1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

.44 special/.45 colt questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Drgong, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Drgong

    Drgong Participating Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Ashe Co, NC and Gastonia NC
    A lot of people really love these two rounds, (I have never shot them :uhoh:) and I was wondering why folks love them so much, and secondly, what is a fun revolver to shoot them in?

  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Active Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    I enjoy the .45 colt because of its recoil. It almost rolls in my hand when I shoot my Ruger Blackhawk. The .44 mag seems to be more punishing. I also like the history behind the load.
    I don't have much experience with the .44 special.

    Try the Blackhawk for the .45 or a S&W for the .44 special.

  3. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Participating Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Both are classic big bore rounds. The both push bullets in excess of 200 grains to moderate speeds at moderate pressures. They are both super accurate in a quality revolver. Recoil is there but they are both more pleasurable to shoot than any magnum, more push than snap.

    My personal revolver is a customized Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum that I primarily shoot .44 Specials in (handloads). I can knock down pins on a metal bowling pin machine all day at 50 yards and it does it with authority. The upside is I can shoot powder puff loads to large game power levels in the same gun.

    In .45 Colt Ruger offers the Blackhawk that can take up to +P levels with no problem, same can be said for their Old Model Vaquero revolver.

    Their are a few double action revolvers out their from all the major manufactures if that is your preference. If you reload I don't think you go wrong with either. If you don't load the rounds can get pricey for either. If I were to recommend one for a non reloader it would be a .44 Magnum for the reason of a greater variety of factory ammo. Hope this helps a little, Bill
  4. Deanimator

    Deanimator Elder

    Mar 30, 2006
    Rocky River, Ohio
    Both are highly accurate (edge probably going to the .44) and effective self-defense and hunting rounds.

    I've got a 4" S&W Model 29-2 in .44 Magnum that I shoot almost nothing but Specials in. In a gun that size, the .44 Special is very pleasant to shoot, even for prolonged periods, even with decent self-defense ammunition like the Federal 200gr. LSWC-HP or the Blazer 200gr. JHP Gold Dot.

    The nice thing about shooting Specials out of a .44 Magnum is that you always have the option of shooting Magnums, or Specials or .44 Russian if for some reason you wanted to.
  5. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Participating Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    The hilly SE
    Very true. Both loads have a wide range of pressure levels you can work within, giving you the option of using everything from mild cowboy loads to real thumpers.

    Plus, Elmer Keith loved 'em. That's good enough for me :)
  6. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Most fun revolver for me is single action Ruger. My two .45 Colts are a Bisley Vaquero and S&W 25-13. Both have their places, but for fun the single action does it for me. The extra attention given to loading and unloading just makes it more relaxing to me and I'm not all focused only on shooting.

    I've never shot the .44 Special. In standard loadings they appear to be almost identical in all important ways. There seems to have been more compact and portable revolvers made for the .44 Special over the years if that is an important consideration for you. The S&W N-frames are quite attractive and I hate that I showed up just after the sale of a Lew Horton 24-3 at a local store last week.
  7. pakmcc

    pakmcc New Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    South east TExas

    I have both cal. in S&W "N" frame revolvers. I also had one built in .44 special from a model 28, highway patrolman. New barrel and the .357 cyclinders were bored out to .44 the gun shot a 1 1/2" group at 50 yards from a Ransom rest.
    I find a very accurate pistol with mild recoild in the "N" frame smiths. and Yes, I have four .44's and one .45 LC.
    I love them all and reload for them.
  8. def4pos8

    def4pos8 Active Member

    May 31, 2007
    SW Ohio
    The .44 Special is just so flexible! It can be loaded to low, comfortable pressures or pumped up to silly levels. The Thunder Ranch Special in the thumbnail had its frame cracked/destroyed by a prior owner who ran too many silly rounds through it. Smith & Wesson was kind enough to do a nice repair at no cost.

    I prefer the .44 Special as it is effective without being brutal. As an armed guard, my probable engagements will be in corridors/indoors. The .44 is a "thumper" rather than a "cannon". My favorite load is a 200 Hornady XTP over 7.0 grains of Unique. At about 830FPS, a sonic shock isn't produced. I'm comfortable with potential lethality, especially at fifty feet or less. The Model 21 is a nice duty gun, not heavy at all, with sweet handling characteristics.

    My subjective impression is that N-frame Smiths are smoother than Js, Ks or Ls -- and I have a couple of truly sweet Ks.

    I have no experience with the .45 Colt. My .45s are all ACPs, including a Model of 1988 N-frame. That is a fine revolver but its five-inch, full-lug, bull barrel is bit heavy/bulky for use at work.

    Attached Files:

  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Mentor

    Dec 29, 2006
    My first medium powered big bore was this M624 44 Spl.

    The 44 Spl in a well built handgun turned out to be very flexible, outstandingly accurate. I tended to load Keith/Skeeter Skelton loads when I first had it, now I am using softer "standard" loads.

    Regardless of powder charge the thing hits my gong targets with a good solid whack, and I find that fun and reassuring. I don’t like shooting magnums as much as I used to. So I can bang away with these lower pressure rounds without being shell shocked.

    I purchased a M25-2 in 45 LC and was not happy with the thing. It was horribly inaccurate and that was due to huge chamber mouths. I was about to scrap the idea of the 45 LC when I bought this M25-7. The chamber mouths are .452 and it shoots great.

    The difference between a .429” 240 LSWC at 850 fps and a .452 255 LSWC going the same speed is a matter of faith, but I find that over time I am shooting more 45LC’s.

    Then I pull out the M624 and it is like finding an old flame who has kept her shape.

    Both are great cartridges.


  10. PRM

    PRM Senior Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    44 Special/45 LC Single ACtions

    I shoot both - I have a Colt 3rd Generation SAA in 45LC with an additional 45 ACP cylinder (cheaper shooting). I also have a custom built Colt Bisley in 44 Special. I shoot them because I like big bore single action pistols. Been a life long addiction for me. smokeless or black powder cartridges. Big KA-BOOM, lots of smoke and flame, and deadly accurate. No one should count on one shot stops - but 240 grains of lead traveling down range at 850 FPS can be a might comforting. It will drop a wild hog, black bear or most anything else it would be needed for in a pinch.

    Good one to start with:

    Uberti makes a good SAA for around $492


    Top of the line are US Firearms for $875


    Colts will run you around $1259 and up

    I have personally never owned a Ruger, but I have several friends who swear by them.

    All personal choice
  11. scrat

    scrat Mentor

    Jan 27, 2007
    Monrovia, CA
    sorry addicted to 45 colt. only way to go is to load your own. its so expensive to buy factory ammo. Same as other poster. big gun big bullet nice recoil. Big kaaaaa boooooooom
  12. kolob10

    kolob10 New Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Southern Indiana
    45LC & 44 special

    I have both 44 LC and 44 Spec. I also shoot 454 Casul and 44 Mag. My favorite is 44 special. I had a Smith 624 6" that I foolishly sold. I now have a FA model 97 in 44 special on the way. I load 240gr keith style SWC's with W231 to velocities around 900-1000fps. That load has accounted for several whitetail deer, coyotes, stray dogs, porcupine, badger, rabbit, squirrel, prairie dogs, and other vermine on my hunting trips over the years. Most sensible shooters load their 44 mags to 44 special velocities anyway. Elmer Keith seemed to like the 44 special and mag - so do I. The 45 LC is in my FA model 83 and shoots great also. I'm just partial to the Special. Good shooting!
  13. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Active Member

    Apr 1, 2005
    I, for one, love the .45 Colt because of it's history and it's flexibility. Whether it's soft lead shooting at paper, a 255gr hardcast slug at 1,000 fps to hunt critter, or really heavy hardcast loads for really big critters, the old .45 Colt can do it all!! I have a S&W 625-9 Mtn Gun and a 5.5" stainless Ruger Bisley.

    Here's the Smith:
  14. nalioth

    nalioth Mentor

    Jul 9, 2007
    Houston, Texas
  15. Archer1945

    Archer1945 Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Eastern Missouri
    I happen to like the 44 Special and 45 Colt because they are fun to shoot, usually extremely accurate and, in a decent sized gun, extremely versatile. In the N frame S&W guns they will do all most people want and then some.

    At the present I have a Taurus 341 which was the good 44 Special they made a number of years ago which was available in both a 4" and 6" model with adjustable sights. The model 441 was a fixed sight gun and available in a 2" version along with th 4" and 6". Only problem was they are 5-shot guns because they are on the Taurus version of the K-frame.

    I also have a pair of S&W Mountain Guns in 45LC, a model 625 and a Model 25. I picked up both of them within just a couple of weeks of each other recently and have hardly put them down. Much more fun to shoot than my semi-autos, superbly accurate and not much recoil even with high performance self defense loads.

    I am debating about replacing my XD45C Tactical with a S&W 625JM because I enjoy shooting the 45ACP and I thoroughly enjoy shooting revolvers. Also thinking about getting one of the new S&W Classics in 44 Special because that is such a fun round.
  16. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    They are fun in most any single-action handgun up to 1200fps/.44Spl and 1000fps/.45 Colt, both with 240-250gr bullets...I'm talking older children can fire them with comfort...try that with DA's.....both penetrate 2-3ft of game animal, while applying a half-inch hole from side-to-side or stem-to-stern of whatever critter you want a perforated....what more could you ask?
  17. Arcticfox

    Arcticfox Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    .44 special shoots great out of a smith 696. IMO, you should look into a revolver that shoots .45 ACP (i.e Smith 625, or Taurus Tracker) as the rounds are half the price, but very similar in specs.
  18. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    250grs/850fps vs 230grs/850fps is not that similar on game....and ignores handloading the .45 Colt to "only" maximum black-powder velocities of circa-1000fps....
  19. Stainz

    Stainz Senior Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    Pinson, AL
    I have a pair of 625MGs in .45 Colt, but I would suggest that a regular 4" 629 is a better choice for most folks. I have one - and a 6" version - both current production sporting the recoil absorbing .500 Magnum Hogue monogrips. There, you have the choice of .44 Specials for .45 Colt-ish loads - to real .44 Magnums, when you need more emphasis. Also, the ability to discharge the shorty .44 Russian is a boon, especially when you are just 'in the mood'.

    I was yesterday... I had some testing of a new revolver to accomplish, and a little SPC practice with my 627 scheduled, too. I just had to - I popped a box of my ferret-flatulance 240gr LSWC @ 692 fps (From 3" 696 tube.) .44 Russians - from the 3" 696. Loading five at a time, I discharged five of the steel plate charges nine of the ten times I tried, missing one plate as I 'sped up', despite the heavy lube smoke just sitting in the hot & muggy air.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my 696... but don't sell a kidney to get one, they are too limited with that thin forcing cone. You can buy a new 4" 629 for less than a decent used 696 - and it only weighs 6 oz more! Of course, with those .500 Magnum grips, it is fun with Magnums, too. As you can see below, the size difference isn't that great.


    Of course, if I were 'stuck' with just one of my 625MGs in .45 Colt - and my homebrew ammo stash - I'd be happy as a clam. It really is a 'win-win' comparison. Oh, to further 'muddy the waters', do consider a .45 ACP 625, like my JM variant, as a choice. You can plink with hard ball reasonably - with ammo from Wally World. You can also reload, as I do, .45 Auto Rim cases with regular .45 Colt bullets. A 255gr LSWC from a 4" tube at 850+ fps doesn't care whether it initially sat atop a short ACP/AR case - or a cavernous .45 Colt case. Choices - choices - and none of them bad!

  20. chriske

    chriske Member

    May 15, 2008
    All of the above is very true, IMO.

    .44 Spl & .45 Colt (both guns & cartridges) remind me of bears : they can be anything from rotund good-natured teddybears to fierce grizzlies.

    The only "caveat" is that I wouldn't recommend either of those calibers to someone who
    doesn't handload, due to cost.

    Mine are :
    4" S&W 624 .44 Spl
    4 5/8" Ruger SS Blackhawk .45 Colt
    5 1/2 " Uberti Catlleman .45 Colt

Share This Page