I sometimes think that some folks might over-think this sort of thing ...
You just can't predict what a particular bullet is going to do in any given target medium ... or have any control over how that
particular bullet may have been manufactured (cutting tool sharpness, jacketing/plating, nose cavity formation, etc).
Here's a couple of previous generation 230gr T-Series loads, standard and +P, fired from a 3 1/4" barrel into a gel block covered by 4 layers of denim (standard Winchester field ballistic workshop).
The standard pressure round did 802fps/13"/.76"
The +P round did 839fps/12"/.77"
Care to guess which one is which? Does it matter?
Then we fired the same loads from a 4 1/4" Commander.
The standard pressure round did 846fps/14"/.79"
The +P round did 901fps/11.5"/.77"
The jacket petals on the standard pressure round didn't open and fold over all the way on one side, but it still went 14" and the Winchester folks averaged the measurements at .79" expansion.
Now, that was with the previous version loads. The newest ones have been revised and I'm told the jacket thickness has been changed to allow for some different expansion characteristics. I haven't had the chance to see any testing in person, yet. Their LE catalog displays it. http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollec...entCatalog.pdf
Personally, I like to use the more modern hollowpoint bullets which the manufacturers have designed to perform well within a wider velocity window. Why not? They realize, after all, that their LE/Gov customers are likely to use shorter barreled guns for both plainclothes and off-duty use. The idea of the "short barreled" loads has apparently been catching on in recent years. Look at the way Speer has developed a separate product line for the concept.
I have a decent supply of the the standard and +P T-series .45 230gr loads, the Remington Golden Sabre (non-bonded) 230gr loads and even some Speer Gold Dot 230gr loads for my various .45 pistols. I use the same loads in all of my .45's, which range in barrel length from 3 1/4", 3 1/2", 3 3/4, 4 1/4", 4 1/2" to 5". I imagine I'll be receiving some of the newest standard pressure T-Series loads at some point within the next several months (since I still help out as an instructor and armorer at my former agency).
I'd be perfectly content to use either the Speer GD or even the Federal HST rounds if that's what was being issued, though. One or another of the more modern loads is fine for my needs.
I personally don't care for the +P loads, especially when used in the smaller .45's. The small increase in velocity doesn't seem justified by the increased felt recoil and slide velocities. Small .45's are seemingly often less tolerant of shooter and ammunition issues, anyway, so why risk adding to it in the way of increased slide velocities and increased felt recoil which might affect the shooter's grip technique?
There's also the consideration that some manufacturers of small .45's might not recommend the use of +P loads in their guns. I'd listen to them.
Hollowpoint versus ball?
Well, while ball does offer a nose/feeding profile and overall length which might lend itself to better feeding in some guns (and don't forget the magazines), it does lack the potential for expansion (although maybe not deformation in some conditions) and the potential cutting effect that might be found with hollowpoints. Cutting (nose cavity edge/jacket) versus deflection (rounded nose) of vital structures, tissues & organs? Dunno. Can't pretend to predict. Sometimes I wonder why the same folks who espouse the less than 2.5mm difference between 9mm & .45 ball rounds don't espouse the potential advantages of cutting/tearing by folded jacket and/or lead edges. Not my concern, though.
If the better designed modern hollowpoints didn't offer any better potential wounding effect than ball, we probably wouldn't be seeing the big LE/Gov agencies investing the time and effort to get various balances of penetration and expansion out of the hollowpoint ammunition used in their .45's. That whole 'any slight advantage' thing.
There's also the potential concern for perforations of the intended target (also called over-penetrations) with ball loads. Yes, misses are just as much of a concern. I can think of a shooting where one of the favored LE .45 loads was used and there were 3 misses and 3 perforations of the attacker. Good luck trying to predict what can happen.
Bottom line? Right now my .45's of various barrel lengths are all loaded with the standard pressure Rem 230gr GS, because that's what was closest at hand when I was loading them. I suppose I could have reached farther for the T-Series boxes, but the GS loads don't cause me to lose sleep.
I'm more concerned about how they actually feed & function in my
guns, how well I maintain my guns and how well I maintain my skills ...
I'm not an expert and can't recommend anything.
Just my thoughts.