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Can anyone reccomend a good self defense load for the .45 ACP for a government model 1911?

Does anyone have any recommendations on bullet weights or design? Hollow points or Full metal jackets?

What about powder? Anything wrong with Unique? I also have a lot of 700X on hand from when I was shooting trap. How about Accurate Arms #5, Bullseye, Winchester 231, or IMR 4227?

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[This message has been edited by Colt shooter (edited 09-16-2001).]
 

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Hello. While conventional wisdom is not to use handloads for defense as very, very good commercial loads exist, I would think that
the following would be effective.

200 gr Hornady XTP over 7.2 gr Unique. Velocity will be in excess of 950 - 1000 ft/sec. I would go no hotter than 8 grs and have found best accuracy around 7.2 gr.

230 gr Speer Gold Dot over 6.6 gr Unique. Velocity is around 850 ft/sec from a 5" gun.

Sierra 185 gr PJHP over 8.0 gr Unique.
Velocity is around 1050 ft/sec and expansion is violent.

Best.
 

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I'm trying 2 loads with success so far. They both are 200 gr bullets. One is the XTP over 9.0gr of AA# 5 and the other is a 200 gr TMJ-SWC at from 8.0 to 9.0 of AA#5...They are both accurate and at 1.250 OAL perfectly reliable...I may push them a little faster and hold at the point accuracy begins to fall off. Good luck and have fun...

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[This message has been edited by gyp_c (edited 10-20-2001).]
 

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Colt Shooter,

My favorite is as follows:

230 grain BJHP Golden Saber
5.3 to 5.4 grains of Bullseye
CCI large pistol primer
1.233 OAL
2 thousands taper

5.3 grains of Bullseye chronys 845 ft per sec with my 5 inch Kimber and 5.4 chronys 873 feet per sec. 875 feet per sec is the factory spec. for the 230 grain Golden Saber. So in your case I would go with the 5.4 load.

5.3 grains of bullseye groups best with my 5 inch Kimber.

However, I recommend store bought ammo for home defense due to law suits if it is ever used for defense. That way no one can say you were using a "killer" designed load in court.

Mark
 

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An old favorite, from the Speer manual #8, is the 200 grain Speer flying ashtray with 7.7 grains of Unique. Makes 1000 fps in a Commander. This load is no longer in the manual, so it may exceed SAAMI specs, but it worked well for me.

There seems to be no basis in court records for the advice not to use handloads for defense. However, I now use the Federal 230 Hydra-Shok because it has a good reputation in actual use. I don't know what my handloads will do in actual defensive use, and don't want to find out the hard way.
 

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I am still waiting (patiently) for those voluminous case histories involving civil cases surrounding legitimate handloads. The silence is deafening. This is not stated in smug arrogance, but pure resentment for Pavlonian responses offered as sound advice. Precautionary, perhaps, but not evidentiary. Preparing for something that you cannot prove exists is simply creating a myth. Enough of those out there already.

In the meantime, I use 230 Gold Dot JHP or Winchester Standard 230 JHP projectiles in 5" bbl length 1911's.

I refrain from offering powder weights due to the inconsistency I have experienced with a batch of my choice of propellant.

Consequently, I am using a powder charge over a full grain less than the minimum published charge by both Speer and the propellant manufacturer. Must have gotten a hot batch. Perhaps working up the load with the next 4 lbs will offer more predictable results.

For the interim, I relish the thought of an opposing civil attorney discovering that my handloads are grossly under published specifications.

231, and AA#5 are both good powders. I also like Power Pistol for pushing slightly higher velocities.

As always, start low on the charge and work up. Thank goodness I did.
 

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Originally posted by Jager:
I am still waiting (patiently) for those voluminous case histories involving civil cases surrounding legitimate handloads.
Massad Ayoob (who, as you already know, has testified as an expert witness for the defense in dozens of defensive shooting cases) cautions against using handloads for defense. If he feels it's a bad idea, I'll take his word for it, even if he doesn't show me "voluminous case histories" to back up his opinion.

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Bullseye, 231, AA #5 and Unique are all great for .45 ACP handloads. IMR 4227 is much too slow-burning. I'm not familiar with 700X. My take on the .45 is that it is not really dependent on velocity for its effectiveness, so I load my ammo to hardball velocities (~830). Going higher really ups the blast/noise level, and it's the "light" shooting qualities of the .45 that make it so appealing.
 

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...Exactly...I load to the 900fps and 200gr load and it really brought out the best in the pistol and in my performance as well...It's soft and accurate and using well-made bullets, it's tough to argue with that...


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Making preparations based upon likelihoods that you cannot prove exist is an emotional, rather than rational thought process.

Guess I'll still be waiting after Ayoob has passed into the great beyond.
 

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"Making preparations based upon likelihoods that you cannot prove exist is an emotional, rather than rational thought process."

Funny, but that's pretty much what lawyers are paid to do. At least, that's one of the things that they taught is law school. If something is in the realm of possibility, or flows from a foreseeable event, then it's recoverable. That's why a vacuum cleaner company got sued and lost, even though they couldn't prove that a young boy would ride naked on one and get his penis removed by an exposed fan. That's why Dow Corning settled breast implant litigation even though there was no real evidence of damages from silicone implants.

As an attorney, I spend much of my time anticipating the unexpected. That's one of the things I get paid for. Getting sued for using a handload isn't what I worry about. Having an unscrupulous jury mislead an ignorant jury about "ammunition tinkered up in the basement to be more lethal" is.
 

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Jager, being assaulted on the street is not even a likelihood. It's more like a remote possibility, and I actually can't even prove that much, except by making some assumptions. But I still just might have the Kimber stashed about my person, in preparation for that unproven, unlikely possibility.

Colt Shooter, you asked one question that I wanted to answer. I started reloading maybe 30 years ago, and over the years, I don't think I've ever encountered a powder that is useful in more applications than Unique. It is a fairly dirty powder, but that doesn't change the fact that I use it a lot.

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Originally posted by Jager:
Making preparations based upon likelihoods that you cannot prove exist is an emotional, rather than rational thought process.
buzz_knox has demonstrated the flaw in your argument. Most decisions we make in life are basic risk/reward analysis. Since I sacrifice nothing in capability and reliability by using factory loads for defensive carry, I am content to avoid the admittedly small risk of having a prosecutor convince a jury that I set out to kill based on the fact that I load my own ammunition. That is my decision. Yours is obviously different.

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Hello JP

You are correct. Unique is very useful, isn't it. Dirty? Perhaps by the standards of some of today's new powders. I wonder why a powder that burns clean is so important. I am going to clean my firearm just the same as if I was shooting a dirty powder.

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AKM, I am unsure what Buzz proved, if anything.

Buzz, can you bring to light a case, criminal or civil in which legitimate handloads were a key factor? I respect your opinion and could not agree more, but carrying a Barrett .50 into the high country with you because of rumors of Bigfoot in the area is not typically considered rational behavior.

AKM, my point is not to attack someone elses choice. It is to show my disdain for those who claim their choice is based on some court case(s) that they can point to or some elusive knowledge that only they possess. "Don't carry handloaded ammunition because you will get sued" is no more than a mantra evoked by far too many people with no basis in fact.

Your decision is your decision. Mine is mine That is a given.

But touting a personal choice as the only way to go because the "boogey-man" will get them if they don't rings more of a religion than a rational choice. I am not saying that is your platform. Merely, that it is the platform of the larger number who profess such unsubstantiated claims.

Finally, JP. I have confronted burglars twice attempting to gain entry into my home. I have had a gun pointed at me on the freeway (road rage, my road, their rage). I was accosted in a convenience store parking lot by three assailants. Had a guy in a 4WD try to run me off the road on my motorcycle, not once, but three times. I prevented a rape by two assailants on a poor single mother of two. I was the target of a failed carjacking attempt. Over a dozen times in my life I have been forced to either display a firearm or draw down on another human being to prevent a felony or counter deadly force. As many or more times I have done so without the fortune of being armed. Accosted at an ATM by three youths while unarmed taught me a lesson. It was the first time in my life I did not have a firearm with me and bingo! Luckily a cop appeared and they fled. Since they were not apprehended, they are likely still out there. All of these occurred over several states, not one locale.

And I am not a cop, nor am I a criminal. I do not drink, use drugs, and I live by the creed of doing what is right and fair. As hard as that is to distinguish anymore, sometimes it has to be demonstrated to people.

I wish it was not a likelihood, but in the few years I have been graced to reside in this world, it has been demonstrated to me, at least, that humanity has a great propensity for violence against their own kind.

Like yourself, I will tend to keep a trusty sidearm within reach, a smoothbore at the bedside and a high powered rifle in remote locations. It all boils down to personal choices, hopefully based on fact and experience.

I no longer go to ATM's at night, even when armed. I am more conscious of my surroundings at traffic lights. I own a quicker and faster car and the other that doesn't makes it's own roads. I vigorously watch my rear view mirror for agitated drivers. I do not exit my vehicle without a thorough scan of the area.

I learned these things by living through them and by possessing some forethought and a lot of providence.

Yes, lawyers worry me. They should worry all of us. But having one go for my jugular over the use of a properly manufactured handload used in a justifiable self-defense shooting is simply not one of them.
 

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Jager, have you considered moving to a safer neighborhood?


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I am by no means an expert, but do not see how some peker head lawar can prosicute me (btw i'm not fond of lawers) for somthing as ludicrous as weather or not I load my own ammunition, since for obvious reasons I am not loading them with armor peircing rounds? Do they prosicute self defense cases because they build their own guns, too? Come on ppl, give me a break here! I think lawyers have WAY to much free time on their hands.

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Originally posted by Colt shooter:
Can anyone reccomend a good self defense load for the .45 ACP for a government model 1911?
I personally like the Hornady 185gr XTP JHP pushed by 10.8gr of AA5. This load runs about 1150fps out of my 5" Kimber on a hot day. On a cold day it is just under 1100fps. The XTP is very soft and deforms/expands nicely in most all test media. They will even deform when shot into wood - other JHPs I've tried will plug and act like FMJ.

This is a max load and not subject to interpetation. If you mess up/double charge/whatever, I'll sign the get well card that they attach to the wet/dry vac they transported you to the hospital in.




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