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Old September 22, 2002, 12:15 PM   #1
Join Date: May 13, 2002
Location: Colorado
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.44 spl vs. .45 Colt for defense

Which caliber would you choose for self defense between the above two? Also, what platform? Is it possible to find a revolver in one of the above calibers that would be clearly easier to conceal than an H&K .45 USP compact?

Biggest concern about above is finding reasonable practice ammo because I like to practice a lot.

Thanks in advance.
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Old September 22, 2002, 12:31 PM   #2
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I regularly carry a .45C S&W Mountain Gun, or a S&W M24 3". Neither is as concealable as an auto, but it can be done. The Cowboy Action ammo for .45 Colt is about the least expensive practice ammo available lately. .44 Spec. is rarer, and practice ammo in mycase is handloads.
Good SD ammo is available in both calibers - I carry CorBon 200 gr. .45 Colt, and 165 gr. .44 Spec.
The S&W 696 is a slightly more concealable .44 Spec., and Taurus offers a couple of versions in .45 Colt, but I've stayed with the N Frames, on the basis of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
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Old September 22, 2002, 12:43 PM   #3
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The .45lc would probably be a slightly more powerful round due to its size, but even then the difference would be slight. Due to the speed of both cartridges, hollow point ammunition doesn't work very well unless you go really light. Corbon has some lightweight bullets that will expand, but also have a penetration problem. SWC's are usually what is loaded in either and so the hole made is about the same. The .44spl can be found in more smaller frame guns, although I'm not sure you could really do any better from a ccw standpoint than the .45uspc. With a small revolver you will be limited in most cases to 5 rounds. I used to have a Smith 696, and while it could be handloaded to much better performance than factory it still lacked in firepower and not too many people want to carry a handload for defense. If you want to carry a revolver I don't think you can beat a good ole .38spl or .357mag in the "j" frame size gun. They have better loads available for ccw than either the .44 or .45 and they are more concealable. I still carry a snub .357 for ccw simply because I like the way they conceal and point. I am aware of their limited capacity, but feel it makes up for it with more power and reliability than some of the other "mouse" guns. If weather is permitting I will still carry a full size gun, but 90% of the time it is a 5 shot 38 or 357. If you want an auto then my suggestion would be a glock 26. I have thought about carrying one myself, but I prefer the ability to throw a gun into my pocket without a holster that the revolver offers. I'm more likely to carry it.
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Old September 22, 2002, 12:45 PM   #4
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My findings about the same as Walosi's

N frames not as easy to conceal but worth the trouble.

.44 Special bout like the .45 ACP for performance with the ability to go above and beyond in stout gun.

.45 Colt similar but with the ability to go up even further if desired.

Both darn good cartridges.

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Old September 22, 2002, 02:59 PM   #5
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Honestly, either one is fine. I don't see that either one offers a real world advantage over the other.
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Old September 22, 2002, 07:34 PM   #6
Brian Williams
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If I could find some nice wood grips for my Taurus tracker in 45 colt I would carry it other than as a woods gun. It is the same size as a K frame and handles my reloads and Win silvertip 255s very well. I have gotten a group that was 1" hi by 4"s wide at 35yds from a rest.
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Old September 22, 2002, 07:39 PM   #7
Don Pedro, El Viejo
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Having several N frame Smiths I still carry the J frame when I don't carry a semi-auto. However that may change soon.
I plan to order the Taurus .45ACP 5 shot revolver it's on the equivlent of the K frame and has built in clips for a fast reload( I question the need for a fast reload but it doesn't hurt)
I would appreciate any comments, and I didn't mean to steal the thread as I consider the .45 and .44 basically equal with the .45 slightly superior. the .45ACP however will be considerably cheaper to shoot for the non-reloader.
Don Pedro Hildalgo
El Viejo
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Old September 24, 2002, 03:41 PM   #8
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If I was starting from scratch, I'd prefer to go with 45LC just because the top end loads seem to be more powerful. I'd be happy with .44 Spec though, because it is powerful "enough".

And shooting the Specials out of an N frame is lots of fun too.
John Northern CA
"Life brings sorrows and joys alike. It is what a man does with them - not what they do to him - that is the true test of his mettle." T. Roosevelt
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:09 PM   #9
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anybody who has a strong preference of one of these rounds over the other doesnt understand much about either.
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