.45 ACP For Predator Protection

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

BRVTVS gives us this video on some .45 ACP testing.

A few comments.

First of all, it’s just wrong to say that the lighter rounds lack penetration.  The data shows otherwise.  On the other hand, I agree that I’d never recommend PD ammunition for protection against large predatory animals.  Ball ammunition (jacketed) is the way to go.  Expansion is your enemy when you’re trying for maximum penetration and organ damage against a large quadruped.

For jacketed .45 ACP, I’m now focused on purchase of Browning flat nose 920 FPS cartridges.

If I’m in the bush, I’ll carry my S&W E Series 1911 for which I’ve installed a 22# spring, and shoot 450 SMC.  That’s my main complaint with the video.  He doesn’t cover the big hitters in these guns, whether 450 SMC or 460 Rowland.  It’s easy to install a 22# spring, and the 460 Rowland conversions (that include a compensator) aren’t that expensive.


Comments

  1. On October 4, 2018 at 11:45 pm, cap'n fast said:

    best of both is to carry both. I carry a SA XD-45 which hold 14 rounds, tops. first round is ball, second is JHP 235gr. and so on down the stack. no jams, just shootin. five years ago, I was south of red feather lakes, looking at a mountain lion munching on a deer carcass forty meters away from me as I rounded a boulder on foot. with pistol in hand, i backed away out of sight behind the boulder and got the hell out of his or hers dinner plate. was I worried? oh yeah. never ever go into the Rockies with out yer peace of mind in yer holster.

  2. On October 5, 2018 at 12:44 am, BRVTVS said:

    “First of all, it’s just wrong to say that the lighter rounds lack penetration.”

    Checking the link you reference to ballistic tests, maximum penetration is from a heavy bullet, but only by slightly more than an inch. The penetration kings were distinguished by lack of expansion. The conventional wisdom is that heavy bullets penetrate more because of sectional density. From a physics perspective, work is force times displacement. Assuming the force needed to poke a .45 inch hole through something requires a given amount of force (not necessarily true as dissipation may be velocity dependent), it stands to reason that greater energy (convertible to work via the work-energy theorem) should result in greater penetration. The 230 grain winner has a slight edge over the 185 grain 2nd place winner by a small margin.

  3. On October 5, 2018 at 9:32 am, Herschel Smith said:

    See my critiques of the data. There is very little difference between penetration depths regardless of SD or mass. And none of the data meets the CLT. Statistically, nothing can be proven from it.

  4. On October 5, 2018 at 10:29 am, Gryphon said:

    Alternating Ball and JHP Loading a Magazine might be a good idea for 2-Legged Varmints, but Ball is Best for something as large as a Bear (If you don’t have a Rifle or Shotgun handy)

    The Time I was surprised by a Rabid Raccoon wandering into the Garage, and the .45 was the Gun in the Truck, I found that JHP is Effective for Small Animals, but really Messy…

  5. On October 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm, Fred said:

    Ok, this is frustrating. Self Defense is NOT hunting. In hunting you kill with one shot because this is honorable. In self defense you want the attacker to disengage. The honor is in surviving. In citizen on citizen gun fights, first shot landed wins well above 99 percent of the time.

    A cougar will disengage upon first shot landed as well. They have singleness of focus when striking. Often the noise alone would snap them out of this state but do hit the animal. They use stealth and speed but similar to a human they are very averse to any competent defense.

    A bear is NOT a person and Not a cat. This is an entirely different situation. Remember, you want the animal to disengage. Penetration is not a bad thing BUT you want to get the animals attention. 44fps, I’ll spell that out for everybody including the “.357 for bear” fanboys; Forty Four Feet Per Second is how fast a bear moves. You need its full and undivided attention with the FIRST SHOT. If your plan is to kill a 600 pound heavy hide well-muscled beast moving at 44fps with one shot then you most definitely need a new plan. The shock of Blunt Force Trauma that penetrates somewhat is what you want. Size matters, not vorticity. Somebody is going get killed trying to shoot a bear with a fast small round and it won’t be on me. You get ONE SHOT to convince the attacker to break off the engagement. You’ve been warned.

    Herschel, I watched the full vid last night. It’s interesting. I was trying to remember the exact info on the rounds you run for the bush. Thanks for reposting.

  6. On October 5, 2018 at 2:20 pm, Fred said:

    That probably should say velocity. Is vorticity even a thing? Huh, that’s interesting.

  7. On October 5, 2018 at 4:39 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    @ Fred

    Right on Fred. I’ve been saying that for some time now. And the @ BRVTVS’s old man video says the same thing. It’s kinetic energy transfer into the brute that changes their minds or stops their charge, not clean little deep holes. Of course clean little deep holes might kill the beast…eventually. So it dies on top your freshly mauled corpse. You’ll be talked about, maybe even sung about, but probably not copied about.

    Big bores and big slugs. Rifles too have their inherent “stopping power” measurable by caliber and bullet configuration used. But often they are equipped with optics (all of mine) thereby making them marginal for close-in, bead on the charging bear work. I’m like the old guy in the @ BRVTVS video. I carry on my body, a heavy-frame 44 magnum double-action revolver loaded for bear when in bear country…pretty much everywhere.

    It just might be that my reasoning as to what constitutes a “bear gun,” is directly proportional, size wise, to the actual size of ALL of our bears up here. You can poke ’em in the eye with a pencil or slap ’em upside the head with a 6 x 6. I’ll use the 6 x 6.

  8. On October 5, 2018 at 6:21 pm, BRVTVS said:

    “Is vorticity even a thing?”

    Yes, but only in the study of fluids, not ballistics.

  9. On October 5, 2018 at 11:47 pm, Adam Baum said:

    I agree that a big bore, hard hitting cartridge is the best medicine for large bears. Something like .44 or .45 caliber flat nosed hard cast or FMJ with 900 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle would be a good “bear minimum” (pardon the pun). Personally, I carry 2 handguns: a revolver chambered for .454 Casull (for bears) and a pistol chambered for 10mm Automatic (for coywolves and 2 legged varmints). If surprised, you will likely get off only one shot; it had better be enough.

  10. On October 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm, =TW= said:

    RNFP .45ACP ammo is another option. I have cooked up some moderate loads using Oregon Trail 200 gr .45 LC pills and a reasonable dose of W231 that are accurate and reliable in all my 1911s. Recoil and POI about the same as 230 gr hardball.
    I find Fiocchi 230 gr FMJ, rated at 875 FPS, is a bit snappier.
    Also worth mentioning is Speer Lawman 200 gr FMJRNFP. This +P load is rated at 975 FPS and might be a good all-around choice for those who prefer non-expanding ammo.

  11. On October 7, 2018 at 2:51 pm, Ray said:

    Well I live in Kentucky. We do have both Black Bears and Mountain lions. (in march A lion was killed in the subdivision less than two miles away). But I have grown up hear and spent most of my life in the woods. I will testify that big predator encounters are “once or twice in a lifetime” as we have had only about 20 Black bears(150 pound average around hear) and about the same number of cats killed or FORD (Found On The Road Dead). Over the last decade. I have never felt under armed with my .45ACP or my .45 LC. Now that makes me no kind of expert of western big nasty’s. I would probably feel much different if the predator coming for me was the size of a Black Angus bull instead of the size of a coon dog. But really, in my neck o the wood feral dog packs and rabid Coyotes are a much greater problem than LT&B OH MY!

  12. On October 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm, Matt said:

    An article on where a .45 ACP is used to stop a 450 lb brown bear that was breaking into a house.

    https://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/alaskan-bear-vs-hi-point-pistol-alaska/

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You are currently reading ".45 ACP For Predator Protection", entry #20083 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Ammunition and was published October 4th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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