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Old 01-12-2010, 08:16   #1
JCROWNII
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What is the BEST defensive load/grain for the .45 GAP?

Hello GT,

I have recently purchased a Glock 39 and I am wondering what is the best defensive loading I can use in the G39 (remember its a a sub-compact so it has a short barrel). I have heard that bullet expansion can be hindered due to such a big round coming out of such a short barrel so I might want to get a lower weight grain round (ie. the 185gr. or 200gr.) so that bullet expansion can be better because they have higher FPS.

Here are my options:

.45 GAP 230gr/850 fps
.45 GAP 200gr/970 fps
.45 GAP Reduced Recoil 185gr/1090 fps (Why do they call this reduced recoil?)

Which would be the best and why as far as personal protection and stopping power?

Thanks
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:29   #2
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I'll be interested to see what other more knowledgeable folks have to say about this, but for my 38's I carry 200gr Gold Dots most of the time. I have considered HST 230's and Golden Sabre 230's also and am going to test them when the Global Warming kicks in and my admittedly wimpy butt can stand being outside for any appreciable time span.
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Old 01-12-2010, 13:05   #3
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I've been carrying HST's in 9mm and .40 for a couple of years and had great results with them. So I'm continuing to do so in my 39 with the 230grainers until I see some testing done with them and the 200grain gold dots. So Officer's Match:please hurry up, some of us really want to see some hard data!
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Old 01-12-2010, 13:28   #4
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I guess alot of folks are into bullet tests and such and that's fine. My perspective - nothing matters if you don't hit the target in a vital area. So the best ammo is the one that you and the gun shoot best.

dave - what's good for me may not work for you
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Old 01-12-2010, 14:03   #5
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Originally Posted by miatank View Post
I guess alot of folks are into bullet tests and such and that's fine. My perspective - nothing matters if you don't hit the target in a vital area. So the best ammo is the one that you and the gun shoot best.

dave - what's good for me may not work for you

The OP has a good point, JHP's shooting out of short barrel subcompacts do expand differently, I'd really like to see some hard evidence too.
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Old 01-12-2010, 14:29   #6
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The OP has a good point, JHP's shooting out of short barrel subcompacts do expand differently, I'd really like to see some hard evidence too.
That's true. Speer and maybe others make special 'short barrel' bullets. I load their 110gr version in my LCR - 2in snubby. I have not run the load thru the chrony yet - but will. Remember that the 39 has a 3.5in barrel - a snubby is about 2in and there is the cylinder to barrel gap.
I did shoot Speer factory 200gr Gold Dot loads in a 38 and 39 and posted the chrony numbers. Don't have them in front of me right now. But IIRC the 38 gave about 950 fps and the 39 925 fps. Typical velocitys for 45. Not a big difference between the pistols and enuf speed to allow the bullet to expand.

dave - when we get a 37 we'll check that one too
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Old 01-12-2010, 16:22   #7
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Let me ask you....Would you even want to be shot with a little .22lr round? I didn't think so...

Realistically, getting shot with any .45gap round is going to ruin someone's day.
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Old 01-12-2010, 16:30   #8
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People who know like the 200 grain.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:30   #9
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i'm not an expert (not even close) but all of my research have found that the le departments carry the 200 grain (gold dots). i have also found that the gap (including the 39) handle the 230 grain just fine. so i guess it's a matter of personal preference. for me i carry both the 200 gold dots and the 230 hst. both are very accurate for me. i've never tried the 185gr.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:14   #10
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The one you practice with, can handle and keep on target...this changes from person to person.
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Old 01-13-2010, 16:09   #11
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So the recoil will be noticeably different between the 230gr and 200gr?

So im guessing the 185gr will be lower recoil? I saw a box of .45 GAP 185gr federal hydra-shock's and the box said "reduced recoil"

I guess im gonna try the 200gr and the 185gr and which ever I do with better I will carry. I dont think I will go with 230gr though. Unless I see a big benefit. I will carry 230gr in a G38 or G37 but not a G39. At least not yet, I have to see.

BTW, where do you guys buy your defensive rounds? Online? I have searched for Federal HST's in .45 GAP but cant find where to buy them.
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Old 01-15-2010, 18:22   #12
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have anyone tried double tap ammo? i understand that double tap reaches 45 acp +p velocities? haven't heard any reports on how well they perform. any info?
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Old 05-31-2011, 13:07   #13
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Lack of velocity due to shorter tubes does not hinder the effectiveness of larger calibers as much as it does smaller rounds. The projectiles gain most of their incapacitating ability from having a larger diameter and heavier weight. Cheers
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Old 05-31-2011, 14:53   #14
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I'm carrying 230gr Winchester Bonded Ranger T's.
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Old 05-31-2011, 14:56   #15
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I'm carrying 230gr Winchester Bonded Ranger T's.
Me too! I also have some Speer Gold Dot 185gr but I prefer slow and heavy to light and fast when it comes to pistol ammo.
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Old 05-31-2011, 16:43   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCROWNII View Post
So the recoil will be noticeably different between the 230gr and 200gr?

So im guessing the 185gr will be lower recoil? I saw a box of .45 GAP 185gr federal hydra-shock's and the box said "reduced recoil"

I guess im gonna try the 200gr and the 185gr and which ever I do with better I will carry. I dont think I will go with 230gr though. Unless I see a big benefit. I will carry 230gr in a G38 or G37 but not a G39. At least not yet, I have to see.

BTW, where do you guys buy your defensive rounds? Online? I have searched for Federal HST's in .45 GAP but cant find where to buy them.
Same place I buy my practice ammo....ammotogo
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Old 05-31-2011, 19:43   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCROWNII View Post
So the recoil will be noticeably different between the 230gr and 200gr?

So im guessing the 185gr will be lower recoil? I saw a box of .45 GAP 185gr federal hydra-shock's and the box said "reduced recoil"

I guess im gonna try the 200gr and the 185gr and which ever I do with better I will carry. I dont think I will go with 230gr though. Unless I see a big benefit. I will carry 230gr in a G38 or G37 but not a G39. At least not yet, I have to see.

BTW, where do you guys buy your defensive rounds? Online? I have searched for Federal HST's in .45 GAP but cant find where to buy them.
You might want to look here:

http://www.ammoengine.com/find/ammo/.45_GAP
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:21   #18
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Can't say it's the best,

+1 for Speer Gold Dot .200gr. Wether it's me or the gun, .200gr (both HP & FMJ) is perferred over the .230 as shown on my targets. Need to give .185gr a try.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:29   #19
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Lack of velocity due to shorter tubes does not hinder the effectiveness of larger calibers as much as it does smaller rounds. The projectiles gain most of their incapacitating ability from having a larger diameter and heavier weight. Cheers
True to some extent, but a lot of heavy bullets that already move slow like .45 ACP tend to lose velocity rapidly out of a short barrel. A .45 ACP load that goes 900 fps from a 5" may only go 750 from a 3".

Of course, I heard that the .45 GAP does better from short barrels compared to the .45 ACP.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:30   #20
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200 Grain Gold Dots seem to have a very good reputation. Several Police agencies use this ammo.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:59   #21
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I like my 45 ACP's to be 230 grain. Thus my first choice is a HP in the 230 grain range.

Thus I have Winchester Ranger 230 grain bonded and the older non bonded as a main round. Both the 38 and 39 fire them just fine.

I also have a big supply of the Speer GD 200 grain and would feel fine with this round too. Both guns shoot them as well.

I have had 230 grain hydra shok in 45 gap in the past when it was the only 230 I could find. (BTW this round has the most felt ooomph! of any 230 I have tried)

Would like to try some HST 230 grain but its been unavailable for a long long time.

I do not like my 45ACP's to be under 200 grain and thus I carry that over in my GAP thinking too, while I have a box or two of Corbon's DPX and Power Ball, and have tried the 185 Speer, I don't tend to use these for SD.

I have found the Ranger 230's to shoot smoother than the Speer 200's in both the 38 and 39. Not enough that it would make a difference for SD but its noticable.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:19   #22
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In observing the accumulated knowledge both online and in publications, Speer GD's in 200 gr. seem to be the preferred round in 45GAP (and/or 45ACP?). Of course, the great thing about 45's is that, probably any decent JHP from a reliable source will complete the job. Cheers
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:35   #23
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Any info on Federal HST in 230grain or 200grain? (not sure if that is made). I have generally found HST to be very consistent in any caliber and any weight.
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Old 06-02-2011, 13:10   #24
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Any info on Federal HST in 230grain or 200grain? (not sure if that is made). I have generally found HST to be very consistent in any caliber and any weight.
I've never found a source for purchasing them. I'm not sure they are even made any more.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:27   #25
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The Best bullet and grain wt is the one that hits center of mass of your target.

Bullet dynamics are very finicky, why does a guy shot with three 45 ACP Hydra Shoc's walk away and a guy with 2 .380's drop like a stone? Who knows.

The one predictor that holds true is the use of a bonded bullet to ensure that the proper amount of energy is transferred to the tissue in a solid mass and not 4-5 pieces. A solid mass makes for a larger wound channel which allows you to bleed out faster. It also has more energy and scientifically should penetrate deeper. You bleed to death from Pistol wounds (Minus a head shot or direct heart shot) vs the shock effect of a rifle shot.

That said, the bigger and faster the bullet that will stay intact until it comes to rest inside of your threat is best. Once you add your shooting ability, you may need to dial the energy back a bit. A bonded bullet, regardless of the type has proven historically to maintain a higher bullet weight.

I carry Speer GD's in 230 grn in my G 38 and G 39
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