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Q:
How about the .45ACP for deer hunting? I dont know a lot about pistol hunting but I do know people favor the .357mag and .44mag for hunting purposes. Is the .45ACP a sub-par hunting round?

Question by lovetohunt. Uploaded on January 27, 2012

Answers (19)

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from fezzant wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Check your state regs. In Colorado, it's illegal. For big game, you are required to have loads that are FACTORY RATED to 500 foot-pounds at 50 yards. The .45s don't quite make the cut. As .357 with a 6" barrel just barely does.

Personally, I think it would be OK if you handloaded to high pressures with good bullets, use a full-sized gun with decent barrel length, and you limit your range.

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I don't have any experience hunting with my 1911s, but I'm a member over at 1911forum.com, and when this question comes up, everyone says that .45ACP really isn't suited for hunting and that you should stick with .357s, .44s, etc.

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from bruisedsausage wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Hell no, do not use the .45 ACP as a hunting round! No disrespect but its a very poor choice. It doesn't carry enough velocity to make the penetration necessary for most big game. (really any big game for that matter)

A totally dumb example of how this might make sense, is take for a example a locomotive traveling at 3 M.P.H. Say it runs into you and knocks you to the ground(outside of the tracks of course) Basically you just get knocked over. Well you just experienced more force and energy than the .45 auto will provide yet mostly you are unharmed. Granted a .45 would probably mess up an animals day much worse than getting bumped by train, but its the underlying physics principle I'm trying to relate to.

The overall area in which the force is being exerted upon another body isn't done with sufficient velocity and energy to cleanly make a kill and get reliable penetration.

Short of a physics lecture I hope this makes sense?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

If your accurate with it and constantly hit a can within 30 yards, I'd use it. But otherwise, I strongly don't recommend using it.

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from lovetohunt wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

bruisedsausage

Yeah that made sense, I am an archery guy so I understand the "would you rather get hit with a 5 grain arrow going 1000 fps or a 500 grain arrow going 250 fps or a 5000 grain arrow going 5 fps" kind of thing.

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from tennesseedeerhunter wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

i saw a guy kill a buck and a doe with one but they was only about 50 yards away

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I have a deep appreciation for the .45ACP but candidly admit (though it would drop small deer handily at close range) I wouldn't choose it for whitetails or muleys. For me, another factor is shot placement; not enough sight radius for the accuracy I'd require for deer - or maybe I'm just not skilled enough for the task.
I've never taken deer with the .45ACP. I have taken mule deer with a .357 Mag "Contender" (needed a second shot to finish the job) and a blacktail with a .41 Magnum (didn't need a second shot for that one). I carry a Kimber .45 now (photo on my profile), but I haven't seen a .45 Auto bullet I'd trust for deer at the distances I'd fired in the past. I can load a .45 Colt revolver to acceptable velocities to rationalize it, but I don't think the .45ACP packs the energy to compare with the .41 Mag. .44 Mag and others.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I should add, I have used my .45 Auto to deliver the coup de grace on a friend's wounded deer, but didn't take the initial shot with the .45ACP.

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from deerhunterrick wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

In no way is the .45acp a good choice for a deer hunting cartridge. Unless the deer was standing less then 10 foot in front of you. I saw a comparision of a slow bullet with heavy grains to a heavy arrow at slow speed. Again,no comparision. It is not the weight of an arrow nor the speed that delivers the kill with an arrow,it is the broadhead. Bullets don't have razor blades. Say what you will,deer are not humans and the .45 acp is strictly a self defensive gun,not a hunting gun. A friend though he was going to be Mr 911 Colt a few years ago on a pig hunt. As he was running for his life he delivered the final shot to the back of a hogs head at 2 feet. The first 7 shots were at under 20 yards and not 1 single bullet passed through the ribcage. And you can say what you want, a 300 # hog can be dropped in it's tracks out to 200 yards with a .22/250 broadside. A 44 mag can,does and will drop a deer in excess of 200 yards in the hands of an experienced handgun hunter. Leave the .45acp in your holster for self defense,not hunting big game.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

only thing a .45 ACP is good at killing is people, wouldnt take it in the deer woods.

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from lovetohunt wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Deerhunterrick,

Yeah an arrow kills with broadheads cutting vital organs. But if the arrow doesnt have enough KE/MO to reach the vitals, you might as well forget it.

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

i wouldn't recommend it.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I have killed over 25 crippled deer at less than 15 feet with a shot to the head with my duty weapon but I would never purposely go deer hunting with my .45. Will it kill a deer, yes, but with so many better choices why use it ?

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from 99explorer wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

An old rule of thumb for selecting a deer caliber is that it should have at least 1,000 ft.lbs. of energy at the point of impact.
Depending on bullet weight, factory ammo for the .45 ACP has only about 400 ft.lbs of energy at the muzzle. Not nearly good enough.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Like everyone else has said NO to deer, but very effective on 2 legged critters.

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from Paul Wheels O'F... wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I would actually say yes, but ONLY if you are capable of getting within normal archery distance of your target ie 25 yds or less, can make consistent 4 inch or less groups, and are using high quality 230gr expanding rounds. Why do you think most safari guides recommend something like the 45-70govt for elephant and other large dangerous game? Simple. Because it is a huge slow projectile that penetrates the target well causing maximum damage. the same applies to the 45 acp on smaller animals more likely whitetail deer and smaller.

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from Drama Loc wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

The Rossi Circuit Judge with 45 ACP Hollow Points will take Southern White Tail and Feral Hogs.

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from Penguinchick10 wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago

Most of the answers given above defy common sense!! If a .45 acp is touted as a man stopper, and will stop a 300 pound man dead in his tacks, common sense dictates that that same round will drop a 150 pound deer with a well laced shot! ...... And if you are NOT capable of making a well placed shot, then you really have no business being out there hunting in the first pace! 45 cal is a large caliber round! Slow moving heavy bullet equals heavy knock down power! Now I use a carbon 185 gr. +P round and that thing will match up to a 44 mag. Gel tests prove it has plenty of penetration also! A much higher rate of speed than a standard 45acp 230 grn. Ball ammo! Plus my .45 acp has an 8 inch barrel to boot! I will drop any large north American game animall with it, short of a grizzly bear or moose! But if my life counted on it, I would put 10 rounds of .45 Corbons 185 solid copper bullets, that expand to 80 caliber and penatates 10 to 12 inches in gel tests, I would have a good chance of saving my own life if I had too! 150 to 200 pound hogs and bucks???? Ha ha!!!!! Within 50 yards it is freezer fill! The right tool fr the right job! A 45 is the right tool, when the bullet is matched properly to the right length barrel for the right distance for the right game! Yes the .45 acp is an excellent choice for hunting! Especially deer and hogs! Don't tell me how great a 45acp is at dropping a 300 lbs human, and then try to tell e the same round will drop a 150 lbs deer! Thank you!

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from Penguinchick10 wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago

Cont. from above: (correction!) do NOT tell me that a single shot from a .45 acp 230 grn. Ball ammo fired from a 4 inch barrel will drop a 300 pound animal (human) in it's tracks, and then in the next sentence say it will NOT drop a 150 pound deer or hog! Common sense dictates that it will! Then take a 185 grn. Solid copper Corbon hollow point slug, movin out at 1200 plus feet per second, fired out of an 8 inch barrel, and when it hits, it penetrates 8 to 12 inches, and expand to .80 caliber, and you have quite the hunting round! I know this for a fact to be true! So all these negative answers, mixed with it is an excellent defense round, are silly! If it's a great man stopper then it is also a great game getter! This ain't no sub standard .380, 9mm or .32acp we are talkin about here! It a .45 acp that was designed to be like a .45 Long Colt ballisticly, and we know how many deer have been taken with 45 long colt long before the 45acp even existed! Now the 45acp round match the ballistics of a 44 magnum! Or darn close to them!!! Yes! Yes yes, a .45acp is GREAT hunting round, as well as a great defense round! Tell me that I am wrong???

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I don't have any experience hunting with my 1911s, but I'm a member over at 1911forum.com, and when this question comes up, everyone says that .45ACP really isn't suited for hunting and that you should stick with .357s, .44s, etc.

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from bruisedsausage wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Hell no, do not use the .45 ACP as a hunting round! No disrespect but its a very poor choice. It doesn't carry enough velocity to make the penetration necessary for most big game. (really any big game for that matter)

A totally dumb example of how this might make sense, is take for a example a locomotive traveling at 3 M.P.H. Say it runs into you and knocks you to the ground(outside of the tracks of course) Basically you just get knocked over. Well you just experienced more force and energy than the .45 auto will provide yet mostly you are unharmed. Granted a .45 would probably mess up an animals day much worse than getting bumped by train, but its the underlying physics principle I'm trying to relate to.

The overall area in which the force is being exerted upon another body isn't done with sufficient velocity and energy to cleanly make a kill and get reliable penetration.

Short of a physics lecture I hope this makes sense?

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from lovetohunt wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

bruisedsausage

Yeah that made sense, I am an archery guy so I understand the "would you rather get hit with a 5 grain arrow going 1000 fps or a 500 grain arrow going 250 fps or a 5000 grain arrow going 5 fps" kind of thing.

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from tennesseedeerhunter wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

i saw a guy kill a buck and a doe with one but they was only about 50 yards away

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I have a deep appreciation for the .45ACP but candidly admit (though it would drop small deer handily at close range) I wouldn't choose it for whitetails or muleys. For me, another factor is shot placement; not enough sight radius for the accuracy I'd require for deer - or maybe I'm just not skilled enough for the task.
I've never taken deer with the .45ACP. I have taken mule deer with a .357 Mag "Contender" (needed a second shot to finish the job) and a blacktail with a .41 Magnum (didn't need a second shot for that one). I carry a Kimber .45 now (photo on my profile), but I haven't seen a .45 Auto bullet I'd trust for deer at the distances I'd fired in the past. I can load a .45 Colt revolver to acceptable velocities to rationalize it, but I don't think the .45ACP packs the energy to compare with the .41 Mag. .44 Mag and others.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I should add, I have used my .45 Auto to deliver the coup de grace on a friend's wounded deer, but didn't take the initial shot with the .45ACP.

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from deerhunterrick wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

In no way is the .45acp a good choice for a deer hunting cartridge. Unless the deer was standing less then 10 foot in front of you. I saw a comparision of a slow bullet with heavy grains to a heavy arrow at slow speed. Again,no comparision. It is not the weight of an arrow nor the speed that delivers the kill with an arrow,it is the broadhead. Bullets don't have razor blades. Say what you will,deer are not humans and the .45 acp is strictly a self defensive gun,not a hunting gun. A friend though he was going to be Mr 911 Colt a few years ago on a pig hunt. As he was running for his life he delivered the final shot to the back of a hogs head at 2 feet. The first 7 shots were at under 20 yards and not 1 single bullet passed through the ribcage. And you can say what you want, a 300 # hog can be dropped in it's tracks out to 200 yards with a .22/250 broadside. A 44 mag can,does and will drop a deer in excess of 200 yards in the hands of an experienced handgun hunter. Leave the .45acp in your holster for self defense,not hunting big game.

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from lovetohunt wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Deerhunterrick,

Yeah an arrow kills with broadheads cutting vital organs. But if the arrow doesnt have enough KE/MO to reach the vitals, you might as well forget it.

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

i wouldn't recommend it.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I have killed over 25 crippled deer at less than 15 feet with a shot to the head with my duty weapon but I would never purposely go deer hunting with my .45. Will it kill a deer, yes, but with so many better choices why use it ?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Wheels O'F... wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I would actually say yes, but ONLY if you are capable of getting within normal archery distance of your target ie 25 yds or less, can make consistent 4 inch or less groups, and are using high quality 230gr expanding rounds. Why do you think most safari guides recommend something like the 45-70govt for elephant and other large dangerous game? Simple. Because it is a huge slow projectile that penetrates the target well causing maximum damage. the same applies to the 45 acp on smaller animals more likely whitetail deer and smaller.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drama Loc wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

The Rossi Circuit Judge with 45 ACP Hollow Points will take Southern White Tail and Feral Hogs.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Penguinchick10 wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago

Cont. from above: (correction!) do NOT tell me that a single shot from a .45 acp 230 grn. Ball ammo fired from a 4 inch barrel will drop a 300 pound animal (human) in it's tracks, and then in the next sentence say it will NOT drop a 150 pound deer or hog! Common sense dictates that it will! Then take a 185 grn. Solid copper Corbon hollow point slug, movin out at 1200 plus feet per second, fired out of an 8 inch barrel, and when it hits, it penetrates 8 to 12 inches, and expand to .80 caliber, and you have quite the hunting round! I know this for a fact to be true! So all these negative answers, mixed with it is an excellent defense round, are silly! If it's a great man stopper then it is also a great game getter! This ain't no sub standard .380, 9mm or .32acp we are talkin about here! It a .45 acp that was designed to be like a .45 Long Colt ballisticly, and we know how many deer have been taken with 45 long colt long before the 45acp even existed! Now the 45acp round match the ballistics of a 44 magnum! Or darn close to them!!! Yes! Yes yes, a .45acp is GREAT hunting round, as well as a great defense round! Tell me that I am wrong???

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from fezzant wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Check your state regs. In Colorado, it's illegal. For big game, you are required to have loads that are FACTORY RATED to 500 foot-pounds at 50 yards. The .45s don't quite make the cut. As .357 with a 6" barrel just barely does.

Personally, I think it would be OK if you handloaded to high pressures with good bullets, use a full-sized gun with decent barrel length, and you limit your range.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

If your accurate with it and constantly hit a can within 30 yards, I'd use it. But otherwise, I strongly don't recommend using it.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

only thing a .45 ACP is good at killing is people, wouldnt take it in the deer woods.

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from 99explorer wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

An old rule of thumb for selecting a deer caliber is that it should have at least 1,000 ft.lbs. of energy at the point of impact.
Depending on bullet weight, factory ammo for the .45 ACP has only about 400 ft.lbs of energy at the muzzle. Not nearly good enough.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Like everyone else has said NO to deer, but very effective on 2 legged critters.

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from Penguinchick10 wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago

Most of the answers given above defy common sense!! If a .45 acp is touted as a man stopper, and will stop a 300 pound man dead in his tacks, common sense dictates that that same round will drop a 150 pound deer with a well laced shot! ...... And if you are NOT capable of making a well placed shot, then you really have no business being out there hunting in the first pace! 45 cal is a large caliber round! Slow moving heavy bullet equals heavy knock down power! Now I use a carbon 185 gr. +P round and that thing will match up to a 44 mag. Gel tests prove it has plenty of penetration also! A much higher rate of speed than a standard 45acp 230 grn. Ball ammo! Plus my .45 acp has an 8 inch barrel to boot! I will drop any large north American game animall with it, short of a grizzly bear or moose! But if my life counted on it, I would put 10 rounds of .45 Corbons 185 solid copper bullets, that expand to 80 caliber and penatates 10 to 12 inches in gel tests, I would have a good chance of saving my own life if I had too! 150 to 200 pound hogs and bucks???? Ha ha!!!!! Within 50 yards it is freezer fill! The right tool fr the right job! A 45 is the right tool, when the bullet is matched properly to the right length barrel for the right distance for the right game! Yes the .45 acp is an excellent choice for hunting! Especially deer and hogs! Don't tell me how great a 45acp is at dropping a 300 lbs human, and then try to tell e the same round will drop a 150 lbs deer! Thank you!

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