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What If... eeek!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by StrikeEagle, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Active Member

    Jul 8, 2004
    Just now I was shooting my Colt SAA, 5.5" .45 Colt Gen 2 Revolver.

    As I was shooting a startling thought crossed my mind... you see, I have an identical SAA in .44 Special. Suppose... just suppose... I accidentally loaded a .44 Spl round in my .45 Colt?

    Please understand that it has NEVER happened and I've never had a close call. I take care to keep the ammo separate and I check the lettering on the barrel before I load up. I've been doing this for over 35 years without any incident. But suppose...?

    My standard .44 Spl load is not heavy... it's 5.3 grains of 231.

    What do you suppose the result would be? Would it be as catastrophic as my fantasies suggest?
  2. SDC

    SDC Senior Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    People's Republic of Canada
    It would more than likely split the case, and you'd know right away that something went wrong, but I doubt it would harm either you or the revolver.
  3. Maddock

    Maddock Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    I’ve never seen a 44 Special in 45 Colt, but I did see a light 41 Magnum (210 @900) in a 629 that might be comparable. The case split lengthwise and the head partially separated. The bullet exited and struck about 18” low on the target @ 25 yds, striking the target frame. The bullet barely penetrated the target frame and was found in the berm on top of the dirt. I don’t think that the impact velocity could have been much over 500fps. Getting the case remnants out was a bit of a chore, but there did not seem to any permanent ill effects.
    My theory is that the case/bullet did not seal the combustion chamber and the pressure just never built up.
  4. Imaginos

    Imaginos Member

    Apr 9, 2004
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Less Drama

    Slipping a .44 Special in a .45 Colt would be whole lot less daramtic than accidentally slipping in a .44 Mag.

    The operating pressures for .44 Special and .45 Colt are pretty close, so unless the bore is obstructed, a split case and a change of undies are the most likely result.

    In "Sixguns", Elmer Keith wrote in about one of his friends, John Newman, who was kidnapped as a "boy" (age unspecified). Newman wrapped some paper around a .38-44 cartridge so it would fit snug in a .45 Colt chamber, and used it to shoot the kidnapper. Keith also named several other cartridges that could be inserted into in the .45 Colt chamber and fired in an extreme emergency.

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