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Old August 7, 2014, 08:51 PM   #1
midland man
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45 colt revolvers for deer hunting?

so I was wondering how effective is the 45 colt for taking deer and if so what bullet weights and loads yall recommend plus barrel lengths and share your experiences please? thanks!
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Old August 7, 2014, 08:57 PM   #2
rcmodel
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Well, a deer can't get any deader then when shot with a caliber designed to kill calvary horses!

About any standard pressure load will do the dead.

My preference would be a 250-255 grain lead SWC hand-load at about 900 FPS.

It will shoot through an average size whitetail end to end.

From the side, it won't even slow down.

And you will be left with a double-wide blood trail to follow to the body where it quickly bleeds out & falls down.

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Old August 7, 2014, 09:31 PM   #3
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300 grain Hornady XTP at 1200 fps/1000 ft lbs? That's my handload and it's kinda mild, actually. Books tell me I can go faster, but why? I don't think there's much in Texas that needs killin' any deader, including Nilgai to 50 yards, I mean, if Nilgai is your passion. Even my standard pressure load shoots a 255 grain FP at around 950 fps. I think to 50 yards, that'd be plenty. Haven't taken anything with my .45 colts, a 4 5/8" Ruger and a 7" TC Contender, but have with the .357 Blackhawk. If the .357 is adequate, why would the .45 be less so? It's pushing .44 mag ballistics in Ruger Only loads like those from Buffalo Bore.
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Old August 7, 2014, 11:37 PM   #4
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I left my .357s in favor of a .45Colt for deer.
Bigger wound channel=shorter blood trails.
Less muzzle blast is a plus for me too.
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Old August 8, 2014, 06:22 AM   #5
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In a Ruger bkackhawk I love a 255-265gr SWC loaded over 18.5 gr of 2400. Very stout, more than powerful enough, won't kill you either.

NOTE: THE PRECEDING DATA IS NOT SAFE IN ANYTHING BUT A RUGER BLACKHAWK, OLD MODEL VAQUERO, FREEDOM ARMS. USD AT UOUR OWN RISK.
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Old August 8, 2014, 06:46 AM   #6
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Last deer I killed with a handgun was with a S&W model 25 in .45 Colt. Had the 8 3/8" barrel and iron sights. Using 255 grain hard case SWC over a moderate charge of Unique (about 900 FPS). Hit a big ole doe at almost exactly 50 yards right behind the front shoulder slightly quartering to me. Bullet exited just in front of the off side hip. Easy and very short tracking job.

I don't feel the need to hotrod the .45 Colt to kill deer. Neither do I feel the need for JHP's cause you may/may not get expansion at the moderate velocities I use. Heck, the bullet is already bigger than expanded rifle bullets. Complete penetration will make 'em leak really well and prove successful for me.

As with any firearm (but more so with a handgun) place the bullets WELL and you'll be ok.
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Old August 8, 2014, 06:51 AM   #7
eastbank
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i have killed deer with this ruger useing 225gr hornady bullets with a healthy dose of H110-W296 and heavy crimp, not for the faint of heart but it kills them dead. for plinking i shoot cast 255gr with unq. eastbank.
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Old August 8, 2014, 12:59 PM   #8
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If you are planning to use any of these loads in an actual Colt SAA, Don't!

Your question could refer to the gun rather than just the caliber.

In my Ruger Blackhawk I use 20 gr. of 2400 with a Hornady 250 XTP. It's powerful and accurate.
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Old August 9, 2014, 11:18 AM   #9
ljnowell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patocazador View Post
If you are planning to use any of these loads in an actual Colt SAA, Don't!

Your question could refer to the gun rather than just the caliber.

In my Ruger Blackhawk I use 20 gr. of 2400 with a Hornady 250 XTP. It's powerful and accurate.

I have worked that powder up higher than that with that bullet, but it's really pointless. At 20gr you just about always have total pass through and complete expansion. It's pretty amazing how they go down when hit with a load like that.
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Old August 10, 2014, 11:48 PM   #10
Don McDowell
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Any good 250-260 gr semi wadcutter bullet driven to 900-1000 fps will easily take out a deer or larger animal with a shot placed where it should be.
Lots of good data that will propel loads at that speed that are perfectly safe in a Colt Saa or clone there of.
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Old August 11, 2014, 08:45 AM   #11
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I've only killed deer with the 255gr RFN over 8.2gr of Universal for ~900fps.

It was way more than needed. Complete penetration on angling frontal shot. Entered left shoulder and exited right ham. double blood trail for ~25feet. (125lb doe).

From a friends Taurus Thunderbolt or my Winchester M94 "Legacy", they shoot ~1" at 50yds and sound like a "bass" .22lr (deeper sound with slight "crack" from 1,100fps).

There's a reason that "Uncle Sam" reduced the original load from ~40gr of BP to ~28gr of BP. Still enough for intended purpose/use; less recoil and better accuracy.

Next time I shoot a deer with .45Colt, it'll likely be with a 200gr LSWC (.45acp target bullet) at ~1,000fps. Very, very accurate.

Over 70gr of Pyrodex w/sabot from .50cal m/l, I've killed several deer. Two -dead right there- with the 200gr SWC. Less lead, less recoil, lighter weight-less expense of lead. (good w/w getting harder to get...).

Last year, I took .45lc to Colorado on elk hunt. To make the gun "legal", I carried the 270gr RCBS SWC, over 11.2gr of LongShot for ~1,125fps. Way, way more than needed for deer. After returning home, I resighted it for same bullet over 9.2gr @ 900fps. Still more than needed for deer but just-right for pigs that may run a bit heavier than deer.
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Old August 11, 2014, 10:34 AM   #12
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As in ALL discussions of this type, SHOT PLACEMENT is paramount !
Practice you shooting and go for it!
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Old August 11, 2014, 09:40 PM   #13
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Only killed one.

I am certainly not an expert with a handgun and although I have taken several deer with a 357, I have taken only one with the 45LC. It was a Ruger Blackhawk 6" with a stiff load of IMR 4227 under a 250 gr XTP. The 80# doe was hit behind the shoulder on a 25 yard broadside shot. She went about 30 yards and a blind man could have trailed her. If had kept the gun I would have played with some 2400 and H110, but alas, I sold it to try something different.
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