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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand the 625 will handle .45 super just fine.

What I'm wondering, though, is whether there's any real advantage in such a load. Is there any thing really gained by pushing a 230 grain bullet to 1400 or 1500 fps? Seems to me there's a point of dimishing returns with any given bullet design and I wonder if these velocities pass that point?

I don't reload and am fairly ignorant about ballistics. Such ammo is available commercially, I believe.

Any opinions about this?9ool
 

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Hello. I guess it would depend on a couple of things:

Distances

Size game to be shot

For the majority of us, the easily obtained 230-250 grains at 800 to 1000 ft/sec should handle any animals one might expect to shoot with a handgun in this ballistic payload range and accurate loads can be had in this velocity envelope as well.

Were one expecting the possibility of shooting really large critters a solid pushed along at 1100, 1200, or 1300 ft/sec might be nice or if the pistol was scoped for considerably longer shots...not necessarily at really large animals.

Best.
 

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I cannot improve much on what Steve said.

I can back it up, having shot several deer and wild boar with the regular .45 Auto.

I am a hopeless gadgeteer and have used .45 Super (and hot handloads that equaled it before the advent of the super) my own wildcat the .45 Express (which was made irrelevant by the .451 Detonics), the .460 Rowland and the .45 Win. Magnum.

To be sure, there are probably some animals that might be better hunted with a bit more power (large black bears and elk come to mind) but one must take care to choose a bullet which will take being driven faster.

We found for instance that when driven to over 1300 fps most 230 gr JHPs designed for the .45 ACP penetrated *less* in game than at 850 fps.

So if you go that rout and are hunting really big stuff, go careful.

Happy trails!
Jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jim, one of the regulation changes being contemplated in my state is a change in definition of legal handgun cartridge for deer. The new definition will make the 45 auto legal -- IF it is adopted. What's your experience using it?
 

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Parson;
My experience has been what I would call amazingly fortunate. I do recognize that handgun bullets incapacitate by drilling a hole through important stuff and cannot beat a reasonable rifle.

All of the deer I have shot with the .45 ACP (7 with 230 hydrashok, 1 with ball from a Commander, one at about 100 yards with a Black Talon which requires some explanation, and a few others I did not make notes) expired very quickly, only one moved any distance (that was the one at 100 yards which managed to stumble a few yards).

All of the Boar have dropped to the shot except the last one (by coincidence it was the smallest) which was shot 3 times in the chest with Cor-Bon 165 Power Ball. 2 of these rounds only hit lung tissue (and I must say they did as much damage as a .223 rifle would have done) but he critter ran a long....long way and I had to use a 230 gr. Win. +P ranger to break his foreleg to stop him (I also used a 260 cast HP from a .45 Auto rim for insurance but I don't really think it was necessary).

Please don't think I am saying that the .45 is "powerful" while other guns arent. I have not had near the good fortune with really hot .44 magnum loads and have seen some excellent shooting with the .357 magnum fail, so I expect that I have just been extremely lucky though placement does have something to do with it.

I have seen the same thing with rifles up to .300 Win mag. If I slip the bullet behind the shoulder and it only hits lung tissue then the critter may drop and it may run (though it is nearly always fatal).

I know this is not as clear cut as folks would like but I have simply seen too many deer and boar run off when shot by others to assume that I have done anything special. I have shot several deer with rifles that ran off to varying degrees from 25 to 84 yards.

Choose a bullet that will penetrate. Place the bullet well and hope for the best!

Onward,
Jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the response, Jim. I've been wondering if I should weigh in on the meetings the wildlife department is going to have. I've carried a 1911 for more than 30 years, daily for nearly 25 of them, but I never used it on any critter larger than a doberman pincher. (The Lord has been kind to me, and I've never had to drop the hammer on a human, though it's been close more than once.) And the doberman, for anyone who thinks that sounds like a horrible thing to do, was trying its best to eat my youngest daughter.

After seeing 357 mag failures (ever from a Marlin carbine), I was of the opinion that the 45 wouldn't be enough, but since it has obviously worked well for you, I've decided to just stay out of the discussion and let those with more experience hunting with the cartridge make that decision.

Just last week, I witnessed two failures on cow elk by two experienced hunters. One hit with a 165 ballistic tip in a 30-06 (I'm not sure of the placement) the other hit on the shoulder by a 150 ballistic tip from a 300 Weatherby mag. The second was sighted with a destroyed shoulder, but apparently the bullet did not penetrate into the chest cavity. The first one limped and left very little blood where it bedded. Both were lost after hours of tracking. My feeling is that the ballistic tip is a bullet more useful in whitetail due to rapid expansion.

In the same hunt, I used a 30-06 with Federal's 180 Trophy Bond Bear Claw bullets, and my cow took one single step after being hit, dropped on her side, and never moved again. Both lungs were blown out.

The older I get and the more I hunt, I'm coming to the opinion that penetration is much more important than expansion.
 

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Hello, sir. I'm not Mr. Higginbotham, but am of the opinion that dogs of significant size can be pretty hard to "stop" with
most any handgun cartridge that is commonly used for self-protection.

Sometimes they drop instantly and other times they seem like their not phased a tall...at least at first, and with seemingly similar hits! With most pistol rounds, I look at shooting an adversary (human or otherwise) as being similar to a roll of the dice; maybe we get a "7" or maybe we get snake eyes. This is one reason I believe in shooting a handgun that I can shoot accurately at speed.

You'll get no arguments from me for shooting the dobie. While I had one as a pet for years, I have also seen the damage a large dog can do. Many might truly be surprised at it and how quickly it can be inflicted. I have a relative who was mauled and nearly killed by a German Sheperd decades ago.

Were it between my child and the dog, the dog loses. Had I been there with you and had a clean shot, we'd both have been shooting the dog.

Best.

PS: I've pretty well given up on BallisticTips in rifles having seen similar results to what you mention.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got lucky with that one, Steve. He had her down, but had barely broken the skin on her arm when the round hit him through both lungs and, I think, the heart. It's a d**n scary thing to have to shoot toward your child from 15 yards or so, but fortunately I was quick enough. Put all that IPSC practice to use. Today, I'll chuckle about it.

Apologies to maxer51tx for taking your thread on a tangent.

I tested the 45 Super in a 6" Springfield longslide for an article back in 2000 for the G&A Handguns Annual. I liked it, but for my own purposes, I didn't see any real purpose. I use the 45 acp in a 1911 for personal defense, but out in the woods, I normally carry a revolver in 44 special, 44 mag, or 45 colt depending on my mood.
 

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Steve & Parson;
I certainly agree on the dogs. A neighbor (not too close) called me because she was upset that she had to shoot a rotweiler with her husbands 9mm when the dog came charging after her 18 month old daughter.

She saved the baby first but the dog kept trying to break down the door so she shot it in fear that it was rabid (it was not).

I asked her why she was upset and she said well the dog ran home and the owners were really put out with her. She shot it right through the lungs, both of them, with what load, I don't really know.

I told her that we (the Sheriff's office) would certainly not be holding her accountable for the dog and that should the neighbors persist we would have some words to say to them.

The dog survived just fine though it is probably a good thing they moved later or I am sure he would have met an untimely end.

I am convinced they have personalities (as do most other critters). Some will fold, some will run off, some will stand their ground and some will attack upon being shot (I shot one once with 4 rounds of 5.56 ball...it was not fun).

As with most things, placement and other factors weigh heavily in the outcome. We can only establsh tendencies.

Onward,
Jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Parson, not to worry about the thread.

Steve and Jim, I kind of thought that's the answer I'd get. I also wondered whether penetration might actually suffer from the higher velocity, which you confirmed Jim.

Sounds like the .45 super is a round in search of a suitable target.

Thanks all for responding.
 

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Hello. I think it would be a peach with frangible bullets on coyotes and such but would prefer something with a tad deeper penetration on deer-sized critters. Were I going with a JHP in this caliber, I'd probably look long and hard at the XTP 230-gr and the Gold Dot in the same weight.

Best.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Steve and all,

Ace Hindman, down Tejas way, developed the .45 Super. While this is safe in a properly modified 1911 I cannot condone it's usage. The .45 was developed with a 200 grain FMJ(later changed to 230 grain FMJ) and is best with 230 grain bullets, at standard velocities. You're asking the .45 to do something it was not meant to do...it is NOT a hunting cartridge, IMHO.
If you need the raw power I suggest one of S&W or Colt's offerings in a magnum wheelgun. Just my .02 worth...

Wes
 

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Wes;
I sure don't wish to sound contrary but the folks you mention merely propritised a thick walled case (at the suggestion of Dean Grennel if I recall that correctly).

There were several folks cutting off .308 cases and loading a hot .45 like this back almost 20 years before the .45 Super came about (my own .45 Express was designed in 1974 and used a slightly longer case than the .45 to prevent its chambering in a standard sprung 1911 but that proved to be unnecessary). The thick case is really not a necessity unless you chop on your barrel's feedway. I have shot thousands of loads as hot as the factory .45 Super in normal 1911s with only a recoil buffer and a 20 or 22 lb spring (there are other tricks which will make it even more durable - like a squared F.P. stop and a heavier main spring).

Today, one can drive a 230 gr bullet at nearly 1100 fps without going over the standard SAAMI pressure limits of the .45 ACP (21,000 psi). Check out Ramshots, suggested loads for Enforcer powder.

If you have chronoed many factory loads you will recognize that this is knocking on the heels of the .44 Magnum from a 4" gun (it equals the Blazer factory laods) and surpasses any but the special loads (like Buffalo Bore) in any .357.

If you want more, a .460 Rowland conversion is readily available and seems to work great (unless, like me you are the unlucky sap who gets a .400 diameter comp!). That easily matches any standard factory Magnum revolver cartridge. I exclude the .480 and .500 Magnums because only select factories are loading them at present. They are indeed awesome calibers.

Ture enough, there are those who use scoped revolvers or single shots who extend the ranges at which they can get good hits and when ranges exceed 125 yards then a bit of external ballistic advantage might be a good thing but many of us limit our shots to 100 yards.

I once set up an experiment using .45 ACP, 10mm, .357 magnum (8") and .44 Magnum (IIRC it was 8 3/8" but it could have been 5") with full power factory loads. Shooting each at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards.

What I found was that the group size was bigger than the difference in POI due to drop for all of the guns when they were properly field zeroed. No round was more than 5" high or low at any range.

This was unfortunate as I was hoping to prove that the 10mm had an advantage over the .45 for field use. Subsequent experience (I went ahead and bought more 10mms anyway...logic should never interfere with gun acquisitions
) the .45 proved to be easily its equal in performance on wild boar and deer. It also proved to easily equal the .44 Magum on those critters though I am sure the latter would be better if one went to much heavier game like Elk or big bear.

I never set out to prove the .45 ACP was a hunting gun, I wanted to test defense loads to see how they performed but in the process it turned out I have killed more deer and boar with a .45 ACP than with any other single caliber including the .308 Win.

Having been a hunter all my life and a keen student of the combative arts I have to say, if it isn't good enough to harvest a deer with you have no business carrying it for people - determined aggressor (as opposed to the run of the mill thug who is easily demorilized) are much more difficult to stop. Though to be sure, some of the attenuated guns that folks choose for defensive carry can sometimes be a big disadvantage in the field - that has nothing to do with the cartridge except the starting velocity which does not have as much impact as some might imagine.

Just rambling,
Best regards and Happy New Year!
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jim and all,

I stand corrected. I forgot about the .45 Super connection to Dean Grenell. Used to love to read his articles.

The standard .45 ACP has always been good enough for me.

I did have a Bren Ten 10mm. Af riend needed it more than I did. Darn thing was HUGE compared to my Commander. An interesting piece of design work, however.

Wes
 

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Wes;
I am just a hopless tinkerer. Actually I am not sure that boosting the .45 ACP will gain much in real effectiveness (at least so long as we keep the quary reasonble like the average deer or wild boar).

I suppose it is the age old bane of the handloader... "more, more more." :-/

Cheers!
Jim
 
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