Deer hunting advice

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andyo5

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
299
Location
Oro Valley, Arizona
I plan to hunt deer in the woods this year with my 7.5" 45 Colt Blackhawk. I plan to shoot 280g Keith bullets using either HS6 (13g or 13.5g) or 2400 (19g).
I am off to the range tomorrow to chrono these loads. My question is this: What muzzle velocity should I try to achieve to take down deer at 25 to 50 yards? Is 1000fps sufficient?
Thanks.
 

deac45

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
392
Location
NW Georgia
I would go with the load that gave me the best accuracy. I play around between 900 to 1000 fps trying to find what the gun likes best. Once that load is found I stick with it. The more familiar I am with a gun/load combination, the more confident I am with my shots.

deac45
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Texas
Andy,

I think you'll be just fine taking deer with 950 fps and up. IMO, 1k would be just fine. especially with a 280 gr bullet.

Maybe for reference............While not the exact same load and components as you're using.........I have load data for 14.2 gr of HS-6 and a 270gr Keith. in MY 5 1/2" bisley that load did 1150 fps. in MY 4 5/8" blackhawk it did 1122 fps.

Good luck on getting a deer w/ your revolver.

~c.r.
 

David LaPell

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
979
Location
Upstate NY
Guys have been killing deer for years with the old .44 Special 250 grain and 7.5 grains of Unique which is around 950 fps on average. So 1,000 fps and 280 grains out of a .45 Colt wil do just fine.
 

protoolman

Hunter
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
2,086
Location
ND
Well Elmer Keith wrote articles on heavy bullets like that at 900-1000 fps getting full penetration side to side on Elk. He felt it was enough to take any big game in the lower 48. He also in his experimentation did not find any advantage (other than trajectory) in speeding the bullet over 1000 fps.
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
6,496
Location
Milo Maine
A 280 gf bullet even at low velocity lets say 750 would be deadly on a whitetail. The MAIN thing is using a load that shoots well in the particular revolver and the SHOOTER shoots well. I would call 1000fps mid range velocity. IMO nuf said ps
 

Revolver-Time

Single-Sixer
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Apr 10, 2009
Messages
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Location
Savannah, Georgia
You can only shoot a Whitetail so dead. Bullets that get thru and thru can't kill more. 1000fps is more than enough. I have had them run off for a while when hit with a 30-06 but drop where they stood with a 240 gr 44 load at Less than 800fps. Exhaust the energy in the deer not in the ground beyond them.
 

andyo5

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
299
Location
Oro Valley, Arizona
Thanksto all who have replied so far. Actually I see a mistake I made on my original post. The weight of this bullet is 270g, not 280g.
 

ClintV

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Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
151
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North Florida
Revolver-Time":yfqki7ck said:
You can only shoot a Whitetail so dead. Bullets that get thru and thru can't kill more. 1000fps is more than enough. I have had them run off for a while when hit with a 30-06 but drop where they stood with a 240 gr 44 load at Less than 800fps. Exhaust the energy in the deer not in the ground beyond them.

True, but what about those shots that are a little less than perfect? IMO there is no such thing as too much gun, especially when offered a less than ideal angle, or things don't go exactly as planned. Better to have a little extra energy than just enough...just in case you don't get a perfect broadside. Whitetails aren't that hard to kill, if you get the bullet through the boiler room.
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Texas
ClintV":3otv6qhx said:
True, but what about those shots that are a little less than perfect?

Many folks believe that on deer sized game, maybe even elk...........that a ~250gr bullet traveling ~950 fps is sufficient when the shot isn't quite perfect.
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
Joined
Dec 30, 1999
Messages
4,417
Location
Maine
Worry more about accuracy/shot placement than velocity. All the velocity will mean nothing if you cannot hit where you're aiming. Sometimes the load you want (hot, fast, powerloaded) isn't the best for the job nor the most accuarte.
 

s4s4u

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
1,891
Location
MN, USA
Hunting big game is not about what little you can get by with, hunting big game is about being the most efficient killing machine you can be. I will not risk losing an animal over a couple hundred feet per second velocity when the gun is capable of more. That's all I got to say.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
Here in Wyoming the cartridge must produce 500 ft.lbs. of energy at 100 yards in a Factory Loading before you can use it for hunting.

flatgate
 

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,217
andyo5":2db0ae2u said:
I plan to hunt deer in the woods this year with my 7.5" 45 Colt Blackhawk. I plan to shoot 280g Keith bullets using either HS6 (13g or 13.5g) or 2400 (19g).
I am off to the range tomorrow to chrono these loads. My question is this: What muzzle velocity should I try to achieve to take down deer at 25 to 50 yards? Is 1000fps sufficient?
Thanks.

It's perfect... it'll kill any white tail deer.
 

andyo5

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
299
Location
Oro Valley, Arizona
CHRONOGRAPH RESULTS: Well, color me surprised! The 13.0g HS6 load averaged 1120 fps and put four out of six rounds into a Mickey Mouse shaped hole at 25 yards. The other two were about 3" away, and I think the cause of that was probably yours truly. This load was also comfortable to shoot offhand.
The 13.5g HS6 load averaged 1160 fps and put four rounds into a 2" group, and the others about 3" away from the group. This load was abusive to shoot offhand. The trigger guard whacked the heck out of my left index finger.
The 19g 2400 load was a surprise, because it was slow. It averaged 1070 fps and in spite of my best efforts, it spread 11 rounds out 3" vertically and 5" horizontally. This summer, I had clocked a 20g load at an average of 1270 fps in this same gun. I never would have dreamed that one grain would account for a drop of 200 fps. Maybe today's cool temperature was a contributer.
I think I need to look at 12.5g of HS6 next. That will get me back down closer to 1000 fps.
 

mt

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 22, 2008
Messages
290
Location
Rocksprings, Texas
I'll bet there's not a living deer anywhere that knows squat about bullet weights and load velocity.

It ain't rocket science, just land that bullet in the right place.

mt :D
 

Revolver-Time

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
216
Location
Savannah, Georgia
s4s4u":1zc4cnum said:
Hunting big game is not about what little you can get by with, hunting big game is about being the most efficient killing machine you can be. I will not risk losing an animal over a couple hundred feet per second velocity when the gun is capable of more. That's all I got to say.

These examples are all true................
I hunted deer with a guy that used his 458 winmag
I hunted geese with a guy that used a 10 gauge Ithica
I hunted deer with another guy who used his 338 winmag

But I'm telling you, if you can get within your personal range and put your bullets on a paper plate size target, you will kill your deer with a slow heavy handgun bullet. You can't make-up for poor skills with more energy or velocity. If the animal doesn't present the shot you need or want, DON'T TAKE THE SHOT! My 300Mag, or my 30-06, or my 303 is no more deadly on deer than my 44,45, or 50 BP. They just shoot a longer distance.
Most of the wizbang magnum stuff is just good marketing. Deer haven't gotten any tougher since the old 44-40s and 45 colts ruled the woods.
 

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