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Good day everyone. I need an experienced hand to weigh in.

I have been a handgun owner for a little over 2 months now. I think I have gone a little overboard (bought 3 guns, with another on layaway - hahahaha).
I will have 2 9mm, and 2 .45's. In each caliber, I have a full 5 inch barrel, and a 3.25 inch. All made by Taurus.

I have read about different manufacturers, looked at accuracy, penetration, expandibility, etc.

I can't seem to get my arms around what is the appropriate grain for each weapon. Right now I use 124gr Magtech hollowpoints in my PT111 and PT92. Should there be a consideration between the different barrel lengths?

Same question for my .45's. I would appreciate any insight. I current carry 230gr Federal Hydrashok for my PT 145. I have read that this was great ammunition 15 years ago, but perhaps not so true today. I have a 1911 on layaway (fell in love with it, and the price at an after Christmas special :D.

I would appreciate any kind feedback you have to offer.

Happy New Year everyone.




Ivan
 

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I use 124 gr Speer Gold dots short barrel in my PT111Pro, PT911, PT92 and RIA MAPP1 MS all 9mm. I use 250 gr Speer in my 45 ACP. Now most of the current brands are all pretty good just Speer builds rounds for the shorter barreled carry guns. At any rate I prefer 124 gr in 9mm and 200 to 250 gr in 45 ACP guns. The main reason is that what seems to work best for me.
 

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Speer Gold dots, Corbon DPX, and Winchester PDX1 are all good choices.
 

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My answer is probably not what you were looking for but what several of us do with new guns. Being old and owning several you have time to run a few hundred rounds through a gun to see what it likes and shoots best. Any gun at any age can malfunction, but when new and tight is usually when they are most likely. While breaking in is a good time to test different ammo, shoot strong and weak hand, etc. Handguns are like women, and some are picky about what you feed them. The brand/type of ammo I put in a carry gun depends first on the gun and how well it runs with it. For a gun that eats anything I shoot a thick stack of wet phone books. The load that does the most damage goes in the gun. You have several companies making really good ammo.
 

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I current carry 230gr Federal Hydrashok for my PT 145. I have read that this was great ammunition 15 years ago, but perhaps not so true today.

Ivan
I think the speed of advertising is beginning to exceed the rate of product development in some ways.

Hydrashok was an excellent round when it first hit the market. It has not become diminished in its capacity to do now exactly what it did then. It's virtually the same as it first was when it came to market. It was the significant improvement over the SuperVels and a host of others which began this hollow-point handgun ammunition development race.

Now. There have been other bullets and other manufacturers to hit the market before and since, and they may or they may not offer marginal improvements - but only according to their press-releases, whole orders of magnitude. It is still simply a chunk of lead with a gilding-metal jacket, traveling at xxx feet per second. In practical reality, when you look at the whole process from firing to ultimate impact and wound-channel, there is not much difference except in minutiae, and you have to look very carefully to discern the difference.

To be sure, there have been differences in "loadings", such as flash-suppressed powders, +P+, and so on which are by no means discounted here. But I am speaking mainly of the bullet, the projectile.

In the "rubber-meets-the-road" sense, AND THIS IS PURELY MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION, that which worked well a decade ago has hardly been eclipsed by the current technology and processes. The only significantly new development is the little plastic filler in the cavity of some hollow points (brand deliberately left unmentioned) which is advertised to prevent the cavity from filling with clothing or other extraneous material which would tend, in some scenarios, to limit or prevent optimum expansion. Maybe it works, more or less, but that's not the point here.

My point, in case the subtleties have been excessive and obscure, is that there is nothing wrong with Hydrashoks, and they don't cost as much, generally, as some of the newer 'flavor of the month" rounds. If you ever had to use one in a real-world defensive situation, shot placement is going to be more important than price per round.

Flash
 

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There are no magic bullets; period.

After your guns are properly broken in, carry what "you" shoot the best in that particular gun.

At handgun velocities today's premium JHP's all perform about the same on the street.
 

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There are no magic bullets; period.

After your guns are properly broken in, carry what "you" shoot the best in that particular gun.

At handgun velocities today's premium JHP's all perform about the same on the street.
+1 to that. If your gun will shoot the load reliably and you have a good placement on the shot, even FMJ will get the job done, with obvious differences.
 

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There are no magic bullets; period.

After your guns are properly broken in, carry what "you" shoot the best in that particular gun.

At handgun velocities today's premium JHP's all perform about the same on the street.

What he said.
 

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The Federal Hydra-Shok has been tweaked several times in the years of it's production. Different powders, and different alloys of lead have been standardized over the years. It's always been a bit slower than some other loadings, as it's FBI protocol characteristics were arrived at at lower velocities than others. As such, it is easier recoiling, and less wearing of the gun, especially in .45 ACP.

Today, about any premium JHP that you buy will operate within a couple of percentage points of each other.

Now, that said, you GUN may not like a particular ammunition. It can show this by poor groups, or through reliability problems. It happens, and there's nothing to be done, except move on to another ammunition. Always run at least one hundred rounds through a broken-in gun. After that, and comparing it to other ammo, you can pick your gun's favorite, and expect the combination to serve you well. Happy New Year.
 

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I love this forum!! Everyone gives good advice but doesn't push their own agenda!! Much better than nevada Shooters!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You guys are great. Thanks much
 

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115 and 124 +P work really well in short barrels. I shoot 115 myself. Check out CorBon 115 JHP. I really don't care for 147 in 9x19, not a lot of thump there. Lighter bullets perform better and more feeding problems occur in short pistols with 147 due to the OAL, I think, anyway. My Kel Tec doesn't like 'em, i know that.
 

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My personal choices are Hornady Critical Defense #1. #2 is Winchester Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point. The four factors for ammo are.

Bullet weight.......How many grains?

Velocity.............How fast?

Foot Pounds Of Energy?........How hard does it hit?

Bullet type? FMJ....Hollowpoint.... Plugged Hollowpoint....etc
 

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Hornaday Critical Defense is a good round with good expansion for a slow moving .45 ACP... good penetration and expansion characteristics are important for a self defense round. I know Golden Sabres are really good out of a short barreled .380 but don't work as well in a 9mm. Since I don't currently own a 9mm, I won't comment as I haven't done a lot of research. In your 1911, keep in mind they were designed 100 years ago to run 230 gr. ball ammo so that is typically what will feed most reliably which is a big consideration (as has been pointed out) and the .45 makes big enough holes where special self defense ammo is a bonus but not 100 percent necessary if you place shots well. The biggest thing with your 1911 is to pick up some GOOD QUALITY magazines. I use CMC (Chip McCormick) match grade 8 round and Wilson Combat also makes good mags. The CMC mags are the secret to flawless feeding (or Wilson). There may be other mags that work as well but I am SURE about CMC from personal experience and I have used a lot of different magazines.
 

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My personal choices are Hornady Critical Defense #1. #2 is Winchester Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point. The four factors for ammo are.

Bullet weight.......How many grains?

Velocity.............How fast?

Foot Pounds Of Energy?........How hard does it hit?

Bullet type? FMJ....Hollowpoint.... Plugged Hollowpoint....etc
Actually velocity, and to an extent bullet weight, are only important as to their effect on energy. However, more bullet weight CAN mean better penetration in a given caliber due to increased sectional density. You don't want your bullet TOO light or you might not have the penetration you need. I think 115 is plenty in a self defense 9x19 load, though, and especially a hornady XTP bullet.
 

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I have been a handgun owner for a little over 2 months now. I think I have gone a little overboard (bought 3 guns, with another on layaway - hahahaha).
I will have 2 9mm, and 2 .45's. In each caliber, I have a full 5 inch barrel, and a 3.25 inch. All made by Taurus.

I have read about different manufacturers, looked at accuracy, penetration, expandibility, etc.

I would appreciate any kind feedback you have to offer.

Happy New Year everyone.
Ivan
well in like designed projectiles the fastest will have the most energy, the heaviest will have the most penetration, the middle weight usually gives the best all around general performance in full sized pistols, this is figuring you can't control the size of your target, what the target is wearing, at what range the target may be.
the modern design self defense round has moved the performance of almost all weights closer together.
the one thing that we know for certain is that regardless of manufacture or weight if the ammunition does not perform 120% in your weapon then you got the wrong colored box in your ammo cabinet.
Personally i prefer a 200 grain 45 acp round and i use 92 grain all copper round in my 9 mms, all the tote guns have 3-4 inch barrels in and this round produces 1300 FPS and 390 Ft pounds of energy with 12-14 inches of penetration out of a 4 inch barreled 9MM.
but if it or any round doesn't work in your gun its useless as a protection round.
 

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As others on here have said test several different manufacturers cartridges to see which one runs the best in your particular gun and then balance that with how they perform. Much of what we read and see in advertisements are strictly that "Advertisement Hype". the minor differences are not going to be that much of a determining factor if the shot placement is good.
 

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The competition in ammunition is fierce, and every major manufacturer is going to keep pace or try to exceed the guy next to them on the shelf. The biggest difference between them usually is price alone, not so much in performance. Projectile designs, metal compositions, and powder mixes may differ vastly amongst them, but they know if they build a good round they will make money. Some work better in different firearms than others, but the general goal is to give you a quality product that you're willing to shell out top dollar for. Just find out what feeds and cycles best in your gun, because like some have said already, sometimes they can be pretty picky at times.
 

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As a firearms instructor I can tell you that first is the reliable feeding of the ammo you carry is more important than what you carry. Shot placement next and then energy dump (knock down or stoping power) and finally pentration to vitals equals dead bad guy. To many carry what they like rather than what there weapon likes.
 
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