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Can .45 Colt +P ballistically outperform .44 Magnum?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Greg8098, Jan 11, 2007.

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  1. Greg8098

    Greg8098 Member

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    I was just wondering if a .45 Colt when loaded to it's max specs could outperform a .44 Magnum. What I mean is when it comes to accuracy, ME and MV.
     
  2. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    Yes it can quite easily in fact.

    44 mag Corbon 320@1209MV 1038me

    45colt Buff Bore 325@1356MV 1327ME

    These are actual results from a Blawkhawk and a Redhawk(44mag) both with a 5.5 barrel
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Out of a Freedom Arms revolver it easily can. I don't push my stuff as hard as Buffalo Bore does, don't see the need. Anything I'm after, the .44 magnum is plenty enough, so why not mimic the .44's ballistics and save the wear and tear on my Blackhawk? That's my philosophy anyway. If I really needed more, I'd be looking into .460s or .454 Casulls, but I don't live in Alaska.

    Thing about it is, the .45 can equal the .44 mag and do it with quite a bit less pressure. That was the draw to me when I got to wanting a .45 Colt Blackhawk. Of course, I'm a life long reloader.
     
  4. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

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    Yes, but be careful

    In the same sized frame and gun, a .44 mag will have thicker cylinder walls than the .45 Colt
    Linebaugh, Freedom Arms, Stroh, etc. build their .45 Colts using custom 5-shot cylinders. In a comparably framed revolver, the .45 colt should be able to achieve something around 80% of the .44 magnum with regards to pressure. This still gives about twice the pressure that standard factory ammo is loaded to. Corbon, Buffalo Bore and careful handloading will give you safe loads IF you use the proper revolver.
    Dick Casull worked up his .454 Casull using standard length .45 Colt brass. When it was time to start production, he wisely decided to remove the idiot factor and lengthen his case by .1 inch to keep people from chambering his loads into a standard strength revolver.
     
  5. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I don't have a 44 and 45 on hand to check the cylinder walls but off the top of my head dia of a 44 mag case is .456 45 Colt is .480 given the "sloppy" chambers of most standard 45 Colt revolvers the difference in the cylinder walls wouldn't be that much .020" maybe?
     
  6. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    You also might want to check out DoubleTap's offerings. Their .45 Colt ammo comes very heavy (335 grains) and moves at a fast pace (1300 fps). Shoots just fine out of my Blackhawk, and gets 1650 fps from a 16" Trapper. That is pretty close to .454 Casull.
     
  7. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Ditto what McGunner said.

    I'm much "fonder" of my .45colt than I ever was the .44mag.

    Similar performance at lower pressures is the way to go.

    But, I find loads with the 255gr bullets in the 850-1,050fps will do anything you need a handgun to do.

    Quite enough, thankyou !!!
     
  8. BigFatKen

    BigFatKen Member

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    Dittoes on this. I always wondered why revolvers got bigger and bigger until 1873 when they pretty much stopped at .45 Long Clot for a century or so.

    I 'm guessing enough was better than more and a missed target.
     
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    First a nit-pick. There is no "+P .45 Colt." Plus P ammo is withing normal SAAMI standards, or only slightly over. The loads mentioned here are more that 100% over SAAMI standards for .45 Colt.

    The Ruger Blackhawk can digest .44 Magnum loads loaded to the original SAAMI max (40,000 CUP) with no problems. The current SAAMI max of 36,000 CUP was established because S&W had problems with it.

    Ruger Blackhawk cylinder wall thickness for the .45 Colt is about 80% as thick as for the .44 Magnum. That's a straight linear relationship, so the .45 Colt could be loaded safely to about 32,000 CUP -- and actual destruction tests of Blackhawks shows in both cases (.45 Colt and .44 Mag at max pressure) there is a 100% safety margin.

    A .45 Blackhawk can therefore be loaded to higher velocities with heavy bullets than a similar revolver in .44 Magnum at today's SAMMI standard. But, sad to say, at the original 40,000 CUP the .44 Mag will outshoot the .45 Colt.
     
  10. Bear41mag

    Bear41mag Member

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  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I note that he uses the Taylor Knock Out formula -- which is mostly opinion, with little science behind it. So let's stick with Isaac Newton.

    Tested Hodgdon data (the 26th Edition is on my desk right now) listed in the "Silhouette Loads" section shows a maximum load for the .44 mag with a 300 grain bullet achieving 1441 fps (no pressure data given.) The highest maximum load in the same section for the .45 Colt is 1330 fps at 30,000 CUP. To match the .44 Magnum, we need an 8% increase in velocity. Using the Rule of 4 (a 4% increase in pressure produces a 1% increase in velocity) that means a 32% increase in pressure -- or almost 40,000 CUP.
     
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