Deer Hunting with .45 Long Colt in ROA Conversion Cylinder..


May 6, 2007, 10:33 PM
Hey Guys, any experience deer hunting with a .45 Long Colt in a Ruger Old Army with Kirst Conversion Cylinder? Whats the best/strongest cartridge you can use? Any experience with this guys? Also, I'm thinking of carrying two of them, whats the best set up- I can use both but I'm more of a rightie so I have a strong side holster, should I add a crossdraw as well, or a left holster, I'm ambidextrous.

Thanks in Advance!!

Songs of Freedom:)

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Bad Flynch
May 7, 2007, 12:13 PM
The conversion cylinders are made to handle SAAMI-spec loads. They are not made to handle loads that generate more pressure than that. SAAMI-spec loads for the .45 Colt generate about 14,000 psi, not anywhere near the pressures quoted for the strong Ruger revolvers or the T/C Contender-type guns.

I realize that the ROA is built like a tank, and made of materials that are really strong. I also realize that the converters have a safety margin built into them. However, there really is no way to prove that the combination is safe with anything but standard loads.

Be of good cheer! Some standard .45 Colt loads will kill a deer with a well-placed shot.

May 7, 2007, 02:18 PM
agree - stick with standard loads.

I just took a look at Midway USA to see what kind of standard load ammo they had that would make a good deer load - came-up with one -this:

250 grain speer gold dots

Really though, the best hunting ammo for that set-up would be a hard cast lead semi wad cutter of 250 grains at 900 fps, which is probably a handload only proposition.

You can get a Lee Loader for $16 and the components and roll your own - did I already give you the info on this? I did post in another thread recently...

Old Dragoon
May 7, 2007, 06:19 PM
I have a novel idea. Why not just use a round ball and about 40 grns of black powder. Think it won't take down a deer...think again. It'll tke down a wild hog.

May 7, 2007, 08:22 PM
I killed a hog this spring with a .45 LC loaded with 40 grains of Swiss 3f (compressed) behind a 250 grain pure lead flat nose bullet. The bullet penetrated the skull, exited the neck, penetrated the front leg and lodged just under the hide on the bottom of the leg. Mr. piggy was instant pork.

Elmer Keith felt that 40 grain black powder load was pretty hard to beat in the .45, and used it for years.


May 7, 2007, 09:11 PM
45LC, 250gr cast SWC, CCI primer, 38gr GOEX 4fg (compressed) = 1100fps

This is from a 7 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk

And it WILL take down a whitetail at 35yds!!!:D

Livin in Texas

Texas Colt
May 7, 2007, 09:28 PM
The preceding post are dead on. The standard velocity 45 Colt will definitely take a white tail or a hog, with smokeless or black powder.

I have taken two 8 point Texas bucks with standard pressure handloads using the Hornady XTP JHP out of a 4" S&W 625 Mountain Gun.

May 8, 2007, 01:09 AM
Thanks a lot guys!! I will try to stick with regular pressure loads, you are right, bad flynch- it doesn't matter about the gun if the cylinder is not up to heavy heavy duty rounds. I will see how this works out. Maybe I'll step it up to Corbon, but thats as far as I will go!! OSOK- Thanks for the advice, the speer gold dot looks very nice, I'm sure it will be sufficient for the job.
As for loading my own loads, how much cheaper is it? I looked at the costs
of powder, brass (kind of expensive), etc... Is it cheaper to buy a 500 roung lot and then re-load that brass? What is the cheapest/best way? Is re-loading really that easy? It sounds like I can just do it on my kitchen table!! I can't believe it...

Thanks Guys, I know the powder would be strong enough, I just wanted to use the Kirst cylinder exclusively.

May 8, 2007, 10:01 AM
You are correct, with the Lee Loader, you can roll your own at the kitchen table - you will need a small hammer if memory serves - something to tap on the dies with - is all spelled out in the directions that come with.

As to cost, you will have to put down a little money to start with to buy components - brass, bullets (again recommend Laser Cast 250 grain semiwadcutters) primers and powder. The Laser Cast are very hard and conventional wisdom is to use softer lead at standard power levels but my experience with them in my Ruger Vaqueros is that they shoot very accurately and leave no leading at all. They used to offer "sample" packs that you could test - might do that.

The nice thing about standard 45 Colt loads is that they don't use a lot of powder - like 8 grains of Winchester 231 will give 900 fps.

However, with the Lee Loader, you will only have to spend the equivalent to three boxes of factory ammo and you'll have enough stuff to load 500 rounds.

Your loaded cost once the brass is obtained is only $4-$5 per 50.

Plus, you can customize the load to your gun.

Finally, although the Speer gold dots have a very good rep, I still recommend the hard cast semi wadcuters over them - they will penetrate much much deeper than jacketed hollowpoints and give a higher velocity for the same pressure (they create less friction while sliding down the barrel).
No reason not to do this IMHO.

May 8, 2007, 12:39 PM
You might also look at the Lee Hand Press if you think you might do more reloading than just .45 LC.

May 8, 2007, 03:54 PM
Thank You, OSOK- I have more confidence now, and I will roll my own.. I know it will be much much more cheaper, and I'll be able to make my own concoctions.

But, any suggestions for powders (types), or primers? (sizes/brands)?

As for brass, any old ones should do, right? I think as long as I buy enough for 500 casings/1000 primers, and how much powder loads 1000 rounds? I think that should be enough, right?

Thank You so much for your guidance, I wouldn't be able to get this information anywhere else....

May 8, 2007, 04:07 PM
If you intend to use black powder, you just fill the case with as much as you can get to fit and still seat the bullet. Anything else will require a loading manual. Each caliber listed in one of those has several different loads with several different powders. There are so many different ones which would work it is just a matter of picking one to start off with. I have several loading manuals and I'll check between them to see if there's any large disagreements before actually doing any case filling. Your loading manuals are a one time investment which will be good for your lifetime.


May 8, 2007, 05:42 PM
If you decide to get the Lee Loader setup and use smokeless powder, I'd suggest buying an inexpensive powder scale also. The dipper measures that Lee provides are calibrated to throw a set amount of particular powders. That's a lot like using Pyrodex pellets in the fact that you can't effectively tinker with charge weight to find the perfect load. The scale will let you adjust your loads in 1/10 grain increments till you find the one that works best in your gun. Good luck and enjoy!

May 14, 2007, 03:03 AM
Thanks Guys, I will do just that. Do you supposed loading in black powder as opposed to smokeless have any benefits/cons? Or loading in smokeless as opposed to black powder?? Or is it just personal preference. I just want to get the best performance from my revolver-


May 14, 2007, 09:43 AM
First as to smokeless powder to recommend, I'd suggest opening the Lee Loader at the store and check the loads listed with the kit first - then decide which powder to get to go with - Winchester 231 is good, Unique is good, Universal Clays is good. You should also look for a dipper set which Lee makes - not much money and gives you a greater range of charges with full dippers.

Just use the dipper method to start with and see how that performs for you. The scale is indeed a great idea but you will find that it will slow down the loading process a lot - unless you also get a powder measure which will drop uniform loads of all of the powders listed above. More money, but if you like reloading, then that'd be a great way to progress.

As to black powder vs smokeless - this is a personal choice - black is fun and produces good velocities - just a tad short of smokeless loads usually but not always. Black requires much more extensive cleaning of both gun and cases. Smokeless is cheaper as you are using much much less powder - 8 grains vs 35 for black.

You may consider shooting black with the issue cap cylinder and smokeless in the conversion cylinder. Some ranges do not allow black powder during dry fire-hazard times too, so it'd be nice to have both options.

Hope that helps.

May 14, 2007, 11:43 AM
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May 18, 2007, 02:25 PM
You might look into using TrailBoss powder. It is made like puffed wheat. A hot load will fill the 45 case a little over half way. The same load using something like 5 grains of Clays Universal barely covers the primer hole. I have heard the powder settling in the cartridge can cause extreme variations in the performance.

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