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Thread: 44 or 45 pistol bullet?

  1. #1
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    Question 44 or 45 pistol bullet?

    What do you think is better, a 44 cal. or a 45 cal. pistol bullet in the same weight?
    I had ordered some Harvester sabots from Cabela's and ordered the wrong size 50-44 instead of 50-45 for the bullets I am currently shooting. I was thinking of dropping down to a 240 grain from the three hundred but just wanted to see if there was any difference/preference when it cam to bullet diameter vs weight.

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    As far as difference between a .44 and a .45, I don't think you'll see much. I do think you'll notice a difference between the 240 grain and 300 grain. I'm not saying the 240 grain won't work (depending on what you had in mind as its intended target), but giving up 60 grains of lead you'll see a difference somehow, either in terms of energy, velocity, penetration, etc. Then again, perhaps that difference will be negligible and you won't be missing out on anything. Or maybe the benefits of shooting a lighter bullet will outweigh the costs. I use the .45 cal Hornady XTP 240 grainers out of my Omega Z5 and get incredible accuracy at 100 yards. They sure did the trick on the whitetails I've shot with them. I shot quite a few into a "shooting box" filled with dirt and recovered them, most mushroomed perfectly. I have played around with the XTP 300 grainers a bit, but haven't worked up a powder charge for them yet.

    I believe, but am not positive, you can buy regular XTP and XTP Magnums, which have a thicker jacket. Something to consider if you want something with a little more controlled expansion.

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    I have had great luck with the 44 cal 240 grain XTP. I have never tried using 45 cal bullets. The 44 cal bullets group great and I never had a problem with a single animal I have shot with them (deer only).

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    Well I think it will come down to a trade off. Youll gain better velocity trajectory, but lack a little mass to help carry that bullet forward into meat.

    I believe muzzleloaders rely on the impact of a HEAVY slug for their knockdown factor. When you compare the ballistics and energy of a .54 or .58 per se, it looks like the .54 is superior on paper in every way. But when you talk to some of the real die hard muzzleloader guys who are in the know, they will say the .58 is the better thumper.

    I know my dad and buddies were using 44 cal bullets for deer out of the 50 cal with great results on deer. Id use it for blackbear over bait for my confort level. But thats it, Id wouldnt use it on moose or elk.

    But in a nut shell with Blackpowder, the more lead you can sling (even at slower velocities) the better.

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    Thanks for the responses! I think I will get me a box of XTP 240s and use those sabots. I am only planning on hunting deer and from your post it should be perfect.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by akflyfisher View Post
    Thanks for the responses! I think I will get me a box of XTP 240s and use those sabots. I am only planning on hunting deer and from your post it should be perfect.
    I've whacked game with both the 44 and 45 bullets in appropriate sabots, and the .024" difference in diameter certainly doesn't affect a thing. Accuracy and pressures are another matter, so it's important to match bullet diameter to the sabots. I buy whichever sabot I can find cheapest, then match the bullet to it without concern about any differences on game. That XTP is a fine bullet, though the 240 at top velocity is sure disruptive on flesh at close range. I'm more of a 300 grain enthusiast.

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    Too much damage at close range with the 240s? I have been shooting the 300s and love them but the hornady sabot are hard to push down the tube. I will likely order the harvester sabots for the 300s and order the bullets for the smaller sabots. Then see which one likes my powder burner the best.
    I was hoping you would chime in on this one.
    Can't wait to burn some powder with you soon.

  8. #8

    Default sabots

    Quote Originally Posted by akflyfisher View Post
    Too much damage at close range with the 240s? I have been shooting the 300s and love them but the hornady sabot are hard to push down the tube. I will likely order the harvester sabots for the 300s and order the bullets for the smaller sabots. Then see which one likes my powder burner the best.
    I was hoping you would chime in on this one.
    Can't wait to burn some powder with you soon.
    Yeah, by the time you push those 240s up near max in a ML, they get pretty fragile at close range. I push 44 and 45 cal 240s and 250s anywhere from 700 fps all they way up to 2700 fps or so in a variety of guns (including cartridge handguns and rifles), so I've developed a pretty good feel for their performance on game at an assortment of impact velocities. By the time a 240 hits 1700-1800 fps MV, I don't much want to hit a deer with it inside 50 yards or so. I can tell you that they're absolute bombs in flesh at anything over about 2100-2200 fps.

    I've got a bunch of 54 cal Traditions sabots, but if memory serves they're for the 45 cal bullets. I've also got some Nosler 54's. You're welcome to some if you can use them. Mack's has several sabots in stock now, mostly 50 cal, either from Nosler or Knight. I can't remember the specs, but it would be a quick and easy way for you to pick some up for tests.

    I'm due back the evening of Saturday the 17th. Give me a day for the dust to settle and drop me an email or call, and we'll set up a get together. Several friends out where I live are also anxious to start shooting again, so it will be pretty easy to stir up a morning or afternoon with as many as half a dozen shooters.

    In the meantime, I'll be stopping by The Rifle Works in Oregon on Tuesday to pick up some odds and ends and ponder buying a couple of rifles. Can I pick up anything for you? Anything legal to put in checked baggage or mail, that is....

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