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Winchester Silvertip .45 Colt.

* Not too long ago, Winchester added a new round to their Silvertip lineup that should be a welcome addition for Peacemaker fans. It's their .45 Colt Silvertip Hollow Point cartridge. According to Winchester's advertised figures, this hot new offering is capable of packing its 225-grain jacketed lead HP bullet along at 920 feet per second (fps). This is a full 60 fps faster than their long-time standard 255-grain solid lead bullet loading can generate. However, accuracy, penetration, and expansion are more important than an approximate 13-2/3 percent increase in muzzle velocity, and this is just where this new Silvertip Hollow Point comes into its own!

Along with my Swiss amigo and fellow handgunner, Walter Amrein, a quantity of this Winchester fodder was put through its paces to see what sort of practical result could be expected. Armed with a 4-3/4-inch barreled Colt Single Action Army revolver, we took turns familiarizing ourselves with this ammo through some informal plinking at tin cans and various smallish objects. This shooting was accomplished at ranges from 21 feet out to about 60 feet with satisfying results for the both of us. Once Walter and I felt we had a pretty good handle on this cartridge, we settled down for a little paper targeting. Shooting from a two-handed hold, we each fired several five-shot groups at a bullseye target placed 20 yards downrange. We were pleased to see that no group exceeded 3-1/2 inches in spread, with an average size of 2-1/8 inches. Walter turned in the best results with a cluster that measured just 1-5/8 inches, center to center. Using a "dead-on" hold, all shots hit about 2 inches below, and about 2 inches left of the point of aim. Since Walter is an active combat shooter in his native Switzerland, we decided it might be fun to test his skills with the Peacemaker, stoked up with Winchester's Silvertip fodder, at a silhouette target. Shooting from the combat distance of 21 feet, and using a two-handed, offhand hold, Walter fired five shots in ten seconds, grouping all hits in the "9" ring. The five bullet holes could easily be covered with Walter's hand! This is vivid proof of the combined abilities of shooter, firearm, and ammunition.

With this kind of accuracy potential it was obvious that Winchester's Silvertip .45 Colt ammo would put 'em where the shooter pointed 'em, so we decided to see what happened when that 225-grain jacketed hollow point got there. First, we fired a couple of shots into a 6-inch thick block of Duxseal with a 1/4-inch pine board placed in front of it. Shooting from a distance of ten feet, the bullets penetrated through the board and went on to plow through the entire half-dozen inches of Duxseal, each lodging itself at the back of the block. Even in spite of the fact that the open noses of these hollow points became packed with wood as they passed through the board and transformed themselves into solid slugs, they still left a 1-1/8-inch entrance hole in the Duxseal, then tumbled the rest of the way without expanding or deforming. That's a pretty mean wound for a solid bullet!

We repeated the test with the pine boards removed. In each of these instances the bullet penetrated 4 inches of Duxseal, leaving a 3/4-inch entrance hole, and mushroomed perfectly. One of the recovered slugs had shed its jacket. While the bullet core had separated from its Silvertip jacket, it was evidently at its end of travel as the banana-peeled jacket was found just behind the mushroomed projectile. Again, in both instances the results were impressive.

With this sort of accuracy, penetration and expansion capabilities, Winchester's .45 Colt Silvertip Hollow Point ammo would be an excellent choice as a defensive round in this powerful chambering. Another feature worth consideration is that being a jacketed bullet, there is no leading of the bore as found with solid lead projectiles.

The Winchester folks pack their .45 Colt Silvertip Hollow Point ammo in two different configurations. At 20 cartridges to the box, they currently retail for around $9.80 per box. The standard 50-round box will set you back about $24.45.

If you like to shoot single actions, or any arm chambered for the .45 Colt, you owe it to yourself to give these Winchester Silvertips a tryout in your hogleg. I was impressed with their performance and I'm sure you will be too. Next time you visit your local gun or sporting goods store, ask for a box of these Silvertips. I'll bet you'll be back for more!
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Title Annotation:evaluation
Author:Spangenberger, Phil
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Aug 1, 1984
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