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Hello! Hopefully somebody can help me out with information regarding hardball for self-defense. Understanding that the 1911 was originally designed as a hardball gun, is HB a good idea for home defense?

I know my 1991A1 is throated for hollow-points and the Federal Hydra-Shok works great, but is ball better?

Clint Smith recommends ball for defense, but does anybody know why? I've never read an explanation of his choice.

I'm afraid of ball going through the bad guy, into the wall, through the wall and into the next room, etc.

Any comments? --Brian
 

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I can't think of any reason at all to use ball ammo for defense. Since most top notch HP ammo meets the optimal pennetration standards in gellatin set by the FBI, 12"-18" this eliminates penetration being the only thing that ball does better. Ball ammo will not expand like hollow points. True, expansion can not always be counted on but with hollow points atleast you have the chance of expansion. IMHO the two most important things that a defensive type round can do are #1 penetrate #2 expand. Using ball you are eliminating #2 from the very begining. Stick with HP's for defense and ball for the range.

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"Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet."
 

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Ford,
I agree completely...Ball may have been ok in the bad old days when HPs were prone to misfeed, etc. Today they don't, so the perception that ball is somehow more reliable in pistols is moot.
 

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My priorities are a lil' different but close...

1) Reliability
2) Accuracy
3) Consistency
4) Penetration
5) Expansion

...did I mention Reliability?



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>>>>>>>>>>g2<<<<<<<<<<

I Like The Shade Too!
 

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LW. I must respectfully disagree.

I work on and shoot 1911s for a living. Modern hollowpoints have made great strides in feed reliability. IMO, ball ammo is still more reliable, especially in unmodified guns but also in throated and polished 1911s.
 

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In most of the case I have heard of someone, just being wounded & NOT Killed, they where shoot with HB.

You can check a few sites that I'll list for a bit more info;

Wound ballistics is the study of effects on the body produced by penetrating projectiles.

U.S. Department of Justice - Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness

<A HREF="http://www.firearmstactical.com/tacticalbriefs/volume4/number2/article421.htm" TARGET=_blank>Reality of the Street? A Practical Analysis of Offender Gunshot Wound Reaction for Law Enforcement Agencies
</A>

<A HREF="http://www.evanmarshall.com/towert/" TARGET=_blank>Dale Towert's Stopping Power Page
</A>

ONE-SHOT STOPPING POWER

I hope this helps (?) you out, I know it was of some help to me, I now aim for the Center of the Head!
 

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Originally posted by Frank Sottile:
In most of the case I have heard of someone, just being wounded & NOT Killed, they where shoot with HB.

I hope this helps (?) you out, I know it was of some help to me, I now aim for the Center of the Head!
Sorry Frank, but I'll dig you up just as many references for ineffectual hollowpoint incapacitation. It is shot placement that determines outcome. Aiming for the centre of the head is not sound tactical advice. It is too small a target, and there's a reason why you shoot for COM. I won't get into it here, but rest assured, your thinking is flawed by taking head shots first.

That being said, hollowpoints that feed reliably in your gun are the way to go. Did Gyc_c mention reliability? If your gun does not feed hollowpoints with less than 1 FTF in 1000, you may be better off with FMJ.
 

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IMHO if your gun does not feed HP's you have 2 choices.

#1 Have a smith work on it untill it feeds HP's with the same reliability as ball.

#2 Get rid of the gun!

Gyp C,
Your priorities are in line but I was talking about what the round does after it enters the body. Guess I should have been clearer on that. Reliability is very important 'cause if the gun don't go BANG then you are really in trouble. Accuracy, well alot of that is up to the shooter.

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"Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet."
 

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I would wager that regardless of what bullet configuration I put through my 1911 if my hit is center of mass, I would bet the felon has either been sufficiently repelled or expired.

Regardless, with a center hit from a .45 you're gonna do damage. Even without the extra expansion offered by Hollow-points with a center hit, you will likely break bones and strike vitals. Either way the felon will likely go down.

I would like to use Hollow Points, but I place reliability ahead of anything else so HB gets my vote.


BTW,,,locally from what I understand the police are taught a double tap COM, then instead of going for the head, they teach shooting toward the groin region, in hopes of breaking a bone in the pelvis plus you are getting a bit larger area to shoot at.

Hey, there's an added benefit. If the felon doesn't expire with the groin shots, there's a chance they will not defile the gene pool any longer.
 

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Strider,

I respectfully disagree. If the gun can not be made to feed HP reliably then it probably shouldn't be trusted to feed HB either. I have personally seen different lots of HB come out of the same manufacturer that gave a ton of trouble feeding reliably in Baers, SAs and even Sig220s.

On the other hand, I've had roughly around 10,000 rounds of primarily HP through my SA Pro Model (Golden Sabre and HydraShok) with out ONE failure to feed, eject, etc.

While reliability cannot be understated, I would just add that if the gun is not reliable with the best bullet for a defensive situation you should either fix it or dump it. Its kinda like saying, "I won't carry a sharp knife 'cause it might get dull."

Anyway, thats my take on things defensive. Never settle for second best when first best is available.
 

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Originally posted by LW McVay:
LW,
I have personally seen different lots of HB come out of the same manufacturer that gave a ton of trouble feeding reliably in Baers, SAs and even Sig220s.

We must be shooting ammo from the same lots.
It amazes me how much factory ball ammo can vary.

I have to really disagree with you (respectfully of course) on this one, though-

"While reliability cannot be understated, I would just add that if the gun is not reliable with the best bullet for a defensive situation you should either fix it or dump it."

IMO the best bullet is the most reliable one. A tactical nuke bullet will do no good if it won't feed and hit the target.

I can agree with you wholeheartedly about your closing statement: "Never settle for second best when first best is available."
 

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Strider,

Then I guess we will just have to agree to disagree, respectfully, on some points. But hey, I always say "each to his own".

FWIW: I would also add that if one were to choose ball ammo for your self defense gun, you could do a lot worse than going with the Federal Match ammo. It seems to be relatively consistent of late. Probably something to do with a little better QC before being labled "match".

Regardless, stay safe Strider!
 

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If you are worried about reliability then I think I would rather go with .357 Sig than .45 hard ball. So far the .357 Sig has a great reputation at feeding reliabily. I never had a problem with mine. Just my nickles worth.
 

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IIRC, Clint Smith chooses HB because of it's reliability. I also believe that he stated that he's very certain of his target and the backdrop before firing.

If HB is the only round your gun will feed reliably than it's definitely the way to go. However, any properly made 1911 should be able to feed modern HP's reliabily.

As to how you can tell. Well...if you've fed enough rounds of one type through your gun without a hiccup I think that's a pretty good sign.

I have a SA that has fed more than 2500 rounds without a failure, probably more than a thousand of those rounds were 230 gr Hydrashoks. I think I can safely say that it's reliable with HP rounds.

If you can only afford to shoot enough HB through your gun to be confident in it's reliability, what can anyone say?

There isn't a single gun I wouldn't put sufficient rounds into to be certain that's it's reliable with any particular load. Not even Glocks (I've seen them fail too).
 

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Good strong opinions ...I respect them all


I still... respectfully...must stay with reliability as Numero Uno...no matter what the config...Same for accuracy...Just can't get past those two...

I DO understand that we're talking about both here...Hitting the target and results...

...If I have to be ready to dump endless numbers of rds, I'd still pick the ball ammo...just for the fact, there's always more of it available...


I DO keep JHP in the pistol...I just have 2 more mags of HB to follow with


It IS a great time to own 1911s...They work SOOO much better and the reason is that so many have elevated the art of care and feeding, with some tweaks here and there thrown in for good measure...


My gosh...hasn't been that long ago that there were very few decent choices in 1911s AND ammo...
Shoot...we've go a lot more people makin' 'em right and a lot more folks just MAKIN' 'EM!!!

...I like that!

Thanks everyone!

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>>>>>>>>>>g2<<<<<<<<<<

I Like The Shade Too!

[This message has been edited by gyp_c (edited 05-29-2001).]
 

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.45ACP developed it's reputation as a reliable fight stopper in ball configuration.Most of the sooperdooper rounds don't have enough verifiable action to develop factual numbers.Advertisement,media hype and plain old B.S. sell most of this stuff.My gun feeds anything including empty brass.It's loaded with ball.But thats my perogative not to say it should be yours.
 

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Strange but noone has mentioned semi-wad cutters.

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IceCreamSoldier............... what else is so easy to attack........
 

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One reason, in my mind the main reason, for hollow points, has not been mentioned, namely the danger to others from a 230 FMJ that has passed through 12" of BG and comes out the other side doing 500FPS (just a guess). The probability of this is reduced with HP's... so, for me, part of the equation must be not just what's good for me and bad for Mr. BG (in terms of reliability and bullet effectiveness), but what's good for everyone and everything in a 90 degree cone behind the intended target. With all due respect to Mr. Smith, whose level of experience I don't even hope to ever attain, it is well and good to say you'll make sure of the back field but I just don't see that being something you can count on and bet folks' safety on.

On a slightly related note, I bought some Longbow frangible a couple months ago in .45 ACP and .223. I have not fired any of it yet (nor any frangible ammo for that matter).... I will see if I can shoot some this weekend and give a little report for those who like me have not fiddled with it.
 

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I use HB in my 1911's, but if my 12 Ga is nearby and there was a bad guy lurking, I would probably go with my 12 Ga. for the very reason you mentioned. I live in the city with a few houses near by and really the shotgun is probably a better choice, but I'm not an expert in close quarters with the long gun.....so more than likely I would be back to using my 1911.

See,,,,always back to the 1911.
 
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