Anyone Deer Hunt with a 45acp?

This is a discussion on Anyone Deer Hunt with a 45acp? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was thinking of using a 45acp for out to 40 yards shots. Anyone ever taken a deer with a 45acp? What gun and barrel ...

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Thread: Anyone Deer Hunt with a 45acp?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    Anyone Deer Hunt with a 45acp?

    I was thinking of using a 45acp for out to 40 yards shots.

    Anyone ever taken a deer with a 45acp?

    What gun and barrel length?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    I haven't, but a buddy of mine took one with a Glock 21 (4.5" bbl) last fall.

    IIRC, it was at about 15 yards, with a handloaded (likely on the warm side) 230gr XTP. Clean kill.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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    Senior Member Array 1911PKR's Avatar
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    Sure... it can be done, but it's NOT a very wise choice for a whitetail gun. 40 yards is WAY too far out IMO... she's goin' to run for miles on ya.
    I'm OK with a good clean shot right underneath your tree stand.
    "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom" Gen. George Patton

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    Yes it can be done. Remember that the lowly .22 has brought down THOUSANDS of deer.

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    Member Array redfish443's Avatar
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    Back in the 60's it was legal in Arizona to hunt with .357 or .44 magnums, I carried a nice Ruger Blackhawk .357 in a shoulder rig and shot deer, pigs and tons of jackrabbits and coyotes with the weapon...
    I'd suspect a .45 acp rifle would give you a fair chance at downing game, the longer barrel length gives the powder charge a chance to maximize velocity giving you a pretty fair shot at an animal. Although ballistics on the .45 would indicate a close shot rather than a distant one it would still be feasible and give you a good chance for a clean kill. Obviously any one of the many hollow point or +p ammo would give you a better chance on a good heart/lung shot.

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    A longer barrel wouldn't do much for increasing bullet velocity with a .45 ACP. the round is designed to burn most, if not all, of its powder in about 5". Fired out of a 18-22 inch barrel may even be counter effective. A Thompson's velocity is not significantly higher.
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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    The 44 mag is a great round for both deer and hog as long as you keep the range within reason. The 45 might be iffy at longer ranges due to its powder capacity.

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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    A longer barrel wouldn't do much for increasing bullet velocity with a .45 ACP. the round is designed to burn most, if not all, of its powder in about 5". Fired out of a 18-22 inch barrel may even be counter effective. A Thompson's velocity is not significantly higher.
    A 230 grain .45ACP out of a 5" bbl is nominally around 850 fps with 355 ft-lb at the muzzle.
    The same round out of an 18" barrel will clock around 950 fps and 440 ft-lb.
    So, you get about 100 fps (12%) increase with the carbine, that gives you about a 25% increase in energy. Not a huge increase, but not insignificant. The improvement with +P's is probably as good or better.

    Regards,
    Jim

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    I've never shot a deer with a .45, but it should work very well. Many years ago I did shoot an antelope with a .45 using (if memory serves me) a Federal 185gr JHP. Hit through the lungs behind the shoulder, it took one stumbling step and dropped.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    Member Array auburn4's Avatar
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    There are so many deer now and so few hunters, that if you want to hunt with a " buck knife" go ahead. The old guys that were raised hunting are no longer with us. We got PROBLEMS. If you want to hunt with a 45 and your state allows it, go ahead. Be ETHICAL

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    A longer barrel wouldn't do much for increasing bullet velocity with a .45 ACP. the round is designed to burn most, if not all, of its powder in about 5". Fired out of a 18-22 inch barrel may even be counter effective. A Thompson's velocity is not significantly higher.
    From a numbers standpoint, that statement bears some refinement. Google "Ballistics by the Inch" and you'll see data for 10 different .45 ACP loads from barrel lengths ranging from 2 to 18 inches. There is a consistent velocity increase with greater barrel length for all loads out to about 12 inches. Beyond that, the slope is pretty flat and by 18 inches velocity starts to drop off, depending on the specific load.

    From a practical standpoint, the difference between, say, a "longslide" with a 6-inch barrel and a standard 5-incher is negligible. Stepping up to a carbine, such as the Marlin Camp Carbine with its 16.5 inch barrel, there's a 10-13% increase in muzzle velocity which translates into a 20-25% increase in energy. So if one is determined to hunt deer with as .45 ACP, the carbine-length barrel is the way to go. BUt - also from a practical side - the stone-like trajectory of the .45 ACP much past 50 yards is pretty limiting.
    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I have never shot a deer with a 45acp. Your post did make me wonder how the 45acp stacks up on paper with a 410 slug. I might just check it out.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Member Array docholliday's Avatar
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    I've chrono'd Federal HST 230gr +P out of my 5" Les Baer at 980-1000fps in 80-85 degree weather. I would def say inside 30 yds that can take down a deer, properly placed of course.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Anyone Deer Hunt with a 45acp?
    Haven't even anticipated it. Wild hogs..........might be a go for me. Deer however are too elusive to be taken down easily with a pistol cartridge IMO. You and the bullet may place far behind the curve. Maybe if you're stealthy enough and haven't taken a shower in six months, and have eaten nothing but grass, you might get close enough to take a shot with a pistol caliber cartridge and take one down. Odds are against it in my opinion. And when you're close enough to take the shot, the sound is enough to make the deer bolt before the bullet ever gets there. 45acp just doesn't have the speed for the game in my opinion. Think whatever you want.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    Haven't even anticipated it. Wild hogs..........might be a go for me. Deer however are too elusive to be taken down easily with a pistol cartridge IMO. You and the bullet may place far behind the curve. Maybe if you're stealthy enough and haven't taken a shower in six months, and have eaten nothing but grass, you might get close enough to take a shot with a pistol caliber cartridge and take one down. Odds are against it in my opinion. And when you're close enough to take the shot, the sound is enough to make the deer bolt before the bullet ever gets there. 45acp just doesn't have the speed for the game in my opinion. Think whatever you want.
    I agree. Long-barreled big-bore handguns and Contenders aside, for me the primary deer-hunting purpose of a handgun in all but a survival mode is to render a coup de grace... and for that, a .22 is just fine.
    Smitty
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