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Hornady TAP FPD +P 45ACP Ammunition Review 

By Dan S. Defense

"Personal Defense Demands Superior Ammunition"

What is Hornady TAP FPD? It's Hornady's premier civilian self defense ammo line. TAP FPD stands for "Tactical Application Police" "For Personal Defense". Hornady tells us that "Personal Defense Demands Superior Ammunition". We'd agree but, does that statement cover Hornady's TAP FPD in 45ACP +P ammo?

Does it earn a place on the best self defense ammo list? We shall see but first some basics. Hornady, a well-recognized and respected name in the ammunition market chose its wording carefully. The TAP line, which was designed for the law enforcement market, was adopted for civilian self defense use in the FPD line. In this article we'll give you the information required to decide whether this is truly the case.

Let's see how Hornady describes the TAP FPD line. Hornady says that "Protecting the safety and security of your family requires ammunition that is accurate, deadly and dependable." And add that "Hornady ammunition is the brand of choice for tactical teams, snipers and police officers throughout the world because it performs flawlessly. Now you can have the same reliable ammunition technology for your personal defense needs."

Finally they state that "Hornady's family of TAP FPD ammo is superior tactical ammunition designed specifically for protection from deadly threats. TAP FPD is engineered to deliver reliable and consistent performance every single time."

Let's look at each of these and then move on to examine the performance of the TAP FPD 45 ACP +P ammo and look at a range report to validate reliability, accuracy and control in various handguns.

The first statement is accurate and covers any ammo that competes for the title of best self defense ammunition. When protecting our values we want the very best. I'd change the order a bit and say that we require dependable, accurate and deadly ammunition for self defense.

The second statement is also true but what works for tactical teams may or may not work for you. The third and final statement is critical when pursuing the title of best self defense ammunition and that's where we'll focus in this article.

The TAP FPD 45 ACP +P ammo comes in a choice of 200gr XTP bullet and 230gr XTP bullet. Since we prefer heavier bullets, we'll focus on the 230gr option but still provide a link to the 200gr XTP bullet should you want to read more about it. The 45 ACP 230gr XTP bullet rides in a silver nickel case. That case is resistant to oils and corrosion, seems to make feeding easier in my firearms and is said to offer an advantage by being easily visible in low light conditions.

I prefaced the last but with said to offer because in my firearms, you can't really see the case when in the chamber and I do my chamber checks at home, prior to leaving the house and haven't had occasion to do so in the field. What becomes evident in a fairly dim range is the minimal muzzle flash. From testing we can attest to the fact that Hornady's TAP FTP cartridges use excellent propellants that protect your night vision by minimizing muzzle flash. They also offer excellent (i.e. predictable) shot to shot consistency.

The TAP FPD 45 ACP +P ammo sends the 230gr XTP bullet at 950 fps out of the muzzle, when fired from a handgun with a 5" barrel. Remember that shorter barrels will yield less speed. When the 230gr bullet gets to the 50 feet line is travels at 908 fps and at 100 feet it clocks at 872fps. That's very fast for a 45 ACP caliber bullet which typically hits 872 fps out of the muzzle in regular pressure rounds.

The next set of numbers will impress but not surprise you, because they combine speed with mass and this bullet has both. If the XTP bullet hits a target when it comes out of the muzzle, it releases an energy punch of 461 ft-lb which is indeed deadly. At 50 feet is generates 421 ft-lb and at 100 feet an amazing 388 ft-lb.

Given the fact that most gunfights happen at close range and certainly less than 50 feet, this ammo offers deadly force and since we wanted to examine the claim that his ammo was "accurate, deadly and dependable", I think it's safe to add a check next to deadly.

But how about the claim of being accurate and dependable? For that we took 5 boxes (100 rounds) to the range along with a SIG SAUER P220R and a Wilson Combat 1911. The Sig has a 4.4" barrel and the Wilson has a 5" barrel. Both are used often for self defense and offer good samples for high end production and custom guns.

Determining reliability was easy. Out of 100 rounds, we have 0 failures which made for 100% reliability. Accuracy was also easy to determine. With the Wilson Combat, we were able to make a nice, large hole in the center of our target with one or two fairly close to it. Controllability was also good out of a handgun which is made from carbon steel.

The SIG SAUER was nearly as good but took a bit more effort to control. The alloy frame that makes it easy to carry, made it funnel more recoil into us, but controlling it was but no means difficult and we think a competent novice could make good combat accurate shots. You can and should read the last point as being able to hit a human sized target at 7 yards or so. Overall, the TAP FPD 45 ACP +P ammo did just what Hornady said it would and we'd be happy to carry this ammo in our carry handguns.

In summary, we found the TAP FPD self defense ammo to be reliable, accurate and easily controlled when fired from a service handgun. We'd not recommend this ammunition in very light and compact handguns, at least not for anyone who's not willing to practice with such loads often.

The combination of +P recoil when combined with a small, light alloy handgun will offer a challenge in control as well as some level of discomfort. But, if you carry a full size handgun, such as a government 1911, this ammunition is well worth having and we recommend you examine it further and try it out at the range to see if this could meet your bar for vest self defense ammo.

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert.

Comments? Questions? Email us.
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