cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items
SELECT CURRENCY

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails

.45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails

30 Oct 2017
@ 10:02 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Fellas,

Have any of you used the .45 auto from a handgun for deer hunting at very short ranges, 15 yards as an absolute maximum?

I'm carrying my compact .45 this year for the potential need of a coup de grace. In the role of point-blank coup de grace shots, it should be just fine. But sometimes deer can get very close to me, 10 yards or so, and I might try and take one with the handgun at that range. Being that it's obviously only going to be mechanical wounding, I would treat it like an archery shot and wait quite a while before going to find it. The gun in question is very accurate, and I shoot it very well. Shot placement shouldn't be an issue. But I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea.

Replies

30 Oct 2017
@ 01:56 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Ryan - check this out

[url]https://www.hornady.com/bullets/xtp#!/[url]
31 Oct 2017
@ 03:50 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Hi Ryan, as Paul said, use the XTP bullet. This will perform very well.
01 Nov 2017
@ 04:40 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Would you guys pick a 200 grain XTP at a muzzle velocity of ~ 775 fps, or a 220 grain FlexLock (basically an XTP with InterLock and elastomer tip) at ~ 890 fps? These are the options for locally available ammo. I'm really thinking that the 220 grain FlexLock would be better just because of the higher velocity and SD.

The ammo I already have (for self/home defense) is Remington Ultimate Defense, it's a 230 grain Golden Saber that's specifically designed for low velocity expansion. They're doing a little over 700 fps. I don't think the Remington rounds I have would be a good option because they open up really wide and are also pretty slow, which would limit penetration. The other option are 230 grain FMJ-FN at about 800 fps, I have some of that as well.
02 Nov 2017
@ 07:41 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Either will work but the Flex lock is a good option with its higher energy.

The .45 FMJ takes 20-45 seconds to kill but is faster than 9mm or 38 with lead pills.

Penetration is more of a concern relative to hide thickness. The XTP and rubber tips work just fine on thin skinned, lean game species without any great need for a high SD unless you are taking raking shots. Most home defense ammo falls within this bracket including 125gr .357.
03 Nov 2017
@ 12:59 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
I decided to try the FlexLock 220gr +P ammo. The +P velocity increase is the main reason, it makes up for the short barrel of my S&W.

In all honesty I don't think it's likely to be used on a deer this year. Because it's fairly rare that they get within 20 yards, it has only happened 3 times in the last 8 years. In the event that I shoot one with the .45, I'll be sure to document the results as best as I can and report them here in this thread.
05 Nov 2017
@ 12:55 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
The Hornady ammo in this case is a no-go. I fired some of it today and it was sending the brass right at my forehead. I'm going to switch to Hornady 185 grain XTPs to keep velocity up without going the +P route.
20 Nov 2017
@ 05:45 am (GMT)

Kenneth Kephart

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
If it is a 1911, +P is not recommended. The 1911 was not designed for +P.

I carry my Springfield Armory Champion when i'm in the woods. I hunt in an area that the game commission releases their problem bears.
That and the wood line is thick along the paths and field edges.
20ft sudden encounter with a bull elk gets the blood flowing.

I'm loading 185gr Sierra JHP, and Target Master. Mixed in my magazines.
The Target Master gives better penetration.
These loaded to 900fps.

If ya can't hit what you shoot at you may as well throw rocks.
11 Aug 2018
@ 02:45 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
I’ve changed things up a bit this year with regards to the handgun I’ll be carrying. It’s a government model 1911 and I’ve got it set up to run this ammo, zeroed at 15 yards:

http://atomicammunition.com/ammunition/45acpplusphollow185.html

Chronograph reads an average of 1,230 FPS, this is just a hair over 600 foot pounds of energy. I’ve been able to hit an 8” gong, standing offhand, with every shot fired at distances out to 40 yards, so I’ll use that as my approximate maximum range.

One question:

With this setup, should I be aiming for shoulder bones and heavy muscle, or just behind the shoulder at the back half of the lungs?
11 Aug 2018
@ 07:38 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Hi Ryan, with a bonded bullet, it is doubly important to aim for the shoulders if at all possible. The SD may be low but the bonding will ensure plenty of penetration.

To ensure good energy transfer, the hollow point should be approximately 120 thou deep and 120 thou wide. If necessary, use a 1/8th or 9/64 drill bit to alter the bullets.
11 Aug 2018
@ 10:36 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Sorry- I should quality that statement- those HP dimensions suit lean game / deer etc. Don't touch the HP's if the gun has to be used for defense in the wilderness.
12 Aug 2018
@ 01:13 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Cool, thank Nathan. And no, this ammo is only for deer and maybe (depending on performance on the deer) for defense against humans.

For defense from animals, I just carry either standard 230 grain hardball, or a 200 grain SWC hard cast at 850 FPS. Both are economical and effective with CNS hits on the largest bear around here. Plus the SWC is an absolute hammer on raccoons and possums.

I’ll check the dimensions of the hollow points and drill them out if necessary.

And in case anyone is curious, the gun has been properly set up for this ammo, I’m running a 20lb. Wolff recoil spring and a small-radius firing pin stop from John Harrison. Brass is landing about 8 feet away consistently. And oddly enough I have not observed any bulging in the web area of the cases, despite this ammo being quite a lot higher in pressure than standard .45 ACP.
15 Aug 2018
@ 10:50 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Hey Nathan, I measured the dimensions of the hollow points, they’re 0.25” wide and 0.25” deep, but this width doesn’t continue down like a cylinder. The cross section looks like a cone with the top cut off, and the bottom of the cavity is about (just guessing by looking at it) 0.030” wide. The bottom point appears to be made of copper jacket material, perhaps similar to the classic Hydra-Shok.

Do you think it’s necessary to take a drill bit and change the cross section to a cylinder shape, or should I just use this and see how it does first? My thought is that it’s probably fine as-is but it might not hurt to make the cavity have a lot more volume.
16 Aug 2018
@ 09:11 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Hard to say without testing it Ryan. Sometimes a square or rectangular cross section is more effective than a cone shape when it comes to bonded bullets. The Gold dot projectiles have a very wide HP, about the same .25", but are also cone shaped. I drill these down a wee bit because the cone shape vs bonding tends to arrest expansion too early, especially at low velocities. I do not drill at full diameter as this would simply create a jacket only type frontal area, but I also do not go smaller than 9/16.
21 Aug 2018
@ 12:49 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Cool, thanks Nathan. I’ll just roll with it as-is and then see about potential modifications after that. One thing I’ve noticed is that the jacket and bullet generally seems abnormally soft, chambering a round produces slight deformation of the edge of the hollow point.
29 Aug 2018
@ 09:32 am (GMT)

Kenneth Kephart

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Ryan,
Check your game laws first. Around here, Pennsylvania, a semi auto is not a "sporting handgun", and hence it's illegal to shoot deer with one.

I will also re-iterate, the 1911 platform is not rated for +P.
30 Aug 2018
@ 12:08 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Kenneth, where are you getting the idea that the 1911 can’t handle +P ammo? Could you maybe try and support that claim?

I would concede that the gun obviously wasn’t originally designed for the slightly higher pressures, but I don’t see how it would hurt the gun if it’s been modified to reduce the slide velocity to normal levels. I mean right now the ejection pattern of the brass is more consistent and the brass is not thrown as far as it was with the stock setup and standard hardball ammo.

There are companies producing kits for the .460 Rowland cartridge, which produces ballistics in line with mid-range .44 Mag. ammo. They’re using a compensator to help reduce slide velocity, and they don’t even require the use of a shock buffer. Same with the .45 Super cartridge, people have been converting Gov. 1911’s to safely function with it for decades now.
30 Aug 2018
@ 08:23 am (GMT)

Kenneth Kephart

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Ryan,

You said the magic word. Convert.
Heavier spring, different link, pin.
Yes there are companies that specialize in this.
That or they are built from the ground up for it.
For a standard 1911, (anyones make) unless they specify +P, then i would recommend against it.
Don't forget to order several sets of springs, and change them out more frequently. 400-500 rounds instead of the 1,000 rounds.

I've seen slides crack from not doing that.
31 Aug 2018
@ 12:05 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
Kenneth, if what you’re getting at is that it’s a bad idea to shoot more than a couple boxes of +P ammo through a standard, off-the-shelf 1911 Like a Colt, Springfield, etc., then yes I think you’re right. Actually I’d say that you simply ARE right, it’s quite easy to verify the much higher rate of wear. Especially when the gun in question has an aluminum frame and not a steel one.

In my case, I’ve set up the gun to run +P ammo in such a way that it won’t cause significantly more wear than firing standard 230 grain ball ammo, through the use of a much heavier recoil spring and a firing pin stop that has a significantly smaller radius on the bottom edge.

The heavier spring obviously will increase the force needed to move the slide backwards, but the not very obvious change is in the firing pin stop.

A standard one has a radius that’s easily visible, you can see the rounded edge and see where it engages the hammer. The one I’ve installed has a radius that’s small enough to not be so easily noticed, it almost looks square. What this does is change the contact point with the hammer, moving it lower down so that the slide doesn’t have nearly the same amount of leverage to cock the hammer with. The point of contact is much closer to the pivot point on the lever, whereas a standard FPS engages it farther away from the pivot point, reducing the force needed to cock the hammer.

The result of the two modifications is that the slide is held closed for slightly longer and doesn’t move rearward with quite as much speed, so the gun can shoot ammo that produces far more recoil energy than standard stuff, but does not take any more wear from this than it would by shooting normal ammo. At least not significantly so. In fact the ejection pattern of the brass with the Atomic ammo is more consistent and is not thrown as far as the original setup did with 230 grain ball.
02 Sep 2018
@ 06:19 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
great conversation and Im going to hi jack thread to ask SIMILAR question...... what about the good old .45 long colt??? looks to have similar figures ,the reason I ask is Im about to embark on a project rifle thats haunted me for years,a .12ga shotgun sleeve full length barrel turned to be snug fit inside the shotgun outer....break open with hammer..... I was thinking .45/70 but doing the chamber to .45long colt will be easier and give me an idea how she going to work out and if needed I can re ream it to .45/70 later on.
I can see this being a fun rifle to plink with or carry for short,sub 50 yard wallabies etc depending on accuracy. its a home turned barrel so NOT going to be suitable for full power loads in the bigger cartridge but would handle cast and black powder/trailboss loads so up to but not over 1800fps maximum.
ok guys hit me with what Ive forgotton
04 Sep 2018
@ 07:33 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
yip OK I worked it out...doah... the long colt is a tighter bore so it wouldnt work...back to mildish .45/70 loads....hmmmmm Ive seen recipe and instructions to make your own black powder LOL
02 Nov 2018
@ 07:11 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
starting to get excited about this....barrel will be dropped off at Gunworks today to be chambered in .45/70 govt.......
my engineering buddy has just finished a .410 insert for me that fits the single .12ga like a glove.made it with 12" barrel so charge has chance to impart velocity before end of insert is reached...He will turn outside of my .45/70 bull barrel down the same ,she will be a heavy beasty but thats all good.
02 Nov 2018
@ 05:37 pm (GMT)

Shawn Bevins

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
I shoot the 45 cal XTP's in my muzzleloader and my Thompson Contender pistol. The muzzleloader is getting much more velocity than a pistol but drops 150 lb to 200 lb whitetail easily. Sorry, I cannot tell you the muzzle velocity but my charge is 100gr of triple 7. My contender is a 45 Colt and lover the 250 gr XTP's. Recoil is fine. I have tried the 300grs and the recoil was stout in a pistol. For your auto, I would use the 250 gr XTP's and go for bone. If your deer are that close, use a bow.. :-)
09 Nov 2018
@ 05:15 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: .45 ACP Handguns and Whitetails
ho hum...the best laid plans of mice n men and all that.....
got phone call this morning from up the road..... basic gist of conversation "its in too hard basket" to say Im disapointed/peeved/disalutioned is putting it mildly.... had paid out good $$$$$$ in advance for work to be done but alas its not to be
now back to option #B or #C
Ive been told by maker of said barrel the chambering is a simple matter to do and how he can do it for far less $$$$ than Id paid.....
golly geepers Im no machinist and havent used a lathe since high school far too many years ago but even I could do what is needed to be done given the correct tools.... barrel is too tight to ream/chamber...I said drill the plurry thing out giving me a weatherby type freebore...chamber might be off cantre was reply...at which point I said to send it back I will do it myself (hells teeth if worst comes to worst I will chamber it my self with a chainsaw file and drill)
did I mention Im peeved????
its a real pity to see a good firm go downhill so far so fast.
therein endith my rant.
 

ABOUT US

We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.

store