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Old 07-01-2011, 01:09 AM
A-Team A-Team is offline
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Default 45 acp... ball or hp?



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In the real world... how much difference does it really make using hp over ball when you are shooting 230 gr 45 acp? I know the 1911 was made to shoot ball... and by all acounts we had GIs through 4+ wars who got excellent results with ball ammo... and it is a good bit less expensive to stock up on than hp.

I've seen a number of gellatin tests. With 9mm or 40 S&W... I wouldn't even ask... but 45 ball seems to be just about as good a man stopper as 45 hp. Am I wrong on this? By some reviews I've read... some people who are 1911 fans seem to even prefer ball over hp.

No matter what... 45 acp makes a big hole whether you are using ball or hp... and 500 rounds of ball is only about $150 for nice 230 gr brass rounds.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:54 AM
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I've been drinking so I hope the links match up. I personally prefer a JHP or the Hydra-Shock for defense and the FMJ for long session target practice. I think the JHP is better for most situations as the hollow point will open as fluid tissue fills it and it will create a bigger wound cavaty and possibly fragment making additional smaller wound cavaties.

Heres some links from Federal with their ballistic charts. At the muzzle break they"re pretty close, but it all comes down to what happens when the bullet hits tissue. Other manufacturers will have differant ballistics. Some people just alternate filling the magazine with a JHP then an FMJ, etc...

230gr JHP
http://www.federalpremium.com/produc...un.aspx?id=119

230gr Hydra-Shok
http://www.federalpremium.com/produc...un.aspx?id=354

230gr FMJ
http://www.federalpremium.com/produc...gun.aspx?id=88

Forgot to add. When comparing effects of cartridges used in war you have to remember the use of an FMJ is to wound as many of the enmy as possible, not to immdiately kill. One wounded enemy needs 1-2 to carry him to cover and possibly give him aid. Thats 1 out of the fight and 1-2 more taking care of him out of the fight. That was the idea anyway, doesn't really aplly to current battle.
Old 07-01-2011, 06:55 AM
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I think it makes a huge difference.

You are correct in your assumption that the 1911 was designed to shoot FMJ but John Browning actually intended 200gr FMJ to be fired out of it.

As far as specifics on ballistics you may want to check this out:

http://www.ballistics101.com/45_acp.php

I'm pretty sure I remembered reading somewhere that the FBI considered 12" of gel penetration sufficient. Most JHP 230gr .45 ammo gets 12-14" of penetration, most FMJ hardball gets 16"+. The 12" requirement is to ensure that a bullet can get enough penetration even if it goes through an arm first or hits a bone. The reason for HP is because of the risk of over penetration.

For everyday personal defense then I use JHP but if it is shtf then ANYTHING will do just fine.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunrush View Post
Forgot to add. When comparing effects of cartridges used in war you have to remember the use of an FMJ is to wound as many of the enmy as possible, not to immdiately kill. One wounded enemy needs 1-2 to carry him to cover and possibly give him aid. Thats 1 out of the fight and 1-2 more taking care of him out of the fight. That was the idea anyway, doesn't really aplly to current battle.
No offense, but that's hogwash and just urban legend misinformation. FMJ was never designed to be 'less lethal' than any other round... its just a basic (the basic next to straight lead) bullet design that is cheap to produce, penetrates well, and doesn't lead a bore.... but I digress.

Something to keep in mind for using ball .45 in a self defense situation is over-penetration. It may stop the threat as fast as a hollow point, but you could easily send rounds through your target and into unintended targets behind it.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Team View Post
l... and by all acounts we had GIs through 4+ wars who got excellent results with ball ammo... .
Why does anyone assume that what we give our fighting men is the best of the best. The geneva convention prohibits hollow points.

It is a violation of the Hague Convention of 1899 - but so was bombing from the air.

It was previously banned in 1868 by the St. Petersburge Declaration.

Our Soldiers don't get the best equipment - many (all) times cost is a factor.

That makes two points for FMJ. Both bad points.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:14 AM
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I'm gonna go out on a limb here since it is .45 after all....In my humble opinion I respectfully believe that either would hurt really, really, really bad.

I reload and shoot both and frankly, c'mon it's .45; look how many years it's been a champ. I would buy the lesser expensive one myself and spend more time at the range. but either way you go, you still win. it's .45
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:46 AM
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i stocked up on Winchester white box 100 rd 230gr FMJ years ago.. IMHO it will work just fine to F#ck someone up who intends to harm you or yours..
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:54 AM
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FMJ is going to be just fine for a SHTF scenario. Just be mindful of the situation. Do you have the weapon in your home at night while your family is near? Or are you patrolling the woods outside your property? Think of it in terms of needs and situations. So ideally having both would be wise. Im stocked up on FMJ mostly on all my ammo.


-Nate
Old 07-01-2011, 08:13 AM
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#1 = have a gun
#2 = make sure gun functions
#3 - #99999999999999999999999 = small stuff

I'll assume you have #1 since you're asking the question. So find ammo that goes bang well more like boom in .45 every time, you'll then have #2 covered.

Beyond that we have small stuff. Try not to sweat the small stuff much. It is however some where between fun, interesting and fascinating to dive into the small stuff.

Real world I doubt there is a lot of difference.

You could always load ball, high zoot, ball, high zoot, ball, high zoot. But then again since you'll have the first round in the chamber maybe it ought to go high zoot, ball, high zoot, ball. This way you'll get at least two rounds. Then again maybe you would load high zoot, ball, ball, high zoot, high zoot. Now you can put two to the body and 1 to the head. Classic failure drill.
Old 07-01-2011, 08:31 AM
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I keep both. HP for home, FMJ for the range. HP at home so hopefuly it wont overpenatrate it I miss.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:32 AM
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With the increadible advances in ammunition performance, todays hollow points expand very reliably at the modest velocities the 45 ACP produces unlike the pre 90's era Hollow points did. For personal defense, I would very seriously consider loads using expanding bullets. If I faced a personal defense situation where penetration trumped tissue damage or ammunitions ability to reliably function in my gun were an issue, I would feel reasonably comfortable using ball ammunition. Most ammunition feeding issues can easily be solved with a little touch up and polishing of the feed ramp and the use of quality magazines. I havent found this to be much of an issue generally speaking on 1911's made in the last 10-15 years with most brands.

I carry a 1911 to work everyday I clock in. I also carry the same 1911 almost anytime I leave the house as well. Its loaded with Hydra Shock +P's. I have never had any issues with my ammunition feeding in my 1972 Series 70 1911 or my more recently manufactured Springfield 1911 using Wilson Combat Mags.

Are the Hydra Shocks any more effective of a fight stopper than Ball ammo? I dont know so I cant say first hand as while I have had to pull my gun several times over the last 30 years I have never had to actually follow through and shoot someone while in the military or as a civilian. This is what I do know...The Hydra Shocks have a very good track record for quickly stopping a hostile individual, not that the FMJ loads are all that much of a slouch in that department either. I do have several HP's shot into soft tissue in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP and one thing is very clear, a 45 ACP hollow point that has expanded has a Huge frontal area to it, especially compared to a 9mm of the same bullet design! That my friend cant be a bad thing unless your shooting at a barracaded suspect, thru a car door or trying to dispatch a charging bear where penetration may trump the desire for additional tissue damage.

While I understand the economics of purchasing ammo, I would still make a serious attempt at rat holing some expanding ammuntion to compliment the Ball ammo in my stash. Ball ammo is great for practicing, plinking and if neccessary, satisfactory for defense, it just wouldnt likely be my first choice for a defense load, thats all Im saying. Just yet one more reason to get into reloading. Its a lot cheaper and you have a lot of options out there for components and dont have to get raped financially by having to buy commercial loaded ammo.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunrush View Post
I've been drinking so I hope the links match up. I personally prefer a JHP or the Hydra-Shock for defense and the FMJ for long session target practice. I think the JHP is better for most situations as the hollow point will open as fluid tissue fills it and it will create a bigger wound cavaty and possibly fragment making additional smaller wound cavaties.

Heres some links from Federal with their ballistic charts. At the muzzle break they"re pretty close, but it all comes down to what happens when the bullet hits tissue. Other manufacturers will have differant ballistics. Some people just alternate filling the magazine with a JHP then an FMJ, etc...

230gr JHP
http://www.federalpremium.com/produc...un.aspx?id=119

230gr Hydra-Shok
http://www.federalpremium.com/produc...un.aspx?id=354

230gr FMJ
http://www.federalpremium.com/produc...gun.aspx?id=88

Forgot to add. When comparing effects of cartridges used in war you have to remember the use of an FMJ is to wound as many of the enmy as possible, not to immdiately kill. One wounded enemy needs 1-2 to carry him to cover and possibly give him aid. Thats 1 out of the fight and 1-2 more taking care of him out of the fight. That was the idea anyway, doesn't really aplly to current battle.

Keep in mind the human body tends to be rather effective at closing wounds. someone also already said its not "designed" for any special purpose..its just a standard cheaper round.

A FMJ is also a smooth surface, gently prying apart tissue (relatively speaking) leaving a much smaller cavity behind generally. Oh it will do the job. But the wound track left behind will be smaller than the round itself (for those who think in terms of "itll make this big of a hole! cuz thats how big the bullet is!". tissue tends to "slide" over the rim of the bullet and elasticity does a "pretty" good job of making sure the hole seals to a degree


Even conventional Hollow Points encounter this problem to a proportional degree. Which is why we see hollow point designs such as the Ranger talon, designed to cut tissue at the edge of the round rather than simply pushing it aside and allowing it to slide around the bullet.

Just an observation..and something to factor into your decision making.

I would be looking up and asking people from the medical related threads about some real wounding characteristics to help decide.





Also HP's serve another function in simplicity..

someone touched on the idea of "over penetration" with FMJ in soft targets. I would agree. And im sure we can all also agree, a bullet that leaves the target with energy still in it, is wasted energy.

The idea of a well designed HP load, is to reach vital depths, and dump all of its energy inside of the target. regardless of the bigger hole (that is incidental). The theory being, that .45 ball exiting your back side with a good couple hundered FPS in it could have put that energy to use in the original wound track...it would be nice if we could make that exiting bullet turn around and come back around for a last hoorah.

HP solves that by not letting it get away in the first place. While energy alone is not a measure of stopping power, HP ensures every last ounce of the bullets energy is used inside the target to cause damage.



But if you are a person who can get the hits. I believe the end result is minimal. A FMJ through an artery, or the heart, lung will bring death as surely as an HP would. Even if the FMJ exits the other side. I think at worst an HP gives you a margin of error for bad hits, and a greater likely hood of killing vital structures that would otherwise be grazed by a FMJ in the same spot..
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:35 AM
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I wasn't just refering to the .45 ACP. I agree that the FMJ is cheaper to manufacture and our military cartridges are plagued by the Laws of War. Never did I say the FMJ is less lethal, I was pointing out the fact that one of the guidelines for war is to wound as many enemy as possible. Also in combat you want the round to over penetrate so it may hit another enemy behind your intended target. A kill is always a great thing in combat, but wounding many so many more will render them aid is also good, becase you take them out of the fight. This is not ideal in our current batles. I also never said these wounded don't eventually die. For examle, a sucking chest wound won't kill you right away. I'm just basing what I wrote on what I learned in my 12 years in the US Army and my 4 deployments. I only did 12 years, because I was medically retired.

I also agree that either the FMJ or HP .45 ACP will do there job and the .45 ACP is a man stopper. I prefer hollow points for the reasons I listed above. The HP will do far more damage to a human than a FMJ. If the HP does expands like it should, then it creates a larger wound cavity. Like said above, some rounds are designed to cut a bigger wound channel compared to the wound channel of FMJ.

Last edited by nunrush; 07-01-2011 at 10:55 AM..
Old 07-01-2011, 11:07 AM
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Life-and-death scenarios are not something you take lightly and use the cheapest available ammo. The intent here is to halt, or stop an immediate threat. Hollowpoint bullets have a much greater potential to incapacitate a bad guy's assault. The larger frontal area of deformed hollowpoint bullets can crush more tissue to increase permanent cavity as well as displace more tissue to increase temporary cavity size through hydrostatic shock. Your ammo/bullet choice must reliably penetrate a minimum of approximately 10" to 12" inches of tissue in order to ensure disruption of the major organs and blood vessels in the torso from any angle, and through muscle and bone structures such as a raised arm.


Premium factory JHP ammo like Gold Dot, Golden Saber, HST, Ranger-T and DPX are your best self-defense options. Ammo like UMC, USA and American Eagle full-metal jacket is generally best suited for range use.


ps--Federal now sells HST which is WAY better than Hydra-Shok..
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:41 AM
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if you hit what your aiming at either will do
ball tends to punch a straight hole thought the target where hollow points expand and with that expansion take more flesh and bone with them

hollow points will definately cause more damage in a living taget which is what you want if you are going to use a weapon against someone you need to stop the actions of the aggressor as soon as possible.
Old 07-01-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Risky View Post
No offense, but that's hogwash and just urban legend misinformation. FMJ was never designed to be 'less lethal' than any other round... its just a basic (the basic next to straight lead) bullet design that is cheap to produce, penetrates well, and doesn't lead a bore.... but I digress.

Something to keep in mind for using ball .45 in a self defense situation is over-penetration. It may stop the threat as fast as a hollow point, but you could easily send rounds through your target and into unintended targets behind it.
FMJ is mandated by the Laws of War. Many of the rules we see today came out of the horror that millions experienced during WWI. The military does at least passively teach wounding, it makes sense.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgoodman44 View Post
I keep both. HP for home, FMJ for the range. HP at home so hopefuly it wont overpenatrate it I miss.
You mean HP so hopefully it won't over penetrate if you do hit your target. If you miss it will still go through about 3 walls instead of 4. If you're lucky enough to miss and catch a 2x4, most of the energy should be absorbed.

HP and JHP do have significantly reduced range after it's first contact. I think that makes them a much safer round.

Last edited by 9111315; 07-01-2011 at 04:47 PM.. Reason: SP
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:02 PM
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I don't see a real benefit to using ball in the .45 ACP. Not when we have high performance hollowpoints available that expand and still penetrate well.

I'm forever hearing people say a .45 is so big that it doesn't need to expand, or that it comes "pre expanded". My attitude is always "pre expanded what? .32 ACP?" If I shot a cartridge and it "only" expanded to .45, then I would consider that an expansion failure. Especially considering that you can have expansion and penetration both in the .45 ACP.

I've had great luck with Double Tap Ammo's 230 grain Gold Dot loading. They're getting higher velocities out of it at standard pressure than I can handload it too, even at +P pressures. And the Gold Dot expands well yet still penetrates deep. To me, this is a win/win load.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:28 PM
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If you put two of either round to "the chest", the bad guy's gonna know it (but probably not very long...). Both types have been proven to be effective on a number of tests. So, basically, your deciding factor is going to be cost vs overpenetration.
Old 07-01-2011, 05:40 PM
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Another though admittedly small point is that expensive HP ammo is often of higher quality.

I cycle out my old premium carry ammo from time to time and shoot off my old premium HP (Fed H-shock). I have never had a FTF, FTE or anything much less a dud - and that is with old ammo.

It also seems to shoot smaller patterns. But that might just be me.

My point is that there is often more to premium ammo than just the bullet.

As for the HP vs FMJ debate I guess I figure a FMJ (in 45 ACP) has earned the rep as a man stopper so a HP is no worse if it fails to expand and all the better if it does.

I know for certain I don't want to be shot with either!
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