Hornady’s New .45 ACP +P

Hornady introduced a new load in the company’s young Critical Duty line of ammunition designed for law enforcement. The new .45 ACP round uses a 220 grain bullet and is loaded to +P pressures. From a 5” test barrel, the round makes for 975 feet per second, which works out to be about 464 foot-pounds of energy.

The bullet is a specially designed FlexLock bullet that uses a polymer tip in a hollowpoint to help ensure expansion and prevent the clogging of the bullet’s cavity. Additionally, a “massive” InterLock band is used by Hornady to prevent the separation of the jacket from the bullet.

Hornady introduced the Critical Duty line of ammunition in later 2011, and only offered 9mm and .40 S&W loads at that time. While looking similar to the Critical Defense line of ammunition, the Critical Duty line is built for different reasons and is designed to perform well in the FBI protocols. The FBI ammunition tests require bullets to adequately penetrate ballistic gelatin after encountering a variety of intermediate barriers such as a car windshield.

Hornady .45 ACP

The Critical Duty rounds have the primers and case mouths sealed to enhance reliability in wet and humid environments.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


  • Big Bore

    How would this function long-term in a military-grade sidearm, like the FNX-45?

    • In the short-term, and really the long-term, it should be just fine. Strictly speaking, though, no matter how high-quality or well built, any firearm will take more wear-and-tear from higher-pressure ammunition. Nothing one could perceive, though, unless you ran high volumes of +P exclusively OR the gun is flawed.

      In short, if you bought the gun to protect yourself with, use the ammo you think will do the job, +P or not.

      • Vitor

        The thing is the pressure of a P+ .45 is still quite low, just 23k psi. Considering that a standard 9mm is 35k psi, 23k would be P—— when compared, being each minus 2k less in pressure.

    • bbmg

      I’m guessing these rounds are fairly expensive and not something you would be shooting every day, especially if you’re just punching holes in paper downrange a couple of yards away.

  • RickH

    Never been a huge fan of +P loads. Bullet technology has advanced so much in the past 5-10 years, you get terrific expansion in normal pressure ranges. Easier on the weapon and control in follow up shots. Be that as it may, everyone will choose the load that they feel comfortable with.

    • RickH

      And I should have said for regular defense. I (and most people) don’t have much need to shoot through a windshield, but if that’s a requirement for the FBI, I understand.

  • Lance

    Nice defensive round the only down side its +P so it limits the type of firearms your can use to carry it.

  • Mike Knox

    another way to wear down barrels faster..