45 colt Deerload


July 11, 2013, 05:29 PM
Hello guys this year I am going deer hunting with a levergun chambered in 45 colt and I am looking for a good load to hunt with any suggestions my shots will take place inside of say 80 yards
thanks Horsemen61

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July 11, 2013, 06:11 PM
I'm using a 290 gr RNFP GC Ranch Dog bullet I get from Carolina Bullets. They come sized at .454 which I take down to fit my barrel which is .452. Now I have a Rossi 92 and load with 25 gr of Lil'Gun. Now these aren't pleasant to shoot unless you have some kind of limb saver on a Rossi 92 with their steel butt plates. They are effective however.

Don McDowell
July 11, 2013, 08:40 PM
A 250-260 gr swc bullet backed up by a charge of bludot, 2400 or 5744 will get the job done pretty well.
You'll gain 200 or more fps over handgun velocity from your rifle with powders slower than unique. Unique only gains about 150 fps.

July 11, 2013, 08:43 PM
250gr - 270gr SWC bullets with any of the following powders charges:
18.0gr of 2400
13.0gr of HS-6
21.0gr of 4227
Have used them all in my S&W 25-5, so your levergun can certainly handle them.


July 12, 2013, 01:04 AM
I have a Winchester 94 45Colt with 16.25" barrel.
With 24 gr H110 250 gr XTP , roll crimp into cannelure, 1.6" OAL,
Chronographs at 1536 fps ~ 21kpsi, shoot 3 moa with a scope.

Kicks like a mule. Suggest large Limbsaver grind to fit, but do not grind.

July 12, 2013, 02:37 AM
A 250gr bullet @~900 fps from a 45 Colt has been reported to take a horse right out from under it's rider. Like in the 40-65, 45-70, 50-70 and the like, but to a lesser extent, the 45 Colt's heavy and slow bullet will do the job as is. There is no reason to hot-rod the 45 Colt to hunt deer because deer are not all that hard to kill. If you already have a favorite load using a 255gr LSWC that load will do just fine on deer too.

My current favorite 45 Colt load for serious use is a 255gr LSWC bullet from Missouri Bullets over an almost Max standard pressure charge of HS-6. I'm loading in Starline brass with Winchester WLP primers. Other loads using W231/HP-38, Universal, Unique, A#5 and a handful of others will also work well if you already have a load worked up using your powder of choice. For range use I normally use W231 and a 250gr LRN bullet.

Good luck...

July 12, 2013, 06:41 AM
I use a 260 grain cast lead bullet over a full charge of black powder for about 950fps from my revolver. This gives me complete pentration on white tailed deer. If you do not want to use BP, a more modern powder loaded to the same ballistics will produce similar results.

July 13, 2013, 12:10 PM
The only deer I've taken with .45lc was with Lee 255gr RFN @255gr over 7.8gr of Universal for ~1,200fps from 24"bbl.

40yd shot to left flank exited the right shoulder tansecting the torso. 1/2" entry and 1/2" exit. 20yd double blood trail...
This round prints ~1" at 50yds and is 3" high at 50yds and essentially zero at 100yds. About as far as I care to shoot a deer with reciever sights... but about as far as I can see deer where I hunt when I don't use a scoped rifle....
This load gets about 850fps from 5.5"bbl handgun and is my "standard" .45 plinking load.

I've also taken deer (several) with a .451" 200gr SWC (Lee copy of Hensley and Gibbs) loaded in a .50/45 sabot and loaded over 70gr of Pyrodex RS. Gets about 1,600fps and shoots ~3" a 100yds.... Only recovered one.. a 30ft shot to center chest and was in pelvis smashed against the bone.

I plan on using a BlackHawk with 270gr SAA RCBS bullet over 10.8gr of LongShot. This load breaks 1,000fps and is near 1-hole accurate.
I don't expect to recover one from our 80-180lb deer.... And, I don't expect any larger hole than I found from the 255gr bullet, either.... It's just my gun "likes" this bullet better.... (See April '13 "Handloader" magazine for bear hunting article....) Same bullet, same speed....

July 13, 2013, 07:32 PM
"RUGER ONLY LOAD"......i like 270gr Penn Thunderhead for deer.....i'm runnin' the out of a Rossi 92 and 7 1/2" Blackhawk with 24gr of 296.....farthest one has ran was 10 yards most just drop.....

Arkansas Paul
July 13, 2013, 09:01 PM
I haven't shot a deer with it yet, but I've been carrying a Ruger Blackhawk loaded with 255 grain SWCs and 17 grains of 2400. I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be more than plenty.

July 13, 2013, 09:49 PM
Starline brass, Tula LPM, 23gr of H110, topped of with a Hornady 300gr XTP. 1700 FPS out of a 20" Rossi. My shot a doe running at 40 yd. Lets say it was more than adequate.The energy rating of the 45 is in the 30-30 class with this load, but the bullet doesnt have to expand.

July 13, 2013, 11:20 PM
horseman61: I shoot 7grs of Win 231 with either a 250gr or 255gr Hardcast LRNFP casted to 452, with standard WLP primers. In both my Ruger Pistols and Lever Action Rifles. This a very comfortable load to shoot but I have always gotten full penatration on anything I have ever shot with any of my 45LC`s. I have killed more pigs but I have taken two deer with this load. Never shot at anything much over 100 yds mostly 50 to 75 yds. LRNFP bullets feed better than LSWC`s in my rifles. If I could help you any more, I would be proud to do so. The 45LC is a great round IMHO, and one of my favorites for a long time.

July 13, 2013, 11:43 PM
Try a few bullets in your gun and see what it likes. You should be able to use Ruger loads in your rifle.

A lead RNFP might feed better than a SWC, depends on your rifle.

As for jacketed, the 250gr or 300gr XTP.

Arkansas Paul
July 14, 2013, 12:15 AM
A lead RNFP might feed better than a SWC

Very possible.

July 14, 2013, 12:16 AM
When deer hunting, I like using the 250 grain XTP in my Blackhawk with 20.0 grains of 2400 and WLP primers. I've also used 10.0 grains of Unique, both are "Ruger Only Loads". I've been shooting a lot of MBC 255 grain LSWC's with 8.0 grains of Unique, but I haven't shot a deer with it yet.

July 14, 2013, 02:10 PM
I recently tried loading some IMR4227 with data from the Nosler manual for a 250 grain JHP, but loaded a 250 Laser Cast RNFP. I had really good accuracy with 24.5, and better with the MAX of 25 grains. Clocked them with 25 grains at 1560 fps avg. with an ES of 22 fps from my 24 inch barrel on my Cimarron 92 takedown. Unfortunately I can't load heavier bullets or even SWC, they just won't cycle, but thats OK with me. Those OT RNFP's are hard and would probably penetrate through just about anything.

August 10, 2013, 11:47 PM
+1 for the 250 XTP over H110/W296.

August 11, 2013, 02:03 AM
I haven't shot a deer with it yet, but I've been carrying a Ruger Blackhawk loaded with 255 grain SWCs and 17 grains of 2400. I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be more than plenty.

Yessir, that'll knock 'em in the dirt! :D

You really cant go wrong with alliant 2400 for a Ruger level load, or a higher powered hunting load in 45 colt. Lots of load variation, way better than 296/110. I like them a lot at 18-18.5gr, but the load mentioned by Paul is certainly a lights out shooter.

August 11, 2013, 05:58 AM
Id use 260 grain +p deer grenade from Buffalo Bore if the rifle will shoot +p ammo. In testing it produced 1890 fps out of 20" barrel supposedly.

Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

August 12, 2013, 02:32 AM
I've been running H110 / 296 with a 250 gr. jacketed RN or even a good quality JHP with excellent result. Be sure to confirm this load, but if memory serves me correctly, I was running 26.0 grs. H110 / 296 under a 250 gr. jacketed bullet. Velocity from a 6" Ruger was around 1400 fps, might have been a tad higher, but either way it will certainly drop a deer at 80 yds..


August 12, 2013, 06:47 AM
S&W 25 in .45 Colt with 8 3/8" barrel. 255 gr hard cast SWC over enough Unique to give about 900 fps.

I took a big ole doe at almost exactly 50 yds. She was hit squarely in the shoulder quartering a bit to me. Bullet completely penetrated and exited through the midribs on the off side. Needless to say, tracking was short!

The .45 Colt (especially from a rifle) will do a fine job and you won't have to 'hot rod' the load within your established range stated. Place that bullet well and you'll have meat on the ground.

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