Winchester .45ACP 230gr JHP in vyse ballistics gel.

Test Gun: Colt 1911 Government, Defender.
Barrel length: 5 and 3 inches.
Ammunition: Winchester .45 ACP 230gr JHP.
Test media: 10% Vyse Ballistics Gel, Clear Ballistics Gel.
Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
Five shot velocity average: 852fps, 770fps
BB Calibration: 3.5 inches.

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Most reading this will be familiar with Winchester’s budget line of ammo often referred to as “Winchester White Box”. More commonly found in the Full Metal Jacket offering the brand also has a Jacketed Hollow Point version in most popular calibers.

I tested some WWB in 9mm in my budget9 series because it comes in under the $20 price limit. And this what the Winchester White Box line is best known for, low price quality ammunition. One thing I have noticed over the years is the price of this line from inexpensive to nipping at the heals of premium offerings. At the moment with the pandemic and civil unrest if you can find this ammo in stock somewhere you will find the price closer to the premium lines then budget.

I got a five-shot average from the 5 inch Government model of 852fps. With a high of 861fps and a low of 840fps. Giving us an extreme spread of 21fps.

Offhand at 10 yards with the 5 inch government model.

From the 3-inch Defender, I got an average velocity of 770fps with a high of 778fps and a low of 764fps for an extreme spread of 14fps.

Offhand at 10 yards 3 inch Defender.

Starting with the 5-inch Government model, the first round hit the bare gel block at a velocity of 843fps and penetrated to 13.25 inches. The bullet expanded to .76 inches and had a recovered weight of 232.6 grains. The second round had a velocity of 830fps and also penetrated to 13.25 inches. Its recovered weight was 234.8 grains and it expanded to .75 inches.

Now shooting through the heavy clothing. The chronograph did not record either of the two shots. The first round penetrated to 15.5 inches and expanded to .70 inches with a recovered weight of 231.8 grains. Round two penetrated to 14.75 inches and expanded to .71 inches with a weight of 233.3 grains.

Now shooting the 3-inch Defender in the bare gel I also did not get any velocity readings. The first round expanded to .74 inches and penetrated to 13 inches. Its recovered weight was 232.4 grains. The second round also penetrated 13 inches and the recovered weight was 233.4 grains with an expansion of .72 inches.

The next picture is a top view of the gel block. From top to bottom, 5-inch bare gel, 3-inch bare gel, and 5-inch heavy clothing.

View of the back in of the gel block. From left to right, 5-inch heavy clothing, 3-inch bare gel, and 5-inch bare gel.


  1. Interesting. I bought some 230 grain Winchester Defend JHP and was wondering if someone had done a gel test on them. The bullet has the notches inside the cavity like the ones shown in your test, but the outside notches on mine aren’t as prominent. So maybe not the same bullet.
    I had heard the Defend series used a bonded bullet like the PDX-1 loads.
    The ones you tested sure did well.
    Thanks for doing the test.


  2. Honestly the value or budget Winchester .45 ACP 230 grain JHP and it’s 1911 newer variant that has the silver color jacket metal are a good bang for your buck. The newer 1911 230 grain JHP ammo uses the same jacket metal as the 185 grain silvertip JHP which is a different alloy of Brass, commonly called Silver Brass or Gilding Metal. Some don’t refer to it as Brass at all but rather copper alloy high in Tin content to make it look Silver in color.
    The big difference in the 1990’s between the 185 grain Silvertip JHP and the 230 grain JHP White Box USA ammo was jacket material and weight of projectile. Both had 8 petal jackets and the 230 grain was full metal case base. The Black Talon SXT had a six petal reverse taper jacket with different alloy copper jacket that was thicker at the nose then the tail for controlled continued expansion when pushed at higher velocity or lower velocity it expanded the same but more rapidly depending on the speed pushed. The civilian SXT had 8 petals and was pure crap projectile sold as a make up sales fool trick to scam money off civilians later on in years. If you knew where to buy you got 50 shot boxes of White Super-X Ranger SXT Talon in Brass cases. Then the TAN Post-2000 SXT Ranger Boxes with both Brass and Nickel cases depending on caliber and some calibers got a make over SXT projectile and called Ranger-T Series. Then the black and silver boxes with T-Series and lastly the Ranger Bonded which is the same as the civilian Supreme Elite Defender or PDX-1 stuff. 45 ACP Supreme Defender got a make over from 6 petals to 8 petals but Ranger LEO kept the 6 petal design.


  3. Winchester Silvertip also had makeover hour. The original .45 ACP and other ACP calibers of low velocity had Aluminum jackets for rapid expansion and often 8-10″ inches penetration was MAX for those early aluminum jacketed jobs. POST-2000 the 45 ACP 185 grain silvertip and other calibers got the newer Silver-Brass / Copper alloy gilding metal jacket material like the 9-mm and 10-mm always had. This gave them deeper penetration and less rapid expansion but over all expansion was the same, depth increased from 8-10″ to 10-12″ inches penetration for the .45 ACP.
    Over all your budget will thank you for buying the 50 count White Box USA 230 grain JHP or the 1911 230 grain JHP .45 ACP and or the Ranger LEO 50 count boxes when around. Silvertip 50 round old school was expensive and the newer 20 count is high level expensive for one reason or another to milk people.


  4. Or one could count the #3 different variants of the 230 grain USA white box .45 ACP JHP. Bass Pro Shops had a special made ( SXZ Black Oxide 230 grain JHP ) for the .45 ACP for 25% cost then white box but it’s the same bullet. 1911 USA 230 grain JHP is also the same projectile but different jacket material or maybe only plate color on it.
    For 2-3 decades people asked for a 230 grain .45 ACP Silvertip JHP because the 9-mm was originally 115 grain but a 147 grain Silvertip was created for the 9-mm and of course the .38 SPL caliber had 4 loadings of Silvertip!!! Originally they had a 95 grain .38 Special +p+ LEO only load. 110 grain .38 SPL, 125 grain .38 SPL and another 125 +P .38 SPL load I do believe.


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