45 round ball: two holes on deer?


January 12, 2011, 07:22 PM
I am working up loads for my Ruger Old Army and want to know if there is any point in working up to maximum loads, roughly 1200 fps with 777, or not? I know 800 fps with black powder is useable from cap and ball posts with numerous copies of the Remington 1858 Army model. Is there any record of shooting through a whitetail deer with swaged round balls in .454 or .457 with any handgun or rifle? Any reports of shots that penetrated a shoulder and the vitals at any velocity?

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January 13, 2011, 06:03 AM
Try 190 grain .457 Buffalo Ballets if any can be found:


Dixie doesn't have them in stock but read the great review of these by "mec":


Chronographed velocity/ calculated energy was:

40Gr./Vol. H 777 1066 fps 51fps spread 479ft/lbs




January 13, 2011, 03:58 PM
Don't know if they still do but when they first came out Ruger stated that any amount of any grade of black powder could be used in the old Army. I maxed out a load of FFFFg with a round ball and recently verified that it was close to 1100 fps. (Back then, we only had the real stuff and had an old ohler chrono.) Not enough for deer here in IL by law but I think with a good double lung hit it would be fine.

January 13, 2011, 10:02 PM
40 grains 777 fffg a 190 grain.457 buffalo bullet,availible at muzzeloading emporium online or dixie gunworks online,has about 500 ftlbs of energy at the muzzel with 1156 fps mv,a 255 grain .454 hornady frontier cowboy bullet over 37 grains 777 fffg 1000 fps mv hit the deer squarely in the eye and exited cleanly out the ear,droping the animal in its tracks, at 30 paces the other deer in the area didnt notice and continued to feed,another was picked off on a running shot 180 yards away with a tc omega loaded with a 250 gr sst sabot,3 777 50 gr pellets win ml primer .......delicious jerky...............:D

the Black Spot
January 16, 2011, 08:31 AM
i shot a doe at 6 yards with a 1860 army loaded with 30 gr of 3F and a .457 rb. no exit wound. it was a heart shot so she didn't go far.

January 19, 2011, 10:36 PM
Many years ago, I shot a whitetail with my .45 caplock rifle with patched .440 round ball. The deer was about 6 years old (aged by an experienced game warden) spike buck. The range was under 50 yds, and mv about 1800 fps. The ball did not exit the deer. Pure lead round balls tend to flatten in game, and they kill very well. The buck walked around in a circle and fell over dead less than a minute after I hit him. I have also killed deer with .54 patched round balls with no difference in performance. They don't exit the animal, but they kill very quickly.

the Black Spot
January 20, 2011, 02:03 PM
i believe if you want pass throughs, you can't make the rb's shoot too fast. quicker they go the flatter they expand.

January 23, 2011, 04:42 PM
I've shot deer at long ranges (rifles) with both .45 and .50 prb where the velocity certainly would not have been over 800fps and, from tables I've seen, probably less. The balls went completely through. Up close the ball will be less likely to exit due to the expansion of the lead ball made possible by higher velocity. In my experience once you get past 50-60 yards you're more likely to get an exit.

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