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Old 09-04-2009, 08:42 AM
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1911ES 1911ES is offline
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Question Top quality .45 ammo

Which brand of .45 ammo is the best (and cleanest) for the range, and also, which is the best for a personal defense round ...
Inquiring before I make a bulk purchase of .45 ammo .... :rolleyes

My new 1911 is a compact, with a 4 1/4" barrel, and I've read that the shorter barrels shoot better with 185 gr. vs. 200-230 gr. (for range).

Thanks for input.

Last edited by 1911ES; 09-04-2009 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:17 AM
elcruisr elcruisr is offline
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There is no one best for every gun / person combination. It's best that you experiment with some small quantities and see what runs well in your gun and what YOU shoot well making repeated good shots.

I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of any modern .45 defense load.

Have you considered reloading?
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:28 PM
sceva sceva is offline
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Originally Posted by 1911ES View Post
Which brand of .45 ammo is the best (and cleanest) for the range, and also, which is the best for a personal defense round ...
Inquiring before I make a bulk purchase of .45 ammo ....
In my 4" 25-5

For the range I have used Winchester cowboy loads or CCI Blazers with perfect satisfaction. I mostly used handloads though.

For personal defense I am currently using 250 Grain Speer Gold Dots. The Blazer 200Gr JHP's are also goos and some like Corbon's.

We are talking 45 Colt aren't we? LOL
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:37 PM
James NM James NM is offline
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Here's what I do for SD ammo. I find some that I can buy in bulk at a reasonable price. But before I buy a case or two of it, I'll buy a box or two and make sure they function properly (cycle and accuracy) in my gun.

IMO, any modern premium SD ammo is gonna do it's job. So I don't get hung up on a specific brand. I look for one that I can get a good buy on and buy 500 or more rounds. I'm not gonna pay $25-$35 for a box of 20/25 rounds of SD ammo, regardless of the brand. The most important factor in SD ammo is not the brand, but finding one that is 100% reliable in your gun.

As far as range ammo goes, if you can afford to be picky you are luckier than most. Most just settle for what they can find. About the only ones I avoid are steel cased. The only thing I shoot steel cased ammo in is an AK or SKS.

Last edited by James NM; 09-04-2009 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:37 AM
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For range ammo, JHP's are kinda pricey. I would buy 230 grain FMJ for range use and a good 230 grain JHP like Federal Hydro-Shock or Bonded Tactical, or the equivalent from Winchester or Remington, for self defense.

Buy a box or two of your self defense choice (50 or 100 rounds at least) and make sure your pistol cycles it perfectly before buying any more of that in quantity. JHP bullets with a more rounded profile tend to feed more reliably than do bullets with a straighter, non-rounded shape.

There is little recoil or point-of-impact difference between standard velocity .45 ACP and Plus-P, within the same bullet weights, especially at most handgun ranges.

I carry a 4-1/4 inch Colt Commander at work most every day. The department issues (and requires) Federal Tactical Bonded and the loading in .45 is 230 grain Plus-P. We issued the same thing in Hydro-Shock before that. We shoot up our old carry ammo plus Federal or Speer 230 FMJ for training/qualification. I fired 4 rounds of it for serious one day and all 4 expanded classically, nearly 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Plenty of penetration, too. Other deputies experienced the same performance.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:45 AM
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Default .45 ammo

Thanks for the input. I just don't like using any "****" loads in my pistol .... guess I'm just more selective than most ... but I treat my pistols like anything else I own....
S&W 1911ES
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:54 AM
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LoboGunLeather LoboGunLeather is offline
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There are a couple of other considerations not addressed here.

First is the type of sights your pistol has. If you are using fixed sights, then ammo selection needs to be something that will shoot to point of aim in that pistol.

This is true for range practice. It is especially true for defensive purposes.

Second is absolute reliability. The ammunition used must perform properly every time in your pistol with every magazine that you use. Feeding, proper headspace, firing, extraction, ejection, all must be absolute.

There are several very good ammunition manufacturers, all of whom produce several types of ammunition within each caliber designation.

Velocity, energy, terminal performance of the bullet, and other factors can be argued indefinitely. But for defensive use reliable function and point-of-aim accuracy are the gold standard; none of the other factors mean anything if the basic performance parameters are not met.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:21 PM
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BreakerDan BreakerDan is offline
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In the 1911 .45, I would carry any 230 grain hollowpoint Winchester, Remington or Federal load I could buy. They all peform the same these days. As long as you run a magazine or two through your gun to make sure it is reliable with them. Honestly, when I carried a 1911, I carried mostly with 230 ball ammo. Put them in the right place and that is all you need.
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