.45 Colt Defensive Round


May 30, 2006, 04:01 PM
Does anyone know of some good SD rounds chambered in the classic .45 Long Colt? I'm using Winchester Silvertips right now in my 5.5" Beretta Stampede, but I want to know if I'm getting the most I can. I'm not looking for criticisms of my carry piece or anything, just some constructive help on choosing the right round for me.

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stiletto raggio
May 30, 2006, 04:16 PM
For a standard-pressure factory defense load, the Silvertips are about as good as you are going to get. If you want to get into handloading, you can put a 300 grain hollowpoint at between 850-900 fps and still be under pressure, though "loading up" a standard cartridge should be done by an experienced reloader.

I own six .45 Colt revolvers, two Rugers that I can load up to my hearts content, two SAAs that I will never run anything hotter than cowboy loads, and a Smith and a Taurus that need their own "medium" power loads. I would guess that the Beretta is a pretty exact copy of the SAA, so I wouldn't press the issue. Hell, Lead flat points will put a hurting on someone when they start out at .451 inches.

Not intended as a crtiticism, but where do you find concealment leather for a single-action? How do you carry extra ammo? Are you limited to 5, or does Beretta use a transfer bar system?

May 30, 2006, 04:23 PM
Concealing is not too difficult for me with a standard nylon holster because of the way I carry myself and the extra-sized clothes I wear. I should get a proper belt for extra ammo, but for now I just carry it in a pocket. But I do not see the need for more than six shots (six because of the transfer bar) in my current lifestyle really.

May 30, 2006, 04:32 PM
45Colt Silvertips will do in any two legged threat you will ever encounter. Another round in 45Colt that show great potential is the CCI Blazer 200 grain JHP at 1000 fps. Either one of these rounds are great man stoppers if you do your part of course.

May 30, 2006, 04:36 PM
out of curiosity, do you know the FPS of the silvertips?

May 30, 2006, 04:47 PM
This is an interesting article (http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12) on this very subject by John Linebaugh. Though he is talking about .45 colt out of a S&W 25-5, you might find the info useful for your needs.

May 30, 2006, 04:50 PM
And this is a thread (http://forums.sixgunner.com/m_18486/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm) from another great forum detailing the experiences of others who use SAs for carry.

May 30, 2006, 05:08 PM

Jim March
May 30, 2006, 06:02 PM
Speer has a new 250gr Gold Dot for the 45LC that is basically a large-hollowpoint design - a "supersized" version of the 135gr 38+P load!

Like the 135s, they're only selling it under their own brand name and not making it available for small reloading houses such as Buffalo Bore. So BB is using the older Speer 200gr Gold Dot solution which isn't at all a bad round in it's own right, it just needs more speed to work. I have no idea which is "best", I suspect they're both very good.

The Silvertip 45LC ain't bad either, and Cor-Bon has a 200gr defensive solution with a good rep.

I personally would go with any of the Gold Dot-based critters.

May 30, 2006, 08:32 PM
I believe georgia arms loads a 200gr gold
dot,CCI blazer is loaded with the same gold
dot.The win silvertips were the most accurate
from my 3" 625-7 and ruger blackhawk.

May 30, 2006, 10:20 PM
Thank you all for your input.....and for not blasting me for not choosing to carry the latest plastic fantastic, hold half-a-box-of-ammo wonder gun.

May 30, 2006, 10:52 PM
gundenswtern, nothing at all wrong with a single action or the .45 Colt except maybe a bit large for some people. I've carried my Ruger BH in the cold months under a coat. That big old .45 Colt round in a revolver is a comforting companion!!

May 30, 2006, 10:59 PM
And what gun would get me more points for style anyway :cool:
I'm not saying I carry it because of that, but it's a nice coincidence

Stephen A. Camp
May 30, 2006, 11:05 PM
Hello. I'm going to run some informal tests on Corbon's .45 Colt DPX load in the near future. These are +P rather than standard pressure.

Corbon rates this 225-gr. X-bullet @ 1200 ft/sec. I'm hoping it is as pleasing as their .44 Special was. It is shown with a handloaded 250-gr . CSWC loaded to about 900 ft/sec.

These .44 Special 200-gr. DPX bullets were fired into super-saturated newsprint as I don't have either the money or the controlled temperature environment to use 10% ballistic gelatin. Like the other DPX loads I've tried in both it and water, expansion was uniform and consistent.

I'm hoping that the .45 Colt version does as well.


Jim March
May 31, 2006, 12:57 AM
Yeah, that's right, Cor-Bon is loading a pure copper Barnes hollowpoint in 45LC.

Oh heck YEAH that's a contender. Forgot about that bad boy, thank you Stephen for mentioning it and thanks even more if you test it :).

May 31, 2006, 07:40 AM
I have chrono-ed the Georgia Arms 200gr Gold Dot .45 Colt load at 1,123 +/-8 fps from my 4" 625MG to 1,424 +/-6 fps from my Puma SS 24" M1892. That tight of a SD is born out in it's grouping - probably the best of any .45 Colt ammo I have ever used. My 625MG, an '01 production, had the square-conversion finger groove style cocobolo stocks, so recoil wasn't 'absorbed'. It wasn't bad, either... about what my usual 255gr LSWC @ 850+ fps delivered. I think they were ~$20/50 + Shipping - in new Starline brass. Nice folks, too.

I really like that 625MG - it was my first-ever S&W. In fact, earlier this year I traded my old friend, a 5.5" SS Bisley BH in .45 Colt, for another 625MG... to retire my original MG from day-day use. A couple of new springs and it was fine. My 'new' MG is actually a LN '96 variant - with forged hammer & trigger - and a hammer mounted fp. Neat dailey use revolver.


May 31, 2006, 09:01 AM
The 225gr Silvertip will run about 920 fps. I also shoot the Corbon 200gr HP's which run about 1100 fps. I'm awaiting Mr Camps review of the 225gr DPX. I have some Gold Dots on order too, I haven't received them yet though.

Model 25 Mountain Gun 45 Colt

Lone Star
June 3, 2006, 10:11 AM
Doesn't Federal still make their 225 grain lead HP in .45 Colt, at about 900 FPS?

I haven't owned a .45 in some time, but that load shot well for me when I did.

Lone Star

June 3, 2006, 03:04 PM
You'll have a hard time going wrong with any hp 45, but I'd also go with the 250gr gold dot just in case you have to shoot through a bus or something.

June 3, 2006, 03:15 PM
That Barnes bullet is pretty impressive. That'd be MY choice! I'd handload it up to hypersonic in my Ruger if I really wanted a SD load for humans. I think my standard loads and hot 300 grain toothy critter loads would do just fine when I'm out on one of my walk-abouts, though. :D

Another round in 45Colt that show great potential is the CCI Blazer 200 grain JHP at 1000 fps.

I have a .45 ACP load that pushes the 200 grain speer to about what that CCI load is pushing in the Colt. Rather use the ACP for SD, personally, but if I only had a Ruger Blackhawk, that'd be a possibility, especially for home defense.

June 3, 2006, 04:05 PM
The CCI load is what my brother has for his Ruger Bisley. He always has at least one box of hollow points for every one of his handguns. Mostly he is a lead shooter in his big (.45 Colt & .44 Magnum) bore handguns.

June 3, 2006, 04:25 PM
Man I would think any decent lead bullet would put a hurtin' on something. Big to begin with, likely to deform. I would think ANY of the specific defensive loads would be quite deadly in .45 Colt.


Jim March
June 3, 2006, 05:21 PM
Mr. Camp's review of the Cor-Bon 225gr all-copper Barnes is at:


It is most definately a strong choice for a defensive round in 45LC. Bigtime. Ye Gods :).

June 3, 2006, 05:23 PM
As long as the BG isn't in a vest, the silvertips should ruin anyone's day. You can buy lots of fancy ammo for the .45 colt, but the Beretta is (I believe) a direct copy of the SAA strengthwise, so stay with low pressure ammo.
Besides, the .45 colt has been putting bad guys in the dirt for a long time. If anything, people have become less tough since it arrived on the scene.
heck, make yourself some black powder rounds.

BTW, I used to carry a short barrelled Ruger Bi-quero in .45 colt. I just carried an extra loaded cylinder in my pocket with a static stick decal over the primers so they didn't come out.
I commend your choice of weapon.

June 3, 2006, 06:46 PM
"God made all men. Sam Colt made them equal."

I cant even express fully why I like to carry it. Something about the single action design just feels like it was ment to be in my hand. :o

Makes me feel like I was born in the wrong century though, as I'm only just pressing 22.

June 5, 2006, 01:51 PM
I would not mind a backup gun, however. Any suggestions? I am considering a Marshall model Stampede because I like the idea of having cartridge campatibility between the two.

June 6, 2006, 12:36 PM
Cartridge-compatable backup...

1. Sheriff's Model Stampede w/ the snub barrel.

2. One of Taurus's DA snubs in .45 Colt (http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?model=450SS2ULC&category=Revolver)(they're still cataloged).

3. Bond Arms or American Derringer two-shot .45C/.410

Any one would make a good "New York Reload" for that hogleg... :D

June 6, 2006, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the link. I did not know anyone made a 5-shot in the ol' .45 LC. And as for the derringers, I think I'd like to keep my preferred firing hand (lefty, part of the reason the SA appeals to me) not racked with pain (unless the guy was right on top of me, then he gets a double dose of the old .45 right in his guts). Probably the stampede will get the job.

June 6, 2006, 03:25 PM
I have silvertips and corbon 200gr hp's, and factory Speer 250 Gold Dots, but I like my handload of a 250gr Speer Gold Dot just over 1000 fps. That big 250gr Gold Dot needs a little more speed than factory to mushroom fully. Here's it in comparison to a 45 GAP.

June 9, 2006, 12:34 PM
Just out of curiosity, what kind of performance would a flat or round nose 250 grain bullet have? Black Hills brand comes to mind if it matters.

June 9, 2006, 12:59 PM
I would avoid RN bullets for a defensive round. Oh they will work but a flat meplat is what you want for a defensive round. Cuts blood vessels much better. Best example I can give you is to look at a paper target shot with a RN and one shot with a FP or SWC. That nice clean hole gets replicated more or less going through tissue. The little ragged hole left from a RN is about what you get hitting tissue.

Take Care

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