45LC/454 Casull revolver options

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by brewer12345, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    You can't load .45Colt beyond .44Mag pressures in anything but a Redhawk or .454. "Ruger only" loads are 80% the pressure of the .44Mag.
     
  2. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    Couldn't you do that in a custom 5 shot cylinder blackhawk ?
     
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  3. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Could you elaborate on this? Talking Ruger only loads right now. Well just a question really, doesn't the 45 Colt push the same weight bullets just as fast at lower pressure than 44 Mag? This is really a question and not a statement. Thanks. Not saying I would ever load that hot.

    I too am looking for a fun to shoot 45 Colt. Not sure if I want a 454 capable firearm. My brother has a freedom arms and he loves his. I have shot it more than once.
     
  4. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    Exactly as you said, the .45 colt can be loaded to 30k PSI in a Ruger Blackhawk, the .44 mag pressure tops at 32k PSI, you get 80 percent of the .44 mag pressure, in order to get higher than that in the .45 you need to use a strong enough gun like the Redhawk or an actual .454 Casull/.460 Smith.
     
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  5. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    One way to skin this cat is to purchase a .45 Colt conversion cylinder for your percussion revolver (a .44 percussion revolver has a .45 bore. That combo is usually only rated for low pressure ammo so perhaps not suitable for your needs.
     
  6. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I misspoke when I talked about “pressure” I meant “power”. I edited my post.


    Anyway,
    If you look for information on hot rodding the .45 Colt there is a lot of information but it’s guarded information. The hot rounds I made for my Vaquero made me nervous. I fired a dozen then disassembled the rest of the rounds I loaded.
    My opinion, If you want a powerful handgun, go with a handgun and a cartridge designed for what you want to do with it.

    It would be a shame to buy a gun for hundreds of dollars only to shoot it apart and have nothing when for a few hundred dollars more you can get a gun that will last you for life and do what you want it to do.
    Heck, you can shoot .45 Colt in a .454 Casull for when you just want to shoot for the enjoyment of it and the .45 Colt is no slouch as a defense round.
     
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  7. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

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    Yeah - it seems like this topic always brings out the fans of both cartridges, each claiming why their favorite is better. I own and shoot both, so I mostly just sit back and watch.

    But to your point, it's difficult to find published data for .45 Colt that matches or exceeds .44 Mag pressure levels. So at that point, the reloader is a little out there on their own anyways. Again, not that it can't be done safely. But lacking pressure test equipment, people are flying somewhat blind at this point.

    Having said that, even staying with published data it's difficult to really find a good apples-to-apples comparison when going through the reloading manuals. You can sometimes find loads for the same bullet weight between the two cartridges, but then they were worked up using different length barrels. And then many manuals don't list the pressure they generated for a given load. But some do. Or they will use different brand bullets, which may make a difference.

    Data from the Annual Hodgdon 2021 magazine might be about the closest, but still not perfect. They use an 8.275" barrel in .44 and a 7.25" barrel in .45 Colt. They fastest load they list for a 240 grain .44 Nosler JHP gave them 1582 fps / 38,100 CUP. They have a 240 grain .45 Sierra JHC at 1532 fps / 30,000 CUP. Pretty close. If they had used the same length barrel in both, it might be even closer.

    Switching to a 300 gr. bullet, they push a .44/300 XTP to 1325/38,800 CUP. The .45/300 Speer JFP got up to 1202/29,900 CUP.

    The Sierra 5th ed. is nice in that they use a 7-1/2" barrel for both cartridges. But they do not list pressures for any given loads. They do list a number of loads for their 240 grain .44 JHC which hit 1400 fps. On the other hand, their 240 grain .45 JHC loads top out at 1250 fps. Moving up, they have one load for their .44/300 JSP that tops out at 1150 fps. And then they have five loads for their .45/300 JSP that get up to 1100 fps.

    Accurate Arms Number Two loading manual (not to be confused with their powder of the same name) uses a 7-1/2" barrel on the .44 and a 7" tube on the .45 Colt. They list a .44/240 IMI at 1534 fps/39,900 CUP. They have a .45/240 Siearra at a sedate 1148 fps/20,400 CUP. The comparison is similar between the 300 gr. bullets for either cartridge. But then they are loading the .44 to almost double the pressure of the .45 in these instances.

    Hornady 10th Ed. lists a 240 gr. XTP at 1400 fps in the .44 and 1450 fps in the .45 Colt. But the .45 is shot from a barrel that's 2.5" longer. 300 gr. XTPs are similar at 1200 vs. 1300 in the .44 and .45 respectively.

    I could come up with some more examples, but the real point I'm trying to make is that even with published data, the differences between the two aren't very great. Pick one or the other and come up with a load that shoots accurately. That will be far more important than whether or not you can get an extra 50 or 100 fps. out of one bullet or the other.

    If you need more velocity, go with the .454 or one of the other cartridges mentioned by others here. Good luck and have fun.
     
  8. cjwils

    cjwils Member

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    I think comparing pressure might not be the point when comparing .45 Colt Ruger-only loads to .44 Mag loads. Since the Colt 45 has a bigger case, and often uses bigger, heavier bullets, you might get comparable muzzle energy or close to it, with 80% of the pressure when you use the .45 Colt.
     
  9. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I skipped the 454 Casull and went straight to a 460 S&W Magnum and bought a 460 XVR. But it is a big, heavy revolver.

    But, if you want a 45 caliber revolver with comparable energy as a 44 Magnum, a 454 Casull is it. I'm not a fan of pushing 45 Colt beyond published standard pressure levels regardless of the "strength" of the firearm.

    Regardless, in either case, you have to be a handloader.
     
  10. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    The problem is that there really isn't a tier for running .45's at .44 pressures. It's been said elsewhere that the .45 runs away from the .44 if run at the same pressure. This is stupidly obvious but also irrelevant. Because .45's are 80% the strength of .44's so there's no way to make an apples to apples comparison. If you're running a .45 at 36,000psi in a large frame Ruger, you're eating into the 100% safety margin. If we jump from Tier 3 to Tier 4, which is Redhawk/Super Redhawk and custom oversized cylinder guns, only then can both cartridges operate at the same pressure of +50,000psi. In which case the .45 does run away from the .44 by ~100fps due to case capacity.


    That's not me either. I've done extensive testing and have to challenge the conventional wisdom that the .45 gives you more at less pressure. I've been accused of being a .44 fanboy and just hating on the .45. In fact, I probably have more .45Colt's than most .45Colt fans at 16 guns.


    What I found is that the .44 has a 50-100fps advantage across the board for most bullet weights. Which puts to bed the claim that the .45 yields higher velocities at lower pressures. People claim the .45 handles heavier bullets but that is also untrue. People talk about the .45 being larger but the meplat is often the same between commercial cast bullets of similar shape. For instance, many LFN's are .300" in both .44 and .45 diameters. The two cartridges in effect perform the same job. What the .44 does with more pressure, the .45 does with more powder. The result is a wash.
     
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