45 colt carry load


March 16, 2010, 12:44 AM
ok based on recommendations from this forum i ended up with a NEW vaquero in 45lc as an open carry/ hiking/ fun gun.

ive been having a blast shooting the light cowboy style loads (got a bunch from georgia arms). however i want to get some loads for carry. primarily i will be using this gun when hiking and hunting. i dont really need anything to be able to take a deer down but it would be nice (acknowledging a ~25yard limit based on my shooting i get about 3-5" groups at that range).
so probably primarily s.d, no bears but i have had problems with feral dogs while hiking, and also deliverance style situations.

ive been eyeballing this load http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=154030
Buffalo Bore Ammunition 45 Colt (Long Colt) 255 Grain Lead Keith-Type Semi-Wadcutter Gas Checkat 1000fps. its there good for any 45lc chambered gun; not one of the crazy powerful loads. id assume this load can handle me popping at groundhogs as i goof off on the weekend?

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Buck Snort
March 16, 2010, 01:57 AM
You don't need a 1000 fps 255 gr. LSWC to stop feral dogs whether they stand on 4 legs or two. Many a man was stopped cold in the old west with a 250 gr. soft lead slug launched at 750 fps.

March 16, 2010, 02:02 AM
I have a "New" Vaquero .45 Colt - traded in an "Old" Vaquero .45 Colt to get it. Much better gun for me - fits my hands like a glove. Much better tolerances. Any of the standard pressure loads from Buffalo Bore would be great. Also, the Speer 250 grain Gold Dot and Federal 225 grain SWCHP would be great as well. If you reload you can safely go up to 20k psi which is good enough for me. The only good thing about the "Old" Vaquero was the ability to shoot "Ruger only" loads which I never did anyway.

March 16, 2010, 05:43 AM
Like said above, you don't need 1000 fps with a .45 Colt. IMO a 255gr LSWC bullet needs only 750-800 fps to stop anything that will try to hurt you in the woods. That round will penetrate well and do a lot of damage on the way through.

I can't tell you which ammo to buy because I load my .45 Colt ammo. I push a 255gr LSWC with either W231 or HS-6.

March 16, 2010, 06:06 AM
+1 for the 255gr LSWC suggestion http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_87&products_id=342&osCsid=kkva0hthlija92f6m03avtsh32

Doubletap also makes a 230gr JHP load http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_87&products_id=343&osCsid=kkva0hthlija92f6m03avtsh32

If you can find it in stock anywhere, Federal makes a 225 LSWCHP load as well. It's a .452 version of the venerable FBI load that has been stopping bad guys for 40+ years.

March 16, 2010, 12:14 PM
The Federal 225 grain LSWCHP is accurate and delivers the velocity claimed on the box. The Speer GDHP .45 Colt load is advertised at 750 ft/sec. It does expand reliably, and will penetrate ~14" of ballistic gel.

With that said, the 250 grain lead RNFP @ 700 to 750 ft/sec "Cowboy Action" loads, as others have said, is a dead ringer for the 28 grain FFFg black powder loads that were used when it was found that the full-powered 40 grain FFFg loads were rough on both gunmen and guns. It's a dead ringer for the .45 Colt loads the Army turned to in the Philippines when it was discovered that the .38 loads of the time where wholly inadequate at putting down charging Moros. It will penetrate far deeper than the Speer HP will . . . without poking clear through a two-legged varmint and continuing off into the sunset like the same bullet at 1000 ft/sec would.

March 16, 2010, 12:20 PM
In my Beretta Stampede, my defense/critter load is a 250 gr. Gold Dot handloaded to 1,080 FPS for 650 ft/lbs. It's a stout load, but not too much for modern guns like the Beretta/Uberti or new Vaquero.

March 16, 2010, 12:37 PM
With that particular bullet at that velocity, I'd be a bit worried that the bullet would over-expand to the point of fragmentation.

And what barrel length are you using to achieve that velocity? I could see that being on the hairy edge of safe with a lead bullet out of a 7-1/2" barrel, but you're a braver man than I to do it with a jacketed bullet out of a Uberti or Beretta. :eek: Shoot that load from a Vaquero (new or otherwise,) sure. A Uberti, or its upscale Beretta Stampede cousin, may be made from better steel than any old Colt SAA, but it's still got the same paper-thin cylinder walls, slender topstrap, and much of the old-fashioned lockwork of a Colt SAA.

March 16, 2010, 02:07 PM
A Gold Dot isn't going to fragment at that speed. I think if it were my load, I'd probably be happy with a good 1000, reduce the recoil just a little bit, but that's really starting to split hairs.

March 17, 2010, 11:17 AM
you're a braver man than I to do it with a jacketed bullet out of a Uberti or Beretta.

The pressures really aren't that high to achieve such velocities in the large .45 Colt case. This is not a load I fire often, mind you. Usually a 250 gr. LRNFP at 800 for plinking and target practice.

Oh, it's a 5.5" gun. That load hits about 1140 from my 7.5" SRH.

March 17, 2010, 02:37 PM
Another vote for the Federal Champion 225gr LSWCHP #C45LCA.

It is accurate.

A hollow point is a must have IMO for .45 Colt SD loads.

March 17, 2010, 08:12 PM
I have that problem solved with my 4 5/8" convertible Blackhawk. It has both .45 ACP and .45 Colt cylinder. This gives me access to the best crop of super bullet .45 ACP SD ammo and the ability to throw BIG dense bullets for hunting.

March 18, 2010, 03:37 AM
I haven't shot the Federal C45LCA ammo but I've heard good things about it. If you don't load your own ammo it's worth hunting some down... I'm told it will do just over 800 fps from a 4" S&W M625 Mountain gun.

March 18, 2010, 07:58 AM
For self-defense against people or dogs, I think Georgia Arm's 200 JHP @ 1100 fps (http://georgia-arms.com/new45longcolt200grgolddothollowpoint50pk.aspx) is just about perfect*- should be nice and controllable in that Ruger, while still being close to optimal for a defensive carry load.

*though I confess that I think their 260 grain HP at 1000 fps would be more versatile


March 18, 2010, 08:43 AM
The GA Arms 200gr JHP .45 Colt load has the thicker edged/high speed designed Speer Gold Dot JHP. I chronoed them at 1123 +/-8 fps from my 4" 625MG; 1210 +/-23 fps from my 5.5" RH; and 1424 +/-6 fps from my Puma 24" M1892. These somewhat agree with the 1100 fps advertised for the CCI Blazer variant once available (I haven't seen it in a while.).

The Speer #4484 .45 Colt bullet is a 250gr pre-stressed thin mouth wall Gold Dot designed to double it's area at 800fps. They, ie, Speer, load it at levels delivering ~ 820-860 fps, if memory serves me, from 4"-5.5" barrels - and sell it in 20 rd boxes ~$30. I get 814 +/-11 fps from my 4" 625MG charged with 6.2 gr Titegroup in a Federal-primed Starline brass case with the GD atop, a few fps more with a Meister 255gr LSWC atop. A mix of both would have all 'woods walking' threats covered - at least here in the SE USA.


PS I haven't tried the latest batch of Speer ammo that is once again widely available as my two 625s have softer Wolff hammer springs, marrying it to Federal primers - certainly not reliable with CCI. I did get more of the 4484 bullets - to roll more of my own.

March 18, 2010, 09:42 AM
i went with the 255gr keith style at 1000fps from buffalo bore. seems like a hot; but reasonable load level. shouldnt blow up my new model vaquero----hopefully!

March 19, 2010, 12:34 AM
I like CCI'S Blazer load for my S&W 25-5. 200gr jhp 900fps in 45 Long Colt

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