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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I have a brand new PT145 and I need some advice on what to put into it.

I have heard that the heavier the round the less the recoil the quicker your back on target for the followup shot. In the past recoil was not a real issue for me. I put 158 gr JHP's in the .357, 180 gr JHP's in my .40 cal (I have since sold it) and 147 gr JHP's in my 9mm (sold that too). But now I have a medical condition that requires me to think more about it recoil and I want to use a load in a .45 that will have the velocity to expand but keep the recoil down as much as possible.

The only thing the store had was ball ammo in 230 gr...and since a gun that goes BANG is better than one that goes CLICK I got my self a box of 50 to shoot and hearing that the heavier the better I went with the 230 gr.

The ammo I want to eventually go with is the Winchester PDX1 Bonded providing the PT145 likes them. My thinking here is that the PDX1 is the chosen ammo of the FBI and if it is good enough for them it is an easier justification for the round selection in court if I ever have to use my gun in self defense.

I am a firm believer in shot placement so getting the hottest +p round is not really where I'm at. I also realize that I am responsible for everything that round hits down range, meaning if it goes through or over penetrates my intended target it is now a round looking for someone else to hit, not a good situation on a crowded street or theater or home, I have a wife and three kids that I love dearly.

So what do you all think? Heavier or lighter, Hollow, Ball or frangible? If you have a PT145 what have you found it likes to eat?

Thank you All!
 

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There's too many variables here to answer the question really. Let's call it perceived (or "felt") recoil because the pure physics of it and the human perception of it are often two different things. At the same velocity, a lighter bullet will give less recoil. Of course in the real world that's useless information because in factory ammo the lighter bullets usually are not stepping out at the same velocity.

Then there's muzzle flash, which the human brain often perceives as recoil. In general, the lighter bullets give less recoil with increased muzzle flash. But many self-defense rounds are loaded with powders that help reduce the muzzle flash.

Then reloaders will tell you that even with the same bullet at the same velocity, different powders will have different perceived recoil. This is due to another variable, the speed of the powder. Faster powders often "feel" like they have more recoil than slower ones at a given velocity. This is because of what I'll refer to as acceleration. It's not just the foot pounds of energy generated, but also the time frame over which that energy is released. If I load .38 Spl with W231 (fast powder) it "feels" much stouter than an equivalent (velocity wise) load with Universal (a medium burn rate).

Yours is a complex physics question combined with a human variable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK That is fair. I am working with felt recoil factory ammo only. Does that help?
 

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OK I have a brand new PT145 and I need some advice on what to put into it.

I have heard that the heavier the round the less the recoil the quicker your back on target for the followup shot. In the past recoil was not a real issue for me. I put 158 gr JHP's in the .357, 180 gr JHP's in my .40 cal (I have since sold it) and 147 gr JHP's in my 9mm (sold that too). But now I have a medical condition that requires me to think more about it recoil and I want to use a load in a .45 that will have the velocity to expand but keep the recoil down as much as possible.

The only thing the store had was ball ammo in 230 gr...and since a gun that goes BANG is better than one that goes CLICK I got my self a box of 50 to shoot and hearing that the heavier the better I went with the 230 gr.

The ammo I want to eventually go with is the Winchester PDX1 Bonded providing the PT145 likes them. My thinking here is that the PDX1 is the chosen ammo of the FBI and if it is good enough for them it is an easier justification for the round selection in court if I ever have to use my gun in self defense.

I am a firm believer in shot placement so getting the hottest +p round is not really where I'm at. I also realize that I am responsible for everything that round hits down range, meaning if it goes through or over penetrates my intended target it is now a round looking for someone else to hit, not a good situation on a crowded street or theater or home, I have a wife and three kids that I love dearly.

So what do you all think? Heavier or lighter, Hollow, Ball or frangible? If you have a PT145 what have you found it likes to eat?

Thank you All!
Hi,
You are going to get great advice from people based upon their personal experiences, and it should be considered carefully. here is my experience, based upon a different firearm. I bought a "surplus" Model 82 revolver. I am a bit obsessive about data, so I kept copious notes as I tried ammunition. + P loads with lighter projectiles consistently shot way low. I went looking for an explanation. I found post in a forum (top one on this page, look for the section labeled "Fixed Sights") that explained that the sights on your firearms are calibrated by the manufacturer based upon specific ammunition. A projectile of a specific weight, propelled with a specific charge, will 'dwell" in the barrel for a known time, and will exit the barrel at a known point in the rise that occurs during recoil. The sights are designed to cause an accurate shot at a specific distance, accounting for that exit during recoil.

I tested this by obtaining the ammunition used to calibrate my older, 4 inch barrel, Model 82: 158 grain, Standard pressure (there was no +P when it was designed) FMJ Flat Nose. The pistol was calibrated to shoot at 7 yards. This ammunition fired dead on at that distance. Concept proven. So, that's what I use, with the minor variation of using the same weight load with hollow points for my self defense load.

You need to find out what ammunition was used to calibrate your handgun, and try using that. The manual for the PT145 says it was designed to use .225 GR FMJ. I'd try it at 7 yards, and see what happens.

This is the advice of a non-expert.
 

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2cents.gif If you compare the advertised velocity ( FPS ) of the factory loaded ammo the slower bullets seem to me to have a lighter recoil. A lighter bullet traveling at the same velocity as a heavier bullet will also tend to have a lighter perceived recoil IMHO....
 

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OK That is fair. I am working with felt recoil factory ammo only. Does that help?
You'll just have to try some different things and see what works for you, and shoots to the proper point of aim as Parrish points out. The current high-end self defense ammo is mostly loaded for minimum flash in short barrels and they use bullets that are designed for optimum performance at realistic velocities from shorter barreled handguns likely to be used by the concealed carry crowd.

From what I've used (and that's not tons @ $1.00+ per round) I kind of like the Hornady XTP line, but I haven't shot any .45.
 

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So the .005 of a grain will make a noticeable difference in accuracy?
Possibly. My experience was with (all .38 special ammunition, and going from memory here) 152 grain +P JHP, 125 grain "Standard Pressure" JHP from Buffalo Bore, (which means it was a tad more than standard pressure), and 125 grain standard pressure FMJ..and the 158 grain standard pressure FMJ FP I settled on, of course. The fact of the matter is that the lighter the projectile, the faster it will go, and the earlier it will leave the barrel. Based entirely upon my own experience with a different firearm, I suspect that .005 grain will be noticeably low, while possibly not being significantly low. Only a test will answer that question, though.

As to your original question about recoil, my experience with perceived recoil was that higher power and +P rounds gave me more recoil.
 

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Physics is physics, so let Newton be your guide here. (For every action, there is an equal, yet opposite, reaction.) You can't just look at the weight of the bullet; you must also consider it in conjunction with muzzle velocity. In other words, you're most interested in energy at the muzzle; the heavier the bullet at a given velocity or the faster the bullet at a given weight, the more energy it will have and, so, the more recoil energy it will impart on the weapon (and you).

(If you want to be very, very technical, you should also consider the weight of the propellant charge, but it is a relatively small factor here. Since charge weight is proportionally rather small compared to projectile weight, the variations in charge weight between loads should largely insignificant in most cases and, so, can (usually) be safely ignored in these comparisons.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone! I guess you have all given me several excuses to buy ammo (when I can get it) and go shooting. :D
 

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So the .005 of a grain will make a noticeable difference in accuracy?
depends a lot on at what range that you are shooting!
basically pistol projectiles are about ballistically equal to a brick, so inside 40-50 yards from a hand held pistol i doubt that you will notice any difference in that weigh difference..
again depends on how good of a shot that you are.
 

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A good place to start to look for lower recoil is by looking at pressure of a certain loading, either CUP/ or PSI.
This is why certain loads even of the same weight projectile are lower recoil loads.
Many of todays modern low flash/ low recoil loads are from more efficient powders that more fully burn in shorter barrels and yet produce good velocities even from shorter barrels.
this will almost alway be a lower pressure round among same loadings in the same caliber.
this pretty much takes into account variables such as projectile weight, velocity (such as plus P).
If you find a similiar weight projectile that produces a decent velocity and at lower pressure levels then you likely have found a lower recoiling round.
OF course the weapons weight and ergonomics has a lot to do with the recoil factor and felt recoil as well.
 

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shoot it and let us know what you find out. Ii had the bejesus scrared out of me the other day wasnt the recoil it was the sound. We shot the new tcm 22 rock island my buddy had gotten after 3 months wait hardly any recoil but man was it loud and a big muzzle flash cool gun to shoot

jhp
 
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All the anal izing about ammo to use I have read, full metal this hollow point that. The truth is shoot what the gun was designed to shoot, sure some bullets will this or that ,but anyone and I mean anyone who gets hit by a 45 bullet flat nose or hollow + p is gonna stop and listen to you.The round in fmj was designed to do just that.
 

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OK I have a brand new PT145 and I need some advice on what to put into it.

I have heard that the heavier the round the less the recoil the quicker your back on target for the followup shot. In the past recoil was not a real issue for me. I put 158 gr JHP's in the .357, 180 gr JHP's in my .40 cal (I have since sold it) and 147 gr JHP's in my 9mm (sold that too). But now I have a medical condition that requires me to think more about it recoil and I want to use a load in a .45 that will have the velocity to expand but keep the recoil down as much as possible.

The only thing the store had was ball ammo in 230 gr...and since a gun that goes BANG is better than one that goes CLICK I got my self a box of 50 to shoot and hearing that the heavier the better I went with the 230 gr.

The ammo I want to eventually go with is the Winchester PDX1 Bonded providing the PT145 likes them. My thinking here is that the PDX1 is the chosen ammo of the FBI and if it is good enough for them it is an easier justification for the round selection in court if I ever have to use my gun in self defense.

I am a firm believer in shot placement so getting the hottest +p round is not really where I'm at. I also realize that I am responsible for everything that round hits down range, meaning if it goes through or over penetrates my intended target it is now a round looking for someone else to hit, not a good situation on a crowded street or theater or home, I have a wife and three kids that I love dearly.

So what do you all think? Heavier or lighter, Hollow, Ball or frangible? If you have a PT145 what have you found it likes to eat?

Thank you All!
In my personal experiences, heavier bullets have more of a "push" while lighter bullets have more of a "snap". I personally prefer the push. And also +P loads are less likely to over-penetrate because the same bullet moving at a higher speed will expand more, therefore decreasing penetration. That being said, I use 200 gr. +P Gold Dots in my 1911. 185 would be light for caliber for me, and 230 is a little heavy. The 1911 was originally designed for 200 gr, and it is a happy medium for me so I use it.
 

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From my exp I have always found that heavier bullets in factory loads weather ball or jhp has less recoil.
 

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All the anal izing about ammo to use I have read, full metal this hollow point that. The truth is shoot what the gun was designed to shoot, sure some bullets will this or that ,but anyone and I mean anyone who gets hit by a 45 bullet flat nose or hollow + p is gonna stop and listen to you.The round in fmj was designed to do just that.
Actually the great fame of the 45 Round ball (or FMJ) was a knee jerk reaction to the old Colt revolver round that could not put down savages.
The FMJ lives on today as a result of Politically Correct leaders that want to shoot soldiers but not hurt them!
Hence the expanding point projectile in any caliber is outlawed by law for use in wars.
We as civilians are not restricted by these laws and so can use a more efficient killing machine.
The modern self defense projectile is designed with both expansion and pentration built in, as long as its fired at the FPS it was designed to operate in.
Depending on the particular weapon then I like from 175 to 200 grain projectiles in my 45's and have a few 230 JHP here and there, the commander size 1911's with alloy frames act a lot better with the lighter projectiles for me.
OF course theres a difference in recoil and felt recoil!
While a 1911 with a 6 inch all steel frame will have almost the same actual recoil in pounds at the muzzle as a Lightweight commaner 4 inch alloy frame, the felt recoil will be more as its a lighter weapon, ergonomics also plays a part , hence the popularity of rubber grips.
 

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From my exp I have always found that heavier bullets in factory loads weather ball or jhp has less recoil.
Likely because the heavier factory projectile has less energy!
IF the heavier projectile was pushed at the same FPS as the lighter round then the heavier projectile would be more recoil.
Typically a "not modern" design hollow point will have more recoil than the same weight FMJ (target) round as they are loaded a bit hotter.
The older JHP needed more FPS to get the thing to expand than todays modern design hollow points., this is why a lot of older JHP were listed as Plus p.
 

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Thanks everyone! I guess you have all given me several excuses to buy ammo (when I can get it) and go shooting. :D
You have plenty of info, opinion and input to process. A run through the 45 ACP page of Ballistics 101 may help you pinpoint some factory loads that you believe may work best for you. They have a lot of currently manufactured popular rounds with relevant stats listed in a well organized page. 45 ACP Ballistics Chart | Ballistics 101 << link

In competition I get great follow up shots with 180 in 40 S&W (just making major power factor just over 950 fps) and 147 in 9mm (just above minor pf - not more than 900 fps). I shoot hotter rounds for SD but as pointed out, today's JHPs have been improved significantly and will function at lower speeds (sacrificing energy in the process).

Look at the stats for the Speer 230gr "short barrel' specific round - 343ft lbs muzzle energy at 820 fps. Some would call that a real 'pussy cat' of a load but I doubt that Speer would put a SD round on the market that was not effective, eh?! Your gun fits the Short Barrel category and at 22 oz. it is also light - great for carry but, perhaps adding to the 'perceived recoil' already well discussed.

Sounds like you are ready to start the hunt for your 'IT' round. Post up what you try and discover! ;)
 
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X-actly!
most of todays low flash, short barreled ammunition operate effectively at speeds as low as 750 Fps, most are loaded in the 800-900 fps range, Gold Dot ,especailly the short barrel, Hornady FTX (critical defense), and several others are very light recoil, low flash (if there is such a thing!) and effective in ballistic testing.
I like the Hiornady XTP round as well in the larger calibers.
 
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