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.45 ACP +P loads

ArbyArby Member Posts: 668
edited April 2017 in Ask the Experts
Is it just me or does anyone else feel that running +P loads through a .45 is a bit over kill. I can't see any advantage to exceeding the factory 850 fps...a 230gr Ball or HP at 800fps should put just about anything down.

Comments

  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 19,561 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Maybe some folks want the numbers from a short barrel? Also the ball of flame at night is impressive [:D].
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A reporter ask an Arizona Ranger why he carried a 45 Colt on his hip - because they don't make a 46.

    Use enough gun is good advice when they can/are shooting back.

    I like the 45 ACP and the 1911. A 1927A1 will sing with two bucker plates. Beating your weapon to pieces shooting ammo it wasn't design for is poor planning IMHO.

    Cast bullets and Bullseye are cheap shooting.

    added I read once in a 1911 going from a 230 grain bullet to a 250 grain bullet at the same velocity almost doubles the energy the pistol has to absorb. If you want or need magnum performance then I suggest you get a magnum, that's what I did and have grown quite fond of my 29's.

    As a side note cataract surgery for my right dominate eye earlier today appears to have gone very well, I can hardly wait to start Pistol Therapy after nearly 6 years of waiting.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Arby
    Is it just me or does anyone else feel that running +P loads through a .45 is a bit over kill. I can't see any advantage to exceeding the factory 850 fps...a 230gr Ball or HP at 800fps should put just about anything down.


    One time I was at the car lot trying a Mustang. The salesman asked me if I wanted a V6 or a V8.

    I said I don't need a V8.

    He looked back at me, smiled and said NOBODY "needs" a V8.

    True story.

    Anyway, I think the .45+P is like the V8. You probably don't really "need" it, and for most the disadvantages probably outweigh the advantages, but despite that, some people like to have it anyway.
  • ArbyArby Member Posts: 668
    edited November -1
    Charlie's comment "Beating your weapon to pieces shooting ammo it wasn't design for is poor planning IMHO." is basically what prompted my question...Thanks for the responses guys
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Arby
    Charlie's comment "Beating your weapon to pieces shooting ammo it wasn't design for is poor planning IMHO." is basically what prompted my question...Thanks for the responses guys


    Again, I personally don't think +P 45ACP ammo is necessary nor desirable, but lets be realistic here.

    45ACP+P is only 10% more powerful than ordinary .45ACP ammo and its designed to operate safely in normal 1911 pistols. People fire this stuff through 1911s all the time without their guns falling apart.

    Yes, running hotter ammo than normal will decrease the service life of the pistol just like redlining your engine all the time will reduce the life of your car, but any normal gun should still be able to run thousands of rounds of +P ammo. . .more than most shooters will ever put through the gun. If you practice with normal ammo then carry +P or only fire it occasionally, I doubt you'd ever have an issue.

    If you did want to fire +P ammo more than a little bit once in a while, then you could (and should) reduce frame-slide beating by installing a heavier recoil spring, and that should reduce extra wear and tear.

    Lastly, although this is heresy to some not every 45ACP gun is a 1911. [;)] There are other service type pistols that will fire 45ACP rounds including Smith, Glock, Sig, etc, and many of these guns are pretty darn tough.

    So bottom line, yes +P 45 will wear out your gun faster, but there are ways to mitigate this and depending on what you're trying to do, it *might* be worth it.

    IMO one potentially good reason to use +P ammo in a 45 is if the gun has to also do double-duty against four-legged animals (defense or hunting) as well as two-legged ones.


    Edit. Responding to above:
    quote:added I read once in a 1911 going from a 230 grain bullet to a 250 grain bullet at the same velocity almost doubles the energy the pistol has to absorb. If you want or need magnum performance then I suggest you get a magnum, that's what I did and have grown quite fond of my 29's.
    I agree with the second part. Best way to improve performance is to increase CALIBER, not try to push a given platform beyond standard operating limits.

    I'd add though, that although you can switch to a revolver, if you want to stick to an auto platform (let alone the 1911), there are limits to what you can do. There really aren't any standard semi-auto cartridges bigger in caliber than .45ACP. You can go to 10mm, which is probably the closest thing to a standard auto cartridge with better performance than .45ACP.

    With respect to energy, that's a pretty simple calculation. Formula for kinetic energy is 1/2*M*V^2. If you want to double the energy of a projectile, you have to either double its mass at the same velocity, or increase its velocity by about 40% (square root of two).

    In this case, going from a 230 grain bullet to 250 grains would increase kinetic energy of the projectile by only 8.7%. . .assuming velocity were held constant. OK, now what about the SLIDE kinetic energy?

    By conservation of momentum, slide momentum would increase by the same proportion as bullet mass, leading to an increase in velocity of the SLIDE of 8.7%. In turn that will lead to an increase in kinetic energy of the slide by 18% (the square of 108.7%).

    In reality, *JUST* changing the projectile mass wouldn't change energy much. The heavier projectile would be launched slower, and you'd end up with a LOWER kinetic energy . . .though only by a tiny amount. Difference in SLIDE velocity/energy would also be muted (though not zero).

    As a side issue, LIGHTER projectiles (eg 200 and 185 grain 45ACP bullets) actually have higher kinetic energies, though whether or not this extra energy is useful is a different issue/question.




    Edit #2.
    Responding to Nononsense below. Yes, I know about .50AE. As I'm sure you know, there are also a number of other semi-auto cartridges that are either more powerful than 45ACP+P, larger in caliber, or both. A few of these are also SAAMI rated (eg .45 Winmag, 9x23 Winchester, 10mm). Most of them are so "niche" that neither current production guns NOR ammo are available.

    For 50AE in particular, so far as I know, both the AMT and Grizzly platforms have been out of production for many years. I think the only current production semi-auto for this cartridge is the Desert Eagle.

    That gun is massive in size and heavy; its really not something most people are going to want to carry around with them at all, let alone concealed. Recoil and muzzle blast are also significantly more than most shooters would want to deal with. Yes, unlike a few of the others, factory production 50AE ammo exists, but its spendy (roughly $1.50 PER ROUND) and good luck finding any on a store shelf!

    So without getting into a pointless semantic argument about what constitutes a "standard" round (perhaps I should have said "popular" or "readily available"), 50AE is really not something that's going to interest most shooters, let alone compete with 45+P as a defensive handgun.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by charliemeyer007
    A reporter ask an Arizona Ranger why he carried a 45 Colt on his hip - because they don't make a 46.

    Use enough gun is good advice when they can/are shooting back.

    I like the 45 ACP and the 1911. A 1927A1 will sing with two bucker plates. Beating your weapon to pieces shooting ammo it wasn't design for is poor planning IMHO.

    Cast bullets and Bullseye are cheap shooting.

    added I read once in a 1911 going from a 230 grain bullet to a 250 grain bullet at the same velocity almost doubles the energy the pistol has to absorb. If you want or need magnum performance then I suggest you get a magnum, that's what I did and have grown quite fond of my 29's.

    As a side note cataract surgery for my right dominate eye earlier today appears to have gone very well, I can hardly wait to start Pistol Therapy after nearly 6 years of waiting.




    +1

    Years ago there was a reloading Guru, (the late Dean Grennel), who wrote for the various shooting magazines and publications. He started pushing what he called the 45 Super. That he and a gunsmith in Texas developed. To handle the high pressure, they used cut down and reamed .308 brass.

    I was dumb enough to drink their kool aid, and started loading for it. I mean to tell you, pushing a 230 grain 45 bullet. From the 1911 platform, at 1100+ FPS ain't no fun at all. For either you, or the pistol. I came to my senses quickly, and dropped my 45 Super fantasies. Like a hot potato. I guess everybody that tried the 45 Super, had the same experiences. Because it disappeared, almost over night.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    The analogy of driving a car with engine at RED LINE RPM is the way I feel about +p ammo in any pistol will it blow up on first round most likely NOt BUT in My opinion the 10mm in the 1911 was dropped because it beat up the 1911 pistol causing shorter live of the pistol yes you can put in a heavy recoil spring but the the slide willthen also slam locked when it chambers the next round
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,935 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:There really aren't any standard semi-auto cartridges bigger in caliber than .45ACP.

    .50 AE

    "SAAMI specifies a maximum chamber pressure of 36,000 psi (248 MPa) for the .50 AE. Available factory loads can produce nearly 1,800 ft?lbf (2440 J) of muzzle energy."

    "The .50 Action Express is a very large and powerful American caliber handgun cartridge. Developed in 1988 by American Evan Whildin of Action Arms, the .50 AE is one of the most powerful pistol cartridges in production."

    "The Magnum Research Desert Eagle was the first handgun chambered for the .50 AE. The actual cartridge has a .547 inch (13.9 mm) diameter base, with a rebated rim. The rim diameter of the .50 AE is the same as the .44 Remington Magnum cartridge."

    "Loaded .50 AE ammunition is currently available from CCI Ammunition, Speer, Hornady, and IMI with the latter ammunition being imported into the US by Magnum Research under the "Samson Ultra" trademark. Fired from a standard six-inch Desert Eagle barrel, Speer's 300-grain load produces a muzzle velocity of over 1,500 ft/s, giving a muzzle energy of over 1,500 ft?lb (2,000 J). Fired from a 10-inch barrel, the same load produces a muzzle velocity of over 1,600 ft/s, giving a muzzle energy of nearly 1,800 ft?lb (2,400 J).

    Recoil of the .50 AE in the Desert Eagle pistol is substantial, although only marginally more severe than the .44 Magnum, as the auto mechanism and weight of the gun smooth the recoil somewhat. Other firearms chambered for the .50 AE include the AMT AutoMag V, and the LAR Grizzly Win Mag."

    Best.
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Stick to your standard loads. Like the 45-70, that big heavy, slow moving piece of lead does its magic when it gets there.

    If you need something more than a 45, my suggestion is a 10mm. It is making a serious comeback. I have a S&W 1006, and 1076, all three Glock's(20, 29, & 40), a Sig 220, and 3 1911's. When loaded to its design intentions it is on the same power level as the 41 Magnum...which is also making some serious waves, and is way under rated.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,935 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Arby,

    It's not hard to get a number of folks to agree with your thinking, especially on a public forum. Everyone has an opinion and is ready to give it when called upon.

    Remember though that this is still the U.S. and we have the ability to buy anything which is legal and safe. The decision to offer +P in many forms, both for rifle and pistol, is based on safety first and desire second. It is a part of the market. Offer something that excites the public and make money. If you don't agree, don't spend your money. But that is certainly no reason to deprive others of the experience. If there aren't enough people to spend their money then the product gets dropped. It's no different than that stupid cliche about fishermen and lures. At a 10% increase, the +P cartridges are not going to 'beat your gun to death'. This is common sense not some radical overpressure situation created by idiots who don't know any better.

    bts,

    I was simply responding to your statement. You stated:

    quote:There really aren't any standard semi-auto cartridges bigger in caliber than .45ACP.

    There is, as in the example I gave. Whether it is 'niche' (your opinion...) has no bearing on this at all. SAAMI has approved the cartridge, it has ammunition available commercially and there is a firearm which makes use of it. That's all that is required. The fact that it doesn't fit your hand or other folks hands is of no consequence. If you don't like the recoil or can't control it in order to produce the necessary after effect, don't buy it. There is obviously a market for both the pistol and the ammunition or they would be removed from the market.

    quote:but it's spendy (roughly $1.50 PER ROUND) and good luck finding any on a store shelf!

    And factory .454 Casull can run $2.70 per round depending on the bullets used in the load.

    Those of use who buy and shoot cartridges which are slightly out of the mainstream have learned how to work with this situation. We buy ahead or we reload, or maybe both! The cost is simply relative to the value perceived by the shooter. I and hundreds of others shoot some bullets for ELR competitions which cost upwards of $2.00/each, for just the bullet. But we choose to spend that money in order to achieve what we feel is satisfying, in order to compete. It's really no different than those cowboy shooters/collectors who spend their time and money shooting obsolete cartridges.

    Best.
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