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 .45 Colt (long colt) +P vs. .44 mag?
gmor  [Member]
5/14/2011 8:44:11 AM EST
i never realized these two cartridges were so similar, as i always assumed the .44 mag was much more powerful! i looked at doubletap ammo specs as the put out hot loads in general. .45 colt+p,(255gr) 1450fps/1191 ft/lbs.................44 magnum,(240gr) 1455fps/1129ft/lbs! very similar stats indeed! this begs the question that if .45 colt+p was in production at that time (1950s i think) was the development of the .44 magnum really needed??? i know elmer keith had alot to do with it, was he loading really hot .45 colt loads? is the .44 mag flatter shooting with similar weight bullits? any thoughts, thanks
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gmor  [Member]
5/14/2011 9:27:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By gmor:
i never realized these two cartridges were so similar, as i always assumed the .44 mag was much more powerful! i looked at doubletap ammo specs as the put out hot loads in general. .45 colt+p, 1450fps/1191 ft/lbs.................44 magnum, 1455fps/1129ft/lbs! very similar stats indeed! this begs the question that if .45 colt+p was in production at that time (1950s i think) was the development of the .44 magnum really needed??? i know elmer keith had alot to do with it, was he loading really hot .45 colt loads? is the .44 mag flatter shooting with similar weight bullits? any thoughts, thanks


here are some additional stats from "boutique" ammo makers. Buffalo Bore, .45colt+p,(260gr) 1459fps/1214ft/lbs.............44 magnun,(255gr) 1350fps/1032ft/lbs. Cor Bon, .45 colt+p,(265gr) 1350/1073............44 maagnum,(240gr)1500/1200!
Casper507  [Member]
5/14/2011 9:53:24 AM EST
Elmer was using the 44 special because of the smaller diameter of the cartridge/bullet .429 vs .454.
He was using a modified Colt Model P/73 peacemaker. The couple of Reloading books I checked listed different max loads for Colt vs Ruger revolvers. Ruger was about the same as 44 mag. I recall an article from only 25-30 years ago which the author said the only thing to get highest speed from 255 grain bullets was to load with black powder because it kept pressure down. Fps was only 1000-1100 fps at that. Sorry I can't recall exact specs but it was absolutely under 1150.
gmor  [Member]
5/14/2011 10:38:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By Casper507:
Elmer was using the 44 special because of the smaller diameter of the cartridge/bullet .429 vs .454.
He was using a modified Colt Model P/73 peacemaker. The couple of Reloading books I checked listed different max loads for Colt vs Ruger revolvers. Ruger was about the same as 44 mag. I recall an article from only 25-30 years ago which the author said the only thing to get highest speed from 255 grain bullets was to load with black powder because it kept pressure down. Fps was only 1000-1100 fps at that. Sorry I can't recall exact specs but it was absolutely under 1150.


it seems to me the .45 colt+p is about the equal of the .44 rem mag!
zzzspacezzz  [Team Member]
5/14/2011 1:18:12 PM EST
I have always preferred 45LC over 44 mag. You can do so much with it when you reload.
I have a load that pushes a 300gr XTP over 1200 fps. Stop anything in North America.
FiremanFrank  [Member]
5/14/2011 1:26:53 PM EST
I like the .45 colt + P loads as they are gentle to shoot compared to the full .454 casull loads in my revolver.
DakotaFAL  [Member]
5/14/2011 3:48:19 PM EST
I prefer the .45 Colt to the .44 mag in Ruger Blackhawk as it is in my opinion a bit more accurate. The web on the case is a bit lighter but that and the slightly larger bore give you a more volume to work with on the internal ballistics.

In terms of reloading:
1. the .45 edges ahead of the 44 mag with 300 gr bullets,
2. They are about equal in the 240-265 grain range, and
3. The .44 mag has the advantage at 180-200 grain weights.
Bones45  [Team Member]
5/14/2011 4:49:52 PM EST
So, 45 colt is the ultimate SHTF round? Easy to get a matching revolver and rifle...
Wyzardd  [Team Member]
5/14/2011 5:22:51 PM EST
I love threads like this, because I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the .44Mag. Quite possibly this is a result of my previous tendency to shoot without hearing protection. .44Mag freakin' hurts! It's a sharper, much more painful noise than the .45Colt.
Plus I have at least three .45 revolvers and no .44's, so obviously it's better.
gmor  [Member]
5/14/2011 5:26:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bones45:
So, 45 colt is the ultimate SHTF round? Easy to get a matching revolver and rifle...


this is true also for the .44 mag!
DakotaFAL  [Member]
5/15/2011 1:27:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bones45:
So, 45 colt is the ultimate SHTF round? Easy to get a matching revolver and rifle...
I suppose in a full blown SHTF scenario you'd want to shoot whatever you could scrounge for ammo and the ..44 mag is probably going to be more readily available (although cowboy a tion shooting has helped a lot in that regard). The .44 then is probably a better choice. Also, the problem with .45 colt in factory loads is that most ammo makers have to assume they will be used in an old design that cannot be loaded to the same pressure as a Ruger and as a result, most .44 Colt factory ammo is pretty anemic.

On the other hand, many (most?) .44 mag shooters can't shoot it well with full power loads or don't enjoy shooting it with full power loads, so there are lots of mid range loads out there for it. Sorta makes you wonder why they bought a .44 mag in the first place.

That said, factory .45 Colt or mid range .44 mag would both be more than enough during a zombie apocalypse scenario as you have to shoot them in the head anyway.

Bones45  [Team Member]
5/15/2011 6:24:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:
Originally Posted By Bones45:
So, 45 colt is the ultimate SHTF round? Easy to get a matching revolver and rifle...
I suppose in a full blown SHTF scenario you'd want to shoot whatever you could scrounge for ammo and the ..44 mag is probably going to be more readily available (although cowboy a tion shooting has helped a lot in that regard). The .44 then is probably a better choice. Also, the problem with .45 colt in factory loads is that most ammo makers have to assume they will be used in an old design that cannot be loaded to the same pressure as a Ruger and as a result, most .44 Colt factory ammo is pretty anemic.

On the other hand, many (most?) .44 mag shooters can't shoot it well with full power loads or don't enjoy shooting it with full power loads, so there are lots of mid range loads out there for it. Sorta makes you wonder why they bought a .44 mag in the first place.

That said, factory .45 Colt or mid range .44 mag would both be more than enough during a zombie apocalypse scenario as you have to shoot them in the head anyway.



Oh, come on! In a serious SHTF scenario you're casting your own bullets out of lead scrounged from tire weights, reloading them from your hoard of powder and scrounging brass and primers from the corpses of your enemies.

Just kidding. REAL SHTF shooting involves flintlocks with powder made from bat guano.

ETA: I meant to add that there certainly is a compelling logic to having both a rifle and pistol in the same caliber, particularly in one big enough to take large game. Magnum calibers have enough room in the case to significantly benefit from a long barrel. Seems that 45 LC does too.
BlitzPig  [Team Member]
5/15/2011 9:29:11 AM EST
Put some of the idiotic +P 45 Colt in anything but a Ruger and watch the pistol do a hand grenade impersonation.

I've never understood forcing 45 Colt to 44 Mag pressures.

The standard 45 Colt round is an absolute joy to shoot. And it works in any pistol chambered for it.

YMMV, but why ruin a good thing?

If you need a cannon round get a 44 Mag.
Wyzardd  [Team Member]
5/15/2011 9:41:16 AM EST

Meh, I have 2 old Rugers that laugh at those pressures. Granted, I'd never let one of those loads anywhere near my Colt...
gmor  [Member]
5/15/2011 11:44:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By Wyzardd:

Meh, I have 2 old Rugers that laugh at those pressures. Granted, I'd never let one of those loads anywhere near my Colt...


doubletap recommends their+p loads only for Ruger,BFR, TC contender, Colt anaconda and Freedom Arms in handguns and all modern manu. lever action rifles.
NVGdude  [Member]
5/16/2011 8:26:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By gmor:


doubletap recommends their+p loads only for Ruger,BFR, TC contender, Colt anaconda and Freedom Arms in handguns and all modern manu. lever action rifles.


That's because they are not a "true +P" in the sense that most +p loads are about 8% higher pressure than standard. Doubletap's loads are extreme overcharges compared to SAAMI specifications. they are safe in certain guns only.
gmor  [Member]
5/18/2011 8:33:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By NVGdude:
Originally Posted By gmor:


doubletap recommends their+p loads only for Ruger,BFR, TC contender, Colt anaconda and Freedom Arms in handguns and all modern manu. lever action rifles.


That's because they are not a "true +P" in the sense that most +p loads are about 8% higher pressure than standard. Doubletap's loads are extreme overcharges compared to SAAMI specifications. they are safe in certain guns only.


i thought i heard doubletap say they don't load over SAAMI specs?
Sturmgewehr-JD  [Team Member]
5/22/2011 4:53:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By BlitzPig:
Put some of the idiotic +P 45 Colt in anything but a Ruger and watch the pistol do a hand grenade impersonation.

I've never understood forcing 45 Colt to 44 Mag pressures.

The standard 45 Colt round is an absolute joy to shoot. And it works in any pistol chambered for it.

YMMV, but why ruin a good thing?

If you need a cannon round get a 44 Mag .454 Casul and you can handload .45LC as hot as you want or, better yet, a .460S&W.


fixed that for ya

Cantshootstrate  [Team Member]
5/23/2011 2:36:21 PM EST
Originally Posted By BlitzPig:
Put some of the idiotic +P 45 Colt in anything but a Ruger and watch the pistol do a hand grenade impersonation.

I've never understood forcing 45 Colt to 44 Mag pressures.

The standard 45 Colt round is an absolute joy to shoot. And it works in any pistol chambered for it.

YMMV, but why ruin a good thing?

If you need a cannon round get a 44 Mag.


One of the reasons was the weaker balloon head brass of 45 Colt when Elmer Keith was doing load development. I don't hotrod 45 colt either, and agree that 454 or 44 is a better way to go if you want warp speed.
SkagSig40  [Team Member]
5/24/2011 10:52:03 AM EST
in my reloading book the 44mag loads are more powerfull then the full power 45LC loads.
Sturmgewehr-JD  [Team Member]
5/24/2011 12:47:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By SkagSig40:
in my reloading book the 44mag loads are more powerfull then the full power 45LC loads.


They are. These guys are talking about hotrodding .45LC beyond SAAMI limits. If done carefully, in a modern revolver this can be a rewarding endeavor.

You may have trouble finding a published reloading manual that allows for .45LC at 35000psi.

edit: I do much the same thing hotrodding loads in .38spl cases for target practice. I keep the pressure a bit below .357mag levels but still...potent. I get less flash and recoil than full bore .357s but still much more of a hand full than factory .38s. I do this only for .S&W .357mag revolvers.
NVGdude  [Member]
5/24/2011 10:54:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By gmor:

i thought i heard doubletap say they don't load over SAAMI specs?


If they were loaded to SAAMI they would be safe in all guns with SAAMI spec chambers. (that's the point of specifications)
DakotaFAL  [Member]
5/25/2011 12:37:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By NVGdude:
Originally Posted By gmor:

i thought i heard doubletap say they don't load over SAAMI specs?


If they were loaded to SAAMI they would be safe in all guns with SAAMI spec chambers. (that's the point of specifications)
SAAMI specs are a limiting factor for any cartridge that began life in the black powder era. Since early guns designed for the low pressure BP version of the round may still be encountered, the specs have to reflect that even though the cartridge itself is capable of fad higher pressures, especially in brass of modern design.

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