.44RM vs. .45Colt


September 3, 2008, 07:12 PM
I am thinking of getting a revolver to serve as back-up while hunting, or even possibly as a hunting pistol.

While out hunting, hiking, berry picking, ...etc....there is the distinct possibility of running into black bear and/or moose. Moose can be very nasty, especially during the fall/rut.

So I must choose between 44RM and 45Colt.

I am partial to the 45Colt as I like the bigger bullet.

I like the idea of the 44RM, because I also hunt with a 444Marlin, and can use the same bullets when loading.

What say you?

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September 3, 2008, 08:31 PM
There are so many differant types of revolvers that are chambered in both rounds,and there are some semi custom rounds that I like better. its a personal choice, DA/SA, weight that you want to carry. Barrel length etc.
Would you practice DA shooting? do you have any other pistols?

September 3, 2008, 08:35 PM
I have both, but can only afford the 45 because I cast and reload. Also you can find 44 ammunition almost anywhere, not so much the 45. And the 45 you find in most stores is "Cowboy", not good for hunting. As much as I like the 45, if you desire versatility stick with the 44.

Rio Laxas
September 3, 2008, 08:41 PM
The stout .45 Colt loadings are great and I would carry them in Redhawk over a .44 mag any day, but I chose the 44 mag simply because of ammo availability.

If you have to choose one, go with 44 mag.

Though I reload, I still like to be able to get it at almost any place that sells ammo. Being able to use the same bullets for your 444 marlin is a huge plus for your situation.

September 3, 2008, 08:57 PM
I voted .45 Colt since it will do everything the .44 will do and you get the bigger bullets you like. I agree that the .44 would be handy for using the same bullets you're buying for your .444 loads, so if you feel more strongly in that direction you can't really go wrong, as either way you're covered. If you're not especially interested in loading for the .45 then just get the .44.

My $.0013 Canadian.


September 3, 2008, 09:03 PM
"...between 44RM and 45Colt..." The former is big bullets going fast. The latter big bullets going slow. Big bullets going fast are better for hunting.
"...back-up while hunting..." You have a rifle? A big bore handgun is just more weight to lug around.
You don't want to try and dissuade Bullwinkle with any handgun when he's PO'd.

September 3, 2008, 10:11 PM
If you're talking .45 Colt in anything other than a Ruger, then no, it's a crappy self defense round against large animals. If you ARE shooting a Ruger, then .45 Colt +P or "Ruger only" loads would be a great choice.

On the other hand, .44 Mag is nice because ammo is cheaper and easier to find, though, still costs 2 arms and 3 legs.

September 3, 2008, 10:14 PM
Man i just love my 45 Colt. i just cant get enough of it. so ya i reload and cast also so for me its a win win situation. even loaded up some black powder rounds in 45 colt. Wow they are fun to shoot

September 3, 2008, 10:23 PM
Since you said you reload (implied it, anyway) I voted .45 Colt. You get a considerably larger and somewhat heavier bullet, and in a Ruger Blackhawk or Redhawk (or Colt Anaconda) you can match .44 magnum ballistics with those bigger bullets but at 10000 psi less pressure. A new Vaquero or a S&W mountain gun (can't remember the model number but I think it's 25 or 625) is a lot more packable but you'll need to keep it down to 1000-1100 fps with 250-ish grain bullets.

If you don't reload, by all means get the .44Mag.

September 3, 2008, 10:28 PM
get a .454 Casull and shoot .45 LC in it (except when you want to kill grizzlies).

September 3, 2008, 11:23 PM
If you don't reload, by all means get the .44Mag.

I reload and I believe 44 magnum does just fine. You can ask the Black tail Deer I shot in 2006 and the Black Bear I shot last year with my S&W 629. :D

Both guns will be fine for what ever you want to do.

September 4, 2008, 05:51 AM
You have a rifle? A big bore handgun is just more weight to lug around.
You don't want to try and dissuade Bullwinkle with any handgun when he's PO'd.

I should have stated that I also bowhunt. When doing so I carry a 1911 in 45ACP. It's not perfect for the task, but it beats nothing.

At this point I'm leaning toward the 44RM. I do reload. Currently I use 265 grain Hornady XTP FP's in the 444Marlin. I would plan on the same bullets for the 44RM.

September 4, 2008, 06:04 AM
I reloaded first for my favorite, the .45 Colt. My idea of a woods stomper here, in C.A., is a 625MG so chambered. I don't know where you hail, so I don't know what you might face, so the added hp of a .44 Magnum hunting load, available at even Wally World, seems a better choice. There is always the commonality of bullets with your long gun. Besides, my 2 oz heavier 4" 629 sports the .500 Magnum grips, making it a better choice for possible rapid follow-ups. Now I must go apologize to my 625MGs...


September 4, 2008, 06:27 AM
"...between 44RM and 45Colt..." The former is big bullets going fast. The latter big bullets going slow. Big bullets going fast are better for hunting.

Not according to John Linebaugh ...

"The 250 gr. Hornady JHP in the .45 outran the 250 gr. Keith a bit [in the .44 Mag] and the pressures are about the same. So what? And the 315/318 gr. slugs are running practically identical velocities with the .44 only showing 4,000 more psi. So what? Now look at the pressure barrels for each caliber.

The .44 Magnum pressure barrel in the above test was 10" in length.

The .45 Colt pressure barrel in the above test was 5 1/2" in length.

Whatever the .44 Magnum will do, the .45 Colt will do with roughly 1/2 the barrel length, pressures being nearly identical. From the limited pressure testing we have done, we have found that whatever the .44 Magnum will do, the .45 Colt will duplicate with about 5,000 psi less pressure. This is with standard bullet weights. As the slugs get heavier the gap widens."

Taken from John Linebaugh's web site. (http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/heavyweight_bullets.htm)

I have a S&W 629 and will be picking up a Ruger KRH-45-4 next week. The 629 is a great revolver but I don't think I'll be using it much once the Ruger gets here. I can shoot a 300 grain cast bullet at 1200 fps in .45 Colt at about 5,000 CUP less than a .44 Magnum. As John says, once you start shooting 350 grain bullets, the pressure difference (for the same velocity) is even higher.

My vote's for a .45 Colt particularly since you reload.


September 4, 2008, 07:40 AM
I voted 44 because many years ago I ran into accuracy issues with a Colt 45 due to chamber throat dimensions ( a still lingering issue based on posts), and I jumped on the 44 Special/44Magnum bandwagon. If you handload and are willing and able to correct any issues that come up, the 45 has more ultimate umph potential, but I am satisfied. I load some ground pounders, but mostly plink with fairly mild 44 Specials for fun.

Master Blaster
September 4, 2008, 08:47 AM
Those ruger only .45 colt loads are for the Blackhawk, NOT the Redhawk.
Get a .44 mag you have a choice of lots of factory loads at different power levels, and wide ammo availibility, and ther is no doubt that the gun is designed to take the pressure, so their is no need to stretch the envelope.


September 4, 2008, 09:16 AM
If you already own a 1911 in 45 acp. Get a 460 Rowland barrel. Your half way there.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 4, 2008, 10:18 AM
assuming you mean .44 rem mag (well actually it doesn't matter) - the answer is .45 Colt!

September 4, 2008, 12:07 PM
Why wouldn't .45 colt heavy loads work in a Redhawk? IIRC, that's the stronger of the two anyhow, and since it's normally in .44mag anyway, I guess I just don't get the difference?

Phil DeGraves
September 4, 2008, 12:42 PM
Either one will suffice. I prefer the .44.

September 4, 2008, 12:50 PM
Since you reload, or appear to, I went .45 Colt. The .44 can do NOTHING I can't do with my Blackhawk at less pressure and with a bigger bullet. I can't put my rounds through a Smith and Wesson safely, but I like single actions in the field and the Blackhawk is one of the most accurate revolvers I've ever owned. If I preferred DA guns, I'd get a Redhawk, just as strong and, yes, you can put "Ruger only" loads through a Redhawk. OR, you could get an Alaskan in .454 Casull. You could be well served by a .44 in a Smith Mountain Gun, though. I mean, it's sort of personal preference. The .45 Colt is not really superior in any way to the .44 Mag, I just like my .45 Blackhawk best.

September 4, 2008, 03:59 PM
Those ruger only .45 colt loads are for the Blackhawk, NOT the Redhawk.

Hmmm... Buffalo Bore's website seems to disagree. I'd like to see some more detail on this. The Buffalo Bore website states -

These Heavy .45 Colt +P loads are safe in all LARGE FRAME Ruger revolvers.
(includes Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, all pre-2005 Vaquero, Bisley, Redhawk)

These Heavy .45 Colt +P loads are NOT intended for the New Model Vaquero (small frame).

It's not clear on post-2005 Redhawks but I'm not aware of any change made to them, only the Vaquero. Also the second sentence does not include the Redhawk in the warning. Anyone have any further data on this?


September 4, 2008, 04:12 PM
BTW, I have both the 625 Mountain Gun and the Bisley Vaquero in .45 Colt. I can shoot the more powerful stuff with the Vaquero and the 625 with heavy standard loads that should take care of most problems in the lower 48. I just prefer the .45 Colt over the .44. It makes less of a fuss.


September 4, 2008, 04:39 PM
A Blackhawk in either 45 Colt or 44 Mag would make a dandy back up piece IMHO. Relatively light and dainty compared to their double action kin and can handle the heavy hunting loads with the best of them.

September 4, 2008, 05:21 PM
Wow, opinions are running neck-and-neck on this poll.

It is giving me a lot to think about. I may have to get a large Ruger in each caliber.

September 4, 2008, 05:38 PM
I would liekly go with a .45 colt in a ruger redhawk 4" . because i allready have a Super redhawk in .454 I can use the same dies and bullets ! But if I didnt handload I would get the .44 mag because there is more variety commonly availablein ammo!

September 4, 2008, 05:47 PM
I personally prefer the 45 Colt, especially with 250-300 gr. hardcast bullets, however if you need ammo and you don't have any, it is very difficult to find good 45 Colt loads in many smaller towns and remote locations. That may cause me to lean towards the 44 in some applications.

The 44 mag seems to available in loads that will suffice almost everywhere. I prefer the heavy loads for both calibers in my Blackhawks, but I do not like them in most DA revolvers I have fired.

Either caliber will do the job on most game in the lower 48 states. I personally have taken two elk with a 44 mag and several mule deer. I have also taken one moose, several deer, a couple of antelope, a black bear and a large mountain lion with a 45 Colt. I would guarantee none of these animals knew the difference between the 44 and the 45.

My only experience with a Wyoming Grizzly was when we both agreed to go in opposite directions. I have no idea if either caliber would have done the job. If I had been carrying my 44 mag rifle I would have felt more comfortable because of the extra horse power a rifle gives, but I don't go into that country any longer without my heavy rifle and my handgun.

September 4, 2008, 05:55 PM
well...last year about this time I got an itch for a large bore single action revolver (watching too many cowboy movies); at that time I wasn't aware of the 'restrictions' that Colt SAA clones had to be used with...basically no hot rod hunting or hot defense loads; I bought a nice NIB Uberti Cattleman Millenium in .45 Colt since it was small, light, and handy; basically I only had cowboy loads (way anemic), some factory hollowpoint loads (anemic), and Remington 225gr lswc loads (getting close, but not quite) to shoot; fast forward to this year:

that .45 Colt is gone & I currently own two different .44 Rem mag handguns:

a late model S&W 629 PowerPort & a 1976 vintage Ruger Super Blackhawk

almost everyone in the hunting camp owns a .44 mag...the damned versatility & availablilty of loads just blew most of us away (pardon the pun)

September 4, 2008, 06:54 PM
Those ruger only .45 colt loads are for the Blackhawk, NOT the Redhawk.
Is that why the Redhawk is also chambered in .454 Casull?:banghead:

September 4, 2008, 09:55 PM
Moose is totally different. You want the biggest slug you got that can exit the barrel at 1100 fps or better with. That means the .45 colt(ruger or equivalent). You can get a 325+ grain hardcast up to this level with the colt. The colt is simply a better cartridge. Just like the .44 mag is better than the .41 mag and .41 better than .357 mag.

September 4, 2008, 10:00 PM
Although I have (and shoot) both calibers, my vote went to .45 Colt. My favorite hog/deer handguns are a 5.5" Ruger Bisley and 4.5" Mod 97 FA in .45 Colt.
I think the "N frame" S&W's (44 mag.) are more elegant, but find them more difficult to shoot accurately.

September 5, 2008, 05:06 AM
Just as the poll, I'm beginning to side with the 45Colt.

Next is to decide which revolver to do this with. I think I'll start a poll for that later this weekend.

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