Winchester Ranger 230-Grain .45 ACP

Winchester Ranger 230-Grain .45 ACP

The Ranger ammo performed well, all the way around. This group was fired with the H&K.

Winchester's Ranger ammunition line is aimed strictly at the law enforcement community, and the ammunition is only available through distributors that so cater. Currently, the Ranger ammunition line includes a variety of loads designed for everything from target shooting to duty. Included in the line is the Ranger Partition Gold, featuring one of Winchester's most effective hunting JHPs.

Winchester recently added the Ranger "T" series that features a modified SXT bullet, brass primer cup and is loaded to deliver consistent ballistics regardless of barrel length. Winchester also offers Ranger Subsonic, Super Clean NT and Frangible loads designed for the range or street. This work centers on the Winchester Ranger 230-grain SXT JHP .45 ACP load. The SXT bullet features a reverse taper jacket tube and a design that actually calls for the bullet core to slip in the jacket to some degree when the bullet encounters resistance. The base of the lead core is exposed while the jacket is crimped around it. The nose of the jacket features serrations that create six petals, the points of which are crimped into the deep hollow point during the swaging process. SXT bullets tend to exhibit classic, photogenic expansion while retaining all of their starting weight, and they offer deep penetration as well. When the bullet encounters resistance in the target, the six petals open up and expose the sharp cutting edges while the lead core moves forward and peels back over the lower portion of the petals to keep them from breaking off.


Winchester Ranger ammunition is loaded to pressure levels that are on the high end. The Ranger 230-grain SXT .45 ACP load leaves Winchester's five-inch test barrel doing 985 fps, while developing an impressive 495 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. This level of performance is more than 100 fps hotter than the industry standard for a 230-grain bullet. The downrange performance is likewise impressive. Remaining velocity at 50 yards is 937 fps with 369 ft-lbs of instrumental energy.



SOURCES


Winchester Ammunition
427 North Shamrock St.
East Alton, IL 62024
618-258-2900
800-356-2666
www.winchester.com

 

I ran the 230-grain Ranger SXT loads through two different .45 ACP pistols. The guns were my vintage 4 1/4-inch H&K P9 and a newer Kimber Custom Target with the standard-length five-inch barrel. I mounted the Kimber in a Ransom Master machine rest for the range sessions but fired the H&K off of a Dog-Gone-Good sandbag while seated on my rock-solid BR Pivot shooting bench. I set up the target at 25 yards and the Oehler 35P skyscreens 15 feet from the muzzle in each case. I set up a second Oehler 35P at the target, and the skyscreens caught the slugs about a foot in front of the 25-yard target. The temperatures ran in the mid-60s throughout the testing, and winds were light.


The Ranger ammo penetrated 12.625 inches in ballistic gelatin. The SXT JHP expanded to .822 inches. The shot was fired from 5-inch Kimber.

As would be expected, the Kimber with its five-inch barrel most closely duplicated the published Winchester ballistics, delivering 914-fps average, with an extreme spread of 33 fps and standard deviation of 10 fps. The instrumental energy ran 426.6 ft-lbs At 25 yards the Kimber's shots maintained 893 fps and 407.2 ft-lbs of energy.

Five 5-shot groups averaged a respectable 2.98 inches with the best group running 1.75 inches. There were no malfunctions in the Kimber.


To extract the most from the open sights on the H&K, I slipped on my best target-style shooting glasses, complete with adjustable aperture and magnification lens over the shooting eye and an opaque blinder over the left eye. I sat down on the BR Pivot, gritted my teeth and had at it. When the smoke cleared, it was refreshing to note that I could still outshoot the Ransom Rest, although not by much. At any rate, the 4 1/4-inch H&K managed to account for five 5-shot groups that averaged 2.69 inches center to center, and it launched the 230-grain SXT bullets at 814 fps, average. The extreme spread ran 52 fps, and the standard deviation for 20 of the 25 shots ran 12 fps. At 25 yards the H&K/Ranger combo accounted for 797 fps. The H&K produced instrumental energy levels of 338.3 ft-lbs with 324.3 ft-lbs remaining at the target. Again, there were no malfunctions of any kind with the H&K.

While the range results were slightly below the cataloged test barrel results, the Ranger ammo exhibited superb consistency and few other 230-grain JHP loads exceed the velocity or energy of the Winchester load out of the five-inch Kimber. Out of the shorter H&K, the Ranger load drops off slightly but is not outclassed, just the same.

I ran the 230-grain Ranger load through the Kimber and into 10 percent ballistic gelatin at the accepted 10-foot range. The load penetrated 125⁄8 inches and produced a huge, deep wound channel. The recovered slug was classic SXT all the way, measuring .822 inches across the widest point and weighing 229.9 grains--surely the bullet's starting weight.

The Ranger SXT line includes the tested RA45SXTP load as well as a 165-grain .40 S&W load, a 127-grain 9mm load and a 95-grain .380 load.



WINCHESTER RANGER .45 ACP PERFORMANCE
TEST FIREARM VELOCITY/ES/ED @ 15 ft. ENERGY @ 15 ft. VELOCITY/ES/ED @ 25 yds. ENERGY @ 25 yd. 5-SHOT GROUPS @ 25 YARDS
  Smallest Largest Average
Kimber Target 5-Inch 914/33/10 fps 426.6 ft/lbs 893/45/10 fps 407.2 ft/lbs 1.75 in. 3.85 in. 2.98 in.
H&K P9 4 1/4-inch 814/52/12 fps 338.3 ft/lbs 797/48/13 fps 324.3 ft/lbs 1.26 in. 4.94 in. 2.69 in.
PERFORMANCE IN 10 PERCENT BALLISTIC GELATIN--KIMBER 5-INCH BARREL
Penetration Retained Weight Expansion
12 5/8 inches 229.9 grains/100 percent .822 inches

 

Recommended for You

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol designed for personal defense. Compact

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

Jeff Chudwin - January 29, 2019

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol...

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first striker-fired semiautomatic. Semi-Auto

Mossberg MC1sc 9mm Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick

Mossberg dives into the CCW market with the MC1sc 9mm pistol (#89001), their first...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a long Ammo

To Cast a Good Bullet

Bart Skelton - June 28, 2012

I don't have a distinct recollection of the first time I reloaded a cartridge – it's been a...

Eliphalet Remington's world initially revolved around flintlock rifles at the time, and while early 1911

Remington Timeline: 2011 - R1 Pistol Is Introduced

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

Eliphalet Remington's world initially revolved around flintlock rifles at the time, and while...

See More Stories

More Ammo

Silverback Ammo features a high-end copper bullet. Ammo

Gorilla Ammunition's Silverback Line

Patrick Sweeney - September 19, 2017

Silverback Ammo features a high-end copper bullet.

Richard Nance and James Tarr discuss what factors go into choosing Plus P ammo or not. Ammo

Help Desk: Plus P or Not

Handguns Online Staff - August 15, 2017

Richard Nance and James Tarr discuss what factors go into choosing Plus P ammo or not.

SIG SAUER, Inc. introduced the newest addition to the SIG SAUER Elite Ammunition product line ' the high-performance M17 9mm +P ammunition. Ammo

SIG SAUER Introduces M17 9mm +P Ammunition

SIG SAUER, Inc. - December 13, 2018

SIG SAUER, Inc. introduced the newest addition to the SIG SAUER Elite Ammunition product line...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.