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Old 02-05-2012, 15:30   #1
Fighting Irish
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Opinions on .45 ACP 230 grain vs. 185 grain + p

Has any one tested or had any experience w/ the .45 185 grain + p self defense ammo. I just picked up my Gen 4 21 and bought the standard 230 grain jacketed hollow points. Just curious about the performance differences between the two rounds.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:35   #2
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Define "performance".

Barrier penetration? Feeding reliability? % of one shot incapacitation?

Need more info.
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Old 02-05-2012, 17:02   #3
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Stick with 230. Recoil with a 185gr +P has to be harsher.

At 185gr you may as well just get a .40 and have a better sectional density and higher capacity.

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Old 02-05-2012, 17:23   #4
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If you went Federal HS or HST, or GD or GS 230, you would be good to go. There is only one outstanding 185 +p or just p and that would be the GS.

http://www.handloads.org/misc/stoppi...=18&Weight=All
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Old 02-05-2012, 22:15   #5
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Yeah, not a big fan of +P in the 45 in any flavor. The std vel 185gr RGS makes an honest 950fps in my little OM & 990fps in my 1911PD, recoil is very manageable.
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Old 02-05-2012, 22:15   #6
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It may depend on your ammo needs. I prefer the deeper penetration of the 230 grain loads myself. One of my favorites is the Hornady 230 grain XTP or TAP +P.
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Old 02-05-2012, 23:34   #7
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I've heard mixed results with the 185gr +P Golden Sabers and negative feedback on the 200gr Gold Dots.

This link should help with your choices;

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_De..._FAQ/index.htm

FWIW, there is not a national database for OIS detailing weapons used, let alone number of shots fired.
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Old 02-05-2012, 23:37   #8
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The 185 +p will shoot flatter at longer ranges, pretty flat out to 100 yards.

I almost always go with the 230 gr Gold Dot in any .45 for social purposes.

A 185 gr +p that might be useful to know about is the Remington green and yellow 50 count box. It will feed in even the most picky pistols. If you ever get a .45 that refuses to feed hollow points, even Golden Sabers (another great round in a picky pistol or just a good round anyway) try the Green and Yellow box Remington 185 +p.

Other than that, I don't often carry them. When I do, I use 185 gr +p Golden Saber.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKLovingIT View Post
The 185 +p will shoot flatter at longer ranges, pretty flat out to 100 yards.

I almost always go with the 230 gr Gold Dot in any .45 for social purposes.

A 185 gr +p that might be useful to know about is the Remington green and yellow 50 count box. It will feed in even the most picky pistols. If you ever get a .45 that refuses to feed hollow points, even Golden Sabers (another great round in a picky pistol or just a good round anyway) try the Green and Yellow box Remington 185 +p.

Other than that, I don't often carry them. When I do, I use 185 gr +p Golden Saber.
Flatter, funny. The diff between a 185gr @ 1100fps & a 230 @ 850fps is just not that big a deal out to even 100yds, like that is the measuring stick for a service cartridged anyway? The cheaper RP 185gr stuff is very erratic as to expansion. The RGS is a far better bullet design. Both will feed in most any pistol.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:37   #10
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I shoot 100 yards quite a bit with pistols and I can tell no difference. I guess there should be but they both make the gong sing if I can hold steady.


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Old 02-06-2012, 12:54   #11
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I shoot 100 yards quite a bit with pistols and I can tell no difference. I guess there should be but they both make the gong sing if I can hold steady.


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That is the point, to 100yds, there isn't much diff between a 850fps load & a 1300fps load, maybe 2" of drop, most can't hold 2" @ 100yds. Beyond 100yds, you start seeing it. Out to 50yds, the limit for maybe 90% of handguns hooters, ALL handgun rounds are flat shooting.
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Old 02-06-2012, 13:26   #12
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Personally I prefer 230's in 45, I run Ranger T's in my 45's, I also have 230 GD's as well.
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Old 02-06-2012, 14:22   #13
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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
That is the point, to 100yds, there isn't much diff between a 850fps load & a 1300fps load, maybe 2" of drop, most can't hold 2" @ 100yds. Beyond 100yds, you start seeing it. Out to 50yds, the limit for maybe 90% of handguns hooters, ALL handgun rounds are flat shooting.
Fred, I'm just going to give you a hug. There, now I know you feel better.

I think a lot of people would have trouble hitting anything moving at 50 yards with a handgun much less 100 yards. Wasn't suggesting it was a requirement or benchmark for a SD round. That would be silly. But, then again, this is the Internet. Someone will be along shortly with "This one time my friend and me were..."
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Old 02-06-2012, 16:35   #14
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Fred, I'm just going to give you a hug. There, now I know you feel better.

I think a lot of people would have trouble hitting anything moving at 50 yards with a handgun much less 100 yards. Wasn't suggesting it was a requirement or benchmark for a SD round. That would be silly. But, then again, this is the Internet. Someone will be along shortly with "This one time my friend and me were..."
Then why mention it? I don't need a hug thanks, but the statement is laughable every time I hear this or that round is "flatter" shooting, like most can actually benefit from a couple of inches less drop @ 100yds from any handgun. Shoot out that far sometime & then you would never use that line again. Here, now you need the hug.
BTW, yes I have shot well past 100yds many times, I used to shoot met handgun sil, all the way to 220yds! I can tell you, @ 100yds, it doesn't take much sight correction to get hits on a 6" plate w/ anything. BTW, who said anything about a moving target? Not impossible BTW, just asking.
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Old 02-06-2012, 17:56   #15
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Yeah, not a big fan of +P in the 45 in any flavor. The std vel 185gr RGS makes an honest 950fps in my little OM & 990fps in my 1911PD, recoil is very manageable.
Same here. I stick with the standard velocity 230 grain stuff. I never took a liking to the lighter loads in the .45 ACP though.
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Old 02-06-2012, 18:28   #16
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Then why mention it? I don't need a hug thanks, but the statement is laughable every time I hear this or that round is "flatter" shooting, like most can actually benefit from a couple of inches less drop @ 100yds from any handgun. Shoot out that far sometime & then you would never use that line again. Here, now you need the hug.
BTW, yes I have shot well past 100yds many times, I used to shoot met handgun sil, all the way to 220yds! I can tell you, @ 100yds, it doesn't take much sight correction to get hits on a 6" plate w/ anything. BTW, who said anything about a moving target? Not impossible BTW, just asking.
I shot my G20, 1911, and get this a Ruger mk3 at 100 yards today. They all shot as flat as the other as far as I could tell. I did have to aim at the top of the plate with the .22 though. I was shooting at an 8 inch plate.
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Old 02-06-2012, 18:54   #17
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I shot my G20, 1911, and get this a Ruger mk3 at 100 yards today. They all shot as flat as the other as far as I could tell. I did have to aim at the top of the plate with the .22 though. I was shooting at an 8 inch plate.
Yep, kinda what I was getting at.
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Old 02-06-2012, 20:03   #18
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Good stuff fellas. Thanks for the responses. Looks like I'll be sticking w/ my 230's. Sounds like the reviews for golden sabers are pretty good....
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Old 02-06-2012, 21:04   #19
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230gr. IMO it's the more consistent, better performer.
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Old 02-06-2012, 21:28   #20
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I am a newb to .45 ACP, but wasn't the 230 grain designed mostly for the 1911 with a 5" barrel? So wouldn't it be more appropriate to use a 185 or 200 grain load in a short barrel .45 ACP such as a 3.5" barrel? The velocity of a 230g bullet out of a 3" barrel has to be very low, in the low 700 fps range I would guess or maybe less. Is that even enough speed to expand properly with a hollow point?

Please be easy on me, I am just thinking out loud. Not trying to debate anyone.
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Old 02-06-2012, 22:26   #21
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The Rem. 185 gr. +p is a real Powerhouse! I have no problem with these and the NYSP & FL Hwy. Patrol are having great luck with the .45 GAP using a 200 gr. GD (same bullet & same vel. as .45 ACP).

Years ago, I knew of a story where a fella using a small Detonics .45 shot a biker scumbag with a 185 gr. HP (don't remember the make) and it blew his heart through his spine. I think the biker only weighed 299 lbs. so it didn't meet the GT 300 lb. meth crazed, leather coated, crazed felon criterion.
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Old 02-06-2012, 22:38   #22
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I am a newb to .45 ACP, but wasn't the 230 grain designed mostly for the 1911 with a 5" barrel? So wouldn't it be more appropriate to use a 185 or 200 grain load in a short barrel .45 ACP such as a 3.5" barrel? The velocity of a 230g bullet out of a 3" barrel has to be very low, in the low 700 fps range I would guess or maybe less. Is that even enough speed to expand properly with a hollow point?

Please be easy on me, I am just thinking out loud. Not trying to debate anyone.
Most modern designed JHP (not the std Rem) will expand some down to 750fps or so. The 230gr RGS does quite well in my OM 3.4" bbl in wetpack tests @ a chronographed 775fps. I would certainly feel fine carrying that, but I do like the Hornady 200gr XTP in my shorter/lighter 45s. It makes well above 850fps, drives very deep & always expands to 65cal denim covered wetpack test, which BTW, I find equal to balistic gel for determining expansion.
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Old 02-06-2012, 22:55   #23
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Then why mention it? I don't need a hug thanks, but the statement is laughable every time I hear this or that round is "flatter" shooting, like most can actually benefit from a couple of inches less drop @ 100yds from any handgun. Shoot out that far sometime & then you would never use that line again. Here, now you need the hug.
BTW, yes I have shot well past 100yds many times, I used to shoot met handgun sil, all the way to 220yds! I can tell you, @ 100yds, it doesn't take much sight correction to get hits on a 6" plate w/ anything. BTW, who said anything about a moving target? Not impossible BTW, just asking.
Thank you for the hug. I do feel better.

The OP mentioned self defense rounds, which is why I mentioned moving targets. I assumed his intended target would be likely moving.
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Old 02-06-2012, 23:23   #24
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230 has proven to be FAR more accurate than the 185gr +P GS I tested in a my G30SF (now gone). There was a LOT of muzzle blass and blinding flash even in a well light indoor range using the 185gr. I like to be able to see my target for fast follow up shots, and I am a bigger fan of accuracy of ft lbs of energy so I stuck with 230gr & 200gr XTP's when I was still shooting 45 Auto.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:53   #25
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Loss of speed with barrel length isn't consistent across all bullet weights and loads for a given caliber. Heavier bullets lose less of their velocity than lightweight bullets out of shorter barrels, and they are designed in such a way that they are better able to perform at somewhat reduced velocity.

And barrels Glock 30/36 length and up are basically full-sized for all practical purposes. Barrel length isn't all that important.
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