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Old August 8, 2013, 09:12 PM   #1
HALL,AUSTIN
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45 colt or 44 mag henry?

I know henry isn't the strongest action out there but I like them. Which caliber would be better for deer and what is the furthest shot you would take on one?
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Old August 8, 2013, 10:18 PM   #2
James K
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The .44 Magnum is not only much more powerful (factory ammo) than the .45 Colt, its rim is larger and less likely to give extraction problems. I see no reason to carry a rifle chambered for .45 Colt unless it is for commonality with a .45 handgun you simply must have for whatever reason. IMHO, if that is important, buy a .44 Magnum revolver.

Even so, either revolver cartridge is going to be less effective on deer than a rifle cartridge like the .30-30 or .308. I consider the .44 Magnum to be a 100 yard deer cartridge.

(Yes, I have heard all about Elmer Keith and Dirty Harry and how the .44 Magnum will kill deer and anything else at 200 miles on a dark day. I am talking about the real world, not a fluke shot or Hollywood fantasy.)

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Old August 8, 2013, 10:46 PM   #3
big al hunter
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I agree with Jim on all accounts. The 44 mag is the better choice for a rifle. Nostalgia would be the only reason for getting a 45 colt rifle. But I have a 44 mag revolver to match it already. so I may be slightly biased.
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Old August 8, 2013, 11:18 PM   #4
taylorce1
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As much as I think the .45 Colt is cool, since you'll be hunting with it the .44 Mag is the superior choice. Its just "mo betta"!

Your comfort zone with the rifle will be the determining factor on how far you would shoot a deer with it. I don't think you'll have a problem with 100 yards, but only you will know that for sure.
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Old August 9, 2013, 12:08 AM   #5
Armed_Chicagoan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James K
Even so, either revolver cartridge is going to be less effective on deer than a rifle cartridge like the .30-30 or .308. I consider the .44 Magnum to be a 100 yard deer cartridge.
True, however bear in mind in some states (Indiana for example) the only center fire rifles allowed for deer hunting are ones that shoot pistol ammunition. Otherwise your deer hunting options are shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun, or bow.

And besides, in wooded areas you likely won't be seeing deer at over 100 yards anyway through the trees. And a blunt-nosed 240 grain .44 bullet will bust right through light brush without getting deflected.

So really it all depends on the state and terrain you will be hunting in, and personal preference.
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Old August 9, 2013, 12:27 AM   #6
taylorce1
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Originally Posted by Armed_Chicagoan
And a blunt-nosed 240 grain .44 bullet will bust right through light brush without getting deflected.
I agree with everything you said until this. The brush busting cartridge is a myth, even in light brush a .44 Magnum will be deflected. Maybe not enough to miss the kill zone, but maybe it will be enough. Never ever shoot through brush of any kind. Besides if you're shooting through brush how are you going to know what is beyond your target?
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Old August 9, 2013, 04:40 AM   #7
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If you reload the .45 Colt can be loaded above and beyond the .44 mag and as for nostalgia no lever action was chambered for .45 Colt until the 1980's.
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
(Yes, I have heard all about Elmer Keith and Dirty Harry and how the .44 Magnum will kill deer and anything else at 200 miles on a dark day. I am talking about the real world, not a fluke shot or Hollywood fantasy.)
I have hunted deer for almost twenty years with .44-40 caliber rifles. I have taken more than a few out to a hundred and twenty yards or so with full black powder loads pushing a 200 grain bullet at around 1200-1300 fps. I have never had a deer run more than ten or fifteen yards. A .44-40 is about as powerful as a .45 colt but isn't as powerful as a .44 mag, and all of this happened in the real world and nowhere close to Hollywood and weren't "fluke" shots. It's all in where you put the bullet.

Last edited by MJN77; August 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM.
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:39 AM   #9
reloader28
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Hawg is absolutely right. I'm surprised at everyone else.
If you reload, the 45 can easily equal the 44mag, tho the case is a little weaker.

Doesnt matter anyway. No critter on this planet will stop either one loaded with a 250-300gr cast bullet within 200yds.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:09 AM   #10
buck460XVR
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If you reload, it's a toss up. If you don't then I suggest you stick with the .44.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorce1
I agree with everything you said until this. The brush busting cartridge is a myth, even in light brush a .44 Magnum will be deflected. Maybe not enough to miss the kill zone, but maybe it will be enough. Never ever shoot through brush of any kind. Besides if you're shooting through brush how are you going to know what is beyond your target?
Ok, whenever 2 objects collide they both are affected, that's simple physics. Just pointing out that some bullets will be deflected more or less than others.

As for knowing what's beyond your target if you're in a tree stand you can be reasonably assured that there is only ground beyond the target and distances are likely quite short. If not in a stand more care is required, I'm certainly not advocating shooting at any movement and what you think are antlers. But you will never see very far beyond your target in the woods, the risk will never drop to zero. All you can do is mitigate the risk as much as possible - obey the proper hunting hours so you're not shooting in low light, we have laws requiring deer hunters to wear a minimum amount of blaze orange (and really anyone in the woods during deer season should do the same whether or not they're hunting), and basic common sense. Regulations also limit the number of hunters allowed in any one place in state controlled areas. If you're not reasonably certain you can hit the target don't take the shot. And remember, the reason non-pistol center fire rounds are prohibited in the first place is to minimize the distance a missed shot will travel.

Risk never drops to zero, the goal is to get it as close to zero as humanly possible.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:41 AM   #12
hogdogs
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Staying in your caliber realm... You could always get this gem in .45-70 and be done with worrying about range etc...

http://henryrepeating.com/rifle-45-70.cfm

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Old August 9, 2013, 10:15 AM   #13
1tfl
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Factory 44 mag 240gr ammo will do about 1,800 fps from 20" barrel. That will do a good job on a deer out to 150 yards or more... if you can see that far.
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Old August 15, 2013, 11:48 AM   #14
Ted D
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I hunt with .44mag henry rifle.it stopped my 200lb nick in its tracks at 65yrds.240gn.
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