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Deer and the .45acp

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Volpe, May 27, 2003.

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  1. Volpe

    Volpe Member

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    I'm new here and I thought I would start my first post with something I have wondered about for awhile.
    Being from the "old school" I have used revolvers for many years for hunting. They always preformed well for me. As I get older I find the weight and bulk of a S&W 29 or a Ruger Blackhawk more tireing than years gone by so I have started carrying a .45acp. I find it a great gun to carry for hunting, flat and lighter and just as accurate (if not more so) than my revolvers. The thing I am wondering about is the caliber. Not very fast and not noted for penetration. Recently I was offered only one shot at a deer with my .45 but I missed--I think, no blood. I tracked for awhile in the fresh snow but only tracks. Oddly my reloading book calls for a .355 dia bullet 147 gr. as ok for deer but not any .45acp bullet.

    I realize that the range would have to be short, probably no more than 25 yards or so, but I"m wondering if its a good enough caliber for deer and if so what would be the best bullet to use. Can anybody here enlighten me? Thanks in advance....
     
  2. WYO

    WYO Member

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    It wouldn't be legal in some states. I have seen a small whitetail buck taken at about 25 yards with a factory Black Talon. It was a broadside chest shot. I don't know if it was DRT, but it didn't go far. Personally, I would want more power, even for a short shot.
     
  3. Kilgor

    Kilgor Member

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    Have you thought about the 10mm instead?
     
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    If it is legal in your state, and you keep shots to within 50 yards or less and you can put the bullets where they should go, I don't know why the Hornady XTPs, or even 200 Gr LSWC in a pinch, wouldn't be capable of taking a deer. Don't think defensive rounds would be my first choice though.
     
  5. Volpe

    Volpe Member

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    I bought a 10mm glock for this purpose and carried it one year but its too blocky/thick. Shoots real good. As for the .45 yes I can keep them easily in the kill zone at 50 yrds with either the glock or the colt. All in the x ring mayb just a couple in the 9 ring of a b27 at 50 yrds. Also, the .45 is legal in my state (any centerfire).
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    After a badly healed broken ankle from having a horse fall with him, my uncle decided that working his cattle with an old Harley-Davidson 45 WW II surplus critter would do. "When you're not workin' it, you're not feedin' it."

    He carried a 1911 on the handlebar, in an old GI holster. The deer on his place were so used to the motorcycle, they'd just hang around and look at him. Big mistake. He loaded his own, with pure lead 230-grain cast bullets. His comment was, "Aw, it just sorta wraps around'em."

    I guess it's like a lot of marginal packages: Be picky on your shots, and limit your range...

    :), Art
     
  7. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    I have shot a 3x3 mule deer buck with a 45 acp, it was maybe 225-250 pounds live weight. Shot was 30 yards and a darn fine rifleman was 20 steps away ready to go, he was to shoot the instant after I did if the deer did not drop. I shot it at the base of the neck, just forward of the shoulders. Ammo was 230 grain Federal Hydrashock. The deer turned nearly 90 degrees as it was going down, from broadside to facing away. It was DRT, GYD , STONE dead, whatever you want to call it that deer never even twitched. TWO complete vertabrae were totally gone, and the two outside them were damaged heavily. Entrance wound was big, seemed larger than 45 but I don't know how it could have been. Exit was HUGE, like softball sized in diameter easily. Blood spray out of the exit was extensive along with tissue, but I found blood nearly 15 feet away on the entrance side. A geyser came out at impact that I saw, or I never would have looked. I had not noticed blood on the entrance side of an animal before. A double lung shot on the downed dead animal before field dressing was also very damaging to the organs, as I expected with the range only being 3 feet or so. It also completely penetrated the deer, and could not be found in the dirt within 6" of the surface.

    I did it because I could do it ethically, have the skill, and wanted to test it to see exactly how well or poorly it would work.

    45 acp is a whole lot more gun than I gave it credit for. IF I had the right shot, AND I had the right 45 in my hand, AND the deer was cooperating, AND the weather was cooperating, AND it was legal I would shoot another deer with the 45 acp.
     
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I was making shots on a dinner plate-sized target yesterday and Saturday with 1911's. Both I and my shooting partner paced off the distance (I used my pace count to measure 50 meters; he claimed 50 yards; I have to use my pace count in the infantry for land nav, and he says he used to be a surveyor)...

    With the right round, I would take reasonable shots. When I lived in AL, I carried stoutly loaded 230-grain Gold Dots (what Cor-bon used to load their 230-grainers with) in my Glock 21, for brief excursions on hunting land after work. Before carry, I tested the rounds in target media. They both penetrated deeply and expanded well.

    John
     
  9. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    You could look at the .460 Rowland conversion kit for your 1911 if you wanted more range and "punch". It's sold by Clark Custom Guns, and pushes the 1911 into something like .41 Magnum territory. See here for details.
     
  10. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I have taken a nice buck with a .45 ACP 230 gr. JHP. The range was 7 yards and it was a standing broadside shot. Bullet lodged just under the hide on the off side, and he ran about 50 yards before expiring.
     
  11. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    I knew a guy who took a good size doe with a 185 HP .45 round.
    He stepped into the yard and saw it eating his ornamental bushes. Pulled his .45 and took a lung shot. Range was under 20 yards, might have been 11. He said the deer dropped on the spot.

    This was during the November deer season and he had a doe permit.
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    And so we're back to skill level, location of hit and a range such that adequate penetration occurs.

    Thread-drift vignette: Back in the 1950s, a guest hunter showed up at a deer lease near New Braunfels, Texas. A one-armed guy. The rancher asked what he was planning to use to shoot Bambi. The guy showed a K-38, .38 Special. The rancher was dubious and inquired as to the hunter's ability.

    The hunter looked down toward the 100-yard benchrest target, and demonstrated. Six rounds of fairly rapid fire, all in about a six-inch circle.
    The rancher grinned and nodded, and walked off...

    :), Art
     
  13. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    If you question whether a 45acp is aadequate to drop a 200 and something pound deer; do you question it's ability to stop a 200 and something pound man?
     
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Smoke, when I'm hunting Bambi, a major concern it the ethics of a quick and clean kill. With Bad Guys, it's solely whether or not he quit being bad. I'm unconcerned about his other problems; clean, dirty, pain & agony--doesn't matter.

    :), Art
     
  15. AgentOrange

    AgentOrange Member

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    i love to see debates like this

    ive killed many a deer with the 45 acp, and many a deer with the 45 super. while the 45 super is a much better round to do the job,the 45 acp has no problem putting a big buck down. id also have to agree.....if the 45 acp is touted as being an outstanding '1 shot stop" weapon on a man, why would anyone even question its effectiveness on a deer.

    it also makes me chuckle when i hear all of the "quick clean humane kill" stuff. people debate this in length when it comes to rifle calibers ( i hunt with a 222,223 and 22 hornet...i killed my buck last year with a 22 hornet neck shot at 75 yards, and he never twitched) and pistol calibers, complain that certain bullets and weights,calibers are noy adequate for deer because they dont offer a quick clean humane kill...what about bow hunting?....ive seen deer heart shot and lung shot with a bow with 4 blade broadheads, and watched as they ran 300-400 yards, then hit the ground and thrashed around for 30 minutes. how is that a quick humane kill?....in california,where im at, ANY CENTERFIRE CARTRIDGE is LEGAL FOR DEER HUNTING,meaning, legally you could hunt deer with a little 25 auto if you wanted.

    now dont get me wrong, im not advocating taking a 100 yard shot with a 45 acp for deer, but any distance you can effectively shoot with a 45 would be fine. i have an older custom springfield target 1911 from the custom shop that will shoot 1 hole groups at 50 yards with 45 super, and shoot 2" groups at 30 yards with standard 45 acp hard ball. im comforatble shooting deer with either.
     
  16. Fozzy_Bear

    Fozzy_Bear Member

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    Something to consider:

    The original design spec that the 1911 (45ACP) was commisioned by the army to meet read, " Must be able to cause a charging calvalry-trained horse to falter"

    The round was designed back when the calvery still really rode horses, and it was designed to be affective against those horses. - Now granted; it was designed to be a defensive weapon at short range... but still...

    To be honest, I've never hunted with a 45, but since it was designed to defend against charging horses, I'd personally have no hesitation on using it against wandering deer. - but only (as previously mentioned) at appropriate ranges.
     
  17. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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  18. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Member

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    I've heard so many people on other forums say that a .45 auto was totally inadequate for deer.

    I simply cannot understand that logic, it can't kill a 180-200 pound deer but its still such a great man stopper?

    I carried my XD45 along with my .30-06 during rifle deer season this year because I figured I could probably draw and fire the XD much faster if I had the rifle slung and got a chance at a nice, close shot.

    I almost used it to put down a deer struck by a car on the way home but it started running off and appeared to be fine.
     
  19. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    The number one problem I have with the .45 and hunting is that, often times, people are not the good shots they think they are. My first recommendation is to by a laser range finder and practice with it, so that you get used to juding TRUE ranges. Many people see 25 - 30 yards and say it is 60 yards away. Some folks shoot at 150 yards and think it is 300+ away. Sometimes the reverse is true, meaning 60+ yards looks like 25 to them.

    As you can see, if I took a shot I assumed was 25 yards off and it was really 50+ that would crucially impact my shot placement and bullet performance.

    IF... IF YOU can judge the distance accurately and consistently put the bullets in place, then a .45 a .38 a 9mm or .40 will do fine. A .357 a .44+ will be even better.

    I would focus on "double tap" shots and practice that way. First bullet, a well constucted hollow point second bullet an FMJ or hard cast for penetration. At those distances (25 or so yards) you should be able to fire a double tap.

    Witness this video:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Wbg2s2bfjhw
     
  20. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    mbt2001, most places it is illegal to hunt FMJ, but you could use lead. I shot at a deer with my 9mm this year.

    I shot a deer, and rushed it (the deer not the shot). I actually was tracking it, and looked down beside me. He was about 3 feet away. He was near dead, but when we made eye contact he jumped. I had my 9mm with me. I upholstered it and shot. He went down.

    I was using 124 grain HydraShocks. He was about dead anyway. I just rushed the trailing. It was my fault. In another few minutes he would have expired.
     
  21. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    Lee makes a nice 230g TC mould. I bought the 6 gang version and they shoot to POA like a ball round does with the additional feature of a large metplat for hunting.

    Try them, they may be just what you're looking for.
     
  22. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    my dad knew a guy out in california in the 50s that used his 1911 for boar

    he would use his beagle to sniff out the den then get them while they slept

    or atleast thats what he said lol
     
  23. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    I keep hearing in that. I live in Texas... I have checked and have never run into that issue. Seems weird, as hard cast bullets do not expand at all and they are "legal". FMJ's will disrupt sometimes, like when they hit bone. Anyway, I thank you for the correction, as it could be illegal in some places, but the advice, One exanding round, one penetration round is sound.
     
  24. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    A .45 caliber chunk of hard cast lead moving along at about the speed of sound has been killing deer deader than rocks for a couple three century's now, the ACP at the end of the caliber doesn't make any kind of difference.
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    mbt2001 summed it up pretty well. Sure, .22LR, .45ACP, other "little critter" cartridges insofar as power: They'll work, but you better be pretty doggoned good as a "hitter". Anybody can be a "shooter"; all that takes is pulling the trigger.
     
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