.357 Magnum vs. .45ACP...in a revolver?


August 1, 2003, 08:33 AM
Okay, here is my situation...I already have both these calibers in small, easily concealed packages: SP-101 for the .357, and Firestorm Mini for the .45. What I am lacking is a full-size sidearm type pistol since getting rid of my H&K USP.

For ease of logistics, I have been wanting to get a full-size gun in one of these two calibers, and up to now, the main contenders have been a Ruger GP-100 or Springfield Mil-Spec 1911.

The GP-100 is the one I am leaning towards for two reasons...general ruggedness and durability, and while it is not the preferred caliber, a 6" .357 can be used to take deer at close ranges.

Then I was thinking...what about a REVOLVER in .45ACP...either the Taurus Tracker or the S&W 625? That takes care of the ruggedness/dependability issue.

What I am wondering is has anyone ever heard of someone using a .45 to put down a deer?

I suppose I could always get a .45 Colt with a conversions cylinder...that would be more than capable of putting a deer down....but then we are back to the logistics issues..

Just looking for some input...Thanks!


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August 1, 2003, 08:55 AM
One advantage of a .45 revolver that uses full-moon clips is that it can be reloaded faster than any other revolver I'm aware of.

I knew a guy who killed a good size doe with a .45 semi auto pistol. He lived out in the sticks and walked out of an outbuilding and saw the deer eating his wife's plants. It was deer season so he pulled his .45 and shot it in the lungs with a 185 grain JHP. The deer either dropped on the spot or ran just a few yards. I think he said the shot was taken from about 11 yards.

I have been intending to buy a Smith 625 for a long time but got sidetracked with .41 Magnums. The 625s I've handled have been great feeling guns. I was not as pleased with the Taurus revolvers I handled.

August 1, 2003, 10:39 AM
Or... you could buy a 625 and have it converted to .460 Rowland by Clark Custom; which would allow you to shoot .45acp/.45super/.460 Rowland. The .460 Rowland ballistics are nearly on par with factory .44 Magnum loads.

August 1, 2003, 10:44 AM
I was about to say what Atticus just said. ;)

One guy who I talked to when I was thinking about having my 625 converted to .460 Rowland said that he sold his .44 Maggies after he had the conversion done on two 625's.

Old Fuff
August 1, 2003, 11:04 AM
If I understand correctly, this revolver's principal use would be for hunting medium/big sized game and maybe some "fun trips" to a shooting range. If so, I would get a Ruger Bisley (first choice) or Blackhawk (second choice) in .45 Colt with an extra .45 ACP cylinder. Speed loading isn't an issue, and these single-actions are built like a brick outhouse. So far as hunting deer-sized game is concerned the .45 Colt is a better choice in cartridges.

If you bought one of the above revolvers you'd likely save enough money over a S&W 625 to have some custom work done. Or you could spend the savings on extra ammunition (or whatever).

If self-defense is part of the program you'd be better off sticking to an automatic in .45 ACP.

August 1, 2003, 12:25 PM
357mag all the way.

August 1, 2003, 02:14 PM
Don't forget about the Dan Wesson's. They make one in 460 Rowland.

August 1, 2003, 04:37 PM
Look at the Dan Wesson in 44 mag, and use 44 spl for playtime.

August 1, 2003, 05:07 PM
Or you could do what I did. Get a Ruger KGP-141 and a SS NRM Colt 1911.:D

August 1, 2003, 05:37 PM
Ruger makes a 45lc/45acp convertable Vaquero that will handle the hot hunting loads in 45 colt. Has a little more style than a da wheel gun, looks good in a buscadero rig, besides, everybody needs a cowboy gun, right?

August 1, 2003, 09:08 PM
I hadn't really thought about a SA...but, I had kind of intended that this might be used for self-defence, as a house gun or back-packing gun.

Now, this .460 Rowland...I guess that would give me an excuse to get into reloading also...

How much are we talking to have a 625 customized this way?

August 1, 2003, 09:17 PM
.460 ROWLAND FACTORY AMMUNITION--May be purchased from:
Georgia Arms 800/624-6861 www.georgia-arms.com
Starline (Brass only) 800/280-6660 www.starlinebrass.com
Triton Ammunition 800/861-3362 www.triton-ammo.com

Gary H
August 1, 2003, 09:24 PM
I prefer the 625 vs. smaller framed guns like the GP 100. It seems that you could save some money and just get the 625 in LC and be done with it. My 625 is very accurate and goes bang every time. Should you go with an "N" frame, I can save you some time hunting for a good holster. Not selling mine, but can point you in the right direction.

August 2, 2003, 11:30 AM
I love my 4" 625 - great fun with el-cheapo .45 ACP's. If I wanted more stopping power, I'd probably opt for the .45 Colt. If you still want it as a back-up for home defense, the DA is handier - otherwise, a SA, like my Ruger 5.5" SS Bisley, is great. For a DA, I'd go for a 625 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt, 'Bangers' had a bunch made for them that are still available to your dealer. My dealer has them - with two grips (wood and rubber) for $550. My 625 MG in .45 Colt was bought new last year and is a real keeper. For more .45 'emphasis' - you can always go with a .454 Casull, like the Ruger Super Redhawk. Mine, a 7.5", was actually my first DA revolver - bought to launch .45 Colts, it has also sent 300-400 .454's on their way. They also run ~$550.

All of my revolvers are .44-.454, so I won't suggest a .357/.38.


August 2, 2003, 12:59 PM
GP100's are great. i would stay away from the Springfield Armory Milspec unless you are prepared to have it rebuilt by a high quality custom smith. My experience: http://www.milesfortis.com/mcump/mc19.htm.

the various 625s Ive shot have been outrageously accurate and easy to shoot. It would be a good choice.

I have found the various .357 loads to be much more disruptive on animate targets than the acp but haven't shot many of those with the current generation of +P rounds. I know these expand very well as I have shot a lot of beef brisket enclosed in canvas and seen the results. There are several people I know who have killed our small Texas deer "dead right there" with various .45 loads and you will never convince them that it's not a great deer load.

If hunting is just a sometimes thing or something related to target's of opportunity, my pick would be one of the Corbon loads -probably either the 200 or 230 JHP http://www.milesfortis.com/mcump/mc14.htm

The .45 is a tremendously fun, accurate and mild plinking and goofing around cartridge and, as you have found, the brass and components tend to accumulated to an extent that you think some sort of reproductive process is happening.

August 3, 2003, 10:31 AM
I have a GP-100 and I like it the most of any of my revolvers, it has plenty of power for hunting or social work. I had a SP-101 and before it parted from me, it was a very good little gun with .357 magnums in it but to me it seemed its preformance always was slightly lacking when shooting .38 specials in it.

August 3, 2003, 11:28 AM
Before you commit to a Ruger SA revolver, rent one to shoot and see if it fits. I was forever fighting the grip on my Ruger Bisley and finally sold it. Only gun I've sold that I don't regret selling. My first choice would be a SW625 and I'm looking for one now (CA).

August 3, 2003, 05:21 PM
From reading this thread, one would think it is OK to fire .45 Super in an unmodified 625. Is this true?

I love my 625, but I've been reluctant to push things TOO hard.

Chris Pinkleton
August 13, 2003, 08:44 PM
I just came into ownership of both a GP-100 and a 625 --- I've only had one chance to shoot them once so far, but both seem like excellent guns. The 625 does have a much lighter trigger, but both actions are smooth. The 625 has a bit more muzzle flip than the GP-100, but the felt recoil with 230gr. ball is still pretty light.

If were picking one of these two for self-defence, I'd probably go for the 625. (I like big subsonic rounds for this purpose.) If the gun was mostly for the field, I'd go for the GP-100 (decent factory loads for hunting + heavier, more robust construction than the 625).

I'd check out how both fit your hand -- either is an excellent firearm.

colima--I've wondered the same thing myself, but no one is willing to give me a definitive answer, probably due to legal concerns.

August 13, 2003, 11:05 PM

August 13, 2003, 11:46 PM
I don't believe that either one of those calibers would be legal for deer hunting in WA State. Check the game regs prior to buying either one with the intention of using it to hunt with.

August 14, 2003, 02:42 AM
cactus, the Hungting Reg's state that any hand gune .24 caliber or larger, with at least a 4" barrel, is legal for hunting big game.

But, there is also a link at the bottom of our hunting regs website, that talks about how hunter responsibilty has always been a critical part of how hunters are percieved, and part of that responsibility is correct cartridge coice. So, while 9mm is legal for deer or elk per the written word, it would be a poor choice.

Showing here...


There is then a table listing calibers considered to be acceptable.

.45 or .357 aren't on that list, but they are legal...that being said, this gun would only be used for shooting game in an survivial type situation...

Thank you for your concern however.

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