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.44 S&W SPL. or .45 COLT.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by DC3-CVN-72, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. DC3-CVN-72

    DC3-CVN-72 Well-Known Member

    this thread is prompted by the "what is your nightstand gun" thread. In that thread I stated that I kept a S&W 629-4 with a 3 in. bbl. loaded with CCI. Blazer .44 S&W SPL. 200gr. GDHP. I have a Ruger Redhawk in .45 COLT. with a 5.5 in. bbl. that I could load with WINCHESTER 225gr HP. I am also going to have the Redhawk fitted to take .45 ACP. My question is out of these three, are the SILVERTIP loads the best for the nightstand, or CCI; or is there better. also of the three, what's the best. I will not be cutting down the Redhawk. I hope I have explained this well enough.:)
  2. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    Most all of the 45LC jacketed hollowpoints are going to work great. The Silvertip 225gr is a good load. There's a number of 200gr loads that are good - Cor-Bon, CCI both work. I don't trust Federals here, but anything else, go for it.

    The "new kid on the block" is the Speer Gold Dot 250gr. It's actually meant for shorter-barrel guns like the 3.5" Ruger Bird's Head - it's got a gaping big hollowpoint and was released at the same time as the 135gr 38+P. And we know how well that baby has worked out...it's "big brother" ought to be hell on wheels.

    Being a Gold Dot I'd expect it to hold together OK at least through a 6" barrel. At some point past that they'll come unglued, though I can't say whether that'll be at 7.5" or 18".
  3. DC3-CVN-72

    DC3-CVN-72 Well-Known Member

    Thank's for the reply Jim. So I take it that in your opinon the .45 COLT. is better than .44 S&W SPL. Also dose Speer have a Gold dot load in .44 S&W SPL.
  4. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Well-Known Member

    Since you have a 629, think seriously about adopting the new Speer Gold Dot "Short Barrel" .44 Magnum as your nightstand defense round.

    It's a 200 gr Gold Dot hollowpoint rated at 1075 fps at the muzzle -- that's "Heavy .44 Special" ballistic territory -- perfect for a big-bore defense revolver. I have fired a limited number of these rounds and so far am extremely impressed. Low muzzle report, very accurate, and seemingly low flash. Feels like a .45 ACP+P. I'd like to chrono some from the 4" barrel of my 629, but it clearly offers more power than the usual .44 Special rounds, and clearly less recoil than normal .44 Magnum rounds.

    I think it's an excellent option.
  5. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    I would choose the one that shoots best for me out to 10 yrds and and points the best. The shorter barrel may handle faster and be harder to grab on to. You should think of it more as close combat shooting, and not target.
  6. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    Plainsman just mentioned the best choice on the other side :).

    Funny thing is, Speer didn't invent that load, Proload (now out of the ammo biz) did in their "tactical lite" 44mag load. Same round, about the same speed. Good slug. Now that Speer has stopped selling projectiles to smaller ammo houses they've cloned some of what the smaller boys were doing. Go figure.

    I actually forgot about that puppy :).

    Also...I'm not normally a fan of the "frangible" ammo but when you hit 44Mag power levels, the Magsafe Defender or Glaser Silver nose start to look amazing :). In anything lesser penetration might be inadequate but in the 44Maggie...
  7. DC3-CVN-72

    DC3-CVN-72 Well-Known Member

    jibjab, the fact that the 629-4 with the 3 in. bbl is in the nightstand over the Red hawk is it is faster into action and harder to grab away, i'm just trying to see what is more efective. I had no idea that speer had a short bbl. mag. load. this is verry intersting. thank's to all for the replys
  8. earplug

    earplug Well-Known Member

    Range work

    Next time your at the range, put each each loaded revolver down on the table and then pick each one up and fire one shot at a target. Keep this up until you decide which one fits better and hits better.
  9. Warren

    Warren Well-Known Member

    Where can I find a good source for these rounds. I have a 25-13 that needs CCW loads.
  10. DC3-CVN-72

    DC3-CVN-72 Well-Known Member

    I've done this with both guns with the first loads stated. tihs is a grate way to decide. Close in work is what we are talking about. I'm just looking for the best choice to test. This thred has already produced two that I knew nothing about. thank's for all your replys.:)
  11. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    Huh. Cheaper than dirt and Midway are both showing "out of stock" on the Speer 250s.

    Call Speer, see who's got 'em?
  12. Warren

    Warren Well-Known Member

    I'll do that and report back tommorow.
  13. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    As I've said in other threads I like my 12 gauge for HD but I do keep a revolver in my night stand. I'm a little worried about using a 44 S&W or a 44 Mag as a night stand gun. I have my .357 loaded with .38 +P rounds because if you fire off a .357 or especially a .44 Mag in the middle of the night you will leave yourself deaf-dumb and blind. Those rounds are very loud and are flame throwers. You fire off a Mag. round in the middle of the night in a dark room and it's like setting off a flash-bang. You might want to re-think that choice.
  15. Colt46

    Colt46 Well-Known Member

    Heavier hollowpoints may not expand like you want

    I got a batch of 45 250 grain jacket hollowpoints(I think it was from MiWall) and they rarely wanted to open. As self defence I'd go with the lighter, faster hollowpoint.
  16. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    Federal 240 Lead Semi Wadcutter Hollowpoint in .44 Special.
    It may take some looking but you should be able to find a 250 Keith type Lead semi wadcutter factory load at 900 fps in the Colt.

    Of the two I would now choose the Federal .44 Special load.
  17. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    First, while a 12 gauge racking is a universal sound that produces autonomic release of body wastes in bg's, it is not the best choice for home defense. Second, that legally long barrel can easily be pulled/dislodged from your hands as you enter a room. Finally, the 00 buckshot most folks carry will produce potentially lethal collateral damage. A handgun held close in - with known ballistics - and with which you are well-versed and practiced in it's operation, is a far better choice. Your 3" 629 - and those 200gr Gold Dot CCI Blazer .44 Specials are a great solution.

    Studying the Speer 200gr Gold Dot .44 Special (#4427) bullet's data sheet, one finds that it was designed for 800-1,000 fps - .44 Special to hot .44 Special levels (It's predecessor, #4425, was designed for higher velocity.). It reliably opens at 800 fps... to .72-.76", according to several tests. The newer .45 Colt 250gr Gold Dot (#4484) is rated at 800-1,200 fps - but I have not tested it at over900 fps. It reportedly also opens by 800+ fps.

    In .44 Special, I have chrono-ed the Blazer 200gr GDHP, Georgia Arm's Starline brass version, and my own reloads, all with that Speer #4427 bullet. I get 805 fps from my 2.5" 296; 836 fps from my 3" 696; and 860 fps from my 4" 629MG - all plenty fast for proper operation. The 296 is my CCW and bedside HD firearm. I have a 2" 10 with Remington R38S12, 158gr +P LHPSWC's that makes 830+ fps from the snubby, on my wife's side. We also have a 5.5" .45 Colt Redhawk loaded with the Speer 250 gr GDHP's and 255gr LSWC's easily accessible as a backup. Everything launches from 800-850 fps, for my neighbors' sake... and should be sufficient for protection.

    Now, which would I go out to the store and buy today for protection? Look around, both gun and ammo selection in DA .44 Special and .45 Colt is lacking even in a well stocked gun store. I'd get a ~2" .38/.357M snubby - an S&W 442/642 can double as a CCW - and load it with those 158gr LHPSWC's - or Speer's 135gr Gold Dots - both +P. Second would be a .45 ACP - with 230gr Gold Dot's or Hydra Shok's.

    Of course, as a retired college instructor, I am often accused of suggesting others '...do as I say, not as I do!'. I keep both .44 Special & .45 Colt for home 'protection'... but I also reload, so I have lots of ammo!

    A 'home protection' plan is important - assign a 'safe room' to retreat to - and have a cell phone to call for proper help - and a decent flashlight. When you call for help, tell them where you are and that you are armed. Have proper cover - and a clear shooting lane to your 'entry point'... and remember, Jack Bauer is a TV character...

  18. ozwyn

    ozwyn Well-Known Member

    I dunno, maybe I am being a wiseass, but here is my take - this whole thread is an exercise in splitting hairs. :neener: Either caliber with the loads you describe should be plenty unless you're expecting a home invasion from a gang of bears. :scrutiny:

    If you put the rounds in the right spot any of the caliber/load choices you mentioned will definitely do the job.
  19. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    44 Special or 45 Colt -

    You are asking, imho, would you rather get struck by a Ford or Chevrolet pickup truck, of the same weight and speed. :neener:

    There is really no difference, although the 44 Special is a better cartridge for a DA revolver. Why? Due to the miniscule rim on the 45 Colt it can more easily drop behind the extractor, tying up the gun.
  20. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    My SS 5.5" .45 Colt Redhawk is a fun gun to plink with. Even so, it still has it's OEM spring - and my Federal-primed homebrews will occasionally yield a ftf from it - maybe one out of a hundred - seemingly coincident with a slow DA pull. Add that to the extractor's odd ability to slip over the small rims, as BigG said, and you have less than awe-inspiring dependability. It certainly isn't my first choice in PD at the home. My two S&W 625 Mountain Guns, both with lighter Wolff hammer springs, are 100% reliable in ignition and spent case extraction... they'd make a far better choice for a HD firearm.


    PS The Redhawk's OEM wood grips are not dished for use with an HKS 25-5 speedloader, making their use problematic at best. The Pachy Decel's work fairly well, however.

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