Retired Screen Name
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Let's see---Shooting deer with the .45 ACP.
I've done it a few times, mostly in the Texas Hill Country within 60 miles of San Antonio, where a 100-pound buck is quite respectable, and 125 is large. Deer are plentiful, in good years, but seldom get very big except on game ranches.
1. Medium large doe, facing toward me but with head down, feeding. Distance about twelve feet--Not yards. Colt National Match (pre-Gold Cup markings) with the old Super Vel 190 jacketed truncated cone hollow point. Hit her right between the shoulders, in the spine. She went down, literally in her tracks.
2. Large doe, standing broadside, looking to my right. Distance about eight feet. Same pistol. Load was a Sierra 185 gr. Jacketed Hollow Cavity with a stiff, but still published, load of Unique--call it about 1050 fps, but this was before I got a chronograph. High lung shot--too high, really, as the bullet touched the bottom edge of the spine. Tremendous nerve shock--She jerked violently away and her left side hit the ground before her hooves came down.
3. Medium doe, facing directly away from me. Distance about 35 yards. S & W 1955 Target revolver, later called the model 25, 6-1/2 inch barrel. Same load as number 2.
This was a stunt, I have to admit. I aimed carefully for her neck, about half, way between head and back. The thought was: If I hit a little high, I have the back of the head. If a little low, I have the spine. If way low, I slip it between the hams. The load had plenty of penetration to go all the way into the chest cavity.
I was comfortably seated, using a two hand hold over a solid rest. I could SHOOT that old wheel gun. It was sighted for 40 yards, dead on. I was not nervous--I'd shot plenty of deer, several with handguns. So what happened? I blew the shot. She may have taken a small sidestep, or just swayed a bit to her right. I might have glitched slightly on the trigger. Anyhow, the bullet took her right through the left ham, went all the way through, cutting the femoral artery and clipping but not separating the femur. The bullet cut a three or four inch slit along the lower left belly, without puncturing any intestine. It then struck the left foreleg, breaking what would be the humerus in a human, and coming to rest just under the skin on yonder side. She wheeled 90 degrees left and lurched into some brush. I could tell she was hit, but couldn't get another shot off. I found her all bled out, dead, about 50 yards away.
Poorly executed shot, I know, but, hey--how often do you see THREE entry wounds from the same bullet? The impact and bone splinters ruined almost all of the left ham. The recovered 185 JHC weighed, I think, some 140 grains,
4. Medium doe, walking slowly to my left, distance about 40 yards. The old NM and same JHC load. Position similar to number three. I must have stopped my swing, because I hit her too far back. She hunched up and trotted on. I found her, nearly bled out, less than 30 yards up the little game path she was following when shot. I administered the totally unnecessary coup de grace, because I don't like to see any animal suffer. The bullet punched the front end of the liver, effectively shattering that organ.
On one occasion, I used the auto with the Sierra load for insurance on a fair-size Russian/feral domestic hog once. If you shoot directly from the front, with the hog still, with snout pointing downward, the JHP punches nicely through the frontal skull. If the hog is moving at all, another point of aim is safer. The skull is thick and I know of a few cases when a pistol bullet deflected without penetrating. Things could get a bit western.
The above episodes all took place during the 1970s. There are better bullets available now. I've used a few other handgun calibers, too. The old .45 Colt, in long and short barrels, and .357, in a four-inch Colt, mostly. But this string deals with the grand old .45 auto cartridge.
Best regards to all—
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