Ballistics by the inch

.45 ACP

Here is a post pertaining to the testing and results obtained for the .45 ACP caliber.

November 26, 2008 - Posted by | .45 ACP


  1. So First and Foremost as a comment in general about your guys entire endeavor here to map the ballistics of all of these rounds, you all did an amazing job, thank you so much for the factual information, it is refreshing in a field that is so full of opinions on firearm choice.

    That said, I came to your site in hopes to make a decision on a defense firearm for a backpacking trip. I generally keep to smaller black bear country, and will die a happy man if I NEVER have to draw my weapon on the trail. That said, I was trying to decide between a 4” .357 magnum revolver. and a 5” .45 ACP pistol (likely in a 1911 format). From these firearms, I was amazed to find out how similar these rounds were in terms of ballistic performance.

    I agree that from a ballistics perspective, the .357 MAG still wins in the overall competition, but fired from a “short” barrel revolver format (I still consider 4” a short barrel), much of the performance of the .357 is compromised, owing to limited time in the barrel and the loss in propellant through the gap in a revolver.

    IMO, the added velocity of a .357, along with its smaller cross section may still lead to more penetration in a fatty creature such as a black bear, but the total amount of energy imparted onto the target (which is a more true measure a of a round’s “knockdown power” is not all that much different between the two rounds… +/- 20 percent or so depending on the round chosen. and in the end… is the added weight on the trail of a medium frame revolver worth it if you are only getting 10-20 percent more out of a round? That becomes a different debate for a different forum. 🙂

    Thank you again, and I would welcome any comments.


    Comment by Matthew | August 25, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the comment, and the compliments!

    Agreed that the .357 Magnum would benefit from a longer barrel – all the magnums tend to continue to gain over the full 18″. But I think your final thoughts about sectional density and additional velocity is the way *I* would go. Actually, I’d get the hottest, hard-cast wadcutter or semi-wadcutter from someplace like Buffalo Bore, and go with that, if I were worried about bear.

    Good luck!

    Comment by James Downey | August 25, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: