My comments on this:
I would be concerned about 45 Colt performance on large game. I would not think of it as 100% reliable at range. 44 Magnum would be worry free for the most part with proper ammo selection.
While I can agree that the 44 magnum is the better choice for most people than the 45 Colt; it's for other reasons..... Like saying the 270 Winchester is better than the 280 Remington. Actually, What the one will do, the other will do just as well. The modern 45 Colt is the ballistic twin to the 44 magnum. As with all twins, one twin is almost always just a little bigger than the other. All hunters should be concerned about about their weapons performance on game and choose their ammo appropriately regardless of caliber. All of the different possible calibers can be substantially improved if you load your own ammo. I don't see a huge difference between the 44 and the 45; it boils down to personal preference. They both beat the 357 magnum hands down for power. Yet the 357 has some real plusses going for it over it's big brothers: First of all, lower cost of ammo. Secondly, better availability and selection of ammo. Thirdly, the ammo weighs about half as much as 44 or 45 ammo. If you've done much backpacking with a firearm you know how important that can be. You can either lighten your load where every ounce counts or pack twice as many rounds at the same weight. My personal choice is the Ruger Vaquero and the Marlin Cowboy in 45 Colt. My buddy has duplicates except in 44 magnum. Having run into bears at close quarters several times here in Oregon, I'm willing to pack the weight of a 45 vs the 357. Fortunately I haven't been forced to shoot any of those bears; but I felt confident if it should come to that. I would have felt less confident with a 357.