will a .45 acp kill a large bear?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    AK Pilot is right a 45 acp is not good for bear protection. It has failed to kill even a small black bear efficiently; here is a guy who found that out the hard way;


    A 500 S&W has far more power than a 45 acp and it took this guy and his friend 10 rounds with 500 S&W revolvers plus a rifle to down this bear;


    Now a 45 acp has about 500 foot pound of energy or so, a 500 S&W has about 2500 lbs of energy or so.

    Big bears have been killed with different kinds of calibers but the .45 acp is not one of them. It’s a good man stopper but just lacks the power to penetrate deep enough into a bear to reach the vitals. It will just bounce off the bears skull or just make it under its skin on a big bear.

    I live in Alaska as AK pilot does, I hunt and have hunted brown bears, grizzlies and black bears for decades. The 44 magnum is the bare minimum for big bears and we only use them to back up our rifles or a shotgun with slugs. Most Alaskans are going with bigger revolvers now like the .454, .460 and up for bear protection.

    If you were to ask an Alaskan hunting guide if the 45 acp is ok for bears; he will laugh at you.

  • 1 decade ago

    The keys to killing a bear are penetration and placement. If you want to take the chance, a heavy, hard cast bullet that feeds reliably is going to be your best choice. You definitely want a bullet that will stay together, preserving as much weight as possible. And don't wait to see if the first shot did the trick; try to get another in the lungs, heart or head. Remember, bears can move fast and you may need to keep firing until it drops or goes away to die.

    This is thinking of using the .45 as a defensive weapon against a bear raiding your camp or encountered while fishing, etc. I certainly wouldn't take a .45 ACP as my primary weapon if I was hunting bear. Since you have no way of knowing how large a bear you might encounter, I would be looking at least at a .45 Long Colt, .44 Magnum or one of the extreme calibers like the .454 Casull, .460 or.500 Magnums (actually, I would be looking at a rifle or a shotgun with a sabot round).

  • 1 decade ago

    Theoretically, I'm sure with a perfect shot in exactly the right place, you could kill a large bear. Practically, you wouldn't have a chance in hell. The .45 ACP does not have the penetration to do much damage against THICK layers of fur, skin, fat, and bone. Where I live 10mm Buffalo Bore heavy loads are the minimum for black bears, and .44 mag for browns. Since there's plenty of both wandering around here, nobody carries anything less than a .44. The revolver vs auto argument is another aspect that I won't go in to here.

    Speaking from experience, if you are going to be around bears, use good judgment first, bear spray second, and a firearm third.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    No offense, but the M&P doesnt have a stellar rating for reliability, it and the Sigma have been problematic to say the least (just talked about that on another thread). Its all about shot placement, yes. Would i want a .45 in that scenario? No. The .44 mag would be my bare minimum, I'd rather have a Ruger Alaskan which chambers the .454 Casull. It gives you a muzzle velocity of 1800 fps and 1870 ft/p of energy. Compare that to an average .45 ACP, which provides 840 fps and 360 ft/p. These are standard Winchester loads. Thats roughly 1/3 the power.

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  • rick
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    a 45 acp has a lot of knock down power but not much penetration when it comes to the thick skin and large bones of a bear. It is possible though, especially if you unloaded a 7 rd clip into it. I would rather have one shot though with a 44 mag or my 454 casual.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes it is possible, 45 has always been a very powerful round, But like with any caliber you would use, Shot placement is key, But in a heat of the moment shot you may not be able to draw and take a well aimed shot. So for large bears I would recommend something bigger Maybe along the 44 mag ballistics, Or even the 45lc would be a little harder hitting.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'll give you the steps.

    Step 1: Put gun in mouth of bear (muzzle first)

    Step 2: Pull trigger until *click*

    Step 3: If still alive, try to get medical attention.

    .45 acp works well on two legged threats... only.

    Source(s): Avid shooter.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    alot of people will say no......maybe they're right, but I read were a guy killed a grizzly with an axe, another story where a guy killed a polar bear with a 351, and alot of pro's say if a bear is after you do some thing even if its throwing rocks.....I carry ball ammo in my 45 and can shoot at point blank range clean through a car doors both sides.....I recon in a pinch....it's better than a jab in the a-ss with a sharp stick!..so I'm gonna say point blank range right in the nose and eyes and as fast as you can pull the trigger and then get the hell out of there!

    not having ever fought a bear at close range with a pistol...I'm just guessing..but Ben Lilly last of the great mountain men hunted grissly with a 44-40 rifle....thats not much better than a 44 special..I guess we'll have to find out.

    Source(s): wilderness survival expert........... Oh, my official advice is give 'em lots a room and dont shoot unless they're tryin to eat you!........LOL!
  • 1 decade ago

    With proper shot placement, yes. Will it drop him like a stone, no way. You'd need the one in a million base of the neck and sever the spinal cord shot. Or maybe in the eye. You will likely piss it off, and then it will go off and suffer a slow death.

    Ruger alaskan shoots a .454 Casull round and was sort of designed with bear back up in mind.

  • 1 decade ago

    * Maybe yes, maybe no.* Best to use a minimum 44 magnum caliber, or better yet the 454 Casull.*

    Source(s): * Run like a Deer.*.....................Fly like an Eagle.*~~
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