Size Doesn't Matter (Much) II
Shooting Times Handgun Guide 2004 has an interesting article on personal defense handgun ammunition. What most drew my interest was the results for three short barreled guns. They tested the 38 Special in a 2" Smith, the .357 in a 2.25" Ruger, and the .45 ACP in a 3.25" Kimber. The typical ballistics table reports the .38/.357 in a 6-8" barrel and the .45 in a 5". As noted below, a short barrel used to mean lower velocities which led to poor bullet expansion.
Some ammo makers seem to have addressed that problem with their personal protection products.
For example, in the 38 Special Shooting Times got a velocity of 874 fps for the Winchester 130 grain PP. That compares to 925 fps in the 2003 Shooter's Bible ballistics tables. Federal 110 grain Personal Defense load tested at 989 fps and lists at 1,000.
For the .357 the Federal 130 Personal Protection, Remington 125 Golden Saber, and PMC 150 Starfire all tested within 5% of their listed velocity. For the .45 ACP, the Remington 185 Golden Saber +P, Federal 165 Personal Protection, and Winchester 230 SXT all tested within 10%.
All of this suggests that the personal defense offerings of the major makers will perform as advertised in snubbies and chopped autos. Which is good news for CCW holders.