Your favorite 185gr carry load in the 45 ACP

wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
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For those who choose to use 185gr loads for carry in the 45 ACP, what is your favorite and why. Lighter recoil or whatever. Dan.
 
I've got a Kimber Tactical Pro II and my carry load is Winchester Ranger 230 gr JHP. Recoil isn't much so I am able to get back on target quickly for follow up shots.
I've never used the 185 gr bullets.

JD338
 
I don't use 185gr for carry or self-defense but prefer to have either 230gr GI ball or the 200gr HP CCI Blazer flying trash can which leaves a hole big enough to drive a trash truck threw. The 185gr HP is a great target bullet and the old 185gr semi wad cutter target load that Winchester and Remmington used to sell were a great dual-purpose load and created a big hole that didn't plug up easy.
Unless the 185 gr HP has a big wide hollow cavity, it will plug with clothing or whatever it passes through and act like a round nose and not expand. Now you're probably wondering why my first choice was 230gr GI ball, it's been known to knock a man off his feet with just a hit in the clothes he is wearing, think of being hit with a freight train.
I have been hit with one that came straight back after striking the edge on a steel plate at a pin match, it struck me in the thigh and took my legs right out from under me, I saw it coming and couldn't get out of the way before it hit, it didn't draw blood, but it sure left one heck of a bruise.
 
Winchester Silvertip in 185. I've also used Rem GS 185, though I cannot remember if those were +P or not. Why? Shorter barrels produce lower velocities, which is something the 45 ACP is already not really well known for. The lighter bullets give just a bit of an edge in speed, and are more likely to perform as designed than the heavier 230s. Though, that is simply my assumption, and I have not experimented on it.
 
Winchester Silvertip in 185. I've also used Rem GS 185, though I cannot remember if those were +P or not. Why? Shorter barrels produce lower velocities, which is something the 45 ACP is already not really well known for. The lighter bullets give just a bit of an edge in speed, and are more likely to perform as designed than the heavier 230s. Though, that is simply my assumption, and I have not experimented on it.
This was my thought concerning shorter barrel carry pistols. I have been using 230gr Federal and Speer HP in a Kimber compact stainless. Commander barrel-slide with officer grip. Me getting older, developing some arthritis, it's starting to be a handful and I'm starting to change to the 185gr bullets. Still shoot those 230's in my full size. Just don't carry it much. Re-read Ken Waters articles on the 45 ACP and he was in favor of using the 185gr. Picked some Sierra 185s the other day. Big hole. Haven't tried any jug tests but function ok. A comparison of Winchester, Sierra, Hornady and Speer 185s would be interesting to see side by side. Has anyone done this? Dan.
 
I run the 230 gr. Federal Hyda-shoks in my Colt Combat Commander. They're accurate in my gun and have a decent reputation as stoppers.
Paul B.
 
I carry factory loaded Remington 230 grain JHP ammo .

I seem to remember reading that reloaded ammo could be a bad thing if you were to shoot someone . the attorneys could say that factory ammo wasn't good enough for you , that you had to make your own more deadly ammo . does anybody know if this is true ?
 
I carry factory loaded Remington 230 grain JHP ammo .

I seem to remember reading that reloaded ammo could be a bad thing if you were to shoot someone . the attorneys could say that factory ammo wasn't good enough for you , that you had to make your own more deadly ammo . does anybody know if this is true ?
Could be the reason Police only carry factory ammo. I don't carry reload for self-defense for that same reason.
 
I carry factory loaded Remington 230 grain JHP ammo .

I seem to remember reading that reloaded ammo could be a bad thing if you were to shoot someone . the attorneys could say that factory ammo wasn't good enough for you , that you had to make your own more deadly ammo . does anybody know if this is true ?
They can say anything they want. Claims are easy, getting a jury to believe a claim is another matter. Where that might be an argument that would resonate, is if you loaded up, say, above book maximum. I cold see a jury in that case accepting that you wanted to kill someone. Of course, there are all manner of things that a prosecutor can claim; for a good example of that, do some reading on Harold Fish; here is one link to get you started: https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=4266

In an attempt not to derail the intent of the thread, I will add that I omitted one that I also use/ have used: Creedmoor Sports 185gr XTP.
 
I didn't mention anything about reloads. The Serria load I was referring to is their factory load using their 185gr bullet. I've heard pro and con on using reloads for self-defense. Could go either way depending on the prosecutor and jury. Had a law enforcement office once tell me that they couldn't recognize what load was used in a shooting. After describing the brass markings, it was Starline. Therefore, a reload. I personally have been carrying factory loads. Dan.
 
120 grain Lehigh Defenders at 1400 fps. Very easy to carry on long hikes, deadly on whitetail deer. Carry in my 30S and Novak Commander.
 
I didn't mention anything about reloads. The Serria load I was referring to is their factory load using their 185gr bullet. I've heard pro and con on using reloads for self-defense. Could go either way depending on the prosecutor and jury. Had a law enforcement office once tell me that they couldn't recognize what load was used in a shooting. After describing the brass markings, it was Starline. Therefore, a reload. I personally have been carrying factory loads. Dan.
Just for the record Atlanta arms loads Starline brass with 185gr Nosler JHPs for the military pistol teams and it is available for civilian purchase. It is a stiff load that is very accurate. There are several companies that use other manufacture's bullets in factory loads.
Zero loads used brass that is returned by police departments to get reduced prices on ammo or they at least did
when the 38spl was carried.
Once fired factory brass is easy to trace where reloaded range brass has markings from all guns it has been fired in so trying to pick out which gun fired the brass is almost impossible.
 
I carry factory loaded Remington 230 grain JHP ammo .

I seem to remember reading that reloaded ammo could be a bad thing if you were to shoot someone . the attorneys could say that factory ammo wasn't good enough for you , that you had to make your own more deadly ammo . does anybody know if this is true ?
I was told the same when I took my CPL class. It was also mentioned that a jury could use it against you but the instructor was unaware of this ever happening in MI.
To simplify this, I have always carried factory LE loads.

JD338
 
Just for the record Atlanta arms loads Starline brass with 185gr Nosler JHPs for the military pistol teams and it is available for civilian purchase. It is a stiff load that is very accurate. There are several companies that use other manufacture's bullets in factory loads.
Zero loads used brass that is returned by police departments to get reduced prices on ammo or they at least did
when the 38spl was carried.
Once fired factory brass is easy to trace where reloaded range brass has markings from all guns it has been fired in so trying to pick out which gun fired the brass is almost impossible.
Not positive but believe this was pre-Atlanta Arms loads. I agree with you, just passing on what was told to me. Appreciate your impute. Dan.
 
I believe it was Massad Ayoob who brought up the question of reload not being good for self defense. Seems many take his advice as gospel. Dunno whether it's true ot or not but the jury can be a fickle lot. You never know which ay they might turn depending on the circumstances. AFAIK, Mr. Ayoob has never shown a documented case of handloads being a factor in a shooting. I've subscribed to GUNS Magazine for years and can't remember is he ever cited a case when handloads caused the jury you convict. I'm not going to dig through roughly 30 years of GUNS Magazines to see if he did.
My carry guns run the 230 gr. Federal Hydra-shoks and my M60 125 gr. Plus P factory as a rule. However, when I'm out in the field, who knows what might be in that particular firearm. In the .44 mag. it'll be a handload. Same with the .357 Mag. In my neck of the desert, you never know what you might run into. In the lower desert it could be a bear, Mountain Lion, illegal aliens and drug smugglers. It's the latter two I worry about and don't much care what's in my gun as long as it's effective.
One deer hunt with one of my sons in law we were deer hunting in the Superstition Mountains. A large part is wilderness area, no motor vehicles allowed. It's been a few year since, but there was an enclave of hippie types living within the wilderness area. They had the reputation of raiding camps of hunters when the hunters were away hunting. Usually it was food they'd steal and probably any thing they could pawn. They were also armed. They told us we were trespassing and had to leave immediately. When we showed we were willing to fight the drifted off back into the night. We told then if we saw them sneaking back in, we would shoot. Broke camp the next day and made a report at the closest LEO station. The told us those guys were bad news and they're suspects in a couple of murders. Apparently the Superstition Mounts has a tendency to attract some very weird people.
FWIW, both our rifles and handgun were loaded with reloads. We had not qualms about whether it was a good idea or not.
Paul B.
 
I was told the same when I took my CPL class. It was also mentioned that a jury could use it against you but the instructor was unaware of this ever happening in MI.
To simplify this, I have always carried factory LE loads.

JD338

It was Massad Ayoob acting as an expert witness in a case in, if I remember correctly, New Jersey where the defendant’s girlfriend killed herself with his handgun.

He had reloads in the firearm and the prosecution disputed his claim that she killed herself because the powder burn pattern was not consistent with factory ammo. They couldn’t use the other rounds in the gun to test powder patterns as those rounds were evidence. With factory ammo the crime lab can get ammunition to test the powder burn patterns at the disputed distance.

The defendant was found guilty but later freed after winning his appeal. As for reloads in the Superstition Mountains, an area I have some familiarity with, I doubt reloads would be an issue on a hunting trip. Also, the “mood of the court” is vastly different from New Jersey.

Vince
L.F. I. Grad
 
The particular subject of using reloads for carry has been gone over and discussed more times than I can remember on other forums. As I live in Florida I decided to speak with a couple of attorneys that i knew were familiar with gun laws, actually owned their own firearms and had in the past prosecuted gun violations. I also spoke with a judge who is the brother of a fellow that I have been friends with for many years. The attorneys indicated that at no time in their careers has the question of using reloads in a self defense situation or a felony situation been brought up. The fact of the matter is that the gun had been fired a bullet sent on its way. I then spoke with the judge who also stated that this particular issue had never come before him in his 30 plus years of judgeship. HIs comment was "a bullet is a bullet". I thought about that and asked him about using a rifle or different kind of weapon capable of firing a projectile. He said each incident would have to be looked at individually but again, the issue of handloads had never been brought up. I also carry factory ammo but in my .357 SIG I carry Underwood ammunition. I believe those are well constructed handloads (technically factory produced.) A good number of PD's carry that ammo and are completely satisfied with it. (think about that one).
 
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