45 Colt vs 44 Mag

Discussion in 'Ruger Revolver Forums' started by rdec873, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. rdec873

    rdec873 New Member

    A while back I debated the 45 colt vs 44 mag debate and ultimately went with the 44 mag. I can’t even remember why. The mistake I know i made was I bought a 7.5” Super Redhawk. This was before I shot my first single action so I really regret not getting a Super Blackhawk. What are people’s opinions on 45 colt vs 44 mag.
  2. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member

    Well, I have 3 of fhe .44 mags and no .45 Colts. just found the .44 to be more vesitle when handloaded to different power levels. The .45 can be losded pretty stiff in the Blackhawks and I assume the Redhawks, but not many other brands of firearms that I know of. Max factory loads for the .45 Colt are much lower than facgory .44 mag loads due to so many older guns not being able to take the pressure levels of hot .45 Colts that can be used in the Rugers. So, if you don]t handload and shoot .45 Colt Rugers, your ammo selection is not as powerful as you would like it to be. Especially if you want .44 mag performance.

  3. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

    I have them both. The 45 Colt in a single shot carbine and the 44 Magnum in a SBH. I wanted the BH 45 Colt but I went with the 44 magnum because one of those deals I could not refuse!

    My brother also has a S&W “Dirty Harry" revolver. The issue with the 44 magnums is that neither shoot light plinking loads well. Both are accurate with full power loads though.

    The 45 Colt shoots well in the carbine regardless of if I shoot cowboy loads with 200 grain cast lead and trailboss powder, standard 250 Keith style cast pushed by Unique powder, or my hot rodded 260 grain Speer jacketed bullets pushed by a healthy dose of IMR 4227. The 45 Colt can be made to perform equal to 44 magnum velocities with less pressure than the 44 magnum simply because the gasses have more bullet base for the gasses to push on. .452 diameter vs .429 diameter.

    I just have to be sure not to shoot any of my brass bullet 45 Colt loads in my Italian SAA clones!
  4. rugertoter

    rugertoter Active Member

    One of my older brothers has the Vaquero in .45 Colt, and a lever gun (Marlin I think), in .45 Colt. He has taken deer with the lever rifle, and I have shot both of them...I was impressed with the performance of the .45 Colt.

    I have shot .44 Magnums in handguns and rifles, but don't like the recoil in the handguns chambered as such. If I were to buy a rifle or handgun in either caliber, I think I would go for the .45 Colt.
  5. Frontiersman

    Frontiersman Active Member

    It all depends on how they are loaded. For a hand loader, their is no practical difference in capability for most applications. If you are buying ammo off the shelf of the local xmart, you will probably find a wider variety of .44s. If you order online, you will find plenty of options for either cartridge.
  6. rdec873

    rdec873 New Member

    Ca. Anyone recommend good plinker recipe for 44 mag? I currently load with HP38.
  7. Frontiersman

    Frontiersman Active Member

    I like trail boss
    C. D. Bates likes this.
  8. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

    I used to have a Super Blackhawk w/7.5" barrel.

    My "pet" magnum loads used H110 under Hornady 240 gr jacketed bullets.

    For plinking loads I found that 9.9 ~ 10.2 gr's of Unique under a 200 gr Hornady JHP bullet would shoot to the same POA (at 50 yd) as did my magnum loads and with good accuracy.
    Others have reported poor accuracy with shorter barrels but my 7.5" liked that combo.
    This is a fairly mild/mid-range reduced load but Unique can be safely reduced, to a point.

    My powder measure does not throw large flake powders like Unique consistently perfect so I experimented by hand weighing a bunch of 9.9 gr and 10.2 gr loads to check POI at 50 yd.
    They all went to the same POA at 50 so I always set the powder measure to throw 10.0 ~ 10.1 gr.
    That way if they came out a little under or over... still good.
  9. C. D. Bates

    C. D. Bates Member

    9.0gr Trail Boss and 185gr LSWC is a fun load.

    9.8 Unique is mild and accurate, too.
  10. rdec873

    rdec873 New Member

    Would you consider the 9.8-10.1 grains of unique to be similar to “44sp”
  11. Frontiersman

    Frontiersman Active Member

    These questions are so muddy due to the fact that there are so many different loads out there. What bullet weight?

    I'd say it's hotter than .44spl.

    Black Hills 210 gr .44 spl LRN is less than 750 fps.

    11 gr of unique in a .44 mag 225gr RNFP is over 1200 fps.

    I get around 750 fps in .44 mag with 240gr LRN and 7 gr of TB.
  12. quirky

    quirky Active Member

    You can't find factory lite loads in .44 mag for plinking so unless you hand-load you'd have to get some Georgia Arms reloads or whoever else is loading them lite.

    The .44 mag is like the 10mm everyone brags about it but how many are really shooting it's potential at the range. In a revolver I think the .45 LC is the better deal and in a long gun the .44 mag.

    And if I'm going into the backwoods it won't even be .454 Casull I'm bringing. I'm going 12 gauge scatter gun with the same ammo used for 2 legged critters backed up by slugs.

    Either way if you like to plink you need to think about reloading your own and I would give that edge to the .45 LC.

    The thing I really like about the .45 LC is the bullet size is even slightly bigger than the .45 a.c.p. Both are true .45 caliber with the LC being even bigger.

    Sort of like the .357 magnum they are true or bigger, the .38 special like the .44 magnum are not true to size claimed.

    I realize it's because of the old ways of measuring that they got those sizes but it still bugs me. :confused:
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
    robmkivseries70 likes this.
  13. Frontiersman

    Frontiersman Active Member

    You can order them from Midway, Cabelas...

    HSM is out there. I used to shoot a lot of Untramax.

    I finally took up handloading, it made the options a lot more plentiful.

    MARYANN Member

    I shoot 10.2 unique 240 coated lead Winchester primer . 950 fps out of a 4.5 barrel . I burn 8 or 12 lb of unique a year love it .