.45 LONG COLT/Whitetail


September 29, 2011, 09:19 PM
i bought a Ruger Blackhawk .45 LC to carry as my side arm(i never carried a sidearm before)but after talking with a Game Warden,i went and bought one.he told me about a deer hunter than ran across a coyote with rabies .long story short the sidearm he had saved him. now what kind of ammo should i use in the LC? state law prohibites hollow points,and all the cast round nose stuff i've found is "reduced cowboy loads" does somebody make a soft nose hunting round for the LC?

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September 29, 2011, 09:40 PM
Poor choice for deer, full power handloads with a heavy softpoints are an OK round for medium game at close range, anything less fits into the cruel and unusual bracket. Now a fast expanding SP will make a mess out of a rabid yote so it would be good for that.

September 29, 2011, 09:42 PM
I carry Buffalo Bore in mine. Mainly because it is sometimes the only hunting firearm I have with me.


September 29, 2011, 10:30 PM
looking at the specs that http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=38 ammo should make short work of a 125lb whitetail at pistol range(30yds or less) that buffalo bore ammo deff looks like the ammo for me.the 45 LC+P is allot more than i expected,that is a very impressive load i only thought u could get ballistics like that out of a 44mag!

September 29, 2011, 10:36 PM
I agree that cowboy loads would be a poor choice for white-tail. But full-power .45 Colt (usually sold as .45 Colt +P or .45 Colt Magnum) is going to equal .44 Magnum.

Besides Buffalo Bore, look to Corbon (300 gr JSP @ 1300 fps) and Double Tap (255 gr Keith HC @ 1450).

That law about HPs is ridiculous...but you know that already.

September 29, 2011, 10:37 PM
what's a "long" colt? hehehehehe

September 29, 2011, 10:55 PM
Those Buffalo Bore rounds are designed for special large framed revolvers only, not standard pressure rounds. At those levels of power I put it in the same class as the 44 mag making it suitable for all medium game within handgun range. They do make a jacketd soft point that would be perfect for your needs. Warning though that 44 mag power comes at a price, it kicks like one.

September 30, 2011, 12:05 AM
The factory loads except for the custom loaders tend to be anemic (by .45 standards), but they will still take down a deer if well placed.

I use a .45lc with 8.0gr of Universal under a cast bullet. I've been using the Lee 255 FNGC for ~900fps. From my 24"bbl Winchester M94, it gets 1,200fps. At this speed it will completely penetrate a deer lenghtwise through the chest cavity and exit the pauch. This year, I bought a RCBS 270gr SAA SWC that I've been working with. It shoots very well with up to 10.0gr of Unique for over 1,000fps. This is about as warm as I care to shoot. At this level, the .45lc will do anything you want a hip-carry handgun to do.

If you don't reload, the Federal 225gr Lead SWC-HP will probably do what you want. If not, the warmer loads such as the Buffalo Bore will give you .44magnum type performance from the .45lc.

I've loaded some "warm" .45lc loads with a 300gr WFN-GC at 1,200fps. They aren't any fun to shoot as they are near .45Casull level recoil. But, my Ruger Redhawk (now sold off.... too darn heavy to wear in a holster all day!!!) would shoot near 1-hole with them at 25yds, if you could hold onto it.....

Even the "mouse fart" loads (ie: Cowboy Action Shooting) aren't really that anemic. Most are running ~800fps and with a 250-255gr bullet will do in a deer if you hit it right. Remember this is still more powerful than the .45acp with factory "service" ammo.

I'd be more concerned with shot placement and finding an accurate load from your BlackHawk and practicing with it. If you can reliably hit a quart oil bottle at 50yds, you are just about there.

I've owned/have various magnum handguns/cartridges, but the .45lc is my favorite. Big performance, low pressures for power level attained. Brass lasts almost as long as .38spl.

September 30, 2011, 02:04 AM
The debate over underpowerd rounds will go on forever. Somebody here keeps talking about how his 223 is a great deer rifle, and another guy swears that his 45ACP is enough, when you boil it all down sure a 22LR will kill a deer if you put it in his brain. And a 223 will do the trick on dog sized Flordia deer at close range, but if you want reliable performance on nice sized deer out to 100 yards and you don't want to rely strictly on headshots the universaly acceptable minimums are .243 Win in high speed rifle calibers, and 44 magnum in in large bore handgun bullets these can both give quick kills even at less then ideal angles which lesser rounds simply won't do. Very few experenced hunters would disagree that these are fully capable of reliable quick kills in real world situations. So I would advise you not to use standard power 45 LC loads or RN lead bullets. Am I saying that a 22-250, 45 LC, or 357 mag could not get a quick kill? No but you are much more limited in terms of bullet selection, range and angle of your shot, such limitations could easly overcome by using an exceptional deer cartrage rather then just a marginal one. 30-06/308/7mm Rem Mag/270 win or WSM for the recoil tolorent or 30-30/25-06/6.5x55/7mm-08/260rem for those who don't like to be kicked by thier rifle. Handguns don't get any low recoil options 44 mag, 454 Casull (+ comprabel 45LC loads) and 500 S&W.

Scipio Africanus
September 30, 2011, 02:24 AM
The Buffalo Bore stuff is great and the .45 Colt in Ruger revolvers is equal to or better than the .44 Mag. High pressure .45 Colt rounds will serve you well for your requirements. However, do not discount standard pressure loads. Not the mouse fart "cowboy" loads; but loads with a 250 or so grain bullet between 900 and 1,000 fps. This was the original load back in the 1870's. It was designed for horse cavalrymen to shoot through horses broadside and it did so just fine. With modern SWC and WFN/LFN designs this power level would be even better. Buffalo Makes one or two of these as well and nothing is easier to handload if you do that. The .45 Colt in standard or high pressure config. will kill anything you want, very dead, and you don't have to break your hand if you don't want to.

And the no hollow point thing is absurd.

September 30, 2011, 05:24 AM
I load 255 gr hard cast SWC's to about 900 fps for my old S&W model 25. I shot a whitetail doe last season with it at 50 yards. Complete penetration from right shoulder to exit left rear rib cage. Needless to say, dead deer.

Don't worry about the .45 Colt being 'underpowered' unless you are after big-bodied heavy game or something that bites back aggressively.

September 30, 2011, 07:09 AM
In 45 long Colt, I load 260 grain cast bullets, either SWCs or FPRN, over a full charge of black powder. From a 7 1/2" barrel I get about 950 fps and stem to stern penetration on white tailed deer. I believe 8.5 to 9.0 grains of Unique will be a duplicate of this load.

These laods are safe in Colts and Colt clones so will be easily digested by the heavy Blackhawk revolver.

September 30, 2011, 08:19 AM
I cant forsee a situation where a sidearm would save me from a rabid coyote if i had a rifle at my immediate disposal. Maybe if there were 10 rabid coyotes?

Arkansas Paul
September 30, 2011, 08:23 AM
Holy Diver, I don't know if you handload, but if you shoot that thing much, it may be worth getting into just for the .45 Colt. You save that much money. I can load 255 grain SWC bullets from Missouri Bullets for about $20 per hundred rounds. And they're going along at a little over 1,100 fps so they're plenty for whitetails.

September 30, 2011, 12:06 PM
law prohibites hollow points,

:eek: What kind of commie state law is THAT? Me, I load a 300 grain XTP/JHP over a healthy charge of 2400 for 1200 fps out of a 7" gun. That load will do anything that a .44 mag will do, makes 1000 ft lbs at the muzzle. Best part, it's under SAAMI +P 25000 CUP limits, much lower pressure than a .44 mag, yet makes as much horsepower. I don't need no stinkin' .44 mag. :D Even on game that bites back, not a problem with horsepower.

If you don't handload, Buffalo Bore is your expensive, yet necessary option. For non-handloaders, I think .44 mag makes more sense, but I like the .45 Colt as a handloader. My two .45s are strong guns, a stainless Blackhawk and a TC Contender.

For practice loads, I use range scrap to cast my own 255 flat nose. I can load those for about 3 bucks a box of 50. I put 8.3 grains of Unique behind 'em.

September 30, 2011, 09:59 PM
just like 2 clear up a few things:i'll only use the 45lc on a whitetail in certain situations,directly under my tree stand,very close and impossible angle for my remmy 7mm-08 (my primary deer rifle) i have no intentions of using the 45lc for a primary weapon! oh yea about the coyote:it attacked the hunter from the rear,as the hunter turned he hit a tree and knocked his rifle from his hands.pulled his sidearm and killed the crazed coyote.i know in a perfect world world we never ever drop our rifle.....but some time things happen

September 30, 2011, 10:42 PM
Buffalo Bore 300 grain flat nose cast, big hogs no problem so deer are no problem. for whitetail the Winchestr silvertip work great, tougher game go with a cast flat nose or gas check even a semi wadcutter.

September 30, 2011, 11:00 PM
A Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt is an excellent hunting sidearm. I wouldn't shoot a deer with it when carrying a high powered rifle but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to use it without the rifle at short range. I'd use Buffalo Bore or equivalent +P hand loads. I bought a lot from Conley Precision when they were selling boxes of 50 for around $30. What a steal!

September 30, 2011, 11:08 PM
I bought a lot from Conley Precision when they were selling boxes of 50 for around $30. What a steal!

A steal? Wow, I'm glad I have dies, a mold, and a press. :rolleyes:

I guess, like Einstein said, it's all relative.

September 30, 2011, 11:20 PM
60 cents per round for high quality hunting ammo is a steal compared to two to three times that for CorBon, Buffalo Bore, etc.

I've considered reloading. But I have very popular cartridges. The 45 Colt is my most expensive handgun round. It's also my least used. It's not worth me buying the equipment and spending my time to reload at this point.

Do you reload 9mm? 45 Auto? .30-06? .38 spl?

It's not worth my time...

October 1, 2011, 02:52 PM
Do you reload 9mm? 45 Auto? .30-06? .38 spl?

Yep, yes sir, uh huh, sure do, as well as, 7mm.08, .357 mag, .44 mag, .303 brit., .30/30, .444 marlin, .22/250, .220 swift, .223, soon will be reloading .243 for one of the little ones, .500 S&W, and, when I get one, 6.8 spc :) Many say that I don't need the 6.8 since it is about the same as my 7mm.08 but oh well :)

As far as the OP's question, since you don't reload (I strongly recommend you get into it for the cost savings alone) that Conley Precision is pretty good stuff as well as Buffalo Bore. It has been so long since I bought factory ammo I guess I am a bit out of the loop there. A .45 lc is a pretty stout load and would easily bring down a deer at typical archery range (40 yards or less) as long as you do your part and hit it where it's supposed to be hit.

October 1, 2011, 04:12 PM
I've considered reloading. But I have very popular cartridges. The 45 Colt is my most expensive handgun round. It's also my least used. It's not worth me buying the equipment and spending my time to reload at this point.

Don't take me long to knock out a few boxes with my progressives. I learned handloading from my grandpa at age 10 and up. I'm 59, reloading is just part of my chores in life. I'm retired, so it ain't like I'm having to do anything I don't enjoy and interrupting Wheel of Fortune isn't a big sacrifice. :D

Do you reload 9mm? 45 Auto? .30-06? .38 spl?

Yep, and cast for 'em, you bet! Consider THIS, I can load 9x19 or most any other pistol round for less than 3 dollars a box of 50. I use range scrap I pick up at our club range for lead. They shoot great. I load with factory jacketed stuff for serious ammo, but mostly shoot my own cast bullets. I also pick up more 9 or .45 brass at the range than I fire, most times. I even load for 9x18 and other handgun calibers. 9x18 is neat because I can trim 9x19 brass for it and 9x19 is plentiful on the ground at the range.

Rifles, I don't reload .30-06 cause I don't have one. Yes, I've killed dozens of deer and other game without a .30-06, imagine that, who'd a thunk it. I load .257 Roberts (grandpa's old gun and my first to reload for when he gave it to me), .308, 7mm rem mag, 7x57 (sold that gun), 8x57, .30-30, 7mm TCU (find THAT on the shelves), 7.62x39, even cast for my muzzleloaders.

I do buy factory stuff occasionally, mostly cheap stuff like 9x18 mak. I have two rifles that have never fired a factory load and have killed plenty of game. One reason, the main reason for loading my rifles is tailoring the round to the gun for 1/2-3/4 MOA accuracy that is hard to get with factory ammo. I've also, over the years, optimized the .257 with the best powder I have found, H4831, that pushes a 117 grain bullet to 3050 fps and a 100 grain to 3150. You cannot BUY .257 Roberts ammo that's loaded to its potential, one MUST handload for it. And, I still use grandpa's old rifle, love to take it out because when I do, I can feel his presence over me, tellin' me, "Don't shoot the doe, boy, might be a buck come along behind her. Some day you'll know why." Ever have a rifle you hunted with only for the memories? I dearly loved my grandpa. I ain't gonna hang up his rifle just because I can't find decent ammo for it.

Anyway, I load the rifles for the superior ammo I can create for my rifles. I load my handguns mostly because I can shoot more at only 3 dollars a box and it doesn't take that much time. I have a dedicated press just for 9x19, a Dillon Square Deal. I bought that when I was shooting semi-serious IDPA and burning a LOT of rounds in practice. I could whip out the ammo on that thing for a practice session in an hour and a half of free time. And, the savings do add up if you shoot a lot. Practice makes perfect, or nearer perfect, ya know. :D

Back to .45 Colt, cast bullet 255 grain from a Lee mold over 8.3 grains Unique yields about 950 fps out of a 4 5/8" blackhawk and shoots into 1" with iron sights at 25 yards using sandbags for a rest. Cost of a box, under 3 dollars.

October 1, 2011, 04:43 PM
I'd love to pay you 500% profit on your loads! :)

Arkansas Paul
October 1, 2011, 08:28 PM
Do you reload 9mm? 45 Auto? .30-06? .38 spl?

It's not worth my time...

Don't get me wrong, handloading isn't for everyone. It's obviously up to the individual, but you can save tons of money with rifle rounds like .30-06. Federal Premium 150 grain NBTs are about $40 a box. I can load them for right at $11 a box. That's why I load. For the record I don't save any money at all, but I sure burn through a lot more ammo than I would be able to otherwise.

I also agree with MCgunner, that if you don't handload, the .44 mag makes more sense.
Also, a standard .45 Colt load, pushing a 255 grain SWC at 900+ fps is more than enough to take a whitetail at close range, such as directly under your stand. You don't really need the amped up stuff for that IMO.

Blue Brick
October 2, 2011, 01:04 AM
If you don't reload, the Federal 225gr Lead SWC-HP will probably do what you want.

+ 1

October 2, 2011, 05:40 AM
HOLY DIVER. I think you may find this to be an interesting read.


He has a couple other articles where the .45 Colt is mentioned along with some load data.


CSA 357
October 3, 2011, 06:41 PM
i shoot 255 swc out of my black hawk, a stought load of unique i would have no dought it would take a deer

Justin Holder
October 4, 2011, 08:32 PM
I have used Grizzly Ammo 260gr. Bonded Core Soft Points on a hog with good results. I think they are advertised at 1350 fps, pretty hot, but IMO you don't need this kind of power for deer or smaller critters.

I'd probably prefer Buffalo Bore's milder 255gr. hard cast load for general use.

October 6, 2011, 09:23 PM
think i forgot 2 mention that i do handload just have 2 order a set of dies for the LC. think i'll go with the 250gr hard cast bullets in a +p load i'm not going 2 push my luck on the load.i'm not a big fan of max loads.i figure a 250gr hardcast flat nose @ 1200fps should do the trick. thanks for all the info guys

October 6, 2011, 10:50 PM

The hard cast bullet may give you leading problems unless it matches your chamber and bore. Many of us like the way softer bullet perform but that requires casting equipment or a custom caster who will alter his alloy.

October 6, 2011, 11:02 PM
45 Colt 250gr MBC Pinbusters 25gr 296 @ 1400FPS from a 7 1/2".....will drop a whitetail where they stand @ 75y.....

October 8, 2011, 11:13 PM
I'd use LRNFP or semi-wadcutters. A regular round nose doesn't expand or crush bone well enough. I think a flat nose bullet is more likely to pack more punch without just passing through. Any .45 should get a coyote's attention though.

Art Eatman
October 9, 2011, 12:25 AM
As near as I can tell from reading comments by people like Ross Seyfried, who hunts Great Big Critters with handguns, heavy bullets with large meplats are the most effective. Few handgun bullets travel fast enough for any significant expansion, and it's common that hollow-points don't penetrate to a sufficient distance.

October 9, 2011, 06:43 AM
Art Eatman ...As near as I can tell from reading comments by people like Ross Seyfried, who hunts Great Big Critters with handguns, heavy bullets with large meplats are the most effective...

In his writings Seyfried is a proponent of such cast bullets. The larger the meplat the better. He also writes about getting better, straighter penetration with nearly flat pointed bullets in a rifle.

October 9, 2011, 08:42 AM
I can't find where Hollow points can't be used in SC.
Here is a section right from the SC Department of Natural Resources SCDNR,

Firearms and Ammunition

Hunters are often very opinionated with respect to firearms and ammunition and similarly, there are many misconceptions related to the subject. It is still common for hunters to place more emphasis on their firearms and ammunition than on shot placement. The old saying "I use this magnum because you can hit them in the butt and blow their head off' is still common. Also apparent are skeptical remarks implying that smaller caliber center-fire firearms are less effective and result in deer running further and increased crippling rates.

During this study there were in excess of 20 different center-fire cartridges used to harvest deer. To reduce variability the various cartridges were group by their respective caliber. This resulted in the delineation of 5 caliber groups; .243 cal., .25 cal., .270 cal., .284 cal., and .30 cal.

In order to gain some objective measure of how these calibers performed on deer, we looked at the distance deer traveled. This included all animals regardless of whether they died in their tracks or ran. We found no significant difference in the performance of these caliber groups when comparing how deer reacted. Mean distances deer traveled varied between 14 and 40 yards but there was no apparent relationship with increasing or decreasing caliber size or the inherent differences in velocity or energy that is related to the different caliber groups.

Custom versus Factory

Recently there has been an increasing interest among hunters related to custom firearms and the super accurate shooting that accompanies these weapons. Questions often arise concerning potential differences between factory made and custom made equipment. Since we recorded the type of firearm and ammunition, we were able to check for differences between factory made and custom made firearms. Once again, the distance deer traveled was used as the determining factor and there was no statistical difference between custom and factory firearms. Regardless of the weapons make, deer traveled about 30 yards.


The final question that we addressed in this study dealt with differences in the performance of different bullet types. With the popularity of hand loading and super accurate shooting sportsmen often debate the merits of different bullet types. For the purposes of this study and because there are so many different bullet types, we placed bullets into 2 categories. Group 1 consisted of softer type bullets. In other words, bullets that are designed to rapidly expand on impact. Bullets falling into that group included ballistic tips, bronze points or any other soft point bullet that is of the appropriate weight for the caliber, for southeastern sized deer. For example, a 150 grain ballistic tip bullet in a .30 caliber rather than a 200 grain bullet in the same caliber. Group 2 bullets were just the opposite and included some of the premium types of ammunition loaded with controlled expansion bullets including Partitions, Grand Slams, Barnes X, and various types of solids. Also, bullets that are generally accepted as being too heavy for southeastern sized deer were placed in this group. For example, a 200 grain bullet in a .30 caliber weapon is generally considered too much for southeastern deer. Overall, Group I bullets could be characterized as being explosive on impact, where as Group 2 bullets were controlled in the manner they expand.

Firearms and ammunition - Bullet types

Group 1 – Rapidly expanding bullets such as Ballistic Tips, bronze points, etc. Any soft point bullet of appropriate weight for a particular caliber for southeastern deer.
Group 2 – Harder or more controlled expansion bullets such as Partitions, Grand Slams, Barnes X, etc. Any bullet that is heavier for a particular caliber than is generally recommended for southeastern deer.

Again, using the distance that deer traveled as a measure of performance we found that deer struck with the more explosive type bullets traveled a mean distance of about 27 yards while those struck with hard or heavy bullets traveled an average of approximately 43 yards. This represents a significant difference with deer struck by hard bullets traveling further. The second method of monitoring bullet performance dealt with the percentage of deer that were dropped in their tracks by the respective bullet groups. Again, explosive type bullets significantly outperformed the hard/heavy bullets with 58 percent knock downs compared to 40 percent. Finally, and more subjectively, we looked at the percentage of deer that ran and left poor sign. Again we found a significant difference between the two groups indicating that deer struck with more expanding type bullets left poor sign only about 12 percent of the time compared to over 21 percent for the hard/heavy group.


Shooting percentages about 82%.
The farther the shot, the lower the chance of getting the deer.
Deer ran about 62 yards on average.
Shot placement is determining factor. All things considered, broadside shoulder shot worked best compared to others.
About 50:50, deer run vs. deer don’t run.
Trained dog expedited recovery of all deer that ran.
Dog very important in recovering 61 deer that left poor/no sign, 24 deer judged unrecoverable, and 19 live/wounded deer.
Dog accounted for approximately 15 – 20% of total harvest on hunting area, i.e. 75 – 100 deer.
No difference in effectiveness of various calibers.
No difference between factory vs. custom firearms.
Significant difference between bullet types. This study indicates that rapidly expanding bullets lead to deer running less often and less distance and when they run they leave better sign.

I also read the game laws and can't find where HP can't be used.
Might want to check into this a bit more to be sure.

Art Eatman
October 9, 2011, 02:05 PM
Post #35 is excellent info, but not on-topic for this thread...

October 9, 2011, 05:30 PM
Post #35 is excellent info, but not on-topic for this thread...

(OP)state law prohibites hollow points

So he was looking for something non HP, I guess because he said HP's can't be used, I could find no where in SC law that says this.

If that was off topic,, please delete.

October 9, 2011, 11:13 PM
a .45 colt (or long colt) in some cases can surpass a .44 mag. I guess I am a traditionalist and love the old Peacemaker with lots of added whup ass behind it, I would use it up to anything shy of grizzly with the right load. I love my Ruger BH Bisley .45 colt.

October 10, 2011, 09:23 PM
I cast my own 45 Colt. But Corbon also makes a 300 grain Jacked soft point bullet which should be suitable for a Ruger Blackhawk - but NOT the weaker Colt SAA or its clones.



October 13, 2011, 02:36 PM
I don't understand how some of the posters in this thread can so readily discount the original .45Colt ballistics when it comes to killing a deer. A 260grainWFN/LFN/Keith slug thru the heart/lung will go in one side and out the other.....that will do the job just fine on any deer even at a lowly 850-900fps. A little bit of run but probably not much. If someone can't kill a deer with that, they are probably shooting it in the wrong place.

John LineBaugh's wife and kids have killed plenty of mule deer/antelope using a .45Colt loaded with 260grain Keiths@about 950fps. He says that load will go stem-to-stern on a deer@100yards, and goes so far as to say that the load kills as reliably as a centerfire rifle.

Bigbore airgunners are killing deer (yes deer hunting with bigbore airguns is legal in several states) with much less "energy". Using a solid .45 slug usually results in complete penetration.....the deer typically trot (not take off with their tail on fire, but trot.....spooked a bit, but not "alarmed") 20-30yards, fall over, and die quick. The consistency in the kill times, and game reaction is pretty impressive, actually. Bigbore airguns don't seem to activate the ol' adrenalin like a centerfire rifle can.

October 13, 2011, 02:36 PM
"Few handgun bullets travel fast enough for any significant expansion, and it's common that hollow-points don't penetrate to a sufficient distance."
Hmmm...if bullets don't expand, how do hollow points penetrate less than any other bullet of same size and weight.

Truth is, out of magnum pistols, hollow points do travel fast enough to expand, and the same would be true of a +P .45 colt load. They work great on smaller bodied deer. I prefer cast SWC's though, as my own personal preference.

October 13, 2011, 07:50 PM
Holy Diver you will be fine with a standard velocity 250gr-260gr SWC. There is no need to magnumize the .45 Colt as it is a great cartridge in its' own right. I think you find this article to be of great interest to you, hope this helps. http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12

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