44 special, or 45 long colt?


January 26, 2009, 04:38 PM
if you were going to buy a new revolver, and you wanted a big bore. would you buy a 44 special, or 45 long colt? and, why?

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January 26, 2009, 04:56 PM
I've been torn between those two (including the 44mag) now for quite some time... I'm anxious to see how the poll turns out... I voted 45LC just "cause".

January 26, 2009, 05:45 PM
That is a tough one. What do you want to do with it?

.44 Spl., then .45 Colt.

I have all three. .44 Spl., .44 Mag, .45 Colt.

My .44 Spl 696 and my .44 Mag Redhawk would outlast the others I think, I think.

January 26, 2009, 05:57 PM
ACP, moonclips are awesome.

Vern Humphrey
January 26, 2009, 06:05 PM
I have three .45 Colts, two Rugers and a Colt New Service.

The .45 Colt in standard loadings will out do standard .44 Special loadings. In hotter loads in Rugers it will slightly shade the .44 Magnum.

January 26, 2009, 06:12 PM
I have both already, so if I wanted another one of either it would depend on the make and model, probably both in models different than I already have.

Sato Ord
January 26, 2009, 06:40 PM
You missed one: Why not both.

Personally I'd buy a nice Redhawk in .44 mag which I can load specials in for SD, and get a .45 LC because I really like them.

As for buying a .44 special, the only one I can find locally is a Charter Arms Bull Dog, and personally I'd just as soon pay the extra for the magnum and be able to shoot specials when I want. Then I'd have the magnum for those pesky bears that everyone keeps talking about.:evil:

January 26, 2009, 06:46 PM
''...45 ACP, moonclips are awesome...''

Me too,Kentucky!I love my 1917 S&W!

January 26, 2009, 07:01 PM
I vote for .44 Special. I'm not sure what .45 Long Colt even is. :p

Vern Humphrey
January 26, 2009, 07:22 PM
I'm not sure what .45 Long Colt even is.
It's a term used to start arguments amongst gun writers.;)

January 26, 2009, 07:32 PM
You missed one: Why not both.

actually, you can vote for both, you just have to do it seperatly.

January 26, 2009, 08:16 PM
I want a .44 Special in the worst way. I'm considering an S&W M-24 snubbie.

January 26, 2009, 09:47 PM
S&W model 624 44 Special...

January 26, 2009, 10:02 PM
As tempting as a .460 (that would also shoot .454 Casull and .45 Colt) is, I would most likely go with a .44 Magnum.

January 26, 2009, 10:03 PM
I am a huge fan of .44 specials.
I have a taurus M445 snubby, and am trading a S&W M21 4" thunder ranch for a 629 2.5"er with fixed sights.
It will be carried with specials 90% of the time.


January 26, 2009, 10:07 PM
I've got a Ruger .45 Colt. I can almost approach a .44 Mag with it.

That's all the power I need. ;)

Harve Curry
January 26, 2009, 10:37 PM
I favor the 44spl over the 45 Colt because the size guns it comes in have more steel around the smaller 44 case. You can shoot close to the same weight bullets. The 44spl case is strong and efficient size.

Kind of Blued
January 26, 2009, 11:16 PM
I'd first decide if I wanted a single-action or double-action revolver. That would narrow my choices down by 90-something percent.

January 26, 2009, 11:37 PM
What do you want to do with it?

Exactly. If you want it for 4 legged critters you go 45LC, if for 2 legged either is fine. I'd like a 4" GP-100 in 44 sp with a 5-hole cylinder, just because.

.38 Special
January 26, 2009, 11:47 PM
Yes indeed, intended purpose matters.

.44 Special is a great cartridge in a great gun, for plinking, defense (against 2 legged predators), hunting up to to typical deer-sized game, and just general packing, carrying, and woods-loafing -- if you handload. If you don't, it's just not a very versatile cartridge.

.45 Colt is good for most of the above, although it's hard to find a gun as small as the smallest available for the .44 Special. OTOH, the .45 is a more versatile cartridge. As has been pointed out, top end loads in a strong gun like the Ruger can essentially duplicate .44 magnum loads. Again, though, it pays to be a handloader: hot Colt loads are available commercially, but I don't know of any that can be considered remotely affordable.

Personally, I'll take the .44, because it's better for what I'd likely use it for these days.

So I think the answer to your question is "whichever one is better for what you want it for". :)

January 26, 2009, 11:47 PM
i got a converted 1858rem to 45 colt(not 21 yet) and that big ol honkin gun is awesome....500 ft/lb energy from a 2.66lb gun an lots of fun....no ejector rod, a pencil works well enough to not justify spending $100+ extra for an ejector rod on a SA. if i need more than 5 shots from that i didnt need a pistol to start with!! easy an cheap to reload, only costs about twice as much as .22 lr to shoot too!

January 27, 2009, 02:49 AM
I voted for the .45 Colt. Why? Just because I like the .45 Colt round and I feel it has more potential than the .44 Special.

January 27, 2009, 03:36 AM
45 colt hands down. For the reloader it is too much fun, awhile back I made a bunch of loads using round ball lead! Not much for accuracy, but the recoil was around zero. At the other end, when I made "bush sidearm" loads with 300gr. hardcast w/gas check they shot easier and more accurate than similar loads in 44mag. From a S&W 629 w/6" and my Ruger with slightly shorter barrel.

January 27, 2009, 03:51 AM

January 27, 2009, 07:34 AM
For a double action revolver I possibly might choose a .44 Sp(or might not) but for a single action the .45 Colt rules.:)

January 28, 2009, 03:43 AM
I've got a Ruger .45 Colt. I can almost approach a .44 Mag with it.

If you read John Linebaugh's pages, he reasons that the .45 Colt can meet and exceed the .44 Magnum with less pressure and less felt recoil. Based on my recent experience, he's absolutely right.

I have three revolvers in .45 Colt and one in .44 Magnum. I plan to add another in .454 Casull/.45 Colt this year. Personally, I consider my two USFA Rodeos to be .45 Colt Specials compared to the Ruger ... I voted for the .45 Colt.


January 28, 2009, 07:56 AM
I'd go 45 Colt, but it's because I already have 45 Colt and plan on reloading same (stuff is en-route).

January 28, 2009, 10:19 PM
After owning three .44Spls, I will say that I really enjoyed the cartridge. Note the use of the past tense.

Anything the .44Spl can do, the .45LC can do better. L-frame Smiths are 5-shot .44Spl. If you want 6 shots, you go to an N-frame. If you go to an N-frame, you can have .45LC, which is a more powerful cartridge in the same size revolver.

Pretty simple decision.

Cocked & Locked
January 28, 2009, 10:23 PM
I'll go for the .45 Colt cartridge...since I gave all my .44 special brass away. :scrutiny:



Harve Curry
January 28, 2009, 11:19 PM
You have to factor in how big and heavy a gun you want to carry. Colt SAA/clones are a handy size to carry. Larger frames can handle hotter/magnum loads in 45 Colt. A Colt SAA size frame cannot.
I think Ruger is the best buy for the money. I think BFR is the best for a magnum SA with great detail paid to assembling an accurate revolver. But I wouldn't want to wear it for very long.

January 29, 2009, 08:58 AM
I have several 44 mags and 45lc. I have an eye out for a M24. I wouldn't mind finding a good deal on a 41mag either.
If I had to have just a single revolver it would be a 44mag, it well shoot 44spl.

January 29, 2009, 11:19 PM
Well, I have nine .45 Colts with plenty of brass and bullets, so I don't reckon I need another one. And since I have the .45's I don't need a .44. So I'd just spend the money on women and whisky.

January 29, 2009, 11:26 PM
Women and whiskey!? Now you're talkin' turkey!!!:evil:

January 30, 2009, 08:13 AM
I would go with a .44 magnum. I can shoot .44 Specials in it for most of my shooting and switch to magnums when I need them.

I do not reload, so all the heavy load .45 LC loads are out. Also, I can buy .44 magnum ammo in any gun store, even in other countries, not so with .45 LC.


Loyalist Dave
January 30, 2009, 08:28 AM
I voted for .45 lc (would've preferred it to have been worded .45 Colt):neener:, as I already have two Vaqueros and a converted Remington 1858 in those calibers. I would like to get my hands on a Taurus 450 5-shot for defense . I also like .44 special, and would like to have a good double action in that caliber, and try .44 Russian through it (just for fun).

BTW I would also like S&W to take the out of production 5-shot 9mm (uses a 5 round circular clip) Model 940, and produce it in a 5-shot .40 S&W (using a circular clip) and call it the Model 1040. As a hammerless, stainless, snubbie, imho it would make a good backup handgun for LE to supplement the semi-auto, and a good defense gun for everybody else.

But that's just me.


January 30, 2009, 08:42 AM
If you read John Linebaugh's pages, he reasons that the .45 Colt can meet and exceed the .44 Magnum with less pressure and less felt recoil. Based on my recent experience, he's absolutely right.

Yes and no.

You can most certainly get hot ammo that will exceed .44 Magnum factory loads. But you can get even hotter .44, also.

When you compare the Tim Sundles max loadings of each, that can be used in off-the-shelf revolvers, you're looking at:

.44 Magnum: 340 grains @ 1478 fps vs. .45 Colt: 325 grains @ 1325 fps.

Don't try this at home, or at least I sure can't find data for how to work up loads like these. I might or might not care to actually shoot either of these loads. And I'm sure the .45s would blow right through the cylinder notches of a SAA.:)

Furthermore, Tim Sundles is the guy who took Linebaugh's reasoning and turned it into real-world cartridges. He created .475 Linebaugh brass.

The reality is that most .45 Colt revolvers, and all production guns, have thinner cylinder walls than a .44 Magnum, even if they're otherwise the same. I'd be willing to subject a Super Blackhawk in .44 to more of these rounds than a Blackhawk in .45.

All of that said, the .45 can certainly be loaded hot enough to do whatever a reasonable person would expect from a .44 Magnum. It's been around for a long time, and it's seen a lot of other cartridges come and go. .45 Colt is proven, to say the least.

However, if what you really want is a maxed-out .44 or a .454, I'd say get one. It'll still beat what you can do with a .45 Colt in the real world, with an affordable gun.

January 30, 2009, 09:38 AM
Personally, I'd get a .44 mag. They are great. Besides, you can shoot .44 special out of them anyways. Of course, .45 LC is good too. Hell, I don't know, they are all good!;)

February 4, 2009, 07:53 AM
well, to be honest, intended purpose is ???? last time i was at the gun shop, they had a ruger 44 mag there, and the stupid thing just will not get out of my mind. the one time i shot a 44 mag, it seemed pretty intense, so if i buy one, i would probably only shoot 44 specials. but i am not absoloutly sold on it. i know the 45 colt has been around forever, like the 45/70. only one thing lets a caliber stay good for long periods of time. usefullness. so that is why i posted. i still have not made my mind up in any direction. but thanks for all the posts. i like the idea of a double action revolver, but to be honest, i can not shoot well in double action, so for me a single action would work just as well. except in the case of being attacked i guess.

February 4, 2009, 11:39 AM
I decided on the .44 Special. My shooting goal is not to push a 300 grain bullet at twice the speed of sound. I'm looking for a cartridge that is fun to reload, accurate, and fun to shoot. I might want to shoot an IDPA match with it just to be different in SSR (at a range where I have a good chance of being able to save most of my brass). I might want to carry it for self-defense. I don't spend a lot of time in the woods, so I'm not worried about large wild animal attacks. I am concerned I might be attacked by a feral dog (or just crazy dog) while working in my yard or out and about. For defense against humans or smaller animals (like a dog), the .44 Special is just fine.

What I really want is a Ruger SP101 with a larger cylinder to accommodate 5 rounds of .44 Special a la Charter Arms Bulldog. However, since that isn't available, I decided on a S&W 21-4 and a Charter Arms Bulldog. I've got both on layaway right now. If the Charter works out, then I'll probably qualify with it and carry it from time to time. If it doesn't, well I've spent more money on guns that didn't work out. The S&W will be for fun shooting, working up .44 Special loads, and perhaps some IDPA.

For my needs, the .44 Special is better. Come to it, I can buy .44 Special at a local gun store. None of the local stores carry .45 Colt ammunition.

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