The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 26, 2012, 08:46 PM   #1
WheelGunRealGun
Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2012
Posts: 88
.44 Magnum vs .45 ACP

I found this "short barrel" .44 Magnum ammo. (It's more like a .44 Special)

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/649...oint-box-of-20

My question is, wouldn't a .45 ACP be more powerful in terms of terminal ballistics?

The .429 caliber, 200 grain bullet going 1,075 fps vs a .452 caliber 230 grain 900 fps bullet.

The .45 ACP has 11% more meplat too, doesn't it? Is this significant?

Can you get a .44 Special to be as powerful as .45 ACP?
WheelGunRealGun is offline  
Old March 26, 2012, 09:19 PM   #2
laytonj1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 3,501
It's a reduced velocity loading designed for someone who already has a 44 mag and would like to use it for SD.
Otherwise, as you noted, there are many better options out there.

Jim
laytonj1 is offline  
Old March 26, 2012, 09:59 PM   #3
Newton24b
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2009
Posts: 974
i must be old..

that load is more then adequate.
Newton24b is offline  
Old March 26, 2012, 10:27 PM   #4
WheelGunRealGun
Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2012
Posts: 88
Quote:
It's a reduced velocity loading designed for someone who already has a 44 mag and would like to use it for SD.
Otherwise, as you noted, there are many better options out there.
like what? .45 ACP?

I'd really like to know if that .44 magnum "short barrel" load is as powerful as .45 ACP
WheelGunRealGun is offline  
Old March 26, 2012, 10:40 PM   #5
PointOneSeven
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2006
Posts: 577
Assuming the 44 is strong enough, handloading hotter is possible. But barrel length is important too. Commercial ammo is usually measured on a 5 inch barrel or so, but that snubnose ammo is built for shorter barrels. We would have to test 45acp ammo out of a 2" barrel for it to be fair.
PointOneSeven is offline  
Old March 26, 2012, 10:46 PM   #6
Tuzo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 726
Here is data, also from Midway USA, for comparison and determining which is more powerful:

Speer Gold Dot short barrel 200 gr 44 Magnum
Muzzle Velocity: 1075 fps
Muzzle Energy: 513 ft. lbs.


Speer Golf Dot 230 gr 45 ACP
Muzzle Velocity: 890 fps
Muzzle Energy: 405 ft. lbs.

Lots of variables in ammunition and it's powerfulness. I have loaded 44 Magnum with 44 Special loads. For example 220 gr FPJ at 900 fps and 400 ft lbs. A pussycat round for the magnum case.
Tuzo is offline  
Old March 26, 2012, 11:05 PM   #7
WheelGunRealGun
Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2012
Posts: 88
does the .44's 11% (ive heard) less "meplat" make a difference?
WheelGunRealGun is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 05:24 AM   #8
WC145
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2008
Location: Downeast Maine
Posts: 1,474
You're overthinking this stuff and you're talking six of one, half a dozen of the other, in real life those two loads would probably give very similar terminal performance. If you want more "power" there's plenty of other .44mag loads out there that will deliver.
__________________
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
WC145 is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 03:17 PM   #9
WheelGunRealGun
Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2012
Posts: 88
But what load of .44 Special (or magnum?) will equal a self defense load of .45 ACP in terminal ballistics?
WheelGunRealGun is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 03:52 PM   #10
Clifford L. Hughes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2011
Location: Southern Californis
Posts: 795
WheelGunRealGun:

I never shot anything but jack rabbits with a .44 magnum; however, I have shot a wild boar with the .45 acp. I used a Hornady 200 grain XTP loaded to 1020 fps from my Smith 625. I was hunting with dogs so my shot was point blank. The bullet hit the hog in front of the shoulder and ranged diagonally, taking out three inches of neck bone, for ten or twelve inchen lodging under the ear and behind the jaw bone on the opposite side. The 45 acp is an adequate self defence round. I have reason to belive that a .429, 200 grain bullet at 1075 would giive simular reults. I think it's six of one and a half dozen of the other.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired

Last edited by Clifford L. Hughes; March 27, 2012 at 03:54 PM. Reason: wording
Clifford L. Hughes is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 03:56 PM   #11
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,651
Quote:
But what load of .44 Special (or magnum?) will equal a self defense load of .45 ACP in terminal ballistics?
As WC145 said, you can argue all day about the minutiae of one load versus another in .44Spl and .45ACP, since none of them are exactly the same. That said, the .44Spl SD loads from Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon, Doubletap, Hornady, and Speer are basically equivalent to any high-quality .45ACP SD load in real-world effectiveness. The differences amount to splitting hairs.

Additional Notes:
  • Virtually any quality .44Mag SD load will send most .45ACP loads crying home for their mama. This is generally true with any barrel length under virtually any conditions, but the tradeoff is noise and muzzle blast. .44Spl SD loads are largely marketed to .44Mag owners who wish to use their revolvers for SD without worrying about noise and flash levels that approach naval artillery.
  • .45ACP factory ammo is generally cheaper and far more widely available than .44Spl. However, the difference largely evaporates if you handload.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; March 27, 2012 at 04:04 PM.
carguychris is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 06:01 PM   #12
Tuzo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 726
You can find answers to your question by researching ammunition, bullet, powder manufacturer's web sites. Also, reloading manuals have a great deal of information.

SD definition depends on the user's perspective. For most, ball ammo in 45 ACP is perfect. For others a hollow point .357 magnum travelling supersonically is preferred.
Tuzo is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 07:31 PM   #13
Webleymkv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 9,940
The loading in question is a very light .44 Magnum load. It is labeled as a "short barrel" loading not because it attains maximum velocity from a short barrel, but because it produces much less recoil that full-power loadings (a concern due to the lighter weight of guns with short barrels) and because it is loaded with a bullet that will still expand well at reduced velocities. Speer's 210gr and 240gr Gold Dot .44 Magnum loadings are much more powerful than anything in .45 ACP or the "short barrel" .44 Magnum loading though they will have greatly increased recoil and penetration.

Meplat is also pretty meaningless in an expanding bullet. The important considerations in an expanding bullet are total penetration depth, final expanded diameter, and rapidity of expansion. Meplat is mainly a concern with flat-nosed non-expanding bullets like FMJ or SWC used for hunting large and/or dangerous game.
__________________
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures. -J. Caesar
Webleymkv is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 10:49 PM   #14
ltc444
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2011
Location: Vernon AZ
Posts: 1,195
The advantage of the short barrelled 44 mag with full mag load for self defense is. If you miss you will blind your oponent.
ltc444 is offline  
Old March 28, 2012, 12:44 AM   #15
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Quote:
Can you get a .44 Special to be as powerful as .45 ACP?
That's been the ongoing joke about my Bulldog all these years that I've owned it. It carrys like a J frame, but hits like an O frame. Almost. It's closer to a 44 Special than it is a Mag. The difference is only on paper.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old March 28, 2012, 11:52 AM   #16
thinkingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 27, 2008
Location: western WA
Posts: 691
I would prefer the additonal sectional density that the 45acp offers.
thinkingman is offline  
Old March 28, 2012, 12:14 PM   #17
WheelGunRealGun
Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2012
Posts: 88
Quote:
I would prefer the additonal sectional density that the 45acp offers.

sectional density? What do you mean?
WheelGunRealGun is offline  
Old March 28, 2012, 09:55 PM   #18
Deaf Smith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 31, 2000
Location: Texican!
Posts: 3,308
Several questions you must ask before a .44 Magnum .vs. .45 ACP is answered.

1. Exactly what is the 'short barrel' for the .44? 2 inch, 3 inch?

2. Is the .45 ACP load also shot in the same barrel length and chonoed from it?

3. What brand of ammo in the .45 are you comparing it against?

Now if we are talking about a 2.5 inch Ruger Alaskan compared to a 5 inch GI .45 acp using +p 230gr slugs, well yea the .45 is more powerful.

But if the .44 is a 3 inch then the velocity on the .44 goes up a bit. If the .45 is a 3 inch Colt Defender well the velocity goes down quite a bit.

If I wanted to use my 4 inch S&W 629-1 for HD, then that 200 grain load at 1,075 fps would sound like a better deal than my buying a .45 ACP just to use a bit more powerful ammo.

Deaf
__________________
"The government has confiscated all of our rights and is selling them back to us in the form of permits."
Deaf Smith is offline  
Old March 28, 2012, 10:15 PM   #19
Webleymkv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 9,940
Quote:
Exactly what is the 'short barrel' for the .44? 2 inch, 3 inch?
The advertised velocity of the Speer 'short barrel' loading is from a 4" barrel.
__________________
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures. -J. Caesar
Webleymkv is offline  
Old March 28, 2012, 11:51 PM   #20
arentol
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2011
Posts: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaf Smith

1. Exactly what is the 'short barrel' for the .44? 2 inch, 3 inch?

2. Is the .45 ACP load also shot in the same barrel length and chonoed from it?

3. What brand of ammo in the .45 are you comparing it against?

Deaf
I almost asked these questions yesterday, but then I realized all the answers were readily available if you read between the lines a little.

All your answers can be found here:

http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/ammo.aspx

Speer short-barrel .44 vs Speer 230gr .45acp

1. Exactly what is the 'short barrel' for the .44? 2 inch, 3 inch?

It was tested from a 4" vented barrel.

2. Is the .45 ACP load also shot in the same barrel length and chonoed from it?

It was tested from a 5" barrel.

3. What brand of ammo in the .45 are you comparing it against?

Speer

What is most important though is what Webleymkv mentioned earlier, that short-barrel ammo is reduced flash, reduced recoil ammo, not ammo that burns powder faster to maximize muzzle velocity from a short barrel. As such this whole line of thought is pointless as the wrong things are being compared to start with.
arentol is offline  
Old March 29, 2012, 12:16 AM   #21
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,646
Both rounds will leave large holes in whatever they hit. The main difference is shot placement.

Odd how that always seems to be the case.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old March 29, 2012, 12:33 AM   #22
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,057
Thanks for asking our advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by WheelGunRealGun

does the .44's 11% (ive heard) less "meplat" make a difference?
And thanks for asking the most important question, "Does it make a difference?"

I have never seen anyone asking the 44 vs 45 vs 40 vs 9mm question, ask that question in the beginning.

So, you deserve the definitive answer. Here it is: Sorry, it is a matter of opinion.

The only opinion that matters is the opinion of whoever catches the bullet. If it hurts enough to make whoever stop doing whatever, then it is enough.

The .45 ACP has a good track record. If you have a short-barreled 44 and no 45 available, that load you found seems to have essentially equivalent ballistics, except for being 11% smaller in frontal area; I am counting on no expansion of any consequence. I opine that the 44 may transfer impact less suddenly than the 45, but I am getting out of my depth to go further than that.

I would choose whichever gun I can shoot better under pressure, as shot placement will trump an 11% effectiveness difference by a LONG shot.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old March 29, 2012, 09:33 PM   #23
Deaf Smith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 31, 2000
Location: Texican!
Posts: 3,308
Well arentol, the guns may be 'tested' at 4 and five inch but lots of people pack 3 inchers. A 4 inch .44 magnum isn't really all that short and a 5 inch 1911 kind of drags when packing the 100 degree Texas weather.

And while they tested speer ammo there is lots of other ammo out there (DPX, while hugely expensive, is awful good.)

But I would not worried to much if all I had was my S&W 3 inch Lew Horten 24, .44 Spl. with DPX (or a S&W Backpacker .44 magnum loaded the same way.)

Deaf
__________________
"The government has confiscated all of our rights and is selling them back to us in the form of permits."
Deaf Smith is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12101 seconds with 7 queries