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Old June 17, 2013, 02:11 PM   #26
Magnum Wheel Man
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I guess I'm going to disagree as well... when my father in law 1st started grooming me to manage his collection after he died, I bought one versatile handgun, & one rifle... the handgun, a stainless 4" GP-100 in 357 Mag... the rifle a stainless Ruger 77 in .243... if I had to pick most versatile over again today, I might opt for a 7-08 ( wasn't a commercial cartridge when I started )in the rifle, but handgun I'd do the same over again... & this said from a guy who loves big bores, & has kinda become disenchanted with the 357 over the years...

however my disenchantment stems mostly from factory ammo ( see... I reload close to 70 different calibers, & the 357 is so... uh... common ) but since you are talking versatility, Trailboss & a cast bullet, can make the 357 into a prime rabbit & squirrel gun... as much as I like the big bores, the hunk of lead just seems wasted on mister bunny... with a big heavy bullet loaded hot, I'd be comfortable on bears "almost as big, as I'd dare with the 44

... add to this the new high capacity cylinders on some of the 357 platforms... & availability of ammo & components, I'm sticking with the 357 for versatility... ( but today I'm carrying a 45 Colt, just for fun )
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Old June 17, 2013, 02:16 PM   #27
WIL TERRY
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I PREFER the 45COLT with which I can do everything the 44MAG can do and do it at 25% to 33% less pressure. Furthermore, the 45 slug is a whole lot bigger than the 43 slug.
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Old June 17, 2013, 03:01 PM   #28
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"I PREFER the 45COLT with which I can do everything the 44MAG can do and do it at 25% to 33% less pressure. Furthermore, the 45 slug is a whole lot bigger than the 43 slug." -Wil Terry

Well, for years some guys have been over loading the 45 Colt to levels it was never intended to achieve and claiming it equaled or surpassed the 44 Magnum. I suppose this may be true if using a huge revolver to contain these dynamite loads. I look at it the other way around: since the 44 Magnum already exists why try to turn the 45 Colt into one?

As for the comment about the 45 slug being "a whole lot bigger," um, at .452 vs. .429 and 250 grains vs. 240, it's not really all that much bigger. But if you enjoy hot rodding your 45 Colt, go ahead and knock yourself out.
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Old June 17, 2013, 03:47 PM   #29
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I'm not that fond of versatile. If I could satisfy myself with a few versatile handguns I would have no excuse for the number I own. The problem with the perfect niche handgun is that may not be the one in your hand when you need it and you have to make do. As an example, I had been a month out, pushing toward the Arctic coast of Alaska, my only handgun a 4-inch 629-2, which I justified as a necessary backup for my rifle in case of a bear encounter, or a situation where I lost my kayak in a rapid and had to make it out with what was on my body. I was running out of food and one night in camp I decided to pop a ground squirrel. I reasoned that I needed to check my Smith for function after carrying it for a month. At 30 feet the Keith 265 grain cast bullet took his head off, and I was happy for the 4 ounces of meat. The downside was that my shot announced my presence to the world for miles around, even though I doubted I shared the country with another human, but you never know. If I ever get to go back to that country I will also carry a 22 revolver of some sort, figuring that with a few 22 CB's that I can get more than the weight of the sixgun and the ammunition in food without announcing my presence for miles.
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Old June 17, 2013, 03:55 PM   #30
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Old June 17, 2013, 09:22 PM   #31
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"I PREFER the 45COLT with which I can do everything the 44MAG can do and do it at 25% to 33% less pressure. Furthermore, the 45 slug is a whole lot bigger than the 43 slug." -Wil Terry


I'm sorry but you are incorrect. The .45LC will not do everything the .44mag will do for you.

With the .45LC you can't say, "Go ahead punk, make my day!"

I solved the problem, I have one of each.
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Old June 18, 2013, 10:22 AM   #32
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I think versatility has to take into account not just the performance, but the availability of the weapons and loads for it.

The difference in concealability of a 4" 357 mag and a 4" 44 mag is almost nil, but the power difference between the two is great. If you go smaller than a 4" barrel, then you lose almost all of your versatility.

The difference in power between a 44 mag and a hot-loaded 45 Colt is almost nil, but the availability of revolvers heavily favors the 44 magnum. Ammunition and reloading components favor the 44 as well. If you say the 45 can do everything the 44 can do at less pressure, then the same can be said of the 475 over the 45, and the 500 over the 475. But each one of those steps takes you farther away from versatility.

In my mind, and in my experience, the 44 Remington Magnum is the versatility king.
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Old June 18, 2013, 11:15 AM   #33
WIL TERRY
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THE 45COLT WILL DO ANYTHING A 44MAG CAN DO PERIOD ! This has been PROVED in the ballistics lab many times over now. GO READ !!!
Furthermore, it does it a a lot less pressure, a lot less recoil, and a damnsite less noise. It can also do it in guns the same size as the 44MAg and be lighter to tote because of the bigger holes in theBBL and cylinder. THERE ARE NO QUESTIONS IN THIS MATTER PERIOD....
And so it goes
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Old June 18, 2013, 11:17 AM   #34
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If I ever get to go back to that country I will also carry a 22 revolver of some sort, figuring that with a few 22 CB's that I can get more than the weight of the sixgun and the ammunition in food without announcing my presence for miles.
Or you could simply carry a dozen 120gr .433" round balls loaded over a few grains of 'fast pistol powder'...

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Old June 18, 2013, 11:39 AM   #35
Mike Irwin
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Actually, I'm so impressed by the .44 Magnum....

That I can't be bothered to own one.

If versatility is truly in in the eye of the beholder, then for me it has absolutely NO virtures to recommend it.

I don't hunt with a handgun, so it's of no use to me there.

I'm not impressed with a handgun's sheer physical size. That said, I own numerous N-frame S&Ws, none in .44 Mag.

It's too big to be truly adequately concealed.

I'm not one of those individuals whose greatest sense of accomplishment firing a handgun comes from firing the one that kicks most.


That's just the short list of why I find the .44 Magnum to be lacking, and why it's very likely I'll never own one.


That said, yes, I know, you CAN fire .44 Special cartridges out of a .44 Magnum, which addresses some of the issues that I've raised above.

But I know of an even better way to address that issue.

Buy one of these, a Smith & Wesson 24-3.

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Old June 18, 2013, 11:40 AM   #36
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Well, for years some guys have been over loading the 45 Colt to levels it was never intended to achieve and claiming it equaled or surpassed the 44 Magnum. I suppose this may be true if using a huge revolver to contain these dynamite loads. I look at it the other way around: since the 44 Magnum already exists why try to turn the 45 Colt into one?
The only reason it wasn't intended to achieve "those" levels was that those levels were not attainable way back then. It's a very easy matter to load a Ruger Blackhawk up with loads that will match, if not beat, the .44 magnum... without exceeding any pressure limit, or creating dynamite. It's just ballistics.
Of course, you wouldn't want to put a modern, higher pressure load in an 1800's design/strength Colt revolver, any more than you would put a modern "Marlin only" 45-70 load in a trapdoor Springfield.
If nobody (Elmer Keith) had pushed the envelope on the old, mild .44 Special, we wouldn't even HAVE the .44 Mag to be discussing.
The .45 Colt is a very versatile cartridge, capable of everything from mouse loads to dangerous game. How you load it is your choice.
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Old June 18, 2013, 11:44 AM   #37
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"Well, for years some guys have been over loading the 45 Colt to levels it was never intended to achieve and claiming it equaled or surpassed the 44 Magnum. I suppose this may be true if using a huge revolver to contain these dynamite loads. I look at it the other way around: since the 44 Magnum already exists why try to turn the 45 Colt into one?"

You DO know how the .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum cartridges were conceived, don't you?

By men like Elmer Keith and Phil Sharpe "overloading the (.38 Special or .44 Special) to levels (they were) never intenended to achieve..."

So, your argument, instead of supporting the .44 Magnum, actually diminishes the reason for its existence.
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Old June 18, 2013, 11:46 AM   #38
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Versatile cartridge??? Yes. Obviously a round that can be handloaded from mouse fart to "very" hot and heavy is more versatile than a cartridge that can only go from mouse fart to "kinda" hot and heavy. It's a no brainer. Using that argument the true mega boomers of today are more versatile than the .44m too but I don't see anyone touting them as being the "most" versatile. A versatile cartridge does not make a versatile gun which is where .44M guns are severely lacking. Just plain and simply due to the power and recoil of the .44M you have to have guns built heavier and more stout than those of lessor cartridges. Law's of physics and all that.

Unless someone is after true BIG game or that BIG game is after them than any and all advantages of how the .44m and/or larger cartridges MIGHT be versatile are out the window and quickly become negatives. We haven't even gotten into cartridges for the non-reloader which puts the .44M near the bottom of the heap due to it's properties.

You like the .44M and reload it up and down the scale.....we get it and are happy for you. I do the same with the .32H&r and .357M. But don't excuse versatility with usefulness for the average Joe. Like I stated above, by your reasoning the .454c is more versatile. I don't see you dumpin your .44 and getting a .454 or larger.
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Old June 18, 2013, 12:10 PM   #39
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THE 45COLT WILL DO ANYTHING A 44MAG CAN DO PERIOD
True, plus it can blow up quite a few old guns into which it will fit.

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Old June 18, 2013, 12:20 PM   #40
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'True, including blowing up quite a few old guns into which it will fit.'

Given that the .44 Mag will easily fit in some of the old Spanish revolvers imported into the US postr WW I, and given that people did that....

You do the math.
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Old June 18, 2013, 01:18 PM   #41
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"THE 45COLT WILL DO ANYTHING A 44MAG CAN DO PERIOD ! This has been PROVED in the ballistics lab many times over now. GO READ !!!
Furthermore, it does it a a lot less pressure, a lot less recoil, and a damnsite less noise. It can also do it in guns the same size as the 44MAg and be lighter to tote because of the bigger holes in theBBL and cylinder. THERE ARE NO QUESTIONS IN THIS MATTER PERIOD....
And so it goes " -Wil Terry

You seem much more passionate about this issue than am I (be careful you don't wear out your cap lock key). Also, you seem absolutely convinced that you are correct, nobody else knows anything and that yours is the final word on the subject so there appears to be no point in adding any further comments.

I would add for the safety of someone reading this that it is not safe to load the vast majority of guns in 45 Colt to do what Wil Terry says can be done. Only a very few guns in 45 Colt are strong enough to handle loads that will rival the 44 Magnum.

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Old June 18, 2013, 02:01 PM   #42
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Given that the .44 Mag will easily fit in some of the old Spanish revolvers imported into the US postr WW I, and given that people did that....
Yeah Mike, you got me there, but I daresay the 45 Colt ammo cautions are a lot more relevant with today's mix of shootable revolvers.
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Old June 18, 2013, 02:24 PM   #43
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You seem much more passionate about this issue than am I (be careful you don't wear out your cap lock key). Also, you seem absolutely convinced that you are correct, nobody else knows anything and that yours is the final word on the subject so there appears to be no point in adding any further comments.

I would add for the safety of someone reading this that it is not safe to load the vast majority of guns in 45 Colt to do what Wil Terry says can be done. Only a very guns in 45 Colt are strong enough to handle loads that will rival the 44 Magnum.
Well, Terry has probably handloaded and fired more rounds through sixguns than any one else present. Not to mention working in a ballistics lab for a major ammunition company. So yeah, I reckon his opinion is probably worth more than the average keyboard pecker. I might not always agree with what Terry says but when he speaks, smart shooters listen.

Yes, thank you safety police, I think we all know that the .45Colt can only be loaded heavy in certain guns. I'd say there's more than "very few" capable of handling such loads.

Ruger Blackhawk
Ruger Vaquero
Ruger Bisley
Ruger Redhawk
Colt Anaconda
Dan Wesson revolvers
MRI BFR revolvers
Freedom Arms 83
Freedom Arms 97
T/C Contender
Marlin 1894
Rossi 1892
Winchester 1892
Henry Big Boy
Winchester 94
Winchester 1895
NEF Handi-Rifle

Did I miss any?
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Old June 18, 2013, 03:49 PM   #44
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So all those guns can take .44 Magnum class loads?

I mean 250gr slugs at 1250 from 4 inch barrels?

And can older S&W .45 Colt revolvers use those loads? How about all those Beretta .45 LC revolvers? And all those Italian SAA revolvers? .44 Magnum class loads?

Spanish .44s taking .44 Magnums? Say where can you buy one of those? Never seen them (but I have seen many a Spanish .38 revolver.)

Now I don't care if you use a .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 LC as your favorite 'most versatile' revolver. All will do well from gerbils to bear if the platform will take it (both you and the gun.)

But at least ALL guns chambered for the .44 magnum will take the pressure and scant few .44 specials will chamber a .44 magnum round.

Many a gun, weak or strong, was made for the .45 LC.

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Old June 18, 2013, 03:59 PM   #45
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And just like any other firearm chambered in any other cartridge, it is up to the individual to know the limitations of his firearm and load it accordingly. If you step back and shed your pre-conceived notions, if you can avoid loading .44Magnums or .22LR's in your .45Colt, or .270's in your ..30-06, you can keep heavy loads out of weaker .45's. It's simple and quite intuitive, as long as you don't think we should live in a nanny state.

PS, and no, some .44Mag loads do not belong in certain .44Mag guns.
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Old June 18, 2013, 05:19 PM   #46
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THE 45COLT WILL DO ANYTHING A 44MAG CAN DO PERIOD ! This has been PROVED in the ballistics lab many times over now. GO READ !!!
Furthermore, it does it a a lot less pressure, a lot less recoil, and a damnsite less noise.

Been playin' around with the recoil calculator using my Lyman and Hornady manuals using their published numbers for velocities and powder charge. Regardless of which manual I use, when comparing similar bullets weights and producing similar velocities with jacketed bullets(240 and 300 gr), since it takes more powder in the .45 case, the recoil is always higher than in a .44 mag when both guns weigh the same. Usually not by much, but never was it lower. They didn't say anything about noise produced.

This argument between the .44 and the .45 has been goin' on since these types of forums became popular on the interweb. Hate to guess how many thousands of threads there has been about it on the various firearm websites that abound here. Odds are when we're all dead and gone, our grandkids will still be hagglin' over it. Far as I'm concerned, they both do the job for what they are intended. Very similar to good whiskeys. Pick your favorite poison and enjoy.
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Old June 18, 2013, 05:27 PM   #47
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I thought we were talking revolvers. Sure, most rifles are strong enough.

Oh, and if you say Wil Terry is an expert, OK. But in my experience experts don't need to scream their message and a real scientist allows for the views of others.
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Old June 18, 2013, 10:18 PM   #48
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I think its obvious that a 9mm Glock trumps both any 44 and any 45

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Old June 18, 2013, 11:56 PM   #49
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I think its obvious that a 9mm Glock trumps both any 44 and any 45
That would depend on who got the first hit.


I prefer the 44 Magnum so there. I have no scientific data to support my choice, only personal preference. The 44 Magnum does anything I need from wild to mild. It is a dandy CCW piece and works well for HD the only trick is you need to be proficient enough to handle her.
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Old June 19, 2013, 07:48 AM   #50
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The .44 is a fine and dandy cartridge, and quite versatile for sure.


But, I'll take my .45 Colt Bisley Convertible. I can shoot plinking loads, heavy loads moving out fast and punching bigger holes, and drop in the .45 ACP cylinder and shoot those, along with .45 Super.
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