Hornady TAP FPD +P 45ACP Ammunition Review
By Dan S. Defense
"Personal Defense Demands Superior
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
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
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.
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.
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© Rational Self Defense, 2010