View Full Version : Deer hunting with 45 Long Colt Question.

October 10, 2009, 08:05 PM
This will be my sons first hunting trip where he gets to shoot (he's 15). I was thinking of letting him take the weatherby 300, while I take the yellowboy 45 long colt for shots up to 100 yards. I load 230 grain bullets with 8.5 HP38 powder. Will this load be enough to take down a deer at 100 yards?

October 10, 2009, 08:12 PM
Yes, but not with any real guarantee. I doubt you'd be happy with the results.

October 10, 2009, 08:25 PM
I have read how some have used the 45 longcolt for deer, but I was at the range today, zeroing mine and just can't get past the fact that it didn't kick much.

Dr. A
October 10, 2009, 10:20 PM
Go for a 250gr. bullet at least. What kind of 230gr. bullet are you loading? Sounds like more of a stunt. What kind of revolver do you own? The 45 is easily loaded for deer, but 100 yards will take some special planning. 230gr. bullets wouldn't be my choice.

October 10, 2009, 10:40 PM
It's not a stunt. I've killed several deer with the .45 Colt, more with the .44 Mag but in both cases the loads were similar- either a 240 or heavier JHP at around 1300 fps, or a 250-260 grain SWC at 1000-1100 fps.

All of them will make clean kills on deer if placed properly. The more durable bullets allow you to shoot through more meat and bone to get to the vitals, such as when the deer presents itself at a less than ideal angle.

If you want to 'take a deer down' however the best way I've found to do it is to wreck the spine, ideally at the point where it meets the shoulder. Heavy, solid bullets will do this as well as anything but you have to place them with precision and be willing to keep on hammering them when things don't go according to plans.

October 10, 2009, 11:59 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by stunt??

I have 230 grain TC bullets that I cast. I am using wheel weights and dropping them in cold water. They come out hard and will only slightly scratch with the finger nail.

I haven't seen any loads for 45 long colt rifle. I'll have to get some 250 grain and try them out.

I got the 8.5 load from http://stevespages.com/451p_3_225.html

October 11, 2009, 12:57 AM
I tried some out for a 30-30 with good reults, this might be worth a try.


October 11, 2009, 08:05 AM
Msta999: The Lyman reloading manual (among others, see below) has rifle data for the 45 Colt. There is data for both 250 grain and 255 grain lead bullets.
There is no data for HP38. That powder is described as "duplicating the performance of W231" and 231 is listed - useful, perhaps, as a point of reference.
The Lee Modern Reloading Manual, btw, lists 7.3 grains of HP-38 as max for a 230 grain lead bullet. That is a substantial difference from your data. You may want to check a bit more.
There is rifle data for lead bullets, also, both in Speer and Hornady.
Most data available is for the heavier bullets. That fact may be worth considering as you work up your loads.

October 11, 2009, 08:24 AM
i think a 45 lc is a good round out to 100 yds. my question is how big is your 15 yr old? a 300 mag is a great cartridge and i enjoy shooting it all day long but many smaller or younger people might find it a bit too much to handle.

Dr. A
October 11, 2009, 09:03 AM
If you're casting, take a look at the 300gr. Lee RN with a gas check.


With one of the proper slower powders, you can push this up to the 1500fps range and come just short of 45-70 power with a Marlin or model 92 carbine. The SWC's I mention do not have gas checks, and wouldn't probably be appropriate. I've used it in carbines and Ruger only loads and had good luck with 2400, H110, and AA#9. A big flat surface on the bullet will help kill with ease. I've also used the RCBS 255, 270 and a Castboolit 310 that is modeled after NEI's bullet. All have killed well. I generally like the bullet to be going 900fps or more, and would not have considered the 45ACP bullet (230gr). It sounded like you wanted the light plinker for deer hunting at 100 yards.

A stunt is something you do to proove it can be done whether appropriate or not. Hunting deer with 230gr. bullet in a 45 Colt wouldn't be usual or nearly as effective as another bullet like the ones I've mentioned.

Max loads for the 300gr. bullet would be :H110 at 22gr., OR Lil Gun at 20gr., or AA#9 at 15gr. (only a 20,000CUP load and you can take this farther with data and supervision), and 16gr. of 2400 Good luck!!

October 11, 2009, 09:12 AM
I think 230 grain bullets at moderate velocities from a .45 Colt might be a little light for deer at 100 yards. It can do it, I'm sure, but I'm not sure how reliably it'll happen.

Another concern is bullet design. 230 grain bullets in .45 caliber are commonly round nosed, and those aren't a good choice for shooting deer. A big, wide meplat will work a lot better for dropping a deer quickly.

I shoot 300 grain bullets from my .45 handgun at around 1250 fps (Ruger only load). The same load from my '92 Win leaves the barrel at around 1600 fps. These will kill anything that walks in Arizona.