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Thread: .44 mag sufficient, if...

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    Default .44 mag sufficient, if...

    The repetition of the "is the .44 enough?" thread got me to thinking, and I know I'm going to hear something about this.
    I believe that, under some relatively common circumstances, the .44 magnum is plenty of cartridge for normal use in AK. That is to say that at 50 yards or less, common handgun range, using one of the hard cast wide meplat bullets of 265 to 310 grain weight, at safe maximum loadings, all other things being equal, the .44 magnum will work as well as the 454 Casull, or even the .460 S&W. No, you obviously won't get the maximum velocities and paper energy of the mentioned cartridges, but as far as actual terminal performance, there is less real difference then might be realized. The one place where a slightly larger diameter bullet of more weight might help would be with a large pissed off Brownie, but I am still not sure it would matter that much. Placing the shot properly with the relatively unrestricted conditions mentioned, and the outcome would be very much the same, as far as I deduced from my own experiences and the situations of others I personally know.
    So, as many here who have the experience know, a medium to large caliber rifle, or shotgun with a heavy non-typical Foster slug, would be a more proper device and projectile to use.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    They will all just drill a hole through the critter.

    Like the story of the moose shot with the 454 and hardcast. The guy drilled it five times and it just walked around then fell while the guy was reloading. Every shot was through the chest and exited.

    My 41 mag blackhawk shot 293's at 1275 fps. I shot a moose through the head with it. The bullet went under the brainpan which is solid bone the width of the mooses head. The bullet went in one side of the head and out the other.

    The best revolver will be the most powerful one that you can comfortably use. Same as with a rifle on tuff game.

    I load my 454 340 hardcasts at 1350 fps. This is just a hot 45 colt load but I can manage this load quite well enough to follow up fast and I dont mind practicing with this load.

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    Thank you mauserboy! I have thought that all along but just didn't want to draw a heated argument. However since you started it then I'm gonna side with you!

    Gun blast.com once conducted a test using two identical 45-70 hard cast lead bullets. One loaded at 1200 fps and the other at 1800 fps. They were shot into a plastic tub full of wet newspaper. The one traveling 1200fps penetrated 1/3 further than the faster slug. This was repeated time after time with the results being the same. I don't remember the details as to the construction of the bullet used but my guess is that it had a lot to do with such a profound outcome!

    The 44 mag has been my hunting gun forever. Whether it be one of my 1894 Marlins or any one of the various handguns in 44 mag that I have owned. My brother who is always trying to go one up on me in anything related to shooting bought a 454 when they first came out and by doing so he became qualified to refer to my 44's as peep squeaks.

    We conducted our own test comparing the 454 to the peep squeak. The 44 was loaded with a 300 grain gas checked heat treated bullet offered buy Cast Performance Bullet Company traveling at 1150 fps. The 454 was shooting a 300 grain cast bullet with gas check that was pure lynotipe traveling at 1500 fps. The 454 did win but the difference in penetration was about the thickness of two Des Moines Registers, about an inch! Neither bullet showed much deformation so I feel this was a pretty good apples to apples test!

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    The 454 did win but the difference in penetration was about the thickness of two Des Moines Registers, about an inch!
    Des Moines Registers huh? Are you from Iowa?

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    Hollywood made the 44 magnum famous. Nothing more, nothing less. If it weren't for Dirty Harry the 45 Colt would still be the King of the Hill. Oh wait, it still is. :-)

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    AlleninAlaska:

    Well, "Shucky Gee". Didn't Hollywood make the 45 Colt famous too? Along with the 44-40 too?

    I chose the 44 Mag, because I was already handloading it for a friend, and it seemed to me that 44 Mag ammo, loading data, and componets were more plentiful.

    So why is the 45 King? Or, why do you like it better?

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post

    So why is the 45 King? Or, why do you like it better?

    Smitty of the North

    It will do every thing the 44 can do but do it at less pressure. It will push heavier/wider bullets faster weight for weight than the 44. And no Hollywood didn't make the 45 Colt famous, the US Military did starting from day one in 1873.

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    The key to the 45 colt is handloading. I don't think there is a factory load for it that will "smoke" the 44 mag. There may be some custom stuff being made by Garret or Buffalo Bore etc.
    But handloaded the 45 Colt in a modern handgun will easily surpass the 44 mag by a wide margin.
    Tennessee

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    AlleninAlaska:

    Thanks, I can appreciate that.

    As I said, I considered the 45 Colt, now that it has become so popular, but ended up getting a 44 Mag. At the time, I was enamored with the shorter barreled Ruger Vaquero.

    I do think that Hollywood helped promote the romance of 45 Colt, but I can't site any examples. The 44 Magnum was reportedly the most powerful at the time of it's introduction.

    "Way back when", at least some, of the 45 Colt cartridges used Balloon Cases. As I remember, Elmer Keith said that 45 Colt cases couldn't be loaded to the same pressures, because none of them were strong enough. I dunno if the guns were either.

    Smitty of the North
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    Balloon head cases have not been used in the 45 Colt for almost 100 years or more.

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    Alleninalaska:

    Your assertions prompted me to do some brief research.

    There is more than one kind of Balloon Case, and they aren’t all over 100 years old.

    I found this post from another Forum, that explains the balloon cases, assuming it is accurate.

    “”I've heard the term "balloon-head brass" but what is it?<

    Well, there are two similar cases, oft confused by shooters these days. The true ballon-head cases were folded layers of copper and, later, brass. They had a very large inside volume. There were variations on the theme, too numerous to mention here, like brass heads and rolled-paper or rolled thin copper bodies, etc.

    The cases to which I referred earlier, are modern semi-baloon head design and were common from just before the turn of the 20th centur (or so) and were used well into the 1950s. These were actually forged/drawn cases that had more room in the head area. That is, they were solid head, but not filled-in around the primer pocket. It sort of looks like a hollowed-out ring in the base. But again, the cases are of drawn design and are not folded-head. These cases are the cases oft mistakenly referred to as ballon-head by many of today's shooters. They are safe with black powder loads and modest smokeless powder loads. In fact, modern Lapua .220 Russian cases are made that way and that is a fairly hot round. In addition, the benchresters use .220 Russian cases to make 6mm PPC cases (instead of buying 6mm PPC commercial cases) because the cases so made hold more powder and, when hot-rodded, can get the 6mm PPC bench guns up to a velocity "sweet-spot" that shoots so well. Hope that helps.””

    Also this Link about the 45 Colt. Believing as you do, I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/high-pressure45.htm

    After you wade through the first parts, be sure and read the last three headings.

    “The strength of .45 Long Colt cases”, “The .44 Magnum and .454 Casull as alternatives to the .45 Colt”, “Conclusion”.

    You will find that the 45 Colt isn’t the “King” after all, at least in some peoples minds, rather it falls short of the 44 Magnum in some ways.

    I have nothing against the 45 Colt, and even considered getting one, but I don’t think you can make the case that it rules over the 44 Magnum, and this article supports my view.

    Good Shootin
    Smitty of the North
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    Smitty I don't put much faith in a writers writing when he calls the 45 Colt the 45 Long Colt. There has never been such a cartridge as the 45 Long Colt. It is a name the Govenment used so as not to get confused with which Army Units to send 45 S&W and 45 Colt ammo to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlleninAlaska View Post
    Smitty I don't put much faith in a writers writing when he calls the 45 Colt the 45 Long Colt. There has never been such a cartridge as the 45 Long Colt. It is a name the Govenment used so as not to get confused with which Army Units to send 45 S&W and 45 Colt ammo to.
    AlleninAlaska:
    The name of the Article was "High Pressure Loads for the .45 Colt".

    The article referred to it as "45 Colt", most of the time. I don't think it's a beeg deel myself, nor do I consider it an indication of the author's ignorance, especially considering what you've just told me.

    This gets interestingER, and interestingER. The Rim on the 45 Colt is .512, .025 smaller than the 44 Magnum. My Lyman Manual says....

    "Care must be taken when sizing as the tiny rim of this cartridge does not afford a good purchase for the shell holder. If undue force is needed to withdraw the case, the rim may tear away leaving the case jammed in the die."

    It's too bad the 45 Colt is handicapped with tiny rims, weak cases, and older guns. There MUST be some work-a-rounds.

    Smitty of the North
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    I wonder why they bother even selling them?
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    This gets interestingER, and interestingER. The Rim on the 45 Colt is .512, .025 smaller than the 44 Magnum. My Lyman Manual says....

    "Care must be taken when sizing as the tiny rim of this cartridge does not afford a good purchase for the shell holder. If undue force is needed to withdraw the case, the rim may tear away leaving the case jammed in the die."

    It's too bad the 45 Colt is handicapped with tiny rims, weak cases, and older guns. There MUST be some work-a-rounds.

    Smitty of the North


    The rim of the 44 Magnum is only .514. The 45 Colt Rim is the same diameter as that of the 454 Casull. Are you saying the 454 has too small of a rim? Uses the same shellholder as the 45 Colt. There are no weak cases made in 45 Colt. I have loaded thousands of Starline 45 Colt brass with bullets from 260 grain on up too 370 grains. Never had a failure. One of my favorite load in the 45 Colt is the Cast Performance 370 grain LFN GC.

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    Default Somebodies got an...


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    Default Long Colt - so where is the Short Colt

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    AlleninAlaska:
    The name of the Article was "High Pressure Loads for the .45 Colt".

    The article referred to it as "45 Colt", most of the time. ...truncated for brevity
    Smitty of the North
    I believe the article's author never used the term "45 Long Colt" himself. The places where that phrase appears are where the author was quoting another article.

    Not ignorant of the proper name and also not ignorant of proper quoting and attribution.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

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    Yes Schmidty Dog, I am Iowgian!

    Learning much good stuff from the fine folk of Alaska I might add!

    I have been looking through my reloading manuals and when I compare the hot 45 Colt loads ( the ones intended for Ruger & Thompson Center) with the loads for the 44 mag then the 45 lags behind the 44 by a couple hundred feet with bullets of equal weight. Are the 45 loads in my manuals just conservative? What am I missing here? I can't see how the 45 Colt can be superior to the 44 mag. I ain't arguing just asking!

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post

    I have been looking through my reloading manuals and when I compare the hot 45 Colt loads ( the ones intended for Ruger & Thompson Center) with the loads for the 44 mag then the 45 lags behind the 44 by a couple hundred feet with bullets of equal weight. Are the 45 loads in my manuals just conservative? What am I missing here? I can't see how the 45 Colt can be superior to the 44 mag. I ain't arguing just asking!
    Are you comparing powder charges and powder used when looking at your manuals?

    Speer #12 300 grain bullet in the 44 Magnum with 22.5 grains of H110 or 296 is getting 1187 FPS

    Speer #12 300 grain bullet in 45 Colt with 23 grains of W296 is 1193 FPS. and 23.5 grains of H110 is 1156 FPS

    So where is the couple hundred FPS difference in velocity.

    Both in 7.5" barrels. Even though the 45 Colt is loading a half grain or a whole grain more of the same powder to get those velocities, it is operating at less pressure to do so. That's the only manual I have left because I sent the rest of them to a beginning reloader to use.

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    Yes , I saw that load as well. However it was the only load that was on par with the 44. The same Speer load book shows the fastest load for a 200 grain bullet with any powder to be 1688fps for the 44 and 1333fps for the 45. The same spread was there for the 225 grain bullets in favor of the 44.

    Something else that kinda raises an eyebrow concerning the the Speer 300 grain loading for the 45(Speer manual # 12). They show the maximum load to be 23 grains of 296 @ 1193 fps for the 300 grain bullet yet the maximum load for their 260 grain bullet is 20.5 grains of 296 @ 1183 fps. It is the only straight wall pistol cartridge in their manual that I could find where the top powder charge was 2.5 grains more for a bullet weighing 40 grains more also showing more fps for bullet 40 grains heavier. Looking at the structure of these of the two bullets didn't show any apparent reason for this either!

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