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Ball is the most reliable hollow points more effective... I wouldn't carry anything but hollow points personally unless I had no other choice.. If not for the fact that they are more effective then for the fact of the higher potential of a pass through and injuring or worse to innocent bystanders...
 

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Round-nosed FMJ will always be the most reliable round for any semi-auto handgun. In an urban environment you still want to use JHP ammo, but which one is the most reliable depends on your individual pistol. Try to find one with a rounded, FMJ-like bullet ogive for a start.
 

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I haven't had a problem with anything, though I usually stick with 200-230gr. I would not use FMJ as a carry load.

ETA: Test any unknown ammo that you intend to carry thoroughly.
 

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Agree with all of the previous posts but to answer your question, and this is MY PISTOLS ONLY,
My Norinco eats just about whatever I feed it but I either carry Hydra-Shok or Golden Saber for SD purposes.
Pretty much the same goes in my Rock Island Compact but it hates 230gr XTP loads. 200gr Gold Dots is my preferred load for that one (better velocities).
My Springfield so far likes Golden Saber & Gold Dots (230gr).
FMJ loads are for range fodder unless I have no other ammo for SD purposes.
 

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I spend 98% of my time in the woods so I carry ball ammo most of the time but keep a couple of mags of HP in case i have to go to the big city. Most handguns were designed for FMJ but a heck of a lot has changed in the last 20+ years.
 

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The 1911 (and its magazine) was designed to run on ball. It can be modified to work with non ball rounds but it's not going to be as reliable unless worked over by a smith who really knows what they're doing. There is a very good reason that the military has always depended on ball and it has nothing to do with the Hague Accords or any other "treaties". If I absolutely "need" to run hollowpoints I only run them in a revolver.
 

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The 1911 (and its magazine) was designed to run on ball. It can be modified to work with non ball rounds but it's not going to be as reliable unless worked over by a smith who really knows what they're doing. There is a very good reason that the military has always depended on ball and it has nothing to do with the Hague Accords or any other "treaties". If I absolutely "need" to run hollowpoints I only run them in a revolver.
You are absolutely correct about the 1911's design. Hollowpoints didn't exist back then. 1911s have now evolved to the point that many of them will now run 100% without modification. Mine do.
 

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From ya alls experience what type ammo to carry is most effective and reliable. Ball or hollow point.
Depends on the 1911. I know my colt eats pretty much anything, but my ati commander is picky except with hornady critical defense.

I would say crit defense is the best from what I have fooled with. I have heard good things about liberty but have not had the chance to try it yet.
 

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The 1911 (and its magazine) was designed to run on ball. It can be modified to work with non ball rounds but it's not going to be as reliable unless worked over by a smith who really knows what they're doing. There is a very good reason that the military has always depended on ball and it has nothing to do with the Hague Accords or any other "treaties". If I absolutely "need" to run hollowpoints I only run them in a revolver.
For older guns or surplus guns that may be true. Most modern 1911's have barrel throats, ramps, and come with magazines that are hollowpoint friendly.



For the finicky calibers and/or the subcompact guns there's the ramped barrels that get rid of most of their bad tendencies.


For the last three decades or so pistols suitable for hollowpoint ammunition have been available and commonplace.

ETA:
This is what's in mine now:
20150720_095433 by Slick_Rick77, on Flickr
 

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Old myths die hard

I was out in ID a couple weeks ago visiting my old buddy Ken Hackathorn and we were sitting in the shade at his range letting the guns cool solving the worlds problems. The subject of currently available factory ammo came up and we both agreed that the current crop of .45 230gr hardball is pretty lame and we both see all kinds of malfunctions due to it. We also agreed that 230gr ball ammo is one of the hardest rounds to get a 1911 reliable with. Most is loaded too hot, I chrono'd some Fiocchi the other day and it clocked over 900fps out of a 5" 1911 barrel and obviously speeds up cycle time which is never good for reliability. The original military 230gr ball load specified 830fps. The shape of the bullet has gradually changed over the years to where a lot of them are very blunt making them hard to feed and are prone to bump the slide stop lug and lock the gun open with ammo still in the gun. Ken and I have always felt the 200gr H&G #68 L-SWC at 850fps loaded to 1.250" OAL is by far the most reliable feeding .45 bullet ever designed and that was what we were shooting that day. At WC we only use this bullet for testing accuracy because a pistol that's not right will still feed this ammo. Besides the H&G #68 there are several JHP bullets that feed well such as: Hornady XTP/HAP (1.230" OAL), Nosler 185gr JHP (this is the most accurate .45 bullet on the market), Speer Gold Dot, Win Silvertip, etc.. When we left Ken's we went up to Freedom Munitions/Extreme Bullets/Ammoload for a tour (VERY impressive operation BTY), their plated HP target bullet has a real good nose profile for feeding and I'm starting to shoot these for my range ammo in the 200gr weight. Speaking of weight 185-200gr bullets function more reliable overall than 230gr, especially in 4" or shorter barrel guns. Why a major ammo company doesn't produce a 200gr truncated cone bullet load at 850fps has always been a mystery to me???? That would be the ideal range load.

Bottom line: Pointed bullets in the 185-200gr weight range loaded to moderate velocity (185gr 920fps or 200gr 850fps) function much better than 230gr hardball, especially the stuff clocking over 850fps.

Fortunately 9mm FMJ ball ammo doesn't suffer from the same issues as .45 and is normally very reliable in terms of function.
 

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Another Station Heard From

Just one datum but for what it is worth, I have been shooting my old Commander lately.
I quickly rediscovered that it did not get shot much because it KICKS.

I realized that Charles Petty was right when he said that a mild load you could get hits with would be better than a hot load that kicked you into a flinch. He recommended keeping recoil down to 5 ft lbs. In a Commander, that is a 185 at 800 fps. Hardly more than midrange match ammo. And a bit sluggish in my gun, I would have to do spring balance adjustment to feel good about it.

But I can stand 6 ft lbs of recoil for a while, and a 185 or 200 at 850 is not bad. Hmm, I think somebody already said that.
Unfortunately, nobody sells a hollowpoint to that spec.
Too bad, because Remington plain JHP and Hornady XTP feed well in my gun.

So I looked at "Practical Match," a 230 at only 750.
Reloads like that shot well, so I bought some factory Asym to keep Massad happy. Horrors, one tied up my gun. I saw that the Asym bullet was more pointed than the elliptical GI hardball shape. I showed it all to my gunsmith who redid the barrel ramp which had only been lightly touched up nearly 40 years ago. We shall see how that works.

In the meanwhile, I have been shooting 200 gr XTPs. When I get enough through the gun to feel confident with them, I will look at the controversial matter of handloads for defense. Of course somebody with an ammo business could take care of that part, especially if he is already thinking along the same lines. I think it would be better than the conventional "Reduced Recoil" approach of reducing bullet weight and keeping velocity up.


Another datum, maybe just an anecdote, but it happened. A friend had occasion to shoot an assailant with real USGI Hardball. The bullets did not exit. The assailant was immediately stopped and very soon dead. I know there are counterexamples, but there are for about anything you can buy.
 

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I was out in ID a couple weeks ago visiting my old buddy Ken Hackathorn and we were sitting in the shade at his range letting the guns cool solving the worlds problems. The subject of currently available factory ammo came up and we both agreed that the current crop of .45 230gr hardball is pretty lame and we both see all kinds of malfunctions due to it. We also agreed that 230gr ball ammo is one of the hardest rounds to get a 1911 reliable with. Most is loaded too hot, I chrono'd some Fiocchi the other day and it clocked over 900fps out of a 5" 1911 barrel and obviously speeds up cycle time which is never good for reliability. The original military 230gr ball load specified 830fps. The shape of the bullet has gradually changed over the years to where a lot of them are very blunt making them hard to feed and are prone to bump the slide stop lug and lock the gun open with ammo still in the gun. Ken and I have always felt the 200gr H&G #68 L-SWC at 850fps loaded to 1.250" OAL is by far the most reliable feeding .45 bullet ever designed and that was what we were shooting that day. At WC we only use this bullet for testing accuracy because a pistol that's not right will still feed this ammo. Besides the H&G #68 there are several JHP bullets that feed well such as: Hornady XTP/HAP (1.230" OAL), Nosler 185gr JHP (this is the most accurate .45 bullet on the market), Speer Gold Dot, Win Silvertip, etc.. When we left Ken's we went up to Freedom Munitions/Extreme Bullets/Ammoload for a tour (VERY impressive operation BTY), their plated HP target bullet has a real good nose profile for feeding and I'm starting to shoot these for my range ammo in the 200gr weight. Speaking of weight 185-200gr bullets function more reliable overall than 230gr, especially in 4" or shorter barrel guns. Why a major ammo company doesn't produce a 200gr truncated cone bullet load at 850fps has always been a mystery to me???? That would be the ideal range load.

Bottom line: Pointed bullets in the 185-200gr weight range loaded to moderate velocity (185gr 920fps or 200gr 850fps) function much better than 230gr hardball, especially the stuff clocking over 850fps.

Fortunately 9mm FMJ ball ammo doesn't suffer from the same issues as .45 and is normally very reliable in terms of function.
Interesting seeing as how the ORIGINAL (1905) .45 auto cartridge WAS a 200gr. loading. My grandfather and father both had experience with this loading in the era before WW2 and always maintained that it was better than the "hardball" loading in terms of both accuracy and function. Interesting sidebar, back in the '30's the local "big shot NRA target shooting expert" showed up at the local gun club with his new Colt National Match .45 and was freely dispensing his "wisdom" about all things regarding the .45 auto pistol and shooting in general and when he took umbrage that my father disagreed with him on some point, the inevitable challenge occurred and my father outshot him with my grandfather's Colt 1905 .45 auto with that still available 200 gr. 1905 commercial (Winchester or Western?) ammo.
 
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