Brandy, again there is a HUGE difference between a 44 Mag and a 45 ACP. The guy is shooting a 1911. He can't use hot hard cast loads with huge meplats. There is no point in even bringing up the 44 Mag. Its an entirely different animal than the 45 ACP. The 45 ACP simply can't fire bullets of the same sectional density, same velocity and bullet construction of the 44 Mag. The only loading in the 45 ACP that could be counted on to reliably penetrate both lungs of an Elk would be FMJ. But as has been proven by autopsies, FMJ is very poor at wounding. Its rounded profile simply pushes through muscle tissue and the muscle tissue nearly closes back up leaving a very marginal wound. Muscle tissue is very elastic. You either need a high velocity expanding bullet from a rifle or a large blunt nose bullet from a high power handgun.
Sure a 45 ACP will take down an Elk. It just won't take it down very quickly. Heck a 9mm will take down an Elk eventually but that's not the point. The only way a 45 ACP should be used on an Elk is a head shot on an animal that is still alive when the hunter approaches. Again, Brandy we aren't talking about a 44 Mag here. Just because they are similar in caliber doesn't make them the same. If pistol calibers were so effective on Big Game then why do any of us bother with long guns? Please don't bring up a 44 Mag on this thread again. It isn't relevant to this conversation. The 44 Mag can be loaded to 2-3x more power than the 45 ACP and was designed specifically as a hunting cartridge. It uses bullets much more appropriate for taking down Big Game than the 45 ACP. I said previously that to me the minimum for Elk with a handgun is the 44 Magnum. The 45 ACP isn't the same as the 45 ACP.