Hunting/Home defense loads?


March 27, 2010, 09:58 PM
I have been playing with this idea in my mind for a couple of weeks and just want to know what ya'll think? Reloading the .45 colt and .44 Mag with BP (Goex 3fg) and a 250 grain flat bullet with some Buck shot or BB's behind it for Hunting/Home defense loads! (of course OUTSIDE Home defense) You know for Coyotes, Hogs, Neighborhood Drug dealer who strays onto my property! Am I CRAZY or have I been watching too many Spaghetti Westerns? Sometimes I wish we still had western justice now a days!

If you enjoyed reading about "Hunting/Home defense loads?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 27, 2010, 11:10 PM
For what gun?

March 27, 2010, 11:31 PM
Why bother with .44 magnum? If you're going to use that caliber for defense or for nasty critters, there are much better loads available commercially and they won't gum up your weapon's action.

March 27, 2010, 11:37 PM
2400 works better in my .45 Blackhawk if I have to defend myself against something with teeth. I ain't out to choke him with smoke.

March 28, 2010, 12:43 AM
HP38 is my go to powder...when I'm not cowboy shooting.

March 28, 2010, 02:24 AM
Forget the buck & ball, stick with 250 gr flat nose lead, Use a good BP lube, and as close to 40 gr FFF as you can get compressed in the cartridge. The psychological effects in darkness are amazing. An aquaintance in a Philly suburb was out of town when someone tried to break into their backyard garage one night. His wife let loose with a full load out of his .54 Great Plains Rifle from the second floor. They ran, apparently left a trial :-)
She is now known in the neighborhood as the insane dragon lady that shoots a flame-belching canon at intruders. They've been left alone.


March 28, 2010, 11:54 AM
You're crazy.
Black powder fouls a lot.
I tried it once in a .45 LC Blackhawk and had to pull the cylinder after six shots to clean the fouling off so it would turn again.
I love my Remington .44. It is a huge amount of fun to shoot and so dramatic with the smoke and the roar. But for a defensive gun, I'd much prefer a whole lot of other guns to a 150+ year old design or to a cartridge gun loaded with black powder.

March 28, 2010, 12:51 PM
As much as I love BP, I have to agree with the others. Use a smokeless load. If you're shooting a Ruger then you can come up with some very hot loads for .45Colt, much more effective than BP.
However, for outside use I personally think you'd be better served with a rifle. But that's just my opinion, not my advice.

March 28, 2010, 01:17 PM
I never carried a rifle unless I was hunting. Handguns are better for hiking and back packing for the same reasons they're better for self defense, they're on you when you need 'em and they don't take a lot of pain to carry. I don't hike or backpack anymore or haven't in a long time, but I've toted a medium weight .357 all over the southern New Mexico mountains. I only toted a rifle when I was hunting. I never considered BP, though. I'll carry a Hawken if it's BP season and back it up with my ROA if it's legal to do so. I haven't hunted NM in BP season, so I'm not sure of the laws.

March 28, 2010, 06:32 PM
I shot my Remington cap& ball revolvers in a night shoot a couple of times. What I learned was to SHUT MY EYES just before pulling the trigger or else I would have to wait 5-10 seconds for my sudden flash blindness to dissipate. I don't think you want to go 5 seconds without seeing what the bad guys are doing before you can touch off another round. We're not talking any smoke problem either. So, my vote is NO BP. Why blind yourself and show them where you are?

Dave A
March 29, 2010, 05:19 PM
From a strictly legal standpoint it would probably be very unwise to use any hand loaded ammunition for home defence be it black powder or smokeless. If any of this ammunition is used and someone is killed or injured then the prosecuting attourney at your trial wil argue that it was loaded with malice aforethought. That places you in a very unfavorable light in front of the jury and will probably result in your conviction. Always use factory loaded rounds in a modern fire arm for minimal problems in this regard. Others more learned can expound at greater length on this topic in the legal section of this forum and I would suggest going there.

Loyalist Dave
March 30, 2010, 04:42 AM
This is sound advice, and from a civil standpoint, the plaintiff's attorney will argue that you used some sort of overloaded, super magnum, spent uranium, poisoned load, and thus his client was much more harmed than had you used nice, safe, factory ammunition.., after all how many badguys survive in the movies being shot with black powder handguns, etc? States vary but you never know.


Cap n Ball
March 30, 2010, 10:15 AM
I assume you are talking about only BP defense weapons. For home I have a modern Tarus Judge 410/45 revolver. For away from home out in the boonies yet up close and personal I have my 1853 I.N.Johnson .54 cal. Load with buck and ball and it's 'good night Irene' to anything within 15 ft. Even if I miss it'll cook whatever it's aimed at. True, it's only a single shot but it'll give me time to draw my 1858 Remmie.

Cap n Ball
March 30, 2010, 10:59 AM
Here is a better picture of the pistol laying on it's left side. The powder horn was handed down from my Great Grandfather. He carried it though the war of Northern aggression. I added the measuring spout.

March 30, 2010, 11:15 AM
I can't see any purpose in loading BP in a centerfire cartridge for SD? What would be the purpose? So you can hide in the smoke?

March 30, 2010, 09:37 PM
Thanks ya'll for the practical side and the legal side of BP for SD. Sounds like a moderm arm is the best bet. (with factory ammo) :) I appreciate everyone's input! Thanks again. The gun's in question were .44 remington 1858 conversion to .45 (with a R&D conversion cyclinder) and a Rossi .44 mag carbine. Talking to a friend about different loads and thought it was a good idea! Guess not now! :) Was just wondering if Buck and Ball was a good load for hunting more than self defense. I guess a double barrel 12 gun would intimedate more and do more damage for defense, but would probably grab the trusty .357 Dakota revolver. (nick named Old Faithful) Thank GOD I have not had to use it yet! Hope to never use it either. I would rather face a pissed off Hog than take a man's life, but family safety comes first!

March 31, 2010, 12:17 AM
Dakota!I have a 4 3/4'' old Dakota by Jager [really an Uberti,I think] in .45,two matching,consecutive numbered .45 51/2'' New Dakotas by EMF [ASM],and one more 51/2'' in 357. Nice!There was a time that a .357 Dakota was my only handgun,and the only ammo I had were BP rounds I made useing a Lee Loader,and a tack hammer.Would I have used that combo to protect my life,or the lives of others?in a heart beat.I understand the legal ramifications,but when it comes right down to it,you use what ya got.

March 31, 2010, 01:09 PM
True. If you're using a conversion cylinder, I don't see why a smokeless .45 LC cowboy load or a lighter end .45 LC load wouldn't work for defense.
Reloading is gonna be nonexistent, but for an extra gun that you might want to keep around loaded "just in case", I can't see how five rounds of .45 LC would be a bad thing.

For buck and ball, there are buck and ball smokeless loads available for 12 gauge that would be effective. Getting hit with one would be devastating. But the original idea of buck and ball was this - you have say a .75 caliber musket firing a .69 or so caliber ball. For military purposes, the ball had to be undersize to reload quickly after fouling began to build up. However, accuracy was laughable with this combination. Past 50 yards you may very well miss a man that you took careful aim at entirely. So the solution was to stuff a few buckshot sized pellets in as well to increase the chances of making a hit. Fired in volleys like you had during late 18th century warfare it made a lot of sense.
For HD, I think a standard load of buckshot would do just as well. But I can't see buck and ball not working!

March 31, 2010, 06:20 PM
oh, aye, it'd work...but if you're talkin useing your single shot Horse Pistol as a manstopper,I'd just put about a dozen .31 caliber,or nine .36 caliber pistol balls between two felt wads,and be done with it.

March 31, 2010, 07:05 PM
Grizz22 the reason for the smoke is for the illusion. You know like David Cooperfield! You have to work the magic of the moment! :) kidding of course! Just asking before i attempted, It's that dang learning thing again! :)

March 31, 2010, 07:08 PM
BHP Fan, i will post a pic of my Dakota in a couple of hours! My 3 year old is taking my time at the moment! Talk later!

March 31, 2010, 09:05 PM
This is my 1873 Dakota .357 mag. Jager Italy Revolver.

April 1, 2010, 10:43 AM
Yep,one of mine looks exactly like that!

Savvy Jack
April 4, 2010, 01:18 PM
If you are like me and just like BP for everything...I load full loads for all my cartridge rounds. I measure by weight which varies depending on the density of each batch of powder. My current batch of Goex FFF I can get 39gr for my 44-40/w .20" compression, 19gr for my 38 Spls - .06 compression and 22gr in my 357mags - .06 compression.

I have learned no matter what weapon you have, yes I said weapon not firearm, its never the one anyone els would use. Its either too big or too small or wont hold a sharp enough edge. Nevertheless, they will all kill with correct placement!

April 4, 2010, 08:59 PM
First time this weekend to even get to the computer! My Dakota does not have a safety on the .357, is it because of what year it was produced? I bought mine used in 92 from a pawn shop in Lakeland, Fl that has the biggest gun collection I had ever seen! The only problem I ever had with this gun was when I was taking it apart one day todo a deep cleaning, I broke the cylinder spring and had a hard time finding one! Every gunsmith I spoke with said the same thing, "No longer made and no parts are available!" was told to junk it and buy new! YEAH RIGHT!!!! Since my Dad taught me to find alternate ways to fix a problem I found that the stainless scissor spring in a pocket knife (small multi tool) worked out pretty well. Just had to make a slight bend to it and it works even better than the original. Also helps the cylinder spin better! :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Hunting/Home defense loads?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!