DIY heavy hitters
for your .45 Colt

Hot lead makes for hotter loads
; .

The simplicity of a cast bullet handload has the ability to perform as well as
the best factory fodder, while instilling a sense of independence and pride.
Tank used his Ruger Bisley Hunter with a Leupold 4X scope, as well as a
TC Contender with a 14" barrel and a Ruger/Turnbull Bisley for testing.
Here’s the 45 Marlin Carbine and 45 503 slugs (below). Both are very accurate.

I could happily end my shooting days with the .45 Colt cartridge and never feel cheated. With handloads, the .45 Colt offers a versatility many cartridges lack. Sure, some cartridges may be better for certain jobs but we have the ability to load the grand old .45 Colt up or down depending on what’s required. There’s a reason this cartridge is my favorite!

From 700 FPS target/utility loads with 200-grain cast slugs to 350+ grains at over 1,200 FPS for big critters, what other cartridge can offer such flexibility, performance and good manners as our friend the .45 Colt?


Casting and handloading your own bullets provides a freedom and versatility
like no other. You get to decide what bullet, alloy, powder and power level you want.

Why Cast Bullets?

Cast bullets offer as much versatility as the classic .45 Colt itself. We can use 200- to 250-grain SWC slugs for light/practical target loads. When we cast our slugs over 300 grains, we have a bullet with all the penetration capabilities we’ll ever need. Add a hollow point to the mix and we have the finest of both qualities — an expanding slug with all the penetration necessary for quick and humane kills of game. Plus, nothing’s more satisfying than taking game with a bullet you cast yourself. You’ll feel more connected to the hunt by doing so, trust me.


Tank used his Ruger Bisley Hunter with a Leupold 4X scope, as well as a
TC Contender with a 14" barrel and a Ruger/Turnbull Bisley for testing. Here’s
the 45 Marlin Carbine and 45 503 slugs . Both are very accurate.

The Line-Up

The five slugs I’m about to share with you are fairly new to me. I’ve been experimenting with them the past few years besides my usual cast of characters. Who doesn’t enjoy experimenting with new bullets? These bullets are accurate and up to any job I could ask them to perform. The trick is knowing what slug to use for which particular shot.

Admittedly, Elmer’s 454424 has provided excellent results on several deer and a cow elk, providing total penetration on side lung shots, the elk from over 120 yards away. But what if the angle isn’t perfect and we need more penetration from a cross-raking shot? This is where heavier bullets are worth their weight in gold.

The five slugs I’m going to tell you about come from MP Molds. All are capable of 1″ to 1.5″ for five shots at 25 yards or around 2″ at 50 yards. The loads are for large-framed Ruger revolvers or equivalent.


Designed by Dave Scovill and made by RCBS initially, this slug drops at 285 grains when cast of WW alloy and around 277 grains in HP configuration. This bullet is a great all-around slug! For deeper penetration stick with the solid and for a nastier wound cavity on deer-sized game the HP from MP Molds will do the trick.


The line-up, below, from left to right — .45 Marlin Carbine, 503 45, 45 270
SAA, 310 “K” in solid and HP, and lastly, the .45 Ruger Only slug.

503 .45

This is simply a .44 slug in the same style of Elmer’s famous .44 slug, as made by Hensley & Gibbs, but in .45 caliber dimensions. The larger caliber drops these slugs at a hefty 290 grains of Elmer perfection. A good shooter, 20 grains of 2400 or 22 grains of H110 will easily go over 1,200 FPS in most handguns and provide all the accuracy you can hold.

Marlin Carbine

As the name states, this bullet was made as the perfect Marlin Carbine slug. The bullet nose is a cross between a WFN and LFN design and feeds perfectly in lever guns. As an HP, the slug weighs 265 grains and 273 grains in solid form. Loaded over 20 grains of 2400 or 22 grains of H110, the slug goes 1,250 FPS from handguns. Carbines give it an extra 350 FPS


It’s easy to see these bullets are very accurate, whether shot
from a scoped handgun or “iron” sights.

310 “Keith”

As the name states, MP Molds made this mold with true “Keith” characteristics, meaning three full-diameter equal-sized driving bands with a square lube groove. With WW alloy, my slugs drop out at 310 grains, and 303 grains in HP style. I could probably spend the rest of my hunting days with this bullet in .45 Colt quite splendidly, but what fun would that be?

This bullet is sure to add some thump to your favorite large-frame .45 Colt. Again, 20 grains of 2400, or 22 grains of H110 will get you over 1,200 FPS.


Ruger Only Slug

This bullet was designed specifically for the long cylinder Ruger Blackhawk sixguns are known for. Most of the weight is outside, saving case capacity for powder and lower pressures. It’s the heavyweight of the bunch, weighing in at 330 grains. Twenty-two grains of H110 pushes this slug over 1,230 FPS from my Ruger Bisley Hunter and is very accurate.

Cast Is Cool

Shooting bullets made with your own hand gives you the freedom and versatility of always knowing you’ll have ammunition. You’ll also sleep better knowing ammo is just a few steps away.

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