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Thread: Anyone use 45 Colt against large game?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    I killed a whitetail buck with a S&W 25 and a Winchester factory load. My favorite handload when I had that gun was the RCBS 250 SWC over 9.0 grs. Unique and crimped behind the front driving band. This was reputed to go 900 fps from the 6” barrel.
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  2. #22
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    I've taken a lot of deer with the Ruger 45 including 2 last year. I've also taken 4 elk over the years, either using the 260 gr Keith or a 325 gr LBT, never recovered a 45 cast bullet yet. Very accurate if the throats are correct.

    Dick

  3. #23
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    With a strong modern gun, the 45 Colt can do anything a similarly loaded 44 Mag can, and does it at lower pressure than the 43 Mag.

    I have only used mine on Hogs, Deer and one Bear. Haven't recovered a bullet yet. Shooting them in 16”, 10”, 5.5” and 7.5” Barrels.

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  4. #24
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    In the Ruger revolvers and others having longer cylinders, which permit seating bullets out to reduce jump and provide maximum powder capacity, the Accurate 45-290H bullet is my bullet of choice for a heavy hunting load. Seven grains of Alliant Bullseye gives sufficient, very uniform working velocity, even from short revolver barrels with clean burning. Ctg. OAL is 1.69".

    While pressures slightly exceed SAAMI MAP for the .45 Colt, they do not exceed .45 ACP levels, well within design limits for the compact, Ruger Flat tops, so you are not punishing either yourself or the gun.
    Thanks to Larry Gibson for pressure testing my load. Click on the photo to display full size to read the detailed data.

    Actual chronograph velocity from my 4-5/8" Ruger Blackhawk revolver, using soft 1:30 tin-lead hunting alloy, producing a 295-grain bullet is 820-830 fps. This is about 120 fps less than Larry's ten-inch Contender test barrel and 150 fps less firing the same load in my H&R Handi-Rifle. It is still quite the thumper, but not punishing to shoot, and comfortably subsonic in a carbine for use with a "can" if that is your pleasure. Actually the rifle report is mild like a Cowboy load and the bullet smacking the 100-yard gong makes more noise than a rifle barrel longer than 20 inches going off.

    I call it my Blooper Buck Buster.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Larry's comments:

    45 Colt Ruger Level w/45-290H; Very interesting here as we see the longer, heavier 45-290H bullet over 7 gr Bullseye come into its own as velocity increases which perhaps has improved the stability(?). Looking at both the velocity (M35P and the M43) and psi measurements for each shot we see they are very uniform for the 1st 8 shots. Then for whatever reason the bottom fell out on the last 2 shots. Both the velocity and psi for both shots was low. Those two shots also are the low two hits in that otherwise excellent group. While the MAP is listed at 17,400 psi(M43) it includes the 2 low shots. If we look at the first 8 shots the MAP is actually closer to 18,200 psi(M43).
    Last edited by Outpost75; 08-18-2019 at 10:12 AM.
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  5. #25
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    Years ago I got a 7 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk in .45 LC. I really liked shooting the RCBS 255 gr. boolet thru it pushed by 6 1/2 gr. of Red Dot. It equaled about 900 +/- fps which was the old original loading. That Fall I sat in a brush blind near a corn field that deer seemed to like. At 55 paces I dropped a 4 point whitetail in his tracks with that load. It was a thru and thru shot broadside. I was using my 50/50 + tin alloy and was plain based.Robert

  6. #26
    Boolit Man
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    I shot a nice Indiana 10pt buck with a Handi rifle 45 Colt loaded with a CP 360gr LBT WFN bullet moving slightly over 1K fps back in 2008. The bullet passed thru and was last spotted traveling east at about 800fps in 2016.

    I subscribe to the writings of John Linebaugh. He and I have discussed 45 Colt rifle loads on a number of occasions. H110/ W296 is all I use for full power loads in strong actions.

    Thanks, Dinny
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  7. #27
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the responses. Let's be clear, I am not interested in pushing the limits of the 45 colt into the 44 magnum range, but rather just the +P range.

    Also, I have no doubt to the colt's killing power on deer. My query is about it's performance on larger game.

  8. #28
    about the same performance as my 44 special with 255gr keith boolits going roughly 800-850fps. if you can shoot into and out of both lungs (deer/elk/moose...) then your golden.
    Last edited by 444ttd; 08-19-2019 at 04:00 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I appreciate all the responses. Let's be clear, I am not interested in pushing the limits of the 45 colt into the 44 magnum range, but rather just the +P range.

    Also, I have no doubt to the colt's killing power on deer. My query is about it's performance on larger game.
    Bigger than deer are Elk and Moose, both thin skinned game, black bear in the Eastern US avg. 300lb, your +P 45 Colt will be PLENTY enough power for these.

    Next up are the larger bears. Any bear big as a moose? Yeah you best have your A game in every chamber, and you best not miss. Ruger Only 30kpsi, 300gr+ boolits cast hard would be bare minimum.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I appreciate all the responses. Let's be clear, I am not interested in pushing the limits of the 45 colt into the 44 magnum range, but rather just the +P range.

    Also, I have no doubt to the colt's killing power on deer. My query is about it's performance on larger game.
    It has always been and always will be more important WHERE you hit them than WHAT ya hit them with. Now having said that YOU have a max range as does the caliber. Even if your gun shoots 1” @ 1000 but YOU cannot shoot... Well I think you get the picture.

    (Providing you have enough to begin with and as previous posts prove the 45 COLT is “enough”.

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  11. #31
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    DougGuy, you spelled that wrong, should have been Bear minimum!! Some of those North Carolina bears are as big as Volkswagens. We've killed some bears here in Idaho that are as big as some Grizzlies, not all Grizzlies are huge. Bullet placement & bullet quality will get you there. My last bear was an honest 6 1/2" bear at about 65 yds with my 10.5" Blackhawk 44 & a 250 Keith running about 1450 fps. One shot with an exit, over in about 4-5 seconds. Placement!!!!

    Dick

  12. #32
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    I am trying to remember the handle of a member her that was a Wyoming oil field engineer. He used the 45 colt for almost everything, IIRC he went to Africa with a rifle and popularized in my mind the 6.5 gr Red Dot Load. Dan Walker? last on 8/8
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  13. #33
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    I like the 270 SAA (about 285 grn from my mold) with an HS6 load at about 1,100 fps from my 7/5" Blackhawk. There have been a couple 600# plus black bears taken the last couple years here in the north GA mountains with crossbows, and I hope I don't come across one if we're both on the ground unless I have my Marlin Guide Gun loaded with 405 grn FP boolits at 1,450 fps or better. I just read something yesterday that said game and fish folks think there are more black bears in the Eastern mountains now than there were in the 1600s. Have to see what's on the trails this fall, I guess. GF

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Well if we are just talking pistols my current carry load in my RH 45LC is my Lee 300gr WFN GC and 15.9 gr 2400.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Fox View Post
    I like the 270 SAA (about 285 grn from my mold) with an HS6 load at about 1,100 fps from my 7/5" Blackhawk. There have been a couple 600# plus black bears taken the last couple years here in the north GA mountains with crossbows, and I hope I don't come across one if we're both on the ground unless I have my Marlin Guide Gun loaded with 405 grn FP boolits at 1,450 fps or better. I just read something yesterday that said game and fish folks think there are more black bears in the Eastern mountains now than there were in the 1600s. Have to see what's on the trails this fall, I guess. GF

    Glad to see another Georgian in here. I’ve got several friends that live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mtns and the black bears have become quite a nuisance for them. Had one the other day snooping around my friends garage. Probably smelled the dog food. Usually they just open the door and tell him to leave and they’ll just kinda saunter off into the woods.

    13.5gr HS6 under a 45-270-SAA has been my go to for years.

  16. #36
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    I am anxious to try the new Mihec 45-280 rnfp group buy over HS6 and 2400 on Whitetail. hc18flyer

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I appreciate all the responses. Let's be clear, I am not interested in pushing the limits of the 45 colt into the 44 magnum range, but rather just the +P range.

    Also, I have no doubt to the colt's killing power on deer. My query is about it's performance on larger game.
    I've killed lots of feral hogs with my Blackhawk in .45 Colt. I would consider them as tough as most larger game; certainly tougher than even large deer.

    The .44 Mag power level isn't pushing the Blackhawk very hard. In the '80s there was a new load almost every month for the Ruger in .45 Colt, considerably stiffer than the current published Ruger/Contender only recipes. OTOH, I think +P would be plenty stout for 200+ lb. hogs with the right boolit/bullet. Most of the hogs I killed with the Blackhawk were ones that other people wounded and they were anywhere from 100-275 pounds; mostly 150-225 lb. At first I was wasting my money on JHPs but started using cast Lyman 452374s and they worked just as well. Yeah, I was shooting that many. I was using 2400 but the reloading books are packed to move so I can't say exactly how much it took. I do recall that an equal amount of 2400 in a .44 Mag and a .45 Colt produces less energy in the .45 Colt. Bigger case, less pressure.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  18. #38
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I know a blackhawk can take higher pressure but it ain't pleasant for my wrists. I am considering switching to 45 colt from my 44 mag, but ain't made no decisions yet. I run some full power loads in 44, but like starting magnum loads better. Seems like the best compromise of power and shootability for an all around load.

  19. #39
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    Only once. A 1000 lb cow bison. 300 rcbs swcgc at about 1100 fps. Shot behind the shoulder at about 40 yards and it stood there swaying for a few seconds and fell over dead. Shot a few deer and pigs and two black bear with 45s too. Did about the same. Ive shot bison with 44 mags, 45 colt, 475s and 500 linebaughs and even 44 specials with keith level loads and the reaction is about identical with any of them with similar shot placement. If your looking to knock them off there feet good luck. But if putting a hole into the vitals that will leak enough blood to kill them resonalbly quick it doesn't much matter which of those you choose. Matter of fact if I was to pick the perfect BIG animal round it would probably be one I never owned. the 480. 45 is a great round but you will never really see any advantage over a 44 mag shooting the same weight bullet at the same speed. your talking .023 bullet size on an animal that stands 5 feet at the shoulders. Good conversation and argument material but in reality nothing.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  20. #40
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I never killed any game, but a 5 gallon metal bucket charged me once, and I stopped it with a 45 Colt. I have killed several deer with a 45 ACP pistol and can see no reason why a 45 Colt revolvers would not do just as well or better.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

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