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Can somebody please explain the difference between 230 gr, 200 gr, and 185 gr .45 ammo? What is +P? I usually buy 230 gr ammo for my Colt .45 M1991 A1. I'm looking for deals for buying quantity. Is it advisable to buy higher end loads for self/home protection?

Is my handgun capable of firing +P rounds? How about .45 GAP?
 

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Can somebody please explain the difference between 230 gr, 200 gr, and 185 gr .45 ammo? What is +P? I usually buy 230 gr ammo for my Colt .45 M1991 A1. I'm looking for deals for buying quantity. Is it advisable to buy higher end loads for self/home protection?

Is my handgun capable of firing +P rounds? How about .45 GAP?
230gr - the bullet weighs 230 grains
200gr - the bullet weighs 200 grains
185gr - the bullet weighs 185 grains

+P is loaded a little hotter load, meaning more powder in the round.
 

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Sorry my question wasn't clear. How do the different weights impact ballistics?

Can you shoot a +P from any weapon? If not, how would you know?
 

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Typically the heavier bullets have lower velocities and therefore spend slightly more time in the barrel before exiting. Whereas the pistol starts to recoil while the bullet is still in the barrel the muzzle will point slightly higher when the bullet exits. At short/combat distances this means the bullet will impact the target slightly higher with heavy bullets than with light bullets. At longer distances the difference in velocity will mean the heavier/slower bullets impact lower. (i.e. if you're bullets are hitting a little bit low on your fixed sights pistol you can move the bullet's impact higher by using a heavier bullet weight and vice verse)

Regarding terminal ballistics. A heavier bullet will penetrate deeper than a same caliber but lighter one (momentum.)

The other difference is in the felt recoil. Typically a heavier bullet has a heavier felt recoil.

+P as kev said is more powder than a standard load giving faster velocity and heavier recoil. These days in .38spl & 9mm "+P" seems to be the most common in defensive loads. With 9mm you'll also see +P+ which is loaded even hotter. The idea is that with the faster velocity you'll get better expansion of your hollow point projectiles.


Allan
 

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Is my handgun capable of firing +P rounds?

The answer is no not all handguns allow you to safely shoot those type of rounds its always best to check with the company that makes the weapon or a good gunsmith can most likely tell ya.
 

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Inglourious Basterd
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I'd like to add a few things; 1.(+p means the cartridge is loaded at a higher pressure) Most newer firearms are rated to handle +p ammo( your manual should specify) ,but +p should NOT be used on a regular basis as it causes added stress to the firearm. Use +p for defense and just a few times at the range to get a feel for it's added recoil,compared to standard loads.

2.lighter bullets will fly faster at a flatter trajectory,where heavier bullets will fly slower and have more of an arc to their trajectory. Which bullet weight is more effective is pure speculation and differs in each situation.

3.GAP ammo stands for Glock auto pistol and can not be used in an ACP (Colt auto pistol )firearm.

4. Any .45 hollow point round should drop a man sized target ,so experiment at the range with various bullet weights to see which round that you shoot the most accurate with at 25yrd and stick with that round from that point on.
 

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just my 2 cents worth/opinion but for the $ money.. 230gr full metal jacket winchester (white box) ammo would allow you to stock up (as i did) buying 100 rd boxes at wal-mart for 29.88 a box! full metal jacket at CLOSE range and i'm sure most people would agree that around 25-50 feet you will get VERY good kill results with more than 1 round fired center mass..:thumb:
 

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The heavier bullets will be slower and likely to penetrate deeper when using soft points and hollow points as these rounds wont open up as quickly or expand quiet as violently like the lighter weight offerings will more times than not. With bullet technology being where its at today thouggh many of the 230 gr offerings will open up well and provide deep penetration (12" plus) which many LEO agencys require. For example my department allows only for 230 gr Hydra-Shock and Gold Dot, I believe is the other load.

Most modern quality manufactured 1911's that do not have a alloy frame can easily digest a pretty fair diet of +P ammo without ill efects and undue stress to the frame. It is hard on the gun and shouldnt be used on a reguilar basis. Going a couple of pounds heavier on the recoil spring will lessen the stress though. This however may make using lighter standard loads less reliable when it comes to cycling the slide. Guns that have the alloy frames will be subject to stress cracks in the frame if you shoot more than an occasional clip of +P's through them.
 

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You can fire +P in a 1991 no problem but it will accelerate wear and tear.
+P and hollow points are OK but with a .45 auto you really don't need it.
In fact a stock 1911 or 1991 my have all manner of feed problems with them.
I'd just stick with stocking up on 230 grain jacketed bullets and buy a box or two of Speer gold dots or similar for home defense(be sure to get about 200 rounds to shoot and familiarize yourself and verify reliability in your pistol.) and not worry about all the fancy stuff.
 

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look onto glazer safety slugs for your .45

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaser_Safety_Slug
I did, Even bought a couple 6-packs at $3/round...

I decided against them for 2 reasons. First although the shallow wound is horrific, it is a "shallow" wound and unlikely to reach the vital organs nor will it take out the skeletal structure that allows the perp to continue the fight. Will the guy die? Most likely he'll bleed out, but not in time to save your butt.

Second is that, at least with a semi-auto, you want to put at least 200 rounds of your carry ammunition thru your gun to validate reliable function. I can't afford to spend $600 on Magsafe or Glaser ammo to use as range fodder. What happens if 150 rounds into the test you have a failure? Do you start over to see if it was a fluke? I don't have that kind of money...

If you like the Glasers or have overpenetration issues, may I suggest you load the chamber with the Glaser and the magazine with 230gr hollowpoints...

Allan
 

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"I decided against them (Safety Slugs) for 2 reasons. First although the shallow wound is horrific, it is a "shallow" wound and unlikely to reach the vital organs nor will it take out the skeletal structure that allows the perp to continue the fight. Will the guy die? Most likely he'll bleed out, but not in time to save your butt."

I disagree with this. I've tested one of these rounds (MagSafe Defender in .45 ACP) and know they will penetrate well enough to impact vital organs. The Magsafe delivers 660 lbs of energy at 1,660 fps compared to 518 lbs at 1080 fps. Somewhere around 30% increase in energy? The whole purpose of these rounds is to prevent overpenetration. A nice side effect is that they do create a huge permanent wound cavity. The energy experienced by the target is much more significant than with a hollowpoint. The attacker's attention will most likely become diverted by the huge impact and the copious amount of bodily damage he's just incurred. Stopping power with these rounds is HUGE.

"Second is that, at least with a semi-auto, you want to put at least 200 rounds of your carry ammunition thru your gun to validate reliable function. I can't afford to spend $600 on Magsafe or Glaser ammo to use as range fodder. What happens if 150 rounds into the test you have a failure? Do you start over to see if it was a fluke? I don't have that kind of money..."

Good point, I don't have enough money to run a couple of hundred rounds either, but seeing how alot of these rounds are typically a round nosed design, their reliability in feeding can be considered similar to a ball round. The MagSafe are a hollowpoint design but feed perfectly through my 1911.

"If you like the Glasers or have overpenetration issues, may I suggest you load the chamber with the Glaser and the magazine with 230gr hollowpoints..."

I like this idea and use it myself sometimes, seeing how the first round fired is likely to be fired at a target that is in view and not behind cover, yet the second and beyond just might have to go through something. JMO.
 

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I have a 1911 WWII Serial Number and I have been firing 230 gr. .45 ACP from Blazer Brass. I haven't had any problems. Just want to make sure I'm not putting to much pressure on it.
 

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...I disagree with this. I've tested one of these rounds (MagSafe Defender in .45 ACP) and know they will penetrate well enough to impact vital organs...
Was your test only soft tissue? Were you shooting into water jugs? wet newspaper? ballistic gelatin? A roast beef?

Are you depending on your magic bullet slipping between ribs if a front-on shot? Will your MagSafe penetrate thru a rib or the solar plexis? How about an upper arm and then a rib? For me there are too many "what if's" to trust such expensive ammo to save my bacon WTSHTF.

I'm loaded with 230gr HP all the way. My Glasers and MagSafes (unfortunately I bought both before I thought this thru) simply take up a little space in my safe... Maybe I'll find someone like you who believes in them to buy them from me down the road.

Allan
 

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You have an excellent handgun in the 1991A1. Atlanta Arms often has the better deals on ammuntion.

I would seriously consider a Dillon Square Deal progressive reloader. Get it in 45 ACP and you can reload for a little less than 1/2 of what factory ammo costs. SHTF and petty legalities won't matter what what brand your ammo is. I reload 200 grain Lead Semi-Wadcutters for $150 per 1000 rds right now.
 

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Was your test only soft tissue? Were you shooting into water jugs? wet newspaper? ballistic gelatin? A roast beef?

Are you depending on your magic bullet slipping between ribs if a front-on shot? Will your MagSafe penetrate thru a rib or the solar plexis? How about an upper arm and then a rib? For me there are too many "what if's" to trust such expensive ammo to save my bacon WTSHTF.

I'm loaded with 230gr HP all the way. My Glasers and MagSafes (unfortunately I bought both before I thought this thru) simply take up a little space in my safe... Maybe I'll find someone like you who believes in them to buy them from me down the road.

Allan
First off, Allan, dont be such a hater. :)

My tests were done on 1 hog, a 55 gallon drum, and 3 layers of drywall. Not the most high tech tests but enough for me to conlude the rounds effectiveness.

The hog I shot did have a dozen, or so, pellets in its heart and a max pentration of about 5 inches and the round did break one of the hogs ribs. The 55 gallon drum had penetration through the first side, with more of a ripping effect to the steel than a hole punching effect, but not through the other side, only a smattering of dents where the individual pellets hit. The drywall's first layer was penetrated and the second had only around a dozen pellets sticking into it and a bunch that bounced off. None penetrated through the second layer.

It seems you are going off of one guys opinion and have done no testing for yourself. Everybody, depending on their methods will all have varying results and all we can do is do the best we can at making our own decisions.

One thing I have an issue with concerning that link is the depth of penetration required to hit the human heart. While 8 inches into the human chest will indeed take you into the the heart, it will take you into the middle of the heart and possibly the backside depending on the individual. It is not necessary to penetrate a full 8 inches to hit and affect the heart otherwise you would never hear of a 5 inch knife being able to kill someone by stabbing them in the heart. What Im saying here is 8 inches is a guideline. Reality is closer to 4 to 5 inches, in my experience.

Also, dont assume that because I like these rounds, I believe they are the end all or THE round for EVERY possible scenario. They are intended to perform in a very specific manner and they do that well.

I carry Gold Dots in every mag but one, which has Magsafes in it. That mag stays in my nightstand because of the cost and the lack of penetration these rounds offer. I might need to shoot through a car door or other obstacle on the street and frangibles or prefragmented rounds wont do that and hollow points can be questionable in that capacity as well. The Magsafes, and the like, would be my LAST choice of rounds for street carry, just so Im clear.

I will, however, take those Glasers and Magsafes off your hands at a severely discounted rate, of course. :)

To address the question about what guns you can shoot +P ammo through, Glock specifically warns about shooting +P ammo out of them due to the chambers not being fully supported chambers. In guns like these you run a risk of cases rupturing and causing damage and harm to the operator and the gun so if you intend on using +P ammo, dont get a Glock. For all other ammos, 3rd gen Glocks are great guns. I am not a Glock hater by any means.
 

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First off, Allan, dont be such a hater. :)
I don't "hate" them per se. I think they are an over-rated specialty round whose niche in the scheme of things is very limited, that niche being where over-penetrating walls etc is the over-riding factor (i.e. sky marshals and the like.)
My tests were done on 1 hog, a 55 gallon drum, and 3 layers of drywall. Not the most high tech tests but enough for me to conlude the rounds effectiveness.

The hog I shot did have a dozen, or so, pellets in its heart and a max pentration of about 5 inches and the round did break one of the hogs ribs. ...
I must say I'm impressed. I'm not surprised by the 5" penetration, but I am impressed that it broke a rib in the process.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on whether or not the MagSafe/Glaser ammo is the right way to go. That's why this is such a great country. We all get to make our own choice...

And isn't it great that we have a forum such as this to make our case so others may make their own choice based on the arguments we've presented.

Allan
 
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