true but I will add that over the years in several ruger 45 colts I have pushed my fair share of "ruger only" loads with my cast bullets.zero problems.ditto on my rugers in 44 mag and recoil was stiff in both.
keep to the spec's in the reloading books and the ruger 45 colt has plenty of power.if you need more than that get a 454.
Even though PanaDP has made up his mind to go with the 45, best choice IMHO, I wanted to add something from the the big gun guru, John Linebaugh. This should help solidify your decision and to give you a warm fuzzy
Here is the link,
Though the article surrounds the S&W 25 he makes a few points for the 45 over the 44.
1. "While I have nothing against the .41 or .44 magnum calibers I prefer the .45 for these two main reasons.
First, it simply packs more punch due to bullet weight and caliber, "the only constants we have in external ballistics," and the gun is slightly lighter due to the bigger holes drilled in the barrel and cylinder."
2. "Perhaps some will wonder why I would choose the .45 over the mighty .44 magnum and loose the power advantage. In our testing over the years we have proven in pressure barrels using the copper crusher method that the .45 Colt cartridge will do anything the .44 magnum round will do with 5,000 to around 10,000 PSI less pressure depending on the load and bullet weight combination. This is not a great secret, its just a matter of capacity."
3. "The bigger case holds more powder, generates more gas upon ignition and has more steam to push the slug down the barrel, and more capacity gives the gas more room to work in "more comfortably" so to speak. Overall this keeps the pressure level lower for each unit of velocity. Bigger cartridges simply give us more speed and power for less pressure. It may surprise many but the cylinder on the S&W .45 Colt is the same diameter as the Ruger Blackhawk. The webs (between chambers) and outside chamber wall are also the same."
4. In reference to a 310 gr Keith style bullet @ 1200 fps......"I know for a fact this load will go through elk like cheese at long range. I don't mean to be beating a dead horse but velocity does not buy us power. Instead it buys us trajectory and range. At handgun ranges I'm not sure we need an abundance of either."
5. "The difference in chamber pressure makes up for the difference in mechanical strength in the guns. The .45 just isn't quite as strong mechanically as the .44 magnum in the cylinder, but in turn the .45 does any equal amount of work with less pressure. It all balances out."
"The great thing about the .45 Colt in modern cases as compared to the .44 Magnum is that the .45 Colt can be loaded to more power with less pressure than the .44 magnum. That is not a misprint. The .45 Colt properly loaded is more powerful than the .44 magnum. The .44 Magnum is still a great cartridge, but it takes much more pressure to push a 325-grain bullet to the speed of a 325-grain bullet in the .45 Colt. I must stress that these heavy-loaded forty-fives are not for guns such as the Smith & Wesson N-frames or Colt Single actions or their copies. These guns are very good, but cannot handle a steady diet of 325 grain bullets pushed in excess of 1300 feet per second as can the stronger Ruger revolvers."
My story is that I did just that around 1979 for a ruger blackhawk. Followed the manual and loaded about 12 cartridges.
at the range the the recoil was very firm. after 6 rounds i took out the cartridges with some effort. Upon inspection the cases were buldged near the bottom. i did not shoot the other 6 and felt lucky that i survived the 6 i shot.
later a guy at the LGS informed me that it was probably due to too much crimp.
I will never handload a 45lc to above the max factory round - just too unsafe for me. If you like the .45 cal and want higher energies then get the S&W 460mag.
i think, that in today's world, the 45lc is best for SASS, Single Action Quuick Draw, and SD if you like the SA revolver.
I'd rather have the 44mag for ease of ammo availability, so many different energy ranges of commercial loads. I have a spreadsheet of all commercial loads available and last count there were 28 different energy loads available from 44 special to the hottest 44mag available.
txpete said that the 45 could be loaded to same energy levels as the 44mag and I resonded to my experience yesterday.
TODAY i thought further on his comment and studied the midwayusa ammo listings available for the 45LC
To my surprise there are some loads that are commercially available that do indeed equal the 44mag.
Does anybody have any experience with the Grizzly ammo?
i have on my wish list a ruger single action in 44 or 45 - i am leaning toward the 44mag
why - as i see it - safety (on three fronts) and
more commercially variably ammo and easier to find.
How much $ per 100 for handloaded 45 Long Colt (aprox)?
How much $ per 100 for handloaded 460 S&W Mag (aprox)?
I still might buy one of these big X-Frame monsters. There's lots of them around used now under $1K. I guess the original owner didn't enjoy them much...
I don't know why everyone is saying .44 mag is more "readily available" than .45 because for just about ANY pistol chambered in .45 Colt, you can buy a .45 ACP cylinder. Now that's what I call readily available, better for plinking, and cheaper. Plus, .45 Colt can be loaded just as hot as a .44 mag (Maybe not for every gun but should for most new pistols). I own a Ruger New Vaquero and it has held up for the past year of probably a 1000 rounds of hot .45 Colt + even more factory loads. And I have a .45 ACP cylinder that is awesome for plinking and cowboy action shooting.
.45 Colt Rules.
There have been a variety of answers offered from both camps in this thread, no shortage of opinion and not really a lot of hard research or test data presented to support either side. I do not claim to be an expert in ballistics or building custom loads or even shooting for that matter. I own guns in both calibers, and load a variety of power levels in both. My .45 heavy load is a 335 grain bullet cast from wheel weights in a Veral Smith LBT mold. 23 grains of 296 drives this bullet to 1160fps, as measured by an Oehler 35P chronograph ten feet from the muzzle, from a 5 1/2" Ruger Bisley. Measure power however you would like, and that is substantial.
With regards to which is the better cartridge, I would suggest that you go read some articles written by John Linebaugh. While, John is a fan of the Taylor knockout formula and I know that there are many who disagree with this theory, he has probably done more research on heavy loads in the Colt cartridge than any other person alive. Within the following links, he discusses everything from bullet weights and pressure to "weak cases" and results from pressure testing of guns to the failure point. Read what he has to say and come to your own conclusions about the two cartridges. For me, I will take the .45 Colt in a Ruger or similar gun any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Take a look at these articles
Linebaugh's Custom Sixguns - The .45 Colt - Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Legend
Linebaugh's Custom Sixguns - High Pressure Loads
Flyboy, I'm from Missouri too, so here is your hard data.
300 gr. 44 mag. bullets and 335 gr. 45 Colt bullets have the same sectional density (.234) so should penetrate the same at the same velocity.
Typical max velocities (individual revolvers may differ slightly) for these two bullets are 1300 for the 44 and 1150 for the 45, giving the penetration edge to the 44.
The heavier 45 slug does have a little more "punch." Taylor KO for the 45 is 24.8, and 23.9 for the 44 mag., a very slight edge (< 4%).
The difference in Taylor KO between the 470 NE and the 500/465 NE (the two favorite dangerous game cartridges in Africa) is 5.4%, and they are considered dead equals on game.
I don't believe any animal on earth, including humans, could tell the difference between the two rounds if hit by them. In hard cast bullets both would penetrate completely. The wound channels would be nearly identical as well, since the faster 44 bullet would have enough more rotational velocity to equate the wounding of the larger 45 bullet.
The arguments in favor of the 44 mag. as far as trajectory are fairly weak as well.
The 300 gr. 44 @ 1300 has a point blank range of 106 yds (+/- 2") with energy of 837 ft/lbs at that range.
The 335 gr. 45 @ 1150 has a point blank range of 96 yds. (+/- 2") with energy of 800 ft/lbs at that range.
This gives a slight edge to the 44 mag., but in the real world not 1 out of 10 pistoleros would be shooting at game at 100 yds. with any reliability, so the advantage is moot.
So we have a very slight edge for one or the other cartridge in several different categories which really don't add up to any significant difference for any significant purpose.
Choose the one that makes you happy. They're virtually the same.
What art of Mo. are you from?
I was already aware of the information that you presented, but thank you for the addition to the thread. I have shot, loaded and tested a lot of loads for both the .45 and .44 for a lot of years. As a matter of fact, two of my favorite test guns are identical Ruger Blackhawks (5 1/2 stainless guns) that I use for comparative purposes. Unfortunately, the average person, myself included, does not have access to a means of measuring pressure. This is why I have referenced the articles by Linebaugh. I don't know if you have read the articles or not, but the testing that he has done in conjunction with known and respected testing labs, show that the .45 matches the performance of the .44 with less pressure, or if loaded to the same pressure levels, with much less barrel length. This, in my mind, is the advantage to the .45. The end result is pretty much the same with either cartridge, but less pressure is never a bad thing if performance is the same.
I made a post a few weeks ago detailing an informal study that I conducted comparing peoples' impression of felt recoil of two calibers loaded to equal ballistic performance (.40 S&W and .45ACP). People overwhelmingly preferred the lower pressure recoil impulse over the higher pressure, with ballistics that were identical. It made for an interesting experiment and a lively debate here on the boards. I won't get into the argument here again, but if you have not seen the thread, it can be found here recoil vs. caliber comparison
If you are near the KC area, drop me a shout and lets go burn some powder! Thanks for your input.
Verginian Dragoon 44 or 45. It's not the ammo it's the gun. think out side the NORM box. Cheaper too.