Picking the Perfect .45 Ammo

Finding the perfect ammunition

When you get that masterpiece of a gun – a .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) – the first thing you want to do is shoot. That’s natural, but it’s hard to do without the right ammunition. Experts have debated the perfect ammo ever since the weapon was introduced. It was designed by John Moses Browning in 1905. Hobbyists want to take the gun out on to the range or to a competition while others want to use it for self-defense or home protection. So, the question remains – what is the perfect .45 ammo? If you’re looking for one brand or type of ammo to use as an all purpose round, you’re going to be disappointed. Some ammo will work well enough for all applications but won’t be ideal: self-defense rounds require ultimate stopping power that is best found in a hollow point, while target practice can use a less aggressive, less expensive round.

Choosing the Type of Ammo

The first thing you should do is decide what the ammo will be used for and then pick the type of ammo that will work best. .45 ammo comes in two styles: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and Jacketed Hollow Points (JHP).

Full Metal Jackets

FMJ ammo has a soft lead core encased in a copper jacket. It offers good penetration, but since there is no expansion, it is best used as a target round. If the round is used in a self-defense situation, it could over-penetrate and cause collateral damage.

Jacketed Hollow Points

JHP is the number one choice for a self-defense round. It features a lead core encased in a copper jacket, but unlike the FMJ, it does have expansion. The core of the bullet will expand upon impact, creating a larger channel than the FMJ. However, the copper jackets will slow down the round so over penetration is unlikely.

Testing the Ammunition

Enthusiasts know that the best way to find the right ammo is to do your homework. You can run a search and find out what others are using, and then based on the results, choose what is most appealing to you.

The Process

Testers use the following to determine the ballistics of ammunition. The tests will give you a good idea of what to expect and how to run your own tests. The tests are performed with a compact pistol, which is ideal for concealed carry. A gun with a larger barrel will yield high numbers for muzzle velocity and penetration.

  • Fire 5 shots of each with each brand of ammo to achieve a good average.
  • Shots should be fired from 10 feet away, the average distance in most defense situations.
  • Place 4 layers of fabric in front of ballistics gel to simulate real life situations; the fabric mimics heavy clothing.
  • Ideal penetration for the ammo iss 12-18 inches; shows adequate stopping power without over-penetration.

Regardless of which ammunition brand or style you choose, there is no substitute for practice. Never wait until a situation calls for action to learn how your new ammunition will perform.

Fiocchi: Born at the Right Time

 

Fiocchi Ammunition

Fate has a way of stepping in at the right moment. Giulio Fiocchi discovered fate when he went to collect on an overdue loan made by his bank in 1876.

A bank in Milan, Italy employed Fiocchi as an accountant and he was sent to Lecco to visit the deliquent manufacturer of muskets and black powder. Fiocchi researched the company’s ability to pay the loan and found it was not possible. The accountant returned to Milan thinking about the opportunity to buy the bankrupt company. Giulio spoke with his brother Giacomo and, together, the men decided to go into the ammunition business. Fiocchi’s bank lent money to the brothers to begin their business, Giulio Fiocchi Enterprises.

Never Say Die

The Fiocchi brothers founded Fiocchi Ammunition (Fiocchi Munizioni in Italian) at the right time in history. The breech-loader had replaced the muzzle-loader, so Fiocchi began to make reloadable primer cases. Black powder went the way of the dinosaur, and Fiocchi adapted once again.

Pre-war, Fiocchi was dedicated to making ammunition for sport shooting and hunting. During World War I they had the opportunity to produce ammo for the Italian army. The Fiocchi factory was seized by Germans in World War II, but the employees were able to hold them off on the ground. However, the employees failed to keep Allied planes from destroying the factory.

The Fiocchi family rebuilt a new factory in 1946. This enabled Fiocchi to make more advanced ammunition, encouraging expansion and new partnerships through the 1950s and 1960s.

Innovators

Initially they were throwing away its scrap metal. The company found a way of recouping the money spent on the metal. In addition to manufacturing ammo, the company began to make metal snaps. The garment industry bought the snaps which became a staple in fashion. One of the largest clothing manufacturers in the world bought the snap manufacturing business in the 1980s.

Fiocchi gave to the community that supported his manufacturing operations. In 1904, the company built houses for its workers to ensure that they had nice places to live. They also provided childcare and medical care to their employees and still do to this day.

Fiocchi of America, Inc.

Fiocchi came to the U.S. in a roundabout way. In the 1950s, the company shared a factory with Smith & Wesson in Illinois. The companies had disagreements and Fiocchi sold its shares, halting their presence in the Americas. Then in 1980, Carlo Fiocchi, the great-grandson of Giulio Fiocchi, came to the United States on his honeymoon. Carlo researched the possibility of the company’s return to the U.S. and, in 1983, Fiocchi of America began to import products.

Consumers bought ammunition faster than it could be imported from Italy. Carlo met with Paolo Fiocchi, the company president, to discuss building a manufacturing plant stateside. History repeated itself when Fiocchi purchased land from a farmer that had been unable to pay his mortgage. The locals embraced Fiocchi as they provided good jobs for the region. Today, the company sells over 75 percent of the company’s U.S. sales at that plant. Fiocchi is proud of its slogan, “Italian by birth, American by choice.”