Grain preference in .45acp?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by BeyondTheBox, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    So I buy a couple boxes of ammo for each caliber of gun I own (.380, 9mm, .45) every payday, to stock up for shooting. And still being new enough to handguns I just ask for what I know... Which is a box of FMJ for each. Something I just noticed is that I have two different types for my .45, the difference being weight. I have a few boxes of what seems to be the standard (from online research) 230gr and one box of 185gr.

    Is there any reason I shouldn't shoot the 185s? I'll be shooting them from a Glock 30 and Hi-Point JHP.

    I assume it obvious that I probably shouldn't mix and match them in a single load/mag, but should I consider the 185 too inferior and/or possibly harmful for either pistol?

    All boxes I buy are Remington UMC. They seem to be cheap enough for purchase, but not so much so that I fear them being "dirty" or harmful to my firearms.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    I only shoot 230 grain in my 45s. 185 wont hurt your gun
     

  3. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    I figured not, but I know some manufacturers have prefered ammo types, not listed anywhere officially, but found by avid shooters through much trial and error. This is why I posed the question. I'm still trying to learn more about all this, but it's much more involved than I had anticipated.
     
  4. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

    4,828
    0
    0
    Different grains won't hurt anything. Are you sure the 185gr is FMJ? JHP rounds are typically loaded at that weight.

    Regarding mixing, unless your particular gun is picky about what it eats there is no reason that it cannot be done. As a matter of fact some will load a staggered assortment of FMJ and JHP rounds. If the initial double tap with hollow points doesn't cancel the threat a 230gr FMJ to the cranium seals the deal. Also, clogging issues with heavy clothing or some sort of barrier may render a hollow point less effective than a solid round, it's easier to squeeze off an extra shot or two than it is to reload a fresh mag.
     
  5. mes227

    mes227 New Member

    156
    0
    0
    For range practice I tend to buy what's cheap, stocking up on sales (paying attention to what the pistols like; the revolvers will eat anything). I don't like most of the Russian ammo and rarely buy that (never for the pistols). For self defense i pay a lot more attention to the ctg - going to the extent of looking at ballistic gel test reports and so forth. For a pistol I like to run a couple hundred rounds of my preferred SD loads through it to make sure they feed and eject properly, and after that I tend to stick to one or two specific loads for each pistol (generally choosing between Federal HS, Speer Gold Dot, Hornady and Golden Saber).
     
  6. mes227

    mes227 New Member

    156
    0
    0
    By the way, the lighter bullets tend to produce less felt recoil, and thus for range work there's an advantage in them. That said, some of your range time should be with ctgs that closely relate to you other intended use of the guns: SD, hunting, etc.
     
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    7
    1
    0
    230gr fmj are the most common, but i shoot the 185gr in my 1911. some of the 1911's don't like the 185gr jhp because of the feed throat, just some. some people polish them so they will feed.
     
  8. Wiseman3

    Wiseman3 New Member

    1,206
    0
    0
    [/QUOTE]Is there any reason I shouldn't shoot the 185s? I'll be shooting them from a Glock 30 and Hi-Point JHP.

    I assume it obvious that I probably shouldn't mix and match them in a single load/mag, but should I consider the 185 too inferior and/or possibly harmful for either pistol?

    All boxes I buy are Remington UMC. They seem to be cheap enough for purchase, but not so much so that I fear them being "dirty" or harmful to my firearms.

    Thanks![/QUOTE]

    Grain is the weight of the projectile part of the round. Meaning that a 230 grain bullet is 45 grains heavier than 185 grain. This can effect the feel of shooting the rounds. Grain mainly comes in to play when selecting your personal defense round and design. You should be able, without problem, stagger the rounds in a magazine to see the effects the different rounds feel. The part of ammo buying you need to be careful with is buying plus (+) or plus plus(++) rounds. This means that they've manufactured it with more powder than a standard round and may cause issues with your gun. Your safety manual should be able to tell you if you can shoot these rounds through your firearm.
     
  9. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

    2,630
    0
    0
    Good info and insights. Well I'll shoot 'em all and see if I feel any difference between or find any preferences.
     
  10. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

    2,706
    0
    0
    I shoot 230gr Win & Fed at the range. I carry 165gr +p Pow'r Ball, followed by 230gr Ranger Bonded.

    But my XDm seems to digest everything marked 45auto.
     
  11. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

    1,757
    0
    0
    There's nothing wrong with the 185gr ammunition. Since I'm more of a traditionalist I like to shoot the 230gr ammunition, but that's just my personal preference. One thing to keep in mind is when you put a mixture of different grain bullets in the magazine and fire them you could get a variation on point of impact, recoil, and overal fell.
     
  12. Junior966

    Junior966 New Member

    91
    0
    0
    230gr ball ammo is all you need...In a good quality brand...I like Federal Match it's extremely accurate and as far as stopping power it's like getting hit in the chest with a sledge hammer...
     
  13. DustyDawg48

    DustyDawg48 New Member

    69
    0
    0
    Just to confuse matters, I reload my own ammo and have switched to 200 grain jacketed flat nose bullets and have been incredibly pleased with the results. Most ammo is loaded to produce a certain 'power factor' and a heavier bullet will generally be shot using slightly less powder to produce roughly the same 'factor' as a lighter bullet shot with slightly more powder. In some of the shooting competitions you have to make 'power' or have a certain range that your ammo has to fall into. For instance, in IDPA a person shooting in their CDP division which only allows .45 cal pistols, you have to have a power factor of 165,000. You take the weight of the bullet and multiply it by the velocity of the round when shot and that gives you your 'power factor'. A 200 grain bullet traveling at 825 fps gives you the 165,000 power that you need. Factory will probably be loaded to roughly a similar effect and a lighter bullet shot quickly will give you a different feel than a heavier bullet traveling slower.

    The other factor is also the shape of the bullet. a 230 grain round nose bullet is the norm and every .45 regardless of age and style should feed it 100% of the time. The 200 grains and 185 grain hollow points are a different shape and some guns, like a 1911, may not feed them reliably until the feed ramp has been worked a bit or broken in. I shoot the 200 grains since they are the exact same shape as a 185 grain hollowpoint round so I know that no matter what round I use it will feed the other reliably. With the pieces that you have it will really only come down to preference on either the feel of the recoil or the price of the ammo.
     
  14. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

    2,294
    0
    0
    I shoot 185gr cast semi-wadcutter and 230gr cast round nose. Just depends on whether I'm looking for accuracy or looking for plinking.
     
  15. Junior966

    Junior966 New Member

    91
    0
    0
    Just got back from range with my Sig 220...Tried some Remington 230gr fmj ball at 25yrds...Not as tight a group I get with Federal Match but was $12 a box cheaper and I can live with the results..
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Gonzilla

    Gonzilla New Member

    2,056
    0
    0
    I'm a fan of 200 SWC and 230 FMJ. Never tried 185 fodder but I would like to. Power factor is only an issue if you want to compete. Otherwise, whatever shoots the smallest groups rules.

    Loading your own is a distinct advantage but if cost is not an issue, there are plenty of people who will do it for you.
     
  17. Junior966

    Junior966 New Member

    91
    0
    0
    I prefer swc's for the range just cause they make pretty holes but my Sig doesn't like to feed them...I'm giving some thought to having the feed ramp polished...
     
  18. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

    2,007
    1
    0
    Whenever I buy ammo for my .44 or .45 I get the heaviest bullet available.

    I used to reload, but find that too tedious now, after burning out on it.

    With these 2 guns, the whole reason for having the gun is knock-down power.

    So you might as well get the heaviest bullet that you can handle.
     
  19. MrWray

    MrWray New Member

    6,424
    0
    0
    After testing alot of ammo with my 1911, i like the 230g the best
     
  20. rjgnwdc

    rjgnwdc New Member Supporter

    557
    1
    0
    They all work well

    I shoot 230gr in all my .45's my 1911's shoot 230 fmj ball at the range and my Beretta PX4 Storm shoot anything I feed it, but once again for the range its 230 ball, now for home defense all .45's have 1 mag loaded with Hornady's 45 Auto+P 230 gr HP XTP. My .44mag I pretty much do the samething only it's a 240gr fmj and I have some super hand loads for HD:eek: