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Thread: Alaska hunting 45 Colt

  1. #21
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    I have 4 45 Colt Rugers, and one Freedom Arms 454, to say I like the caliber would be an understatement. In the 45 Colt I like a 290gr SWC I cast from wheel weights at 900-1000fps, usually a load of Unique, penetrates well, is manageable, and is accurate. In the 454, I tend to stick with 330gr bullets at 1300-1400fps as they penetrate deeper than if I push them to nearer 1600fps, plus they are much more enjoyable to shoot, I really like HS6 for the midrange loads in the 454, and I use either standard small rifle or magnum rifle primers and just adjust the powder charge accordingly. When I still lived in Alaska, I found the magnum primers worked better with the heavy charges of H110 when temps dropped below zero. I shoot the 45 Colts out to 50-75 yards, and the 454 I practice out to 200 yards for fun. I run an average of 500 rounds through my 454 per year, and another 5-600 rounds of 45 Colt, plus around 400 rounds of 357 magnum, the trigger time greatly increases how good my shooting is. I have no 45 caliber with a barrel over 6" in length, my 454 is a 6", and my absolute favorite. Wet newsprint has shown me that more velocity doesn't always equal more penetration, but a bigger bullet makes a bigger wound channel.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Yup, it runs right at about 1100 from the 5 1/2" Blackhawk.
    And will offer better penetration than the same bullet running 1600fps. I would agree that your load will do anything that would ever need to be accomplished with a side arm.

  3. #23

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    After over 40 years of loading and shooting most everything out there, I find the 340 grain WLFNGC bullets I produce from a custom mold, with a good dose of h-110 or 2400 @ around 1250 fps out of my 5 1/2" Bisley or the SB Bisley Hunter in 45 Colt, will dispatch anything I need it to, and in North America the most dangerous game are in trouble with six of these available if needed. I sold my 3 FA 454's as the Old Colt does so much I really think the only way to significantly increase killing power over the Modern 45 Colt loads is to go to the 480/475 5 shot. If I were 20 years younger I would make that conversion, but like I said......why, the Old Colt will do anything I need on this continent.

  4. #24

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    I have seven .45 Colts and have been reloading them for a few years...got tired of buying Rugers then dumping 4 or 5 hundred in them to bring them up to where I wanted them...I blew up a Ruger Bisley I had about $1400 bucks in, my fault, my only guess was a double load of H 110..lesson, don't reload when yer dog tired...I went out and bought a FA 83 and I'm loving it, finally a gun that doesn't need any gunsmithing...I just got a Montado dialed in after 3 years of trying a load or two, then putting it down for awhile...I had a drift front sight installed and a action job, cone and cylinders reamed...well about 3 weeks ago I found the magic load...10.5 grs. HS-6 with a Laser Cast 250 gr. bullet and I'm loving it..I always figgered it would make a good trail gun...I am shooting a 325 gr. bullet with 21.5 grs. of H110 in the FA as my hunting load...everything I have read tells me that a 300 gr. hard cast bullet at 1000-1100 fps will shoot through a moose, how much more do you need?

  5. #25

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    Almost forgot..I want to pass on a tip..maybe I was the last one to know, but I'll pass this on anyway...I use bronze wool wrapped around a bronze bore brush and make 6 or so passes through the bore to remove ALL leading....I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but after a while I'm sure it polished my bore and I saw a decrease in leading and group size in the Montado I mentioned in my last post... If you want to try it Midway sell bronze wool.................

  6. #26
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    Oneriver, definitely wasn't a double load of H110, you would have powder spilling out of the case! I have had excellent luck with every Ruger in 45 caliber I have owned, they may lead due to chamber mouths being too small, but mine all shoot better than I do. I love my Freedom Arms, but if I could only have a Ruger in 45 Colt, I'm good.

  7. #27
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    Kodiak Nov 2016.

    5 of us got 15 deer, 1 goat and a Brown bear. I was the only one handgun hunting. I climbed a mtn with my sheep hunting partner and he shot the goat at 282 yds. It took a nasty fall, tore up the cape bad. He didn't salvage it. We packed out the 90lbs of meat off the mtn in tough terrain getting down to the water after dark. Brown bear is a beautiful younger bear, about an 8+ footer. Not a 10ft like he was hoping for but he got one! Here are some pics of my deer. Kodiak is a beautiful place when the weather cooperates!


    I snuk up on this 2 pt and got a raking shot at about 37yds. Kneeling, unsupported.





    I was sitting on a steep hillside eating lunch when this guy walked out of the brush. Only chance/shot I had was 110ish yds (my max max) kneeling, rested elbow on one knee. Hit him first shot low on the shoulder, got re-situated after a couple misses and lunged him.



    He's a decent 3x4




    Last one was the funnest stalk. Spotted a doe on the hillside looking downhill about 200yds out. A couple minutes later caught a glimpse of the bucks head but I was pinned by a doe and fawn just above me. Buck moved up by the doe, still pinned, waited until the doe and fawn moved on. Then the doe went up the hill with buck in tow over a little ridge. I closed the gap some, buck popped out on the ridge at 130yds and headed up and over. I had to beat feet up a steep hill, crawled over and saw them still moving through some rolling terrain. Did the bent over sneak/run then crawled over a rise expecting to see them but nothing. Stood up and begain walking around the side of a knob and the buck appeared 60yds out coming straight at me up over the little ridge. He stopped and watched my as I pulled the BisHunter from the WyoCombo Holster and I put one in his chest standing off hand. I later retrieved the boolit in the tail bone!





    Here's a video clip.

    Last edited by Snyd; 12-06-2016 at 16:04.
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  8. #28
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Nice! Looks like it was crunchy dry there...
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Nice! Looks like it was crunchy dry there...
    Actually everything was wet/damp. It had rained quite a bit. But we did end up with some great weather throughout the week.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  10. #30
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Snyd you are truly a handgun hunter and meats taker this year. Once it happens it will keep going well for you. Now where is that bear?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  11. #31
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    Excellent! Thank you for sharing!

  12. #32
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    Do any of you guys hunt with jacketed HP or is everyone lead only?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    Do any of you guys hunt with jacketed HP or is everyone lead only?
    Many reasons to not use JHP's in pistols in Alaska. Expansion is unreliable, the rounded nose profile can deflect off bone, if the bullet does expand penetration will be less. Pistols do not kill with velocity like rifles, they punch a hole, the longer, straighter, larger the better. Flat nose cast boolits do just that. These may not be a big deal with a deer but for larger tougher critters and the bears we have a cast boolit with a good sized flat nose is the better choice. Many a pistolero has gone before us and figure this stuff out.

    There a a few exceptions to this possibly like runng the 454 Casull the way it was designed. 260gr at 1800 fps. Or the 460 S&W running a 260 gr at over 2000. But, even then most choose to go heavy and slow instead of light and fast in those calibers.

    I shot all these deer with the boolit below at 1200 fps. Worked great on the deer and would also be a viable load in a bear defense situation if need be. No way I'd want a JHP in any of my pistols here in AK. Well, except my 45 Auto CC town gun.


    355gr

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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Many reasons to not use JHP's in pistols in Alaska. Expansion is unreliable, the rounded nose profile can deflect off bone, if the bullet does expand penetration will be less. Pistols do not kill with velocity like rifles, they punch a hole, the longer, straighter, larger the better. Flat nose cast boolits do just that. These may not be a big deal with a deer but for larger tougher critters and the bears we have a cast boolit with a good sized flat nose is the better choice. Many a pistolero has gone before us and figure this stuff out.

    There a a few exceptions to this possibly like runng the 454 Casull the way it was designed. 260gr at 1800 fps. Or the 460 S&W running a 260 gr at over 2000. But, even then most choose to go heavy and slow instead of light and fast in those calibers.

    I shot all these deer with the boolit below at 1200 fps. Worked great on the deer and would also be a viable load in a bear defense situation if need be. No way I'd want a JHP in any of my pistols here in AK. Well, except my 45 Auto CC town gun.


    355gr


    Very interesting answer, I didnt expect that. What about the flat nose jacketed bullets, do you have an opinion on them?

    I'm asking because when I was younger (~20 years ago) I shot some lead but cleaning drove me crazy so I switched back to jacketed. Actually during the last ammo shortage I ended up buying some lead and I dont remember if I have any left...

    Since I just moved back here I plan on hunting with either 308 or 45/70 with the 454 (maybe loaded with 45LC?) as my back-up/close range gun. Moose, bear and caribou are what I'll be after and shots will be under 200 yards.

    So do you (or anyone) have recommendations for jacketed bullets in the 45LC or 454?

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    Very interesting answer, I didnt expect that. What about the flat nose jacketed bullets, do you have an opinion on them?

    I'm asking because when I was younger (~20 years ago) I shot some lead but cleaning drove me crazy so I switched back to jacketed. Actually during the last ammo shortage I ended up buying some lead and I dont remember if I have any left...

    Since I just moved back here I plan on hunting with either 308 or 45/70 with the 454 (maybe loaded with 45LC?) as my back-up/close range gun. Moose, bear and caribou are what I'll be after and shots will be under 200 yards.

    So do you (or anyone) have recommendations for jacketed bullets in the 45LC or 454?
    No reason to live with leading with cast boolits. It can be corrected with a few basic approaches. My recommendation regarding jacketed is don't. Load the Cast Performance 335 or 360 gr to the best accuracy for your gun. 1200-1300fps depending on gun a boolit.

    Other guys here may have a different opinion and steer you towards a jacketed.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  16. #36
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    So do you (or anyone) have recommendations for jacketed bullets in the 45LC or 454?
    In a word, no. Snyd knows what he's talking about.

    And ditto what he said about cleaning. I never touch by barrel anymore. If everything is right, you shouldn't ever have a single molecule of lead left in your bore.

    I like a 350 grain swc at about 1100 fps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    In a word, no. Snyd knows what he's talking about.

    And ditto what he said about cleaning. I never touch by barrel anymore. If everything is right, you shouldn't ever have a single molecule of lead left in your bore.

    I like a 350 grain swc at about 1100 fps.

    1300 FPS or slower will prevent leading depending on powder and lead?? I got my lead bullets online, I'll check manufacture when I get off work tonight

    Can the same be said for 45/70 and lead?

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    1300 FPS or slower will prevent leading depending on powder and lead??
    Nobody here said that. And it's not that simple. But it's not terribly complicated either, and getting a revolver to shoot well with lead isn't usually a huge challenge. Just take it steps.

    First, most important thing is fit. Throats should be .001-.002 larger than groove diameter, and bullet should be sized to fit snugly in throats.

    Then, different bullet hardness, alloy, and lube formulas work best within different pressure/speed ranges....

    A good place to start reading: http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_textonly2.pdf
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    1300 FPS or slower will prevent leading depending on powder and lead?? I got my lead bullets online, I'll check manufacture when I get off work tonight

    Can the same be said for 45/70 and lead?
    Velocity is only one part of the equation. Proper boolit size/fit is most important provided the mechanics of the gun are correct like cylinder throats that aren't under or oversized and lack of any bore constriction. And yes, cast boolits can be shot in rifles with no leading.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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