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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am hoping that you can recommend a standard pressure .45 ACP JHP load with a good reputation for effectiveness and reliability of function. Cost is a consideration, but not primarily so. Yet I flinch when I think of buying 200 rounds at present prices to ascertain reliable function and then have a jam on round 200!

Thanks, --c
 

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Corky,

The Winchester Ranger 45 ACP is available in both regular (RA45T) and +P loadings. It has a great reputation for reliability and expansion under a variety of circumstances. You can usually get it for $20-25 for a box of 50, which is pretty reasonable relative to what we are paying for Remington Golden Sabres and Speer Gold Dots in boxes of 20 these days!

The only problem is that it can be hard to find - if you do not have a LE contact there are various internet sources for it. Send me a PM if you need help finding such a source.

Unfortunately, it seems that prices on factory ammo in general have gone up quite a bit recently.

PGM
 

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Howdy sir,

I agree with Mr. PGM, the prices have become crazy in recent months. I do like the Ranger LE loads in various calibers and think they would do your well - assuming your pistol likes and feeds them reliably.

I would also suggest you consider the Federal 230gr HS, which you can sometimes find on some sites still in the 50 round boxes. Although the 20/25 round boxes are becoming more and more the norm unfortunately in my view.

I personally am a big fan of the Speer Gold Dot and the Remington Golden Saber rounds as well. My agency was lucky enough to hire a retired HP White ballistician as our first ammo "expert". After buying and shooting a lot of different brands and calibers, Jim largely selected the Gold Dot loading for duty use for us in most calibers. As an alternate round he chose the Golden Saber. He really like how both were designed to largely do away with bullet-jacket separation.

But regardless of brand, it is really hard for me to suggest to anyone to only shoot a mag or two of their intended carry round through their pistol - and call that a reliability check. I know ammo is expensive, which is largely why I reload so much. I use the bullet I have chosen to carry, and load rounds that as closely as possible duplicate my duty rounds. So when I am practicing I am almost using my carry loads to practice with.

So that is a suggestion if possible. If you do not reload but have a friend who does - pick a round you want to try out for carry purposes. It your friend can find that same bullet as a reloading component, ask him to load up x number for you to practice with. Shoot a mix in one mag of factory and reloads - to see how they appear to group and perform in the pistol. That will let you know if you feel they do indeed equate to the factory carry load. If they do, then shoot as many of the reloads as you can to test your pistol with. Then end up with firing some more carry loads to be sure.

Beyond doing that, I simply suggest that folks fire enough factory rounds to be sure they are 110% reliable in their carry weapon first. I know it is not a cheap way to approach things, but unlike a gun, there is only one of me, and I think I would be hard to replace. (I do have a couple of ex-wives who might argue my last comment, lol.)

Just my suggestions. Hope they might help out a bit.

twoguns
 

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I am not much of a fan of +P in 45 ACP and I think any of the standard premium loads will do just fine. I think +P and +P+ loads are best for 9's & 38's when used about automobiles but are harder on most M1911s than required.

I like the REM Golden Sabers best because they have a better ogive for reliable feeding. I also like the WIN STX & FED PPD Hydrashok. All in 230 grains please. Speer Gold Dot is as good but I have more experience with the others. Generally I like the nickled cases a bit more too for ease of extraction. While fortune may favor the bold, it adores the prepared and everything you do to be prepared is a stroke in your favor.

I also like premium non-magnum/+P/+P+ for liability reasons. I am less afraid of the hollow point issue than I am the inference that I used a ray gun. Look at that poor bastard in AZ (?) who got sent up the river because he used a 10mm! Yuck.

I would also chime in with TwoGuns. Buy small lots and test what works reliably and accurately in your gun. Try some just at dark if you can. Then go and buy a good quantity of it and rotate it over time. These 20 round boxes are for nothing but testing. I practice with my reloads, shoot matches with ball and carry factory premium. When I was a LEO, we shot the last 18 rounds of qualification with our issued rounds. Times have changed and most LEOs now use duty ammo for qualification. Suits me when they pay but generally qualification is a duty and not training.

Some use ball. They know it works reliably and rely on shot placement. Military ball is generally fairly weatherproof too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gentlemen: Thanks for taking the time to respond with your knowledgeable suggestions. For many years I have limited myself primarily to .22 and 9mm pistol shooting, primarily for economic reasons. However, I am now trying to find a defense round compatible with my two long owned .45's, a pre-series '70 National Match and a Browning/Sig 220, as well as with a new Springfield GI Champion. I'm beginning my search with 50 rounds of Golden Saber 185 gr. bonded standard pressure JHP and 50 rounds of the 230 gr. version of the same load. My local dealer sold me these for $52 total, which in the current market seems reasonable to me. I'll keep you informed when and should I find a load that I trust in all three. Thanks again. --c
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, thensley, I just followed your suggestion. What's the real world reputation of this load for self-defense? --c
 
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corky, i shoot a springfield loaded champion which some people say is hard to feed. this round has allways feed well. no hangups, velocity 835 ft/sec energy 356ft/lbs not a high performance round but about the same specs as a fmj only in a hollow point. i hope it works well for you. let me know how things work out
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Reporting Back: The S A Champion is 100% reliable with ball, but I'm getting about a 3% jam rate with various JHPs, including the Remington GS and UMC 230s. So I'm having a gunsmith check it out at the moment. He seems confident that the problem will be easily corrected.
 

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Mr. Corky,

Good luck sir. It is often something very minor that will solve the problem and give you total reliability too. Please let us know how your pistol works for you once you get it back.

twoguns
 

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Corky,

I recently switched from Hydra-Shock 230's to the same weight Winch Ranger LE load. I use the +P version, but either it or the standard velocity should work fine.
I still carry Hydra-Shocks in one 1911 that has not been tested with the Winchester Load.
Luckily, there are LOTS of good loads to choose from. The caveat being to shoot enough to ensure your pistol and magazines function with the chosen load.

Wes
 
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corky. i changed my mags to willsons ,and kept the factory mags for range mags. every once in a while i get a ftf with the factory mags.but ive run 240 hollowpoints thru the wilson mags without a problem so there the ones i carry for ccw
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I certainly will report when the pistol comes home and has been shot enough to draw some conclusions. Thanks all for the help. --c
 
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I picked up two boxes (50 rd) of Federal Classic 185 gr Hollowpoints for $18 each.not Hydroshocks or +p, tey ran fine through my brand new Para LTC, so probably stick with them, I refuse to buy anything in a sub 50 box which means I generally dont buy any bullets that have there own names. I guess with the exception of Hornady XTP's in component form.
 
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I don't use +P ammo in my 1911s. I have stocked up on the Rem UMC HP for Walmart. My usual Carry ammo has been the Federal 230gr Hydra Shok. Years ago I used the Speer 200gr flying ashtrys. There are better choices, but, in a .45, I would not be too uncomfortable with ball ammo if necessary.
 
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