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Old March 29, 2001, 10:38 AM   #1
Dave R
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I'm dreaming about a revolver/levergun combo. Which can be safely loaded hotter--.44 mag or .45LC?
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Old March 29, 2001, 11:18 AM   #2
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That depends on what weight bullet you are going to be shooting. The .45 Colt performs better with the heavier bullets. The .44 Mag is better with the lighter bullets. Although I think the .44 Mag is the more versitile of the two since it shoots heavy bullets almost as fast as the .45 Colt and the lighter bullets much faster than the .45 Colt. I have both and pretty much standardized the .44 for 180 grain bullets and the .45 Colts for 300 grain bullets. I have the rifle/pistol combo in the .45 but only a couple pistols in the .44.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
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Old March 29, 2001, 05:57 PM   #3
Steve Smith
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The .45 Colt will beat the .44 Mag with lower pressures to boot. Be good to your guns and hot-rod at the same time.

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Old March 29, 2001, 06:04 PM   #4
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I tried this in 44 mag a few years back, and never came up with a good "one round for both" solution. The nearest I came up with involved a 185 gr JHP, which was light for the rifle (winchester 94 lever) and kinda hot for the 629 revolver. Please let me know how yours works out.
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Old March 29, 2001, 06:15 PM   #5
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The 45 colt can be loaded hotter ONLY IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT RUGERS Colts and Italian clones can't handle the high pressure loads.
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Old March 29, 2001, 06:26 PM   #6
Shooter 973
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If you want a magnum then only the 44. will do, I shoot 44 mag. out of 2 Redhawks, Super Blackhawk, 2 Old style Ruger carbines and 2 Win levers. Try 17 gr. of BlueDot under a 250gr. Keith slug and you have everything you want out of a 44 Mag. Please no cast bullets in the Ruger Carbines, so sub a good 240gr, jacketed bullet. A good lite load is 8.5gr of unique and almost any cast bullet. Will give about 1000 fps with 240= 250 gr.
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Old March 29, 2001, 11:40 PM   #7
Dave R
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Looks like there's not a clear consensus...

Just to clarify, I don't plan to use the same load in both pistol and rifle. I'm wondering which can be loaded hotter for the rifle. I'll hunt with the rifle. I'll likely use a softer load in the pistol.
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Old March 30, 2001, 01:58 AM   #8
Doc Hudson
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I seriously doubt if you can get enough additional performance to make any real difference between the two.

Get the caliber that you prefer. You will never convince a .44 Man that a .45 can do everything his .44 can do. And you will Never convince a .45 Man that his .45 can not equal or surpass .44's.

If you really want to watch a discussion thread get long quick, go to message board and post that question. You will get more answers than you can read.

Doc Hudson, who is BTW a .44 Man
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Old March 30, 2001, 05:31 AM   #9
Robert the41MagFan
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At SAFE levels both cartridges will do well and perform about the same. Surely dead game will never be able to tell. A 44 Magnum load will max out at 42000 CUP and a 45 LC at 80% of that number (reality is 40000 for the 44 Magnum and 32000 for the 45 LC). I'll agree with some of the other poster and say that 44 Magnum is a much more versatile cartridge. Bullet selection is unmatched! There is no specific brand of firearm needed to use full power 44 loads and the load data is available from any reloading manual (and you don't need to flirt with Darwin). Simple!

Now, if big bullets is what you are looking for and you are willing to dig for viable "safe" loads, then yes, forty-five is the ticket. And for only one reason , they feed better from a levergun and chances are that they will function perfectly well from a revolver. In order to push the envelope, big forty-four Magnum bullets have bin getting longer and longer. Case capacity starts to become an issue and every grain of powder counts. Bullets are seated further out of the case. And it creates a problem, some of these larger 44 caliber bullets will not feed properly from a levergun and they are also to larger to fit some revolver cylinders. The bullet is too long.

It is a tough choice, especially if it is going to be your only choice. You are stuck between a versatile modern cartridge that does just about everything well and a nostalgic cartridge that has a lot of heritage behind it.

I do what the other poster said and get the one that YOU prefer

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Old March 30, 2001, 11:47 AM   #10
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Or you could get a 45-70 rifle and a 44/45 revolver.

Personally for DA revolvers I stick to the 44 but SA revolvers will be 32mag/32-20 & 45LC.

For rifles/carbines I would rather use a something more than a handgun cartridge. Why carry a 5 to 8 lbs handgun [ie SMG or pistol caliber carbine]?
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Old March 31, 2001, 11:29 AM   #11
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Of course if we are going to stray from the combo gun you could get a .44 Mag handgun and a .444 Marlin rifle. Same bullet can be used in both with the .444 shooting it MUCH faster. And, more heavily constructed bullets are available for the .444 for use on bigger game.
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Old March 31, 2001, 12:34 PM   #12
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One other factor to keep in mind in the lever guns. The .45 Colt has a very small rim compared to the .44 Mag. Some (not all) lever guns require a very "sharp" working of the action to reliably eject the fired Colt brass. (My replica 92 for one - works, but don't open the action slowly or you end up with an empty case laying in the port rather than on the ground.)
Bob C. NRA Patron USN (Ret)
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