45 Colt Rides Again Henry X Lever-Action Carbine with suppressor and 400gr 45 colt ammunition

The .45 Colt rides again

Being a lever gun fan, it surprises me that I never took notice of the .45 Colt cartridge until fairly recently when several firearms manufacturers introduced to the market .45 colt lever guns with threaded barrels. Namely:  Bighorn Armory, Henry USA, Citadel Levtac and the newest (still upcoming) offering from Wren Metals Works, an integrally suppressed lever gun.  And because I look for any excuse to tinker with another subsonic loading, I purchased a Henry X model in .45 colt.

Now, if you expect any terminal performance out of any subsonic loading you have to use a heavy-for-caliber projectile to achieve said objective. Well, having a number of 45-70 bullets lying around, I swagged some down to .452 diameter; the projectile ended up weighing roughly 450 grains. I eventually worked up what I felt was a relatively safe loading and started chronographing. Much to my delight the load did not blow up my Henry, has delivered very consistent subsonic velocities, and has proven to be very quiet when suppressed.

It was time to start accuracy testing. I zeroed the Henry at 50 yards using a fixed 3x scope, accuracy was decent but, when I extended my shooting out to 100 yards, the bullets were keyholing. Back to the drawing board.  After several additional attempts I settled on a 400 grain long nose flat point that will shoot 1” groups at 100 yards (if I do my part).

100 yard target groups, shot by Henry X .45 Colt Lever-action carbine, with 400 grain projectile

During my latest accuracy/chrono session I extended my shooting out to two hundred yards at a swinging plate rack and could consistently hit a six inch plate with a 3X scope. While this load is +P rated, at 23,000 PSI chamber pressure, the recoil is very mild, and is suitable for use in all modern lever guns, single shot rifles, the large frame Ruger revolvers, and Thompson/Center Contender handguns.

This ammo is certainly capable of taking medium size game ( Deer, Hogs, and the like) out to 150 yards. It is nearly comparable with the original black powder 45-70 405 grain load which traveled at 1150 to 1200 feet per second, and took every species of big game in North America. So, if you’re bored with those 250 grain cowboy action loads, try some of these 400 grainers, I suspect they will put a smile on your face.

45 Colt Rides Again Henry X Lever-Action Carbine with suppressor and 400gr 45 colt ammunition

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