44 Special or the 45 ACP


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Arizonagunrunner
April 20, 2011, 11:01 AM
This question is not to be a bashing of either caliber. Both are excellent rounds. Both are great stoppers. My question is: What would you prefer to carry and use in a daily carry weapon as a CCW? (3in 44 Special or a 4in 45 ACP). I carry a 44 Special with gold dot blazer in 200grn.
If I carry my ACP, I have it loaded with 230 Hydras.

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CraigC
April 20, 2011, 11:38 AM
Six of one, half a dozen of the other. I carry both, .44Spl in sixguns and .45ACP in 1911's.

roadliner
April 20, 2011, 11:45 AM
I tend to carry my PT145 more than my two 3" 44 specials. I personally find the auto easier to conceal, but either round would do the job.

Cop Bob
April 20, 2011, 12:56 PM
Both are excellent.... It, just like ordering Ice Cream, is a matter of preference.. Both will kill em just as dead... We can argue, ammo availability, load variations,, yada yada..

Both are excellent cartridges.. If you reload, both are even better... Go with what you can be more accurate with and handle, in all aspects, carry, comfort, weight, concealablity.. etc..

Remo223
April 20, 2011, 01:08 PM
Since you can get a 5 shot 44special, but you can't get a 5 shot 45ACP, I would go with the 44special...assuming we are strictly talking about revolvers here, as in 45ACP with moon clips.

Walkalong
April 20, 2011, 01:40 PM
Lets see, chocolate or vanilla. I reckin' I'll take chocolate today, and vanilla tomorrow.

Hard to argue against .45 in moon clips if you expect to need to reload. I am comfortable with either caliber.

Remo223
April 20, 2011, 02:40 PM
^not so fast...easy to argue against an N frame revolver(moon clips or no) if it is for concealed carry

DM~
April 20, 2011, 02:53 PM
^not so fast...easy to argue against an N frame revolver(moon clips or no) if it is for concealed carry


Who says it has to be an "N" frame?

No matter, personally i'd much rather have an "K" frame in .357 Magnum to either one.

DM

oldbear
April 20, 2011, 02:58 PM
As others have stated both are better than decent fight stoppers. But there is a better selection at less cost of .45 acp ammo for sale.

357 Terms
April 20, 2011, 03:01 PM
I like apples, I like oranges, BOTH are very goood!

Remo223
April 20, 2011, 04:13 PM
Who says it has to be an "N" frame?

No matter, personally i'd much rather have an "K" frame in .357 Magnum to either one.

DM
I do.

no such thing as a 45ACP revolver that isn't an N frame or equivalent

DM~
April 20, 2011, 06:15 PM
As this discussion is about both the 44 spl., and the 45acp, i figured your "N" frame comment was refering to BOTH being "N" frame only guns.

DM

joed
April 20, 2011, 06:50 PM
I have both and alternate between them. To be honest my favorite carry piece anymore is a GLOCK 26, 10 rounds of 9mm in a gun about the size of a Colt DS.

And I'm not a 9mm fan, but it's hard to argue the above statistics.

For carry I have a 66 S&W 2.5", Colt DS with ankle holster, Taurus 445 in .44 spl, Kimber Pro Carry II in .45 acp and of course the GLOCK. I alternate depending on how I feel but 90% of the time it's the GLOCK anymore.

RidgwayCO
April 20, 2011, 07:03 PM
You can get .44 Specials in L-frame-sized packages that will hold five rounds. My M396 Mountain Lite weighs 18 oz empty with a 3-1/8" barrel. I'm pretty sure there aren't any 18 oz 45 Autos...

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/2412/396mtnlite.jpg

Performance-wise, you can load a .44 Special to exceed the .45 Auto by quite a bit. It's not so easy with factory ammo, however.

Canazes9
April 20, 2011, 07:17 PM
You can get .44 Specials in L-frame-sized packages that will hold five rounds. My M396 Mountain Lite weighs 18 oz empty with a 3-1/8" barrel. I'm pretty sure there aren't any 18 oz 45 Autos...

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/2412/396mtnlite.jpg

Performance-wise, you can load a .44 Special to exceed the .45 Auto by quite a bit. It's not so easy with factory ammo, however.

http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-P45-w-Night-Sights.asp

http://www.kahr.com/Pistols/Kahr-PM45-w-Night-Sights.asp

sixgunner455
April 20, 2011, 07:29 PM
To me, it depends - do you want a revolver or a semiauto? Since you have listed the guns you carry, and they reflect the choices I would likely make if I were to carry either of these calibers, all I can say is that great minds think alike! :D

BlackSky
April 20, 2011, 07:37 PM
The two ideal carry calibers, for me. I have only two carry guns. One is a Glock 36 in .45 with 230grain Hydra's or Gold Dots and a the second is a S&W 624 in .44Spec with 200grain DPX's

CHEVELLE427
April 20, 2011, 07:42 PM
I HAVE BOTH BUT
never carried the 44 not sure why except it is a 5 shot and my xd is a 13+1 or the 1911 7/8 (depends on mag) +1

the 44 finds it self more on the dresser or in the glove box.

it is loaded with silver tips in case of werewolf attack ;)

Water-Man
April 20, 2011, 07:59 PM
Dirty Harry votes for the .44spl.

LHRGunslinger
April 20, 2011, 08:05 PM
Both, budget permitting

Walkalong
April 20, 2011, 08:13 PM
not so fast...easy to argue against an N frame revolver(moon clips or no) if it is for concealed carry
True. L Frame is big enough as it is. Some folks do carry N frames though.

I have carried an L frame .357 as well as a L frame .44 Spl, with no extra ammo. Go ahead, flame me, but it is what it is. They are as big (wide/thick) as I want to go.

DM~
April 20, 2011, 08:38 PM
And i've carried a "K" frame in 44spl. quite a bit, but i prefer it in .357 mag...

DM

Drail
April 20, 2011, 09:33 PM
I have owned numerous custom 1911s for a a number of years but my daily carry piece is a S&W 696 3 in. .44 Spl. With handloads it has a very slight margin over the ACP, will never have a feed malfunction and doesn't leave unsightly brass casings all over the place.

Remo223
April 20, 2011, 10:23 PM
I think it's no longer made, but at one time S&W made an airweight 5 shot 44special revolver with a concealed hammer.

Remo223
April 20, 2011, 10:26 PM
And i've carried a "K" frame in 44spl. quite a bit, but i prefer it in .357 mag...

DM
I'm curious as to why?

because you have one more shot?

because ammo is more available?

44special is plain lead ammo with nearly the same stopping power as a 357mag. I think that's pretty cool.

philbo
April 20, 2011, 10:30 PM
no such thing as a 45ACP revolver that isn't an N frame or equivalent

AHEM... all things are possible. K frame 45 acp 5 shot revolver:

http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=119&category=Revolver

waidmann
April 21, 2011, 06:18 AM
Own or have owned most of what has been described in one form or another. Have 'largely settled' into a Kahr P-45, at this time. In the winter you might find me with a Model 21, 19-4 or something else in the L or N frame area. I do not favor the light .44's 296, 396, Charter. Can't make myself pay the going freight for a 696. My other revolver is a Model 60-10, 3" in .357 which can be a handful but +P+ is the usual fodder.

To the degree you can afford it, enjoy exploring your curiousity.

StrawHat
April 21, 2011, 06:19 AM
Remo223 ...^not so fast...easy to argue against an N frame revolver(moon clips or no) if it is for concealed carry...

Remo223, not sure I understand what you are saying. Is an N frame too big to carry?

StrawHat
April 21, 2011, 06:21 AM
DM ...~ And i've carried a "K" frame in 44spl. quite a bit, but i prefer it in .357 mag... DM

DM,

Do you have one of the Spokhandguns conversions? I am also curious why you would prefer the 357.

Usmc-1
April 21, 2011, 09:14 AM
maybe Im a bit naive , but Ive never shot .45 ACP in revolver , Ishot thousands of rounds through my 1911 , just curious how the round performs in a revolver?

TonyT
April 21, 2011, 02:28 PM
I would opt for the 45ACP with it's wider choice of self defense ammo.

BlackSky
April 21, 2011, 03:54 PM
I think it's no longer made, but at one time S&W made an airweight 5 shot 44special revolver with a concealed hammer. It's called the Model 296. It's a neat gun but the recoil is a bit heavy with stout loads in it. I prefer the 624.

Scipio Africanus
April 21, 2011, 04:20 PM
Buy 'em both and carry as your whim dictates. You can't go wrong with either. Happy Shooting!

I'm3rd
April 21, 2011, 06:19 PM
For fast offhand shooting I do better with revolvers. I'm quicker from the holster and more accurate with a K-frame revolver than with any semiauto I own or have fired to any great extent. I prefer to CC a 1970's vintage 3" steel J-frame in summer clothes and a 4" K-frame in winter, but if I wanted to carry a large bore revolver I might consider a Taurus Tracker .44 mag, but would carry it loaded with .44 special ammo, probably Hornady's 165 grain Critical Defense. Yeah, it has just a 5-shot cylinder but it only weighs about 2 lbs in a steel frame and is available with a 2" bbl for CC. If Taurus build quality is as good as I hear it is nowdays, I consider the price (around $450-$500) to be fairly reasonable considering today's hyper-inflated prices.

The Tracker has one obvious drawback though if the owner develops a yearning to fire .44 mag ammo in his/her gun, namely RECOIL. Firing a box or two of full power 44 mag factory ammo in a 30 ounce, 2" bbl, snubnose revolver strikes me as a particularly unpleasant way to expend an hour of range time and somewhere around $50-$75 worth of ammo.

joed
April 21, 2011, 06:56 PM
I own 4 revolvers chambered in .44 spl. It is a great round and fun to shoot. However, it has one drawback and that is trying to find cases and ammo. The cases are expensive and ammo leaves a lot to be desired.

I was smart enough back 10 years ago to buy 4k cases at a ridiculous price by todays standards.

The .45 acp is cheaper and has more available. The .44 Spl isn't dead by a long shot but it is handicapped.

CraigC
April 21, 2011, 08:37 PM
Not sure I understand that, .44Spl brass is readily available and costs $5 more per 500rds than .45ACP, or about the same as .44Mag. As far as factory ammo, the .44Spl is one cartridge that definitely only sees its true potential through handloading.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=941455237

DM~
April 21, 2011, 08:43 PM
DM,

Do you have one of the Spokhandguns conversions? I am also curious why you would prefer the 357.

Yes i do...

And as to why i prefer the 357 mag to the 44 spl.: In my test, both with factory level loads, the 357 mag. is a better all around cartridge, gives better penetration and in my test, it has worked better on live targets too.

Sure, you can hop up the 44 spl., but that's why they invented the 44 mag.! If you want a mag., just buy one, that's what i did LONG ago...

DM

Smaug
April 21, 2011, 10:30 PM
It also has a slightly larger bullet: 0.452" vs. 0.429"

Reload-wise, I think it also has the slight advantage, since it will likely be cut for moon clips, which are very quick to reload.

StrawHat
April 22, 2011, 07:42 AM
DM~ Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat
DM,

Do you have one of the Spokhandguns conversions? I am also curious why you would prefer the 357.

Yes i do...

And as to why i prefer the 357 mag to the 44 spl.: In my test, both with factory level loads, the 357 mag. is a better all around cartridge, gives better penetration and in my test, it has worked better on live targets too.

Sure, you can hop up the 44 spl., but that's why they invented the 44 mag.! If you want a mag., just buy one, that's what i did LONG ago...

DM

Thanks for getting back to me. I always thought the Spokhandguns conversion was a good idea but never bought one and now they are no longer available. I converted an N frame 357 to handle the 45 ACP cartridge and am very pleased with it.

I have never used the 44 Special very much, (only had one and sold it before I got a lot of load work done) but I have used the 45 long Colt. Even with the original ballistics, (255 grain bullet, +/- 900 fps) I prefer the larger bore. I am one of the few who never saw thee use of the Magnum cartridge for the 357 diameter bore or any bore. A properly loaded 38 Special has always served my needs and when I needed more, I went to a larger caliber.

Stainz
April 22, 2011, 08:05 AM
The 296/396/696 family are L-frames. I bought my 296 new for $349 and my 696 new for $439 the same day locally over eight years ago. The 696 was regular sale price, while the closeout-priced 296 was less than half it's last MSRP - it was an expensive AirLite Ti! Here it is with a Robert Mika pocket holster and the 200gr Gold Dots from Georgia Arms, it's main diet.

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_3867-1.jpg

The combo fits ~2/3 of my pants' front pockets - a similar, but smaller, 642 gets more carry. With the boot grips, the 296 & those GD's is a bit of a thumper - but it is a great shooter - quite accurate. The spacing is the same as the Charter Arms, so an HKS #CA44 speedloader works fine.

Stainz

Dave T
April 22, 2011, 07:57 PM
I have 5 revolvers chambered for the 44 Special cartridge. I also have 5 revolvers chambered for the 45 ACP. All are N-frame S&Ws. Please do not ask me to pick between the two calibers. How do you think I ended up with 5 of each? (smile)

Dave

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