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Using Nosler 185 JHP for self defense?

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Using Nosler 185 JHP for self defense? Empty Using Nosler 185 JHP for self defense?

Post by Mike261 Tue May 23, 2023 9:35 am

Alas my friends the time to hang up my target pistols is nearly at hand.  Between advancing age, shaking, and all those other afflictions, the joy has gone from competition and the time has come to reduce the gear stash.
My trusty 45 service pistol is an original WWII family heirloom even though the only original part in it now is the frame.  I will keep it and pass it on to my son as it contains a part of me and my Dad.  In the meantime, I'm thinking of turning it, and some ammo, back into the protective warhorse it once was by fussing with the springs and loading some strong ammo.
So reaction to two questions would be greatly appreciated:
First, what are your thoughts on the efficacy of Nosler 185 JHPs as a defense load?  I have a bunch.
And second, what sort of recipe do you think might do the trick?  My target loads are 4.5 Bullseye and 4.8 WST.  A bit more punch than that might be appropriate.
What do you think?
TIA

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Post by weber1b Tue May 23, 2023 11:39 am

Just as an aside, I have always been advised to use factory ammo for self defense. This way you can't be accused of beefing up the load to be more deadly. Just sayin.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew Tue May 23, 2023 12:04 pm

My understanding is that you want the ammo manufacturer to be able to testify, but the shooter may themselves wish to avoid having to testify, and so those two should always be separate parties. But sure I'd trust the 185 Nosler. There are tales I'm not sure if just tall on how the marine load came about - the first I was told was the nosler was identified first for its terminal performance and then happily discovered as also particularly accurate.
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Post by BE Mike Tue May 23, 2023 12:27 pm

I would pass along the Nosler bullets to someone who can use them in competition. They are worth more than you paid for them. If you are certain that you want to use your 1911 for self defense, then buy some good factory ammo with the money you'll make on selling those Noslers. Personally, I wouldn't consider using my old 1911 ball gun for a self defense firearm. There are much better options out there these days especially if you plan on carrying a gun on your person. Something else to consider is that in bullseye pistol shooting, we seldom engaged and disengaged the manual safety on our pistols, including the 1911. That, in itself, will require some training, if you want to be competent with the "old warhorse".
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Post by Allgoodhits Tue May 23, 2023 5:19 pm

As has been stated, buy factory off the shelf ammunition. Nothing special, just off the shelf that anyone can buy at their local sporting goods store.

I would not use a military surplus firearm of any type as a self defense gun. The optics of it being a weapon of war would be an unnecessary/avoidable obstacle to overcome in any trial. Another off the shelf firearm would go hand in hand with the off the shelf ammo.

Last, since it is an heirloom and if you ever did have to use it. It would be seized as evidence. If things go the wrong way, or a goofy judge, could order it destroyed after the trial. Another avoidable obstacle.

My $.02
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Post by rich.tullo Fri May 26, 2023 9:44 am

The Nosler was invented for hunting so it should be good and I have seen them expand very good against a hard surface. Be careful about State laws. As long as you use the loads Nosler recommends on their website you should be good.
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Post by Allen Barnett Fri May 26, 2023 2:33 pm

The attorney that taught the "legal" part of CCW here in Missouri DID NOT recommend using hand loads for your carry gun just to avoid the issues of having to fight against using more than lethal loads for defense. Just saying you might want to reconsider your choice of using handloads and stay with factory ammunition for your defense use. Nothing wrong about using them for practice.

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Post by sfcrobertson Sat May 27, 2023 6:35 am

Massad Ayoob has some good information on self defense issues on the Wilson Combat channel on screwTube, and a video on the types of ammo one should use and why.

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Post by Steve K Sat May 27, 2023 12:53 pm

If you are using the same caliber as the local or State Police use their choice of ammo. Most likely you will be in court over the shooting so have every advantage on your side.

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Post by COAST GUARD MIKE Wed May 31, 2023 9:18 am

This is just another old guy's opinion. I am 76 and noticed that whatever bullseye skills I had were quickly diminishing.  I agree with the opinions posted above, but I went in a different direction. I had been carrying a 1911 for years, but that beast was getting heavier, and those iron sights were getting hard to see.  So, I went and bought myself a Sig Sauer P365XL with the included red dot.  I was amazed that with this little gun, I could hold the black, one handed, on a 50' slow fire target. I was very pleased and bought a couple of boxes of 9mm ammo, same as the local Police are using.  The good stuff is a little pricey, but I don't expect to get in any extended firefights.  As a bonus, this little gun carries nicely and conceals like it is not there.  I did keep my bullseye pistols, and I still reload, because I enjoy going to the range, and socializing with my bullseye shooting friends.  Now, I shoot a national match course of 30 rounds for my own enjoyment and I don't have to travel to any more league matches, unless I want to. My 1911's (can't have just one) travel to the range in my range box.
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Post by Mike261 Wed May 31, 2023 12:36 pm

A hearty "Thank You" to you good folks for your thoughtful advice.
If a family heirloom with handloads is used for self defense, there are significant liabilities.
Among them are possible loss of the gun and accusation of murderous intent.
So as far as self defense goes, the first line for me will be a modern high capacity 45 ACP for the home and a micro 9 for carry.  Both will use factory self defense loads.
It is a shame though, because like many of you (probably) I grew up with my 1911 service pistol.  Nothing feels more natural in my hand. Nothing gives me more confidence.  
Regarding the ammo for the 1911, the plan will be to load up a can or two of match spec Noslers such that when my son inherits the gun, he will have some "getting to know you" ammo.  He will also get written instructions regarding the advice above.  
Let's just hope these precautions are never needed.
Thanks

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Post by mbmshooter Wed May 31, 2023 3:41 pm

Mike261 wrote:A hearty "Thank You" to you good folks for your thoughtful advice.
If a family heirloom with handloads is used for self defense, there are significant liabilities.
Among them are possible loss of the gun and accusation of murderous intent.
So as far as self defense goes, the first line for me will be a modern high capacity 45 ACP for the home and a micro 9 for carry.  Both will use factory self defense loads.
It is a shame though, because like many of you (probably) I grew up with my 1911 service pistol.  Nothing feels more natural in my hand. Nothing gives me more confidence.  
Regarding the ammo for the 1911, the plan will be to load up a can or two of match spec Noslers such that when my son inherits the gun, he will have some "getting to know you" ammo.  He will also get written instructions regarding the advice above.  
Let's just hope these precautions are never needed.
Thanks

Mike,
I believe you'd made a good decision.  I LOVE shooting my 1911 Service Pistol even though my skills have decreased significantly.  My home defense is a Para Ordinance LDA .45 on my headboard loaded with wicked self-defense ammo as well as the 12ga Mossburg 500 standing next to my bed.  The Para is a bit too heavy as a carry pistol so I'm considering a 9mm again loaded with wicked self-defense ammo.
I agree that those Noslers would best be sold to folks who could use them for competition.  We usually purchase self-defense ammo a few dozen or a few hundred at a time instead of the 1000s of competition rounds we'd usually purchase or reload.
Mike

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Post by Cmysix Fri Jun 02, 2023 6:51 pm

230 grain FMJ and 5 grains bullseye 1.25 COAL 905 FPS now that's some strong ammo, even if you just hit a shoulder, they gonna spin like a top.
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Post by mbmshooter Sat Jun 03, 2023 5:29 pm

Cmysix wrote:230 grain FMJ and 5 grains bullseye 1.25 COAL 905 FPS now that's some strong ammo, even if you just hit a shoulder, they gonna spin like a top.

AGREED!  Of course, that's why the military used the 230FMJ ammo for over seven decades.  As you know, several of the special operators still prefer and use the 1911 with 230FMJ ammo.

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