.45 ACP Lethal… A Long Ways!

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IraqVeteran8888 continues his “how long is XXX lethal to?” video this time going up in bullet diameter to .45 inches. The nearly half-inch bullet is lethal to a surprisingly long way. While limited by their own accuracy (I will give them credit for trying to shoot .45 out of a handgun or rifle over 200 yards), the round is more than effective for long-range lobbing.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Riot

    600 yards?
    He’ll be lobbing them in like a catapult!

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    Is it true that the relative lethality difference between modern 9mm and .45 ACP rounds is negligible?

    • M.M.D.C.

      Careful, you’ll start a caliber war. Guys are gonna start lobbing 230/124 grain bullets in huge arcs across the internet.

    • Eddie_Baby

      There’s some guy who always pulls out some WWII testing showing how 9mm was much more effective at 100 yards, and you better listen to him because his internet authority cannot be questioned.

    • n0truscotsman

      Why, yes it is 😀
      In fact, the lethality difference between the two has always been negligible.

    • Zebra Dun

      Yup basically after so many miles they both kill the same.

  • Bill

    There’s range, then there’s effective range, then there’s practical range. More than a few people have been killed over the years by rounds fired into the air or from blocks away. it’s also a reason some ranges have been closed – a round will escape the range and wind up in someone’s drywall miles away.

    • Riot

      It’s why volley sights used to be on rifles.

      • Swarf

        Da comrade, Mosin Nagant kills Nazi at 2700 arshini!

        • Bill Bradford

          Nagant can kill as far as you can throw it!

          • sometrend

            I placed 3rd in a vintage service rifle match using a box stock 38 vintage hex mosin and 180gr Lapua bullets. Don`t short change those old russian canoe paddles…they will shoot! The best vintage shooters from the last big war were the 03`s,without question..but I have 2 nagants that will shoot minute of man out to 600meters every time you pick them up

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          For glory of proletariat, comrade!

      • Zebra Dun

        The infamous SMLE.

  • STW

    I suspect the unstated reason for these investigations into distance is that shooting inappropriate rounds long distances is a hoot. (At least that’s my experience when plinking at steel plates 350 yards away with a .22 or .45.)

  • Rob

    Push the full height of the front sight above the top of the rear sight in your sight picture and you should be able to get 60~70 moa of elevation out of a full size pistol. That’s enough to allow for holding on the target out to 250 yards with a .45. Making the height offset between the sights repeatable shot to shot isn’t easy, but at least you can see what you’re shooting at.

    He should have tried the pistol from a rest.

    • NukeItFromOrbit

      Don’t the adjustable iron sights on the early Thompsons (M1928A1 and earlier) go out to 600 yards or so? Now that is some optimism.

  • USMC03Vet

    If there was ever a time for Jerry “The Aimbot” Miculek to show up and grace everyone with his power this was it.

    • Zebra Dun

      Aye!

  • Keith

    Always seems like a nice guy, but should I be worried about the 8888 in his name? I know that 88 is neo-nazi code, not sure if 8888 has same connotations. Don’t mean to impugn his character, just always wondered about that.

    • Steve Martinovich

      It could also refer to Psalm 88. That said, Eric long ago explained that when he initially signed up for Youtube that there was someone already named IraqVeteran so he just punched in “8888” at the end. If he’s a neo-Nazi he has done well to hide it in the age of the web. Remember that time you grabbed a dog by the hind legs and drove it around like a wheelbarrow? The web knows about *that* Keith.

    • Andrew

      It probably refers to CONPLAN 8888 also known as the ‘Zombie Contingency Plan’

    • screwtape2713

      I always thought 88 was original-non-neo-nazi Nazi code for a really nastily effective antiaircraft cannon that turned out to do a wonderful job of lighting up Shermans too…

  • Alex Nicolin

    Not at all surprising. Once it falls below 0.8 Mach, the bullet loses energy much slower, since the CD is proportional to about the square of the velocity. So a bullet that starts off low in the first place will conserve a lot of energy downrange, even though the trajectory will be very curved.

  • JSmath

    Just reiterating that they did this test with 9mm already.

    Not only did they take 9mm out further, they consistently landed more hits while remaining lethal within the parameters of the test.

    Guess we should switch over to 9mm guys, this debate is put to rest finally. :awesomeface:

  • bbmg

    Let’s not forget that the DeLisle Carbine was chambered in 45 ACP with a claimed effective range of 300 yards or so

  • N_Lightened_1

    That would have been and awesome 5 minute video!!

  • Core

    I really like this guy. He’s practical and a good peronality.

  • M1911

    If they had used ballistic gelatin, I might have been impressed. But plywood is not a good model for penetration of a human body.

  • Zebra Dun

    I recall many decades ago during a M1911A1 pistol course at Parris Island South Carolina the instructor warned about warning shots fired in the air stating the .45 Caliber Colt Auto Pistol cartrige is lethal at 1600 yards or 4800 feet some 480/160 yards feet short of a mile.
    That he explained was this rounds maximum lethal range, it’s maximum effective range was however 50 yards.

  • sometrend

    a 45 is good up close,but so is a 9 or a 40. None are ideal when your as s is on the line however. A pistol is a last ditch weapon in any arena unless you can make shots to the central nervous system on demand. Wound ballistics has shown that there is little difference between the effects on living tissue of either of the above 3 popular defensive cartridges when modern,expanding projectiles are utilized in an actual shooting…the wound tracts are virtually identicle. the 357 sig appears to have a limited advantage when a violent offender is barracaded behind automotive sheet metal and glass…but it is still a handgun round. Even a 41 short is lethal but all handgun rounds are unpredictable in actual shootings,regardless of the bullet used. Pick a platform you are able to shoot quickly and accurately with, practice from your method of carry,and choose an egg or a poker chip as your practice target….aim small,miss small,and saturate your target

  • blubaljim

    Everyone has their opinions and they’re welcome to them, but they don’t mean a hill of beans to me. What does is experience and past proven performance. The .45 acp is, and always has been, my go to close range combat round. It has served me well for many years w/o any let downs.