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.44 Mag or .45LC SA Revolver?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by RedneckRampage, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to be buying a new (to me) handgun to carry while hunting. I've decided on a revolver, and I think I want a single action. I love how they feel and shoot, and with practice, you can shoot them fairly fast. I kinda want a .45LC, because I have a .45-70, and I think it would be cool to have the same "caliber" rifle and handgun. I hear that .45LC can be hand loaded to get some really good performance out of it, but is it as good as what you can get out of a .44 with hand loads? I know there is no arguing that a .44 mag will stop pert near anything in the US. I will be hunting in Wyoming and Montana in the next couple years, and hope to get up to Canada or Alaska in the next few years, so there is a chance of running into a Grizzly. If I go with a .44, there is a chance I'll go with a DA instead.

    So, for backwoods protection, in North America, what would you go with, .45LC or .44 Magnum?
     
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  2. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    I have and enjoy both, but for pure versatility I'd go with the .44 Mag . . . at least first. You can load the .44 Mag to full power or down to light .44 Special levels as desired. I generally load my .45 Colt and .44 Mag cartridges to about the same specs for fun shooting (about 900 fps with 230 to 250 gr bullets) but always have some hotter .44 Mags around for serious shooting. I think its easier than trying to make the .45 Colt something it isn't. All that said, I don't think you can go wrong with either choice.
     
  3. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    IMO 45/70 & 45 colt are 2 far apart to be of any advantage calber wise. For that reason I would choose a Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44mag. Here is one I am quite fond of, next to a hardcast 310gr load I enjoy.

    067.jpg
     
  4. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    My feeling is that if you see a Grizzly from any distance at all you should be able to avoid contact with it or use your rifle.

    If you are charged unexpectedly from short range, and are still able to clear leather and get off a shot with your pistol, the "stopping power" of either round on a Grizzly, in my opinion, leaves much to be desired.

    That being the case; I would choose the .45 Colt round and carry the pistol for plinking, as a defense against two legged critters, and small game hunting, etc.
     
  5. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I enjoy the versatility of the 44 special/mag. As others have stated, it can be used with specials, or more potent magnum rounds. It must be considered, however, a last ditch defense against a bear. A rifle is always preferable with its greater velocity and energy. Having said that, I love packing my Ruger, and with practice, its not that bad to shoot full house loads. Just my two cents. Enjoy!
     
  6. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    I wasn't thinking about a grizzly when I made my post. I wouldn't consider ANY handgun for grizzly protection. Especially if you've got a perfectly good 45/70! I liked to run the 405gr Remington cor-lokt loaded pretty stout in my marlin. but I have no idea how that bullet would perform on a grizz.
     
  7. Bill Siegle

    Bill Siegle Oregon Active Member

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    Either will serve you well. Both will cost a lot for factory ammo. In factory ammo, 44mag is usually easier to find and most times cheaper too. If you don't reload I would say go with 44Mag. I had already been invested in 45Colt handguns so I started reloading in that caliber. I like the historical 45Colt cartridge and the fact that I can load it light or heavy is a nice option to have.
     
  8. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'd surely prefer my rifle over a handgun for protection, but sometimes things really go wrong and you lose a hold of it or something. I've never been in the situation, and don't want to be, I'd just like to have as good of odds as I can, without going with a .460 or .500 or something like that. I think I am leaning towards a .44 now. And I really like the 4" S&W Backpacker my cousin just bought....
     
  9. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    FYI a 45-70 uses a .458 bullet and a 45 colt uses a .452.
     
  10. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    That is why I put caliber in quotations, cause they are only called ".45s".
     
  11. joken

    joken Corvallis Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have had both and like them both. I carry a Taurus titanium 4" .44 mag for self defense when ML hunting. It's very light weight and will kill an Elephant.
     
  12. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    :bluelaugh:
     
  13. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Go with a Ruger 45 Colt with an acp cylinder...you'll be all set.
     
  14. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have a .41 mag that I would use for the instances you provide.
    As others have noted, if you don't handload, the .44 Mag would be the way to go.
    If you handload, as I and many others here do, the 45 offers many options. But, just like the 45-70 you mention, not all guns are capable of hot handloads. If you wanna go for power, you need to look at something like the Ruger Blackhawk for that. The Colt and Colt copies will not tolerate the increased pressure.

    Also, as a side note, if you are using that 45-70 for something more dangerous than deer and elk, the 405gr Remington bullet isn't a good choice. I used to shoot them at 2050fps out of a Browning single shot. It's a great bullet at much slower speeds, but if my life might depend on it I would choose an entirely different bullet. The Remington bullet is designed to work well with muzzle velocities around 13-1500 fps, but will shed itself pretty quickly at higher velocities and tough animals. Look to the Partition (and it's ilk) or Barnes for something that will hold together better.
     
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  15. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Yes. I don't have a clue if it's still available, but they made it. Probably could still buy a cylinder and have it fitted (for ACP) if they don't still offer it.
     
  16. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    Definitely go with the Ruger if you are looking for max loads in the 45 Colt. I absolutely love the .44. I am much more fond of the .44 Spl., but the Mag is all I need in power for a handgun. I also wouldn't overlook the .41 Mag.

    For me, the only way to go is Ruger single actions and S&W double actions.
     
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  17. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I have never really enjoyed shooting .44 mags despite having had 3 or 4 in my life. If it were me going into bad bear or worse yet moose country I'd be depending on my rifle or a shorty shotgun if fishing, hiking, other things. However, I do still own a really sweet Uberti .44 mag single action. I'm not a spaghetti gun guy really but it's mint, small for a .44 mag., shoots well, and seems to handle hot .44 mags on occasion. Mainly I shoot specials in it but they aren't a half bad gun....just more options to consider.
     
  18. Barachiah

    Barachiah Eastern Oregon at last Active Member

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    I want to re-iterate that .44 would be the choice if you don't reload. If you do, .45 Colt is just a better round to reload, IMO. You can load it hotter, wider variety of bullets you can punch in there, etc. I have a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan that pairs nicely with a Winchester 94AE in that caliber. Even though they are loaded far hotter, they shoot softer, to me, than my .44 does out of a 629, or the Marlin for that matter.

    You could always get a BFR from Magnum Researchin 45-70, that's a mans revolver right there...
     
  19. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    If you have the wherewithal a Freedom Arms 83 Field Grade will allow you to use any .45 Colt loading as well as .454 Casull ammunition.
     
  20. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    45LC can be loaded to 44 special levels, but the 44 mag with slow burning powder can push a 230 grain projectile to 1600fps. I'm selling a 7.5" Super Blackhawk if you're interested.