Ballistic test .45 Auto pistol vs carbine.

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A few years ago I published the differences in 9mm Luger ammunition performance when fired from a pistol and carbine. You can read that article by following this link. Now I have finished the Hi-Point carbine in .45 Auto review and the new Ruger ARX defensive ammunition I thought it a good time to do the same comparison for .45 Auto.

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The recovered rounds from the carbine. The Winchester SXZ top two is from the handgun and the bottom is from the carbine. There was a significant reduction in perceived recoil using the Ruger ARX, and accuracy was 1 1/2″ at 25 yards using the handgun from a rest. The top chart is handgun and bottom is carbine

45 auto ballistic pistol vs carbine

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You can click on the above chart to see an expanded view and the differences of the round as fired from a five inch barrel and a seventeen and a half inch barrel. The Ruger ARX bullet is polymer so I was curious how it would penetrate mild steel. You see on the right photo the top hole is 9×19 Ruger ARX and the one centered is the ARX in .45 Auto as fired from the handgun. You can see the exit holes on the other photo. This is an expansion tank like you would find above your water heater.  As you see, the ARX had no trouble penetrating this mild steel tank.  The .45 Auto is a formidable defensive round out of a handgun to be sure but it gains a bit of juice when fired from a carbine.


By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

5 thoughts on “Ballistic test .45 Auto pistol vs carbine.”
  1. Which is which lol ? on the chart is the first the handgun and the bottom the carbine ? Or vice versa ?

  2. Interesting. I will probably never have the carbine for home defense as I am a fan of the semi auto pistol and dbl barrel 12 guage for home defense. (pistol for carry).
    Still the comparison is nice to have.
    That being said (going to blow a little smoke) with the exception of the 22 (except in rare cases) any well placed shot from a 32 up will do the job. One must be more precise however with a smaller bullet due to smaller cavity. A larger caliber even poorly placed for whatever reason will be cause for a rethink on the perpetrators part.

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