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Old March 30, 2010, 10:33 PM   #1
Mausermolt
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45 auto VS Cow Elk

this past year i went on my first Elk hunt with my new M1 Garand here in eastern Oregon. so fitting as it was i strapped my good ol' 1911 to my side as a backup pistol. long story short i got a small Cow down after 2 rnds from the '06 at about 200 yds. so i walked across the canyon were she laid and about 15yds from her she jumps up and trys to take off! with my M1 slung in a backpacking stile i decided to give my 45 a go on her. POP! POP! POP! .......POP! first two i missed (winded from the hike accross the canyon and... Elk fever i was shaky ok? ) the third shot knocked her over. i found the third lodged in her lung wile gutting her. and the fourth for insurance one to the head because she was still kicking a little bit. now...the bullet was a 230GRN Speer Gold Dot. i know those are meant for personal defense, BUT the darn thing didnt even expand! one "petal" bent over a little bit and that was it. now the shot was a left quartering to the flank hitting the last rib and as i mentioned previously lodged in her lungs. so give me some ideas on why the bullet did not expand as it should have. i would post some pictures but my camera crapped out a wile ago. and what bullet would you suggest i use from now on in a hunting situation as this? thanks all for your imput
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Old March 31, 2010, 09:06 AM   #2
Daryl
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It didn't expand because it didn't have enough velocity when it hit the elk.

That's the simple version.

It's not uncommon for handgun ammo to not expand. Yes, even good quality hollow points. It's especially true for lower velocity cartridges like the .45 ACP.

This is the primary reason why most experienced handgun hunters tend to see their chosen firearm as a long range punch press. Rather than relying on expansion like one would with a high velocity rifle cartridge, they use a heavy-for-caliber bullet with a big, wide, flat meplat to make a bigger permanant wound channel. For this purpose, plain ol' lead bullets work about as well as anything, and are better than most.

Some thoughts for consideration...

When hunting a critter as large as an elk with a handgun, you really don't want a lot of expansion. Expansion lessens penetration, and you want all the penetration you can get from a low velocity cartridge like the .45 ACP.

To put it bluntly, a .45 ACP is way underpowered for elk. If that's what you're going to use, then you'll need everything in your favor that you can get. What you want is a soft lead, flat nosed SWC/Keith type bullet that will feed reliably in your pistol, with enough weight and velocity for good penetration.

That's probably the best you'll be able to come up with for this purpose.
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Old March 31, 2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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I love the story.

But,..........carrying a M1 and 1911 hunting, you should have did a bit of pre-planning, After engaging a target with a M1 and 1911, Good soldier would have:

FIXED BAYONETS TO FINISH THE CRITTER OFF.
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Old March 31, 2010, 10:31 AM   #4
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Was your K-Bar (Kill A Bar) knife part of your gear?
Where did you hit it with the '06 rounds? They weren't M2 Ball were they?
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Old March 31, 2010, 11:13 AM   #5
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+1 Daryl

Couldn't have said it better. My 45 is a LC Ruger Bisley with 275LFN @1050.
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Old March 31, 2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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+1
What kind of load were you running in your M1?

I bought some 165 Hornady SST's to load up and some Sierra Game King HP's to see how they cycle.
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Old March 31, 2010, 11:39 AM   #7
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lol GOD NO! first off hunting with ball ammo is reckless and stupid. second its illegal in Oregon. i was using 165grn nosler accubonds that i handloaded
supose i ought to fill in the the rest of the story now.....ahem ahem.... twas a sunny afternoon in the high desert of eastern oregon.......

my brother and i were driving around the back country trying to get a hunt set up for the afternoon, we had just come out of a verry thick patch of brush that came out right next to a canyon. looking to my right i thought i saw something that looked like and elk butt acrross the canyon. so we stopped and bailled out of the rig looking through my binoculars i saw that it was just a stump. darn....one more look just because....just barley sticking out of a tree RIGHT NEXT TO THE STUMP and elk ear flickers! THERES ONE! i popped a clip in the old war horse and began sneaking around to get a better angle on her....bout that time i heard the KKAAAABBBOOOOMMM!!!! of the 300mag. the cow jumps up and takes off at a limp. i emptied the M1 and there she lay on the ground.
when i first saw the elk she was laying under a tree as we drove by in my brothers Doge with a flowmaster muffler (not a quiet truck). any smart elk would have jump up and ran off before we would have ever known she was there. THIS cow had been wounded! she was shot in the foot.....er um hoof ..... by previous hunters and left for dead by her heard
the wound had to have been at least 2 weeks old because it was nasty smelly! my brother got the first shot on her with his 300mag ....broke her leg. then i got a solid lung shot and a gut shot. .....and missed the rest. if anyone has ever tryed hunting elk with an M1.....after about 150 yds or so the front post covers up about half the elk

and no didnt have my k-bar or my bayo with me....just to much weight. gonna try that one on hog hunting this year!

anyway, what im getting from the first reply is 45ACP is too small for elk? and you said the bullet wasnt going fast enough.....arent these bullets (gold dots) designed for personal defense and are supposed to reliably expand through just about anything? how fast should they be going to get good expansion? i have them chronoed at just over 800FPS i loaded them with 5.4 grns of WIN231 win case and a WLP. 230grn bullet. any other takers on why they didnt expand?
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Old March 31, 2010, 12:23 PM   #8
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I shot a whitetail buck with my 1911 and two 230 grain Federal Hydrashoks. The distance was about 10 yards, the situation much like you described wherein I had to track the buck into a thicket after he had been shot in the lower leg. One round went through the abdomen, liver and stomach both were wrecked and the round went through and through. The other round hit a rib on the near side, shredded the lungs and lodged in the off shoulder just under the skin. It was recovered, opened up and deformed, not a "classic mushroom" but very much deformed. The buck took about two steps after being hit and fell down and died.
I would be interested in hearing the distance to your cow elk. If over 20 yards the velocity might have bled off sufficient to prevent reliable expansion. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if the hair plugged the cavity to further prevent expansion.
Given my situation I'm comfortable with my actions, but I don't think a .45 ACP would be appropriate for deer beyond that scenario, and I sure wouldn't think it would be on an elk at all.
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Old March 31, 2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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Sounds to me like there's a lot of Oregon elk hunters that need to spend more time practicing their shooting skills from field positions. An elk is a fair sized target at 200 yards.

Not to criticize, but wow. Shot in the hoof, a broken leg, gut shot, then finally a shot through the chest. Several misses with a rifle, and then two more misses with a .45 ACP?

I can't help but wonder if the meat is edible?

Seriously, I mean no disrespect, and I congratulate you for your successful hunt. I hope you're wise enough to realize the mistakes made though, and that you can learn from the experience and work toward perfecting the skills you used.



Daryl

Last edited by Daryl; March 31, 2010 at 01:13 PM.
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Old March 31, 2010, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Couldn't have said it better. My 45 is a LC Ruger Bisley with 275LFN @1050.
Sounds like a good choice! The .45 Colt is one of my all time favorite cartridges.

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Old March 31, 2010, 01:42 PM   #11
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Just Dos Centavos from an old dinosaur who knows hitting a critter in the woods, mountains, corn field, or mountains isn't the same as hitting that target on the range. As mentioned in previous posts penetration is better than expansion and why I won't use HP hunting bullets. Pistol or revolver my hunting and SD bullets are LSWC Kieth style bullets. I think you are lucky that your 45 bullets didn't expand and they were able to go in and do some damage.

Also personal opinion I understand from the nostalgic point why you carried the 45 with the M1 and I would have been tempted, (in fact I did that very thing in the mountains of New Mexico in the 70's but I was after deer not Elk), but a larger more powerful round like something in the 41/44 mag class would have been minimum for me if you can shoot them or 357 if they are a bit much. A good hit with a 180 SJFP 357 magnum bullet beats the heck out of a hit with the 45 or a miss with the 44 mag.
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Old March 31, 2010, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Sounds to me like there's a lot of Oregon elk hunters that need to spend more time practicing their shooting skills
Come on, don't paint us all with the same brush!

Much of this thread is embarrassing at best, make me want to :barf: at worse...

Why would you put this on the internet for the world to see?
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Old March 31, 2010, 03:24 PM   #13
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I was wondering the same thing. Why on Earth would somebody tell the whole world that he engaged in such irresponsible hunting behavior. Mausermolt, you track the wounded animal, you don't empty the magazine of a firearm intended for self defense. A 45 ACP is a pathetic choice for dispatching an Elk. Why even bother bringing it? If you are going to bring a backup firearm in the form of a pistol it should be at the minimum a 357 Magnum revolver. Only Magnum revolver rounds have the sectional density and velocity needed to dispatch large animals. The 45 LC if loaded hot would be a nice choise as well. Semi-auto rounds, other than maybe the 10mm just don't have the punch to do anything to large size animals. You actually don't want a 45ACP to expand in an elk. If it performed the way it should in self defense applications it wouldn't penetrate even 1/3 of the way into an Elk. Think man. Think. A 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol just doesn't have any place in the woods, other than defense from humans or maybe mountain lions.

I really don't think it would have taken you that much longer to get your M1 into action than your pistol. It would have been a much smarter choice. All firing a bunch of pistol rounds did was scare the thing off and make it harder to hit. You should have simply grabbed your M1 and taken a good shot or two. Its nice and nostalgic to use two combat proven weapons as hunting firearms but if you can't do your part to put the bullets in the right place, please look into using more appropriate hunting firearms next time. Spraying pistol rounds all over the woods is very unsafe to other hunters in the area.
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Old March 31, 2010, 05:28 PM   #14
Daryl
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Quote:
Quote:
Sounds to me like there's a lot of Oregon elk hunters that need to spend more time practicing their shooting skills
Come on, don't paint us all with the same brush!
Please note that I didn't say "all". There seems to be a lot of hunters in Arizona with the same issues.

When I was younger, I'd count the shots. 1 shot meant someone got an animal. Two shots meant maybe someone got an animal. More than two meant no animal.

It's not that way any more. Not even close. I was deer hunting last November, and I never once heard only one shot. Usually it was 5-6, and once I think I heard 8.

It's sad.

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Old March 31, 2010, 05:47 PM   #15
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I'm also disappointed by this story.

Please learn from the experience.

The front sight post on your M1 Garand is approximately 8-10MOA... it depends on your eye relief from it and how much glare or how bright it is.

It should be approximately equal to the width of a man's chest at 200 yards (20 inches).

That's about 1/3 the horizontal width of an elk.

I'd hope that from field positions, you can muster an 8MOA shot. That will go into a 16" circle at 200 yards. While your optimal kill zone on an elk is a bit smaller than that... 8MOA should do it out to 150 yards as you describe (which would be 12" in diameter at 150 yards).

I understand that you were putting down a sick and abandoned animal... but you had plenty of time to put it down properly with a competent shot.

I hunt with an M14.

But... If I heard a Garand get emptied in the woods where I am hunting, I'm packing up and calling it a day. Just because it's an autoloader doesn't give you license to send bad shots out.
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Old March 31, 2010, 06:15 PM   #16
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Aside from the incredibly poor judgement and hunting ethics displayed, isn't it illegal (in multiple ways) for two guys to just hop out of a truck and both start blasting at the same animal? Reported.
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Old March 31, 2010, 07:03 PM   #17
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Nice to know there are a few folks see the dismal results of inadequate everything.ROAD HUNTERS SUCK:barf:
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Old March 31, 2010, 08:42 PM   #18
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My apologies to the OP. I offered a bit of what I saw as constructive advice, and tried to do it without being judgemental.

I've always felt that once a thread has been reduced to insulting comments, it's pretty much done.

We all make mistakes; I hope we can each learn from then without judging others too harshly.

I'm outta this one.

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Old March 31, 2010, 09:44 PM   #19
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holy cow...(no pun intended). i think sombody has taken a few things out of context.
1. the animal had been previously wounded by SOMEONE ELSE. i was doing her a favor

2. the Cow was just a yearling, couldnt have weighed more than 250 lbs on the hoof. and that is why she was a difficult target. SHE WAS TINY AND WHITHRED. plus this was before i put a new barrel on the M1, best group i could make at a bench was about 4'' thats why i was using the M1 as my brush beating gun. figured i wasnt going to have to make any shots past 50yds thats why i took her brush beatin'

3. i wasnt road hunting, i was in the pickup riding along (dirt road by the way) to go make a hunt in the brush when i saw her.

4. i was much more than 50ft from the road when i did any of my shooting. so therefore that is perfectly legal

5. yes my brother did make a poor shot when he hit her leg. who dosent? i cant say i have made perfect shots my entire life on every animal ive ever killed.

6. yeah 2 guys shooting at the same animal is illegal. no excuse for that except for i hunt for two reasons: its the funnest thing in the world to do.AND my freezer was empty, elk meat is very lean and healthy, i had an elk tag, and i cannot afford to buy substantial amounts of beef. an elk will usually last me all year if i ration it.

7. thank you for the advise on the 45acp question. my main intention on bringing it was for defense against a big cat. like i said before i dont have funds to buy a 44 mag revolver or 357. now someone is going to say ..."you have a M1 garand but not enough money for a new revolver?' my answer: currently out of a job, trying to pay my way in school, and feed myself and pay rent...new pistol dosent really fit into my budget. ive had the M1 for a couple years (bought it when i had money)

hopefully that clarifies a few things. thanks to all that gave advise and for those of which just found my story offensive, sorry. i should have listened more in English class when they were talking about how to writ a story.
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Old March 31, 2010, 10:44 PM   #20
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OPs more of a man than I am, theres no way I'd ever convince myself to luck a heavy ass M1 around through nasty brush to elk hunt.
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Old April 1, 2010, 12:12 AM   #21
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Seems we overlooked that an M-1 is a 30-06 and will kill any Elk walking the earth. Even with the sight handicap and my ancient eyes my M-1 NM will easily hold 9" @300 yards with soft point handloads. As for the 45 ACP, with proper handloads and broadside shots, it too would take an Elk with a lung/heart shot at 50 yards or less.
Neither would be my first choice to lug around but this appears to be a problem with the "nut behind the bolt" rather than the weapons.
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Old April 1, 2010, 10:04 AM   #22
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But gentlemen, my question still dangles... What bullet do you load, what kind of tip?

Brandy, does your soft points chamber correctly each and every time? Are you folks using one of those Schuester type adjustable gas plugs?
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Old April 1, 2010, 11:15 AM   #23
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So my answer to the original question regarding what .45 ammo to carry in that situation is none. You are carrying a 30-06. Just don't sling it on your back when approaching a downed animal.

I carry a .45 when hunting as well, but it is strictly a security blanket that gives me false hope that somehow I will be able to get the mountain lion off the back of my skull before I go black....

I will now digress to judgemental or preachy, so feel free to skip.

Quote:
1. the animal had been previously wounded by SOMEONE ELSE. i was doing her a favor
You did not know that when the shooting started - so when you shoot her, it was not some act of mercy. That would be revising history by adding information gained after the fact to explain an action taken.

Quote:
figured i wasnt going to have to make any shots past 50yds thats why i took her brush beatin'
If your personal limit on that gun was 50 yds, then why were you shooting at an animal
Quote:
at about 200 yds
. I can hit a pie plate sometimes with my hunting pistol (.460 SW) at 200 yds. I can hit a pie plate EVERYTIME at 100 yds. My hunting limit is therefor 100yds.

Quote:
4. i was much more than 50ft from the road when i did any of my shooting. so therefore that is perfectly legal
Actually, there is no magic distance you must be from a road in Oregon. That is one of the questions that Dads often ask the State Police officer in our hunter ed classes.

Quote:
yeah 2 guys shooting at the same animal is illegal. no excuse for that except for...
Should have stopped that sentence after "that". Illegal is illegal. Just think about how far an excuse would go with a Judge.

Actually, I am not certain that would be illegal if both hunters had valid, unfilled tags - going to have to research that one....
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Old April 1, 2010, 11:37 AM   #24
Mausermolt
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10-96: you might have missed it in one of my previous posts i load a 165grn nosler accubond for the '06 the 45acp was a 230 grn speer gold dot
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Old April 1, 2010, 12:07 PM   #25
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A .45 acp is too small for elk unless you're very very close. As was mentioned above a swc would be a better choice than hollow point.

If I may suggest, in the future you should carry your rifle as you approach the animal in case this thing happens. It's generally a better idea to have your rifle ready in case the deer or elk pops up and starts running.
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