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Has anyone hunted with a 45 auto?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Jsg81, Apr 4, 2013.

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  1. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Member

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    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?
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
  3. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.
     
  4. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    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.
     
  5. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    (For the magazine limit, depends on which state you are in.)
     
  6. 4season

    4season Member

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    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.
     
  7. a-sheepdog

    a-sheepdog Member

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    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.
     
  8. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    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
     
  9. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Member

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    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.
     
  10. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.
     
  11. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    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.
     
  12. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    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
     
  13. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    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.
     
  14. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.)
     
  15. The-Reaver

    The-Reaver Member

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    45 ACP is a hog slaying machine.....well I guess its an everything slaying machine. ;-)
     
  16. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    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.
     
  17. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Member

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    Thanks for the information. I always learn something new on here.
     
  18. iblong

    iblong Member

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    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.
     
  19. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    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.
     
  20. 481

    481 Member

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

    ljnowell Member

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    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.
     
  22. rvanpelt

    rvanpelt Member

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    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
     
  23. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    Don't know what others require, but our state requires a min of 357 mag or better for deer hunting with handgun.

    Jim
     
  24. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    Not legal in IN 45LC is.
     
  25. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    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.
     
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