Take your time and get in close for the shot and you will have a great hunt with your Dragoon. CLOSE!!! I mean VERY close...not 40-50 yards close.
Plenty of power for the whitetail. As long as you get close, take a perfect broadside shot, and KNOW exactly where your shot will hit. The relatively slow, soft lead ball will easily deform or deflect so the shot has to be "Square" not quartering, or up/down hill.
My only problem with the Colts is the poor accuracy repeatability since they all shoot very high and often left and right....the front sight being seperate from the rear sight and held together with a tapered wedge is the design flaw for precision accuracy and predictablitly.
I shot a whitetail doe last weekend with my 1860...and I am making jerky as I write this.
Many deer have fallen to my cap&balls... my prefured hunting weapon for Whities'
This one was taken a few years ago with my Remington 58
The slow velocity can be easily fixed by using 4ffff black powder. I use 26grains of 4ffff in my Remington 58 for hunting and the velocity went from 750fps with 3fff to 930fps with the 4ffff...Just right!
Before I am jumped about the 4f...You are wrong
I have worked this info with a ballistics lab and the load is completely safe....the only time we could get any overpressure in the testing barrel using 4f was when the powder column was over 3 inches long,,,Not going to get that in a revolver.....
Pyrodex will give you a little more pressure than the 4ffff...but I would stay away from the pellets because they will prevent you from being able to costomize your load for the most accuracy.
Use a cronograph and work up your load for accuracy...Velocity will NOT kill as well as shot placement.