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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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.
Pictures 066 by t410er, on Flickr
101_1256[1] by t410er, on Flickr
 

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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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I use 70 gr FFF. The one I took left no blood trail with it's heart blown out and did run a bit until it blacked out and ran into a tree and dropped. But, I have had that happen when I used to hunt with cartridge guns and heart shot deer. My 1st buck was heart shot with a cartridge gun left no blood trail as it ran off until it finally blacked out and ran head on into a tree and dropped. The collision finally forced some out onto the tree. And also snapped the half rack off. Very hard collision. My Dad heard it hit from where he was sitting up the hill haha
 

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I have been very unimpressed with the .50 round ball. Switched to .54. Much better is my opinion. Kinda like a .243 versus a 30/06. They both work, but...........
 

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Vast majority of the deer I have taken has been with 50 cal rb. Never had any problem or ever lost a deer. Most dropping within 50 yds if not right where they stood. Moved up to a 54 cal in 2000 and taken a number with it. Definitely more "oomph". Do love the 54 for the added oomph and reach and I think of it as a very good one gun owner caliber. The 45 and 50 cal's I have have proven accurate and deadly and I use them with total confidence. If you are good with whatever rifle cal. you use and place your shots accurately, any will do the job. And as they say, and I have seen, prb kills all out of proportion to their paper ballistics
 

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Vast majority of the deer I have taken has been with 50 cal rb. Never had any problem or ever lost a deer. Most dropping within 50 yds if not right where they stood. Moved up to a 54 cal in 2000 and taken a number with it. Definitely more "oomph". Do love the 54 for the added oomph and reach and I think of it as a very good one gun owner caliber. The 45 and 50 cal's I have have proven accurate and deadly and I use them with total confidence. If you are good with whatever rifle cal. you use and place your shots accurately, any will do the job. And as they say, and I have seen, prb kills all out of proportion to their paper ballistics

I must agree. .32 or .62, a hole is a hole and no deer is going to live with the air being let out. its all about shot placement no matter what weapon is being used.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies.....I am more confident that my .45 cal. traditional muzzleloader can do the job with a PRB, provided I make a good shot in the kill zone. I will plan to use it next season.
 

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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
I don,t think the .45 is available in rifles anymore.A couple years ago someone posted on this forum havin trouble findin ammo for their inline.
 
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