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Old April 1, 2010, 01:20 PM   #26
Art Eatman
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I sure am glad that only one or two THR folks have ever had adrenaline get in the way of sound judgement in every exciting situation in which they found themselves.

I watched a guy empty his 94 thutty-thuitty at a deer, one time. One problem: He never pulled the trigger. Worse than that, he wouldn't believe it when I explained why the deer never fell--until he looked on the ground.

That makes me sorta tolerant when I run across stories where the main theme is "Oops!"
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Old April 1, 2010, 03:03 PM   #27
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Mausermolt, you really need to do a better job writing because from from what you've written, nowhere does it say that before you began shooting at it, that you knew the animal was already wounded. If you give that same story to the authorities you could get in serious trouble. It doesn't matter if the animal is already wounded. You need to take good shots. Shooting an already wounded elk with more poorly placed shots doesn't do anybody any good. Just because an animal is already wounded doesn't give you the right to engage in behavior like that. I highly doubt the meat was even edible at the point in time. You can get in trouble for that as well.

You aren't doing an animal a favor by shooting it in the guts and breaking its leg. Get over yourself. From what I'm gathering you didn't know that it was already wounded until you finally caught up with it. You and your brother participated in very unethical hunting behavior. Case closed.

Use better judgement next time or you could end up behind bars maybe for accidentally killing another hunter. I'm dead serious about that. You dont' start spraying rounds all over the woods to bring down an elk. You only take a shot if you know you can get a good shot off and if the shot is likely to stop the animal right there. You only fire a repeat shot if you know you can get off a well placed shot. If you can't fire a repeat shot, gather yourself for a minute and then start tracking the animal. You don't just hop out of a vehicle and start spraying bullets all over the place. You need to observe the animal and area first to make sure that you can get a good shot off and also understand what is behind the animal.

The silly thing is. If the Elk had only been shot in the hoof by the previous hunters there is a very good chance it would have survived that wound. You are all over the board Mausermolt. You engaged in senseless hunting behavior and justifty by the fact that the animal was previously wounded. You didn't know it when you started shooting. At least from what you've written.

Last edited by cje1980; April 1, 2010 at 03:32 PM.
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Old April 1, 2010, 03:21 PM   #28
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Brandy, first of all Mauser was shooting a standard 230gr HP, not a hot handload. Second, I've never heard anybody talk about the 45 ACP as an adequate elk caliber. Even deer is a stretch but its been done. I would consider 45 ACP marginal at best for deer. But Elk with a 45 ACP? You can't be serious. We're talking about Elk here. Not a Whitetail. An Elk dude. To me the minimum for Elk with a handgun is 44 Magnum.

The hottest that I know a 45 ACP can be loaded is to about 500-550 ft/lbs of energy. That simply isn't anywhere near adequate for Elk. The 30-30 is considered a marginal loading for Elk and even that has more energy than any 45ACP +P loading in existence even out to 300 yards. As a newbie you might want to be a little more guarded. Saying a hot 45 ACP load is an adequate Elk loading is highly irresponsible. Semi-auto handguns are poor choices for hunting firearms. They simply can't cycle and feed ammunition with proper bullet construction for hunting. 45 LC loaded hot is enough for big game but the 45 ACP. No no no.
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Old April 1, 2010, 06:25 PM   #29
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While I was guiding for deer and elk I tried many handgun bullets in recently dead animals. Most were broadside lung shots. This was to test in real life test medium. This was in the 1980's and hadgun bullets werent as good as modern bullets. Most didnt expand. A friend recently shot a mountain lion with a 44 Special using Speer Gold Dot bullets. The bullet was recovered and didnt expand at all, in fact if not for the rifling marks it could be be loaded and shot again.
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Old April 1, 2010, 09:22 PM   #30
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A 44/45 caliber hole through both lungs of any deer or elk will kill it. The advantage of a big hardcast slug is that it penetrates and will also break major bones.
I shot this elk at 250 yards with a 400 Whelen using a 350 gr Barnes old X. It took out both lungs and only made a .411 hole through them as it was going about handgun speed at that range. He walked in a small circle, bedded and was dead by the time we bushwhacked over to him.

Had it been 40 yards with a 300 gr hardcast from my 44 Magnum, I believe the results would have been the same.

I will admit good tracking skills are required if the animal takes off. Growing up as a bowhunter and deerslug hunter back East, you had to have those skills.
Of course if you shot that deer or elk through both shoulders, there would be no tracking.

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Old April 1, 2010, 10:00 PM   #31
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Brandy, there is a HUGE difference between a 400 Whelen or 44 Magnum and a 45 ACP. They are night and day. The only way you will get a 45 ACP to reliably penetrate through both lungs of an ELK is to use FMJ, which will leave a marginal wound. Round nose bullets that don't expand don't cause much damage. Muscle tissue stretches around the wound and almost completely closes back up. Semi-auto handgun rounds simply don't shoot projectiles that are appropriate for Elk.

Did you miss that Mauser is using a 1911? Good luck getting a HC bullet with a nice big flat meplat to load through a semi-auto. Some SWCs will work in a 1911 but they usually have more of a rounded profile. I said it in my post. The minimum for Elk in handguns is 44 Magnum. I have no doubt the 44 Magnum or 45 LC can kill an Elk. We are talking about a 45 ACP here. Not a Magnum revolver cartridge. Just because they are similar in caliber does not make them the same. The 45 ACP launches a 230 gr bullet with diminutive sectional density at a paultry 850-950fps. That simply isn't enough to get the job done. I'm saying a 45ACP semi-auto has no place as a hunting firearm. Unless you are plinking and going after small game.

The only 45 ACP load that I can think would be somewhat effective on Big Game would be Buffalo Bore's 45 ACP +p 255 gr SWC load. It is rated at about 960fps. That would be about the minimum that I would use on an Elk in an emergency. I think somebody would have to be completely nuts to actually purposely hunt Elk with a 45 ACP semi-auto pistol.

We aren't just talking about killing an Elk. We are talking about killing one quickly and humanely. A 9mm pistol will kill an Elk. The question is when and where? Probably many hours after the shot and a couple miles away from where it was shot.
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Old April 1, 2010, 10:17 PM   #32
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From the OP:

"i got a small Cow down after 2 rnds from the '06 at about 200 yds." He later explained that this was with hunting bullets, not GI Ball.

"...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...first two i missed 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."

I grant that this was not the easiest post to parse that I've ever seen. However, I don't quite understand all the fussing and snark.

Seems to me that the .45ACP performed admirably in this rather unusual circumstance. The reason for the use of it looks like a logical decision at the time.

More: The brother is the one who wounded the elk. It turned out that the elk had been previously wounded, which is irrelevant to this thread. So the result is the prevention of escape of a wounded elk, and yet people are griping at the guy who did the proper thing?

All of that is separate from the OP question about the actual suitability of the .45ACP in more normal circumstances of hunting elk. I think it's reasonable to say, "No, don't do that."
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Old April 1, 2010, 11:38 PM   #33
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Art

Thanks for clarifying the entire thread. I agree, it seems reasonable to me - though I've never hunted for elk. Hope that will change this year, but . . . . .

Quote:
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
Daryll

I take one shot. I only take a second quick shot if I am shooting another animal. Otherwise, if I take a second shot on an animal (whitetail deer) it is just to put down an animal that is struggling or that I had a bad initial hit on. But I wouldn't take that right away - any animal that you placed a poor shot on will be spooked and moving too much to hit with a well placed shot. Need to wait and track it.

Brandy, thats an impressive looking animal.

Check out this awesome 7x7 Bull Elk that I saw today in a congressional office here in DC. Congressman shot it a couple of years ago and just recently got the mount back. Took them a few days to actually get it in his office. It was shot in Lincoln County, Nevada right on the Utah border.

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Old April 1, 2010, 11:57 PM   #34
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Art Eatman: thank you for your previous comment. you are correct i was not INTENTIONALLY shooting elk with a 45ACP. it was just a split second decision that i made. and as i have read, 45acp is not a ideal cartridge to be using against elk. if i had a choice i would pack a 44 mag, but i dont have access to one so i make do. if the cow would have been any more than 15 yds from me i probably would have taken the time to get my M1 off my shoulder. thanks all for your posts i think i am done with this one. nice pics by the way wish i could find one of those around here!
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Old April 2, 2010, 12:09 AM   #35
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Art Eatman...

You didn't grow up or hunt in East Tennessee during the 70s did you?

Quote:
I watched a guy empty his 94 thutty-thuitty at a deer, one time. One problem: He never pulled the trigger. Worse than that, he wouldn't believe it when I explained why the deer never fell--until he looked on the ground.
I had a friend who did the exact same thing (verbatim). When buck fever sets in, things like this just happen (more than you would think).

For the OP: Always approach downed game with your rifle (un-slung) such that it can be brought into play quickly if necessary. If the elk is down and can’t get up, but still alive, then I could see using a handgun for a coup de grace.

However, I do like handgun hunting with the appropriate handgun.
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Old April 2, 2010, 10:03 AM   #36
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In the 1970s I was messing around Austin and central Texas. As folks slid down the banister of life, I enjoyed being the razor blade in their career. I don't know if I've ever grown up, but I was born in 1934.
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Old April 2, 2010, 10:52 AM   #37
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Quote:
I sure am glad that only one or two THR folks have ever had adrenaline get in the way of sound judgement in every exciting situation in which they found themselves.

I watched a guy empty his 94 thutty-thuitty at a deer, one time. One problem: He never pulled the trigger. Worse than that, he wouldn't believe it when I explained why the deer never fell--until he looked on the ground.

That makes me sorta tolerant when I run across stories where the main theme is "Oops!"
I had a buddy do just the opposite. He pulled back the hammer, fired the first round (in his excitement, he missed), then pulled back the hammer repeatedly, and dropped it on the empty case.

He couldn't figure out why his rifle wouldn't fire, and didn't believe me 'till he tried to reload it.

The magazine was full.

He did learn from the experience, though.

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Old April 3, 2010, 10:58 PM   #38
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45 auto +P

Anyone who thinks a 45 ACP +P at 40 yards and under is a popgun should buy a copy of the last Handloader and read about the hot 45 ACP ammo. There were several loads in there like the 230 gr Black Hills HP that would punch through an Elks chest cavity AND expand like a hot knife through butter. The myth of the bullet proof Elk is getting far too much press.
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Old April 4, 2010, 02:47 AM   #39
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"...what bullet would you suggest..." What bullet/ammo did you use out of the M1? Milsurp ball? Ever sight in? There's no need for a 'back up' pistol of any kind when you have a rifle. Leave the .45 at home. You had a rifle that you should have been ready to shoot. By your own admission, you don't have the skills required to be using any handgun in the first place.
"...Anyone who thinks..." If you have the skill to shoot it and if 230 gr Black Hills HP is used. Doesn't have to be +p. The OP clearly didn't have either the skill or the right ammo. Mind you, I suspect we're dealing with a troll.
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Old April 4, 2010, 08:21 AM   #40
Art Eatman
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T. O'Heir, you really oughta go back through and read all the thread. You'll find which sort of bullet was used.

Carrying a pistol along on a hunt is not all that uncommon. For some, the primary intent can be either a coup de grace or possibly small game such as hare or ptarmigan. For others, it's the utility in the event of problems from two-legged predators.

While it's easy to do the armchair criticizing of such as the OP having slung his rifle, the reasons were quite obvious...
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Old April 4, 2010, 10:10 AM   #41
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OP had a situation that he resolved with the equipment he had at hand. Some of us are missing that point. Shot placement is critical on big critters but stuff happens, he knows that and he was brutally honest about it. We all realize that his rifle was better suited to the task of a finishing shot and that there are better handguns for the task as well. I've toted a .45ACP on many hunting trips but I know my Blackhawk in .45 Colt hits a lot harder and penetrates better. If I think I'll actually need a handgun to finish off a big critter I'll leave the ACP in the case and strap on the Ruger. Not my first choice for encounters with two legged varmints but I suspect it'll do just fine in that unlikely event.
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Old April 4, 2010, 08:39 PM   #42
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Quote:
Anyone who thinks a 45 ACP +P at 40 yards and under is a popgun
Also to the original post, does anyone want to talk about the legality of this. It is illegal here(Wyo) to dispatch an animal w/ anything other than a legal hunting caliber. FWIW
I understand the OP's snap decision w/ the .45, I probably would have done the same. I doubt I would have been carrying it though.
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Old April 5, 2010, 01:04 AM   #43
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WY rules

While I agree on what our WY statute says (as silly as it is) the idea that a 45 ACP or 45 Colt will not dispatch an Elk at 50 yards or less is just silly. A .452-.454 hole through both lungs of an Elk is just as deadly as a Muzzy broadhead at the same range. I carry my S&W 329 44 magnum with 300 gr hardcasts all the time when fishing the back country where Mr. Griz. lives.
Not sure if I'm "legal" but figure that anything that will penetrate a mature steer, when shot between the eyes, and end up way down the neck, would put a hurt on anything tromping around the Winds, Upper Green or WY range.
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Old April 5, 2010, 06:12 AM   #44
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Brandy,
You are absolutely legal w/ your 44mag. In fact I believe it to be the preferred handgun cartridge for big game in Wyo at least.
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Old April 5, 2010, 11:59 AM   #45
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Of course shooting Mr. Griz or Mr. Wolf is illegal anyway unless they are chewing on you. "shoot, shovel, shutup."
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Old April 5, 2010, 12:10 PM   #46
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Just finished Elmer Keith's "Hell, I Was There." He swore off the 30/06 for elk.
Preferred bigger!

I've taken deer and pigs with handguns but not the 45 ACP. Kinda thinking about working up some loads using 300 (or 300+) grain Beartooth bullets for a 44 mag, just to use hunting.

Sometimes animals just don't want to die no matter what they're shot with!
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Old April 5, 2010, 12:34 PM   #47
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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.
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Old April 5, 2010, 12:41 PM   #48
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I killed a cow elk with a Super Blackhawk once.I used a 240 gr jacketed expanding bullet.I forgot which bullet.Could have been one of the Remington JSP's.
It was a neck shot that ht the spine.DRT,no problem.Post mortem showwed the slug broke up and stopped in the spine.Maybe 2/3 neck penetration,then lead cornflakes.
I came to the conclusion,had that been a shoulder shot,penetration would have been inadequate,and an elk running on 3 would have escaped.A hard cast kieth or a Nosler partition would penetrate better,but I would use restraint shooting elk with a handgun.Finishing off the wounded and all,you did OK,but I wont try a .44 Mag on elk again.
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Old April 5, 2010, 09:23 PM   #49
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I'm done with the debate. I know that a Black Hills 230 gr +P would sail right thru any Elk's chest cavity at 40 yards or less on a broadside shot. I actually read the article I referenced early on in this thread. If you have not...do and buy some ballistic gel tubes to try them out.
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Old April 6, 2010, 12:39 AM   #50
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I didn't read an article I shot an elk with a .44 and got about 5 to 6 inches of penetration with an expanding bullet.To quote Elmer,"Hell,I was there"No doubt with a hard bullet more penetration will result.At least sometimes,an elk hit through the lungs with a low velocity hard bullet will go a long way.
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