Hence why you strongly recommended a mag loader.
edit: the manual included with the gun recommends the following for proper break-in:
1. Run 50 rounds through the gun, alternating magazines.
2. Repeat the 50-round cycle.
3. After 100 rounds, field strip, clean, and relubricate the entire gun, including magazines (recommends cleaning magazines with every cleaning).
4. Repeat the 100-round cycle until 300 rounds have been fired.
So essentially there needs to be 3-6 range days to fully break in the gun. I've put 150 rounds through it so far on two range days, and the gun has been cleaned twice. So I need to get 150 more rounds through it to finish the break in.
I called Para Ordnance a few minutes ago and spoke with technical support about jams. From what the guy said, submoa was exactly right. For lack of a better analogy, brand new Para handguns are virtually virgins in that they're built to exact tolerances and dimensions, and basically need to be loosened up using 230gr ball ammo. So I need to finish up the break-in cycle with 230gr hardball, and then retest some premium defense rounds. I mentioned a few FTFs with CCI Blazer Brass, and he said because the BB isn't the highest quality, jams would be expected during the break-in period.
I like the lower recoil of the 230gr ammo as it's more controllable. Once I'm finished breaking the gun in, I'll test the following:
- Federal Hydra-shok 230gr
- Speer Gold Dot 230gr
- Corbon DPX 230gr +P
- Hornady XTP (TAP) 230gr +P
The tech rep advised against +P ammunition not because it would damage the gun, but because the tolerances are based on standard pressure 230gr loads, and a change in chamber pressure could cause cycling malfunctions. He also advised against cartridges under 230gr as the pressures for them will be different as well.
My thinking is the higher pressure is better since it adds velocity, which a bullet lacks coming out of a 3" barrel. That's on the grounds that it cycles with 100% reliability.
And of course, I'll go with Mike Barham's opinion of SD rounds...software is key, assuming hardware works. If all of the loads cycle reliably, I should be okay to carry any of them, mostly based on availability.
While the heavier bullets may not have the velocity of the lighter bullets and may not expand as reliably, they still offer lower recoil characteristics for faster follow-up shots, and even if a .45ACP doesn't expand, it will never shrink. Expansion is preferred, but even hardball ammo from a .45 auto will pack one hell of a punch compared to 9mm. So that being said, I need to finish up the break-in, and test feeding reliability. Ballistics aren't as much of an issue.
submoa, I appreciate your input on this one. Also, your explanation of recoil relative to powder charges makes complete sense. The heavier bullet, because of its mass, will essentially accelerate slower. Since it accelerates slower, the exanding gases from the powder charge will build up pressure more rapidly behind it than a lighter bullet that accelerates quicker. So yeah, lighter bullets should recoil harder. Thanks!
Where are you getting your velocity numbers from? Are you Chrono-ing them yourself or is this something you heard?
The reason that I ask is because you only get about 20-30 fps per inch of additional barrel. I would guess that you are going to get only 30-60fps less out of a 3" barrel than you are out of a 5". You'll still be up in the mid to high 800's, possibly 900's with standard .45 230's. I've never had a noticeable difference in round velocity between my 5" target model and my 3" Raptor.
If this is just something you heard, I'd recommend Chrono-ing your rounds if possible, you won't notice any appreciable difference out of 2" or 3" difference in barrel length.
That's true, however he did say that if +P rounds cycled reliably, they were fine to use. The only difference between the two is that any jams from a standard pressure are considered a manufacturer-based error, whereas the +P wouldn't fall within the constraints of the design.
He recommended I finish breaking the gun in, then test different loads for cycling reliability. The fact that they were designed with a standard pressure 230gr load implies that there should be no malfunctions with a standard pressure 230gr load, PERIOD. Other loads may or may not work, but if they don't cycle, the gun/manufacturer aren't the ones to blame. If it doesn't cycle with standard pressure 230gr loads after being broken in, then there's something wrong with the gun.
Well, there could be lots of things that make a pistol not cycle, and it's not always the guns fault. Proper grip for one. The most well designed pistol will fail from time to time with someone limp wristing the gun.
I got to thinking, and reading, and I think the SB rounds have more to do with development of the bullet itself, not how much faster or slower they come out of the gun. They seem to have a much wider opening for the Hollowpoint and also more mass at the rear, thinner walls near the tip, so that when it impacts, it rolls back easier. Not so much different powders/burn rates/velocity.
Obviously, with a 230gr bullet, it's gonna penetrate even at low velocities. With 9mm, it seems the biggest issue isn't getting a bullet to expand, but to penetrate to an adequate depth. With .45ACP, it appears the opposite is the case, as a lot of the ballistics testing I've seen in .45ACP has extreme penetration, sometimes well over the 18" mark.
As far as picking the best load, I would guess finding one that gives maximum (and reliable) expansion would be key as a non-expanding bullet will overpenetrate. I'd rather have a bullet that penetrates 12" and expands to .730"+ than one that penetrates 20" and fails to expand, or only expands to a .600" diameter, or thereabouts.
Aren't you supposed to be studying for finals?
fivehour- when you hold the hawg, does it feel like the grip is digging into the bottom of your palm? I held a used warthog at the local shop today and I don't know if I could shoot 50rds without gloves on. It had a space right behind the clip where it looked like you could maybe attach something (or was originally there) to fill in the void. The extended finger rest felt nice for the pinkie but I dont think i could get over the back of the grip. they had a kimber eclipse II next to it and i just about bought it cause it felt awesome in my hand but the 750 tag is a little out of my league.
I think the grip is fairly comfortable. I've shot anywhere between 50-80 rounds in a session without gloves and never had a problem. I always wore gloves when shooting the P99c and XD-9, but I decided to start shooting without gloves, since there's a pretty slim chance I'll ever happen to be wearing them if I need to use it.