Wither one, they are very close in many ways. The .45 Colt can be loaded with heavier bullets for a bit more oomph in hunting applications. Both rounds can be very accurate and both are definitely fun to shoot. It's just going to be a matter of preference. I decided a long time ago not to choose and just got both, although the .44 Specials are in a DA S&W revolvers. I am thinking about getting my Flat-Top anniversary model converted to a .44 Special.
if i was going to stay at factory levels and there both pretty equal in power there id go with the 44 special as with its smaller case its given be better accuracy with lighter loads but if your going to handload and want to step up in power the 45 would be my choise. In a big framed ruger it can be loaded to very high levels and even in small framed guns it can be loaded to simular levels and throws a bigger bullet. If your a handloader theres more bullets available for the 44 but still plenty for the 45s. Either one will take care of 90 percent of any handgun hunters needs.
Thanks guys for the response! Boy, it still is a tough call. I may end up following MS Hitman wisdom and get both down the road if I can't pick a clear winner. I'm leaning towards both in a Ruger. The 45LC is available for $100 less in the New Blackhawk VS the 44mag Super Blackhawk, which may be the final deciding factor, unless I can find good deals on used Super Blackhawk.
For off the shelf (non-custom) equipment the 44 Special will generally be more accurate than the 45 Colt. This is in part due to the 45 Colt's over sized case, but mainly due the fact that 45 Colt chambers are generally cut over size and the throats are often incorrectly sized as well. With a well thought out piece of custom iron the difference would much smaller. The new trail boss powder should reduce differences due to an over sized case for lite loads.
Unspellable, in the New Blackhawk Rugers, dimensions should be correct for the .45s. The older Colt clones (and Colts!) had oversize chambers and needed a .454 (or sometimes larger) bullet to be accurate. Most of the old .45 3 screw Rugers shared this problem also. But most makes of newer guns seem to have corrected the problem and a quite accurate out of the box. I had an old clone that had chamber throats from .458 to .460, with a .451 barrel. It would only pattern unless fed unsized bullets of at least .456 dia. I'm sure glad those days are gone! 44 Man
I really like the .44 special but if you are going to stay in the factory loaded area go .45 your more likely to find a box in a gun store or even Wall Mart than .44 special. The cowboy loaded stuff is accurate and cheap enough. If I find a box of .44 specials on the shelf they are usually a hollow point self defense round and expensive! Heck the .45 schofield for my No.3 (Uberti copy in .45 LC but the Schofield eject better) are cheaper than the hollow point .44 specials. I wish they would stretch the cylinder of the Russian to .44 Special. They are making one in .45 colt.
Just my opinion from sunny Southern California.
As I understand it, the part of the chamber the bullet exits from, the throat, has been one part of the .45 Colt-chambered gun's problem. The other part is the dimension of the chamber the cartridge is fed into. The case dimension is .480......I can't understand why mfgr's today still insist on boring the holes close to the high side of the SAAMI spec, which is .492. I got this info from Linebaugh's article, "Dissolving The Myth; Discovering The Potential". jd45
this is a subject thats kinda near and dear to me
i have owned nothing but 45 single actions for the past 25 years and the old 45 hasnt let me down once
but back when i was a young feller i picked up a nice second gen nickled colt 44sp with a 4 3/4 tube
i gave 350 bucks for it and it would hit anything i could aim it at using kentucky windage and proper elevation for the range being shot
i won alot of money with that gun. wore out a couple hammer springs from hard thumbing fast draw. she even got me out of a couple tight spots as i remember and never failed me either even with broke parts in her
like an idiot after abt five years or so i sold her back the place i found her for 500 bucks
i've always had a soft spot for a nice 44sp shooter but there's none on the market i would consider for the money
now iffin ruger would come out with a new vaquero in 44sp NOT 44mag/sp then my old vaquero in 45 might have something to worry abt
just my two on it
If you don't reload, go with the .44 Special. Neither one is cheap, but you have a lot more .44 options than .45. Now the .45+P is a whole new ball game. I have a S&W in .45 Colt and I'm very limited in the .45 loads I can use (no +P loads at all).
I happen to prefer the 45 Long Colt but that is what I am set up to reload.
The 44 was considered a target cartridge, so accuracy would be acceptable.
Elmer did much of his long range and developmental work with a 44.
I don't believe the 45 was ever considered a target cartridge.
I do know the 45 was developed to have the power to knock down horses and their riders.
Elmer always had a soft spot for the 45 cartridge and kept a loaded 45 SAA close to hand in his home.
The 45 is still a powerful cartridge in it's original loading, a 255 LRN @ 850 fps.
So it boils down to ... What do you prefer?...
"If you don't reload, go with the .44 Special. Neither one is cheap, but you have a lot more .44 options than .45. Now the .45+P is a whole new ball game. I have a S&W in .45 Colt and I'm very limited in the .45 loads I can use (no +P loads at all)."
I also own and use a S&W 45 Colt, mine is a 25-5.
I am unaware of any prohibitions about 45+P loads.
My everyday load is a 270 SWC @ 850-900fps. I've fired a bucketful and the gun is showing no evidence of abuse.
Where I live the .44 Mag was always more popular than the .45. In fact I doubt that I ever saw one on a gunshop shelf (when we still had lots of gunshops). What I'm saying is that my reply is based on the expreience of wise men and not my own... in fact I'll direct you right there:
Ross Seyfried did several articels on the 45 over the years - "45 Versatile and Powerful" and "Shootout! 45 Colt vs 44 Mag". There was also an an article where Seyfried had bought a new .45 Vaquero (7")... as I recall.
In handgun hunting diameter does count for a lot.
Basically if you buy a SBH in .45 it's potentially a lot more gun than a .44 spl. But at that frame size it could be a .44 Mag too and then there is less difference again (but still a difference).
I would choose a handgun package that I liked and choose the calibre based on what works in the platform you like. It may be either, then you can compare the loading potential in that platform and what you want to achieve with the handgun. A handgun (or rifle) is a "package", handling characteristics, accuracy, portability, weight, accuracy, action type (single, double etc.) AND calibre. Calibre is just one part of what you are buying.
If you are happy running them both at "factory specs" then the other advice from all contributors to the thread gave a far more experienced reply than I could.
WL44 and StrawHat:
Thanks for your input. I've only shot the 44spl in a Charter Arms Bulldog (not a good choice for looking at accuracy), and have not shot a 45 LC (only 45ACP). I have shot a 44 mag Ruger SBH but I'm not interested in the mag for the shooting I do. I don't hunt and my shooting is for pleasure only. I'm more interested in accuracy and fun shooting. Probably for my level of ability both would be fine but I would like the more accurate of the two if there is a definitive choice. At this point without shooting both I can't say which one I would like. I will get one or the other, but not both at this point in time.
A Friend of mine has a Rossi in 44 spc with a 4in barrel never fired ,He got it for $300 He bought it because He thought it was a S&W has had it for few years now . He has offer it to Me forsale few times I can check to see if He still has it if you still want 1 . He moved to different state and only talk to him every now and then .............John
check cimarron arms, i got a 44 special 4 3/4 " last fall, good shootin and well built gun.
i do not know how reliable this info is , i heard smith and ruger both coming out with 44 specials.
the other possibility is convert a 357 to 44 special. good luck dan
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