Deer hunting with the .45LC


Saddlebag Preacher
September 30, 2012, 08:56 PM
I need to hear some experienced hunters using a .45LC rifle for hunting. I know Indiana allows only either shotgun or handgun calibers only and most use .44 mag. I'm in Kentucky.

BUT.. I am taking my 11 year old nephew on his first deer hunt this year. He is short statured so using my shotgun with slugs is out. (Stock too long.) I'm using a 336 Marlin in .35, but once again, stock to long.

I have an early '90's rossi 92 carbine that is a good rifle that I have used for years around the farm. It is .45. It shoots very accurately and fits him perfect. He can shoot good groups with it and I've been setting up targets between 50 and 70 yards.

I don't want to use the Cowboy loads and I have a limited number of the old silvertip HP left from my LEO days, so I've been shooting Hornady LeverEvolution rounds through it, and the American Eagle brand 225 Gr JSP to check the POI. The American Eagles are grouping better, but the Hornady's are supposed to be the more hunting round.

I'll be setting up a limited range for him to shoot if we see one, but I just wanted some advice from someone who actually has shot deer with the .45 and their experience on it's effectiveness.

Thanks :)

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September 30, 2012, 11:16 PM
Back in the day (way back in the day), lots of folks hunted with black powder 45's and many lesser calibers.

Your 45lc will work just fine for deer.

October 1, 2012, 01:38 AM
I have a Win.M94 "Legacy" w/24"bbl in .45lc. I've taken deer with it as well as a friend who has a Taurus "Thunderer" (repro of Colt "Lighting" pump).
We use what could be described as a "black powder" duplication of the military load of ~30gr of b.p.
I'm running a Lee 255gr RFN to about 1,100fps (rifle speed, 850-900fps from 5.5" revolver) with 7.8gr of Universal. This is "safe" in buddies Taurus as it's lock up and metallurgy is "doubtful" for heavier loads.

This load will shoot diagonally through a deer with 1/2" entry and exit wounds. Ususally a short, double blood trail if not a "bang-flop". The first deer my buddy shot was a ~100lb doe at ~40yds at dusk in a light rain. Even with the rain, the 25yd blood trail was easy to follow with a pen-light. It's been doing this for 130+yrs, btw. Hard to improve on!
The only "issue" with this load is that it has the same trajectory as a standard velocity .22lr. A LOT of drop past ~100yds. It IS a short range proposition. I use mine when hunting in heavily forrested hardwood ridges or river bottoms. It works equally well on pigs to ~200lbs. The Winchester Silver-Tip may not give desireable penetration as it is very thinly jacketed. A "Cowboy" load might not be as bad as you think.... It's still more powerful from the rifle than a .45acp from a handgun.... not a "nerfball" by anymeans though from a rifle, they make more "racket" hitting an armadillo than the muzzle blast!! About like a "bass .22lr"....

My "heavy" load is the Nosler "Ruger" only load from their #4 manual. 20.0gr of #2400 under a 250gr bullet (I use the Hornady 250gr XTP) for ~1,700fps from the 24" bbl. (work up as this is a MAXIMUM load). This is marvelously accurate but is not a "low" recoil load. About like the .44mag l/a. It makes a mess out of a deer.... About like my .45/70 w/300gr H.P. @ 2,000fps.

October 1, 2012, 01:20 PM
I'm a gonna kill somethin' with THIS, eventually....:D......

October 1, 2012, 04:57 PM
I haven't killed a deer with a .45 Colt but I killed a 125# boar hog with one. 20 gr. of 2400 pushing a Hornady 250 gr. XTP-HP.

October 1, 2012, 05:44 PM
the silvertips might work good,but i'd question them if the hit a bone whether they would do much damage as they are lighter and were basically designed to be used on soft tissue at closer ranges out of a pistol.anybody handload 45lc,the keith 255 grain lead head might make a good stopper.

October 1, 2012, 05:55 PM
Hard cast 255 grain Keith SWC and 18.5 grains of Alliant 2400 will give you all you need and be of a safe pressure level. I use it in my two Blackhawks and one Contender. 1200 out of the Contender.

October 1, 2012, 07:56 PM
I just picked up some of the Hornady Leveroution rounds for my Win Model 92 that is my 'truck gun'. If I notice a buck pretty close to the road I'd probably use that to pop him over a larger rifle.

October 1, 2012, 08:10 PM
Corbon Hunter ammunition is pretty awesome stuff. I shot a buck up close in self defense and was amazed what the bullet did inside (tracked up to it after it had been shot with a 12 gauge and it got up and charged). The stuff is pricey but rather powerful:

October 1, 2012, 08:17 PM
I put that 20 grains of 2400 behind a 300 grain XTP. It moves 1120 fps out of my 4 5/8" Blackhawk and 1200 out of my 7" (choke removed) TC .45/.410 barrel. The 92 action is very strong. Rossi offers a 92 in .454 Casull.

Saddlebag Preacher
October 3, 2012, 01:09 AM
I actually do hand reload my used .45 cases with 35 grains of GOEX 3F with cci primers. I use a Buffalo Brothers cast and lubed 250 grain .454 bullet. I shoot these in my 1858 conversion revolver, but not in my Ruger NV because the chambers are sometimes to tight for the resized shells from my Lee hand loader. I have shot them in my Uberti cattleman and the Rossi 92 and they are accurate and have a heck of a punch. I didn't even think about them because I was looking at the modern loads.

But, I do use a .50 cal Hawkin with roundballs during BP deer season instead of an inline and have taken deer. I think I'll do a little more range testing this week.

Either way, is it safe to say to stay within 70 yards? we will be hunting in a corner of my cornfield where I've taken deer the last few years anywhere from 50 to 150 yards with the Marlin.


October 3, 2012, 02:16 AM
any distance your nephew can keep 5 shots on a paper plate will be a dead deer with a .45 colt

October 3, 2012, 06:48 AM
Two years ago, I took a nice whitetail doe at 50 yds with my S&W 8 3/8" .45 Colt. Handload SWC hard cast bullet at about 900 fps worked wonders. Entered the near shoulder and exited the short ribs on the other side. Went about 35 yds and piled up.

That old .45 Colt will get the job done quite well. Have no fear.

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