45 ACP Vs Bear: Does This Ammo Have Enough Attack Power?

Are you a novice hunter and passionate about exploring the wilderness?

If you are struggling to find yourself a type of ammo to use for this hunting job, this is the article for you. 

We will introduce 45 ACPs you may have heard or learned before.

However, we do not stop there, and we also answer a few questions you will encounter during hunting and self-defense.

Today’s shooter has a plethora of ammo choices when it comes to firearms.

However, which ammo should you choose for self defense?

One popular choice is the 45 ACP.

But is this cartridge enough power to take down a bear?
Research suggests that the 45ACP does have enough power to take down a bear, but it’s important to not underestimate the animal

About 45ACP

In 1904, John Browning designed the 45 ACP cartridge. You may not know this pistol cartridge was extremely popular in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. 

To this day, this cartridge is still well received by many users. People carry it with the desire to protect themselves from wild beasts in the wild.

In fact, I can tell you from my experience that 45 ACP is not so perfect compared to other popular ammunition like 9mm, 357 Magnum. However, do not stop reading the article here because 45 ACP can be a good choice for bear hunting.

Usually, depending on the species and geographical area, each bear will weigh from 100 pounds to 150 pounds. And for sure! The bear is a large and powerful beast. Of course, you need time and experience to protect yourself against these giant animals.

The question is whether 45 ACP is suitable or not? Let’s explore with us right here: 

45 Acp For Bear Defense

We think this issue is something that many people are extremely concerned about. Talking frankly about this, we need to recognize that the bear is a big, strong animal. Therefore, to defeat it, you need to equip yourself with coreless and non-expanding hard bullets. You may find it paradoxical to let 45 ACP go up against a bear, but 45 ACP + P is a completely different story.

You may have read somewhere that hunters often carry handguns and 45 ACP cartridges. Moreover, bears were once subdued by firearms in the untamed frontiers of the United States. At that time, the black powder revolver was very popular with users.

More broadly, the pistol comes in primarily Navy and Army configurations. For the navy, the pistol revolver is 36 for damage purposes. As for the larger design, the caliber is up to 44 army revolvers that can bring down horses on the battlefield. Too impressed! 

Is the 45 ACP Enough for Bears?


As can be seen, 45ACP fires a bullet at about 850 fps with 369 ft/lbs and 230 grains. We consider this speed to be a significant difference compared to other similar versions on the market.

In addition, there has been quite a bit of evidence related to the story of bears succumbing to 45 ACP. Usually, the ending will be that the bear will somehow intentionally, or it will run away.

The key point that I want to emphasize is the “multiple shot” at that bear. The main reason is that the bear has very thick skin, and it’s no big deal for you to shoot once.

Furthermore, the 45 ACP fires faster and hits the target than a revolver through the pistol’s semi-automatic mode. We think this feature is a plus point of the gun that you should pay attention to. 

Are 45 Acp Hollow Points Good For Bear?

45 ACP has a hollow form, so they are somewhat more disadvantageous when used to hunt bears. First of all, you probably already know that penetration doesn’t seem to be enough, and it’s safe to say that it’s almost impossible.

The next weakness of the hollow points is that they have an open cavity on the pointed end of the bullet. Of course, this cavity can produce sharp edges and wide projectiles. But the downside is that it is subject to a lot of impact and pressure, easily peeling off like a banana peel.

Indeed, this problem is not without a solution. As mentioned earlier, the combination of 45 ACP with +P is perfect for helping the gun load up with maximum pressure. Moreover, the +P bullet is about 10% stronger, but it also received mixed reviews.

How Much Penetration Will A 45 Acp Get On Large Animals?

Before answering this question, you need to know more about bears. According to the information we learn, its chest is 2-3 feet thick with an adult bear. As we said in the above answer, you need to fire more bullets at the same time. Of course, 45 ACP is probably a big number.

Therefore, the advice for you is to aim for the flank position and lose about 20 inches to penetrate it. In addition, you need to pay attention to the shooting distance to get the best effect.

Do People Use The 45 Acp For Bear Defense?

Do People Use The 45 Acp For Bear Defense

In the topics above, we have discussed many issues with the 45 ACP and the bear. So in the end, did someone use 45 ACP to defend themselves if they were in danger from bears? The answer is yes, and it is not singular.

According to a survey we found in the forests of North America, handguns with 45 ACP cartridges are quite common. They consider 45 ACP to be big bullets, and they are quite confident in its ability and speed. Do you think they rightly put their faith in this self-defense weapon?

Not stopping there, as far as we know in Alaska, the Glock with 45 revolvers is also one of the big guns. They use it to shoot them all as well as protect themselves against wild boars, wolves,…

Finally, what I want to tell you here, consider choosing a tool with your essential purposes. You can use it in conjunction with an individual self-defense or hunting tool you trust more.


Before we close, we want to say that 45 ACP is enough to defend a lion or bear. Of course, no one controls what you need, and the choice is yours. You can choose 357 Magnum 44 or Magnum 454, but if the case is only 45 ACP, then using it and combined with +P can be a perfect choice. 

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