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

44 Magnum or 45 Colt?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by spider 69, Oct 7, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. spider 69

    spider 69 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    67
    Had a big Black Bear walk right up on me real quiet. I only saw him when I closed my van doors. Now I hear about predatory black bear attacks and I wonder if I just missed having one.

    This was winter in a closed campground in the Smokies.

    I've got a S&W 629 6" in 44 Magnum but I wonder if a 4" would be handier. While looking for one I found out the S&W 25 4" comes in 45 Colt.

    What I'd appreciate would be if ya'll would share your thoughts on the two calibers.
     
  2. gspn

    gspn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,155
    Do you reload?
     
  3. spider 69

    spider 69 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    67
    Hi, gspn. I have, on a very small scale, for my automatics. I mean to pursue it more rigorously now that I am shooting more revolvers.
     
  4. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    South Central Kansas
    44 mag vs 45 lc

    spider 69: I don`t know wheither the S&W model 629 or 25 will safely shoot Thoes COR-BON loads and the others like them. But I know a RUGER SUPER BLACKHAWK & BLACKHAWK will. I have both a 44 mag in a Super Blackhawk & a 45 LC in a OM Blackhawk. I have had them since the early 70`s. Both are 7 1/2 in barrels but I like a long barrel gun. When I lived in COL and went walking around in the Moutains one of thoes guns were with me in a shoulder holster. And more times than not I chose the 45 LC with a 255 gr LSWC bullet and 10 grs of unique. I felt very comfortable walking around the mountains with that gun and it has always been my choice. But the 44 MAG would work just as well. Keep us posted on your choice. GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken
     
  5. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Either will work as well as the other, and handloading will improve matters whatever your choice. And yes, the 4" gun is handier...until you pull the trigger:D
     
  6. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    This topics comes up often. Use search function, and you will find a ton of info
     
  7. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,390
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    I hunt big game with a S&W 25-5. A 255gr - 270gr SWC at 1000+fps will put a world of hurt on any black bear you are likely to meet.

    Don
     
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,841
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I love Smith 4" N frames. If you want an N frame, the 629 is the way to go. If you're willing to reload, a 4 5/8" Blackhawk in. 45 Colt would also work great.

    John
     
  9. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,285
    Location:
    lynn,ma
    The 45 Colt would be fine but I'd be somewhat leery about heavy loads in a S&W,but if you had a Ruger Redhawk in a 4" version I wouldn't worry in the least.
     
  10. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,061
    Location:
    S.E. Minnesota
    This is an oversimplification, but:
    If you're not going to reload get a .44 Otherwise get a .45 if single action, and a .44 if double action.

    With the right bullet either should shoot through a bear lengthwise.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  11. BigShep85

    BigShep85 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    286
    Get you a 45 colt and then you would have both
     
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    14,252
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    While you cannot reach either cartridge's potential in an N-frame, you can certainly handle virtually any situation short of a big brown bear charge with a good cast bullet at ~1000fps.
     
  13. spider 69

    spider 69 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    67
    Thanks all for your posts. They've given a lot to think about. I actually have guns for both calibers already. I've got a USFA Rodeo in 45 Colt with the short barrel but I was thinking that the single action would hamper quick follow up shots, which was why I was looking at the Smith. Could be a problem with the Rugers as well. I've only fired Cowboy Action loads with my Rodeo. Anybody know how it would stand up to Buffalo Bore types?
     
  14. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,061
    Location:
    S.E. Minnesota
    IMHO you want something loaded in-between. (like maybe 9.5 or 10 grains of Unique with a 255 grain flat-nosed bullet)
     
  15. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Then I would opt for the .45 Colt. That's always my suggestion. .44 mag if you do not handload. .45 Colt if you do.
    If you don't, there are so many more options for .44 mag.
    If you do, the options for either are endless.
    I'm nostalgic about the ol' .45 Colt, but I prefer it in a single action. Not saying I would turn down a nice Smith though. :)
     
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,841
    Location:
    Atlanta
    You don't need Thor's hammer for most black bears in the lower 48. That said, if you want more power in a .45 Colt, single action is probably the way to go. Do NOT fire powerful modern loads in a SAA-type revolver! There is no single yes answer to your Winchester firing BB. BB makes loads that are safe for SAAMI-spec .45 Colt, and other loads that go up to Ruger/Magnum Research/FA-only strength levels.

    If you don't want to reload, the 4" S&W 629 is a great choice. The 300-grain Georgia Arms loads are a little much for it, though.

    John
     
  17. blarby

    blarby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,144
    Location:
    Calapooia Oregon
    Ahh, what to say, and what not to say.......


    I'll "vote" for a 4" 44 mag- as its my preference in all things "major damage".

    If you reload...... *inserts warning about everything*

    A 200 gr solid or HP of your choice, sitting atop 26 grs of h-110, utilizing a magnum primer, is all you will ever need for "encounter distance" power like you are asking for.

    In a 4" ported magnum, its a handle- but its handleable.

    If you drop 1.5 grs of powder, and go for a 240(ish) gr bullet- you're in an elevated- yet similar, power window...but unless its got steel plates in it-your target that is, you are going to blow right on through.....and you are gonna waste a LOT of your power factor.

    Go for something that dumps maximum energy- you want 100% expansion at the velocity you are shooting. Test it. Test it again. Test it on a folded over side of beef, and throw a large beef rib rack on top to simulate bearchismo and muscle ripping adrenaline. If that bullet exits, its not doing its job.

    "big black bear" you say ?

    So that'd be a what, 300+ lb one ?

    A standard remington softpoint in 44 mag would be extreme overkill unless you dumped all 6 into an enlarged shoulder plate.

    A 250 gr softpoint in 45 colt, at even a moderate velocity, would do the exact same thing.


    Black bear isn't exactly a Deathclaw, so to speak.

    You'd be well suited in either caliber.

    You'd be better suited with something thats double action. When the adrenal dump hits you, timed and aimed precision SA trigger malarky isn't gonna help you one bit. The first second that growl reverbs through you at that distance, you'll be jamming on that hot button as fast as your synapses can fire.... unless you are a true, hardened battleboy. Since you'll be jamming that button repeatedly, you might as well make sure something is coming out the other end whilst doing so.

    FWIW.. YMMV. Be safe.

    PS- Please dont put BB in your rodeo. If you want gun pieces, send me your rodeo, and I will send you pieces I've collected along the way. It wont be yours- but it'll have the same effect. Will it happen on round one ? prolly not. Round 300, possibly maybe. All that really isn't necessary, and that poor gun never did anything to you.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    21,661
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    I'm a big fan of the .45 Colt and feel it can do most of what a .44 Magnum can do but with less recoil. A 4" M625 in .45 Colt is a great revolver for woods carry IMO. If it's a Mountain Gun it's even better!

    Like said above, a 255gr bullet from a .45 Colt even @900 fps will put a world of hurt on a Black Bear and because of the minimal recoil an accurate follow up shot if necessary is easier.
     
  19. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,136
    I went with the .44 magnum. I don't intend to reload and there is a great selection of available ammo for the .44 magnum. I have a Ruger SRH that weighs 53 oz. At this weight, even with high powered loads, I don't find the recoil hard to tolerate at all.

    In addition, you can use .44 special as well for practice. However, in reality, there is such a wide over lap between the two calibers that it is probably impossible to state which is best. In the end, personal preference trumps all of the technical issues. I guess Dirty Harry's influence may have made my day when I picked up the .44 magnum. :D
     
  20. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    .45 Colt because I reload and because I didn't enjoy shooting .44 Magnums. I did like the Colt, however :)

    Used my Blackhawk in .45 Colt as down payment for a S&W 625-9 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt - love the cartridge but don't like single actions. No, it's not _as_ strong as a Ruger but it can handle plenty for anything in the lower 48.

    My preferred taste is 9 gr of Unique behind a 250 grain keith type. That'll get it moving around 1000 fps and that's good enough for any black bear alive.
     
  21. David E

    David E Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,455
    The 25-5 is NOT suitable for hot loads!

    A 250 grain SWC @ 900 to 1000 max should handle anything you need to shoot.
     
  22. ApplePie

    ApplePie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    For black bears, how about bear spray? From everything I read and hear from the "bear experts", it's a more effective stopper even for Grizzlies, and you won't have the Division of Wildlife second guessing you about the necessity of shooting a bear. I just heard a first-hand report from a neighbor who had a black bear bouncing his BBQ grill around his porch. Stuck his hand out the porch door 5 feet from the bear, sprayed him, and the bear was out of sight in the woods in exactly two seconds, and never returned.
     
  23. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,136
    Hmmm, 44 Magnum or 45 Colt or bear spray?

    If you break down the data and results in the so called expert bear spray studies, you find some very surprising facts. Bear spray is most effective at 3 meters and less effective at 5 meters. That will get your attention for sure.

    The correct answer is both a gun and bear spray since neither offer 100% effectiveness. Guns are quite good as well. If you look at DLP's in Alaska, one study showed only one injury out of 71 events. This is actually in the same range of effectiveness as the bear spray studies.

    If you read the entire study, the prevailing reasoning on bear spray vs guns is completely a preservation argument, not a safety argument. So, yes, bear spray is a very viable component of bear safety, but what my friend do you do when that canister is empty?:eek:

    Back to the OP, in that case, I choose a .44 magnum with +P+ BB loads.:D
     
  24. rozziboy18

    rozziboy18 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    knoxville tn
    both are truly awesome rounds! have owned shot both! in the right platform the 44 mag is very managable and with time you can shoot it as well as anything. my prefferance falls with the 44 mag, i dont believe in giving black bears 1 inch. i live in knoxville and work in pigeon forge. i make my living doing guided bear hunts in gatlinburg and pigeon forge and have had more than a few run ins with bb's. one i wrote about and can be found here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=558798). that day i only had a 1911, the next i carryed a ar15 with 2 mags of m855's:what:. in the end all i have to say is a if 4 inch model 29 was good enough for elmer keith,its good enough for me!
     
  25. rozziboy18

    rozziboy18 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    knoxville tn
    Alaska444

    do you realize that was you 444th post!?!? and mine after yours was my
    444th!!?!? its fate, we now have to go hunting together!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page