How Far Will a 45 ACP Kill?

Welcome back, everybody. Thanks for joining us again today. You may remember a video that we put together some time back called How Far Will the 22 Kill? That video is kind of old, been around a little while, but essentially what we did is we kind of backed off and backed off and figured out distances a 22 would pierce a half inch pine board. Now the old Army standard is if it will penetrate a half inch pine board, then generally it can cause a lethal wound, a potentially lethal wound with proper shot placement.

So we used that kind of old Army standard test and we moved on and we tried the how far will the 9mm kill? Okay, then in that video we did the same exact thing. But we stepped it up a notch. We involved some ballistics shell. We were shooting ballistic bob at 440 yards with a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 proving that those 9mm rounds will lob right in and cause very lethal wounds even out to extended ranges.

So what we’re going to do in today’s video is essentially the same thing except we’re going to use the famous 45 HTP round. The 45 has got a lot of really interesting things going for it. It’s heavy. It’s slow. The penetrating capabilities of the round at close range are excellent. I mean you could take a Thompson, like if you were in World War II or something and you want to go through a house with a Thompson, and clear it or something, a 45 ACP will just punch through anything it wants to. It punches through a lot of different barriers with a lot of flexibility.

Generally flat trajectory for the most part. You know it is a pistol cartridge. It’s been around well over 100 year. So in general the 45 ACP is definitely here to stay. It’s not going anywhere. It’s a very popular carry round and a lot of these circles with defensive handguns you’ve got guys that are either a 9mm guy, you’re a 40 guy, you’re a 45 ACP guy, I kind of fall into the spectrum I like them all. You know I like 9mm because you’ve got fast follow up shorts, very quickly. 45 ACP obviously you know you can’t argue with slinging bowling balls at something. You’ve got that big 230 grain round slapping through there and hitting whatever the heck it wants to. But the question is how far away will the 45 lob on in there and cause lethal wounds?

So what we’re going to do we’re going to step it up notch. We do have a three-quarter inch pine baffle board so we figure if it will punch three-quarter inch plywood or pine baffle it will punch through just about anything it wants to. Okay? So what we’re going to do, we’ve got a CZ97 here. It’s got a 4.8 inch barrel, 45 ACP. And the other gun that we’ve got available here, give me a moment, we’ve got a JR Carbine. Okay? This one take Glocks magazines. It’s 45 ACP. It’s got a threaded barrel, 16 inch barrel. We’ve got it topped off with a Vortex 1-6 Razor HD, wonderful wonderful optic. This little rifle here we’ve done a good bit of work with it in the past. For some of our longer shots we’re going to step up to this guy, but I’m going to try the pistol for as long as I possibly can and still hit this board here out to long range.

So what we’re going to do, just to get a baseline, we’re going to fire some Federal HST 230 grain ammunition into a ballistics shell block. To show you what the round is intended to do with expanding ammunition at combat distances. This is just to give you a baseline, kind of what we’re looking at, what we’re trying to replicate at longer distances. Let’s get to it.

All right, guys. We’re going to get our baseline here. This is Federal HST standard pressure. I’m seven yards away. We’ve got a clear ballistics, 10 percent FBI block. Let’s go ahead and give her a try. This is just to give us a baseline. Here we go. That looked diabolical. Let’s go have a peak.

All right, guys. Well no surprises here. Our 230 grain Federal HST punched right through this block, 14 inches of gelatin. Really nice cavitation. Let’s have a look at the projectile itself. Look at that. All right, well there’s our Federal HST. We’ve got really nice expansion, good weight retention. I don’t think there is anything that’s going to cause us to complain there.

All right, guys. So when it comes to defensive ammunition, with a 45 ACP, that’s kind of what we’re looking at. Seven yards, defensive range. You’ve got 14 inches of penetration, good cavitation. So now we’re going to move on to the pine board baffle test. This is what everybody wants to see, so I’m not going to insult your intelligence, guys. We know a 45 ACP ball round will penetrate a pine board inside of 50 yards, no issue. We’re going to start at 100, work our way back to 200 and then you know we might get to some extreme distances here. Let’s do it.

All right, guys. We’ve moved back to 100 yards. We’re going to be shooting some Federal 230 grain ball ammunition for pretty much the remainder of the test here. 4.8 inch barrel out of a CZ97 against our three-quarter inch baffle board. Here we go. I’ve got an 18×24 sized steel gong behind the baffle board so that when we connect we can hear it ringing. Here we go. A little low Yep. It’s down a little bit there. Little bit low. That hit it but maybe a little low. There we go. Yep, that hit it too.

Well we’ve got several hits there. Let’s go down range, have a look, see what we’re looking at on penetration. I think it’s quite clear here, guys, those rounds are getting through. Let’s go have a look. All right, guys. Let’s have a look at our pine baffle board here. I connected with it several times. It’s a little bit more difficult to shoot that kind of range with that gun than you think. But there you go, there’s several hits here. One there. One there. Okay. So we had a total of six out of 10. Not too bad. I did have one hit right there low on the board.

The interesting thing just like we did with the 9mm video we had one hit on the edge here and it went through not only the three-quarter inch pine baffle but it went through a whole 2×4 as well. So, guys, it will punch right through it at 100 out of a handgun I think we can all see that here. I’m going to go ahead and mark these accordingly. And then we’ll go out to 200 and let’s try it with the handgun at 200. Let’s do it.

All right, guys. We saw that at 100 yards didn’t really offer resistance for that Federal 230 grain ball round. We’ve got the same gun, same load, but this time we backed off to 200 yards. We’re going to shoot the same pine baffle board, same target. We’ve got about an eight mile an hour crosswind, which probably aren’t going to help things, but we’re going to certainly try.

If I have problems with the handgun we’ll step up to the JR but I want to try to get the handgun to connect as long as I can because if the lower velocity of the handgun will penetrate the board you know the rifle will. All right? Let’s get after it. I’ve got a spotter helping me out here, so let’s see what we can do. I’m going to give it about I don’t know four feet over the top of the board. I think that’s about where we need to be here. Oh. I saw it.

Just under it.

Well guys we have one connect. Let me load up a fresh mag, let’s try again. It’s kind of a long way for handgun, guys. So I think one thing that you’re starting to see here too is that you start seeing where a gun is more of an artillery piece and kind of lobbing them in there. I mean is the handgun practical to shoot 200 yards, probably not, but let’s try again. All right, we topped of our CZ here. Let’s try it again. I’d like to get a couple of more shot on there. I think I know what I’m doing wrong. Let’s fix our point of aim here. Oh, just to the left. Look at that little devil. Did you hear it hit? Just to the left. That hit the board. I heard it kind of splash a bit.

One thing you guys have to remember too is that my sights are actually obscuring the target. So I’m actually having to aim like to where I can’t even see the target. But I tell you what I’ve got 10 more rounds just for fun. Let’s try something else. All right, guys. Well if I can see my target I certainly can’t hit it. So we’re going to try one more time. I am going to pull a page out of Jerry Miculek’s playbook. We’re going to shoot the gun upside down so that I can maintain a proper sight picture and when the spotter is calling the adjustments hopefully I can get a little bit more consistency so let’s see if I can be more accurate with the gun upside down. I know this sounds silly but we’re mixing trick shots with science. Here we go. All right, hang on.

You go the board. Very high to the left.

Well guys no matter how you cut it whether you can see the sight picture in the target or not shooting a handgun 200 yards is hard. Okay? Let’s go have a look. We’ve got several connections. Let’s see what happened. All right, guys. We see at 200 yards the CZ97 certainly lobbed them in there like we wanted to. We’ve got a 200 yards hit right there, down here on the bottom. The entrance and exit hole is exactly the same as the 100 yard mark, which leads me to believe the round, although moving slower still had considerable velocity behind it, enough to cause by Army standards or actually exceeding Army standards a lethal wound. This is kind of an old standard.

But one thing I think it really proves is that you’re not going to shoot a handgun at defensive ranges at like 200 yards. Now granted if someone is 200 yards away and you’re armed with a handgun there’s probably a strong chance you’re going to want to try to get away or remove yourself from the situation rather than try to cause trouble. This is purely academic. We’re just trying to see if those rounds would indeed cause a lethal wound and we see that it will. So that’s why you should always be mindful of what’s beyond your target. You know, sure, handgun range we might think, okay, we’re just shooting 15, 20 yards something like that, but that round can carry for a considerable distance and cause very lethal wounds even out to longer distances.

What we’re going to do now is we’re going to break out the JR Carbine. We’re going to punch back to 440 and we’re going to see if that extra 100 feet of velocity, 100 feet per second of velocity we’re getting between the rifle and the pistol will help give us that little bit of extra push to punch that thing on out to 440 yards. So we’re going to go ahead and double the distance, double the fun, let’s get after it. All right, guys, we’re sitting back here at 440 yards. We’ve got our pine baffle board down range. Same load, 230 grain Federal ball ammunition. Now one note about this little JR Carbine. These things are awesome in terms of accuracy. In the 9mm video we ran the Kel-Tec Sub 2000 which is certainly not a bad rifle, but this gun here I think is going to give us a lot greater amount of precision so hopefully we can walk these shots in. I’ve got a spotter here. Let’s go ahead and give her a little try.

This gun takes Glock magazines. We’re just running a little 13 shot Glock mags, pretty standard. All right. We’re going to lob them in and see if we can’t punch our baffle board down there. I think it just high. Oh, I saw it. I know where to aim. Yeah, that wind is catching it. I tell you what I’m going to fire one more magazine, kind of lob some more in there. We’ve got a good general idea of where everything is hitting. And we’re going to go down there and have a look.

But again guys, just like I mentioned in the other clip there, it’s further than you’re going to practically shoot a gun a like this. I’m really curious to see how well those things are punching through there though. All right. Let’s try another mag. Yup. Oh yeah. That wind is catching it.

All right. I think we’ve got a little bit to work with. Let’s go down there and have a look, see what we did. All right, guys. Well to be honest I wasn’t too surprised with this result. We saw that we had several rounds from the JR Carbine land. There’s a 440, 440, two right there, one right there, one right down here next to the previous 100 yards. And the funny thing is when these shots land close to each other like that you can look at the 100 yard and the 440 yard, the entrance and exit is exactly the same. Up here an interesting thing to note is that we had one hit on the left edge of the board closest to me here and it went through the three-quarter pine board, three-quarter inch pine board and the 2×4 on the back. So that shows that it punched all the way through that 45 ACP carrying a ton of energy, good straight line penetration even at long distances. It’s a great round. It’s got lots of weight to it, lots of mass. You know the velocity may not be real high for it to shoot an ultra-flat trajectory but guys, that’s not really what it’s meant to do.

Now considering the amount of shots I was able to connect with a good spotter you certainly wouldn’t want to be standing down here if somebody knew what they were doing with a 45 ACP Carbine especially at a couple of hundred yards. Very very deadly weapon, a very capable weapon in capable hands.

Guys, I hope you found this video to be informative. I certainly learned a lot. I mean I kind of had a feeling that the 45 ACP was going to go through this board at just about any distance we can shoot it at. What we will end up doing, we’re going to rehash this concept later. We’re going to shoot them even further, like maybe 600 yards, some longer distance. But for now this gives us a good baseline to go off of. Also expect a full review on the JR Carbine coming soon. That’s a gun that at this point I’m very intrigued in it so I really want to put it through its paces, see how it can do in just everyday tasks.

Thanks for watching, guys. We’ll catch you next time.