View Full Version : .45 long colt for whitetails?

Ed Dixon
April 18, 2002, 08:59 PM
I recently purchased a Winchester Trapper '94 in 45 LC. Picked the caliber because it matched a Vaquero I picked up a few months ago. (Not into CAS yet, but you never know.) Just wanted to know some opinions on the little levergun as a brush deer rifle, at ranges almost certainly less than 100 yards. Would the chunky pistol slug make humane kills inside that range? Anyone have personal experience using it so?

Art Eatman
April 18, 2002, 10:16 PM
If you're a handloader, the answer is a definite "Yes." I don't know about "store-bought" ammo, though.

It's easy to load the .45 Colt to .44 Mag equivalency, particularly with the 250- and 300-grain bullets.


April 21, 2002, 07:35 AM
Stoke it with some of those hot semi-custom loads from Buffalo Bore or Garrett and you'll be able to swat down even the biggest whitetail with authority (up to 100yds).

Long Path
April 23, 2002, 11:23 PM
No problem. Just keep your shots close and pick them carefully. Best inside of 75 yds, broadside.

April 24, 2002, 10:00 AM
I killed two large whitetails last fall with a Marlin 1894 Cowboy in 45 Long Colt. I used the Cor-Bon 265 gr JHP +P loads. Both of the deer were only 50 yards away. One had a complete pass through and the deer traveled only 75 yards before cashing in. Broadside shot that took both lungs. Second deer was quartering away from me and I hit him too far back, entering just in front of the rear leg. He traveled 50 yards before collapsing. The bullet traveled the entire length of his body, taking out both lungs and exiting the opposite shoulder but staying inside the hide. I found the bullet while skinning him. He is being mounted as we speak. 10 points and 275 lbs. I know that two examples are just that, but I guarantee that the 45 Long Colt will do the job at reasonable ranges on even large whitetails. I have killed dozens of deer and the pistol cartridge was just as effective as any high power rifle I have ever used. Just recognize that it is not appropriate for those 200 yard shots and you never know when that buck of a lifetime will appear at 200 yards and there you stand with a 100 yard rifle.:rolleyes:

April 27, 2002, 09:43 PM
I mentioned on another thread, agreeing with leadbut, that max loads are not needed, or for me, desired when hunting with a .45 Colt. I have taken several with the 225 grain WW Silvertip. The deer were one shot kills, but at about 35 yards average.

I have a marlin .44 Mag 1894, that I would use at longer ranges, but I know that a heavy loaded .45 will work in carbines just fine also, and give that extra range, out to 75 or 100 yards.