Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Default Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum

Even though a 45-70 is on the short list, a nice otagonal barrel Marlin 1894 cowboy is on the "shorter list". Probably Christmas.

Now I'm trying to decide between the 45 (Long) Colt and the 44 Magnum. Considerations are that the lever will be accompanied by a sixgun in the same cartridge and that I want to be able to load up both complementary loads (function fine in both the rifle and the pistol) and hotter loads for the rifle only.

I'm guessing, and hope some of y'all know, that the Marlin in 45 Colt can handle the same pressures as the Marlin in 44 Magnum--something that gets a 220 to 240 grain boolit with a gas check going to somewhere around 1900 to 2000 fps. Is that right?

What other considerations are there in deciding? By the way, pistol to accompany would almost certainly be the Blackhawk or a Bisley Vaquero, but I'd be open to suggestion there, too, except for the Redhawk. (Want single action not double action even though the Redhawk will handle over 50,000 CUP.)

If Elmer Keith were alive, I'm sure he'd vote for the 44. Paco Kelly would say 45 Long Colt.

What do you say?

Keith
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnuam

I'm a 45 LC kind of guy. If you reload you can do what you want with either but I still lean toward the 45.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnuam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bladeforger
Even though a 45-70 is on the short list, a nice otagonal barrel Marlin 1894 cowboy is on the "shorter list". Probably Christmas.

Now I'm trying to decide between the 45 (Long) Colt and the 44 Magnum. Considerations are that the lever will be accompanied by a sixgun in the same cartridge and that I want to be able to load up both complementary loads (function fine in both the rifle and the pistol) and hotter loads for the rifle only.

I'm guessing, and hope some of y'all know, that the Marlin in 45 Colt can handle the same pressures as the Marlin in 44 Magnum--something that gets a 220 to 240 grain boolit with a gas check going to somewhere around 1900 to 2000 fps. Is that right?

What other considerations are there in deciding? By the way, pistol to accompany would almost certainly be the Blackhawk or a Bisley Vaquero, but I'd be open to suggestion there, too, except for the Redhawk. (Want single action not double action even though the Redhawk will handle over 50,000 CUP.)

If Elmer Keith were alive, I'm sure he'd vote for the 44. Paco Kelly would say 45 Long Colt.

What do you say?

Keith
I would say do what ever flops your mop... I have both 44 Magnum, and 45 Colt (not long Colt), in rifle and pistol...

The main thing to do is choose a bullet style that feeds well in your rifle.

Bill
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum

Quote:
Originally Posted by kynardsj
I'm a 45 LC kind of guy. If you reload you can do what you want with either but I still lean toward the 45.
Thanks for the reply, kynards!

What makes you lean toward the 45?

With regard to reloading to what you want, have you loaded anything for the 45 that is up at the top end of velocity? Like 1900-2000 fps out of a rifle? If so, did you see any signs of excessive pressure?

Thanks,
Keith
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnuam

If your gonna hunt with it. and if your gonna load for it, hands down 45 Colt!! If not the 44 mag will suit you just fine.

Even if loaded they are quite simular, but the 45 Colt will handle heavier bullets better. I prefer the heavier bullets. The 45 Colt in a good strong action can be loaded to surpass "full house" 44mags loads.

CW

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum

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Originally Posted by Lurker
I would say do what ever flops your mop... I have both 44 Magnum, and 45 Colt (not long Colt), in rifle and pistol...

The main thing to do is choose a bullet style that feeds well in your rifle.

Bill
I just knew I'd get my hand slapped for the word, "Long". ;D

So, okay, since you have both... maybe both in the leverguns... and maybe maybe maybe both in a Marlin lever... which one would you grab first? And why?

I was reading an article by Steve Lee, http://www.leverguns.com/articles/lee_marlin44.htm "Magnum Marlin, My .44 caliber friend", and he says that the .44 Magnum is his rifle to grab first. However, most of what he says in the article could/might apply to the .45 Colt just as well as to the .44 Mag.

Probably some of the SASS / cowboy action shooters have one or the other as a favorite, but there again, most of the cowboy action shooting is done with tamer loadings... which I'd be shooting myself for plinking or casual target practice and fun. After all, most of our shooting is, indeed, for fun. I've even been thinking to go out to the range and see what this cowboy action is all about.

Just thinking that some more businesslike loads are good to have, too, and that is a consideration. Logically, both cartridges ought to be able to run out some hot loads from the Marlin, but I wanted to be sure on that one as well--case strength is a limiting factor on the .45 Colt I think. (?) Certainly the Colt has it all over the .44 Magnum for nostalgia and history...

Keith
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwlongshot
If your gonna hunt with it. and if your gonna load for it, hands down 45 Colt!! If not the 44 mag will suit you just fine.

Even if loaded they are quite simular, but the 45 Colt will handle heavier bullets better. I prefer the heavier bullets. The 45 Colt in a good strong action can be loaded to surpass "full house" 44mags loads.

CW
Whoa! Really!! Okay, this is the kind of stuff I was wondering about. What kind of velocity and bullet weights are we talking about, CW? And, yes, I definitely reload.
Keith
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum

Yeah I call them Long Colt too. I have loaded some 250 grain Hornady XTP's over 25.5 grains of Lilgun. From a revolver they're supposedly running 1410 fps. Add 300 fps or so from a rifle and they're scooting. I shot them in my 454 Casull rifle and they were pleasant but were quite a handfull in a 4 5/8 inch Blackhawk. No particular reason for liking the 45 better, just do. I've had 44 mags too that hand loaded shot mild or wild so I guess it's a nostalgia thing.

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum

If you want to run heavier bullets, the 44 Marlin has the 1 in 38" twist that may not be as accurate, or it may shoot fine, some do some don't. The 45 colt has a faster twist, both will handle Ruger/TC loads easy. DP

Handi's:22Shot, 22LR, 2-22Mag, 22Hornet, 5-223, 2-357Max, 44 mag, 2-45LC, 7-30 Waters, 7mm-08, 280, 25-06, 30-30, 30-30AI, 444Marlin, 45-70, AND 2-38-55s, 158 Topper 22 Hornet/20ga. combo; Levers-Marlins:Two 357's, 44 mag, 4-30-30s, RC-Glenfields 36G-30A & XLR, 3-35 Rem, M-375, 2-444P's, 444SS, 308 MX, 338Marlin MXLR, 38-55 CB, 45-70 GS, XS7 22-250 and 7mm08; BLR's:7mm08, 358Win; Rossi: 3-357mag, 44mag, 2-454 Casull; Winchesters: 7-30 Waters, 45Colt Trapper; Bolt actions, too many; 22's, way too many. Who says it's an addiction?
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Deciding between 45 Colt and 44 Magnum

My favorite load for the Long Colt is WW296 powder, a CCI 350 primer and a 300Gr bullet. Exits my 10 Contender at just shy of 1300fps and better then 1600fps from my 16" Marlin and almost 1700 from my 20" Marlin!! This load has shot length wise threw two different deer!! the first time the bullet was recovered just under the hide at the rump and the second it was gone! I like SPEERS 300SP, but its a bit fragile @ top velocities. Sierra's 300 is better but too long for the Marlins action. Speer makes a 454 spec 300 GD bullet that really shoots well.

CW

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