.44 or .45 Colt for revolver/carbine combo?


August 2, 2003, 12:44 AM
I'm putting this in this forum because I already know what sort of carbine I want.. but if mod feels it's more appropriate elsewhere feel free to relocate it.

I've been thinking about getting a .44mag revolver and a .44mag carbine for general woods use, hunting and target shooting. There's a marlin .44 down at the local shootin parlor that I think I'll pick up but I'm not sure what sort of handgun I want. At first I was looking at a S&W Mountian Gun. I've had the opertunity to handle, but not fire one and I like it. I decided however that I want to be able to shoot a lot of highpower loads without shooting the gun silly (If anyone opines that the mountain gun is up to this let me know) so I'm thinking a ruger now (I really like my GP100). Part of the fun of this setup will be working up loads that maximize the potential of both the sixshooter and the cabine and then trying to come up with one load that splits the difference and works as best as possible out of both. So I want plenty of strength to play with on the revolver side.

Of course then the question becomes double action or single action. If double I'm leaning towards a stainless redhawk, 5.5 inch maybe (I really just don't like the look of the super.. if someone has a compelling reason I might like it better let me know). If a single action I'm leaning towards a... well there's a zillion options there, but I'm thinking a bisley vaquero... or a blackhawk.

Anyway, just when I was thinking I was starting to get this narrowed down suddenly it occurs to me.. what about .45 colt? since I reload ammo price and availabilty isn't such a big issue. Now I just have so many options I don't know what to do.

Well there's a lot of info up there, but now that you know the situation perhaps somebody with a .45 Colt or .44mag revolver/carbine combo can tell me what's working for them... I'm just looking for some experinced insight on making this decision. Thanks.

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August 2, 2003, 01:00 AM
Or even better yet. Get a lever gun in .45 Long Colt and a Super Redhawk in .454 Casull. That way you have the option of running something super heavy in the revolver but can still use .45 Long Colt in both. I'm full of great ideas, just ask :)

August 2, 2003, 01:19 AM
That is a good idea there, schapman43! I'd go w/ door #3 ;)

six 4 sure
August 2, 2003, 02:06 AM
I'd go with the Rossie Puma .454 lever-gun (Win 92 repo) and the .454 Super Redhawk.


August 2, 2003, 04:08 AM
Got both combinations of .44mag revolver/.44mag Lever action and .45 LC revolver/.45LC lever action.

For raw power, the .45LC in a Ruger, using hot handloads beats the .44mag six ways from Sunday.

In the lever action is vice versa. The .45LC doesn't surpass the .44mag by much @ all. The main shortcoming of the .45LC in the lever actions is the lazy rate of twist they use ,,,something like 1 in 39(?) inches. Way too slow to properly stabilize a bullet heavier than 250- 265 gr.

Also, the .45LC rim is a bit skimpy, and I've heard enough stories about people tearing the rim off, that I have to believe they have some merit.

trying to come up with one load that splits the difference and works as best as possible out of both. Yessiree! I had a lot of fun doing that with both calibers! I came to the conclusion that I like the .44mag just a bit more from a performance standpoint, but I like the .45LC better from a nostalgic standpoint. Jus' sumpthin' 'bout takin' a 120year old plus cartridge and pushing it to levels that our great-grandfathers would shake their heads at, beats the old "Glad I'm old and gonna die soon" blues I get from watching the evening news. ;)

August 2, 2003, 07:41 AM
I have the combo of Redhawk/5½" barrel and Marlin 1894C/20" barrel in .44 Magnum. Highly recommended.

I agree with Hal on the risk of the .45 Colt's skimpy rim giving extraction problems in a lever-action carbine or rifle: I've seen this several times. (Georgia Arms brass has a slightly wider, thicker rim to help avoid this problem.) I've seen the same thing with .45 Colt brass in S&W side-eject revolvers: now and again a rim can slip under the star, with predictable results. For this reason, I prefer .45 Colt in SA revolvers only, where rim thickness isn't a factor.

August 2, 2003, 10:29 AM
My first DA revolver was a SRH in .454, mainly because it would take my .45 Colts. I added a 625 Mountain Gun - great fun piece. I have only a 5.5" SS Bisley SA .45 now - but it will take a load and a half, if needed. My lever gun is a M1892 rifle from Puma (Rossi). The SS 24" octagon barrel is neat - the easily added (It came pre-drilled & tapped.) Marble's tang sight is great. Wimpy 250gr LRNFP 'cowboy' loads, ~750-800 fps in my handguns, nearly break 1,000 fps in the M1892. I can ring 4" x 10" plates at 110yd with it, too.

If I wanted the ultimate pair, perhaps it would be the Puma .454 carbine (20") and my SRH .454. Right now, that SRH with a 2X28mm Weaver H2 is my ultimate long range twanger - very high power and accurate to 100+ yd. That Puma 24" is great at that range, but the SRH groups better - but only with the high speed .454's (twist rate, again!).


August 3, 2003, 06:44 PM
That 44 marlin lever gun would go well with a 44 mag Vaquero or Bisley.

And call me crazy, but hot loading a 45 that your Ruger can handle still might blow up your lever gun. And you have to be much more careful about where you get your brass.

Dad's got a 300 gr .44 mag load that will scare most mortals (does anyone make a 300 gr 45 cal bullet) Works very well out of a rifle too.

J Miller
August 4, 2003, 02:08 AM
I have the .45 Colt combo. A S&W 25-5 and a OM Ruger BH, with both a Win 94 Trapper and a Rossi Puma. I have no experiance with a .44 combo like this but wouldn't knock it.

As for the small rims on the .45 Colt round this is a subject that started with the old ballon head cases, but really has no bearing on modern cases.
In the almost 30 years I have been loading the .45 Colt I have pulled the rims off of exactly two, thats 2 old nickled REM-UMC ballon head cases.
I have never pulled the rim of a modern web head .45 Colt case, ever!

As for feeding problems with the .45 Colt in lever guns I have had a Marlin, and now have Winchester and a Rossi. The Win and Marlin fed and extracted fine from the factory. The Rossi needed some help, but now it too feeds and extracts the .45 Colt with it's little rims (even ballon heads) with no problems at all. I consider it a moot subject.

With either round you can load them up or down to suit yourself. There is more .44 mag ammo available, than +P .45 Colt ammo, but if you do load your own, that is irrelivent.

August 6, 2003, 09:19 PM
Just thought I'd let you guys know I ended up with a Stainless Vaquero 7.5 inch and a Marlin 1894S (used) both in .44 mag. I'm quit pleased so far. I'll have some dies next week and start loadin'. Thanks for the advice.

August 6, 2003, 09:34 PM
Congrats. That should be fun. Now the question is, what kind of sights do you want on that Lever???

August 6, 2003, 10:47 PM
I'm not to keen on the stock hooded dealies on it now. I'm thinking a peep of one sort or another. Any recomendations? And where a good place to look? Brownells?

August 7, 2003, 12:20 AM
I can't imagine a lever action much handier than the Marlin 1894. It is much more compact than the Winchester 94. I have a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag with a 16 1/2" barrel and I LOVE IT.

I went with the 44 Mag combo but I chose the Dan Wesson because it is just as strong as the Super Redhawk and Dan Wessons are also more accurate out of the box and you can interchange barrels from 4" through 10" in 2" increments.

I would go with the 44 as opposed to the 45 or go to the 454 combo if you need more power. That 44 combo is hard to beat though for the uses you state.

Roll Tide

August 7, 2003, 12:43 AM
I've read (gunblast.com?) that the Puma levergun can't handle hot 454 loads. The autor stated he could run much hotter loads out of his revolver. I don't remember the reason he gave for the Puma not handling the hotter loads, but it sounded reasonable at the time. I would certainly think factory 300 xtp's should be fine however. I have a SRH and would like a 454 carbine to go with it. This would be a great pig combo.

August 7, 2003, 11:36 AM
I have receiver sights on my Levers and like them a lot. Brownells should have a few to look at. XS sight systems (the old Ashley Outdoors), Lyman, Wiliams, and some others make pretty good sights. I have a 16" Win Trapper .44 that is pretty good with a William's sight on it.

EDITED: And yup, I team my Trapper up with a 4" M29; some comfortable 240's in the revolver, and stout 300's in the carbine. Good handloaded Specials are also a part of the .44's charm. :)

Gila Jorge
August 7, 2003, 05:51 PM
I acquired Williams receiver sights for my Win 94 and 71.
Thinking about doing the same for my three Marlins,,,,a 95 in
45-70; a 94 in 44 mag; and, a 39a in 22. Love them all. Also
carry Rugers in 44 mag both Vaqueros and Super Blackhawks. Have
Smith Mtn Gun ib 44mag and a 5inc 629 Classic in 5 inch barrel for
the heavier stuff. Really like the Marlin...so does the wife...its
the only way she is comfortale shooting 44s. And I have no problem
with shooting Specials in either. You made a good choice.

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