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  #1  
Old 02-10-2005, 03:25 PM
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hunting with a .45 acp


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anybody do any hunting with a .45acp? deer or otherwise? i'd love to do some hunting with my 1911 just wondering if anybody had any experience.
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2005, 03:43 PM
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Can find some old writtings of G. Nonte...he published some stuff about hunting boar and even bear with a .45acp. HP ammo was young and Nonte a big beliver in the 185-190gr. JHP (esp. the original SuperVel) and that's waht he used in the published hunts I read back then (and were collected in his "Handgun Hunting" book).

Personally, I don't use the .45acp for hunting...have take a few shots at Nutria, 'possums, and racoons and it's done a fine job so long as FMJ or RN ammo was avoided (SWC or JHP ammo seems to work well). You kind of lose faith in the 230gr. FMJ bullet after hitting a 'possum jut to have to hump up and run...when found, has a the hole though it's lungs, but it's a puckered little hole for a .45cal. bullet to be making.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 02-10-2005 at 03:45 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2005, 05:46 PM
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2 pigs, 1 Rio Grande turkey, and 1 rattlesnake. Probably some other stuff that wasn't edible that will come to mind later.

I'd suggest a 255gr. SWC, if your gun will feed them. See the current Speer manual; they have data for their 260gr. JHP which should be a good start.

p.s. - and a fox, too.
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2005, 09:09 PM
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I've hunted squirrels with a 1911. Used old milsurp 230 grain FMJ- steel case stuff from 1943. That way, you don't lose a good case in the grass...
Corrosive, tho.
The 230 FMJ is real effective on squirrels- just makes a nice clean hole on a body shot.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2005, 10:01 PM
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Hornady has their excellent FMJ truncated cone (flat point) 230 grain bullet as a componet and in their factory ammo. Don't know the meplat size off-hand, but it looks similar to some SWCs in area. As for effect, haven't used it myself. At full house velocity it should roughly compare to a .44/250grn Keith @ 900 fps, and I know that load kills deer. BTDT. From what I've seen in the military and in my fire/ems work animals are tougher to kill than people. Just put the bullet where it goes. A gazillion .44-40s can't be wrong.
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2005, 01:07 AM
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Hunting deer with a .45 is cruel, unless its a .45 colt loaded full or better. ie. 44 magnum power.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2005, 04:57 AM
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I would not even consider it. JMHO
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2005, 05:14 AM
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The .45 does not have sufficient engery down range. Check the charts and you will find 200 to 350 ft-lbs at 50 yards. By-no-means is that enough, some writers state that the minimum is 700 ft-lbs of energy.

Not saying that you couldn't kill a deer with a .45, but that it's not a good caliber for deer and above.

For small game and up to coyotes it will probably perform without any problems.

Also, check your State's hunting laws, most do not allow autos, you could shoot the .45ACP in a wheel gun.
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Last edited by magshooter; 02-17-2005 at 05:16 AM.
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2005, 08:04 AM
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While state laws do vary, based on things like barrel length velocity, caliber, energy, phase of the moon, color of the gun, etc., etc., by NO means should they be considered an endorsement of useful / proper hunting cartridges. The political realities of decision-making by state officials give us the horrible patchwork of gun-control laws, so keep in mind that our hunting regulations may come from the exact same source! The deer in State 'A' are, by and large, the same deer we find in State 'B'.

The ban on using semi-auto guns in PA comes to mind. Not to pick on you PA residents... I'm sure you understand this..... but a semi-auto .30-06 is no more or less effective than a pump .30-06, for example.

At the opposite extreme, here in Texas, any centerfire is legal for deer. ANY! Handgun, rifle, shotgun, et al. Yes, you can legally deer hunt with a .25 ACP Raven or Jennings, or a load of #9 shot in a .410, although it boggles the imagination to think of anyone dense enough to. And no, I don't think that's right either, but hesitate to wade in and try to define what is, because my own personal prejudices will come into play.

The energy requirements are just as arbitrary and fanciful. Even if downrange kinetic energy had anything to do with ability to take game (and it doesn't), then picking an arbitrary point (500 ft/lbs, for example) doesn't mean that the deer are now bulletproof at 499 ft-lbs.

The .45 auto / deer debate sorta reminds me of the great .357 / deer (& pigs, etc.) debate. I think that some of the issues are the same, mainly in bullet selection being totally a determing factor in whether this works well or not. The .357, for example, is a terrible choice with 110gr. JHPs, even if the energy numbers look great. Contrast that with the 160-200gr. cast bullets - you literally cannot keep one of these in a deer. Maybe a big hog on a raking shot. They punch through and make all kinds of mess inside. I've pawed through the remains of the lungs, folks!

I was a skeptic myself about .35 cast bullets till I shot a few deer with them. Nothing like actual doing to bust a few myths!

Hardball in a .45 auto is not a good wounder. JHPs don't penetrate well on pigs, been there, done that. A good flat-nosed cast bullet is a world apart, though. The energy numbers on all three might well be identical but the terminal ballistics will be night and day different.

Guess my point is, we can't rationally discuss handgun hunting without being very specific about what bullet / load & what critter we are matching it up to. Even in something like a .44 mag rifle (which looks pretty darn impressive on paper), we can have poor terminal ballistics, depending on the bullets used.

Now, there is a very legitimate point about the .45 auto being a short-range proposition. That's not a limitation, that's the point! If I want to shoot something 300 yards away, I'll use a rifle, and not just any rifle that I own. Each handgun hunter needs to come to terms with how far away is too far away, when it comes to breaking the trigger on fur.

Handgun hunting is a game of limitations. Limitations are the shooter, the terminal effect, and the range. Whichever of the three factors is the most restrictive is the one that has to rule the field in that day. Best shooter, short range, and completely inappropriate caliber (go back to our .25 ACP example) is no better than worst shooter, long range, and a .44 Mag.... in each case there is a limiting factor that (should) prevent the hunter from pulling the trigger.

My .45 auto with a 255gr. SWC / 900fps gives up a bit of range to, say, a .44 Mag with a 280gr. WFNGC / 1300fps, but that's how it should be. When the deer start wearing kevlar, I'll leave the .45 in the truck!
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  #10  
Old 02-17-2005, 08:29 AM
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Hey MikeG

The original post did not specify any shooting or hunting perameters, so my reply was persented based on factual information written about for many years, not field application.

Your 255 grain, 900fps bullet is only producing around 460 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzel.

I know you can kill a deer with this round, but you would have to be a very experienced shooter and hunter, and the shot would have to made at a relatively close range of maybe 30 yards. If you were hunting from a stand, this would be no problem, but for the stillhunter, that distance would be an exception.

Never did understand the hunting laws here in PA, have hunted across the US and in many states the laws are relaxed.
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2005, 10:29 AM
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Thanks for your response, Mike. Hope no one took offense at my assessment of the .45's potential. We live in a fascinating age. Sorta like the day it dawns on you that the Easter bunny isn't who left the chocolate M&Ms....

I'm grateful that the forums like this one exist as an alternative to the print magazines. We have a wealth of 'conventional wisdom' available every month on the newsstands.... some of which contains no actual wisdom. Gues the FDA hasn't put labeling requirements on gun magazine articles, just yet.

I don't think that anybody here on the forum signs on to deliberately mislead others (well a few have, but they've been given the boot long ago). So.... while it's the strength of the forum that we're all willing to help, sometimes we find out that the truths we've been fed over the years aren't quite so true anymore.

It tickles me to no end to read in a gun magazine, that some writer admits to deer hunting with a .357, then says kinda sheepishly, "... well, I really could not recommend it for deer hunting...." Um, gosh, just why is that, exactly? It wouldn't have anything to do with the full-page ad right next to your article about the new .499 Super Blaster Magnum, would it?????

The marketing departments in every gun company in America would have massive, synchronized, and complete loss of brain function if the word got out that a 30 year old, beat up, no-finish-on-the-grips and half-the-bluing-gone single-action .357 Mag could in fact, actually kill a deer, in a reasonable fashion.

Hey.... we're all entitled to our opinions. If you don't think that a .45 or .357 (or whatever) is capable of killing a deer, by all means - don't use one! Confidence is a big part of the battle.

And I greatly enjoy the debate as well, so keep it coming, if you want to take the opposite tack. I don't share my personal experiences to tell anyone that they are 'wrong,' but rather, to hopefully bring a different point of view.

After all - the gunwriters get to tell all about their great hunts with XXX caliber and how wonderful it is, being the new baseline for hunting such-and-such critters, so the least I can do is chime in with what works for me (and for free, no less!).

There's a whole lot more of us who hunt on the forum, compared to the few in the industry that get paid to write, and I'm confident that if enough of us speak out about what we've used in the field, the truth will come out, whether good, bad, or ugly.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2005, 11:42 AM
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A couple of pigs learned about .45 ACP hollow points. I wasn't there, but the XTP is tougher than the average hollow point, and a subsonic load doesn't shed velocity and energy like a supersonic load. The 230 grain XTP +P is only down 15% in energy at 100 yards. I can't hit a pig at 100 yards with a 1911 now, but I'd try it at 50 yards or less, if the rhumatiz in my shoulder wasn't acting up.
http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=2415

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  #13  
Old 02-17-2005, 01:49 PM
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Golden Sabers go about 6 inches through neck muscle, then stop, FYI.

Good info on the XTPs, Jack, thanks.
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2005, 06:36 PM
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Mike G Could not agree more I too have had great results with 357mag 160grain bullets [flat points] on hogs up to 275 pounds. I have had great results with 45ACP and 230 grainbullets [flat points] on deer. Hit them in the rig cage and you con see the deer's ribs push in and game over[bullet exits.I like as wide of flat point as your gun will feed. I also agree that hollow points that mushroom so violently that penetration is inadaquite. I have recovered gold dots that expanded as larege as a quarter with insuficent penetration.A 230 grian flat point 45acp will out penetrate a 480 ruger with hornaday 325 grain hollow point by a considerable amount Been there done that. For those whom relie on energy tables would be surprised to find that a 750 grain arrow and broad head combined weight @ 200 fps has less than 70 foot pounds of energy yet penetrates completely through Caribou and falls on the ground.I also agree that round nose are terriable in terminal effect. You ARE SPOT ON.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2005, 07:34 PM
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Just an opinion but if your going to hunt with a .45ACP maybe you should look into getting one of those carbine barrel and stock setups for your 1911
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:36 PM
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.45 Auto is for when you left your rifle in the truck and are stomping around in the brush looking for a pig, and the rest of them come back Ask me how I know that
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:05 AM
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jwp475

Your suggestion related to evaluating energy tables goes against all handloading. If handloaders didn't trust in the information documented after experimentation, there would be no need to buy anything else other than factory loads.

I would rather hunt with a 357mag with bullet weights between 158 to 180. The 357mag some time ago was hailed as being a BEAR STOPPER.

Your comparison to Bow & Arrow relates somewhat to what is being talked about here. In my earlier years I hunted with a recurve in 40lb draw weight and took several nice size deer, the arrow combination gave good results but never had full pass through.

The arrow would remain within the deer causing more damage with each step, they never went further than 75 yards.

I got caught up in the compound bow craze later on, spent a lot of money and time tuning my setups, but the field results were negative. Always had a clean pass through, but the biggest problem was that the deer would run for long distances, with marginal blood trails.

I own over 12 bows, but as of 1996 when archery hunting I select my recurves, flat or long bows with bow weights from 40 to 55lbs.

Living in PA, we are not allowed to hunt any game with semi-autos of any caliber, so I can't compare field results as some of you guys.

I've owned several 45's over the years and know what kind of damage they do to inanimate objects, but not living game.

If I ever have a chance again at hunting handgun in a state that allows 45 auto's, I will definately give one a try.
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:13 AM
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Magshooter, My reference to a bow was in was reference to energy comparison.I donot believe energy figures to always tell the truth,about a cartridge's effectiveness.the reference also illustrates an efficent hunting weapon with minimal energy figures. For either to be effective projectile chioce is critical. I have also experienced broadhead failure [blades sheared of and arrow fell out on the side it entered] nnnnot very effective. There are times such as broadside lung shots where a reletively high degree of mushrooming or fragile bullet that does not exit can be very effective,but change the angle and suddenly it becomes ineffective due to lack of penetration.I have hunted and taken a lot of small and big game with a hand gun a 45ACP is not my first choice,but the originall question was if anyone had any experience hunting and taking of game with a 45ACP.I agreed with MIKE G's assesment of the cartriges abillity.

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Old 02-18-2005, 08:35 AM
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Here we go again! ....There are those that really think they need a cannon to kill a pi**ant! I am sure that Mike G. knows how to adjust the killing range to the caliber/load!
We hear this from the magnumitus crowd all the time. There was a bunch of Florida boys many, many years ago that all they could affored to hunt with were the old 1917 Smiths in 45 ACP. They did right well by picking their shots in dense cover.
I, for one, have switched over to my S&W 6" 686 with 175/185 bullets. I have seen fellows at our gun club that could not hit their butt with the big guns, only to be deadly with the .357 with proper bullets.
I would really like to know if the posters that knock anything below the .44 Mag. have every tried the .357 with proper bullets? Reminds me of a case years ago that a reader jumped Parker Ackley's statement that the .220 Swift was a good deer killer......seems the reader had never tried one! I killed a great number of deer from tree stands with a Sako 220250, throated out for the Speer .224-70 gr......graveyard dead.
Seems that nowdays we have a ton of experts that rely on reading material instead of gut-pile analysis.
OK.....Now you can climb my case!.........James
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Gates
Here we go again! ....There are those that really think they need a cannon to kill a pi**ant! I am sure that Mike G. knows how to adjust the killing range to the caliber/load!
We hear this from the magnumitus crowd all the time. There was a bunch of Florida boys many, many years ago that all they could affored to hunt with were the old 1917 Smiths in 45 ACP. They did right well by picking their shots in dense cover.
I, for one, have switched over to my S&W 6" 686 with 175/185 bullets. I have seen fellows at our gun club that could not hit their butt with the big guns, only to be deadly with the .357 with proper bullets.
I would really like to know if the posters that knock anything below the .44 Mag. have every tried the .357 with proper bullets? Reminds me of a case years ago that a reader jumped Parker Ackley's statement that the .220 Swift was a good deer killer......seems the reader had never tried one! I killed a great number of deer from tree stands with a Sako 220250, throated out for the Speer .224-70 gr......graveyard dead.
Seems that nowdays we have a ton of experts that rely on reading material instead of gut-pile analysis.
OK.....Now you can climb my case!.........James
James your are correct on proper bullets being the key. no amount of power will make up for wrong bullet choices.I shoot many big bore handguns as well as smaller ones and as I stated in my earlier post have had great success with 357 160grian flat points.The 357 was my first hunting handgun back the late 60's and early 70's
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