that I use what I shoot well.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 4:34:16 PM EDT
230gr for .45acp imo

if you want a medium weight load w/ speed, you might as well go w/ a .40sw os something

h/w its nice to know that the .45acp has some gr options
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 6:06:15 PM EDT
I like heavy bullets.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 6:48:02 PM EDT
I have been carrying 200g Gold Dots in my USP compact 45. They seem to me to be the most accurate rounds to shoot through that pistol. Also doesnt help that the local fun store only keeps the 200g GD's in stock.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:21:40 PM EDT
A lighter bullet results in less muzzle flip, even loaded at IPSC major power factors.
When I was a cop I loaded a Sierra 185gr hollow point to make major to qualify with (6.7gr Unique). The muzzle flip was so noticeably less that I carries Winchester Silver Tips (mid '80s).
Now I shoot falling plate matches where lower muzzle flip equals lower times.
For defense I carry 230gr, either ball or whatever defense round is available. I know a lot of people bicker and feud about which round is best, but good enough is good enough. 230gr ball will put someone down. A 200gr will too as will a 185gr bullet.
Bullet weight vs velocity has been dabated to death, but I believe any well made bullet will do.
Jim
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 11:25:36 PM EDT
shot placement.......bullet weight matters little if you cant hit the target....if you can hit the target then the BG will never know the difference before he dies......heavy and slow or lite and fast kill equally when put in the right spot.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:10:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pepperbelly:

For defense I carry 230gr, either ball or whatever defense round is available. I know a lot of people bicker and feud about which round is best, but good enough is good enough. 230gr ball will put someone down.



+1

Link Posted: 9/29/2005 10:18:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 10:19:41 AM EDT by wildearp]

Originally Posted By TARFU:
Less recoil. Which can mean faster follow up shot. This I know for sure. Cant help you with penetration, shock, etc.



Lighter boolets at higher velocities make more gas pressure, which makes compensators more effective, ie: race guns.

I used to load 180 grainers at around 1000fps because it was noticeably less recoil and muzzle flip in a stock gun. However, it used a bunch more powder.

All I load are 230 now.

Also, think about it. 180 grain at 1000fps. Why not shoot a .40 and get the advantage of a smaller frame and higher mag capacity?
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 3:16:44 PM EDT
No one is going to go "That was just a puny 185 grainer, that didn't hurt a bit"...

I do not see a real advantage to lighter ammo in a .45 other than it may work better in some guns than others. My limited experisnce has shown me that lighters bullets have more powder behind negating any possible reduction in recoil, not that recoil in a handgun is big factor.

an HP is an HP is an HP in my book and terminal performance is actually 3rd or 4th down the list when I am looking at ammo.

Reliability of ammunition, accuracy, and reliability of the gun shooting the ammo rate higher on the list than terminal performance for me. Some brands suck, I have had some Fail to fires with bad primers/squibs from certain brands....won't carry them. That last thing I want to hear is "click"

accuracy...misses do not count. I try and look for something that will consistantly hit a head sized target at 25 yards when fired. I know that does not sound like a stringent requirement, but I have shot some ammo that would not do that out of my guns at 10 yards.

Reliability of gun with ammo. Some guns prefer certain ammo, others are not picky, but when the time comes, you sure as hell do not want to clear a jam. I know some who only carry ball in thier 1911's.

Meet these requirements first. If your gun is not picky and eats anything, then poke around. Perform your own experiments if necessary. I know this may sound stupid to some, but I think how comfortable YOU feel with the ammo has as much effect as actual performance. if you feel more comfy with light and fast, then go that route, same with heavy and slow. The only way to be really sure about how a certain load will work is to shoot people, and there is not alot of volunteers for this. IF you gun shoots the best with 185's then use them, 230's, use them, getting the bullet on target is far more important than how it will work in the end.

I have heard just about every loony arguement for both sides, from hydrostatic shock, less time to target, smashes bone, rotational damage ,driving pockets of air, cuts adjacent veins an arteries, to explosive fragmentation. It is ALL crap.


My humble 2 cents.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 3:55:29 PM EDT
Yekimak +1. Charles..
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:37:56 PM EDT
I agree that recoil isn't a factor, but a lighter bullet does have lower muzzle flip. The recovery time is only a real factor in competition but it is noticeable. Even with full power loads the lighter bullet allows quicker follow-up shots due to less muzzle flip. With the milder loads I shoot in plate matches it is a real benefit.
And I agree that noone will say that a 185gr bullet didn't hurt. I think even a low power comp load with a 185gr or 200gr semi wadcutter will do the deed if necessary.
Reliable accurate ammo is the most important requirement. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
If you do carry anything other than ball or a hp bullet with a ball nose shape have your barrel throat and feed ramp polished ot ensure reliable feeding. I polished mine and it feeds truncated cone semi-wadcutters and hollow points as well as it does ball.
HTH,
Jim
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 9:24:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Carbine_Man:


What advantage do these lighter projectiles offer?



If you have ever shot 230gr out of a micro compact while shooting stuff other than paper then you know that their ballistics suck. Stick to the light rounds in this case. (3.5 inch barrel or smaller)


Most of the bullets bounced off bowling pins. UMC 230gr FMJ out of a Springfield Micro-compact.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 3:23:33 AM EDT
If I'm limited to ball ammo : 230gr. without question;

For HP I prefer 200gr +p, I believe it is the best balance of wt. and velocity
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