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Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering if these cartridges are comparable for a reloader? I assume the normal factory ammo for the 45 Colt are tame for historical reasons. When I look at the reloading data for modern firearms, it looks like the 1894 in 45 LC would actually be hotter than the 44 Mag. It looks like the 45 LC might be ballistically superior in a given bullet weight due to higher fps with all else about the same. The one advantage I see for the 44 is it is slightly cheaper (ammo, bullets, cases). I assume this is simply due to its higher sales volume.

All the above is supposition on my part. What is the truth of your hands-on experience:questionmark: Thanks in advance.
 

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Hot loaded the 45 might have the edge on the .44. But I don't think there would be a pig or deer alive that could tell the difference.:hmmmm:

Cheers,
Mark.
 

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Hot loaded the 45 might have the edge on the .44. But I don't think there would be a pig or deer alive that could tell the difference.:hmmmm:

Cheers,
Mark.
Either/or

You could pee the difference between a .44 Mag & a "warm" .45LC load.

If you're going to use augmented loads in your .45LC make sure your gun is up to it and work up carefully.

Don't use "suped-up" .45LC loads in the really old legacy guns & wind up having a surgeon pull pieces of a valuable 150 year old heirloom out of your even more valuable head.
 

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As far as I can see the 45 Colt is a far cry behind the 44 Mag, unless maybe you have a Ruger!? (or other STOUT revolver), I loaded up the hottest! "COLT" loads I could find and I think that I could get the same performance from a sling shot!??
 

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As far as I can see the 45 Colt is a far cry behind the 44 Mag, unless maybe you have a Ruger!? (or other STOUT revolver), I loaded up the hottest! "COLT" loads I could find and I think that I could get the same performance from a sling shot!??
That's what the OP was refering to, and given he has posted in the 1894 forum, he may even be considering a carbine.

Mark.
 

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As far as I can see the 45 Colt is a far cry behind the 44 Mag, unless maybe you have a Ruger!? (or other STOUT revolver), I loaded up the hottest! "COLT" loads I could find and I think that I could get the same performance from a sling shot!??
You need to tell me right away where you're buying your sling shots. ;)
 
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It kind depends on what you are into and what you want to use it for.

You could load up a .45 Colt to. 44 Mag velocities but if that's what your after then just get a 44 Mag.

The .45 Colt can do the same job as a .44 Mag with less pressure, and felt recoil.

Give this a read if you haven't already. http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/heavyweight_bullets.htm

I prefer the. 45 Colt its more versitile for a reloader and is a pleasure to shoot.

I've not found components to be any less common than. 44 Mag. I think we have its popularity with CAS and SASS shooters to thank for that.

I cast my own bullets and have molds for everything from 140 grain round ball gallery loads to 350 grain "thumpers" at my disposal.
 

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Hot loaded the 45 might have the edge on the .44. But I don't think there would be a pig or deer alive that could tell the difference.:hmmmm:

Cheers,
Mark.
+1 On that!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As mentioned previously, I was only talking about the 1894 rifle. I have an S&W 460 XVR Magnum revolver, so I would be able to shoot the 45 LCs in that, but it feels like shooting a 5 LB .22 pistol. I'm don't hate the .44 Mag, I am just wondering if it makes more sense in my case (as a reloader) to go with the 45 LC in the rifle rather than stock the .44 bullets as well as the .45s. I can use the 200 grain and up bullets in .45 ACP, 45 LC, .454 Casull, and even the 460. Given that I can load the 45 LC up to match the .44 Mag speeds, it seems to make sense.

PS: I'm not crazy, I'm just looking at the published feet per second/pressure data for the same (ie 240 grain) bullet in .44 and .45 LC. I have no intention of trying to melt the rifle's throat :ahhhhh:
 
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No you're not crazy, well, I'm assuming you're not. Since you're a reloader and you're all set up for .45 stuff, it makes bloody good sense to stick with that caliber.
Truth be told, if I didn't already have a .44 and all the gear and components, I'd have a .45 in a heartbeat. My 44 is now all sorted, I've had it since 1989 or 90 but they can be fussy, contrary buggers and a real source of frustration at times. 45s seem to be a lot easier to get along with and I've never heard of an inaccurate one.

Cheers,
Mark.
 

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Hot loaded the 45 might have the edge on the .44. But I don't think there would be a pig or deer alive that could tell the difference.:hmmmm:

Cheers,
Mark.
That is the point, you don't want the hog or deer to be alive after you shoot them with either! ;)
 

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I have some experience loading the 45 Colt to magnum levels. I have a Ruger Blackhawk 45 caliber convertible and a (shhhhh, don't tell anyone) Puma rifle in 45 Colt. It is based on the '92 action and is quite strong.

John Linebaugh has done extensive testing on the 45 Colt at 32,000psi, near magnum pressures, and I have run his rounds through both of these firearms. The Puma's chamber is generous and cases get a bit of a "Glock Smile" on them but they do that with normal loads too.

If you want to read an article about the 45 Colt and what it is capable of, get the #246 issue of Handloader magazine where Brian Pearce tests 3 levels of loads. 14,000psi (standard pressure for old SAA and the like), 20,000psi (+P pressures for Smith and other double action revolvers) and the 32,000psi level (Ruger Redhawk loads) all with the RCBS 45-270SAA cast bullet.

I can tell you this, John Linebaugh's or Brian Pearces loads will cause you to put rubber grips on any handgun you shoot them out of! No joke!

I also can tell you that I have run that bullet from my Ruger 5 1/2" barrel in excess of 1300fps and 1800fps from the Puma. That gives you a whomping big bullet @ 44Mag velocities. Which translates to about 300 more ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle! Pretty impressive for a deer or hog gun! ;)
 

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I don't own a 45 colt long or even load for it. But looking at the Hornady website It looks like the 44 Mag has it out of the box over the 45 colt. But that's not to say a hand loader couldn't do the same with the 45 Colt that has been done with the 45-70. With the new stronger firearms of today.

The reason there isn't improve printed data out there for the 45 colt is (IMO) that the 45 colt is thought of as a cowboy cartridge. The 45-70 is chambered in the Marlin 1895 and the Ruger 1., these rifles are popular in the USA. and are made the handle higher pressure loads than the old 45-70. The 45-70 is a useful dangerous game cartridge and seem to be popular as a dangerous/big game rifle. Powder/bullet companies or fast to develop data for the 45-70 because of it's popular uses in modern firearms.

This thread got me to look in to some printed data and my thoughts is for a hunting rifle for me is the 44 mag. because it's at last a 100 yard deer rifle. I wouldn't push a 45 colt in a 20" barrel pass 50 yards.

T:hmmmm:NY
 

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Go with the 45, you are set up for that caliber anyway. I run 315gr SWC's in mine and run full Ruger/TC loads under that bullet. It packs a hell of alot more thump than my 240gr 44 mags. I've run even hotter in my 454's using colt brass, not sure I gained much except more recoil. DP
As to Hornady, the 8th edition reloading book shows a 300 gr XTP in a 14" barrel at 1400fps with H-110 for the fastest load in the 44 mag. The 45 colt shows 1300 fps with a 300gr XTP with one load, out of a 10" barrel, 4 inches shorter. Add 4 more inches to that load and you will have the same or maybe a little more speed at less pressure. DP
 

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Publishers such as Hornady will always be on the conservative side with the 45 Colt because of the weaker guns on the market. To get to the real potential of the 45 Colt one has to look to independent testers such as Linebaugh and Pearce. What gives the 45 Colt an edge over the 44 Mag is (1) Heavier and larger diameter bullets can be used, (2) The larger case of the 45 Colt will produce the same performance as the 44 Mag but with less Pressure, and (3) The larger case head on the 45 Colt will produce less back thrust on the bolt of the rifle. All of this adds up for the reloader a cartridge that will equal if not slightly exceed the performance of the 44 Mag and do it with less pressure and strain on your gun. The 44 Mag does shoot a little flatter but not by much.

My present hunting load for my 1894 is a 314 grain gas checked cast that leaves the muzzle at 1535 fps with with 1643 fpe. At 100 yards that's 1302 fps and 1182 fpe and this is not a max load by Linebaugh and Pearce standards. Those big fat bullets drive deeper than any ballistic tables can tell you and if I had a clear broadside shot I wouldn't hesitate a second using it on even a Elk. It's a real thumper........on both ends.
 

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Around here, we have shooters and firearms for both calibers. Those who shoot the 45 Colt's, all have Rugers and have been known to load accordingly. They also tend to laugh at my comparitively fragile S&W model 29. (Which has served me well for over two decades).
Remember, that neither caliber HAS to be loaded for bear all the time. I shoot many hundreds of cast bullets with a little less powder. In the 1000 to 1150 fPS range. My nerves and the gun both appreciate the lesser loads. My son-in-law was averaging some 4000 plus rounds annually out of his Blackhawk. Given the chance to do it over again, it would be the 45 colt hands down.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Using some Hodgdon's 45 LC data for Ruger's pistols and JBM, the divergence between 45LC and .44 Mag is not that different. X axis is yards, Y axis is in inches of drop.

12-10-2011 9-24-39 PM.jpg
 

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One big difference I forgot to mention, was the difference in daimeters of the two bullets. Caliber names are not always that accurate and in the case of the 44, that is true. One would expect it to be about .444 (the rifle loads too) diameter and it is not. It is .429 for the jacketed and .430 for the cast bullets. Unless you own a Marlin and then you often have to cast them about 431-432. And those numbers can make a big difference in bullet weights available, pressures of loads and available velocities.

And the charts while interesting, do not relate the heavily loaded XTP's in a 44 I have had deer soak up and walk away with, vs the slower velocity 45 cast bullets that flipped one deer head over tail on a full run at over 65 long paces. Many years of harvesting deer with a handgun have established a pattern following that trend.
 

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At one point about 4 or 5 years ago, I was thinking of rebarreling my 1894CB 24" from 44Mag to 45 Colt so it would match my USFA SAA......................

The first thing I found was the 44Mag has a better selection of bullet heads available. Second thing, was I could never find (Rifle) data for the 45 Colt that would bring it to 44 Mag Rifle velocities, the same or similar bullet weights...........
Lastly, If I were to make this change, I ran the possibility of cross loading a "Rifle" load into the SAA...............That would NOT be good for the pistol, or safe for the shooter....Me!

The whole idea of a rifle pistol combo in the same cal was sorta' neat, but not worth the risks...........The 1894CB would be a bit more valuable in 45 Colt...................But I dropped the whole idea...........

If I ever scratch that itch again, I'll find a Old Model Ruger Vacquaro to team up with the 1894CB 44Mag..............Much safer, I think.

Tom
 

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For my use, I've chosen the 44 Magnum but while I was making the decision, I considered the 45 Colt and the 44 Magnum to be reasonably equivalent.

I made my decision on this important technical point: The 44 Magnum is a derivative of the 44 Russian. Being half-Russian, that makes me feel good. :hmmmm:
 
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