Best Self Defense Ammo:
The 45 ACP
By Dan S.
In this article we'll look at the criteria for selecting
45ACP ammo for self defense, home defense and outdoor
hikes. The goal is to allow you to identify the best
possible 45ACP ammo for you. Since 45ACP ammo abounds,
narrowing down the list will entails using clear
requirements. The requirements for 45ACP ammo will be
driven by scenarios.
This will help you narrow the field of available 45ACP
ammo, despite the many brands and types, of current
45ACP ammo in the marketplace. In addition, a secondary
goal is to share the selection criteria and allow you to
adopt it. You may ask "why even consider 45ACP ammo?"
and it is a good question. Let's take a quick look at
the history of 45ACP ammo. It will serve as a base to
The 45ACP (automatic Colt Pistol) was devised by John
Browning in 1904. The 45ACP was built for a prototype
handgun that is still with us today, but the salient
point is that the 45ACP has been around for more than
100 years. In that time, 45ACP ammo was used worldwide
to defend lives and freedom. 45ACP ammo was used by US
troops in World War II and conflicts that took place
since. 45ACP ammo is still used today in Iraq and
Afghanistan by Special Forces.
The point is that over the years, the slower and heavier
(relative term) 45ACP proved to be a reliable man
stopper. It's sad to think of 45ACP ammo in such terms,
but keep in mind that self defense ammunition is used to
stop an imminent threat to you or loved ones. In that
context, the 45ACP shines. Today, 45ACP ammo is used by
Special Forces, the FBI's elite HRT (Hostage Rescue
Team), police tactical teams (SWAT) and people who want
an edge in self defense scenarios.
That does not negate the effectiveness of 9mm ammo.
45ACP ammo and 9mm ammo save lives every day. But only
one can be better and I submit that 45ACP ammo is best
for self defense. But 45ACP ammo isn't the only ammo to
use for self defense. I own and sometimes carry 9mm
handguns. My wife uses the 9mm exclusively. But, when we
go hiking in some faraway place or when we go into the
city at night, I prefer a 45ACP handgun with good 45ACP
ammo. And now let's look at the first question --which
45ACP ammo is best for you. To answer that, we'll look
at the requirements for 45ACP ammo and usage scenarios
for 45ACP ammo.
Requirements for 45ACP ammo:
1. It must have the highest level of quality: it must
always go bang when you pull the trigger.
2. It must be 100% reliable in your carry gun: it must
always cycle and fire.
3. It must be controllable: the recoil generated by the
cartridge must be manageable.
Usage scenarios for 45ACP ammo:
1. Home defense: think home invasion with imminent
danger to family members.
2. Carry self defense: you are out and about in a city
and are attacked by one or more people.
3. Outdoor hiking: you are in the middle of nowhere when
you are attacked by an animal or human.
When you look at selecting the best 45ACP ammo, you can
see that the requirements for the 45ACP ammo of choice
are universal but, that usage scenarios aren't-they will
be dictated by different needs. For example, 45ACP ammo
for self defense will need to be mindful of over
penetration, something that isn't a concern in the
On the other hand, in the wilderness, you may be
attacked by a large animal, something that isn't going
to happen on a city street. It appears that our 45ACP
ammo needs to work well in all scenarios. In reality you
have two choices:
1. Get the best 45ACP ammo for each task. Exchange
magazines as needed by scenario. Label some 45ACP ammo
magazines as "hiking" and some as "home defense". Take
the right one for the right job.
2. Get one type of ammo and deal with the tradeoffs.
Focus on good bullet placement but be aware of the risk.
This will conclude the selection criteria article for
the best 45ACP ammo. I suggest you examine the following
brands/types of 45ACP ammo: Federal HST, Winchester
Ranger, Cor-bon DPX, Speer Gold Dot and Black Hills
ammunition. Apply the selection process and see which
45ACP ammo is best for you. Let me know if you want to
see a more detailed look at specific self defense ammo.
Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!
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© Rational Self Defense, 2010