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Thread: 45ACP 200 grain SWC as a defense load

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    45ACP 200 grain SWC as a defense load

    Many 45ACP pistols will feed reliably and shoot very accurately with 200 grain SWC boolits. H&G 68 and Lyman 452460 are two examples.
    My thought is that a 200 grain boolit with a nice sharp shoulder on it would make a very nasty boolit to use for home defense or self defense.
    The 45 ACP can push this boolit up near 1000fps with standard pressure loads(according to Hodgdon data site).
    I can't think that such a projectile traveling at that speed would do anything but ruin a person's day.
    This all depends on your particular handgun's ability to handle the SWC design reliably.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I am with you. The 44WCF and 45 Colt did very good for themselves for a very long time with energy levels under what the 200 swc has when loping along at 1000 fps.

    Lotza animals were eaten with energy levels lower then this.

    Can not imagine that a 200 grain chunk with sharp edges on the nose and hummin along at or near 1000 fps is going to do any part of the human anatomy any good when encountered with a center mass hit.

    Heck I would carry this as my hunting choice in a heartbeat if it were not for losing brass every time I shot at a squirrel, rabbit or deer ... but energy wise, it would deliver within range of good accurate hits.

    My two cents worth.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Uncle Grinch's Avatar
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    I’ve carried a similar load for close to 30 years and although I’ve never had to use, I feel comfortable with it.
    Last edited by Uncle Grinch; 02-04-2020 at 10:13 AM.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Occasionally I have to dispatch trapped feral hogs and I’ve used the .45 200 SWC Lee a few times and it works just fine. My load is 5grs of Bullseye so not quite 1000 FPS. None have required a second shot. As long as they run reliably in the pistol, they would be a good choice I think.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master



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    I fired 75,000 rounds of full house loads (#68 H&G at 1000 fps.) over a five year period while shooting IPSC in the sixties and seventies through my 1911's without a failure to function. My 1911's were specially tuned. However, I also experimented with "untuned" 1911's and the real #68's functioned in nearly every 1911 I tried. That included issue 1911's as well as new commercial Colt's.

    I also used the load extensively on edible small game. The load is VERY effective. Since I mostly shoot .45 ACP/.45 Auto rim revolvers these days, retrieving cases are not a problem in the field.

    That load should be a GREAT defensive load.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    absolutely. when i had a gaggle of 1911's that was my cartridge-of-choice build; 200gr SWC under a healthy dose of w231.
    "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    A 220 grain bullet at 700 fps aka .45 S&W made many users very happy.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I've used Jeff Cooper's recommended "defense" 45 ACP load since I first read about many years ago; a 200- 205 gr H&G 68 SWC over 7.5 gr of Unique.

    It runs 1000+ fps out of 5" M1911s, 1000 fps +/- out of 6 1/2" M25s and 950 +/- fps out of 5 1/2" M1917s. Bullets cast of COWW + 2% tin sized at .452 and lubed with BAC or any NRA 50/50 lube are always very accurate. This load runs a measured 18,700 - 19,000 psi as measured via Oehler M43 PBL in a Contender 45 ACP test barrel. The SAAMI MAP is 21,000 psi for the 45 ACP cartridge.

    While I carry JHPs in my Combat Commander when carrying concealed I most often have Coopers load in it, if not my standard practice load [same H&G 68 bullet (I use Lee's version or Lee's 452-195-SWC} over 5 gr Bullseye for 850 fps], when out and about with the Commander, my M1911 Gvmt Mdl, my Para P14 or my M1917/25. I have shot numerous animals from small vermin up through deer with it and it worked just fine. I have no qualms about using either load for PD if the need arises.
    Larry Gibson

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    As the OP said, I can't imagine getting hit with that and it not ruining my day...

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    For carry, I'm a fan of Hornady's self defense line of ammo.
    My calibers of choice are .410 shotshell and .45ACP.

    Hitting anything with a full house round that begins with ".4-something" will certainly break their concentration for doing evil.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    There are a few items that cause the human or an animal to cease functioning.
    1.) Lack of oxygen
    2.) Lack of or lose of blood
    3.) Nerve function
    4.) Bone or structural failure
    5.) Organ failure or shock
    During a shooting , lack of oxygen is usually not not a factor. The exception is some type of windpipe destruction. Even a lung shot is not critical until the lung fills with blood.
    Loss of blood is critical when the brain or heart is involved. Big holes and multiple holes cause this to happen faster. A .45 hole is bigger than 9mm. A bigger bullet has a better chance of hitting an organ or nerve..Blood loss can be variable depending what the bullet hits.
    A bullet at pistol velocities will not cause hydroshock, where damage is done outside the wound channel. A bullet must enter the body cavity and strike vital organs to cause sudden immobility or death.
    A 200 grain .45 bullet at 900 fps meets these requirements.
    My reading on the subject is shot placement is king. It not what you start with it is where the bullet ends up. Physics tilts the scale toward a larger well placed bullet. Most all attacks are stopped with one well placed bullet.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    I've long had the same thoughts about the viability of the 200 grain LSWC as a defensive load. At 850-900 FPS it should work well.
    All that is neccessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

    Edmund Burke

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I've used Jeff Cooper's recommended "defense" 45 ACP load since I first read about many years ago; a 200- 205 gr H&G 68 SWC over 7.5 gr of Unique.

    It runs 1000+ fps out of 5" M1911s, 1000 fps +/- out of 6 1/2" M25s and 950 +/- fps out of 5 1/2" M1917s. Bullets cast of COWW + 2% tin sized at .452 and lubed with BAC or any NRA 50/50 lube are always very accurate. This load runs a measured 18,700 - 19,000 psi as measured via Oehler M43 PBL in a Contender 45 ACP test barrel. The SAAMI MAP is 21,000 psi for the 45 ACP cartridge.

    While I carry JHPs in my Combat Commander when carrying concealed I most often have Coopers load in it, if not my standard practice load [same H&G 68 bullet (I use Lee's version or Lee's 452-195-SWC} over 5 gr Bullseye for 850 fps], when out and about with the Commander, my M1911 Gvmt Mdl, my Para P14 or my M1917/25. I have shot numerous animals from small vermin up through deer with it and it worked just fine. I have no qualms about using either load for PD if the need arises.
    Larry---Have you ever tried that load with the Lyman 452460?
    I get slightly better groups in my pistols with the Lyman boolit.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    The H&G #68 performs nearly identically to FMJ ball. Is that bad, or is that good? That's for the user to decide. I consider just about any bullet better in the 45, but I'd take the #68 before I took a 380 ACP with the best of the best ammo.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Boogieman's Avatar
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    Lee's 200gr. H&G #68 style feeds 100% out of both of my Colts. I could not get the Lee 200gr, TL or RCBS 200g. to feed reliably . I get 2" groups at 50ft, two hand standing loaded to 900fps. JMB's original load was 900fps with a 200gr, bullet the Army wanted a 230gr.
    The 3 people a man must be able to trust completely are his gunsmith his doctor & his preacher ..,his gunsmith for his short term health ,his doctor for long term health ,and his preacher incase one of the others mess up.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    The H&G #68 performs nearly identically to FMJ ball. Is that bad, or is that good? That's for the user to decide. I consider just about any bullet better in the 45, but I'd take the #68 before I took a 380 ACP with the best of the best ammo.
    That's good
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogieman View Post
    JMB's original load was 900fps with a 200gr, bullet the Army wanted a 230gr.
    that's the way I remember reading it too.
    ..

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv109323 View Post
    There are a few items that cause the human or an animal to cease functioning.
    1.) Lack of oxygen
    2.) Lack of or lose of blood
    3.) Nerve function
    4.) Bone or structural failure
    5.) Organ failure or shock
    During a shooting , lack of oxygen is usually not not a factor. The exception is some type of windpipe destruction. Even a lung shot is not critical until the lung fills with blood.
    Loss of blood is critical when the brain or heart is involved. Big holes and multiple holes cause this to happen faster. A .45 hole is bigger than 9mm. A bigger bullet has a better chance of hitting an organ or nerve..Blood loss can be variable depending what the bullet hits.
    A bullet at pistol velocities will not cause hydroshock, where damage is done outside the wound channel. A bullet must enter the body cavity and strike vital organs to cause sudden immobility or death.
    A 200 grain .45 bullet at 900 fps meets these requirements.
    My reading on the subject is shot placement is king. It not what you start with it is where the bullet ends up. Physics tilts the scale toward a larger well placed bullet. Most all attacks are stopped with one well placed bullet.
    /\ This is partially true and partially relevant but not completely true or completely relevant.

    The goal is to stop the attacker. That requires rapid incapacitation and there are only a few ways to achieve that when dealing with humans.

    1. A loss of oxygenated blood to the brain (loss of profusion).
    2. Damage to the central nervous system that is severe enough to stop the attack
    3. Loss of structural support that renders the attacker immobile.

    Looking at each of those mechanisms in detail:
    1. A large enough hole in a major blood vessel or the heart, will result in a rapid reduction of oxygenated blood reaching the brain and that will result in a loss of consciousness. That will stop the attack. This requires a big hole in an important blood vessel or the heart. It's not the bleeding that stops the fight but rather the lack of the blood that carries the oxygen to the brain that stops the fight. In order for this to be a rapid incapacitation it must be significant disruption of blood flow to the brain.

    2. Damage to the central nervous system [CNS]. This can be very effective if the damage is in the right place. Damage to the lower spinal cord might prevent the attacker from standing or moving but if the attacker retains control of a firearm, they will be able to continue fighting. Damage high enough on the spinal cord or brain will stop the attack immediately. This is difficult to achieve due to the small size of the CNS and the fact that it is well protected in bone.

    3. Loss of structural support will prevent the attacker from standing, running or walking but if the attacker retains control of a firearm, they will be able to continue fighting. If the attacker is armed with a knife or a club, the defender can simply walk away after immobilizing the attacker.

    Of those three methods, the rapid loss of blood is the most reliable one to achieve with a handgun at close range. The critical pieces of anatomy are relatively large and not well shielded in bone.

    SO, in order to rapidly incapacitate a human attacker the bullet must be capable of reaching something critical such as the aorta, heart, spinal cord, brain stem or pelvis AND be able to inflict significant damage to that important body part once it gets there.
    With the exception of breaking a large bone, just about any projectile will work if it reaches the critical part and damages it once it gets there. Obviously if we are relying on a rapid loss of blood flow to the brain, it would be helpful if the projectile made a big hole in the blood vessel. (sharp jacket, deformed bullet, large diameter bullet). If we are hoping to break large bones, we will need a bullet with a lot of energy.

    Lots of bullet wounds will kill an attacker but very few types of wounds will stop the attacker before he harms you. It does no good if your attacker dies two minutes after he manages to kill you.
    Death of the attacker isn't the goal. Stopping the attack is.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

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    That should make a good defense load. Just shoot enough of them to prove that your pistol cycles them dependably.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Rodfac's Avatar
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    I've used the H&G #68 for years as a woods stompin', target and practice bullet. And once, & only once, to put down a doe that was lying in a creek below our barn, with a gangrenous arrow through her hams. We don't bow hunt and I searched our land for a bow hunter's deer stand with no luck.

    One shot, just above the eyes, that was instantaneous. The bullet, backed by 5.4 gr of Win 231, penetrated though the frontal plate, to the spinal column, breaking the front part of one of the upper cervical bones.

    Aside from the usual cautions regarding use of handloaded ammunition for CC, I'd think that a 200 gr SWC would be good defensive round. But as a hunting round for deer, there are far better choices. YMMv, and I only carry factory ammunition when I go concealed. Rod
    Last edited by Rodfac; 02-08-2020 at 08:38 PM.

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