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.357 Magnum vs .45 Colt

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. Mosin, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I'm debating a GP100 in .357 or a Redhawk in .45 Colt/Auto. Purpose would be social functions, woods gun, and a nightstand gun. Both "backside of the middle of nowhere" rural, "big city" urban, and everything in between. Whichever I bought, I'd get into reloading for em. I know they're both effective man stoppers, and loaded right, they both can take down almost anything in North America. My main concern (with .357) is over penetration. Both would be the 4" barreled version. Any input ?
     
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  2. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Not really much of a difference in stopping power. Both are marginal as big game hunting rounds IMO. Otherwise either would serve you well.

    I would personally prefer the GP100 as a carry-around gun.
     
  3. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I know (in a Ruger at least) the .45 Colt *can* be handloaded to rub elbows with the .44 Magnum, if not leave it in the dust.
     
  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The Redhawk is a heavy pistol, it was designed big for the characters who believe maximum loads in reloading manuals are for sissies. It is not something I would want to carry on a belt, and I tried!. I have a great El Paso Saddlery holster for the Redhawk I traded off.

    What I did not like about my Redhawk was the poor single stage trigger. It was heavy and installing a spring kit only caused misfires double action. Then, I disliked the grips. The factory wooden grips hurt my hand, and rubber grips were huge, far to big for my hands. Maybe that has changed, but hand fit is important. If you cannot properly place your hand on the grip so your trigger finger is relaxed and in the middle of the trigger, then you won't shoot the pistol well.

    While I love the 45 LColt cartridge, it is mild mannered yet whacks my gong targets well, when I decided for a double action 45 LC, I purchased a lightweight N Frame

    uTG9yWv.jpg

    6uETjKS.jpg

    This pistol is far more portable than a Redhawk and, better trigger and, was able to find soft rubber grips that were only a bit big.

    The GP100 ought to be a fine revolver, the 357 Magnum is a fine round, magnum level loadings will have a sharper recoil and much more obnoxious muzzle blast than a 45 LColt. The GP100 appears to be about the size of a L frame S&W so it is not tiny by any regards, between the choice of a Redhawk and a GP100 I would take the 357 Magnum. But, I would take my M625 over the GP100.
     
  5. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Get an older S&W M19 or 66 and don’t look back.
    I’ve had a 5.5” .45lc RedHawk (accurate, but HEAVY), a Sec.6 4”, (stout, but a little crude, not particularly accurate). I presently own a 4” M625 identical to previous photo, even down to the Pachmayer Gripper Grips.

    However, for your purposes, the K frame is adequate. I have a M19 Nickle I picked up that was “distressed”. I’ve restored it. It’s my “field” gun. With a Lee 162gr SWC-GC over 14.5gr of #2400, it does anything I need a handgun to do.
     
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  6. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    The .357 is light for big game. Adequate for whitetail sized game, but that’s about it. The .45 Colt doesn’t suffer those inadequacies. If the task is multi faceted, I would opt for the bigger hammer, but that’s just me.
     
  7. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Marginal? .357, yes. .45 Colt, no. Even loading it to “Ruger only” 30,000 psi levels makes it quite the capable big-game getter with the right bullets. One of the biggest water buffaloes I’ve killed was with a .45 Colt and it was pretty decisive.
     
  8. Shaky

    Shaky Member

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    If anything, I’d be more concerned about over penetration with the 45. A 357 with a 125 grain hollow point bullet will penetrate no deeper than any of the standard service pistol cartridges, where any factory loaded (or SAAMI spec handload)45 Colt round is going to be at the lower end of the velocity where a bullet will expand.

    On the other hand, loaded with a 180 grain hard cast bullet, the 357 will penetrate as deep as anything else with similar sectional density and velocity. Unless shooting at elk/moose/grizzly sized critters is a reality you’ll be well served by either cartridge. Though if that class of animals is a potential target the 45 loaded with the Ruger only level rounds would be the way to go.

    If urban carry means concealed, then the smaller the better...and I’d look at the sp-101 as well.
     
  9. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Thanks all. Just debating my options.
     
  10. mcb

    mcb Member

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    357 Mag loaded near SAAMI MAP is really hard on unprotected ears.

    45 Colt has so much variability due to do many people loading it well over SAAMI MAP for guns that can take it. Its performance is going to vary allot depending on the gun and what you feed it.
     
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  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    I cannot imagine loading .357 Magnum ammo into a nightstand gun. The .38 Special will penetrate adequately with less noise and blast, and penetration is the name of the game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  12. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Since you mentioned reloading, the Redhawk .45Colt can be loaded for literally anything. Up to 50,000psi using Brian Pearce's data. Think 360's at over 1400fps.

    The .357 is marginal for big game and at its limit with deer sized critters out to 50-75yds.

    They're not 'that' heavy. A 4" Redhawk .45 is 1oz lighter than my 4 5/8" Bisley .44 and 4oz heavier than my 629MG or a 4" GP100 .357Mag.
     
  13. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Human bad guys don’t require a lot of penetration, in which case damage is the commodity...
     
  14. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    If I might carry it, I would go for 357.

    The revolver could be smaller and lighter. Light 38 loads are easy to shoot. 357 will take care of two-legged critters just fine, and most four-legged ones. I used to carry a 4" on my belt after the time a buck was under my tree and I couldn't get my rifle pointed in the right direction quickly and quietly enough.

    If it were nightstand/HD I'm not sure how I'd choose. They'd all be fine by me.
     
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  15. tbob38

    tbob38 Member

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    Lots of good answers above. I have/had both. Gave my Gp100 to my sister, have other .357's. The Redhawk in .45 Colt is probably all you will want in a handgun when loaded to the task. If you are going to load the 45 up, get rubber grips.
     
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  16. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I have a 357 and carry it, but the 45 colt/auto redhawk would be a do all gun. Take it to the woods with heavy 45 colt loads and have moonclips with 45 acp as backup. Take it to the city with light 45 colt loads and have 45 acp as backup. It's just more versatile.
     
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  17. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    I would like to hear from people that have bought the .45 Colt/ACP Redhawk if they are happy with accuracy. I was looking at one recently at the LGS and sorely tempted but wanted to hold off for more community feedback. On paper that would be a dream gun for me because those are the two cartridges I load and shoot the most.
     
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  18. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    If you're up to hefting it, the Redhawk is there better option. 45acp plinking ammo is similar in price to 38/357 and there's for sure some hot stepping 45Colt ammo out there that'll put just about any creature in the freezer.

    Instead of a GP100 for a lighter iron, a SW 66 would be a handy packing pistol. You'd for sure save some bulk and weight over the Redhawk. Enough to make going to a smaller cartridge worth it? That's your call. Handle both and decide for yourself.
     
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  19. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    .45 Colt all the way! From easy-shooting range loads to heavy-duty, .44 Magnum-type hunting loads, especially in the Redhawk. I have a Colt SSA in .45 and will eventually get another stronger revolver in that caliber for deer hunting.
     
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  20. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I've been down this road, i'm back on 45 colt as a favorite.
     
  21. MidRoad

    MidRoad Member

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    One major thing that may not have been mentioned and should be considered how the gun fits your hand. If you haven't handled one you really should before you buy.

    Redhawks have a very long trigger reach, especially for the double action pull. If you have short fingers it may not fit you. I had that issue and that's why my redhawk went down the road. The super redhawk/gp100 the tamer grip is the maximum reach I can personally deal with comfortably.
     
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  22. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    The .45colt wins in every category for me.
    I think the .357 is over rated except in a carbine.
    Marginal at best on deer in my experience.
    I hung my hat on .357 for about 20yrs. I got tired of the sting and the sharp report.

    The Redhawk 50/50 is on my "must have" list.
     
  23. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    I own a gp100 and a 45colt Blackhawk, plus I've owned a 44 mag Redhawk.

    The 45colt loaded to Ruger only is massively more powerful than the 357. It has more power than a 44 mag in a lot of loads.

    Adding the ability of using 45acp makes the Redhawk option pretty sweet.

    If you aren't going to a place with big predators the 357 is a great option, load it with 38spec for the city and people, Buffalo Bore 357 for the woods
     
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  24. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    Heads up, I’m day drinking today, so I might ramble more than usual. Due to a really fun situation with my internet access, any links will be posted in a follow up post so I don’t lose what I’ve already typed.

    Mission drives the gear train.

    I think both calibers are good choices. In the past, I have found 2 articles where guys up in Alaska were able to put down a brown bear with a 10mm. From what I gathered, they were rocking 180 grain JHPs at around 1250fps at the muzzle, so that’s the metric I use for bare minimum for a woods gun. 357 magnum will achieve that benchmark. 45 colt, IN A RUGER REDHAWK OR BLACKHAWK has some really hard hitting options. The two that come to mind are the Grizzly +P that I believe push a 330 grain projectile around 1000 FPS and Garret Cartridges down in Texas has a 405 grain round they claim will mimic the ballistics of the original black powder 45-70 loads. So for the backcountry, I think the 45 colt is probably going to be a bigger hammer, but it’s going to be a bigger hammer. That means more weight, and possibly more of a problem with figuring out holsters, how to carry it and ammo, stuff like that. The term that YouTuber NutnFancy uses for this is Size and Weight Considerations, or SWC.

    You want to rock it in the city too? Awesome!

    That means SWC is potentially going to be more of a factor, because you might have to conceal the gun, and you’re looking at possible issues like speed reloads, and all the stuff that goes with the entangled gunfight. The Redhawk gives you the option of reloading with moon clips. Moon clips also mean that there’s the potential for them to get bent and bind the cylinder.

    GP100 is definitely going to be easier to conceal, more comfy to carry, and reloads are probably going to be easier to carry.

    The way I see it, you have 5 options (yes, I know you only asked about 2 so I’ll put those ones first)

    1 - 4.2 inch GP100 357 magnum, and accept that there may be some limitations with the speed of reloading, and the terminal ballistics in larger bears.

    2 - 4.2 inch 45 colt Redhawk, have the confidence that you can punch a hole through an elk, and accept that it’s going to be a heavier gun, with heavier ammo.

    The ones you didn’t ask about:

    3 - If you want the moon clips, GP100 in 10mm, which you could have rechambered in 10mm Magnum if you really want some extra stopping power in the backcountry.

    4 - GP100 in 44 special, so you don’t have to compromise on the SWC of the gun, but with hot loads, you get a bigger bullet, at the expense of capacity.

    5 - Ruger does make a Super Redhawk Alaskan, which is a snub nose available in 44 magnum, 454 cassull and 480 ruger, if you decide you want lots of ka-pow with a little better SWC.

    Like I tell patients when they ask me if they should go to the hospital, I can’t tell you what you should or should not buy, just give you the information so you can make an informed decision
     
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  25. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I could *personally* care less about .45 Auto. If I want .45 Auto, I'll buy a Colt Gov't. I'm interested primarily (99.9 percent) in the .45 Colt. My slice of God's Country is S. MS, but I plan some hunting trips up north.



     
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