.45 cal sufficient for deer? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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.45 cal sufficient for deer?

I have shot a few deer with .54 patched round balls (PRB)...the 230 grain ball does a good job on deer (if I do my part) and they don't run far. I have a handsome .45 cal. Pedersoli Plainsman (made in the 1970's). I understand it has 1:48 twist. I likes 60 grains of FFFG with PRB that produces good groups. I have tried some conicals, with so-so accuracy.
I would like to hunt with this gun next year....but I am skeptical about the effectiveness of a 130 ball on deer. I would like to hear any observations about hunting with a 45 cal PRB. Thanks.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 05:46 PM
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I built this one in the early 70's. I had a neighbor that was a cabinet maker in his 80's. Took me a year to build because he would send me home when I wanted to go faster on the build. I got a good rifle because of him.

Back to the the point -- 45 cal is a great rifle. Shot placement is the ticket. I put a lot of deer in the freeze with the 45.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 06:06 PM
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plenty gun for deer. whether it is a .32 cal or a .62 cal , shot placement is always the key. your rifle will be fine.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 06:07 PM
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nice rifle Laylow!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 06:24 PM
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The 45 is my FAVORITE muzzy caliber.I have 5 of them.Have 2 TC Senecas in 45 that I use 50gr of powder and they drop them.Also 2 TC Hawken in 45 that get 70 gr.Also have a 45 Jacob Dickert with a Bobby Hoyt barrel made by Neal Panzerell.If we could use either 36cal or 40cal I'd use it for deer.Nothing lives with a hole in the heart or lungs.Killed 'em with up to 58 caliber and NONE were any more dead than the other.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 09:28 PM
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I've never killed one w/ a .45cal but my dad used one for years and killed many deer with it using PRBs. Like it has been said many times in this thread, focus on putting the ball where you want it and you will be fine with that .45 cal.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 09:12 AM
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Up till last year all I used was 45 cal rifles in flint and inline. great for deer. I got a 50 cal this year in a cva inline only cause I liked the finger breach plug removal. It knocked down one in the early season. a breeze to clean
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 09:30 AM
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With a round ball, keep in mind that with the same powder charge, it is moving a lot faster. Air resistance really doesn't play a factor until about the 60 to 75 yd point. Considering that most deer in PA are hit at about 30 yards, you are good to go. However, a 45 round ball is no long range item, but neither is a 54 round ball. If you were to go to conicals, remember that buffalo hunters using cross sticks were capable of great accuracy and killing power to 400 yds with a 45 caliber bullet. Read about the original Creedmore matched in which 45 caliber muzzle loaders were capable of great accuracy to some pretty long distances. They were frequently shot to 1,000 yds, but the target was almost as big as a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood at that distance. Some shooters with modern muzzle loader barrels, fast twist and false muzzles are shooting much smaller 1,000 yd groups.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 11:50 AM
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Only started using the 45 Bedford I built a couple years ago. I carry it in the early season since I figure shots will be a little closer than late season. Only taken one deer with it so far but LOVE the .45 cal. Even though I want to keep shots under 50 yds, this rifle will shoot where I want and shot placement with any firearm you use is crucial. Took this one at 67yds. zipped through a rib going in, obliterated the heart and zipped through a rib going out. Taken a lot of deer with prb in .50 and .54 cal but performance with that lil .45 prb surprised me.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 08:30 AM
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I've taken several with a .45 using PRB. Initially found the rifle (1:66 twist) very accurate using 50 grains of FFFg, however even with good hits the first couple required quite a bit of tracking. An experienced friend suggested upping the powder charge until the maximum safe charge (still giving good accuracy) could be determined. In my case it was 75 grains of FFFg and the increased velocity / bullet expansion was noticeable on next two taken, with one collapsing on the spot.

Last edited by bowbenderpa01; 01-17-2019 at 08:32 AM.
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