The decline of .45 caliber ML single shot pistols and rifles....

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hanshi

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The .45 is my all time favorite; I started with a .45 and now have three. For deer, black bear or hogs I see no real need for anything bigger. I do have bigger but they don't get the use the .45 does.
 

FishDFly

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Only to a point.
The rest is marketing.
It's easier to convince people to buy what you make than it is to make what people want.
In Marketing it's called push or pull. You are either trying to push a product through the market place or trying to pull it through.

Gotta know you market and your product Sometimes one will work and some times not.

Sometimes it's CLEARANCE/RED TAG sale.
 

mooman76

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That is sometimes why a product doesn't make it in the market and sometimes it is a better product. Public perception which is sometimes wrong because of good marketing on the opposition or people not knowing, yet they think they do.
 

FishDFly

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In regards to .45's in pistols, most line pistol shooters have gone to .36 in percussion pistols and revolvers, followed by .40's.

Shooting .32's, they are very sensitive in minor changes in powder when loading, dumping a couple of grains on the loading bench or adding a couple to many is a problem.

The. 36 has a following especially with older shooters. The recoil is more manageable for those with arthritis in their wrists. Shooting the National Pistol Agg., you are shooting 100 shots for record using 3 different pistols.

Line rifles, 40 does have a following in places where wind is not a problem. When you have wind, the nod goes to the .45.

My most accurate OFF hand rifle is a T/C Hawken with GM 15/16" barrel in .45.

Not many off hand rifle shooters use .50.

If I was going to have a custom rifle made, it would be a .45
 

Art Caputo

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Back in the 70’s the predominant muzzleloaders in my neck of the woods( western NJ) were mostly the TC Hawken, some CVA Mountain and Kentucky rifles, generally percussion, in 50 cal, with the occasional 45. In those days, the glamour of the “Hawken” style in 50cal seemed to take hold very quickly as dId the dramatic knockdown effect on a 50 yard whitetail shot using the TC instruction manuals high-end load of 100gr of FFG with LRB. NJ required (pitiful) buckshot for the shotgun deer season back then. I soon acquired a Western Arms. “Santa Fe Hawken(Kit) in 54cal(actually 53, that required a 52cal ball which got me into casting). That rifle served me well in my early days of muzzleloading.. It wasn’t until I got serious about the flintlock years later that I acquired my first “quality” rifle in 45cal, and grew to appreciate its superb accuracy and effectiveness on deer with a well placed shot. Of my dozen muzzleloaders owned today, they are mostly flintlocks spanning 40-58cal....I like them all!....but still shoot a 50cal the most.
My “odd-ball” Santa Fe” Hawken(I did replace the crummy walnut stock soon after purchase)
674982F1-36C9-4FE0-A05B-A97A3D16734C.jpeg
 
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okawbow

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There are an almost unlimited variety of calibers available if you look for them. You certainly don’t have to take what is offered by the commercial makers. There are thousands of used 45 caliber muzzleloaders for sale at any time. I have a .45 double rifle for sale in the classifieds right now.:)

I own several muzzleloaders and none are “factory” guns. Search the for sale sites or buy a kit and make your own.
 

Billy Boy

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I never wanted an ‘all around gun’ because that would mean I would only have one.. like playing golf with only a 5 iron in your bag.... I have a ML rifle for every conceivable purpose, including a Mastodon rifle (incase they clone them), but I don’t own a 45.
 

mooman76

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I wonder if the movie Jeremiah Johnson had anything to do with it in part? He does state in the beginning of the movie he was looking for a Hawken rifle of at least 50 cal. People hear stuff like that in movies and they think that is the way it is, so it kinda sticks in their head.
 

Greg Blackburn

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I wanted a .50 caliber because it reminded me of the .50 BMG. Silly but in the 1990's I was a very young "man" and "man" only by virtue of turning 18.
The development of the inline and especially its allowance during muzzleloader season caused its wide acceptance and use. Those centered on .50 because with a bullet, it's able to down very large animals.

I always wanted a flintlock and one in .54 no less.
 

rickystl

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I seem to recall the first DGW Kentucky style rifle from the 1960's (and maybe earlier) was in .40 caliber. Then later on the same gun was changed to .45 caliber. Then the later (then) Tennessee style rifle went from .45 to .50 caliber.
It seemed that the Hawken craze in the 1970's started the desire for larger calibers. During those years the popularity went from .50 to .54. And a little later to the .58 and even .62 once the barrels were available to order. It was like a competition to see who had the largest caliber. LOL But I recall the .54 was really popular - and still is today.
Now that I'm 70 years old, some of these guns are starting to get heavy. LOL I have a favorite Virginia style flintlock in .54 with a 44" C-weight swamped barrel. But I can visualize me eventually going to an B-weight .50 or even an A-weight in .40

Rick
 

nkbj

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Been looking around myself.
I'd like to have a .45 percussion for plinking with hollow base minies as well as round ball.
 

sportster73hp

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I have always liked the 45 caliber. I have several in both ml and centerfire. I believe the push on a 50 cal has to do with what is available in the. Big box stores sure you can order most any size but the person first getting into the sport may limit access to stuff off the shelf.
 

rafterob

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When I started shooting BP in the mid 70's the .45 was the most common available and a lot of the European arms were .44. Then we started to see .50 cal available. The 70's were the peak of the contemporary ML market and it has declined since. So it is mainly a function of market forces.
 

springfield art

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As someone who likes a variety of Cap & Ball revolvers, ML rifles, ML shotguns, and ML single(or double) shot pistols...I've noticed a steady decline in newer (past the 70's & 80's) produced .45 caliber ML firearms. CVA, T/C, Traditions, and others used to make some nice ML firearms in .45 cal.

I know Pedersoli still makes ML rifles and pistols in .45 cal. (and you can still get a Philadelphia in .45cal from Deer Creek & Traditions) but now .50cal. is more common. I happen to love .45cal. ML pistols, had several before 2014, all older units.

What has changed?
You are right. I didn't really notice this trend until reading your comment. Maybe guys are just drawn to the "bigger is better" theory. Thank you.
 

Cattman

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as for the 45. i dropped deer out to 175 yards with one, then they got up and i had to trail them to get them. the 50/s ive built knocked them down for good even way out their. my .32 crocket rifle i built from a kit is my favorite. dont hunt with it but sure like to shoot it. it is accurate and easy to load. cheap to shoot and againnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. accurate to the point if you miss your not much of a shooter with that nice .32. i dont miss.
 

arcticap

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Traditions controls the gun calibers that they import into the US.
Ardesa still makes .45's for the European market that either aren't imported here anymore or are imported as .50's.
Pedersoli still makes .45 rifles but they're more expensive guns which are not as affordable for as many people as the Traditions guns are.

Many more folks shoot .45 C&B revolvers which have become extremely popular and which offset the need to buy single shot .45 pistols for informal target shooting and plinking.
If people would rather shoot a Walker, Dragoon or other revolver then why do they need a .45 single shot pistol?
 
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