45 vs 44 six gun


September 18, 2008, 10:30 AM
thinking a traditional SAA type in 45 or 44 would be the best general idea for me. Just wondering what ones are going to offer the best accuracy and lowness of price these days. Looking at uberti colt cartridge conversions as well.
Just not interested in paying 600 for something that needs to have 300 in custom work so it can hit a barn door at 50 feet. purpose is plinking, personal defense, and deer hunting and smaller stuff as well.

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September 18, 2008, 10:43 AM
Ruger Blackhawk in cal of your choice.

SOME states require a minimum 5" barrel for modern handgun hunting (Ohio is one of those). Can carry the new Blackhawks & Vaqueros 6-up, where as the non-safety-converted Old Model was only loaded w/5 rounds, hammer on empty chamber.

Harve Curry
September 18, 2008, 10:49 AM
As to calibers both 45 Colt and 44 special are good choices with strong durable brass that have carbide reloading dies available for them.
The 44 WCF or 44-40 has a thin walled taper case and can also give excellent accuracy. I started with that cartridge and now enjoy the 44spl because of the ease of reloading it and case life.On the 45 vs 44spl tha cylinder wall thickness, especially at the notches is thin on a 45 Colt, so 44 spl gets the nod there.

Every maker has lemons out there. Uberti makes some good copies, so does Pietta, jaeger.
German made Saur had some good 45 SAA to. You might find one at a gun show or used gun store.
USA made is COLT, RUGER, USFA and others now to.
Colt is about $1200. You can almost buy three Rugers for that. I am a COLT shooter. That said I think the best your money can buy is a RUGER Blackhawk with adjustable sights or the new Vaquero with traditional SAA fixed sights. The new ones are on a smaller frame, handier to carry, but still larger and stronegr then a COLT SAA size gun. So either cartrideg would be fine in a Ruger. Also the Ruger 44 will be 44 magnum, allowing you to shoot both specials and magnums.
Hope this helps.

September 18, 2008, 10:49 AM
hi Bezoar,,while i like 44's there is absolutely nothing wrong with a 45

in fact i think if i were looking for some thing like you are talking about maybe a 454

you would have the 454 for the top end and the 45LC for the middle of the road and you could load 45 schofield for plinking loads

reloading for all would be the best of everything,,,a really hard hitter and a mild to soft plinker

just a thought


cortez kid
September 18, 2008, 10:55 AM
Probably a few things to consider. You are describing a multi use for the gun. Plinking and hunting. As far as hunting, I'm not all that sure a clone would be heavy enough. I know that any animal can be put down with a rock if thrown right, but you probably should have some fire power behind you. I would say the "old" model New Vaquero would give you the platform for fire power and keep the look of a classic. Other than that for single action shooting, whether plinking or hunting, it's hard to beat a BlackHawk. .44 or .45. As a side note. All of my Rugers have been tack drivers straight out of the box.

September 18, 2008, 02:09 PM
Many SAA clones and knockoffs are capable of putting one into the vitals at 50 yards or less. Adjustable sights might give you a bit more flexability than the standard type, but aren't really neccessary if you spend the time in hitting a target(many people use standard paper dinner plates) that approximates the vitals at known and unknown distances less than 50 yards.
Standard velocity .45 colt will be fine if you have a proper bullet design(roundnose not preferred). Standard .44 special fare is not so great, you should either handload or go for something offered by the smaller companies such as Buffalo Bore or CorBon.
Either of these cartridges, with a good bullet, will be enough for all your needs if you keep them in the 900-1000 fps range.

September 19, 2008, 05:30 AM
Either of these cartridges, with a good bullet, will be enough for all your needs if you keep them in the 900-1000 fps range.

+1. There are heavier bullets available in .45 if you feel the need for them - assuming that your cylinder is long enough to utilize them. I am a fan of the Ruger Blackhawk in both calibers, and own more than one of each. I also own an older Redhawk in .45 Colt, but that's another story entirely.

The Rugers are built to withstand constant use of warm handloads, although you can wear out any gun if you try hard enough. One potential downside with Rugers in .45 is that they have had a tendency for several years to ream their cylinder throats too small - .450" and smaller. I'm told that they have remedied that, but it is still worthwhile to check them - and correct them, if necessary. Accuracy will suffer if you don't, especially with cast bullets.

The Cylindersmith will ream chamber throats for an eminently reasonable fee, with fast turn-around if needed. www.cylindersmith.com

September 19, 2008, 07:22 AM
Get a Ruger, it makes an Uberti look like a door stop. Made for hotter loads, better accuracy, more aftermarket parts, and generally cheaper to buy to begin with. .44 Mag is cheaper to feed, but .45 Colt can be more fun...if you reload.

Don't buy a clone other than a Ruger in .45 Colt, as you will be limiting yourself to some VERY weak rounds at standard .45 Colt pressure.

September 19, 2008, 09:03 AM
What ever you do, don't buy a 'Colt SAA' original or clone and shoot hot/heavy loads. They are unsafe and will not handle the extra pressure. :what: Shoot only factory loads in any SAA, Colt or clone.

If you want to shoot anything with more punch, then get a Ruger!!!!!;) They will handle anything (except 454 Casull pressures of course!!) you wish to shoot in them. If you don't reload and want less expensive way of shooting, then I might suggest one in 44 caliber that will shoot both magnums and specials. However, I personally like and only purchase 45Colt revolvers. Bigger holes.......Remember, the 44 is really a 43 (.429) and the 45 is a true 45 (.452)!!!!!

This is one of the things that swayed me to the 45Colt:


Another thing is what none other than Elmer Keith said in his 'Sixguns' book...he says that if he only had one gun, he wouldn't hesitate with the 45Colt...That is a paraphrase, but is the general idea...:D:D:D

Kelly (Cohibra45)

September 19, 2008, 09:15 AM
Get a Ruger, it makes an Uberti look like a door stop.
I wouldn't go that far, but it's the better option if shootability COMPLETELY trumps authenticity. I was [and still am] considering a single action revolver. However my motivation is the authentic single action experience. I'm not looking to shoot proof loads, compete or carry it as a defensive firearm. I just want to have a single action which works the same way as a Colt SAA. That just ISN'T a Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk or Vaquero.

When I finally get a single action revolver it'll almost definitely be a Cimarron in .38/.357 or .44 Special.

September 19, 2008, 09:34 AM
When you said hunting, you eliminated all single actions other than Ruger and Freedom Arms IMHO. The '73 replicas are cowboy's toys. Blackhawks are serious shooters and working guns. You'll appreciate the adjustable sights of the Blackhawk when switching from plinker loads to full on hunting loads, too.

Oh, skip the .44 and get the .45. :D A .44 mag Super Blackhawk would make a decent hunting gun, of course, but my 4 5/8" Blackhawk in .45 Colt is real handy on the belt when doing other ourdoor things like hiking or working around my place.

September 19, 2008, 09:38 AM
Decisions :banghead: - Decisions :banghead: - Decisions :banghead:- Why not buy one of each!!!:)

Harve Curry
September 19, 2008, 10:09 AM
Here's mine, With front sight increments copied from Elmer Keith's book SIXGUNS.
With 200gr & Unique I've shot 6 into 8" group with it at 100 yards.. With 4gr Bullseye shoots to the same point of aim and makes a nice plinking load. Elmer knew that to.
The new RUGER 50th Anniversary model makes me want one.
I notice when I shoot 45's and then a 44, the 44 has a flatter trajectory then a 45, both with same bullet weight and comparable velocity.

September 19, 2008, 11:52 AM
Another thing is what none other than Elmer Keith said in his 'Sixguns' book...he says that if he only had one gun, he wouldn't hesitate with the 45Colt...That is a paraphrase, but is the general idea...

He also stipulated the old blackpowder load for the 45 LC.

I would think smokeless equivalents would be okay also.

Actually, not bad ballistics and gives complete penetration on white tailed deer. I've used a clone with black powder and 260 SWC bullets and gotten complete pentration through both shoulders. The lead bullet was cast with 20/1 (lead/tin) alloy.

No real need to hot rod the old cartridge unless you want to, but then get the Ruger.

The other benefits of a SAA or clone is the old guns weighs considerably less than a Ruger. I enjoy the weight savings.

I am getting ready to test the Scovill SWC and black powder. Should be more of a good thing.

September 20, 2008, 01:53 AM
45 255gr bullet 7.5" bbl 35gr bp 925fps

44-40 200gr bullet, 1100 fps from period sixgun, now loaded to around 800 fps for CAS shooters. And lighter recoil then 45.
(same paper ballistics as the "to powerful" .41 magnum)
44 colt ariginally used 210 gr bullet at 750 fps

Those loads are all for the use of black powder under a cast lead bullet. Most likely a rnfp. And for bp cartridge hunting rifles, a rnfp is the "ideal" bullet.

I admit a modern Ruger is stronger then a SAA, but if im going with a modern design id rather get myself a Raging Bull in 44mag.
However id like to use the biggest possible bullet i can stick in a cartridge case, but not a single company other then ruger will say just how big that bullet is. SO how do you figure out what can fit into the other clones on the market?

September 20, 2008, 02:27 AM
Purists, cover your eyes.

This is the entry level Uberti .45 Colt SAA clone. No fancy bluing, no filigree, but it works fine and is plenty accurate. You can find them around $350

Apologies for the bad picture.

September 20, 2008, 02:55 AM
I recently bought a Bisley Vaquero in .45 Colt. Great revolver and it's quite accurate too...
(BTW, it was only $300 used)


September 20, 2008, 04:00 AM
Here's mine, With front sight increments copied from Elmer Keith's book SIXGUNS.

Harve, that's a BEAUTIFUL looking Colt ... with all that engraving it must have cost a few $$$. Anyway, thanks for showing that incredible revolver ... personally I would LOVE a SAA like that but it'd be chambered in .45 Colt or .44-40.

Bezoar, take a look at the USFA Rodeo from Jim Finch at www.longhunt.com. They're excellent SAA revolvers for around $600 .... I know first hand since I have two of them!! That price includes a bunch of improvements.


Harve Curry
September 20, 2008, 06:15 AM
Thanks 1858. It was $1800 bucks a few years ago. I been carrying it for 2+ years now and it has some blueing wear, but it's mine and I intend to use it. I decided lifes to short to go thru with a plain sixshooter.
I started with a original 44-40 with a cut down barrel, bought it in pieces in a shoe box for $145 at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet in Tucson almost 30 years ago. I got it shootin and used it for 10 years, still have it.
Kopec fitted a 44spl cyl to it so it will shoot both. I got spoiled with the ease of shooting and loading 44spl. I have shot up to 275gr Kieth SWC at 700 fps and they are accurate.
You can use almost any weight within reason that will chamber. But you will have to adjust the load and accept a lower velocity that is safe for your firearm. 44-40 will be way more finicky using bullets over 210 gr because of the tapered chamber.

September 20, 2008, 07:38 AM
I picked this up last year.accusport ruger bisley in 45 colt.very accurate and was very happy with it right out of the box.it has a good trigger and accurate.I haven't used the 45 acp cylinder yet.


September 20, 2008, 08:27 AM
I'll offer another solution, but first a caution. Ruger has been/is replacing their SA line with 'New Models' and all are not capable of the over-rated loads of previous models. The Redhawk, available now in both .44 Magnum and .45 Colt, is as 'capable' as earlier models.

I would offer for your consideration the two S&Ws of mine pictured below, a current 629-6 in .44 Magnum, sporting the S&W .500 Magnum monogrip ($35 from S&W Accessories) for recoil control, and the 625 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt sporting Ahrends square conversion cocobolo finger-grooved stocks ($66 from Ahrends, inc s/h.). The 625MG is in and out of production - check dealer stock. I think Lipsey's, a distributor, had a batch made for them.


Either will run from $650-$700 new at a dealer. The only improvement, post break-in, is perhaps a spring change. S&W also has their 'Master Trigger Job', a true bargain - for <$200, express handling & inc s/h. They will both breakin to have fine SA triggers - and decent DA triggers. Believe me, they both make great plinkers - and great protectors. They will be fine for hunting - if 4" handguns are legal in your state. The 6" 629 looks the same, except for the barrel length, if you need more barrel.

As to ammo... if it comes in a commercial box and states .44 Magnum, expect a long life in your 629; same with .45 Colt and the 625MG. Over loads - and your neighbor's reloads - should be avoided. If the normal caliber loadings aren't enough, get a hotter caliber.

The .44 Magnum will also chamber .44 Specials and .44 Russians, although you need to clean the chambers before going back to .44 Magnums. The Magnums are available on Sundays at Wally World; the Specials are available at 'Academy Sports' locally, too. For .45 Colts, you need to visit a gun store. The MG will also chamber .45 Schofields, if you can find them. I reload... and have all of them.

Now, if it has to be a SAA clone - get a Uberti - or, if you can swing it, a US Firearms 'Rodeo' is better than a Colt, albeit in a plain/utilitarian finish. Certainly less expensive... just over half!


Harve Curry
September 20, 2008, 11:26 AM
"Now, if it has to be a SAA clone - get a Uberti - or, if you can swing it, a US Firearms 'Rodeo' is better than a Colt, albeit in a plain/utilitarian finish. Certainly less expensive... just over half!"

Only the last part of that statement is true. Where do people come up with this stuff?
The 3rd gen COLTs made now by the Colt Custom shop are some of the finest out there, they are made in America hand fitted by Americans, and they shoot.
Read the directions on a Cimmaron Uberti, nice guns, but they are NOT garuanteed to shoot to point of aim. Mine shot 18" left with anything I put in it at a distance of 20 yards. Sent it back twice and all they did was bend the front sight till the blueing cracked. I still have it, now there's a gun that sits in the safe.

September 20, 2008, 11:54 AM
Blackhawks don't have to be ugly and they sure work. For a working gun, I really prefer an adjustable rear sight.



Harve Curry
September 20, 2008, 12:18 PM
Very nice.

September 20, 2008, 12:26 PM
Very nice.


Well, I'd love to have a Colt. If I had one as pretty as yours, I don't know if I'd wanna carry it, LOL. Sorta like hunting with a fine 30K dollar side by side. I'd danged sure shoot it, though! Guns ain't made to look at. :D Sure easy on the eyes when it looks like that, though.

My grandpa had a turn of the century Colt that an uncle had traded a Galveston cop out of way back in the 20s. He traded it for the M10 Smith even up that I have now in the mid 60s. :banghead: God, what I'd give to have that gun. LOL M10s, hell, I could buy a dozen for what that Colt would be worth.

September 20, 2008, 12:27 PM

Reread my last sentence... the US Firearms Rodeo is built - using CNC equipment - 'under the blue dome' - in Hartford (Colt's old plant!) - to the same standards as their other firearms. It is acknowledged to be a finer version of the Colt SAA than even Colt's current fare. My sentence supports that statement. The Uberti is a fine piece, too - I never said it was equivalent to a Colt SAA. But, it is easily as good as Colt's 'entry' to the CAS crowd of a few years back - their 'Cowboy' model. Aldo Uberti has made replica firearms for nearly half a century - and uses the latest technology (CNC equipment, etc. Italy is also home to some fine manufacturing equipment production.), too. If you personally had a bad example, it should have gone back via the dealer you purchased it from... 18" is well out of spec even for a Ruger Vaquero (TIC)!

I have shot several different examples of Uberti's - and a USFA Rodeo - and several Colts. Working as a public range RO had some benefits. I have owned an assortment of Rugers - several Vaqueros, too - over the years. I am in a SA-free home now. If that changes, it will be by the addition of a USFA or Uberti revolver - nothing else.


September 20, 2008, 12:31 PM
If you intend to hunt, I would go with a Super Blackhawk. My preference is .44M, due to ammo availibiliy and cost, but a .45 Colt is a fine weapon.
If you go with a .45 Colt, go with the Ruger Blawkhawk's. They have adjustable sights and will shoot heavier loads than the 'cowboy' style frames.
The Blackhawk in either .44M or .45 Colt are built on a larger frame than the the Colt's , Ruger Vaquero's and the other replicas.

September 20, 2008, 12:33 PM
Um, Stainz, redirect your ire. I don't believe I was arguing with you since I have no knowledge of the subject of which you speak. :D I try not to argue a point I know absolutely nothing about. I've never actually owned a Colt or clone of a colt. Don't mean I wont someday. I did have a 51 Navy replica once, brass frame, shot loose, of course. LOL

Oh, I'm Texan. There are no "single action free" homes in Texas, not among RESPECTABLE Texans. :neener:

Oh, wait, you said HC, not MC. Hmm, I guess I'm the one that can't read. ROFL!

Harve Curry
September 20, 2008, 02:24 PM
USFA makes some fine all American made firearms and I hope to have some someday. They have a new factory and it's not under the Colt Blue Dome where they started in 1993. About 2003 they got a new factory building.

September 23, 2008, 12:51 AM
Geez, McG...

That Blackhawk is purty 'nuff to wear to Church-meetin' !


Harley Quinn
September 23, 2008, 01:33 PM
The caliber of either are both good, some would say the 45/44 has an advantage, lol. The Handgun you want is up to you, similar to the caliber...

Have gotten plenty of opinions, now go and do some real research and test them, handle the various ones mentioned.

More opinions on the ammo...



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