40 S&W and 45 ACP... For Deer?


November 27, 2006, 10:38 PM
Looking through both Iowa and Illinois deer hunting regulations, I see that both .40 S&W and .45 ACP are approved cartridges for handgun hunting. Assuming a capable handgun, are these rounds effective enough to humanely kill a deer?

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November 27, 2006, 10:56 PM
If you use heavy, premium hunting hollowpoints, like Hornady XTPs, it would work at very close range. No further than about 50-75 feet. You'd need to stalk the deer, and get very, very close. Overall, not recommended unless you're good at stalking.

If you want to hunt deer with a handgun, you'd be better off with a .41 magnum, minimum. Further south where they don't get as big, maybe .357 magnum or 10mm minimum. Being able to shoot from a longer distance is a Good Thing.

November 27, 2006, 10:59 PM
i think you would be fine hunting with those calibers within an effective range. I would suggest Federal Hydrashock, or double tap ammo. if you do a search, you'll find other threads about hunting with those calibers.

November 27, 2006, 11:04 PM
I kind of figured these would be specialist guns. It is a shame that there are so few auto-pistols set up for hunting, and the ones that are cost a pretty penny. The .40 and .45 kind of suprised me, as most of the other calibers on the list were magnums, besides the .38 Super. I guess that begs the question:

Does the .38 Super fall into the same category as the .40 and .45 in regard to deer hunting?

November 28, 2006, 12:53 PM
.38 Super will perform about like a hot 9mm. They will kill deer, but your range will probably be limited, and you don't want to be taking on too big of a deer with one. Coues deer, small whitetails in other areas, small mulie does, at close range, and you'd be fine.

November 28, 2006, 01:21 PM

If you're handgun hunting in Illinois, just make sure that you are NOT using a semi-auto (Revovlers and single shot handguns only), and that the ammo meets the minimum necessary FPS at the muzzle. Also hunting loads only, NO military or FMJ ammo allowed.

December 1, 2006, 04:28 AM
I have used an HK USP Tactical in 45acp and a glock 22 with good success. In NE I have to block the mags to 5 rounds each to be legal, also the reounds have to deliver 400 Foot pounds of energy at 50 yards. My suggestion for the 45 in Remingto Golden Saber 185gr +P the only factory load I can get my hands on that is legal in NE, and the 180 Gr. Remington Golden saber for the 40. Hornadys 200 Gr XTP would also be ok in the 45acp as would their 180gr 40S&W load. I have success with both, but limit my shots to 30-35 yds. Good Luck

December 1, 2006, 08:35 AM
NO. NO. NO. You should have atleast 800-1000 ft/lbs at the intended range. and these will not cut it. Will they kill deer? Yeah probably, but not a good choice for hunting. 357 mag with hot ammo is the bare minimum.

December 1, 2006, 03:50 PM
Sorry Hoss, just going by what the law requires, having no issues whatsoever killing deer at sensible ranges with excellent shot placement. And if you are suggesting the 357 magnum, there isn't a load on the market that performs at 800-1000 ftlbs, even at the muzzle!!!

December 1, 2006, 04:01 PM
I've killed a couple of deer with the .357 magnum and it don't make, but 800 ft lbs at the muzzle. I shoot a Hornady 180 XTP now behind a hot load of AA9, but the load I have killed with shoots a cast 158 SWC. However, the velocity is up and its accurate right out to 100 yards. My longest shot with it so far was about 50 yards.

I have a .45ACP, very accurate gun, but I've NEVER been tempted to hunt deer with it. I'd rather use a magnum revolver, .45 Colt hot loaded, or my Contender, thanks.

December 1, 2006, 06:01 PM
If you handgun hunt like one bow hunts, you will be okay with a .357mag, .40 s&w, .41 mag and .45 ACP. Shots less than 30 yards.

If you want to hunt deer with a handgun like a shotgun hunter does than you will need a .44 mag or bigger.


December 1, 2006, 08:33 PM
there are loads for the 357 aproaching 800 ft/lbs at the muzzle from buffalo bore, but from what i've seen, the 357 is a very marginal tool for taking a deer at any distance over 25-30 yds. The bullet wont even exit half the time if you clip a shoulder. It will kill the deer, but you may never find it. I have taken a doe with my 6" gp100 this year, and it performed well that time, but I have seen it fail to exit often enough to warrant me moving up to a .44 next year. The .40 and .45 were designed to be man stoppers, not hunting loads. I know that deer aren't all that tough, hell you can killem with a .22, but we owe it to the game to use enough gun to ensure a clean, quick, recoverable kill.

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