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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:35 am 
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Hello all,
It's time to rotate my stock of defensive ammunition and I am about to buy a good quantity for my handguns. Recent reading has hinted that my long time go-to round, Federal HydraShok, perhaps isn't considered a premium choice anymore. I have been researching the Remington Golden Saber hollowpoint, and while it looks promising, I have no personal experience with it. I would be buying it in the following calibers and weights: 9mm +p/124gr., .38 +p/125gr., .357 magnum/125gr., and .45 acp/230gr. While price isn't the top consideration, seeing how this is to be my defensive ammo, the Golden Saber is less expensive than the HydraShok. Of course, any savings would be offset by having to buy a larger quantity of the Golden Saber in order to function test my pistols, which have already proven to be 100% reliable with the HydraShok.

So, I guess my question is twofold. 1. Is Golden Saber a reliable round for defensive purposes? 2. Is HydraShok an outdated defensive round that should be replaced?

Everyone's opinions and experiences with these defensive rounds would be very much appreciated.

Kenny

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:00 am 
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Ken:

My 340 has the +P REM GS in it right now. But I am not sure if it is in fact any better (or worse) than the FED HS. I am not convinced we can prove any superiority on either hand. I also like the SPR GDs as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:13 am 
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Speer Gold Dots ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:48 am 
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In answer to your questions, 1. Yes 2. No

Rem G/S were the Secreat Service, FBI, and just about all other Federal LE round untill about a year ago. That's when it was "new contract time" and Rem lost the contract to Winchester PDX-1 on price alone. Both rounds were equal in all other respects and exceed the contract requirements. So..., good enough to guard the President, good enough for me. I have a large supply of G/S at "Casa De Coastie".

Hydra-Shoks, I have a goodly amount of it in .32ACP for my Seecamp, PPK and 1903 Colt Hammerless.

I also have a fair amount of Gold Dot's in various calibers too

Keep in mind that Golden Saber and PDX-1 are TALON bullets and a Liberal DA could make the arguement that you were intent on maiming as well as killing whomever you shot. The perfact counter is "Godd enought to protect the POTUS..."

When Remington lost the federal contract there was a ton of G/S hit the streets at great prices, prices are starting to rise.

Wal-Mart carries Winchester PDX-1 at very reasonable prices and you might consider that source.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:13 am 
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Hard to beat a cast 255 Keith in a .45 Colt. Just sayin'... :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 pm 
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The Caddo Kid wrote:
Hard to beat a cast 255 Keith in a .45 Colt. Just sayin'... :mrgreen:


But Caddo, it does not expand!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:16 pm 
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oberstlt wrote:
The Caddo Kid wrote:
Hard to beat a cast 255 Keith in a .45 Colt. Just sayin'... :mrgreen:


But Caddo, it does not expand!


Well, it do, but it don't gotta.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Pretty much all of the modern defense ammo will perform well. I said Gold Dots because the Gold Dot is readily available in these parts when other stuff isn't. All things being equal, I like the Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ for 9mm. I prefer the Gold Dot 200gr in .45 GAP. In .40S&W, I carry Gold Dots in 165gr, that is for the rare instances I actually carry a .40SW. I have some personal 155gr Gold Dots on hand somewhere. The agency issue 9mm is 115gr +P+ Gold Dot, and the issue .45 ACP is 185gr +P Gold Dot, but it has too much muzzle flip for my taste. I would prefer something in 230 at a standard pressure.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Thank you all for your imput, it was educational. I appreciate it gentlemen.

Kenny

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:19 am 
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Federal Hydrashok were always a gimmick..... The reason they 'worked' was because they had a huge cavity. If you bother to do the physics, that post does nothing for expansion. It has no strength and does not provide (or deflect) any force other than what is normally found in expansion.

What it does do, however, is add back in weight that was removed in favor of the overly large cavity.

Personally, I use Gold Dots, Winchester PDX / SXT, or Golden Saber.... Depending upon the weapon and loading required. I've also been known to use Noslers while reloading, though mainly for target rounds.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:55 am 
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I've appreciated this thread, and learned something from it. I don't usually carry 'defensive' ammo in my handguns around here. My Kimber, which I carry a lot, is loaded with 200gr SWC at about 800fps. But I do usually carry a spare mag of the serious stuff. Revolvers, too, are loaded with lead reloads, usually a Keith of some variety. In the winter time, when I carry on top of an outer coat in a tanker s/h I usually have the CZ75 stuffed with hardball and no spare magazine. Most of what I'm apt to run into is a varmint of some description rather than Bonny & Clyde. But it's nice to have all this expert knowledge about the social stuff in case the Sioux come off the reservation.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:26 am 
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I had written one of my usual extensive rants in regard to this topic but the Whirlpool repairman (a frequent caller at my home) interrupted and I lost it. Oh well.

In my opinion, we appear to live in the golden age of high performance JHP ammo. When I was younger, JHP ammo did not expand reliably at all. Even the fancy Super Vel, Treasury and FBI loads did not work. Expansion became more reliable with WIN Silver Tips. But it was the early FED Hydra Shoks that began to give us some assurance of actually working.

It appears that we can now count on the hollow points to open up with even the standard velocity rounds. However, the compromise with the expansion must be made with the penetration required. The ballistics folks report that the WIN PDX, SPR GD, REM GS and FED HS all go to about 1.5 times original diameter.

Some will tell you that it is the temporary wound cavity and hydrostatic shock that really matters but my medical folks told me they were not convinced that in pistol rounds there was any real evidence that these factors exist. They do report reliable expansion and feel the effect may be that the fact that the projectile is retained in the target with all of its energy may be the ticket provided penetration is sufficient to reach the vital organs. I am not sure but it appears that there is little performance difference between brands.

Personally, I think the 45 ACP 230 FMJ adequate for use in 1911s. The guns were designed for it and in the 5" barrel it appears to work if it hits a vital area. That 451 caliber bullet does not get smaller and has no reputation for over penetration. Could be a serendipitous effect of the size and weight and speed. I am not sure.

9mms and 38 SPLs are fairly much dependent on expansion to achieve reasonable power. Both have reputations for over penetration in FMJ/LRN according to the literature. But the good news is that the makers have apparently solved the issue. They have both fallen out of favor for 40 caliber, 357 SIG in modern law enforcement. The 357 Magnum had quite a following among those willing to put up with the additional blast, flash and noise.

Caddo, I would think you would carry something with more penetration than the 45 ACP. I am a big fan of that round for two legged critters but don't think it the ticket for non-human assaults. I would have thought a 357 Magnum more appropriate for the Great Plains.

I used to have some fair contacts in the FBI Firearms Training Unit who sort of supervised the tests and studies. They sort of set the standards for the rest of the law enforcement in many ways. For good or evil. The last word I heard was that brand was of no consequence in effect.

Make sure you test them in anything you carry. You really need to make sure they will shoot in your particular gun.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:41 am 
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Porkies, coyotes, badgers, gophers, slitheries et al do not require much penetration. When range gets to be much of an issue I am never very far from a rifle.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Few things better than a rifle to settle 'em down.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:39 am 
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Thank you for the in depth treatise Mr. Ashton, it was both informative and appreciated.

Kenny

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