.44 S&W SPL. or .45 COLT.


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DC3-CVN-72
November 28, 2006, 08:52 PM
this thread is prompted by the "what is your nightstand gun" thread. In that thread I stated that I kept a S&W 629-4 with a 3 in. bbl. loaded with CCI. Blazer .44 S&W SPL. 200gr. GDHP. I have a Ruger Redhawk in .45 COLT. with a 5.5 in. bbl. that I could load with WINCHESTER 225gr HP. I am also going to have the Redhawk fitted to take .45 ACP. My question is out of these three, are the SILVERTIP loads the best for the nightstand, or CCI; or is there better. also of the three, what's the best. I will not be cutting down the Redhawk. I hope I have explained this well enough.:)

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Jim March
November 28, 2006, 09:10 PM
Most all of the 45LC jacketed hollowpoints are going to work great. The Silvertip 225gr is a good load. There's a number of 200gr loads that are good - Cor-Bon, CCI both work. I don't trust Federals here, but anything else, go for it.

The "new kid on the block" is the Speer Gold Dot 250gr. It's actually meant for shorter-barrel guns like the 3.5" Ruger Bird's Head - it's got a gaping big hollowpoint and was released at the same time as the 135gr 38+P. And we know how well that baby has worked out...it's "big brother" ought to be hell on wheels.

Being a Gold Dot I'd expect it to hold together OK at least through a 6" barrel. At some point past that they'll come unglued, though I can't say whether that'll be at 7.5" or 18".

DC3-CVN-72
November 28, 2006, 09:39 PM
Thank's for the reply Jim. So I take it that in your opinon the .45 COLT. is better than .44 S&W SPL. Also dose Speer have a Gold dot load in .44 S&W SPL.

P. Plainsman
November 28, 2006, 09:49 PM
Since you have a 629, think seriously about adopting the new Speer Gold Dot "Short Barrel" .44 Magnum as your nightstand defense round.

It's a 200 gr Gold Dot hollowpoint rated at 1075 fps at the muzzle -- that's "Heavy .44 Special" ballistic territory -- perfect for a big-bore defense revolver. I have fired a limited number of these rounds and so far am extremely impressed. Low muzzle report, very accurate, and seemingly low flash. Feels like a .45 ACP+P. I'd like to chrono some from the 4" barrel of my 629, but it clearly offers more power than the usual .44 Special rounds, and clearly less recoil than normal .44 Magnum rounds.

I think it's an excellent option.

joneb
November 28, 2006, 10:02 PM
I would choose the one that shoots best for me out to 10 yrds and and points the best. The shorter barrel may handle faster and be harder to grab on to. You should think of it more as close combat shooting, and not target.

Jim March
November 28, 2006, 10:23 PM
Plainsman just mentioned the best choice on the other side :).

Funny thing is, Speer didn't invent that load, Proload (now out of the ammo biz) did in their "tactical lite" 44mag load. Same round, about the same speed. Good slug. Now that Speer has stopped selling projectiles to smaller ammo houses they've cloned some of what the smaller boys were doing. Go figure.

I actually forgot about that puppy :).

Also...I'm not normally a fan of the "frangible" ammo but when you hit 44Mag power levels, the Magsafe Defender or Glaser Silver nose start to look amazing :). In anything lesser penetration might be inadequate but in the 44Maggie...

DC3-CVN-72
November 28, 2006, 10:24 PM
jibjab, the fact that the 629-4 with the 3 in. bbl is in the nightstand over the Red hawk is it is faster into action and harder to grab away, i'm just trying to see what is more efective. I had no idea that speer had a short bbl. mag. load. this is verry intersting. thank's to all for the replys

earplug
November 28, 2006, 10:35 PM
Next time your at the range, put each each loaded revolver down on the table and then pick each one up and fire one shot at a target. Keep this up until you decide which one fits better and hits better.

Warren
November 28, 2006, 10:44 PM
The "new kid on the block" is the Speer Gold Dot 250gr. It's actually meant for shorter-barrel guns like the 3.5" Ruger Bird's Head - it's got a gaping big hollowpoint and was released at the same time as the 135gr 38+P. And we know how well that baby has worked out...it's "big brother" ought to be hell on wheels.


Where can I find a good source for these rounds. I have a 25-13 that needs CCW loads.

DC3-CVN-72
November 28, 2006, 10:48 PM
I've done this with both guns with the first loads stated. tihs is a grate way to decide. Close in work is what we are talking about. I'm just looking for the best choice to test. This thred has already produced two that I knew nothing about. thank's for all your replys.:)

Jim March
November 28, 2006, 11:03 PM
Huh. Cheaper than dirt and Midway are both showing "out of stock" on the Speer 250s.

Call Speer, see who's got 'em?

Warren
November 28, 2006, 11:05 PM
I'll do that and report back tommorow.

joneb
November 28, 2006, 11:30 PM
You may need to scroll down for the .44 spl stuff, .45 LC by far will be the higher power round out of a longer barrel , but what are you wanting to stop :confused:
http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#44spl

ArchAngelCD
November 29, 2006, 03:29 AM
As I've said in other threads I like my 12 gauge for HD but I do keep a revolver in my night stand. I'm a little worried about using a 44 S&W or a 44 Mag as a night stand gun. I have my .357 loaded with .38 +P rounds because if you fire off a .357 or especially a .44 Mag in the middle of the night you will leave yourself deaf-dumb and blind. Those rounds are very loud and are flame throwers. You fire off a Mag. round in the middle of the night in a dark room and it's like setting off a flash-bang. You might want to re-think that choice.

Colt46
November 29, 2006, 06:12 AM
I got a batch of 45 250 grain jacket hollowpoints(I think it was from MiWall) and they rarely wanted to open. As self defence I'd go with the lighter, faster hollowpoint.

Onmilo
November 29, 2006, 09:07 AM
Federal 240 Lead Semi Wadcutter Hollowpoint in .44 Special.
It may take some looking but you should be able to find a 250 Keith type Lead semi wadcutter factory load at 900 fps in the Colt.

Of the two I would now choose the Federal .44 Special load.

Stainz
November 29, 2006, 09:27 AM
First, while a 12 gauge racking is a universal sound that produces autonomic release of body wastes in bg's, it is not the best choice for home defense. Second, that legally long barrel can easily be pulled/dislodged from your hands as you enter a room. Finally, the 00 buckshot most folks carry will produce potentially lethal collateral damage. A handgun held close in - with known ballistics - and with which you are well-versed and practiced in it's operation, is a far better choice. Your 3" 629 - and those 200gr Gold Dot CCI Blazer .44 Specials are a great solution.

Studying the Speer 200gr Gold Dot .44 Special (#4427) bullet's data sheet, one finds that it was designed for 800-1,000 fps - .44 Special to hot .44 Special levels (It's predecessor, #4425, was designed for higher velocity.). It reliably opens at 800 fps... to .72-.76", according to several tests. The newer .45 Colt 250gr Gold Dot (#4484) is rated at 800-1,200 fps - but I have not tested it at over900 fps. It reportedly also opens by 800+ fps.

In .44 Special, I have chrono-ed the Blazer 200gr GDHP, Georgia Arm's Starline brass version, and my own reloads, all with that Speer #4427 bullet. I get 805 fps from my 2.5" 296; 836 fps from my 3" 696; and 860 fps from my 4" 629MG - all plenty fast for proper operation. The 296 is my CCW and bedside HD firearm. I have a 2" 10 with Remington R38S12, 158gr +P LHPSWC's that makes 830+ fps from the snubby, on my wife's side. We also have a 5.5" .45 Colt Redhawk loaded with the Speer 250 gr GDHP's and 255gr LSWC's easily accessible as a backup. Everything launches from 800-850 fps, for my neighbors' sake... and should be sufficient for protection.

Now, which would I go out to the store and buy today for protection? Look around, both gun and ammo selection in DA .44 Special and .45 Colt is lacking even in a well stocked gun store. I'd get a ~2" .38/.357M snubby - an S&W 442/642 can double as a CCW - and load it with those 158gr LHPSWC's - or Speer's 135gr Gold Dots - both +P. Second would be a .45 ACP - with 230gr Gold Dot's or Hydra Shok's.

Of course, as a retired college instructor, I am often accused of suggesting others '...do as I say, not as I do!'. I keep both .44 Special & .45 Colt for home 'protection'... but I also reload, so I have lots of ammo!

A 'home protection' plan is important - assign a 'safe room' to retreat to - and have a cell phone to call for proper help - and a decent flashlight. When you call for help, tell them where you are and that you are armed. Have proper cover - and a clear shooting lane to your 'entry point'... and remember, Jack Bauer is a TV character...

Stainz

ozwyn
November 29, 2006, 10:42 AM
I dunno, maybe I am being a wiseass, but here is my take - this whole thread is an exercise in splitting hairs. :neener: Either caliber with the loads you describe should be plenty unless you're expecting a home invasion from a gang of bears. :scrutiny:

If you put the rounds in the right spot any of the caliber/load choices you mentioned will definitely do the job.

BigG
November 29, 2006, 10:44 AM
44 Special or 45 Colt -

You are asking, imho, would you rather get struck by a Ford or Chevrolet pickup truck, of the same weight and speed. :neener:

There is really no difference, although the 44 Special is a better cartridge for a DA revolver. Why? Due to the miniscule rim on the 45 Colt it can more easily drop behind the extractor, tying up the gun.

Stainz
November 29, 2006, 06:36 PM
My SS 5.5" .45 Colt Redhawk is a fun gun to plink with. Even so, it still has it's OEM spring - and my Federal-primed homebrews will occasionally yield a ftf from it - maybe one out of a hundred - seemingly coincident with a slow DA pull. Add that to the extractor's odd ability to slip over the small rims, as BigG said, and you have less than awe-inspiring dependability. It certainly isn't my first choice in PD at the home. My two S&W 625 Mountain Guns, both with lighter Wolff hammer springs, are 100% reliable in ignition and spent case extraction... they'd make a far better choice for a HD firearm.

Stainz

PS The Redhawk's OEM wood grips are not dished for use with an HKS 25-5 speedloader, making their use problematic at best. The Pachy Decel's work fairly well, however.

Jim March
November 29, 2006, 06:50 PM
One reason to go with Speer or CCI with any caliber in any gun is that their primer ignition is first rate - rimfire or centerfire.

Federal primers ain't as good.

DC3-CVN-72
November 29, 2006, 07:04 PM
This is all greate information. I made the choice of the of the 629-4 3 il. bbl. loaded with CCI. Blazer .44 SPL. 200gr GDHP. about five years ago. Since then I got the Redhawk in .45 COLT. Now this gun has pushed me into reloading. I have always been intreged by reloading, just a little intimadated by it. I made a promise to myself I would not get another gun untill I get set up for reloading. I was just curios as to what is out there now. I'm pretty shure I will stay with the 629-4 3 in. bbl. because it is harder to take it away from me. You guys have realy come through for me, thank's. I wont have any $$$ to spend for a while, but when I do, look foward to answering some realy silly FNG. questions over on the reloading forum.:)

B36
November 29, 2006, 08:25 PM
I use either a 696 or a 296 loaded with Winchester ST. :)

Warren
November 29, 2006, 08:59 PM
There is really no difference, although the 44 Special is a better cartridge for a DA revolver. Why? Due to the miniscule rim on the 45 Colt it can more easily drop behind the extractor, tying up the gun.


I did not even realize this. if I had known I might not of purchased a .45 Colt gun.

For those with the experience, how often does the above scenario happen? And what is the best way, without changing guns, to prevent this from happening?

Warren
November 29, 2006, 09:01 PM
I'll do that and report back tommorow.


Ah, played a round of phone tag. Will try again.

Stainz
November 29, 2006, 11:29 PM
Jim,

What is wrong with Federal primers? I have loaded and discharged tens of thousands of them with no ftf's, except for a .45 Colt that got one upside down. Before them, I use Win primers - and had several duds. I have 'tried' CCI's, but my soft sprung S&W's 'like' Federals.

Stainz

ArchAngelCD
November 30, 2006, 12:51 AM
Now, which would I go out to the store and buy today for protection? Look around, both gun and ammo selection in DA .44 Special and .45 Colt is lacking even in a well stocked gun store. I'd get a ~2" .38/.357M snubby - an S&W 442/642 can double as a CCW - and load it with those 158gr LHPSWC's - or Speer's 135gr Gold Dots - both +P.
Stainz,
Very true words, that's why I bought a 4" .357 and a .38 snubbie. The ammo is easier to find and more affordable. I use Speer Gold Dot 135 gr short barrel .38 rounds in my S&W 638 and Speer Gold Dot 158 gr .357 rounds in my S&W 619.

BigG
November 30, 2006, 06:57 AM
o

Stainz
November 30, 2006, 07:21 AM
If you reload, .45 S&W/Schoffield cases, while shorter, do have a tad more rim - and don't get caught as easily under my Redhawk's extractor. They also won't feed through the gate on my Rossi/Puma 1892 .45 Colt levergun as a result. Still, they will help.

An internet/mail order dealer has a 'sale' going on loaded 'cowboy' ammo in .45 Schoffield... from American Ammunition (Headstamped 'AMERC'.). I had trouble with their .44 Special ammo and wouldn't touch the stuff- even tossed the empty cases, a hard thing for a .44 Special nut to admit.

BTW, I guess it's the axial slop on the extractor rod of the Redhawk, as I have never had a problem extracting .45 Colts with either of my S&W 625MG's.

Stainz

BigG
November 30, 2006, 07:25 AM
Due to the miniscule rim on the 45 Colt it can more easily drop behind the extractor, tying up the gun.

I did not even realize this. if I had known I might not of purchased a .45 Colt gun.

For those with the experience, how often does the above scenario happen? And what is the best way, without changing guns, to prevent this from happening?

There is a reason very few 45 Colt DAs were ever made until recently, when I guess overwhelming consumer demand dictated S&W to go ahead with what they already knew was a flawed idea. I can only guess that the demand was by guys who newly came into shooting and didn't know much about the limitations of various combinations. This is the same sort of guy who asks how to convert his automatic pistol or bolt action rifle from one caliber to another assuming a barrel is the whole thing and forgets he needs a magazine also. In other words, they have gained most of their knowledge theoretically, reading ballistics charts or whatever and realize that a 45 Colt is a pretty good revolver cartridge and will hold more powder than that puny 45 ACP that uses the funny clips. ;)

This falling behind the extractor will happen quite a bit unless you learn to turn the muzzle up as you shuck the shells out of the cylinder. If you do it horizontal or pointed down, you are going to find how to get them from behind the extractor pretty soon. Pointing the muzzle up also has the benefit of ejecting the dirt and crap along with the cases rather than dropping it back into the extractor recess and frame cutout. You also must be careful when you are checking to see if your gun is loaded. You can't elevate the 45 Colt on the extractor and then release the extractor and let them fall back in to the chamber because there is a good chance one or more will fall behind the extractor.

The 44 Magnum has another benefit I didn't think about before: Many more bullets are available for reloaders. This is a good thing from the availability and also price may be a little less because they "move" faster.

I have heard all the "yeah but" arguments that you can buy or load "nuclear level" loads in a 45 Colt that will meet or exceed the power of a 44 Magnum, and that is true, as far as it goes. However, my observation is that people don't like to shoot nuclear level loads much and it's mostly a point of pride moreso than any actual utility. Again, the cheapness of most shooters I know precludes them buying any of those super duper "Buffalo Ball" or Chore Boy" nuclear loads that cost a buck a shot.

Sistema1927
November 30, 2006, 09:07 AM
I used to load all of my .45 Colt with CCI primers. However, after an action job by Steve Young my 1892 won't always set off these harder primers. I switched to Federal, which are much softer. I have no problem with the Federal primers

Warren
November 30, 2006, 04:40 PM
Thanks, BigG.

I purchased the .45 Colt to be able to share the same ammo with a soon to be purchased pump-action rifle. Also because of it's lower operating pressure.

Well, I'll just have to be careful on the ejection.

Jim March
November 30, 2006, 09:13 PM
Huh.

CCI Rimfire ignition is supposed to be the best, and has been in my experience (22LR and Magnum)...Federal and Winchester 22Mag have both given me problems.

I've shot a fair amount of CCI/Speer factory centerfire ammo with zero issues. I may have my brands mixed up on the centerfire though, I thought it was Federal that were "hard"?

Stainz
December 1, 2006, 01:01 AM
Federal is the easier to ignite primer. In fact, Dillon suggests they not be used in their equipment as a result of their 'soft' nature. I have had zero problems reloading with Federal primers in the only reloading press I have ever used, a Dillon 550B.

BigG,

Re your .45 Colt DA revolver comments... I have not had the empties slipping under the ejector problem with either my '96 or '01 version of the .45 Colt S&W 625 Mountain Gun. Admittedly, I do not 'Hollywood' rap the extractor rod for ejection, either. Still, with my Redhawk, and especially if I do it slowly or sporadically, I have had a few, albeit infrequent, such 'catches'. As to ultimate 'power', make no mistake, a large charge and bullet combo can easily outdo a .44 Magnum - and at a lessor recoil. That, of course, requires a T/C or Ruger, etc, SA for the launch platform. The .45 Colt does typically have other problems.

First, the cylinder exit bores are often improperly sized - and, in Ruger's case, inconsistent. Thankfully, the Rugers are generally undersized, which can be reamed to the proper size. Some earlier S&W's actually were oversized, not a fixable fault, except with a new cylinder. Second is the over-sized chambers employed by Ruger and S&W - actually the old blackpowder sized SAAMI specification. With properly sized cartridges, they actually are loose when inserted. At lower 'cowboy' levels, the case mouth often won't obturate to the point where it gas seals, resulting in the well known 'smoke trail' generally on the 'top' (fired position) of the fired case. This lessens with increasing pressure loads. Since the new .45 Colt S&W 625's are built on the .45 ACP 625 frame, one must assume that they are also capable of at least 21kpsi, instead of the SAAMI .45 Colt 14 kpsi. That level should lessen or remove the 'smoke trail'.

With all of it's problems, I still really like the old cartridge. Sure, you can get decent levels with a .45 Auto Rim, too... but that big old cartridge is neat. I do admit an uncanny admiration for it's historical predecessor, the .44 Russian, but that's another chapter...

Stainz

BigG
December 1, 2006, 07:42 AM
Thanks, Stainz, for the real world update on the 45 Colt DA revos.

I'm thinking now, with the more efficient powders, the way to go would be shorter cartridges. That way the ejection of empties would be much easier than the long magnum length that need the cutout in the left grip to clear the rims. JMTC

CSA 357
December 1, 2006, 10:37 AM
Well i like the 44 spec, why? i dont have a 45 lc, i have two 44 magnums and one 44 spec i use the same dies, same bullets , but my bed side gun is a smith & wesson mod 27 loaded with 125jhp csa:)

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