View Full Version : 45 Long Colt

05-12-2003, 09:44 AM
I am a neophyte with revolvers having just acquired a pair of Rugers not long ago. I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the 45 LC (loaded with some of the bigger grain Buffalo Bore bullets) as a good backcountry revolver or for hunting? I was trying to keep within the 45 LC since I bought a reloader, and cannot afford a Ruger 480 or S&W 500 (haha) at the time. Any suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks much,

05-13-2003, 05:57 AM

The Long Colt in a strong revolver such as your Rugers will outperform a 44 Magnum! It will launch heavier bullets at the same speed as a 44. So, YES!, it's a fine big game hand gun. It's been so long since I handloaded for it I'm gonna let someone else give you some loads. Meanwhile Buffalo Bore Ammo has boxes and boxes of superb large critter candidates ready and waiting for you--check 'em out!

05-13-2003, 07:41 AM
Thanks for the quick reply! I will scarf some up and give it a whirl. I appreciate it, and will stay tuned for additional handload/hunting info.

05-13-2003, 09:33 AM

Black Hills Ammo makes some mild 250gr FP cowboy loads that would work nice for plinking and small game. I use it in my 44 with good results.

Also, Hodgdon (http://www.hodgdon.com/data/pistol/45coltlil.php) has some loading data for Rugers and the like....

05-13-2003, 01:27 PM
thanks much! will check it out. I did order some Buffalo Bore ammo for my 45 on Patrick's advice, and Tim was extremely helpful and informative. All the advice is much appreciated!!!

05-13-2003, 06:19 PM
If you really want to reload then you can find a wide variety of hard cast bullets from many sources such as Laser-Cast and Performance Cast Bullet Company. I will say this though I find shooting heavy weight cast bullets at medium velocity is in most cases more power than you will need to take most any animal on this earth. Lets say a 325 grain LBT WFN style bullet at 1000-1100 FPS form a 7.5" BBL. Less recoil manageable and in most Rugers that I have shot very accurate. Fast buring Powders like Unique and Clays work well Lyman reloading manual has many good loads but research articles in Handloader Magazine and SHooting Times to name few. For loaded ammo you have great source already. One thing about reloading it is econnomical if you find it a hobby and do not count your time. Plus you can run the scale on the power range for your handguns. As for specific loads get all the manuals that you can take notes and read lots you will have years of great reading and many hours of fun plenty of practice developing loads for your guns.

05-14-2003, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the reply and great info..Looks like I have a lot of interesting research ahead. I appreciate it!

William Clunie
05-14-2003, 09:25 AM
Mr. Wolverine,
I have a .45 Ruger and love it except for the weight. I am looking into a .45 Taurus revolver that is very light weight.
As far as loads go. . . I shoot the LBT's and find that they go through everything that I shoot-all the way through. They leave a nice big hole and a great blood trail, but the animals always run off (not too far).
What I am getting at is that I've shifted my thinking a little. I read an article that made a lot of sense. It was by a fellow that guided bear hunts and he watched hundreds of bears react to various bullets. His impression of heavy, slow bullets is the same as mine. The don't stop the critter immediately, but do offer a nice blood trail. That is great if the animal is not coming at you. He says (and I tend to agree) that quality hollow-points are the way to go. He recorded hits with this type of bullet as one shot, dead in their tracks, instant kills. I will now look for something like a Barnes hollow point.
I guess if you were up against a grizzly the penetration would be needed. Or a poor angle on an elk or moose. But for what I do (black bear), I will be happy with stopping them cold.
Good luck in your quest for the ultimate bullet. The search is half of the fun, and it is all a continuous learning experience.

05-14-2003, 09:52 AM
Mr Clunie,
I appreciate it! You are correct...Loads (no pun intended) of interesting info! This is going to be fun!

Roger Beach
05-19-2003, 12:37 PM
I have two Ruger 45 Colts, a stainless Vaquero I carry in Minneosta's Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and a std Blackhawk, both with 4-5/8" barrels.

My first attempt at deer hunting with the 45 was to be using handloads taken from John Linebaugh's extensive work with the 45 Colt. He has prepared a 9 page treatise on the cartridge with lots of PRESSURE TESTED LOADS for standard Ruger 6 shot revolvers. Send him $5.00 and he'll get it out to you. (www.singleaction45.com/)

I loaded up some 263 grain (cast from wheel weights, sized, and lubed) (454424 Lyman ) over 26 grains of H110. I left them on the kitchen table. On the way to our hunting shack I stopped at half a dozen shops and finally located some Winchester 255 gr. pointed lead cartridges and ended up using them for the hunt. They clock at 758 fps out of the 4-5/8" barrel. Not the best hunting bullet and certainly low velocity. I resighted and went hunting.

The deer walked into view at about 35 yards, quartering away to my right. The bullet entered at the last rib (broke it) on the left side, plowed through the liver, the heart and out the through the breats bone. The deer humped up at the shot and trotted in a circle and dropped dead.

No deer shot with a rifle by me has ever died any more quickly. And that with crummy factory ammo. It went through two-thirds of a deer and kept going.

I load 2 bullets. The Lyman 263 gr. and a Lee 300 gr. that looks a lot like the WFN by LBT. The Lee bullet is cast hot so the bullets are frosty. No problem. See Paco Kelly. It holds the liquid Alox lube well. They are dropped from the mold into 5 gallons of water so they are hard. The 45 is a punch press. You want all the penetration you can get.

I don't know if you can drive this bullet too fast, but 1000 fps will put it through a deer lengthwise. And recoil is not an issue.Quite mild and easy to PRACTICE with. It is hard to recover a bullet from a deer and I have not recovered any. You don't need expansion. A 30 caliber has to expand 50% (good performance) to get to the same diameter and gives up length (sectional density=penetration). I have recovered lots of 30 (30/30) caliber bullets that expanded to 45 caliber, BUT did not exit the deer. The 45 will punch right through and leave a nice blood trail if you need one. It's nice when they leak on both sides.

For about $40.00 you can buy a Lee mould (aluminum so they cast good bullets very quickly as the mold heats up fast) and one of their sizing dies that will size and apply the gas check in one pass. You use it in your loading press. Tumble lube the bullets in a Cool Whip container and then size and apply the gas check and relube it you like. No leading. No expensive lubrisizer. You can melt the lead in a cast iron pot and fill the mould with a ladle. Cheap, good bullets.

Linebaugh's loads are TESTED in a lab. They have a 100% safety factor. He had H.P.White Labs blow up a Ruger 44 Mag in a lab test and it failed at over 80,000 cup. A 45 Colt cylinder is about 80%
as strong so do the math and you get failure at 64,000 cup. None of his loads go over 32,000 cup so you have 100% safety factor. You will never need more power to kill a deer or much else.

In a Winchester 94 Trapper you can get about 1650 t 1700 fps with the 300 grain and that is mighty close to the 45-70 300 grain factory load at 1800 fps. Tell me that's not a an elk cartridge in the "black timber" Elmer Keith loved to talk about. You never get a 100 yard shot in heavy timber so this is my crappy weather rifle for elk.

Haven't seen my first elk carrying it, but I don't hesitate to carry it in rain and snow. With a Williams Foolproof I don't worry about fumbling with scope caps. Just haul back the hammer and go.

I can buy good ammo that is very similar but love to harvest my game with my own bullets and handloads.

I prefer to handgun hunt with a "handgun", not a "pistol-gripped, scope-sighted rifle" with a 10" or 14" barrel shooting rifle cartridges. To each his own, but for me those long barreled single shot hand rifles are to hard to pack. Get a holster gun and go add some challenge to your hunting fun.

May the wind always be in your face, the sun at your back, and a good 45 Colt on your hip.

Good Hunting.

05-19-2003, 02:25 PM
Many many thanks for the info..I just recently got my 45s so I appreciate all the info. As a retired Army officer I feel Ok with semi autos..but wanted to get "back" so to speak, with a revolver that defined a period of our history for so long.
Very Respectfully