.44 Special vs .45 ACP


PDA






Para-Medic
February 23, 2012, 04:02 AM
I see some saying the .44 Special has the same terminal ballistics (or similar) to .45 ACP, then after looking into it more I see those saying that .44 Special has inferior terminal ballistics (or "stopping power", that overinflated term) than .45 ACP because of it's 11% less frontal area and .03 less diameter. .03 isn't that big a difference, but 11% frontal area? Isn't that a bit more significant?

Looks like the best .44 Special load is a Doubletap HP 200 grain going 1,100 fps

The .45 ACP is 230 grain JHP going 950 fps. 150 fps slower, but 11% more frontal area.

If you enjoyed reading about ".44 Special vs .45 ACP" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
ArchAngelCD
February 23, 2012, 06:27 AM
So what is the question here?

Bullet "frontal area" is subject to bullet design. You can find bullets meant for the .44 Special that have a very wide and flat meplat. It's also hard to compare the both because bullet development for the .45 Auto has been ongoing while the .44 Special isn't popular as a SD round so bullet development has been stagnant. Another point, any bullet designed to expand completely negates your assumption the bullet in the .45 has more frontal area.

I still don't know what you're asking though.
Welcome to the forum...

calaverasslim
February 23, 2012, 07:37 AM
Some push one calibre over the other due to personal preference. I promote the 44 special but feel whatever floats your boat.

When I carry, I carry a 44 special revolver and load the Speer GDHP.

There are so many different PD rounds sold today that individual comparison is hard but just using the GDHP, I checked the Speer info and I find there really isn't too much difference. The GDHP is designed to expand reliably at lesser velocities.

44 sp 200gr GDHP MV is 832 and 340ft lbs at the muzzle

45acp 230gr GDHP MV is 890 and 404ft lbs at the muzzle

Bottom line is there is a small difference between the 2 but not enough to worry about. Either will get the job done.

So make your choice and have some fun.

R.W.Dale
February 23, 2012, 09:38 AM
I'm going to wager that on actual bullet cutting area the 44 holds the advantage over almost all 45acp loading since a 44 doesn't have to account for feeding.

11% isn't actually very much when you're comparing a cartridge that can shoot full wadcutters vs one that hanging bullets up on a feed ramp is a concern.

Now change the comparison to 45 colt and the advantage is clear assuming you ignore the fact that there's only one degree of DEAD

posted via tapatalk using android.

Owen Sparks
February 23, 2012, 12:36 PM
The velocity differences between the two cartridges has more to do with the type of handgun, autos vs revolvers, than the cartridges themselves. I have experimented with hand loading the .44 Special and .45 ACP with the exact same powder charge under the exact same weight bullet. The .45 has an edge simply because it is being fired from a 5" non-vented barrel. The .44 Special was fired from a 3" revolver. In an apples to apples comparison where they are both fired from revolvers with the same length barrel performance should be just about equal.

The advantage the .44 has (for now) is that it can be had in a compact 5 shot revolver and the only .45 ACP revolvers currently made are six shooters and are built on a much bigger and heavier frame. I say (for now) because there is a rumor that Charter Arms may be making a .45 ACP version of their Bulldog that does not need moon clips. If they succeed you can probably expect a velocity loss of close to 100 fps when a .45 is fired through this vented revolver with a 2 1/2" barrel rather than a 5" non-vented 1911.

The reason velocity is so critical with both of these rounds is that hollow points may fail to open if they are going much slower than the manufacturer intended and a drop from 800 to 700 fps could cause failure. Using a short barrel revolver MIGHT result in failure with a round designed for a full size 1911.

CraigC
February 23, 2012, 01:01 PM
Another factor to consider is that regardless of the platform, the .45ACP is what it is. Unless it is a gun that can be safely converted to .45Super. However, in the proper platform, the .44Spl has LOTS of room for improvement through handloading.

JShirley
February 23, 2012, 01:41 PM
This thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=638054&highlight=.44) may help.

rcmodel
February 23, 2012, 01:46 PM
It has been said the old 44-40 WCF cartridge killed more men and beasts then any other commercial cartridge before or since.

Discounting the military calibers, I don't doubt it.

And it was a lighter bullet then either the .44 Spl or .45 ACP.

However, I bet the .22 RF is in the running with it, if you count small game as "beasts".

rc

The Lone Haranguer
February 23, 2012, 01:55 PM
I see some saying the .44 Special has the same terminal ballistics (or similar) to .45 ACP...
With the right loads, it does. By comparison, the old "standard" load - 246-gr. LRN at 755 fps - is pretty anemic. But these are more expensive and harder to find than .45 ACP premium ammunition. On the up side, you don't need moon clips for ejection.

OregonJohnny
February 23, 2012, 02:15 PM
In off-the-shelf commercial loads, the .45ACP probably wins, just because there is so much more to choose from. Low-recoil, +P, hollow point, flat point, round nose, frangible, etc. Not to mention that a quick glance on MidwayUSA shows 123 different .45 ACP ammunition products available, and only 33 .44 Special. .44 Special was the platform used to develop the .44 Magnum, so ever since the Magnum hit the mainstream, the Special has suffered in popularity.

If you are talking about handloading, however, .44 Special all the way. The fact that Elmer Keith used the .44 Special as his platform to develop a medium-sized game handgun hunting cartridge (the .44 Remington Magnum), should say a lot about what you can do with the .44 Special using proper powder and bullets.

Plus, if you're comparing the 2 cartridges using their most likely launchers (semi-auto for the .45, and a revolver for the .44), the .44 shows even more versatility, since it's not nearly as picky about bullet shape, overall cartridge length, seating depth, recoil spring weights, etc.

The .45ACP is a fantastic cartridge in a semi-auto platform, but if given the choice between a .44 Special revolver and a .45ACP revolver, as a handloader, I'd take the .44.

benzy2
February 23, 2012, 03:57 PM
I like to use factory loads for any defense type situation. One less variable in the courts if something should go wrong. For that application then i find .45acp to be the more versitile round. If we are talking about a hunting round then i may change to a .44 special or more so a .44 mag and use the job appropriate ammo be that in the special or mag case.

I also shoot a bit of .45 acp in an auto loader as well as a revolver so having all the components and dies already makes loading ammo for both a pretty easy switch. I wouldnt expect a person/animal/target to know the difference between similar designed bullets out of either firearm. Id worry more about which i could get ammo/components for and which style/model firearm is my preferred option.

PapaG
February 23, 2012, 08:01 PM
44 Special, Lyman 429421 at 250 grains and the 800 or so fps load of Unique trumps hardball any day. That said, I also load the RCBS 255 KT in the ACP with enough Unique to get about the same velocity. Both penetrate well in the few media I have available and cut nice clean holes in paper.

Walkalong
February 23, 2012, 08:05 PM
An age old discussion. Can't go wrong with either one. The thread JShirley linked to was a good one. :)

lathedog
February 24, 2012, 11:28 AM
They are pretty similar cartridges overall.

If I was looking to buy, I would consider other factors. I am already invested into 45acp, and do not have any 44 mag/special "stuff", so the acp would be my hot pick.

I prefer moonclips to speedloaders, but you can also get moonclip conversions for a 44 special. However, 45acp works better with the clips, most 45acp revolvers come from the factory set up that way, and there are multiple sources and better prices on 45acp moonclips.

How available is 44 special in stores in your area? Is there a price difference? I am pretty sure 45acp is going to be more common, cheaper, and in more variety in more stores.

I wouldn't get all hung up on mathematically calculated single digit differences (sorry - 11% is double digit - technically). I am a lot more into lifetime sustainability of a system.

Owen Sparks
February 24, 2012, 03:04 PM
The major difference in these similar preforming rounds is the case. The .44 Special was designed for black powder which is much bulkier and takes up more room while the .45 ACP was designed for smokless powder and did not need to be as big. This accounts in the the disparity in length. In a modern .44 Special cartridge the case is only about half full of powder. The same is true with the .38 Special which is similar in preformance to the much shorter 9MM round that was designed for smokless powder. The extra room in the .38 and .44 cases allows them to be hot loaded in stronger modern revolvers. This led to the development of the .357 and .44 Magnums.

Reloading these old black powder designs poses a safety risk to handloaders as they can hold a double or even tripple charge of powder. If you double charge a 9MM or .45 ACP the extra powder will compleatly fill the case or even spill over the top and become very obvious. With a .38 or .44 it can be hard to see.

Krusty
February 24, 2012, 05:39 PM
I would not want to be shot with either round. I'm certain both would take you to the same level of dead. I personally would rather own a 44 special. Not because it's better but because I like it.:evil:

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 12:29 PM
The .44 Special was designed for black powder which is much bulkier...
While this is true it does not hamper the cartridge like it does with the .38WCF, .44WCF and .45Colt. The .44Spl is a wonderfully efficient cartridge. Problem is, it has never been loaded to its potential by ammunition companies. Even the original Triple-Lock could handle more pressure than its modest blackpowder roots might suggest. While the big .45Colt case is a lot of wasted case capacity at these pressure levels, the .44Spl is terribly efficient and offers a lot of room for improvement through handloading.

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 12:31 PM
Technically 44special was designed for SMOKLESS POWDER and the whole reason we don't still shoot 44russian is the first SMOKLESs powders were too bulky to work well in the smaller case capacity of the Russian.

posted via tapatalk using android.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 12:42 PM
The .44Spl was indeed originally loaded with blackpowder.

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 04:42 PM
The .44Spl was indeed originally loaded with blackpowder.

When do you think 44 special was introduced?

Ill give you a hint 45acp and 9mm are both older cartridges. 44spl was NEVER a black powder cartridge until recently for CAS games.

Its an absolute myth that 38 and 44 special were originally black powder cartridges.

posted via tapatalk using android.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 05:06 PM
When do you think 44 special was introduced?

Ill give you a hint 45acp and 9mm are both older cartridges. 44spl was NEVER a black powder cartridge until recently for CAS games.

Its an absolute myth that 38 and 44 special were originally black powder cartridges.
It was introduced in 1907. But I reckon you're smarter than John Taffin who says in his book "The Gun Digest Book of the .44" when he says that the .44Spl was originally loaded with blackpowder. Or maybe you know better than the folks who wrote Cartridges of the World too??? :rolleyes:

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 05:11 PM
Or Mike Cumpston:
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/44special.htm

http://www.milesfortis.com/mcump/mc15.htm

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 05:16 PM
It was introduced in 1907. But I reckon you're smarter than John Taffin who says in his book "The Gun Digest Book of the .44" when he says that the .44Spl was originally loaded with blackpowder. Or maybe you know better than the folks who wrote Cartridges of the World too??? :rolleyes:

Funny you should mention cartridges of the world. Its sitting in my lap now and it clearly says 44 spl was not a blackpowder cartridge.

The black powder blurb is in reference to the RUSSIAN not special

The placement of the comma is key



posted via tapatalk using android.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 05:24 PM
Perhaps reading comprehension is not your strong suit and/or you should stick to AR's.

"Though originally a blackpowder cartridge, the .44 Special - which is about 0.2-inch longer than the Russian - eliminated this problem and provided more power, while using the same bullets as the older .44 Russian."

Powder capacity was increased from 23gr to 26gr. Of what? Blackpowder.


From Mike's article above:
"While a couple of loud an vociferous Internet experts (that would be you) loudly dispute the fact, everybody who has read even one of the major reloading manuals is aware that the .44 Special came out as a black powder cartridge. It arrived in 1907 along with the Smith and Wesson New Century Hand Ejector revolver otherwise known as the Triple Lock. It was a lengthened version of the .44 Russian containing, according to Elmer Keith, 26 grains of black powder-three grains over the Russian loading. Nominal velocity was 770 Feet Per Second. It was a target-level load and when the smokeless powder loads came out in the same velocity range..."

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 05:27 PM
I guess it all boils down to which source you believe most.

Answer this though. Why would a brand new cartridge introduced FIVE YEARS after 9x19 and two after 45acp be loaded with black powder?

You do realize that just because a gun writer wrote it doesn't necessary make it true?

posted via tapatalk using android.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 05:28 PM
From John's book on the subject:

"With the lengthening of the case the powder charge increased from 23.0 to 26.0 grains of blackpowder under a round nosed 246 grain lead bullet. Yes, the .44 Special was originally a blackpowder load. Everyone doesn't agree that the first .44 Specials were blackpowder with some holding out for smokeless; it is a sure thing there was NO smokeless powder which could be used in the .44Special with a charge of 26 grains..."


You do realize that just because a gun writer wrote it doesn't necessary make it true?
Hold the phone everybody, R.W. Dale, a welder from Arkansas, is now the world's foremost expert on the .44Spl. Forget Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith and their contemporaries John Taffin and Brian Pearce. Forget Mike Cumpston, his box of blackpowder loads and all the rest who have all dedicated their lives and their livelihood to the subject, he is now the last word. Why? Not because he has evidence or proof but simply because he says so.

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 05:33 PM
Paco Kelly on the subject

"The 44 special was really never a BP cartridge....though black powder loads were available. Introduced around 1907 to take advantage of the new smokeless propellants...I thought it would be neat to see what it would do with black powder loads."



posted via tapatalk using android.

336A
February 26, 2012, 05:34 PM
Uh yes the .44 SPL was loaded with black powder as was the .38 SPL. Here is evidence in the form of a article and actual period correct ammunition. Do you have any bonafide evidence to prove otherwise? http://www.leverguns.com/articles/44special.htm

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 05:36 PM
OK suffice to say that EVERY SOURCE indicates the 44special was DESIGNED for smokeless powder.

Some manufacturers were just either lazy or cheap and loaded it with black anyway. Probably mostly Remington (imagine that)

posted via tapatalk using android.

RedMinotaur
February 26, 2012, 05:37 PM
Since I've got my copy of Cartridges of the World (11th edition) right next to me, I'll see if I can provide some insight. This excerpt is from page 305, in the 44 Smith & Wesson Special Historical Notes section.

With the coming of bulkier smokeless powders, the 44 Russian cartridge case proved too small to permit efficient use of full charges of the new propellants. Though originally a blackpowder cartridge, the 44 Special – which is about 0.2-inch longer than the Russian – eliminated this problem and provided more power, while using the same bullets as the older 44 Russian. This cartridge was introduced about 1907.

From reading this description, it's not hard to see how someone could misinterpret (or misremember) it as claiming that the .44 Special was designed as a smokeless powder round, but that does not seem to be what the authors intended.

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 05:43 PM
Metallic reloading page 313 3rd edition by M.L. McPherson

Based on the 44 s&w Russian, the 44 special was introduced in 1907 EXPRESSLY to accommodate the bulky smokeless powders of the era.

posted via tapatalk using android.

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 05:47 PM
Lyman reloading handbook 49th

The 44 special came into being in 1907 as a lengthened version of the old 44 Russian cartridge to better utilize smokeless powder.

posted via tapatalk using android.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 05:48 PM
It's okay, you can admit you were wrong. We won't rub it in......much.

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 05:53 PM
It's okay, you can admit you were wrong. We won't rub it in......much.

Ill admit that I was wrong about 44special being LOADED with blackpowder

IF

You'll admit the cartridge was DESIGNED for smokeless powder.


LOL on a side note in less than an hour we've probably compiled the largest collection reference material on the subject in any one place.

posted via tapatalk using android.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 06:00 PM
Deal.

R.W.Dale
February 26, 2012, 06:04 PM
Deal.

Why can't every discussion end this way?

:beer:


One thing I don't get though is all these sources reference the bulkiness of early smokeless powders as the reason for lengthening 44russian. But if that's the case how did manufacturers get by this on 9mm and 45acp which both predates 44spl?

RedMinotaur
February 26, 2012, 06:08 PM
Why can't every discussion end this way?

:beer:
And that, folks, is why they call this site "The High Road" :D

I'm glad to have learned from this discussion.

CraigC
February 26, 2012, 06:26 PM
I really don't know, I am not familiar at all with the early smokeless powders. Cheers.

Para-Medic
February 27, 2012, 03:46 PM
I know this has been discussed to death, but how would a 240 grain HP .44 Special going 1100 fps compare in terminal ballistics to a 230 grain .45 ACP going 900 FPS? Which is more "powerful" for self defense?

The .429 caliber bullet of the .44 Special has about 11% less meplat than the .45, if that makes a difference.

rcmodel
February 27, 2012, 03:51 PM
Same as it did in this thread when you ask the same question Feb 23.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=645273

rc

Sam1911
February 27, 2012, 03:53 PM
[Threads Merged -- No reason to open a new one.]

gpjoe
February 28, 2012, 10:11 AM
Reloading these old black powder designs poses a safety risk to handloaders as they can hold a double or even tripple charge of powder. If you double charge a 9MM or .45 ACP the extra powder will compleatly fill the case or even spill over the top and become very obvious. With a .38 or .44 it can be hard to see.

Maybe I'm misunderstandung this statement, but...

I have loaded thousands of 45 ACP using various 'modern' powders (Bullseye, Win 231, Titegroup) and to me it looks like you could very easily fit a max-load double or maybe even triple charge (never actually tried this to see if it would fit) into a 45 ACP case without spilling over. Am I missing the point here?

Sam1911
February 28, 2012, 10:36 AM
I have loaded thousands of 45 ACP using various 'modern' powders (Bullseye, Win 231, Titegroup) and to me it looks like you could very easily fit a max-load double or maybe even triple charge (never actually tried this to see if it would fit) into a 45 ACP case without spilling over. Am I missing the point here?

It depends entirely on the powder. With something very dense, like Titegroup, it would be easy to double-charge many cases.

The "problem," such as it is, with large volume revolver cases like .44 Spc. or .38 Spc, is that there is so much more empty room in there. A 9mm and a .38 Spc. might operate with roughly the same bullet and roughly the same powder charge, but that charge will be way down in the bottom of the .38 case.

I found once that I could actually charge a .44 cartridge FIVE TIMES with Titegroup without overflowing. Obviously, it would be pretty hard to visually tell the difference between a single or double charge...or a triple! That's why I like to use TrailBoss. Very fluffy, low density powder fills up those big old cases for a larger safety factor.

CraigC
February 28, 2012, 10:45 AM
You have to be careful with powders like Titegroup. Even though I run it in the .38Spl on my Dillon 650, which has a powder checker, I make sure and visually check each case before seating the bullet. Which one should do anyway. I also run it in the .44Colt for my topless Colt replicas where it would easily take a double charge which would assuredly result in a catastrophic failure.

mec
April 5, 2012, 07:42 PM
I see that an INTERNET! EXPERT! has "weighed in!" on the .44 special / black powder subject. Persons who have been into the history of metallic cartridges more than a few months and have read a few reloading manuals understand that the .44 special was an elongated russian made to hold a few more grains of Black Powder. That smokeless powders were available at the time does not alter the fact that early cartridges were loaded with black powder. The same is true of the 38 special -a black powder standard concomitently or soon after introduction to be loaded with smokeless powder also. Neither cartridge was designed for smokeless powder. both were designed for a heavier charge of black powder and, at least in the case of the .38 special - a slightly heavier bullet.
Here is a disassembled .44 special black powder ctg from prior to 1920,
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/cumpston/44special_1_small.jpg
this is the box it came in:
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/cumpston/44special_3_small.jpg

and, this is the article detailing the finding and testing of the black powder cartridges:
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/44special.htm

It is true that not everything a gunwriter says is "TRUTH" For instance, I said in this article that the bullet was totally cupro-nickel jacketed. I was wrong, The bullets have a c/nickel cap but the body of the bullet is a very hard lead alloy.

Understanding that may people view epistemology in the same vein as episiotomy- a pain in the A$$, it is still the person who deals in factual information rather than loud assertion that takes the high ground.

Early smokeless powders used for loading handguns included Hercules bullseye, lafland and Rand Infallable which is the same as Hercules Unique. These came into use in the 1890s to with either unique or bullseye dated at 1900 or before depending on your source. ( mIne is the speer #3 from 1959.) Neither were high loft powders. Neither took up very much room in handgun cases but both were factory standards for smokeless loadings of the 38 specia.. 44 special and .45 colt.

R.W.Dale
April 5, 2012, 07:53 PM
Aside from an blatant transparent attempt at "pot stirring thread necromancy" its clear you didn't take the time to read the parts of this thread where we covered and discussed everything you've posted a couple months ago MEC. Its called IRONY when the person lambasting others for being "internet experts" only brings a copy/paste repost of an already posted webpage. How about bringing some NEW information to light before dredging up a dead thread, or better yet cite some print examples not everyone has access to (like I did)

Aside from reading and copy/pasting an interweb article what background in 44spl development do YOU have that allows you to speak with greater authority in the long forgotten matters of its development? Or are you just selecting through all the same conflicting gun writers articles we are?

posted via mobile device.

mec
April 5, 2012, 08:43 PM
Not so much Gunwriter articles as reloading manuals. Such as the Speer Number 3 as I mentioned:
Ref: 44 Special-" This is reportedly the best of the large handgun cartridges and the guns in which it is used provide fine accuracy, probably better than any others above 38 caliber. Although it started out as a black powder cartridge, it burns smokeless powder very well..." The Speer #9 says that it was introduced as a black powder loading in 1907. In all fairness to you, the later manuals do omit reference to the black powder origins.

And the 38 special: "It was loaded with 21 grains of black powder behind a 158 grain bullet compared to 18 grains behind a 150 grain bullet in the .38 long Colt."

The reason I flew off the handle is that after Craig cited my experiences with the box of black powder specials, you stated that not " all the things gunwriers say are true." I cannot argue with the basic truth of that statement but since it was a direct attact on my personal veracity, I was moved to answer in the same light. While I make my share of mistakes, I am careful about the things I put into print and I do not lie.

R.W.Dale
April 5, 2012, 09:05 PM
My statement was not especially directed at any one source but addressing the situation in general of us having conflicting sources. Obviously when two writers say opposite things someone is wrong.

I apologize if it was taken as a personal affront




I pondered for awhile the question "why did the special rounds need to be made longer to accomidate smokeless"

It took awhile to dawn on me with all the articles citing to be able to utilize smokeless.

Its not because early smokeless powders needed more case capacity, remember 9mm and 45acp predates "special" its really glaringly simple and has been overlooked by EVERYONE including myself.

44 and 38 special were designed to use smokeless. This redesign of the parent 38lc and 44rus was primary to prevent backwards compatibility. In other words the same reasons 357 and 44 magnum were longer than the special. So you can't use the higher pressure ammunition in older weaker firearms.

38 and 44 special were indeed loaded with black. But they were designed so that smokeless loads couldn't be used in 44 Russian and 38long colt revolvers. That's where "designed for smokeless" comes into play.

posted via mobile device.

onebadcaballero
April 5, 2012, 09:33 PM
I would say this really comes down to which platform you are comfortable with. Yes as stated there have been 45acp revolvers like the smith model 25 but for the most part it comes down to if you are more comfortable with a revolver or an auto.

Ballisticly speaking if you don't hand load the .45 acp is going to outperform the .44 special. If do you hand load the edge goes to the 44 special. Not only will the special drive a heavier bullet harder, the revolver platform allows for different bullet designs (ie Keith style) that probably wouldn't feed too well in an automatic. IMO a stiff charge of unique behind a 250 grain Keith is hard to beat.

joneb
April 6, 2012, 12:28 AM
What would Elmer Keith say ?

Tony_the_tiger
April 6, 2012, 12:40 AM
Check out this load

Corbon DPX: 200 grain .44 special @ 950 fps, using all-copper Barnes bullet

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Corbon%2044%20Special%20DPX%20Report.htm

Thats what I use in my S&W 296 snub.

If I had a heavier firearm in the caliber and carried lead, I'd probably use the Buffalo Bore load:

255 grain S.W.C .44 special @ 1,000 fps

mec
April 6, 2012, 07:43 AM
What would Elmer Keith say ?

" They designed the .44 special cartridge for this arm (S&W New Century Triple Lock) with 26 grains of black powder instead of the 23 usd in the .44 Russian cartridge."
-Sixguns, Elmer Keith, Bonanza Books, 1955. Page 39.

ironhead7544
April 9, 2012, 12:17 AM
What "bulky" smokeless handgun powder was available in 1907? I think the first bulky smokeless powder suitable for revolvers was 2400. Has anyone taken apart an early smokeless .44 Special cartridge? My guess would be 5 to 7 grains of a powder that wouldnt nearly fill the case.

Concerning the 44 vs 45 question I would pick the 45 ACP with full moon clips if it was to be used strictly for self defense. The 44 Special would be better if used for hunting and I could live with it for self defense too. Little difference, really.

mec
April 9, 2012, 08:53 AM
You are probably right about powders. Unique and Bullseye were early standards and at some point there was a powder called #80. Elmer Keith used it to overload 45 colt and when the thin chambered colts blew up, used a 12-grain charge in .44 special until 2400 came along in the early 1930s. Keith used circa 250 grain bullets with 5 grains of bullseye in folded head cases and 4 grains in the solid head cases.

Fishslayer
April 9, 2012, 10:29 PM
What would Elmer Keith say ?

"Oh good! A longer case. Wonder how much more powder I can fit in there?" :D

Kind of curious about the reference to "bulkier smokeless powders." Were the older smokeless bulkier than today's? I load .45ACP with Bullseye. It's been around longer than I have & I believe I can fit a lot more in there than is prudent. ;)

If you enjoyed reading about ".44 Special vs .45 ACP" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!