My Case for .45ACP Hunting


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T.A.Sharps
August 19, 2010, 02:03 PM
First of all, I know half the people on here will try to tell me that the .45ACP is not meant for hunting.

The reasons I want to take my 45 out deer hunting is for two reasons. 1) to extend my hunting season, 2) because it is the one firearm I have that I can, not having to buy a new one.

I think of it in terms of bow hunting. I KNOW I can hit targets out to 100 yards with a pistol. I have about a 50% hit ratio at under 25yards with my bow because I don't have enough time to practice it.

My plan so far is to use 230gr FMJ bullets to quell and penetration issues. If an arrow can take a deer down in the right spot then a .45 hole should be as good, if not better because of wound trauma/exit wound.

I have been eyeballing the Double Tap ammo with their 230gr+P 1000fps round. They also have a 255gr, but it is a little slower and lead.

This would be a timber hunt, so the longest shot to even attempt would be 50 yds, and most likely nothing over 25.

What do you all think?

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dakotasin
August 19, 2010, 02:14 PM
45 is not legal for big game here - so no practical experience.

bullets and broadheads kill differently. bullets kill thru hydrostatic shock to get their disruption of vital organs - broadheads kill thru hemmorhage. so justifying using any firearm because a broadhead works is folly.

are you sure you'll get an exit wound? 45 doesn't have a lot of energy, and i'm sure there's been a few high-intensity rounds that have not exited deer. (in fact, i know of at least one deer that sucked up 2 165 grain hornadys from a 308 win without producing an exit - and both bullets were recovered... a 308 win travels at significantly more velocity w/ significantly more energy than a 45 acp)

in sum, i couldn't do it because of game laws, but even if i could, i wouldn't.

good luck to you if you try it.

CoRoMo
August 19, 2010, 02:23 PM
Not meant for hunting, or not capable? I'd agree to one, disagree with the other. It can put venison in the freezer, no one can argue that.

If I were hunting with my 45, I would not use FMJ. I'd go with lead SWC or soft points. Handloaded hot as I feel's necessary.

skiking
August 19, 2010, 03:39 PM
I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a deer with a .45 inside of 50 yds with a big JHP or a hardcast SWC, but don't use a FMJ.

Smitty908
August 19, 2010, 03:57 PM
bullets and broadheads kill differently. bullets kill thru hydrostatic shock to get their disruption of vital organs - broadheads kill thru hemmorhage. so justifying using any firearm because a broadhead works is folly.

are you sure you'll get an exit wound? 45 doesn't have a lot of energy, and i'm sure there's been a few high-intensity rounds that have not exited deer. (in fact, i know of at least one deer that sucked up 2 165 grain hornadys from a 308 win without producing an exit - and both bullets were recovered... a 308 win travels at significantly more velocity w/ significantly more energy than a 45 acp)

Dakota,

Handgun bullets use hemmorage as the primary method of incapacitation. The comparison was not that bad.

Rifle bullets will not exit alot of the time, because they are going so fast, they shred themselves, where a handgun bullet will stay together.

ETA: I would also go with a SWC over hardball.


-Tim

Bula
August 19, 2010, 04:28 PM
If you cast, take a look at the Lee 230 gr Trucated cone bullet. Mine drops at about 240 grains, nice flat meplat. Pushed at 850fps that should do fine inside of pistol ranges. I say, as long as you are capable, the 45 acp is too.

dakotasin
August 19, 2010, 04:42 PM
smitty - all academic to me because i can't use a 45 acp anyway. however, i have killed a deer or two and have done so w/ rifle, handgun, and bow - i'll still say that sharp broadheads kill differently than a bullet; i say that because the deer that i have killed w/ a handgun have reacted far, far differently than deer that have had broadheads zipped thru 'em, and the wound channels look radically different. i know about shredded bullets, and i know about fully intact mushroomed bullets. the 2 bullets that were recovered from that deer were intact.

at any rate, if anybody wants to hunt deer w/ a 45 acp, i say good luck, have fun... i just won't be doing it.

matrem
August 19, 2010, 05:54 PM
i'll still say that sharp broadheads kill differently than a bullet
Absolutely!

.45 acp is legal during firearm season here, and I own a couple.. There are just too many better weapons available for me to use one.
Not saying that I won't try it sometime?

Practice, keep those shots close, and good luck if you do.

Sunray
August 19, 2010, 10:37 PM
"...FMJ bullets..." Those are not made for hunting anything. No expansion. Use the right bullet. Any SP or JHP will do at 25 to 50 yards. Shot placement is critical, of course.
"...Handgun bullets use hemmorrhage..." Shock, just like any firearm. Arrows kill through hemorrhaging.

Ike R
August 19, 2010, 10:53 PM
Killed hogs with a 9mm, don't see why not a deer with a 45acp, Shot placement would be key, but isn't it the most important part of any and all activity involving a firearm?

Robert
August 19, 2010, 11:06 PM
As other have said FMJ is a bad bullet choice. Look at something the is going to expand, either lead or a JHP.

millertyme
August 19, 2010, 11:37 PM
Hard cast LSWC or LTC at about 1000FPS, if you can make a load that will achieve that. I bet that would do more than fine.

Ridgerunner665
August 19, 2010, 11:59 PM
DO NOT USE FMJ....

I have killed several deer with a 45acp...and most of them were killed using Hornady 230 grain XTP's.

The XTP is THE hunting bullet for pistols...period.

If you don't reload...get a box of Hornady TAP ammo, and you're set.

+P is not needed, but won't hurt anything if thats what you want.

This is a thread of mine from 1911forum (http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=186035) ...recovered bullets pictured are Golden Sabres, I have seen a 230 XTP penetrate through the hip, guts, liver, and lungs of a deer (long story, mercy killing of a gut shot doe with an arrow through her guts)....if thats not enough penetration...nothing is.

kanook
August 20, 2010, 11:18 AM
I'm willing to bet that FMJ is "illegal" to use for hunting in your state anyway.

Go with a good SWC or HP and you will be fine. As long as you do your part, the 45 will do its.

If you use the "search" you will find a couple of threads on using the 45ACP for hunting.

janobles14
August 20, 2010, 12:57 PM
I have killed several deer with a 45acp...and most of them were killed using Hornady 230 grain XTP's.

The XTP is THE hunting bullet for pistols...period.


exactly what i was going to say. they are factastic hunting rounds and will do perfectly.

CoRoMo
August 20, 2010, 01:33 PM
I'm willing to bet that FMJ is "illegal" to use for hunting in your state anyway.
Probably true. I know it is here.

BushyGuy
August 20, 2010, 01:53 PM
use Gold Dot 200 gr +p that should put a deer down with ease, i dont know why people say the .45 acp isnt enough gun when there was a guy that killed a grizzly with one not too long ago up north.

its SHOT PLACEMENT that counts!

in my state only FMJ and SP is allowed for deer hunting i dont know about PHP.

hardluk1
August 21, 2010, 09:25 AM
If you can only hit at or under 25yards with a bow?? Don't take the bow to the woods. That is terrible shooting. And you should keep that 45 to distances that you would shoot a bow. Now practice the same way with that pistol. Shoot from a blind ,tree stand or standing next to a tree and see how good you are at 100yards. You may find that 25 yards is streching it. Not like target practice,if you can't hit the heart/lung area at practice,100% don't use a bow. Try a barnes X in the 45. They will open, but do check your laws for any barrel lenght and energy levels your might have to have to besure the 45 is legal. Many states have a barrel lenght and energy level that would make a 45 illegal.

The Bushmaster
August 21, 2010, 10:02 AM
The .45 ACP was designed to hunt humans so I don't see why it can't be use to hunt deer. Deer aren't any bigger then humans.

T.A.Sharps
August 21, 2010, 04:33 PM
I looked up the regs in the DNR handbook and you are right about the FMJ ammo, so I would be using a heavy HP.

You bow guys are also right about the broad head cutting through the wound, I forgot to consider that, but the main reason I wouldn't use a bow is I am a terrible shot with one. I might hit the deer, but not in the spot I want, and defiantly might miss. With my .45 I know I can hit what I am aiming at and where I am aiming at.

As far as the whole penetration thing, I've seen 12ga slugs stuck in the meat before.

Nobody ever says why they thing a 230gr 45 slug would not penetrate a deer. Has anyone tested it? Or shot a deer with a 45acp and it didn't kill it? Exit wound or no? I assume no one here shot a deer, and it got away, and on the way out you saw no exit wound.

A hot 230gr over 1000fps I think would have plenty of penetrating ability at 25 yards, and even 50 yards.

hardluk1
August 21, 2010, 04:50 PM
Try target shooting how you will hunt,then you will know if you can hit a heart/lung area and at what distance. I can shoot 3" 100 yard groups from a bench with my 357 but hunting shots are much less and find a real good bow shop and have them try to figure what you need to change to hit better. A good compound set light enough for you to pull and hold sitting down in the cold with the right sights and release really is easy to shot. 45 to 50 lbs is more than enough with newer bows is all you need to shot 35yards To many try with to much poundage and with a old and or noisy bow and that does hurt. Then it's just practice. Like your 45. Get with some other archers to practice.Where i hunt ,with out a bow you will miss most of the season. Love to see a deer jump when hit run a few yards and look around try'n to figure what just happened and then they fall over. Remeber, pistol and bow hunting have 2 things in common, quiet close. Good luck

Art Eatman
August 21, 2010, 09:25 PM
I've always figured that one's range limitation is whatever distance beyond which one can no longer reliably hit the end of a beer can from some sort of field position.

My uncle used to work his cattle via an old WW II army surplus Harley 45 signal corps motorcycle. He didn't like horses. He carried an old GI 1911 in a GI holster, hung on the handlebar. Every now and then some stupid little buck would play volunteer. Fifteen or twenty yards, maybe; they were used to hearing the bike. I asked him if he didn't think his home-cast pure lead bullets weren't maybe a mite soft. "Oh, that bullet just sorta wraps around 'em." :)

Probably better to use XTPs...

MrCleanOK
August 22, 2010, 12:04 AM
A 230 gr JHP has done the trick for me. Keep your shots within the limits of your abilities, and stay within the confines of the law and you'll have no trouble.

zxcvbob
August 22, 2010, 12:35 AM
You might wanna convert the gun to .460 Rowland (still not a legal big game ctg in this state, but it ought to be)

brl150
August 22, 2010, 09:29 PM
I've always had a curiosity to take a deer with my .45 acp. I've read many articles on .45 loads, bullet shape, etc. Seems as though a 230gr. hard cast with a flat nose at 900 - 950 has worked quite well for many according to Marshall Stanton at Bear Tooth Bullets and Veral Smith at LBT. I like the way they talk about impact velocity and meplate diameter to show differences in wound channel.

Joe Demko
August 22, 2010, 10:23 PM
Deer are taken pretty regularly here in primitive weapons season by people using flintlocks loaded with round balls. These are ballistically no great shakes. A .45 acp is probably at least their equal.
Here's the thing though: the people who are regularly successful at this are skilled with the weapon. Are you really skilled with that .45? The advice above to do some shooting from real field positions was excellent.
I've done a fair amount of handgun hunting and I'd pick a .357 revolver over a .45 1911 for the purpose every time.

MCgunner
August 23, 2010, 04:38 PM
Suit yourself, but I prefer magnum revolvers and up. .45ACP is acceptably powerful for self defense if it's all you can carry, but that's against humans, a very soft target. It will kill a deer or hog, IF it's placed properly at close enough range. In autoloaders, I'd start with the 10mm. JMHO.

No way is a .45ACP even close to a .50 caliber round ball firing out of a rifle in front of 80 grains plus of FFg. :rolleyes: My hunting BP fires a conical, personally.

Joe Demko
August 23, 2010, 05:08 PM
I love when you roll your eyes like that. It makes you look like Theda Bara (http://www.israelidiamond.co.il/UploadedFiles/theda_bara-2439372.jpg).

There are calibers other than .50 out there. Here is the regulation for use of flintlocks (and you will carefully note that I did specify flintlocks, in-lines have a different season) in PA during their specific season:Flintlock ignition, single-barrel long guns
manufactured prior to 1800, or a similar reproduction of an original
muzzleloading single-barrel long gun 44 caliber or larger...
You able to point me in the direction of many flintlocks set up with a barrel of the appropriate twist to handle anything but patched round balls?
Did you see that ".44 caliber or larger" part? A .457 diameter round ball will will weigh in at about 143 grains. Even a .50 caliber round ball weighs only around 177 grains. Round balls shed velocity quickly, too, regardless of caliber.

Not every place is Texas and not everybody is you.

MCgunner
August 23, 2010, 06:03 PM
Not every place is Texas

Your loss. :rolleyes:

and not everybody is you.

And did I not add "JMHO"? I'm entitled to my opinion and two cents on this thread, am I not?

Actually, any patched around ball gun I personally would use for deer or especially hogs would start with a five, but .45 is probably enough. I just would prefer a .50 or better.

.45ACP is highly over-rated by the "Cooper is God" crowd. I'd as soon use 9x19, myself, which is to say, you won't catch me hunting with my Ruger P90 even though it's quite accurate. After all, I have better handguns for hunting, but which is not the OP's case.

Joe Demko
August 23, 2010, 06:05 PM
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that, Theda.

Joe Demko
August 23, 2010, 08:55 PM
Nice after the fact redaction of your post. It's almost, but not quite, like being able to unsay something. Time stamps are a *****.

courtgreene
August 24, 2010, 12:02 AM
Calm down! To the OP, I have plenty of deer rifles but really want to tag one with my 1911. So I don't begrudge your wanting to do so out of necessity, when I don't even have that excuse. to post #10 on here, good point, but I would add that safety is even more important than shot placement. Have a good night.

MCgunner
August 24, 2010, 06:28 PM
Joe Demko, can't see getting excited enough to be a butt over this post. Chill out and grab a beer. It ain't that important. Glad this site don't have a religion or politics forum.

If all you got is a .45 and it's accurate enough and you will keep it inside, say, 30 yards, it will kill deer. Shoot +P stuff and find a solid flat point would be best, or handload such. For a while, when I was hunting hogs with a guy that used dogs and we stabbed them with knives, I took along a 1911 loaded with a hot 200 grain SWC handload pushing up over 500 ft lbs just for back up. I later got a .45 Colt Ruger 4 5/8" blackhawk for such things pushing a 300 grain XTP at near 900 ft lbs for better effect, but at point blank range close enough for head shots, the 1911 would no doubt be effective, though I never had to use it. Seems all we needed was a good, sharp fillet knife and a cut to the throat to get the carotid.

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