Hoping for some help in bullet selection here....


October 6, 2011, 03:08 PM
I'm looking for the best bullet for this particular gun, or at least a good idea of where to start. I don't reload, but hope to get some stuff soon. Right now I'm just looking for a good weight and velocity number to get something decent. I've got a .45 long colt carbine with a 18.5 inch barrel and a 1 in 18 twist. I know there are many more factors that go into it, but a good idea of what to use for now would help me alot, I sure don't have the money to go buying lots of different types just to see how they do.

I'd like to keep it under 275 grains and right at 1,000 fps or a little less. This is for close range (100 yards and less) small whitetail hunting. My carbine can't handle the big super ruger loads which is why I'm trying to keep it under those numbers.

thanks in advance for anyone's info!

also, I think that expansion won't be a big deal, so JSP would be fine by me... a .45 hole is pretty big to start with.

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October 6, 2011, 03:09 PM
any links to some commercially available ammo would be greatly appreciated as well.

October 6, 2011, 03:18 PM
I like to use 255 gr hard cast SWC Keith-type bullets for .45 Colt. You can push them up to about 925-940 fps in a pistol without getting into the higher pressures, so I believe you will get over your 1000 fps goal in a rifle and still be in the original safe zone for the original cartridge.

You can buy them for $45/500 from Missouri Bullet Company.

You might also look at lighter bullets, but I have no personal experience with them or with factory ammo.

October 6, 2011, 03:27 PM
so you think a 255 grain with around 1,000 fps would be accurate in a 1 in 18 twist? I know nothing of this stuff and certainly realize there are many more factors there but just looking for a little guidance before I go spending money on stuff that won't be suited for my purpose.

October 6, 2011, 03:27 PM
250-255 is the standard bullet weight for a .45 Colt.

A cast lead Keith SWC like Funshooter45 suggested is good.

I also like Hornady 250 grain XTP hollow-points if you want jacketed bullets.

The XTP is one of the most accurate handgun bullets made in my experience.
It also performs superbly on game, giving good expansion , and deep penetration.

This right here would be worth a try if you don't handload.



Advertised velocity will be much greater out of your carbine barrel.


October 6, 2011, 08:02 PM
awesome! thanks RC, that's just what i was looking for, but having a hard time finding. Pretty decent pricing too. A dollar a shot I can manage, since I'm not a paper puncher, a couple boxes to get the feel of the gun and possibly sight in a scope (still on the fence about that, without a scope I wouldnt be tempted to shoot out of range) and should have plenty of oompf.

I'm thinking the Flex-tip might be a little better for BC (I'm thinking that's kinda like aerodynamics) but I'll probably order a box of the semi-wadcutters to give them a try too.

Thanks for looking those up for me! as soon as I get some reloading equipment I'll start loading my own to get exactly what I want, but for now 2 of the three look like exactly what I'm after.

any opinions of the flex tip vs. the semi-wadcutter projectiles? I'm thinking for the shots that are on the edge of my range limits I'm after penetration over expansion, so I'm leaning away from hollow-points. I'm a decent enough shot, no pro, but I hit what I aim at.

Finally do you think a 100 yard maximum would be too much to ask for small white-tail out of either of those 2 rounds? Proper shot placement isn't an issue (usually, although I have as many or more wild flyers as the next fella) but I want to make sure it'll knock out some vitals and not have a wounded animal to track.

October 7, 2011, 11:56 AM
Yes, I think 100 yards is a realistic range limitation for a .45 Colt carbine with open sights.

Trajectory with a 75 yd. zero would be rainbow-like past 125 yards or so.
Even with the Hornady pointy bullets.

Judging range to a deer exactly and lobbing the bullet in would be very necessary past that range.


October 7, 2011, 12:36 PM
I was thinking of zeroing my scope for 75-100 yards and using see through rings for iron sights at 50 yards or so. While it may or may not be good past 100 yards without +p rounds I won't be taking those shots. May not have a scope at all, that is still up in the air. I have an extra scope and rings that'll go right on. I would like to at least have the scope on just to see what the grouping is capable of being. The sights on this thing are a little blocky, so I wouldn't feel comfortable with a 100 yard shot with them, I may end up replacing them for something a little finer tuned, it'll all work itself out. Now to order some of those bullets you showed me.

thanks to everyone for your help, I'm sure when I get into reloading you folks will hear from me again. I want to get some rounds going for my 8mm, .45 colt, 30-06, and possibly .45 acp to boot.

October 7, 2011, 12:56 PM
Forget the "irons close and scope far" thing.
See-Through rings will do nothing but compound your trajectory problems with the scope mounted that much higher then it needs to be.

Your mid-range trajectory will be more the higher the scope is mounted on see-through rings.

100 yard zero, at 150 yards:
1 1/2" sight height above bore = about 11" mid-range trajectory.
2 1/2" sight line = About 15" MRT.

Mount the scope as low as you can get it to the bore-line and use it at all ranges.


October 7, 2011, 01:40 PM
Here's another thought; bullet nose shape. I'm not too familiar with a Lightning clone but many rifle types won't feed semi-wadcutters. My Puma likes a round nose flat point, and won't feed some SWC bullets (Lyman 429421 for example)

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