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Old February 27, 2010, 08:48 AM   #1
roy reali
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.45 Colt vs. Deer

Has anyone here hunted deer with a .45 Colt chambered handgun? How did it do? What load was used? What range limit did you impose on yourself?
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Old February 27, 2010, 08:54 AM   #2
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Never hunted deer with that particular cartridge, but looking at the ballistics and trajectories of the rounds i would probally limit myself to a maximum of 100 yards. And if your going to take shots like that then you need to definatly practice at that range. Its really where your comfortable shooting from. ETHICS!!
As far as the rounds i have no idea, never hunted with one
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Old February 27, 2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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Just rattle (when in rut) the Bucks close to you and you have a safe lethal shot.
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Old February 27, 2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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I shot a hog with a .45 Colt acp.
I was stalking through the swamp. I saw a 140 pound boar rooting around.
I got up within 30 yards. I fired for a lung shot. Hit a little high, the pig dropped. His spine was broken.
He was spinning around on his front legs.
I ran up and shot him twice in the lungs and that was that.
He was pretty good eating.

This was using military hardball ammo.
Obviously I should have limited my range to 25 yards, since I was 4 inches high at 30 yards.
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Old February 27, 2010, 11:55 AM   #5
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I've shot only a couple of deer with handguns. The first was a 25 yard shot with a 357. The doe strode off a few yards and died quickly. The second was with a very downloaded 454. It was loaded with 300gr. 1300fps load that could fairly easily be duplicated by a 45 Colt Ruger load. I had the gun scoped and was proficient to 150 yards. That is I could hit a 6 inch steel gong without fail. I shot a doe at 119 yards quartering away. That is certainly as long as I'd need to shoot one. She died quickly, and from what I rememeber, you just have to be shooting all the time to have that confidence. Not the same as taking out your 30-06. My brother is more the expert, and can use iron sights on his 44's and uploaded 45 Colts at 75 yards. I like a little scope help past 60 or so.

Rattling is not an option regularly used in Kansas, as for the most part, rut is long past when gun season is on. Even during rut, rattling has not been very useful for me in bow season. Must have to do with the % of doe to bucks.
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Old February 27, 2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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If a Ruger Blackhawk is used, there's negligible difference from a .44 Mag. Bullets of 250 to 300 grains are available.

Regardless of bullet weight, it is common that the more effective bullet is one with a large meplat. And, as noted above, the range is limited mostly by pressure level. A .45ACP is more limited than, say, a .44 Mag.

I've always believed that an outer limit for a handgun, particularly one with open sights, is that distance at which you can reliably hit the end of a beer/soda can.
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Old February 27, 2010, 01:15 PM   #7
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re;Art Eatman

Quote:
I've always believed that an outer limit for a handgun, particularly one with open sights, is that distance at which you can reliably hit the end of a beer/soda can.
Which end?
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Old February 27, 2010, 05:32 PM   #8
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Are those even legal to hunt deer with?
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Old February 27, 2010, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Are those even legal to hunt deer with?



Good question, Here in WY you have to have a hangun that generates 500 ftlbs of energy @100 yds. That excludes the .45 Colt in most guns if not all.
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Old February 27, 2010, 09:45 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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Aw, Roy, pick out whichever end you're mad at.

longranger, for a Ruger or a Contender, you can push a 300-grain bullet to 1,100 ft/sec + a skosh, which gives around 600 ft-lbs at 100 yards.
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Old February 27, 2010, 10:05 PM   #11
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As Art says, end of a pop can. About 40 yards these days. Have utmost confidence in my 45LC Ruger Bisley with 275LFN@1060. At 30 yards, it zips through 8" pine trees.
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Old February 27, 2010, 11:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Are those even legal to hunt deer with?
For a handgun to be legal for deer hunting here in Alabama, it just has to be centerfire and use an expanding bullet. So technically, my Davis Derringer .32 auto is legal though certainly not adequate. That's why during regular gun season that I hunt with my Ruger Blackhawk .45 on my hip.
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Old February 28, 2010, 10:16 AM   #13
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This past season I had my .45 Colt with me. The buck I saw came with-in 10 yards and I know I could have killed it.

The only reason I did not kill it was that he had only three points on each side. My state requires at least four on one side. I think the deer knew that. I think he felt safe. I also think he was a smart @## and wanted to rub it in. I also think he stood there to warn other deer away from my position. I really hated that deer!

Get a feel for the handgun and the ammunition you want to hunt with. Practice shooting at a target (I like the beer can idea) about the right size of the kill zone and you'll know when you are ready to hunt with a handgun.
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Old February 28, 2010, 01:31 PM   #14
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I also hunted with a 45 long Colt this year but never droped the hammer due to the only deer close enough was a button buck at 25 feet. I would have to recomend Hornady Leverevolution ammo if your 45 is modern. Although I'v not killed a critter with it I have tryed it on targets and stuff and am very confident with it. I do hunt deer with a handgun alot and intend to take a black bear with my 480 ruger. As mentiond by others check your local laws and be sure your in compliance. Also find your limits with the weapon you use and avoid lost game. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old February 28, 2010, 02:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
I've always believed that an outer limit for a handgun, particularly one with open sights, is that distance at which you can reliably hit the end of a beer/soda can.
Well that means I have to restrict my handgun hunting to the petting zoo.

I guess that's why I use a rifle.
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Old March 2, 2010, 09:46 PM   #16
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Buzzcook

You have it in your head that it's harder to hit with a handgun than a rifle. That my friend is not true. You just need confience in youself, and disapline with triggerpull and breathing! The bullet don't know a long bbl from a short one. Go practice... It's fun.
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Old March 4, 2010, 05:38 AM   #17
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The american bison was almost put into complete extinction by the colt .45 so killing a deer with it shouldnt be too hard. I'm guessing you'd do it just the same as with a .44 magnum, maybe a little closer in.
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Old March 4, 2010, 09:13 AM   #18
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cubesmoothie, think "rifles", not "handguns" when considering the killing of the bison. There is a very good reason that the old Sharps rifles were known as "buffler guns". It's very well codified and publicized as to the methods used in the effort to eradicate "...the commisary of the Plains Indian."
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Old March 4, 2010, 07:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
The american bison was almost put into complete extinction by the colt .45
What??!! Where in the world did you come up with that? Were you thinking of the .45-70 rifle? I am sure there were buffalo killed with the .45-70, but the main gun used to nearly eradicate the buffalo was, as Art said, the various calibers of Sharps rifles.
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Old March 10, 2010, 01:12 AM   #20
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I've seen some old prints showing horseman shooting buffalo with what looked like a Colt 1860 army .44. Not sure of the accuracy of that concept but I think I've read that it was done.
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Old March 10, 2010, 10:27 AM   #21
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Sure, the use of pistols was not unknown, but a buffalo or two by that method cannot be compared with hundreds of teams of men each shooting hundreds of buffalo per day with rifles.

I'd bet that the actual kill rate was rather low percentage, given the ballistics of cap'n'ball revolvers. And even with the advent of the SAA in 1873, their availability was not that widespread.
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Old March 11, 2010, 07:54 PM   #22
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I was told that in the old days people would shoot buffalos from trains as a game. Colt .45 was undoubtedly used to quite an extent, if this is the case. Unless i'm completely wrong about the timeframe. Dunno
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Old March 19, 2010, 10:37 PM   #23
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Some limited experience

I've taken two Hill Country does with .45 Colt cartridge.
First was at maybe ten feet --not yards, but feet-- with a 7-1/2" barrel Ruger Blackhawk. Load was a home-cast Lyman/Ideal 454424, 265 gr. SWC with 10 gr. Unique. [NOTE: This load is too warm for SAAs and clones.] Bullet struck mid-neck and the doe fell in her tracks.

The other was at about 20 yards, with a Colt Single Action, 4-3/4", same bullet as above but with 9 gr. Unique. High lung shot. The doe ran about 25 yards and fell dead.

My personal range limit with handguns is about 40 yards, but I don't use optical sights.
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Old March 23, 2010, 12:38 AM   #24
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I always was told the distance to shoot was the distance you can hit a 6 inch "desert" sized paper plate, you know, the kind the women's auxiliary puts the cake on. Those stapled to plaster lath's stuck in the ground at varying distances are a very good approximation of the kill zone on an average sized deer.

I have killed a few deer with a 4 5/8's blackhawk. most were really close, the ones that snuck up behind me in a stand. I have killed several with a .45 colt in a trapper, a real one, with the 14 inch barrel. and its lightning.

Daughter and I have killed U.P. black bear as well with the trapper, and I have shot hogs with the blackhawk, I now have a redhawk in .45 colt that I am working on some warm loads for. I use the LBT style bullets, hard cast, and they kill a good sized feral/mix hog with ease.
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Old March 29, 2010, 05:56 PM   #25
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Killed several deer with my 4 5/8 .45 blackhawk. 255gr. SWC on top of H110 (don't remember how much) It's always in a crassdraw holster when I'm deer hunting. It's fun killing things at close range with a pistol and good to have a back-up gun in case your rifle decides it's retired. I HAD to use it one day. I started climbing down out of my ladder stand, rifle slung on right shoulder, diet cokes under my left arm. A coyote is standing 5ft. away on my right side and the pistol was the only option. nailed him.
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