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Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by peacebutready, Oct 22, 2018.
Which is more popular these days, the .44 special/magnum, or the .45 Colt?
Do you hang with the Dirty Harry or John Wayne crowd? I think the popularity is going to depend a lot on context. Though it seems to me that 45 Colt is on a bit of a small revival while 44 Mag has lost some of its luster. But that may just be my particular exposure.
FWIW I own a pistol/carbine combination in 44 Mag and do not own any firearms chambered in 45 Colt.
Both are pretty well represented at my household. There seem to be myths that persist regarding them all.
I have both, and like them both.
44's only at my house no 45's except ACP . Don't ask why I don't really know. Maybe some time in the past component availability and price made me go with 44's.
I suspect the preference for single action only or single/double action revolver is going to have a strong influence on this. No doubt you can get both revolver types in both cartridges but 45 Colt are going to be single action far more often than double action and the converse will be true of 44 Mag.
Both and ACPs. Love them all.
I don't know for sure, but I'd bet if popularity is based on the number of sales of guns and/or ammo "these days," the 44 Special/Magnum is a lot more popular than the 45 Colt. Not only that, but I think there's a lot more 44 Special/Magnum guns available than there are 45 Colt guns.
And for me personally, I like 44 Special/Magnum revolvers more than I like 45 Colt revolvers. I have one 45 Colt revolver, but I shoot my 44 Magnum at least 10 times as much.
I have two of each:
2 bulldogs(one 44 one 45)
2 ubertis(one 44 one 45)
I don’t currently own a 44 mag. I do own Ruger Blackhawks in 45 Colt and 44 Special. I’m a hunter and also a handloader. These two calibers will do anything and everything I need. That being said, I do believe the 44 mag is much more popular for the unwashed heathen masses.
I have two .45 Colts -- one is a New Service (modern style SA/DA) and the other is a Ruger Blackhawk. My New Service had been reblued with the marking blurred (so I got it cheap) and it shot 18" high and a foot to the left. I finally cut the barrel off at 5 1/2" and put adjustable sights on it, and dressed it up with Herrett Shooting Master grips. It's my favorite revolver nowadays, and I shoot a fair amount of hot-loaded ammo (19,000 PSI) through it. In my opinion, it will do anything a .44 Mag will do, but with less recoil and blast.
And for the contrarian view: I have five 45 Colt revolvers (4 USFAs and 1 Ruger OM). Although I've owned more 44 Magnums and 44 Specials than I can remember I just got tired of them. That and my arthritic hands got to not liking the Magnum's recoil. I was always an advocate of shooting Magnums in Magnum guns and Specials in Special guns. I know that goes against the grain but...
Now I prefer 45 caliber, 255g lead bullets and 250g plated bullets at 850-900 fps (depending on barrel length) out of single action revolvers. Sometimes propelled by a black powder substitute or the real thing (smile). They will do everything I need a handgun to do and more. And luckily I can still handle them.
My point, exactly -- when a 250 grain semi-wadcutter hits a deer (or an elk for that matter) at 900 fps, any additional velocity is just expended in the air.
Although the versatility of the .44 is not to be denied, the 'most powerful handgun in the world' has been unseated for many, many years. 454 Casull, .460 and .500's, etc have all left the allure of the .44 in the dust. That is not to say it's not a capable round, but the armchair crowd and range posers would probably opt for something else. Interest in the .45 Colt has grown with the cowboy stuff.. I would consider them a dead heat. I'm sure there is a number somewhere on the sales comparison between the two...
My mom's old idiot boyfriend went and bought a .500 S&W just because it was the biggest handgun he could buy. I think he put 12 rounds through it... but he sure looked macho at the gun range...
No idea which is more popular but I have plenty of both in my collection.
Both single action and double action revolvers in .45Colt, .44Mag and .44Spl.
Also have a lever action rifle in .45Colt, Cimarron 1873 with an octagonal barrel.
Have four .44Mag revolvers but haven't bought any in several years. Last couple single action revolvers I bought were in .44Spl and .45Colt. I also bought a Contender in .45Colt this year.
I also seem to accumulate .41Mag revolvers as well.
All get shot regularly...along with the .357Mag revolvers.
Guess I am addicted to shooting handguns...luckily, there doesn't seem to be a cure.
I have five firearms in .45 Colt, and none in .44.
I bet it’s the 45 colt mainly because the judge I know several who own judges and almost no one who has a 44
If you go to Wally World or a big-box sporting goods store, you will definitely find one or more varieties of 44 magnum. You may or may not find any 45 colt... and probably only one variety if so.
That's how it is where I live, anyway.
Personally, I have several of each and like them all. Moderately loaded 45 colt, 45acp, and 44 special all feel about the same to me in similar revolvers. When I shoot 44 magnum it's noticeably spicier. I've never shot a "Ruger only" 45 colt load.
I had a 45 Colt revolver long before any 44.
I have more 44 Special revolvers than 44 Magnum.
I like them all.
For an indicator, I will go by Ruger's decision to drop the 5 inch Redhawk in 45 Colt in favor of the 44 Magnum version. In single actions, there are so many caveats about what you can shoot in them that it becomes a PITA and more or less a reloader's gun, unless you are happy with cowboy loads. My Redhawk is one of those discontinued 5.5" 45 Colts and is ported, among other enhancements. It allows exploring all those "Ruger-only" loads that meet or exceed 44 Magnum performance. I had a 45 Colt NM Blackhawk supposedly capable of handling similar loadings, but there are just too many issues with a Ruger. Even the Redhawk had pressure issues, until I discovered to my surprise that the throats were tight and needed reaming. Gun makers seem to never be quite sure what they are doing with a 45 Colt.
I have some of each and like them all. I am not aware of any actual figures to answer the question.
In revolvers my preference (based on the number of samples) is strongly 45acp/45AR with 44Magnum (but never keep any on hand, shoot 44 Special) and 45LC tied with an equal number of samples. In terms of range time it isn't even close. While I'll likely shoot 44Special or 45LC a few times a year 45acp&45AR are regular visitors to the range. But the 45acp semi-automatic gets out even less than the 45LC or 44Spl.
I've never had a functional .45LC so I'm not a good judge.
I do like my .44 magnums, though.
Speaking as an unwashed heathen, I have several 44s, of both Magnum and Special varieties.
Not a 45 in the bunch, neither Long, short, Colt, or ACP.
Come to that, I haven't even fired a 45 ACP since I worked for our crazy Uncle, way back when.
No idea why I haven't any 45's, it just worked out that way.
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