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How Far Will a .45 ACP Kill?‬‬

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The .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) is a cartridge that was designed by John Browning in 1904 to be used in the Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol. Eventually, the .45 ACP rounds were adopted for use in the M1911 pistols, too. Also called .45 Auto by CIP or 45 Auto by SAAMI, .45 ACP cartridges are considered to be one of the most effective pistol cartridges ever made for use against humans.

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.45 ACPs are well known for their accuracy and stopping power. With a low muzzle blast, moderate recoil, high energy and larger diameter, these cartridges are able to quickly pierce human flesh, leaving deeper and larger wounds. They are heavy, slow, have been around for over a hundred years, are able to punch through basically any common material and are easily accessible plus affordable. It’s no big puzzle why .45 ACPs are the preferred choice for basic self and home defense purposes.

In a test conducted, some shooters decided to find out if a .45 ACP round could kill at greater distances when fired from both a handgun and a rifle. According to old-school military thinking, if a bullet can penetrate a ¾ inch pine board, it can do enough damage to kill.

Using this premise, the experimenters set up a pine board ¾ inches thick, backed by a gong. Using a Federal American Eagle 230GR FMJ, the cartridges were tested at 100 and 200 yards. Both times, the bullets went through the pine board, even going so far as to penetrate a two-by-four block of wood behind the pine. The experimenters then used a JR Carbine at 440 yards, with the same results: the .45 ACPs pierced through the pine effortlessly.

The reasonable conclusion to the experiment was that .45 ACPs can do substantial damage, enough to kill, at great distances, even with just a handgun – a theory that can be substantiated by the cartridge’s popularity the whole world over.

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