.45 Colt or .44 Mag?

.45 Colt or .44 Mag?

This is a discussion on .45 Colt or .44 Mag? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am looking into purchasing a Ruger Blackhawk. I am interested in two calibers, .45 Colt & .44 mag. The reason I want a Blackhawk ...

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Thread: .45 Colt or .44 Mag?

  1. #1
    Member Array Cred's Cariad's Avatar
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    .45 Colt or .44 Mag?

    I am looking into purchasing a Ruger Blackhawk.

    I am interested in two calibers, .45 Colt & .44 mag. The reason I want a Blackhawk is because I want the ability to fire some of Underwood's hot loadings.

    I have some 158gr Gold Dot's for my Security Six, from Underwood, and those are awesome.

    I am looking at the "convertible" Blackhawk .45 Colt/.45 ACP model if I decide to go with .45 Colt.

    I understand that both rounds are more expensive than the common guys (.357mag, .38 special, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP), but I am also considering getting into the reload game some time next year...

    So... which one should I go with?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    Tough choice. I like the Blackhawk because they're almost indestructible. The Colt convertible is nice because of the versatility, but the Blackhawk is much stronger.
    I would go for the 44 mag IMO. You'll find reloading about 50% of the cost of factory ammo.

    Quote Originally Posted by pankusogre View Post
    I am looking into purchasing a Ruger Blackhawk.

    I am interested in two calibers, .45 Colt & .44 mag. The reason I want a Blackhawk is because I want the ability to fire some of Underwood's hot loadings.

    I have some 158gr Gold Dot's for my Security Six, from Underwood, and those are awesome.

    I am looking at the convertible .45 Colt/.45 ACP model if I decide to go with .45 Colt.

    I understand that both rounds are more expensive than the common guys (.357mag, .38 special, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP), but I am also considering getting into the reload game some time next year...

    So... which one should I go with?

    Thanks!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array ugh762x39's Avatar
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    You left out my favorite....the .41 Mag.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ugh762x39 View Post
    You left out my favorite....the .41 Mag.
    I like the ability to fire multiple calibers ala .357 mag/.38spec, .44 mag / .44 spec, the convertible Blackhawk .45 colt/.45 acp...

    I always liked the uniqueness of the .41 mag, but practicality (in my mind) always manages to take a hold whenever I make a purchase
    P.A.N.K.U.S. Ogre

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    Distinguished Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    If you reload I would go with the .45 LC. If you are going to stick with factory ammo I would go with the .44mag which gives you the option of shooting soft shooting .44special. Good luck!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array ugh762x39's Avatar
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    Well, if you're going to be practical about it, I can see your point.
    But, if you ever want to just throw caution to the wind, the .41 will still be there.
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  7. #7
    Member Array TattooedGunner's Avatar
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    I have always loved .44 mag. No real reason, I've just always thought it was cool.
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    Senior Member Array AmmoFan01's Avatar
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    The rounds are almost equal in size, but the .44 is quite a bit more powerful. Personally, I would choose the .44 mag because they a more common (At least around here) plus you can fire .44 special rounds as well.
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  9. #9
    Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    I have had a number of Ruger Blackhawks over the years. Currently I have 45lc/45acp and .357mag/9mm convertibles. I sold my 44mag after getting into 45Colt because I found that with hand loading and some of the specialty ammo makers (i.e. Buffalo Bore) the 45Colt could do everything the 44mag did for me.

    Either way you decide, you can't go wrong with a Blackhawk IMO.

    Oh, with the ammo crunch the last year or so, it was nice to be able to switch to 45acp as it was much easier to find than 45Colt.

    If you do a search, there are a number of threads about 45Colt and single action revolvers.
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    Distinguished Member Array technomonster's Avatar
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    .44 mag for sure, skip the .45 ACP. only reason i would pick a revolver over an auto is to have big cartridges.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Here's the deal; the 44 mag is good, the cinder walls are thicker, and it is hot and has a good kick.

    The 45 Colt is bigger, which makes the cylinder walls a little thinner, can be loaded with a heavier bullet, and has more of a pushing roll than kick.

    You can do anything with the 45 Colt that you can with the 44 magnum with less flash, recoil and pressure, by virtue of hydraulics, ie, the bigger case allows for the bigger heavier bullet to travel slower and do the work by virtue of mass and weight.

    But if you need to, you can make the 45 more powerful than the 44 mag.

    But I do have to second the idea of the 41 magnum. Get rid of the. 357 and get you a 41 mag.
    Hell, the 357 mag doesn't even fit into the numerical line up ; 41,44,45.....357?
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    Member Array Tennessee Jed's Avatar
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    I can't be objective about this. Buying a Ruger convertible 45 Colt/45 acp is what got me into handloading, and I've never once regretted either the gun, or getting into handloading. It opened up a completely new arena of shooting for me. I recommend it highly. There is nothing as satisfying as touching off a handloaded 255 grain SWC at about 1,000 fps out of a single action revolver.

    Until you start handloading, I think you will find that those stubby 45 acp cartridges are very very accurate out of the Blackhawk. Not to mention, they're not that expensive while you're still buying factory ammo.

    Be warned, though. It will only be the beginning.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Eric357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Here's the deal; the 44 mag is good, the cinder walls are thicker, and it is hot and has a good kick.

    The 45 Colt is bigger, which makes the cylinder walls a little thinner, can be loaded with a heavier bullet, and has more of a pushing roll than kick.

    You can do anything with the 45 Colt that you can with the 44 magnum with less flash, recoil and pressure, by virtue of hydraulics, ie, the bigger case allows for the bigger heavier bullet to travel slower and do the work by virtue of mass and weight.

    But if you need to, you can make the 45 more powerful than the 44 mag.

    But I do have to second the idea of the 41 magnum. Get rid of the. 357 and get you a 41 mag.
    Hell, the 357 mag doesn't even fit into the numerical line up ; 41,44,45.....357?

    That's just sacrilege there. Get rid of the .357 mag? Sad,sad,sad. But to be honest, I have always wanted to try one of those 41 mags myself .
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric357 View Post
    That's just sacrilege there. Get rid of the .357 mag? Sad,sad,sad. But to be honest, I have always wanted to try one of those 41 mags myself .
    Yeah I know. And I was once a die hard 357 mag fan. But in the grand scheme of things, even the 44 spl does more than the 357 without the blast and ear splitting crack. The big bore fours give more of a boom than that ear drum killing crack when in the field. And really, when you need power, any of the. "4s " give you all you need.

    The only advantage I can think of is in an Edc piece, but the current crop of auto loaders can now make up the difference there.
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  15. #15
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    I have both.

    I like them both as both are accurate and fun to shoot.

    All things being considered though, if you are going to reload anyway, the .44 is a bit more versatile. I'll explain.

    The .45 is a slow mover. As for the mass of it being bigger than the .44 that is technically correct but its not by much. The .45 is .454 and the .44 is .429, so you are only talking .025 of an inch which is only .0125 per side which isn't really much.
    Then, the .45 typically shoots a 255 grain bullet which is only 15 grains more than the .44 which usually uses 240 grain bullets, so you can see that its not a big deal either way.

    While its true that the .45 can be loaded much hotter than factory loads, doing so is hard on the gun. The Ruger Blackhawk is a strong gun without a doubt, but a steady diet of hot loads will take its toll on the gun eventually.

    Which brings us to the .44. The .44 can be downloaded and be very accurate in doing so. One of my favorite loads is pushing a Keith style semi wadcutter right at 1000 FPS and that's a considered a fairly light load for the .44. With that load I can keep it in a pie plate up to 100 yards without much effort. Even at that, it is still more powerful than a factory .45 (typically around 800 FPS) and the gun wont even know that its being shot.

    Also, there is the bullet situation. You'll find that .45 loads aren't really that versatile, however the .44 loads can go from light (180) to heavy (300). That's a pretty good range of bullet.

    And last but not least, is the popularity equation. You'll find that the .44's seem to be a lot more available than the .45's are.

    As for reloading there isn't much difference, it takes the same amount of effort.

    Really, though, you cant go wrong with either one.
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