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handgun performance

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Nicodemus38, Jul 26, 2009.

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  1. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Member

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    im curious here everyone. what really is a better cartridge, 45 colt or 44 magnum? in terms of recoil and velocity and actual energy.

    everyone admits a 45 colt throws a 300 grain bullet at less chamber pressure then a 44 magnum, but at what difference in energy and bullet expansion? and how do these figure in with recoil?
     
  2. Oro

    Oro Member

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    This is a grey area.

    1) Yes, you can load it to like performance in some guns that are built to well-past .45 Colt standards.

    2) No, you can not load it to like levels in just any gun labeled .45 Colt. It would destroy many of them.

    SAAMI sets the standards as to what constitutes the limits of cases and guns labeled with any particular caliber. The minimum standards set for .45 Colt (case size, capacity, and maximum PSI pressure) will not support performance at .44 magnum levels.

    If you could load it to that level in just any .45 Colt, then Colt could turn out a .44 magnum SAA, for example.
     
  3. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    .45 Colt is more comparable to .44 special.
     
  4. greenlion

    greenlion Member

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    Better for what?

    Both are great cartridges for what they are used for.

    Get a Ruger in .454 casull, and you can go from .45 colt to power-factors way beyond .44 magnum levels, and do everything in between to boot.
     
  5. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    The hot loaded .45 offers significantly better terminal performance on game animals, in my experience. They also kick a bit more -- pressure doesn't have anything to do with recoil.

    Velocity and energy are unimportant, compared to results, so I don't have an answer for that question.

    Expansion is undesirable in a hunting revolver bullet. They come out of the barrel "pre-expanded" and don't have enough power to offer adequate penetration if they open up like the typical rifle bullet.
     
  6. David E

    David E Member

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    Maybe in Cowboy loads.

    The lightest Remington .45 Colt load throws a 250 grain bullet @ 860, which is good for 410 ft lbs.

    The Remington .44 Special launches a 246 RNL bullet at 755 fps generating 310 ft lbs, or only 75% of the .45 Colt load.

    Handloaded, the .45 Colt leaves the .44 Special in the dust.

    (altho carefully reloading the .44 Special will bring it up off it's knees, such as propelling a 250 grain SWC @ 1150 fps or so.)
     
  7. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    It's a lot closer to .44 Special than .44 Magnum, until you get into non-standard hot loaded "Ruger-only" loads.
     
  8. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    I say 44 magnum because you can load it with something resembling the 45 long colt or you can really spice it up
     
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The pressure specs for standard ammo are 14,000 psi for the .45 Colt and 36,000 psi for the .44 Magnum. Loading the .45 Colt for newer guns based on what someone thinks they can take is a gray area and involves some risk.

    Jim
     
  10. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Member

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    im assuming that you have a true italian clone of the saa and not a freedom arms or a ruger or eaa bounty hunter.

    just why is handgun bullet expansion bad for hunting deer?
     
  11. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I'm pretty surprised there's anyone left to still trot out that line. A zillion shooters have fired a zillion rounds of "hot" .45 Colt loaded up using data published by reputable companies -- or factory loaded by reputable companies, for that matter -- and lived to tell about it. The only real risk is inadvertently dropping one of those rounds into grandpa's old SAA and turning it into confetti -- and with modern bullet designs, even that danger has been all but eliminated.

    So is that your only "blast from the past", Jim, or are you going to claim that .45 Colt brass is "weaker" than other brass now? :neener:
     
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