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45 ACP penetration story

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by zahc, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. zahc

    zahc Well-Known Member

    I remember a few years ago when I was a wee lad, my dad used our HK USP to kill a cow we were going to butcher. It was a large cow for sure. He shot the cow in the forehead, right throught the brain, with cheap hardball. When we butchered we found a wound channel through the base of the skull all the way down the animal's neck, in the muscle. We found the bullet buried in the what I think is the sternum, breastbone. At least 3 proably a good 4 feet of penetration through real tissue. Definately surprised us.
  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Quite impressive! I'd guess tho that the bullet may have missed the cervical vertebrae, having made it that far ..... more bone contact could have slowed it quicker. Mind you, once in thoracic cavity, only soft tissue to hold it up until reaching sternum.

    Had that been a hollow point ... I'd say that would have been an entirely different story!!!;)
  3. zahc

    zahc Well-Known Member

    Dad said the steer wieghed 1200 pounds. And yes it missed bone except for both sides of the skull.
  4. George Hill

    George Hill Well-Known Member

    "cheap hardball"


    I'll have to get me some of that! :D
  5. zahc

    zahc Well-Known Member

    it was that federal 'american eagle' 230gr
  6. ACP

    ACP Well-Known Member

    You should link this thread to the one below, about the .45 ACP effect on the Moros nearly 100 years ago....
  7. zahc

    zahc Well-Known Member

    how do you do that? you mean a mod should?:confused:
  8. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Well-Known Member

    Hey, the American GI has kicked a LOT of butt with "cheap hardball".

    I think we all worry too much about finding the "magic bullet"; I don't want to be on the receiving end of ANY .45 ammo!
    Ditto .30 S&W
    Ditto 9MM
    Ditto .32 ACP
    Ditto .38, special & Magnum
    Ditto .44, special & magnum
    .25...will you pay me a LOT to do this? I'm thinking...

  9. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member


    I've heard that the .45 won't even penetrate a winter coat at close range... :)
  10. Pendragon

    Pendragon Well-Known Member

    I think they were using .45 revolvers on the Moros.

    Didnt the uprising start in like 09 or something?

    But this is why they wanted a .45 auto...
  11. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    The only way a normal 230 gr. .45 acp all round traveled 3-4 feet inside a cow would be if it somehow had a clear channel to follow, such as the throat down toward the stomach. Even then, I would be surprised if the round penetrated the forehead, passing through the brain, and then punching out the bottom. The frontal bones are pretty solid, much more so than found in humans and the frontal bones of humans are pretty amazing in regard to their strength.

    Given the trajectory of the head and neck that the bullet must have followed, then am I to assume it was impacted on the inside of the sternum? That would be rather amazing.

    By chance, did your dad also shoot Kennedy?
  12. Sarge111

    Sarge111 member


    Have you shot much game with a handgun? Those big ol' slow slugs can be flat amazing at how much critter they'll sail through. While the LBT & SWC designs generally follow a pretty straight path, RN designs are known to wander a bit. Ask anybody who's set in on some autopsies.
  13. zahc

    zahc Well-Known Member

    Double naught spy--yes it was impacted on the inside of the sternum. No my father did not shoot kennedy either. At least, I don't think so..:uhoh:
  14. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Well-Known Member

    "The frontal bones are pretty solid, much more so than found in humans and the frontal bones of humans are pretty amazing in regard to their strength."

    More that humans.... yes

    Pretty solid....no

    I've dug more that a few 22 bullets out of pig and cow skulls shortly after they were shot. The bone thickness never impressed me as being overly thick or supernatually reinforced.
    The little 22s always took it in stride. Recovered every one IIRC and they typically pilled up in the "somewhere" near where the spinal column connects. All started lfe as solids and were pretty deformed. I have never seen a pig or cow shot with anything other than 22s but I can only imagine from the profound way them preformed that something like a 38 or 45ACP would have been effective in the extreme given a good shot.

    I've examines about a dozen bovin skulls that were older and either "preserved" after being shot or they were encountered in the white the woods in dump piles. Of those dozen or so several were shot with something considerably larger than 22s. I never encountered the slug in any of them and we crushed the "woodland finds" attempting to find the slug if there was no evidence of a exit wound, which was sometimes the case. Not too sure that I learned much from the disarticulared skulls other than some people shoot cows with bigger guns that 22s and a dried out cow skull will appear to be thinner thickness-wise in the frontal area than the a fresh version. BTW all the "old" cow skulls I ever had a chance to examine had horns but all the beef cattle I ever participated in dispatching were without horns. So, disclaimer there due to genetics.

  15. zahc

    zahc Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it makes sense that live bone may be thicker than dry bone because some (maybe all) antler scoring bodies like boone and crockett require antlers to dry (and evidently, shrink) for a few weeks before they are scored.
  16. ACP

    ACP Well-Known Member

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