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Old January 23, 2012, 09:35 AM   #1
Don V.
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Hunting with .45 LC

I've been looking at Henry's and Winchester's in .45 LC, online and reading the reviews. I've come across hunters talking about using these rifles for deer and bear hunting. Isn't this a small round for game of this size? Obiviously it's big enough to take anything down in the right circumstances, but hunting isn't target practice. Am I missing something here?
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Old January 23, 2012, 09:40 AM   #2
JimPage
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It can be OK for hunting deer and black bear. It's shot placement that matters. The average hunter who only shoots a box of ammo a year and only hunts one weekend a year wouldn't do well with that caliber.
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Old January 23, 2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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They are fine for deer and black bear. We have used them successfully with no problems.
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Old January 23, 2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Isn't this a small round for game of this size?
I think so. The brass frame Henry I shot, I don't think you can push the velocities of a 45 LC much in that rifle. In a stronger rifle you can exceed 44 Magnum energy levels.

There are people who are on the extreme range of the spectrum, buying either cannons or pop guns. They go out and shoot animals (gophers with 375's and elephants with 25-20) and then loudly claim that their thunder stick is the best thing in the world.

You have to decide for yourself whether their claims are realistic.

Just don't rattle the cages.
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Old January 23, 2012, 04:36 PM   #5
Clifford L. Hughes
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Don V.

I shot a wild boar with my Smith & Wesson model 625 .45 Auto Rim. I was using .45 ACP cases and a 200 grain Hornady XTP bullet loaded to 1020 fps. I was hunting with dogs so my shot was at point blank range. The bullet hit it just in front of the shoulder and ranged about twelve inches lodging just behind the jaw and under the ear on the off side. It took out three inches of neck bone on its way. Would I shoot at a game animal with this combination at 100 yards? NO. However, I wouldn't hesitate taking a hundred yard shot with a .45 Colt rifle using 250 grain bullets at 1,000 or so fps.

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Last edited by Clifford L. Hughes; January 23, 2012 at 04:37 PM. Reason: wording
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Old January 23, 2012, 05:31 PM   #6
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I run a .45-70 with powder puff loads most of the time. Albeit my bullets are 350 grains, but they are barely making 1000 fps. I've seen the penetration these will get in different media, such as pine, and I wouldn't hesitate to take out a deer or black bear with one. If you're looking at white tails, the .45-colt cowboy loads probably have adequate penetration at 100 yards. If you're an eastern stand hunter taking close-range shots, the .45 is plenty. I hunt in NM, where the shots are pretty varied. It all depends on the average ranges and skill level. But, that being said, a big, slow chunk of lead has been killing pretty well for a long, long time.
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Old January 23, 2012, 05:37 PM   #7
Daryl
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No, it's not too small for deer and bear.

The .45 Colt, from a handgun, when loaded with a 255 grain hard cast pushed to around 900 fps will shoot through a broadside deer like nothing. Pushed a little harder, it'll handle bears plenty well enough.

And the same load from a rifle will shoot faster yet, and that's not even a "hot" or "Ruger only" load. The limiting factor is trajectory. Beyond a hundred yards or so, the bullets drop fairly quickly. Used within it's capabilities though, it's a fine hunting cartridge.

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Old January 23, 2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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My current 45 load is 10gr of Unique under a 275 LFN @ 1050. Shoots through 8" pines at 50 feet and is quite comfortable in my Ruger Bisley.
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Old January 24, 2012, 01:35 AM   #9
Don V.
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I wondered what had happened to this. Apparantly I put it up in the wrong place and it was moved. Anyway, thanks for some very helpful information. Except for bird and duck hunting as a teenager, I haven't done much hunting, never with a rifle. Recent circumstances have (re)kindled my interest. Having a 45 LC handgun I thought a rifle in the same calibur would be convienent, but obviously by my question, I was skeptical about what the rifle could be used for. Years ago while duck hunting I took an opportune shot at a Canadian Goose with the wrong shot. All I did was hurt the bird and it's bothered me ever since. My primary interest in a rifle is for whitetail deer. Typically for deer hunting around here I hear about 30-.06, 30-30, .308, etc., where a rifle can be used, and rifled slugs where they can't. I'll be the first to admit I've a lot to learn. Thanks for sharing. It's all good and helpful information.
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Old January 24, 2012, 08:53 PM   #10
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for deer

One of the .45 Colts contemporaries was the .44-40. In a '92 carbine, the .44/40 w/ a 200 gr slug was thought of as a fair deer slayer in some parts of the country, but eventually was overtaken by the M94 in .30/30.

So...a .45 slug at 250 gr, sailing along at 1000 fps plus, is going to sail right through a whitetail, I have no doubt.

LImit your shots to sub 100 yds, and avoid the cowboy loads, some of which can be very anemic.
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Old February 1, 2012, 01:19 PM   #11
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.45 lc should be plenty for whitetail, I haven't had a chance to hunt with one yet because I have better suited guns. But I have shot a .45lc rifle several times. I really enjoy it. It's a Rossi Circuit Judge. Believe it or not, they are pretty accurate and are of very good quality. The Circuit Judge is also very quiet, almost as quiet as a .22lr rifle. And the sights on these rifles are great, the best in my opinion. I also really love the way these guns feel. I suggest using Hornady LEVERevolution ammo.
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Old February 7, 2012, 02:34 AM   #12
45long
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For deer and a lot of big game

Since I've use my .45 colt buffalo classic for deer hunting I will not use anything else. The only disadvantage is it's range and the price if the ammo if you don't reload. I can tell you from experience when you hit a deer with this round they just fold up. Alot of shooters look at the ballistics and see all the foot pounds of energy comming from a .30 rifle and don't realize the power of a large slow moving bullet. I have shot hogs and they go all the way though them. I push a 260 grain keith bullet @ 1056fps out of my rifle using a light load . For a heavier load i use the Keith load that sends it 1445fps out of rifle and 1224fps from my 7.5 inch Blackhawk. One big advantage is that it doesn't bloodshoot the meat. A wide flat metplat bullet design is devistating.

For all you unbelievers out there here is what the Taylor Knockout figures
say @ 100 yards: excellent on antelope ,coyote,deer, sheep---Good on black bear,caribou,cougar, elk, moose ,wild boar. (and you should see what happens when you switch to a heavier bullet)

and you can load a lot hotter rounds if you have the gun to handle it or you can just but some buffalo boar or corbon hot loads. trust me you will fall in love with this round.
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Old February 7, 2012, 05:00 AM   #13
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I can never understand how people can say its ok for deer and black bear. Deer are a prey animal with thin skin and flat rib bones. Stateside a huge whitetail deer will go 200 or so dressed.

Bears are big and tough. Heavier bones thick skin with lots of fat to seal any leaking wound. In many states one can expect a chance at a bear dressing 400 pounds or more.

No a deer caliber is not a bear caliber.

Yes, your 45 LC with heavy hard cast bullets will take a bear over hounds. If you shoot three bears with it over bait, you will lose 1. Won't be able to find it, lost, and wasted resource.
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Old February 9, 2012, 02:43 PM   #14
Daryl
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Quote:
I can never understand how people can say its ok for deer and black bear. Deer are a prey animal with thin skin and flat rib bones. Stateside a huge whitetail deer will go 200 or so dressed.

Bears are big and tough. Heavier bones thick skin with lots of fat to seal any leaking wound. In many states one can expect a chance at a bear dressing 400 pounds or more.

No a deer caliber is not a bear caliber.

Yes, your 45 LC with heavy hard cast bullets will take a bear over hounds. If you shoot three bears with it over bait, you will lose 1. Won't be able to find it, lost, and wasted resource.
Bull hockey. a heavy .45 caliber bullet, when pushed to appropriate velocities, will pass through a bear like nothing, leaving a nearly half inch hole on it's way through. Black bears actually aren't that hard to kill, and I know of several that were killed with 30-30's, .45 Colts, or other moderate cartridges.

The .45 Colt, when loaded right, is plenty. Actually, it's my cartridge of choice when hunting bears in close woods.

We aren't talking cowboy game loads here, amigo. We're talkinig about a 300-350 grain bullet pushed to 1000-1600 or more fps. At reasonable ranges, it just doesn't stop for flesh and bones very well. That big, heavy bullet has a lot of momentum, and leaves a big hole.
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Old February 9, 2012, 03:43 PM   #15
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I have taken deer nearly every year for the past 15 years with a 357 magnum lever action rifle.

I think your 45LC will be fine if you use heavy loads. Most rounds that will kill a mule deer will work on a black bear as well.
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Old February 9, 2012, 03:57 PM   #16
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I've used buffalo bore out of a revolver on pigs, pretty hot load it seems, so, I imagine out of a rifle it might hit pretty hard.
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Old February 9, 2012, 04:09 PM   #17
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Our family has never had problems killing deer, black bear and wild boar with 30-30. The 45Colt should be every bit as effective in short range encounters
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Old February 9, 2012, 09:06 PM   #18
joseywales87
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I love my Marlin 30-30 and I love my Ruger vaquero 45 long colt, but I wouldn't trust them against bear. I would prefer at least a 44 magnum or a 45-70.
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Old February 10, 2012, 10:42 AM   #19
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I am forever amused by folks repeating that black bears are not hard to kill. When things go right and the bear is under 200 pounds they are easy to kill. I have personally killed over 20 bears over the last 36 years and have been in on the taking of way over a hundred. The vast majority of which were taken over hounds. I have had many bait sitters ask me to help find their lost bear.

A 45 hard cast bullet at adequate velocity is a great game getter. Bears included. 900 to 1000 fps is NOT adequate velocity to consistently take big black bears at distances much beyond point blank.
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Old February 10, 2012, 04:05 PM   #20
Daryl
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Quote:
A 45 hard cast bullet at adequate velocity is a great game getter. Bears included. 900 to 1000 fps is NOT adequate velocity to consistently take big black bears at distances much beyond point blank.
Which is why I push a 300 grain bullet to some 1600+ fps from my rifle when I use a .45 Colt for bears.

Same cartridge, and it works just fine.

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Old February 12, 2012, 11:31 AM   #21
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I read in Outdoor Life about a guy that shot a cape buffalo with a Buffalo Bore 44 mag round (310gr) from revolver; at 40 yards it penetrated 3 feet of the bull.

A 45lc from a rifle could be used well most likely... but why limit yourself? Against bear, I would also want more thump.

Last edited by Creek Henry; February 13, 2012 at 09:24 PM.
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Old February 13, 2012, 02:50 AM   #22
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A .45 Colt loaded up to the 29-30,000 psi range will do everything a .44 mag will do and then some.

My current all-business .45 Colt load is a 335 gr LBT WFNGC launched by 24 gr of H-110 and sparked by a CCI 350.
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Old February 13, 2012, 04:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
but why limit yourself? Against beer, I would also want more thump.
Against a good Beer, there is no defense. Best to go with the flow and drink deeply...
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Old February 14, 2012, 05:19 AM   #24
45long
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Yes, your 45 LC with heavy hard cast bullets will take a bear over hounds. If you shoot three bears with it over bait, you will lose 1. Won't be able to find it, lost, and wasted resource.
A black bear doesn't stand a chance against a 45 colt in a Rifle. A heavy bullet can go through a big mule deer or a hog front to back. Ballistics of those fast ,smaller diameter, bullets look good on paper but are not real life examples of how they preform against a large heavier bullet when it comes to penetration or knockdown power ,which is the reason the Taylor KnockOut Scale was invented.

Here's a 45 colt load for a rifle--
24/H110 1660 fps/ 48,000 CUP ---2141 fpe..
Here's another one--
NEI/Keith 325 27/H110 50,000 CUP (for 92s) 2121 fps (again like a 45-70)---3346 fpe
I would think the latter would kill anything in North America..
Overkill for Black Bear---
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Old February 15, 2012, 09:43 AM   #25
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If someone loses their bear over bait, they better learn to shoot or stay home.

All the buffalo on the plains were killed with a 45/70 bullet going 1300-1500fps.
If you have a 250gr 45 cal cast bullet going around 1200fps or so, you will get major penatration on deer and bears at 100yds.

Do a little playing and testing of your own. Shoot into wet sand and milk jugs filled with water, lined up back to back to catch your bullet and you will be very impressed.

My 44 mag is a 250gr at 1650fps and I feel completely confident for elk with it to 200yds.


If you use cast bullets, try and get some good home cast bullets, not that commercially produced garbage they sell in the stores.

Last edited by reloader28; February 15, 2012 at 10:06 AM.
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