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Old 07-24-2012, 07:17 AM
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Default Hardball?

Like everyone I've heard the old saying "All fall to hardball", but still convinced that a good hollow point in much better. However, I was shocked when I read that Clint Smith carries nothing but hardball in his 1911's. What do you think---is hardball truly an effective SD load?
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:33 AM
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Well, it's a lot more effective than a HP that doesn't feed. Personally, I have found Winchester HPs of various sorts to be quite reliable. There are others, too. However, it doesn't take more than one or two incidents with funny bullet shapes to make a sane person want to carry a revolver or two. I wouldn't want to go up against HB-toting Clint Smith even if I were wearing soft body armor.

HP probably has a slight advantage over HB, but exactly where you hit which organ in which person surely has a greater effect than bullet shape. While I feel comfortable with some HP, I certainly wouldn't argue against the use of HB for reliability. And when I carry a bottomfeeder, I carry a backup revolver.

Erich?
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:39 AM
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David,I never turn my nose up at .45 HP ammo that FEEDS RELIABLY but during a military career hardball was required.Too many times during three tours of combat I found myself having to depend on a pistol. When that pistol was a 1911-1911A1 I never noticed much difference between an enemy shot with .357 Mag HPs or .45 Hardball.
There are many cute little cliches about the effectiveness of .45 hardball,most in my experience, are pretty much true.I chose to leave the .357 Mag home when I went for my third tour in RVN and was able to scrounge up 2 .45s from the Marines.The U.S. Marines,the genius of J.M. Browning,and the Grace of God are the reasons I'm still here. The instrument of my deliverance on several occassions was the .45 Hardball Gov't round.
I don't know about Mr.Smiths preference but if all I had was Hardball or,if I had a new to me pistol,I would not feel disadvantaged with Gov't Hardball. Nick
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:27 AM
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Thanks! I appreciate your input. I generally carry a revolver because of the fear about reliability, but have been thinking about my 45. I have confidence in hardball feeding--just not sure about its effectiveness. Your thoughts were helpful. God bless!
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:40 AM
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Love the 9mm 115gr FMJ.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:01 AM
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In American Handgunner this month Mr. Ayoob has a story about a shooting with .45 ball and several of the rounds totally penetrated. I would prefer a HP round that reliably fed.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:58 AM
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This is why I carry a revolver for SD, but to put this in perspective I'm retired and my orbits no longer include dangerous places. Having just qualified for LEOSA w/both my M&P 340 (97%) and Glock 23 (99%) I'd carry the Glock if still on the job.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:59 AM
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I prefer HP for the same reason one prefers a .45, hole size. As long as they feed reliably. Well placed big deep holes rule.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:17 AM
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I'd carry hardball if I was worried about feed reliability in my autopistols, but it's never been an issue. My chosen off-duty gun is a 1911 about 90% of the time, and it's loaded with hollowpoints because overpenetration IS a concern in urban environments. My preferred loads are the Gold Dots, Silvertips, or even the hard-to-find Remington 230 JHP. For a WalMart special, this stuff works pretty well, and I've never seen an auto that didn't feed it well.

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Old 07-25-2012, 09:09 AM
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A 230 grain FMJ-FP for me.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:06 AM
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There's a saying that while 9mm HPs may expand, .45 ball will never shrink.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ma deuce View Post
There's a saying that while 9mm HPs may expand, .45 ball will never shrink.
Kinda like a .45 HP may expand but a .50ae ball will never shrink!

All that old stuff should stay in the past. Modern QUALITY HP ammo pretty much closed the gap between 9, 40, and 45. Ball is good for older guns that dont feed HPs so well. In a 9 a FMJ will just over penetrate and will not put all its energy into the target. Just zip right through (most of the time). I wouldnt want to carry that in public and i want as much energy as possible to be dumped into the target.

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Old 07-25-2012, 11:29 AM
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Groo here
The main reason for Hp bullets is to reduce the chance of pass through.
Knock down or Slap[Keith term] is due to impact and pain,both
related to the size and shape of the bullet when it first hits the skin..
The damage caused deeper [by an expanding bullet] will cause more bleeding and reduce blood pressure causing one to passout.
But this takes time [ 10 to 30 sec]
In most autos , Hardaball feeds the best and that is what is wanted.
Hp will be less likely to go through or bounce and is though to be better for SD..
Find what works best in your gun then what fits your situation..
This is where revolvers manual feed is ahead.
Ps the 357 125gr full power load [1400 from4in]
Will tear large holes in skin [ starts to expand on anything ]
and maybe why It workes so well...
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:24 PM
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Overpenetration would be my concern in town.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:07 PM
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Thank god I have never had to shoot anyone, but as a big game guide I have either shot for myself or watched others shoot nearly 300 head of big game. I have recovered nearly 200 bullets from downed animals, so I do have some experence. I have also interviewed 18 people who have been shot. There is a reason why nearly all states outlaw fmj bullets for big game shooting. And there is a reson why the Hauge convention makes it illegal to use soft points against human targets. Most all game I have shot with FMJ bullets showed very little to no reaction to the hit. I shot a coyote 3 times with hardball ammo from a 45 ACP and he simply ran away. It took quite a time to find him and he was immobile but still breathing. A police officer friend shot himself through the kneecap with a Glock 45 ACP with hardball while training. He had to go to his squad car and pull up his pants leg to comfirm he had actuall shot himself. I saw him the next day he was limping a little and using a cane for one day. Another man I know shot himself in the groin with a 44 magnum using fmj ammo. He got up called the ambulence himself and held a kitchen towel showed into the wounds to stop the bleeding. A proffessional bear guide that has shot over 200 bears, many with hardcast 44 magnums. According to him a 200 pound bears showed very little ill effect when hit with non expanding bullets. I have read many war stories about shooting the enemy with hardball ammo with little effect. Jack O'Conner reported poor killing results using fmj bullets in 30-06's when shooting jackrabbits. Just some food for thought.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:32 PM
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I trust the hardball to feed reliably in my 1911's. I tried some 230 gr hollowpoints that didn't expand at all. I'll stick with hardball for my carry gun. I cast a 255 gr bullet that fed perfectly in a Ruger P 90 but not in the 1911's.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:51 AM
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Where you put the bullet is far more important than diameter, velocity or type of bullet. Having said that, hardball certainly wouldn't be my first choice.

Mr. Smith may use that as his choice, guided by his training, experience and tactical situation. Just because he does so, does not make it a wise choice for you.

BTW, one of my once upon a time neighbors was negligently shot with .45 hardball across a coffee table. The bullet entered the mouth, and departed through the neck without inflicting serious injury. The round nose bullet considerately pushed all the important stuff (arteries and such) out of the way enroute.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:09 AM
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I have carried a 1911 as work gun and have seen several people sht wiht the 4 ACP [and other calibers as well].

I do think that a good 45ACP HP is better than 230gr ball.
But there are no flies on Ball. I am wearing a 1911 in 45 ACP as I type this.

I now usually carry Remington 230gr Golden Saber HP. Two reasons, it has proven to be good stuff, and I was gifted a bunch of it. It is very accurate.

I have seen good results from, back in the day, such rounds as WW 185 Silvertip, RP 185gr HP and their 185+P HP, Speer 200gr HP, the flying ashtray bullet. Basically any 45 ACP bullet is pretty good.

Reliability is the most important thing, IMHO.

I always carry a couple of extra mags of RP 230 Golden Sabre, and several other extra mags of 230gr ball.

Over penetration is a concern only to someone that is a excellent shot.

Around 85% to 90% of the shots fired miss the suspect...
One theory is...
Why worry about the 10 to 15% that actually connect???

I do believe this;
For a trained person, with a 1911 in 45 ACP, that works, there is not a better General Purpose combat/self protection handgun, on the Planet.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:22 AM
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Since I have no combat experience, I feel uneasy about jumping in here, but I think sometimes these discussions about bullets tend to ignore common sense. While a modern hollow point may be the most effective choice, that doesn't render everything else ineffective. If you shoot someone with .45 hardball, you're firing a substantial piece of lead into their body at 500mph. It may not be ideal, but it's gonna have an effect. Pretty sure I'd go down!
The guy's with real experience of shooting and being shot, or those who have first hand knowledge of shootings (Erich), are certainly under no obligation to share unpleasant, personal stories on a internet message board, but they're the ones we need to listen to. They're not guessing, they know.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:27 AM
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I have, at best, second hand knowledge of shootings. And I'm happy to keep it that way.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:53 AM
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Jim Cirillo was a big fan of the full wad cutter, to the extent that he loaded them in the chamber of his partners .45 auto, and he considered that this practice saved his life during one shootout while on the NYPD Stake Out Squad. Jim said in his book "Guns, Bullets and Gunfights", that forensic experts had told him that they couldn't tell the difference between a .32 cal and a .45 cal wound, if the bullets were full metal jacket. This is because these bullets don't leave full caliber wound channels, but rather they make small holes, while the elastic tissue stretches over the bullet and then snaps back after it passes through, with little damage, unless it passed through the heart or central nervous system. He attended many post-mortems, and was impressed at the wound channels left by full wad cutter bullets. He used revolvers by choice, so he could use his hand loaded WC's.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:27 PM
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I have had a Big Name Pathologist tell me the exact same thing in one of our cases - although the operant question there involved the difference between hollowpoint wound tracks of divergent calibers.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:49 PM
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Interesting!
Maybe our jello testing protocol should include a sheet of latex or other suitable membrane a few inches behind the entrance surface to measure elastic wound size.
We can speculate about internal ballistics all we want, but it is an empirical science for sure!

rick
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:55 PM
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Eric, what was your old tag line about shot placement and penetration?
I think it's time to bring it out of retirement.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:32 PM
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Too many characters for the new management. Nice of you to mention it, though.

"Shot placement is king; adequate penetration is queen. Everything else is just angels dancing on the heads of pins."
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