Oldie But Goodie

I saw this ad a couple days back, and it brought back fond memories.

The Silvertip has been around for donkey’s years, and I recall that of late, its effectiveness has been somewhat derided by the usual tests (ballistic gel, whatever).

Here’s what I know.

Back in the early 1980s, I saw an autopsy of a corpse in a police morgue (long story, not important) of a man who had been shot once with a .45 ACP Silvertip.  The entry wound was, well, .45 inches, and the exit wound about double that.  Nothing much to report, there.

What really impressed me was what damage the bullet had caused along the way.  It hadn’t hit any rib bone on the way in, but the guy’s insides still looked like they’d gone 5 seconds in a commercial blender.

After seeing  that, I carried Silvertip ammo in my carry guns exclusively until the early 2000s, when it just got too expensive.  I see that Lucky Gunner, among others, now has the 9mm Silvertips on sale for about a buck a round, which is expensive but not massively so, in today’s Bidenflation World.

In .45 ACP, however, the cost per squeeze (IF you can find any in stock) is between $1.80 and $2 (!!!), which is definitely too spendy for my wallet.

But if you want to put only the best ammo in your carry gun for those unexpected antisocial occasions (and there’s nothing wrong with that), do consider the Silvertip as well as your usual suspects in premium self-defense ammo.  I’ve seen first-hand what it does, after all.

And of course, I get no kickback from Winchester or anyone else from my recommendations.


  1. I have a few old boxes of Silvertips in .348
    Very expensive these days, about $9 per trigger pull, if you can find them at all.

  2. “Here’s our normal bullets. They’re currently 70 cents a round. And here’s our hollow point bullets, which are currently twice that much?”

    “Why twice as much?”

    “Because it’s really, really hard to make bullets with holes in the nose. It costs a lot to have that guy sit there with a Dremel all day.”

  3. I can only assume that a very large percentage of the population flunked math in a stunningly grandiose manner, immediately followed by skipping all their physics classes, what with failing to recognize first, that expansion, accompanied by penetration, is very strongly desired and second, that starting from halfway there is a free bonus (well, given base cost, it ain’t zakly “free” but sometimes youse jus gotta spend a coupla more bucks in order to keep up).

  4. I bought when I could and they were a buck per cartridge or less. Walmart used to carry Winchester Defender or PDX1 at a reasonable price and sometimes Federal HST or Hydra Shoks.

    The problem is that you don’t care enough to send the very best due to cost and who cares about goblins. But that chuck of lead and copper is protecting your life so paying a higher price for premium ammunition is the way to go.


  5. Years ago Speer was dumping a run of Gold Dot HP because they’d used the wrong primer (contract run). It was (IIRC) 40 bucks for a 250 round box in 2001/2002. I still have a box and a half, and a few boxes of newer lots. It’s run “perfectly” (don’t like that word) in every gun I’ve stuck it in, so I stay with it.

    The most important thing for a boolet is that when you pull the trigger it cycles the gun. Second most important thing is that the boolet goes where you want it to go. Expansion is a bonus.

    I expect that Winchester is the same.

  6. Those 45 MM bullets have too much recoil for me. Sheesh, nobody does proofreading anymore?

    1. That jumped off the box at me, so I did the conversion:
      * 45mm equals 1.77 inches
      Each slug probably weighs as much as a quart of [beverage].

  7. There have been multiple generations of Silvertips as the technology evolved but they kept the name for marketing reasons.

  8. Silvertips are probably worth the expense if your local Law Enforcement use Silvertips. If you find the wrong numbers came up and you have to use Pb Therapy on someone, it is better to be able to say you use the same brand and model as the police — or the police say they use the same brand and model of bullet that you did.

  9. Winchester 180-grain Silvertips in .308 Winchester are my favourite hunting rounds. Absolutely devastating knock-down results on game. Of late, they unfortunately seem to have taken the Silvertip bullets out of the Xpert lineup, replacing them with PowerPoints, which are good, but not *as good*.

  10. At $2 a round, I might have to do a cost-benefit analysis before shooting a mugger.

  11. I still have 9mm Silvertips for use in my 1980s era Hi Power. A big selling point in the mid 80’s when I started buying them was that it was one of the few JHPs that seemed to feed reliably in the BHP at the time.

  12. Way back when, Silvertip was the only factory hollowpoint that was available in .44 spl ammo. So, my Bulldog Pug sports shiny teeth!

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