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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I've noted that some folks have chrono'd a few commercial brands of .45 ACP (230gr) ball ammo out of a full sized Government Model 1911 pistol to be around 750 to just under 800 ft/sec muzzle velocity.

This confuses me since makers like Olin (winchester), Federal, and Remington UMC list their velocity in these loads as 830 ft/sec or 850 ft/sec out of a full sized 5" barrel. I have yet to meet anyone who's chrono'd these loads at anywhere near advertised velocities in the real world.

I have seen chrono info for some 60 year old WWII issue GI Ball ammo that delivered velocities in the upper 700 ft/sec range. Understanably since the propellant in these old rounds was 60 years old and probably stored in less than ideal conditions.

Has anyone here ever chrono'd any standard pressure 230gr Ball ammo out of a 5" barrel at the advertised velocities?? I'm strictly talking standard commercial 230gr FMJ, not any high performance self defense loads.

· Registered
363 Posts
Here are a few numbers for you.

These loads were chronographed using my Colt 70's Series full size 5" Gov't Model

1. WCC 78 Military Ball - 798 fps
2. R-P "UMC" FMJ - 798 fps
3. S&B (Czech) Ball - 780 fps

This isn't a Gov't Model, but here are a few numbers for a 5" S&W M625-2 revolver.

1. WCC 78 Military Ball - 826 fps
2. WCC 78 Match Ball - 831 fps
3. R-P "UMC" Ball - 830 fps
4. S&B Ball - 800 fps

What is needed IMO is a full power 230 gr FMJ load using the Hornady Flat Point loaded to 900 fps in a 5" barrel auto pistol. I handload this using Unique powder. It is accurate and can be controlled with ease in the Colt and my new SW1911. I remember Jeff Cooper commenting several years ago that there was a small ammo company that produced this load and it was for sale to anyone. But I don't recall the ammo makers name.


· Registered
1,442 Posts
I find it interesting that a revolver's velocities were higher than the auto's, which defies what I've always heard about loss of pressure through cylinder gap.

Years ago I loaded the Hornady Jacketed Truncated Cone (JTC) bullet over Unique; I expect this is the flat point you're referring to. I wish I could find those bullets at a reasonable price, but if I could find them locally at all, they'd be expensive. I have on occasion loaded a 225-grain cast bullet of almost identical shape, but I experienced feeding problems with it, even in guns that digested various jacketed hollow points just fine.

I always felt the truncated cone design was perfect for an FMJ, as it transmitted energy over a nice, broad area, but it also tended to penetrate very well. Feeding with the FMJ version in my Colt of many moons ago was perfect. I shot the JTC in IPSC competions for a year or two.

· Premium Member
3,910 Posts
Hello. I found the same thing to be true in my S&W M625 w/5" bbl. Of course a 5" revolver barrel is actually "longer" than a 5" auto barrel, but it consistently delivered higher speeds than when the same loads were fired in a 5" 1911.


Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all for your reply. You see this is my point!! No commercial or military ball round in 230gr ever comes near advertised velocities out of a 5" barreled 1911 type pistol.

Very very strange since the 1911 was built around the .45 ACP 230gr ball round to deliver anywhere from 830 to 850 ft/sec velocity at the muzzle, yet these velocities are never reached in real firing.

The big problem is that I like to practice with a cheap FMJ load that is close in ballistics to the high performing JHP rounds. I want to mimick that recoil and velocity in practice with FMJ since very few people have the resources to shoot hundreds of hi performing JHP rounds at the range every other weekend.

I may have to start reloading my own practice FMJ rounds
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