In this 100th year anniversary of the 1911 and the .45 ACP cartridge, its history is filled with thousands of factual and also highly exaggerated tales of the effectiveness of both the weapon and cartridge. When one hears “45” the 1911 Colt is foremost in the mind for most of us. First and foremost, the .45 is recognized as a combat tool, and also as a competition and defensive tool. Way down the list is its recognition as a handgun-hunting tool. Back in the dark ages, any NRA member could buy a new surplus 1911A1 from the Director of Civilian Marksmanship for $7.50. Then it could be sent to the Advanced Marksmanship Unit at Ft. Benning where for the sum of $65 those gunsmiths would turn it into a good softball or hardball bull’s-eye gun as ever made.
That’s sort of a shame too as an accurized 1911 in .45 ACP — with the right ammunition and user — is quite effective as a small- to medium-game gun. Rabbits and squirrels are usually taken at short ranges, and that’s fine for the 1911. Those 230-grain FMJ bullets do not cause excessive damage unless a shoulder shot occurs. Target “wadcutter” low-velocity loads seem to hit small game harder, but I can’t see any difference in damage done by them and the 230 FMJ, and even some of the hollowpoints. Running jackrabbits and the .45 seem meant for each other. Good, adjustable sights combined with a fine trigger, low-recoil impulse and semi-auto action are very effective for the guy who knows how to use them.
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