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.45 vs .44

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by FlyingKiwi, Mar 21, 2012.

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  1. FlyingKiwi

    FlyingKiwi Member

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    Ok this is a debate I've had with myself for a while now. Here's the question:

    If you had to leave your home and vacate to the rocky mountains of Colorado would you rather have a .45acp or a .44 magnum on your hip?

    Now my "bug out" primary is already an AR15 which is extremely effective against human enemies. My problem is that a .45 would be effective against humans (high cap, faster target acquisition, more common caliber) but not great for large game defense. And a .44 is decent in both realms.

    I don't need to hear advice like "you need a .22lr" or "12 gauge!" or even stuff like "water is better than a gun". Those are all valid points but would like to hear a discussion about .45 vs .44 mag in this scenario.
     
  2. Narwhal

    Narwhal Member

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    .44 mag without question in the rocky mountains.
     
  3. gp911

    gp911 Member

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    .44 loaded with hardcast, no question.
     
  4. charlie echo

    charlie echo Member

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    44 mag, with hard cast, 310 or 320 grain bullets, full charge (I buy mine from Garrett Cartridges) Might even defeat some vests. 45 ACP's mainly for urban social use, although a magazine full of .45s has downed a bear last year for someone.


    I even have shot-shell 44 loads, for snake or birds.
     
  5. 303tom

    303tom member

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    That is a no-brainer, .44 Magnum, unless like the header says .45 vs .44 then I would rather have the .454 Casull...........
     
  6. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    A .45 ACP revolver (a modern one) also shoots .45 Super.

    Buffalo Bore offers a 255 gr/1090fps HCFN round in .45 Super. I guess, if you think you'll need more than that, your answer is .44 Mag.

    For "regular duty," you'd still be able to use any available .45 ACP or .45 GAP rounds. And .45 Super, .45 GAP or .45 ACP rounds take less space: I can easily carry 4 reloads in a "double" speedloader pouch.
     
  7. Missionary

    Missionary Member

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    Good morning
    Within the parameters described the 44 Mag is always going to be far better. No 45ACP (my favorite auto caliber) is going to be able to propel a 250+ grainer at 1350+ fps. That load with take care of 99% of al practicle conditions. Easy to load down to 900 fps where the 45 ACP is. For a real light weight plinker a .430 roundball with 4 grains Unique will quietly pop bunnys.. Plus the revolver will function always no matter what the load.
    So for versitility a revolver with a couple speed loaders is a tough pachage to beat.
    Mike in Peru
     
  8. jackpinesavages

    jackpinesavages member

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    Smart way to pose the question, excellent.

    With the AR as your long gun, the .45 is your better choice, for several reasons.

    What part of CO you headed for? :D
     
  9. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Definitely the .44Mag but the .45ACP would do fine, properly loaded.
     
  10. COgunner

    COgunner Member

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    I live in the CO Rockies, and I would say your odds of needing a weapon against "large game" are incredibly low. The most dangerous animal in CO is likely the moose and there are very few of them - mostly in the Rocky Mtn Natl. Park area.

    The occasional black bear or mountain lion are highly unlikely to attack humans - it is quite rare to even see a mountain lion, less so a black bear, but still uncommon. For the type of situation you describe, I would be much more concerned about defense against two-legged predators.

    Of course, you could just trade that AR-15 for an AR-10 or M1A and be better prepared for any size predator in the lower 48. My $.02
     
  11. ghitch75

    ghitch75 Member

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    my vote Ruger loads 45 Colt.....will do everything a 44mag will do with bigger hole...
     
  12. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Member

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    I always carry a heavy loaded 45COLT when I am in the ' high lonesome'. ALWAYS !!!
    It distinctly outperforms the 44MAG period.
    And so it goes...
     
  13. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    You can always swap out the six full powered bear loads for six medium power self-defense loads that will be more controllable for use against two legged predators when you get back to civilization. You can even charged it with snake shot for use on fishing trips or take it hunting. The .45 ACP is a better tool for shooting at other armed people, but the .44 is much more versitile for the outdoorsman.
     
  14. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    .45 Colt
     
  15. Swing

    Swing Member

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    I love the .45 ACP, but the destination specified, definitely the .44 Magnum.
     
  16. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    I wouldn't be going with a caliber so much as a package. Depends on which .44 you are wanting to carry, how long you are going to be up there. The conditions and surroundings etc.

    Advantages to .45 ACP is lighter, easier to carry guns, read commanders, etc.
    You already have a food rifle. .44 Magnum in Colorado? Have they been invaded by Brown bear lately?

    .44's are generally heavy, and I'd want to know where my ammo is going to come from, in either case.
     
  17. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 magnum loaded with Buffalo Bore 340 gr +P+. This far exceeds anything that the .45 colt can do and is in the range of many .454 Casull loads. I vote .44 magnum all the way.
     
  18. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Well the first thing I'd ditch is that .223. It is not enough gun for hunting in the mountains where distances can be long.

    No question I'd take the 44. With the revolver you can hunt both small and deer size game whereas the 45 Auto you are basically limited to a 25 yard gun for small game hunting.

    I know it is hard to accept but the .223 isn't worth a whole lot outside of prairie dogs and shooting a whole lot of rounds fast.
     
  19. hariph creek

    hariph creek Member

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    10MM!

    Sorry, had to do it.
     
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I would also choose the .44 Magnum over the .45 Auto for the Rocky Mountains...
     
  21. breeze010

    breeze010 Member

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    If you truly feel you may need it for defense against wildlife the 44mag is clearly the better round against large game. The 45acp is probably the better round against bipedal animals simply due to higher capacity, lower recoil for follow-up shots, ability to carry more ammo, quicker reloads (might be debatable if you're really good with speed loaders I guess), etc. Someone did kill a grizz with a 45ACP in AK, IIRC it was in Denali but the bear ran off after the attack and was found dead the next day.

    Rather than comparing the calibers I think you need to find out the answer to these and the choice will be easy:
    1) What are your chances of a potentially life threatening encounter with a bear/moose/etc vs some other threat where the benefits of the 45 would be preferable.
    2) Which platform and caliber can you shoot more accurately with? It's an old cliche but a well placed 45ACP is going to be a better deterrent against a bear than a miss with a 44mag.

    That being said, personally I would probably go with the 44mag but would rather have a 357 or even 41mag. Your chances are slim of running into a wild animal you will need to defend yourself against but the more powerful round gives you the ability to reliably hunt larger game if necessary. Plus, I shoot a revolver much more accurately than any pistol I've ran across. A revolver loaded with 357's or even 38spcl is the perfect woods gun for me (assuming no grizzlies); a really light 38 load even gives you a decent option for small game. If I had to take an autoloader into the woods where I may need it against bears I would be looking at a 10mm.

    Honestly, though? I think you'll be fine with either...buy which platform you like or want the most so you can enjoy it the other 99% of the time.
     
  22. sirsloop

    sirsloop Member

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    .45 as in .458win mag? :)
     
  23. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    Since I own a Marlin 1894 and a Tracker in 44 mag that's what I would grab but hey, I would take my 45 along if I had room.
     
  24. Brockak47

    Brockak47 Member

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    in the mountains I would prefer a .44 , 6 or 5 rounds of .44 mag to me is better than 8-14 rounds of .45 acp...for large animal defence
     
  25. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    If you have something you can pocket carry, then just throw it in the bag, properly locked of course to make it pass TSA.

    I carry my SP101 pocket carry most of the time EDC so out in the woods, it is still there with my .44 magnum in cross carry bandolier. May come in handy when wolves make it back to CO!!
     
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