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Old February 3, 2012, 10:18 PM   #1
tylerms911
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colt 45 mares leg

I just bought a colt 45 mares leg pistol because I liked the look of it! I am just curious to find out if it would be a practical firearm for defence against a bear out on a hike or something like that? Any comments on this issue would be appreciated!
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Old February 3, 2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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I didn't even know those existed. Dangit, now I want one!

http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-mares-leg.cfm


(oh... back to the bear. . . I'd still want my 1895 .45-70 guide rifle)
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firear...bore/1895G.asp
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Old February 4, 2012, 02:11 AM   #3
Andy Griffith
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I bought one of the Rossi ones- a lot closer to the "Mare's Leg" than the one made in New York, and in .38/357, a whole lot cheaper to shoot- heck, it wasn't anywhere near the price of that Henry either. Of course, they make it in .45 Long Colt too.

http://www.rossiusa.com/product-list.cfm?category=17

As for how it shoots- it is every bit as accurate as a 16" barreled 92 carbine- you just have to find a way to shoot it that suits you.
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Old February 4, 2012, 03:11 AM   #4
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It can be accurate enough, but it's a very inefficient gun to use for serious purposes.

Slow to load, requires two hands to operate, slow to shoot successive shots.
Does not handle heavy recoil from hotter loads efficiently since you don't have a pistolgrip to hang onto.

There are many better choices for what you're describing.
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Old February 4, 2012, 12:48 PM   #5
tylerms911
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Just want to know is the load I am shooting out of it large enough to defend against a bear or cougar? The load I shoot is 250 grains.
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Old February 4, 2012, 01:38 PM   #6
DPris
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Tyler,
You asked if it would be a practical firearm for bear, the answer is no, as a platform.
Considering how fast bear & cougar can move and the penalty for missing, the ML is a very poor choice, regardless of caliber.

And WHICH 250-grain load? What bullet type? What velocity?
Just "250 grains" is too vague to even address that "large enough to defend against bear or cougar" caliber question.

It's not a matter of "large", entirely.
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Old February 4, 2012, 03:27 PM   #7
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Great, another gun to add to my "useless but I want one" list.
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Old February 4, 2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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45 COLT

I don,t believe any 45 Long Colt is good insurance in Bear country .
The time to play cowboy is not at a time a Bear is trying to eat you .

Yes a 45 Colt will kill a Bear if your lucky and have time to shoot and if it,s not a real big Bear and if you don,t just **** it off . Well you see were this is going .

Friend of mine shot a Big Bear 6 times with a 416 Mag at very close range .
The guide killed it with one more shot from a 12ga. slug .
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Old February 4, 2012, 10:07 PM   #9
indy1919
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No it is not a very practical gun for Bear or home defense

either in 44 mag, 45lc or 357, there are easier and more accurate ways of shooting those rounds then the Mare's Leg

BUUUUUUUTTTTT..

If you just want pure Steve Mcqueen class.. its tough to get something better..

The best looking mares leg has to be J B Custom but it is the most expensive..
Also J B custom makes a very very nice Holster for it.

IMHO Pumas Bounty Hunter is another nice looking mares leg.. Better looking then the Rossi But a little more expensive. Big plus for me is that it does not have that darn top safety to look at like the Rossi has... Also I think the wood tones are better on the Pumas.. (At least the ones I have seen)

Personally I think you need to get the gun in 44 mag. Even though the real Josh Randals Mares leg from wanted dead or a live was 44-40, On screen Josh had 45/70 rounds in his belt, So it makes sense to get that "true movie" feel you need it to give a good kick
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Old February 5, 2012, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerms911
Just want to know is the load I am shooting out of it large enough to defend against a bear or cougar? The load I shoot is 250 grains.
It sure would be able to defend against bear and cougar since the .45 Long Colt can be hand loaded to outperform the .44 magnum.
Folks use large caliber handguns to protect themselves against dangerous game so I think that by comparison its 12 inch barrel would be even better.
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Old February 5, 2012, 08:41 AM   #11
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Just did a little reading

Bear attacks on humans appear to be about three times more likely than cougar attacks. (Forty cougar attacks resulting in injury, five of which were fatal, over a ten year period.)

I think bears are far more populous than cougars and range over a much wider area. They also may be more likely to associate humans with food sources creating additional confrontations.

Just thought I would add these thought.
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Old February 5, 2012, 10:50 AM   #12
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Advantage of the Mares Leg is you could wack the bear with it to just like Steve does in the old Wanted dead or Alive TV Series to the bad guys.
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Old February 5, 2012, 11:00 AM   #13
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A co-worker of mine was a ranch hand in Montana on his last job, and he said they didn't carry guns on that ranch, but everybody is required to carry a can of bear mace that is about the same size as a propane lantern canister. He said sometimes it took over half of it to turn one away, but nobody had ever had one keep coming through that spray.
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Old February 5, 2012, 12:30 PM   #14
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"A co-worker of mine was a ranch hand in Montana on his last job, and he said they didn't carry guns on that ranch, but everybody is required to carry a can of bear mace that is about the same size as a propane lantern canister. He said sometimes it took over half of it to turn one away, but nobody had ever had one keep coming through that spray."



I am sorry, not trying to take this off topic, But I must ask.. How close is one to the bear when you are spraying.?? And how far does the spray carry????
I am glad the spray worked.. But if a bear is coming for you and you have a can of spray in your hand.. That has to be a come to Jesus moment...
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Old February 5, 2012, 02:58 PM   #15
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The .45 Colt CAN be loaded hot, and with the right bullet CAN be as effective on bear as an equivalent hot & heavy .44 Magnum load.
Most factory offerings are not in this category, though.
You need either a hardcast solid lead bullet (preferably) or a stoutly constructed JHP that won't break up before penetrating deeply, to achieve best results.

That does not mean any of the mild "cowboy" competition loads, and it doesn't mean most of the relatively soft and/or thin-jacketed JHPs on the market.

Once you get up to the truly effective .45 Colt loads, you're also looking at increased recoil.
I've fired some of the heavy CorBon .45 Colt "magnums" through my Rossi, that'll never happen again.
The ML design is simply poorly configured in the wrist area to control heavy recoil. Without a pistolgrip, like a conventional revolver, the gun tries to slide straight back in the hand. I banged the inside front of the lever bow against my second finger right noticeably.

Recovery time between shots is slow to begin with, since you have to bring the gun down well off the eyeline to cycle the action & return it up to that eyeline to re-acquire your sight picture, and the recoil recovery time adds to that.

None of the defficiencies of the whole package compensate for any slight gain in velocities through that longer 12-inch barrel, for me.

And- DO NOT try to fire one of these with a stiff load by placing it against your cheek while aiming through the sights!

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Old February 5, 2012, 03:02 PM   #16
Beagle333
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Quote:
I am sorry, not trying to take this off topic, But I must ask.. How close is one to the bear when you are spraying.?? And how far does the spray carry????
I don't know. I wasn't there, 'just relaying their option to use something other than guns. I bet the answer is "Too Close!!" though.
I'm with the OP, I'd want a gun, but something bigger than the .45
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Old February 5, 2012, 03:11 PM   #17
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The spraymakers recommend something that'll reach out about 30 feet.
They say that's usually enough contact. I've seen a video of a bear running into the "stream" from a cannister & it turned the bear long before it got to the sprayer.
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Old February 5, 2012, 03:17 PM   #18
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Big Bear Theory!!!

I would have to say that if you EVER run into that situation, you would be sooo nervous that you wouldn't be able to hold that steady enough to get that kill shot and your 5 rounds will go fast...then what? I would get a back up side arm you know just incase. Like Dirty Harry says ".44 mag blow a bears head clean off" What I would do is set up that situation out back and see just how fast you are with it and how accurate you are with a target. I think you will answer your own question better then any of us. Good luck
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Old February 6, 2012, 03:41 AM   #19
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Midway has some examples of potent .45LC +P factory ammo loaded with premium type [controlled expansion] hunting bullets weighing up to 300 grains:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/211...c=S016ID590827

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/110...c=S016ID254680

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/590...c=S015ID110926

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/254...c=S016ID561522

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/561...oint-box-of-20

Last edited by arcticap; February 6, 2012 at 03:47 AM.
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Old February 6, 2012, 09:51 PM   #20
Andy Griffith
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The number one round used for poaching of bears is .22 Magnum from handguns and rifles. Most bears that are confiscated by game and fish from poachers only have one or two bullets in them of that caliber. 17HMR is also gaining in popularity as evidenced in confiscations also...

I feel amply defended in the woods when I am squirrel hunting with a .22 Magnum handgun or rifle.

Of course, this is against little ol' cute black bears.
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Old February 6, 2012, 10:19 PM   #21
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I've been loading 270 cast SWC gc with 2400 as hinted at by Dave Scoville and Brian Pierce both at one time or another. It seems pretty snappy and the shells aren't sticking in the chambers. I have also been using a 260 grain cast with a smidge more 2400 in a '73 Win. replica. I think the 73 load is around 16 or 17 thousand CUPs, a little hotter than saami specs., and the 73 doesn't have that strong of an action.
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