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ND allows .45 ACP for deer hunting - is it enough gun?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Nickotym, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Nickotym

    Nickotym BillofNeeds?NO!

    Nov 19, 2002
    The Land of the Free?
    ND changed its laws in the last couple of years to allow handguns with 4" barrel and larger than .35 caliber:

    What is the general consensus, will .45 ACP firing 230 grain Winchester SXT hollowpoints put a deer down? I have a .357 I use, but would like to use my .45 for deer too if it will do the job. This is assuming a closer shot put in a good kill zone on the deer, not a marginal shot.

    One reason I ask is that this law change allows .38 special and 9mm as well. These cartridges are generally considered on the anemic side for deer. Heck the law would even allow .380 going by the letter of the law! They used to have length limits on the cartridge case which would not allow .38 special and lower or .45ACP or .40 S&W.
  2. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    I want to becareful how I answer you here...

    Yes. You can hunt deer with a 45acp. Yes if you do your part, and use the right ammo, you can kill your deer. But, I reccomend you stay with your 357mag, (since you own one i think you said), and personally, Iwould reccomend something a tad larger than that. E.G. 44mag 45LC.

    If you just "must" do this. Try and use #1 A hard cast bullet, or # 2 a 230gr XTP at least, and stay as much under 50 yds as you can.

    If you reload. Look at the offering that Beartooth Bullets has for a 45acp. This bullet, I can tell you does go through deer at 50 yds (proper placement), with the 45acp.

    Again, no offence. If you are not normally a handgun hunter, on this size game, I would either go to the 44, or use the ammo I suggested above if you "just got to go with the 45acp." MO. ;)


  3. Nickotym

    Nickotym BillofNeeds?NO!

    Nov 19, 2002
    The Land of the Free?
    Thanks for the advice. I may have to work up a load over the winter for next years use.

    Don't own a .44 magnum or .45 LC yet.
  4. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Your welcome. If you can get the BT bullet I mentioned (best for waht your doing IMO), or at least a 230gr XTP, stay under 50 yds, classic lunger. You will be fine. (should be fine.). ;) There are just better choices thats all.

    Good luck to ya man


  5. You should be good for a deer, if you keep your distance short and pick your shots. ;)
  6. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    I'll go ahead and +1 the fine advice already given.

    My brother popped a large-ish doe in Michigan several years ago, using a Colt Commander and a heavy hollowpoint. As I recall, it was under 30 yards, perfect lung/top-of-the-heart placement, in-and-out with no expansion evident from the exit wound, and the critter piled-up within 100 yards. As he could see the spot where it ended up, he just sat quietly for 10-15 minutes, and no finisher was needed when he went to collect it.
  7. It's been a while since I looked it all up in a ballistics table and I don't have the time to start over again this morning.

    The longest shot I've taken on a deer was 111 yards, it was with a .44 magnum handgun, the deer was a fairly large doe, she ran about 20 yards after being hit.

    The 240 gr .44 magnum at 100 yards has slowed down to the point where it is pretty close to the 230 gr .45 ACP at the muzzle. The .45 ACP only loses about 50 fps from the muzzle to 50 yards.

    If you keep your shots to bow hunting range, say 30 yards or so, the .45 ACP should work just as well as the .44 mag did for me at 111 yards.
  8. Nickotym

    Nickotym BillofNeeds?NO!

    Nov 19, 2002
    The Land of the Free?
    Thanks for the advice VAfish, gotta get me a .44 mag someday too.
  9. 357glocker


    Oct 28, 2002
    No personal advice from the 45acp and deer but I would say keep the shot close and be very comfortable with the shot. Not sure how much of a blood trail would be left to follow if you have to track through some thicker cover, especially if the round does not pass through.

    On a side note about the regs you showed, I'm surprised that technically a single shot handi rifle in 500SW mag would not be legal to hunt with!
  10. QNman

    QNman resU deretsigeR Silver Member

    Oct 5, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    All good advice given, but I'll put in my 2c anyway...

    I shot a doe at 40 yds a few years ago with a 44 mag... a perfect shot through the heart and both lungs. She dropped in her tracks.

    I contemplated long and hard which handgun to hunt with. At the time I did not own anything larger than a .45 ACP or a .357 mag. My choice was to get a .44 mag. I think the .357 would have done it, as would the .45, but wanted a little more horsepower to make a fast, clean kill.

    Personally, other than my .44M, I'd consider using a 10mm, but wouldn't go smaller.
  11. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Jeff Cooper whacked at least one deer with a .45 IIRC.

    Would I? Probably not (never hunted a deer anyways yet)....but at close range, it would certainly do the trick I think.
  12. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule Senior Member

    Dec 1, 2001
    Spring, TX.
    45ACP will kill a deer as sure as a 30-06 at short range. I used my G36 to shoot a doe at about 15-20 yards years ago and it did the job fine. Doe move about 10 yards and fell dead.

    If you really think about it, bow hunters use a much more inadequate weapon to hunt with and succeed on a regular basis.
  13. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    The smallest bullet I ever shot a deer with was .22 cal and 55 grains. 2 bullets killed 2 deer. I figure a .45 will do it at udner 50 yards. The problems is more the acccuracy of the gun/shooter than the power of the round. Anything that will kill a man will kill a deeer.