.45 Caliber Cartridges best all around short range defense and hunter? Or not?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Gator Weiss, Dec 18, 2016.

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  1. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Don't confuse caliber with cartridge. You could wind up trying to equate two highly dissimilar power levels just based on the diameter of the bullet. I see that as a trap - it's entirely too simplistic.

    One example would be .45ACP, compared to .458 SOCOM. The pistol round starts out at 900 fps, the rifle at 2200 fps, but more importantly, the pistol starts out with at best 600 foot pounds of force, the .458 with over 3,300 foot pounds of force. That means there is a significant difference in the size of the weapon, how you hold it to shoot, your reaction to that recoil, and most importantly, which you choose to match your needed range and target. It should go without saying that one is far more powerful and can handle much larger game and at much further distances.

    So, no, just because it's ".45" doesn't really mean that much. As a number it encompasses far too much difference in power - if anything the diameter of the bullet becomes relatively useless as a description. It glosses over the more important ballistic factors of how much bullet weight, and how much powder is behind it. This is why the documented results of the old .45 vs 9mm argument keep going on - ballistically they are an effective tradeoff. What the 9mm lacks in bullet weight and diameter it makes up in speed, which is why the lethality of the round using the same style bullets is so similar. What we gained was either a smaller handgun in single stack or the ability to accommodate double stack for the average human hand.

    The Army had direct experience with it during WWII - we were another 50 years since combat against people who used drugs to increase their tolerance to pain, and the 9mm had performed for just as long in it's role in combat and defense. Using the reports of Germany and the US side by side to analyze the effectiveness of both, it's really no wonder the Army requested a new pistol post war to reflect the technology they had seen work. That is the whole point of the Army Trials of 1954 - even if we didn't adopt the results for another 30 years. We'd done that before, with the .276 Pederson, choosing the existing cartridge in production over making change when it would cost money that wasn't available. Progress comes slowly and not always as we wish.

    There's a directly comparable field of technology that has delivered the same results, one that uses the combustion of a hydrocarbon compound to propel it's bullet - repeatedly - over 3,500 times a minute. It's the automobile. For those who claim only the larger bullet will do, it's ironic because over the last 45 years we've seen cars drop from 450 cubic inch motors to 3.0 liters - capable of putting out the same horsepower. Yet nobody compares the two in discussions like this.
     
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  2. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Just so you know, my wife is going to hate you when I push aside the 2 AR15 lowers that I was going to build. :)

    But seriously, thanks. The .45Raptor is EXACTLY the idea that I had. I figured it was just too easy of a concept that there must be some reason that someone hadn't done it already. I was thinking that the shorter cartridge length would keep it from cycling properly. Now I need to look around and see if there's any off-the-shelf barrels available or if I'm going to have to get one custom chambered.
     
  3. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    "That's a name I've not heard in a long, long time"

    I've relayed his story only to be met with extreme scepticism until I display some sources.
     
  4. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I don't see anyone here doing that but the big bores have more in common than paper ballistics might indicate.


    That's a poor analogy. Or is it? While a 3.0L V6 might make 400hp it will never match a big block V8's torque. A 400hp V6 might be great in a 4000lb car but it makes for a piss-poor motor in a 7000lb truck. Same could be said for velocity versus diameter mass. Modern high velocity cartridges firing expanding bullets might be the greatest thing since sliced bread for thin skinned game but a plain ole .45 caliber rifle cartridge firing a +400gr antiquated cast bullet is a far better choice for big scary critters. While the high velocity zapper might have a more dramatic effect the big bore works with boring regularity. I wouldn't hunt buffalo with a 6mmWhizzBangMagnum any sooner than I'd try to pull up a stump with a 4000lb sedan with a 400hp V6. Depending on application, there still is no replacement for displacement.
     
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  5. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Member

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    Well, I haven't been here for a long time....but I spotted this thread.
    I carry a .45 ACP Colt Commander almost every day...usually. However, I've also had occasion to carry a Ruger New Vaquero in .45 Colt. I'm a firm believer in a big, slow-moving bullet with a large frontal mass.

    But, as Sam indicates, the "one size fits all" approach probably isn't practical. [Sam's been around for a while...best pay attention to his observations! ;)]

    (BUT.... I'm really a sucker for the .41 Magnum)
     
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  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I think the .45 in handguns is like the .30 in rifles. It's popular cause it works and works well, in a multitude of platforms and specific calibers. Whether either is the "best" is purely subjective.
     
  7. Ttexastom

    Ttexastom Member

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    During the 1990'a report was released by ed sanow that was a compilation of police shootings showed the 45acp to have a 96percent stopping rate, with one shot. The 357 magnum with the 125 grain was second on the list.
     
  8. DownInTheDark

    DownInTheDark Member

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    I read an article a year or so back about how North America is fascinated with the 30 caliber cartridge. Look in a reloading manual and there are a bunch listed. In Europe the 35 caliber cartridge is more popular, and some say it performs better (with a slightly shorter range). Then there is the 338 which seems to be the best of both worlds. I have a 45-70 but for aerodynamic reasons its really only good for 150-200 yards for an average shooter, me being one.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    But Billy said later: "I had acquired a .50 Sharps and was doing hot work with it."

    This is news to me. There are various 9mm rifle rounds from European makers, but it seems the more popular Continental bigbore is the 9.3mm in several chamberings.
     
  10. midland man

    midland man Member

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    well now I own two rossi 92's in 45 colt 16in barrels one standard loop the other large loop plus two heritage big bore revolvers in 45 colt 4 3/4in barrels I reload casting a 250gr lead bullet and I feel I could do anything I need to do plus if I need more power I have made up some 300gr jsp using h110 powder and only shoot these in the two rifles and I can take some pretty big game with those if needed! the 45 colt has been working since 1873 and still works today and will continue on... :)
     
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