Has anyone hunted with a 45 auto?


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Jsg81
April 4, 2013, 08:25 AM
I was reading another question about "only one handgun" and saw a few people who talked about being able to hunt deer sized game with a 1911 and I hadn't really thought about it this way.

I know people have taken deer with a .22 (not legally) so I know it could be done but I'm asking if anyone here ever has?

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Jim Watson
April 4, 2013, 09:56 AM
I haven't but knew a guy who did so routinely.
He said hunting deer with a .45 was not as hard as bowhunting.
Killing power with a premium 230 gr JHP was good.
Of course you have to make the shot. I'd want a closer shot with the pistol than a good muzzleloading rifle.

mljdeckard
April 4, 2013, 10:10 AM
I have spooked deer that were close enough to take with a sidearm. I do carry mine when I hunt, and one day I hope to take a deer with my 1911.

krupparms
April 4, 2013, 10:19 AM
I have used a Norinco 1911 for years to hunt with. Deer here are seen in the brush & getting a close shot is not hard. Win.225gr.JHP works well. You will have to mod. a magazine to hold only 5rds or buy one! 30-50 yard shots are easy around here.

mljdeckard
April 4, 2013, 10:31 AM
(For the magazine limit, depends on which state you are in.)

4season
April 4, 2013, 10:31 AM
I will break this down into 3 answers.

1. Is it legal? In Tennessee I can hunt deer with any center-fire cartridge fired from a barrel over 4 inches. Of course many states have different laws and may have minimum caliber or other restrictions. But here in Tennessee I can use anything from a 25 ACP up to a 50 BMG as long as it is not a FMJ and comes from a barrel longer than 4 inches.

2. Can it be done? Sure, I know people that have killed deer with 22 LR, 22 mag, 9mm, 40S&W, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 357 Mag... The key to using anything less than rifle is getting close and putting the shot where it counts. So if you only hit a 10 inch circle at 10 yards with a handgun, handgun hunting isn't for you, but if you can hold a 4 inch group at 50 yards then you can hit a deer well enough to bring it down.

3. Should it be done? The general consensus is that you need 1000 fl/lbs of energy to kill a deer. A 45 ACP is only 400-500 at the muzzle. To get to 1000 you need a hot 45 Colt or 44 mag. Now personally I like the Taylor KO factor better than pure energy calculations which shows 12.7 for the 45 vs say 6 for a 223 despite the 223 having close to 3 times the energy. However a 223 would enter, expand, and probably exit, leaving two holes for blood loss, while a 45 will probably stay in the deer leaving only one larger hole for blood loss. So while it is borderline for caliber, if you are looking for a challenge and have the marksmanship to make the shot and the discipline to not take a bad shot, it would be a nice change. But if you just want to kill a deer, take a good rifle and leave the handgun at home.

a-sheepdog
April 4, 2013, 11:03 AM
I have not intentionally hunted with my 45 acp, but I did run across a sounder of hogs and shot about a 90 pound sow at around 40 yards. She fell after a short run but did not leave a blood trail. I was using 230 grain +p hollow points and found the bullet on the off side under the skin. I would not intentionally hunt deer with them, but most likely would not pass up an ethical shot if one was presented. You may not get a blood trail to follow so that could be an issue if its getting dark.

Marlin 45 carbine
April 4, 2013, 12:49 PM
well, not w/my colt or 625 - in NC the bbl is 6" and over - and C&B revolvers are out unless the conversion cylinder is used - does'nt make sens to me as I've taken 2 wild/feral pig with both a '58 remmy (a smaller one about 100lb field dressed) and my ROA (larger dry sow about 200lb field dressed) here in NC depradation permit are allowed for them - which the nature conservancy had when I took the 2 on nat cons land useing black powder revolver loaded with slugs over a stout charge of 3f. a nephew was in the ground blind w/me useing his H&R 20ga mag loaded w#2 buck as 'emergency' back-up.
the big one I shot too far back it was trotting past us and I goofed the shot it spun and took off before nephew could get his shot off. so tracked it (partial snow cover a good blood and hoofprint trail) for over 1/4 m and gave a coup shot w/my ROA in the back of skull when found it laying in thicket the first slug was stuck in the off-side hide after going thru 2 ribs and tip of both lungs and other internals. tough critter but good eating
I have taken whitetail does some large - easily w/my Marlin Camp .45acp useing +P 185gr jhp. plenty of takedown power - actually have'nt recovered a slug from one yet. all one shot pass-thru a couple drt, some hopped a short ways

Jsg81
April 4, 2013, 12:49 PM
I am not planning on actually hunting with mine but I had never heard of anyone using .45 auto.

I do think my next purchase is going to be a ruger Blackhawk 45lc/45 acp combo. I wouldn't think twice about hunting with the 45lc but hadn't ever thought of hunting with 45acp.

I should explain this to my wife so she understands why I need a new gun.

mljdeckard
April 4, 2013, 01:45 PM
And I should also add, though it is a ways down the list, I would eventually use a 10mm long-slide for outdoor work in general.

Certaindeaf
April 4, 2013, 01:52 PM
I've taken deer with lead balls out of a Ruger Old Army.. stoked with as much FFF that could be seated under a ball - I think like 45 grains.. its been a long time but I still have the measure/thrower. It worked plenty good since that thing was as accurate as most any rifle.

allaroundhunter
April 4, 2013, 03:16 PM
I have taken two hogs with a .45 ACP (both DRT) but nothing larger. Those two kills were more kills of opportunity than "hunts".

Sent from my HTC One X

eldon519
April 4, 2013, 03:35 PM
Alot of revolver guys believe a .44 or .45 with a cast bullet around 240-260gr at 900-1000 fps is a fine deer load. Supposedly such a load will penetrate a deer end-to-end. Buffalo Bore actually makes a .45 ACP+P that shoots 255gr at over 900fps, but it is a RN-FP which isn't so great as it leaves a smaller permanent wound channel. Double Tap makes a .45 ACP+P that shoots a 255gr SWC at 875fps. I think that might be the ticket. It's basically coming out of the muzzle just like a .45 Colt would launch it. You shouldn't really need any expansion, just a relatively clean-cut .45-caliber hole through the vitals will do it.

mljdeckard
April 4, 2013, 03:51 PM
I would be very cautious about what kind of shot I would take. I would not make any assumptions. (I would think a hog would be HARDER to kill with a pistol than a deer, with the shoulder plate, etc.)

The-Reaver
April 5, 2013, 02:24 AM
45 ACP is a hog slaying machine.....well I guess its an everything slaying machine. ;-)

MrCleanOK
April 5, 2013, 03:30 AM
I have done it once just to prove to myself that I could. Just like bow hunting, black powder, or any other primitive means of hunting, you have to know the limitations of yourself and your equipment. My 40-yd shot was with a 200 gr. JHP that broke the left shoulder, destroyed a lung, clipped an artery and lodged under the right shoulder. It wasn't a DRT shot, but that 140 lb. deer wasn't going far. I probably wouldn't do it again at longer range, or with a larger deer. At like or closer range, with a like or smaller deer, I would have no problems doing it again.

Jsg81
April 5, 2013, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the information. I always learn something new on here.

iblong
April 5, 2013, 08:23 AM
If you know your gun and can refrain taking shots to far or bad angles yes.
I have been a bow hunter for 25 years and have taken deer at bow ranges
with my 1911, I use hand loaded 230gr XTP's at 900fps and to date have not lost a deer.I do however let quite a few walk each year.Ive never taken a shot past 30yds,and I practice at 50 and further.

DeepSouth
April 5, 2013, 08:37 AM
I was hunting with my oldest son a few years ago when an older doe walked out probably 25 ft in front of us, she was big and alone near the end of season so I figured why not. I shot her with a PM45 with a 3" barrel, bloodiest trail I've ever seen and the bullet didn't come out. It stopped on the outgoing side just under the hide. She ran a little less then 50 yards.

481
April 5, 2013, 11:35 PM
I've taken deer with lead balls out of a Ruger Old Army.. stoked with as much FFF that could be seated under a ball - I think like 45 grains.. its been a long time but I still have the measure/thrower. It worked plenty good since that thing was as accurate as most any rifle.

Did those round balls exit the deer or remain in them?

ljnowell
April 6, 2013, 01:36 AM
3. Should it be done? The general consensus is that you need 1000 fl/lbs of energy to kill a deer. A 45 ACP is only 400-500 at the muzzle. To get to 1000 you need a hot 45 Colt or 44 mag. Now personally I like the Taylor KO factor better than pure energy calculations which shows 12.7 for the 45 vs say 6 for a 223 despite the 223 having close to 3 times the energy. However a 223 would enter, expand, and probably exit, leaving two holes for blood loss, while a 45 will probably stay in the deer leaving only one larger hole for blood loss. So while it is borderline for caliber, if you are looking for a challenge and have the marksmanship to make the shot and the discipline to not take a bad shot, it would be a nice change. But if you just want to kill a deer, take a good rifle and leave the handgun at home.

1000ft lbs to kill a deer? A standard pressure 45colt will shoot all the way through a deer most any ways with a 255gr SWC. Far from a 1000ft/lb cartridge. I think 1000ft/lb is a slightly overkill standard for whitetails. We grow big deer here in IL, heck we grain feed them, but we certainly don't need that to kill them.

rvanpelt
April 6, 2013, 09:46 AM
In Nebraska handguns with minimum of 400 ft lbs at 50 yds. are legal. Does the 230 grain .45 acp deliver that much? If not, how about the 180 grain .40?
I shot a good sized muley buck with a .44 mag Ruger Redhawk, which was very effective at 50 yrds. with one shot . In our wide open areas, I prefer my .270.
Thanks,
Rod van Pelt

jim243
April 6, 2013, 10:10 AM
Don't know what others require, but our state requires a min of 357 mag or better for deer hunting with handgun.

Jim

AABEN
April 6, 2013, 10:23 AM
Not legal in IN 45LC is.

PapaG
April 6, 2013, 10:53 AM
Every year on my little piece of wilderness in central il, we find a deer or two that was wounded and crossed over into our timber to die. I've tried out the 1911 on several of the carcasses and with a load I got out of a book I believe Mas Ayoob put out long ago, shot through the full body. Load was in a chapter titled "buffalo stompers" and my version of it was the RCBS 45-250 KT over a dose of unique. It will penetrate about 8" of dry pine and in bowling pin shoots slams the pins off the table like a sledge hammer. Little deformation on these wheel weight bullets. Have not used them on live game other than a couple of woodchucks. Did use the same design bullet in my 357 (38-250kt) to take two deer a few years back. Chrono onthe 45 was something like 950 fps. Would not hesitate to use them if the semi-auto were dnr legal.

Certaindeaf
April 6, 2013, 11:21 AM
Did those round balls exit the deer or remain in them?
They went through.. no major bone structures were hit. And I wasn't using pure lead, like you're "supposed" to, but wheel weights lead. That thing was an absolute laser with what/how I fed it.

Robbins290
April 6, 2013, 01:14 PM
In maine its legal to hunt with handguns. Round limit does not matter for handguns under 8" barrels or less. When im pushing deer. I carry a gi 1911. Drops them in one shot.

Certaindeaf
April 6, 2013, 01:23 PM
..When im pushing deer..
Is that legal? What are you talking about?

TarDevil
April 6, 2013, 07:39 PM
well, not w/my colt or 625 - in NC the bbl is 6" and over
There is no minimum barrel restrictions for hunting deer with handguns in NC...the only restriction is minimum of .24 caliber.

klausman
April 7, 2013, 05:46 AM
Many states have minimum energy requirements. You must check the local requirements to stay out of trouble.

Robbins290
April 7, 2013, 09:29 AM
Certaindeaf

Yes its legal. You are allowed to hunt in groups of 2 or 3. Me and my friend usally go together. We take turns pushing. I always make sure i fallow the game laws. Game wardens are thick in my area.

Stevie-Ray
April 7, 2013, 01:46 PM
I knew a guy that had hunted every animal in the US, and taken his Sako .375 H&H to Africa several times. His greatest wish was to hunt Whitetail or Mulie with his Colt 1911 .45 ACP. Haven't seen him for so long, I don't know if he ever did.

eldon519
April 7, 2013, 04:38 PM
Robbins290,

Just out of curiosity, what does "pushing" deer mean? I don't know anything about group hunting. Is it flushing them out for the other hunters?

Robbins290
April 8, 2013, 04:49 AM
Eldon519.

Yes, its to move or flush deer to the other hunter. You have to know the land pretty good for it to work

eldon519
April 8, 2013, 08:39 AM
Thanks Robbins.

4season
April 8, 2013, 09:45 AM
I find that most deer killed on public land are pushed. If you get in the woods early, in a area that gets lots of hunting traffic, when the sleepy heads start in the wood they will push deer right to you. Also if you know the area well and you see someone walking in on top of the ridge you can drop under them and they will push deer down to you. Now if you organize a deer push you want to make sure that everyone knows the land well, knows where you will be walking, and only takes shots with a sure backstop. Now there may be some areas where pushing is considered illegal but in Tennessee you can't use dogs to push, but it is perfectly legal to shoot deer being chased by humans.

Lj1941
April 8, 2013, 01:18 PM
The caliber would be legal in Pennsylvania but not in a 1911. PA for reasons unknown to me does not allow semiautos in handgun or rifle.It would be interesting to try in a revolver.:)

CraigC
April 8, 2013, 04:22 PM
I've never used it for deer, yet but have on other targets of opportunity. If you can make the shot and use the right bullet, the .45ACP is an excellent 50yd deer slayer.


3. Should it be done? The general consensus is that you need 1000 fl/lbs of energy to kill a deer. A 45 ACP is only 400-500 at the muzzle. To get to 1000 you need a hot 45 Colt or 44 mag. Now personally I like the Taylor KO factor better than pure energy calculations which shows 12.7 for the 45 vs say 6 for a 223 despite the 223 having close to 3 times the energy. However a 223 would enter, expand, and probably exit, leaving two holes for blood loss, while a 45 will probably stay in the deer leaving only one larger hole for blood loss. So while it is borderline for caliber, if you are looking for a challenge and have the marksmanship to make the shot and the discipline to not take a bad shot, it would be a nice change. But if you just want to kill a deer, take a good rifle and leave the handgun at home.
That general consensus must among those who have never done it.

cjl_1775
April 8, 2013, 05:43 PM
I do not but had a buddy who did last year with a 9mm he brought as a backup. It was a nice shot.

Robbins290
April 8, 2013, 07:48 PM
No problem eldon519

ljnowell
April 9, 2013, 01:57 AM
That general consensus must among those who have never done it

Thats how I feel too. 1kft/lbs is ridiculous. Not that I wouldnt use a cartridge that makes it, just that its not required. I like my 45 colt for deer hunting..

eastbank
April 9, 2013, 07:36 AM
i shot two doe with a ruger blaclhawk revolver with the .45apc cylinder in place,reloads with a 200gr jsp bullet at 1000fps, both complete double lung pass thru,s at less than 20yds. eastbank.

Jsg81
April 9, 2013, 08:01 AM
East bank

I have no doubt that I would be the biggest limiting factor if I did hunt with the 45acp but that is the exact set up I was thinking of when I asked the question.

huntsman
April 9, 2013, 08:05 AM
last year I bought a Blackhawk convert in .45C/.45acp just for deer hunting with the plan being the .45acp would be for plinking. I was surprised to see the ODNR has dropped the 1" case length min so now the silver tips or WWB .230JHP are a viable option if I don't get to buy the BB deer grenades I want, with a 5.5" barrel I have full confidence in the 45acp within my range limit of 35 yards.

eastbank
April 9, 2013, 05:38 PM
this early two pin .45 ruger has been one of my most accrute revolvers useing both cylinders. useing unique for the .45acp and winchester 296 in the .45 colt. eastbank.

Jsg81
April 9, 2013, 08:36 PM
My wife is going to be mad at anyone posting pictures. At least I am going to blame you as I drive to the gun store.

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