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Thread: Redhawk or GP 100 as backwoods gun. Ammo price considerations...

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    Default Redhawk or GP 100 as backwoods gun. Ammo price considerations...

    So what about this? Ideally I'd get a Ruger Redhawk 4" in .45 Colt for my hiking sidearm. But I don't reload and factory ammo is really expensive, expecially since I'd like to use full power loads when at the target range. Am I correct in seeing that it is easier to find full power .44 Magnum ammo for a reasonable price? Or must I look towards .357 Magnum? I don't like the idea of using two different loads, one for the range and one "for real". And if I go for a GP 100, will that (with proper shot placement) do more than make a black bear angry? Thanks!

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    I don't know if 357 ammo is any better of a deal than 44. It all seems expensive these days.
    As far as a bear gun, a certain gun instructor in Fairbanks says a 357 will do just fine. I tend to agree with him.
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    357 will do fine for a black bear. 44 will do just fine on black or brown bear even though I don't like them myself. 45 long Colt would be my choice of the rounds you are considering, I feel it's as powerful as a 44mag and has case room to outdo the 44 when reloaded.

    Price wise there is not that much difference today but I think the order from low to high would be 357 ~ 44 special ~ 45lc ~ 44Mag. You wand hard cast lead bullets with all the weight as you can get and a blunt flat nose, no 125/158 grain jacket hollow point 357s.

    I don't see any need to use the same load at the range as the woods unless we are talking longer range shots like for hunting. In a bear defense situation you will be at such a close range that the change in point of impact from the deferent load wonít be a problem, and you will never know there was a recoil no matter what round you use.
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    Okay, thanks for the help. The only thing I don't like about the .45 Colt is the great velocity discrepancy between standard factory loads and the heavier loads. That doesn't seem to be the case with either .357 or .44 Magnum rounds.

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    That velocity discrepancy in the .45 Colt is because the 'standard" velocity ammunition is loaded at pressures that are safe in the older, more delicate models, including single action Colts and clones. The more robust .45 Colt loads are only suited for the specific models as recommended by the manufacturers.

    The .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum guns are basically all relatively strong; their weaker loaded counterparts are the .44 Special and the .38 Special.

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    You definately want the redhawk 44. And use a 320 gr hard cast bullet. The 45 would never get enough penetration into a bear. IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chobbs View Post
    You definately want the redhawk 44. And use a 320 gr hard cast bullet. The 45 would never get enough penetration into a bear. IMO.

    I would think that this round would do...

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=215849

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    Would this be considered a good anti-blackbar round?

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=946487

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    Default Are you serious???

    Quote Originally Posted by chobbs View Post
    You definately want the redhawk 44. And use a 320 gr hard cast bullet. The 45 would never get enough penetration into a bear. IMO.

    Do you have any experience at all with the .45 Colt? That is a very bold blanket statement, whatcha got to back it up?
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    Okay, I think I'm getting a handle on this. So, if you don't handload yet (like me), then which do you think? Redhawk 4" .44 Magnum, or .45 Colt?

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    The redhawk .44 would be an excellent choice for an all artound trail gun. But, what concerns me is that you are worried about the price of ammo. Even if you only shoot the "heavy stuff" to see where it hits at appropriate distance, you need to practice to get familiar with the gun. You need to fork out enough dough for the ammo, not just buy a box and keep it for "the moment of truth."

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    Default 45 vs 44

    Quote Originally Posted by chobbs View Post
    You definately want the redhawk 44. And use a 320 gr hard cast bullet. The 45 would never get enough penetration into a bear. IMO.
    Chobbs,

    Welcome to the forum (I see you are a new member).

    I apologize for being the third to "bust your chops" over your preference for the 44 Magnum over the 45 Colt for bear. I want to clear up a little more about the "why" of it.

    Thanks for the input to the thread and for the opportunity to wax wise about the 45/44 controversy. There are plenty of thinking shooters on both sides of the question. You point is valid, but only insofar as "regular" retail ammunition.

    Up here (Alaska) there are plenty of hunters/hikers/fishermen who carry heavy revolvers for protection against bears. So, the first question to ask is, "What kind of bear?" Black bear are much easier to discourage than Brown (either the interior Grizzly or the coastal and Kodiak variation - they are the same species, but the interior bears are smaller because the coastal bears have access to more calories, mostly in the form of salmon). 10mm or .357 would be adequate for Black Bear, provided bullet construction is appropriate. For Browns, many carry .475 Linebaugh, and the like, but in Double Actions and between 44 magnum and 45 Colt it is almost a toss-up. The 45 Colt throws a significantly larger bullet and in guns like Thompson-Contender, Freedom Arms and Ruger the 45 Colt can be loaded to energies that come withing a few percent of 44 Magnum energies. More frontal area, more mass and nearly equal energy means the significantly greater momentum is delivered to the target.

    I am fond of the saying, "Energy shreds flesh, but momentum breaks bones."

    Short answer is that many thinking hunters and woodsmen (and woodswomen) after examining the ballistics and field results now PREFER the 45 Colt.

    However, if you are limited to standard retail ammunition (which leaves out custom loadings and the specialty producers), 44 Magnum is probably better (still given proper bullet construction), but if you include handloads and the specialty producers, 45 Colt is a contender for the title.

    One thing: No handgun is preferable to a long gun (12 gauge, 45-70, even the 30-30 produces more power than the 44 mag) for bear defense. Handguns are cheaper and more often available when needed than long guns, which is why they get so much attention.

    Thanks for the input to the thread and please do not be discouraged from entering debates. This is how we share information and learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    The redhawk .44 would be an excellent choice for an all artound trail gun. But, what concerns me is that you are worried about the price of ammo. Even if you only shoot the "heavy stuff" to see where it hits at appropriate distance, you need to practice to get familiar with the gun. You need to fork out enough dough for the ammo, not just buy a box and keep it for "the moment of truth."
    I agree with you 100%, and certainly I want this gun to shoot, not just to carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
    However, if you are limited to standard retail ammunition (which leaves out custom loadings and the specialty producers), 44 Magnum is probably better (still given proper bullet construction), but if you include handloads and the specialty producers, 45 Colt is a contender for the title.

    Lost Sheep
    I think you hit the nail on the head. All things being equal, I'd prefer the .45 Colt. Short of handloading though I think I'll probably be better served by the .44 Magnum, as I'd be able to fire loads at the range that feel the same as that which I would want to use on the trail for effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RGL01 View Post
    I think you hit the nail on the head. All things being equal, I'd prefer the .45 Colt. Short of handloading though I think I'll probably be better served by the .44 Magnum, as I'd be able to fire loads at the range that feel the same as that which I would want to use on the trail for effect.
    You can buy full power 45 Colt loads from companies like Cor-Bon or Buffalo Bore, you donít need to be a reloader for the 45 to be a better choice than the 44.
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    I stand corrected. For some reason when I read the question, and the word 45, I automatically just think of the 1911 model semi auto. And the typical ammo that they shoot. I wasn't even thinking about the 45 revolver and the loads they can shoot. Just a brain fart I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    You can buy full power 45 Colt loads from companies like Cor-Bon or Buffalo Bore, you donít need to be a reloader for the 45 to be a better choice than the 44.
    Yes, but that stuff is too expensive for me to shoot any more often than to simply familiarize myself with it's characteristics. Like in my 1911, a couple hundred rounds of Hydra-shoks and now it's all hardball at the range. The Hydra-shoks get loaded in the magazine for carry though.

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    Default thanks for the clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by chobbs View Post
    I stand corrected. For some reason when I read the question, and the word 45, I automatically just think of the 1911 model semi auto. And the typical ammo that they shoot. I wasn't even thinking about the 45 revolver and the loads they can shoot. Just a brain fart I guess.

    Thanks for clearing that up, that makes more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGL01 View Post
    Yes, but that stuff is too expensive for me to shoot any more often than to simply familiarize myself with it's characteristics. Like in my 1911, a couple hundred rounds of Hydra-shoks and now it's all hardball at the range. The Hydra-shoks get loaded in the magazine for carry though.
    Yes we all feel the pinch of the ammo price, but like I said before I don’t see a problem with practicing with a cheap load and pack a good one. You say that is what you do now in the 1911 and I feel its completely reasonable for bear defense also, actually even more so. The change in where you hit will not matter a bit at the ranges we are talking and you will never know there was a difference in recoil when under the stress of a bear attack.
    Andy
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    Here's related question. Any reason not to carry CCI Blazer 240gr JHP ammo in the field? The non-brass (I don't know what it's made of) cased ammo is always referred to as training ammo. But isn't that only relevant to future reloading?
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=287702


    Also looking over the various loadings for .44Magnum v .45Colt what I see is that .44Magnum is always .44Magnum, while .45Colt comes in regular and "Ethyl" so to speak. One point where I disagree with you Andy is that my point with .45ACP is that whatever I fire, hardball or Hydra-shocks, I want it to feel the same. I want to "train as I fight" so to speak. 230gr hardball and 230gr Hydra-shoks have velocities within ~50 or so fps of each other. That makes me lean to either getting the Redhawk in .44magnum, or getting the Redhawk in .45Colt + some basic reloading tools! Well, first it's time to sell my Springfield Armory GI 1911, then it will be on to the fun part!

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