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Old 02-12-2019, 09:35 AM   #1
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.45 - 185 grain ammo

I've got a quick question for those that shoot an Ultra or Pro (aluminum frame) size Kimber. Does standard hardball 185 grain ammo recoil noticeably less than 230 grain hardball? Thanks

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Old 02-12-2019, 09:43 AM   #2
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Not that I've ever noticed.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:07 AM   #3
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I’ll agree with Chuck. I’ve not noticed any difference.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:09 AM   #4
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I cant tell any difference either but I've always loved big caliber pistols and don't have any physical restrictions that recoil affects.

I can tell you what you DO NOT want to shoot due to stout recoil and massive fireball. Speer 185gr Bonded Hollow Point PLUS P.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chuck43 View Post
Not that I've ever noticed.
Me neither. In fact, for indoor shooting I liked the gentle recoil and lack of muzzle crack.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:46 AM   #6
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I'll be the odd duck here and will say that I usually carry 185gr Critical Defense in my Ultra CDP .45 for the very reason that (at least to me) I can get quicker follow-up shots or double taps with the lighter slugs due to the lighter mass exiting the muzzle in the small pistol. Perceived recoil just seems less compared to 230gr loads.

All this of course is really subjective, but that's my experience.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rick in Oregon View Post
All this of course is really subjective, but that's my experience.
No, your comment makes perfect sense. In fact, I know at least one ammunition factory that did the same thing.

When the 10mm Auto came out, they used a 200 grain bullet. I have the H&G mold which used the same profile and had the same weight.

Then the 40. SW came out, and reloaders used the same bullet and the same dies--I was one of them.

Then the recoil reports came out and lots of ammunition started to appear with a 155 grain bullet.

I believe my SW carry gun for that year was an alloy frame, and I believe the SW number was something like 4006. It would have been a bear to shoot with a load that mirrored the 10mm.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:22 PM   #8
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From what I've noticed over the years with several gun/ammo types is that often ammo manufactures load up lighter HP loads as defensive loads. Meaning that you get hotter light bullet loads as compared to standard heavy bullet loads thus little difference in felt recoil. I found this to be really true in autos with all the moving parts, (slides, springs etc.) And I would think the size and weight of the gun, full size vs compact,... steel vs alloy would add another variable. So your mileage may vary.

Where I've found bullet weight to be the most the noticeable to be in revolvers...(no moving parts at recoil). In my J-frames and 3" K-frame you can really feel the difference between 158 gr loads and say 110 or really felt with the little 50gr JHPs I carry everyday. While the 50s are +P they feel quit soft even in my little Airweight.

Again I think it boils down to weight of bullet / gun / powder charge = felt recoil. We use to load .38, 148gr WC down for hunting rabbits with 6" magnum revolvers. Hardly any recoil and a report like a .22 short, you didn't even need muffs.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:40 PM   #9
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Not really.

And that goes for all factory 45ACP ammo... with one exception that I have found, ARX. A couple years ago I bought some for my XDs 45 3.3. Recoil is noticeably and significantly less than any 45ACP ammo I have ever shot. Of course we're talking bullets that are really off the reservation compared to anything else. The 114gr polymer/copper blend bullet traveling at 1150fps is designed kinda like a boat prop to create maximum hydraulic displacement when it's spinning yer ass. I mean... we're talking a completely different world than standard RN or HP ammo. It also makes a noticeable difference in the weight of a loaded carry gun. Novelty ammo as far as I'm concerned, but there are folks who are crazy about ARX. I think the newer 45ACP version ARX bullets are a few grains heavier and faster so I would expect a corresponding increase in recoil over what I have.

All that said... If recoil is going to be an issue with a carry gun, select a different carry gun. Really, that's the best and pretty much only solution.

Range gun is another matter. With light loads and lighter recoil spring, a 1911 can be made to shoot as soft as you like.

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Old 02-12-2019, 05:17 PM   #10
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I only shoot 185 gn in my Ultra. I too "feel" it offers less recoil and is, in the end, more controllable. I use 185 gn Truncated cone for practice and 185 Gn hollow points for carry. It works for me.
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