Paul Harrell: 45 ACP vs Cougars & Bears
Russ Chastain 10.12.18
So you think the 45 ACP is a good choice for defense against large animals? Well, that’s exactly what Paul Harrell takes a look at in this video. Specifically, is the 45 ACP actually up to the task — and if so, what sort of ammo will work best?
We begin by comparing three run-of-the-mill 45 hardball loads over the chronograph… then we move along to a high-falutin’ Remington HTP (High Terminal Performance) load, which is a jacketed hollowpoint — and, naturally, costs a good bit more.
Back to the chrony, we find that the super-duper ammo produces velocities that are… disappointing. Essentially, this costly defense ammo moves more slowly than two out of the three hardball (FMJ) loads that he tested earlier.
Kinda sad, ain’t it?
Whether you agree it’s sad or not, you probably agree that testing expansion is a good idea… and that’s what he does next.
And I think we can all agree that expansion was perfectly satisfactory. And when he repeats the test at longer range, we find the same result: Great hollowpoint expansion, which would likely result in effective game-stopping.
When tested on Harrell’s “patented meat target,” expansion was markedly worse. Hmmm. Doesn’t seem like you should hang your hat on the 45 ACP to properly penetrate and stop big heavy wild critters.
But wait! What about semi-wadcutters? Well, they produce better penetration than the HPs.
Then again, so do the FMJs… and in the end, they kinda look like the HPs fired from 15 yards!
As for the answers to the original questions, let’s just say the 45 is a lot better than nothing… although it is definitely not the best choice for protection from big game.
In his words, Hardball is hard to beat.
Enjoy the video.