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Old November 12, 2012, 10:29 AM   #1
keith81
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45 long colt yardage...

Wasnt sure where to post this.. Looking into a 45 colt lever action for my wife for deer hunting.. Was curious about the reach theese guns have.. Any info would be greatly appreciated..
Thanks.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:35 AM   #2
jmortimer
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Here is an article entitled "45 (long) Colt in Leveraction Rifles" by Paco Kelly from his Lever Guns web site with some info that may answer some questions:
http://leverguns.com/articles/paco/45coltlevergun.htm
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:29 AM   #3
Colt46
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Not going to be a long range propostion

With iron sights 100 yards is probably all you can expect with most facory loads. Serious +P ratings would extend that a bit.
One trick is to take 10" paper plates and tack them up all over the place at various distances and then see if she can consistantly keep them on that plate.
A good wadcutter design is all you really need for it to work on medium game.
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Old November 12, 2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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keith
Hoping your wife likes a kick in the shoulder if you use "Ruger Only" type loads. SASS cowboy action type loads will be softer but won't have as much oomph downrange. (I personally do not like shooting from a bench, but it does help steady you for guaging accuracy initially)

How far does she usually deer hunt, rangewise?
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Old November 12, 2012, 01:53 PM   #5
keith81
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Typically where wr hunt.. a good shot is going to be well within a 100 yrds. I have a Rossi circuit judge carbine that shoots. 410/45lc.. but i learned really quick this werkend that it doesn't shoot the 45 lc very accurate out to very much yardage past 25yrds.. So for deer I didnt think that was going to get it done.. She loves shooting it but I am not letting her take it to the deer woods if it cant hold a pattern any more than 20-30 yrds.. Do you all have any suggestion on which gun would be better than the others ..
Thanks
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:13 PM   #6
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Even "souped up", the .45 Colt is still a pistol cartridge, as is the .44 Magnum. Both are underpowered compared to even medium power rifle cartridges like the .30-30.

It is not a matter of range unless you plan to hunt where you will get long range shots; rather it is a matter of power and in that respect, a .30-30 or .35 Remington will have it over any pistol cartridge. Unless your wife is recoil sensitive or there is some other reason for limiting the power of the rifle, I suggest looking at something with more power.

As an added note, both the .45 Colt and the .44 Magnum (and the .45 ACP, .357, etc.) have fans who believe that "their" cartridge is the most powerful the world has ever known and will kill deer at 250 miles on a foggy day or penetrate enemy tanks before going on to wipe out whole countries. The .44 Magnum in particular was the subject of more hype and nonsense than about any other cartridge except, maybe, the .223 Remington/5.56. Until, that is, cartridges like the .454 Casull came along, when they in turn became the darlings of the gunzines.

Jim
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:31 PM   #7
keith81
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She isnt recoil sensitive.. however where we hunt and live in Indiana we are some what restricted as to what caliber we can use when it comes to deer hunting.. I am not sure to what all calibers are allowed as of today.. I do know that the 45lc is one of them and since I have one that shoots the load already was leaning towards another of the same caliber since I have all the equipment to reload these already..
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:53 PM   #8
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I also live in Indiana and only large bore pistol rifles are allowed so they have become very popular.
The problem with a 45 long colt is that if you use factory loads the energy is not high enough. You must be able to load yourself to get the full benefit of the large bullet. Since most factory loads are made to shoot safely in all 45 colt guns, they are underpowered.
I have taken wild boar with 45 Long colt but they were hand loads with the attached bullet photo loaded to Ruger only loads shot out of a Blackhawk. At 30 yards it looked like he was hit with a train. 30 to 40 yards would be the max for that gun and caliber.
If you want to stay with pistol caliber then you need to go with something that you can get already loaded to magnum power levels.
My suggestion is to go with the 44 magnum. The Ruger 77/44 is a great platform for hunting since it’s stainless and has a plastic stock and a great set of scope rings. It’s heavy enough that recoil is manageable and light enough to carry. My wife likes it because it's shorter than my Marlin lever action so she can handle it faster. She prefers it to all other rifles I own.
http://www.ruger.com/products/rotary...44/models.html
Mine will hold 3 inches at 100 yards which is what I consider max range for this caliber.
If you want to spend less money than you can get a Rossi. I have one of their lever actions and for the price they make a nice rifle. But putting a scope on one can get a little pricy.
http://www.rossiusa.com/product-deta...adcrumbseries=
The following is from the Indiana DNR so if you want to use handgun rounds you should look into the requirements of your state.



Rifles with cartridges that fire a bullet of .357-inch diameter or larger; have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches; and have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches are legal to use only during the deer firearms and special antlerless seasons. Some cartridges legal for deer hunting include the .357 Magnum, .38-.40 Winchester, .41 Magnum, .41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W, .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf.

Handguns, other than muzzleloading, must have a barrel at least 4 inches long and must fire a bullet of .243-inch diameter or larger. The handgun cartridge case, without the bullet, must be at least 1.16 inches long. Full metal-jacketed bullets are not permitted.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 45 Long Colt bullets.jpg (188.6 KB, 23 views)
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Even "souped up", the .45 Colt is still a pistol cartridge, as is the .44 Magnum. Both are underpowered compared to even medium power rifle cartridges like the .30-30.
This is not necessarily true. The 44 Mag compares reasonable close to a 30/30 at 100 yards. Elmer Keith took Deer at 600 yards with a 4" 44 Mag and the slugs were passing through the Deer. The article is online if you wish to google it.

The thing about big bore revolver rounds is the typically heavier weight bullets than your rifle cartridges have in them. This makes them great penetrators and helps to level the playing field somewhat, and make them an ok choice for Deer.
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:44 PM   #10
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Here are some facts from the article I linked above by Paco Kelly, and you can see that a 275 grain .45 Colt bullet from a 92 action at 2,000 fps is way more gun than a .30-30 and will keep going past 100 yards:

"A better comparison indicator for me, of where a handloaded round is in the scale of killing ability...is to compare it’s standing against other rounds without the over rated muzzle energy figures. If you multiply the velocity times the bullet weight, and then divide by 7000 (number of grains in a lb, it’s the old Keith method) you get a better picture of actual power/killing levels compared to other rounds. 2000 X 275 div 7000 = KS(Killing Scale) of 79 for this 45 long Colt load from the Rossi 1892. A 44 magnum Ruger revolver with a 275 grain (same nose shape) cast WFN bullet at 1400 FPS velocity reaches a level of KS 55, and that’s a heavy handgun load that’s harvests larger medium game very well.

A 30-30 with a 170 gr bullet at 2200 FPS gives a level of power ranking at KS 53.4... ahh yes dear reader, the 44 mag from a long gun really does have more power at 100 yards than a 30-30/170 commercial load. Of course the 44 mag/275 gr. load above from a rifle, at basically the same velocity as the 275 gr./45 long Colt from a rifle has the same killing level potential as the 45 long Colt. There are difficulties with all measuring methods of bullet energy and killing ability since so much more is involved than just velocity and weight...but this works for me when we are comparing the same bullet shape/content and construct with changes in weight or velocity.

The neat thing about this method is you can take the down range velocities all the way out to your longest range and compare them with the down range velocities of other rounds, calibers and see the changes compared to each other. The 45 long Colt at 100 yards has slowed to 1600 FPS and the killing level has dropped to almost KS of 63 from 79. Where the 30-30 load has dropped to 1930FPS to a KS 46 from 53.4.....that should make a few yell ‘foul...can’t be’, but it is! And from my use of these 45 loads in the field for years on large game....I can tell you it is.....! As many gunwriters have stated over the years, a 44 mag or heavy loaded 45 long Colt fired from a rifle is more powerful than a 30-30 at 100 yards....actually they are more powerful than the great 30-30, at a lot further than 100 yards.....

So the next time someone states the 44 mag and 45 long Colt from rifles only has an advantage over the 30-30 under 100 yards...show him the error of his reality. But remember bullet drop with the larger calibers, is more than the 308 calibers ....But that never bothered me....mainly because I started rifle shooting without scopes and learned how to compensate....scopes were far from being seen, much less using them, when we were boys. (Some like to say so was smokeless powder, but I’m not that old).

Pushing a 335 grain cast WFN at 1800 fps is around top end for a 1892 action for me. That puts the KS at almost 86! So this gives a good picture of what a so called lowly 45 long Colt can really do. What a lion killer that 335 grain 45 long Colt load would be. The Win 94s and Marlins in 45 long Colt can push a 330 to 340 grain cast bullet to 1600 FPS and a KS of 76 and that’s no sleaze...because 40+ caliber bullets of this weight will penetrate incredible distances thru animals, with great disruptive force to tissue and bone. Except for upper bullet weight limit, because of bullet length and the less powder room in the 44 mag case and the 45 case....I see little difference in both up to 300+ grains. As long as shape, material of the bullet construction, and the velocity are the same. The slight differences in B.C. (Bullet Coefficient) make little down range differences between the two. Going to bullet weights of 325+grains and higher, begin the power level changes in favor of the 45 over the 44 mag...but as said is that potential power really needed in normal hunting in the lower states...Alaska yes, Africa fine...and it’s nice to have the potential if needed."
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:45 PM   #11
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W/O a lot of slide rule calculus and based on actually shooting one, I'd say 100-125 yards with 240-250 grain 'Ruger Loads' and about half that with garden-variety 45 Colt loads using SWC's or expanding bullets. In reality there are other factors, not the least of which is the coarse sights often found on lever actions chambered for wheelgun rounds.

A good plan is to staple up a 7" paper picnic bowl and let her shoot at it from field positions, with the load she is going to hunt with. Wherever she can keep 90% of her shots in the middle of that bowl, is about the farthest she should hunt with it.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:37 PM   #12
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I second the motion for the .45 Colt. I've never owned a levergun in that caliber, but I've had a couple of Blackhawks. I loaded up the 325 gr bullet to almost 1200 fps, if my memory is correct... might have been more like 1100.. either way, that was a monster load out of a handgun. It would stand that 7.5" barrel straight up, no matter how tightly I gripped it. I believe it would have shot through two hogs lengthwise, if I could have lined 'em up...
I have to believe that out of a carbine length levergun, it would be good out to at least 100 yards... more, if the accuracy was there.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:57 PM   #13
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I think "Ruger Only" .45 Colt rounds should be compared to "Ruger Only" .30-30 rounds. It's a shame Ruger never offered .30-30 in their No 1 rifles so maybe we could compare "Savage/Springfield bolt action only" .30-30 ammo.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:06 PM   #14
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I'm no expert but . . .

I'm no expert but I'm really enjoying my Henry in 45 colt. I load my own and shooting a 200 grain XTP bullet on top of nearly the maximum load of Unique power I can get groups of about five inches at 100 yards.

Live well, be safe.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:44 PM   #15
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I don't know what you're shooting out of you Judge carbine , but I got like 2"-3"groups out of mine at 100 yards of the table sand bag
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:24 PM   #16
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If you don't reload, 44Mag. You can get Rem or WW 240gr loads at Wally. 100 yards is the practical limit because of the trajectory.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OP
I do know that the 45lc is one of them and since I have one that shoots the load already was leaning
towards another of the same caliber since I have all the equipment to reload these already.
The 45 Colt -- handloaded as the OP says he is able to do -- is an absolutely superb cartridge for brush-country shooting/ranges as has been outline above. Teamed up with the Marlin which take take Ruger-level loads pulling away it is unbeatable.



a Flat-nosed 340gr/1,240fps projectile at moderate pressures (~25,000psi) is comfortable to shoot and will cleanly kill anything Indiana has to offer, ...and then some

Last edited by mehavey; November 14, 2012 at 08:20 AM.
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:56 PM   #18
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I think one missing point here is if the OP hand loads or not.
If he does not load his own then the 44 mag is the right caliber. There are some impressive 45 Colt rounds out there but I have never used them. 260 GR 1450 FPS and 1214 ft lbs.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/211...d-hollow-point
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:47 PM   #19
mehavey
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See OP quote in post immediately above (in post #17).
Quote:
....since I have all the equipment to reload these already....
He states he is a reloader of 45 Colt/
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Old November 25, 2012, 10:02 AM   #20
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Here's a muzzle flash from a Factory Cor-Bon 45 Colt +P, 300 grain bullet. I measured them to be at 1187 FPS from my 4" Redhawk. It obviously would shine much better in a rifle tube.

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Old November 25, 2012, 12:07 PM   #21
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45lc levergun

Check out a Henry big boy in 45 l c . 100% made in the U.S.A. They are a little heavy but thats a good thing if you shoot heavy loads . Customer service is outstanding. They cost alittle more than others but you get more for your money when you do the research.
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Old November 25, 2012, 12:08 PM   #22
Art Eatman
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The typical buckhorn sights on lever actions are the main limitation for effective range. For pistol cartridges, the other factor is trajectory.

Just off the cuff, I guess I'd zero for 75 yards, which IMO would readily make it a 100- to maybe a 125-yard gun.
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Old November 25, 2012, 12:18 PM   #23
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I have a Uberti Henry .45 Colt and can easily hit soda cans at 25 yards. No kick, lots of fun. Have not tried it at 100 yards, not sure what the drop would be.
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