185 vs. 230 gr.
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default 185 vs. 230 gr.

My SHTF zombie apocalypse gun is an XD. And I generally buy whatever .45 ACP is on sale.

I've never really paid too much attention to bullet grains, as I don't spend much time shooting for distance, since there aren't many 1000 meter ranges around me.

I've run 185 and 230 grain rounds through the XD, and notice no difference in accuracy, recoil, etc.

I know what the .45 is capable of, and more importantly, not capable of. But I know I'm missing something here.

What's the difference?

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Old 04-04-2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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O.K., 185 gr vs 230 gr. what? Semi wadcutter vs. Round nose, or Flat point, or jacketed hollow points?

Generally, the lighter 185gr. Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) is driven to higher muzzle velocity and expands quickly. The heavier bullet is usually at a lower velocity, may not open up a hollow point. But, the heavier bullet will penetrate more deeply.

That said, light hollow points may expand too fast, failing to reach vital organs. Close up, often good stopping power. The heavy bullet, unexpanded will get to bone and vital organs and through heavy clothing, while a light bullet may not.

For pure target work, the lighter bullet delivers less recoil for faster second shots.

For me, I always lean toward the heavier large caliber bullet. Like the old .45 Colt, it gets the job done.

Bob Wright

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Old 04-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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My experince tells me along with some very reputable firearms experts that for self defense purposes your bullet weight should depend on your barrel length.

230gr. for 5 in. barrels
200gr. for 4-41/2 in. barrels
185gr. for anything under 4 in.

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Old 04-05-2009, 12:01 AM   #4
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I run 230gr +P Lawman hollow points in my 1911's - of all barrel lengths.

910fps is moving fast enough, and 230grains are hitting hard enough, to put a serious attitude change into anyone.

JD

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Old 04-05-2009, 03:35 AM   #5
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I like 185gr Speer Gold dots for carry. They are a bit faster than the 230gr offerings. I like speed so I went with them. For plinking I like Rainer 200gr TC or RN bullets.

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Old 04-05-2009, 06:27 AM   #6
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BB, 4/5/09

As others have mentioned you may get a significant velocity drop in short barreled .45's with 230 grain ammo, limiting both expansion and penetration ( the velocity is what gives the bullet the ability to do work, as in penetrate and expand). I chronographed some standard velocity factory 230 grain FMJ's and while they ran in the 800-850 feet/second range with full length 5 inch barrels, the velocity dropped to 709 feet/second with a 3.5 inch barrel (Springfield Ultracompact). Thus if you want to keep up the ability to both penetrate and expand in short barreled pistols you need either a faster velocity (ie- +p loads) or a lighter bullet (ie-185 grains). I prefer the 185 grain Golden Sabers in my short barreled pistols. They work well. Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow

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Old 04-13-2009, 10:31 PM   #7
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I carry my .45s loaded with Winchester Ranger SXT 230 gr +P. Another outstanding load would be Gold Dot +P.

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Old 04-14-2009, 04:25 AM   #8
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I know there's no hard fast answer on this, but how much +P can I run through a new, in good condition pistol before it presents a possible hazard?

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Old 04-14-2009, 04:33 AM   #9
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Commercial loads are your best bet for compatibility. Check the pistol's manufacturer's recommendations and if you reload, stay within the guidelines for the powder you are using to be within the manufacturing standard for your firearm.

230 grain Speer JHP, custom hand loaded to +P in my Colt Government, always!

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Old 04-14-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
I run 230gr +P Lawman hollow points in my 1911's - of all barrel lengths.

910fps is moving fast enough, and 230grains are hitting hard enough, to put a serious attitude change into anyone.

JD
No argument there! I carry 230 grain +P also. I don't reach out and "touch" someone, I knock them on their ass. Even my little pocket pistol carries heavy grain +P .380's until I can grab my 45ACP.
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