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Old 11-05-2006, 11:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 114

hiya, correct me if im mistaken but a lower grain round is better for close encounters? such as a home defense situation with hp's. as i understand a lite, like 185 or 200gr hp in 45acp fragments immediately upon contact with flesh at close ranges. unlike 230 ball ammo which travels slow but hard and just punches through the body
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:24 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 503
Re: hp's

Originally Posted by recoil33
hiya, correct me if im mistaken but a lower grain round is better for close encounters? such as a home defense situation with hp's. as i understand a lite, like 185 or 200gr hp in 45acp fragments immediately upon contact with flesh at close ranges. unlike 230 ball ammo which travels slow but hard and just punches through the body
I couldn't say that any blanket statement would cover the topic, however typically neither 185s nor 200s "fragment" unless there is some atypical reason like hitting a rather substantial bone.

Neither can one say230 ball always goes through. In the limited number of cases which I have reviewed in detail, about half had exit wounds. I would say however that 185s and 200's are less likely to exit *if* they expand. Some dont expand very well.

Everyone should work out his own salvation and it is hard to mess up a .45. I issue Winchester Ranger 230gr +P to the troops but that does not mean I think everything else is inadequate.

You might find more discussion over in the "Pass the Ammunition" part of this forum if you go back through the old posts.

Good luck.
Jim H.
Old 07-25-2007, 07:58 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 373
lighter hollowpoints travel faster so probably have thicker jackets, most of the tests are pretty much statistically irrelavant. Too many variables. There are only a couple things that I feel make any difference when selecting bullet weight. Either bullet will penetrate about the same when it comes to sheetrock and if you get a COM badguy hit the reamaining energy if you get a pass through wont amount to a hole lot. 1 Point of impact, different weights generally hit higher or lower than eachother, so either a 185, 200 or 230 will be closest to point of aim. 2 weight 9 rounds of 230gr ammo weigh right at one once more than 9 rounds of 185, and alot of gun toters and makers will jump through hoops to save that once. Luckily my Para LTC alloy shoots 185's dead on at 25.
Old 07-26-2007, 06:50 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 571
As stated above, too many variables to say what is best. Some folks swear by the bullets that are made of shot and break-up on contact. For in the home use that may be a consideration for the first couple of shots. I would then go to something that penetrated, in case the first rounds didn't work.

I have seen cases where someone shot a .38 Special at a burglar and missed. The bullet traveled out the window and entered the house across the street. It went through several walls of sheet rock and ended in a wall in the rear of the house.

Police were trying to get armed robbers out of an old house when shooting erupted. We were using .38 Specials at that time and returned fire. When all was said and done, many of the bullets had traveled through the house. Some hit a house next door and some went to parts unknown.

That was the lowly .38 Special; think of the 9, 40, and 45 and the extra power they have. I would think you would be better off using a shotgun and have a pistol as back-up.

A shotgun is hard to beat for home defense.

Old 08-08-2007, 01:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 313
Only thing I'll add is this...................seen several shootings and reviewed a lot of data on different types of ammo vs stopping power. The one thing that really said it all was told to me by.....a doctor!!!

This Doc happened to be a good friend of mine and worked in a hospital at one of the worst locations for gunshot wounds at that time.....New Orleans! Along with some of the most amazing medical procedures to save lives you've ever heard of, he told me about gunshot wounds. After quite a discussion, his "drive it home" statement was..................."I've seen the human body damaged in just about any way it can be and with just about everything that the damage could be done with." "There was one round......no matter what type of bullet......that most didn't walk away from." "That was the 45 acp." "It's just a slow movin' hunk that REMOVES tissue as it passes." "There ain't nothing left to close up the hole and stop the blood loss."

Guess what his carry gun was?

Sig P-220! Loaded with "hollowpoints of some kind". He didn't know what brand....other than they were just hollowpoints. He did discuss a little about which one "seemed" to do the most damage, but.......... you cannot get those anymore. I will say that I do have a box left, but have gone to the "next best thing".........Winchester SXTs. The others.............I keep put away on the shelf.

My 2 cents!
Old 08-08-2007, 02:29 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 571
Well Tommy, I agree with you and the Doc; that the .45 is about as good as there is for a self-defense round. However, I really don't feel under-gunned with a 9 mm or a forty with a good defensive round in the tube.

When I was going to LSU and had to write a paper on something concerning "Law Enforcement today", my paper was on police handguns and relative stopping power. At the time I had friends in the FBI as well as other Law Enforcement agencies and got the results of many more shootings than I had planned on reviewing. I ran test on the recoil of the .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 9 mm, .40S&W (it was too new to have shooting results at the time) and the .45 acp.

The .357 was the bad boy of the day due to it being carried more (read as more data) than anything else, other than the .38 Special. We all know that the .38 was not very powerful and had poorly designed bullets, which did not help performance.

I worked ten years in Homicide and saw many dropped with .22's and .25's. I have seen them soak up a bunch of big lead and not go down. You just can never be too sure.


When you looked at the old .45 acp you could clearly see that it was a better fight stopper if any distance was involved and if a less than perfect hit was involved.

I made a film to go with the paper that showed the same person shooting from different angles. This was to accentuate the effect of recoil and the controllability of each caliber. I even had one view where the pistol was lined up with a line drawn on a post to show how much muzzle rise each caliber had.

My conclusion after doing all of the testing...Shotgun with slugs! :lol: But if I had to have a pistol, the forty-five would be the first pick with 9 mm and forty running a close race for second.

Eighteen or twenty years have passed and we now all know that the forty has done quite well as a fighting round. I am sure the .357 Sig will prove to be a good round also. The .45 is the best in the cases I saw.


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