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Difference between a .45 and a .44

This is a discussion on Difference between a .45 and a .44 within the Ammo Dump forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Someone just asked me what the difference between a .44 and a .45 was. I gave him the best answer I know. I told him ...


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Old February 4th, 2011, 02:24 PM   #1
 
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Question Difference between a .45 and a .44

Someone just asked me what the difference between a .44 and a .45 was. I gave him the best answer I know. I told him that .45s were loaded to a lesser pressure than .44magnums so that guns that are not as strong would not explode. Is that correct? I did tell him that if he reloaded he could hot rod the .45 up to .44 magnum specifications if IF the gun could handle it, like a Ruger. Was I right? He specifically mentioned the recoil difference when he asked the question.



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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #2
 
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You are right. To expand on your answer:

If you are keeping to revolvers, the .45 colt was originally a black powder cartridge and those old guns will not handle the pressure of modern smokeless powder without blowing the cylinder apart. Because of this, a typical .45 colt round will do about 700 fps or so with a 255 grain bullet. With modern smokeless powder you can get more out of it, but beware of your firearm. A Ruger Blackhawk in good shape is capable of handling magnum pressures, but ALWAYS check your reloading guide to be sure. Better safe than sorry.

The .44 comes in both .44 special and .44 magnum (you can shoot both in a magnum revolver). The .44 special is almost the same characteristics of a .45 auto in terms of velocity - they both average about 850fps or so with a 240 grain bullet which is actually an excellent round for defense. The .44 magnum will do roughly 1300fps depending on your bullet weight and type of powder. It is more for hunting than anything else. Depending on the type of bullet used it is very capable of over-penetration so if you plan on using this for defense, keep that in mind.

Bullet weight will greatly affect recoil and velocity. The heavier the bullet, the heavier the recoil but the slower to velocity.

Heavier bullets will dissipate more energy on impact when hitting a target making them better for defense or hunting.

Slower burning powders also add more recoil and chamber pressure too (again, watch out in old guns). Unique will duplicate a typical factory load quite well. Green Dot burns faster, cleaner and will give you a little more velocity with a lot less muzzle flash and 'boom' which is good for indoor ranges.

Some food for thought.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #3
 
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This was just for someone else. After I posted that using my phone, which took forever, I was able to talk to him again. He was using a lever action rifle, not a revolver. When I posted originaly, I did not know that. The guy was actually asking the difference in recoil, so I told him what I thought. I also SPECIFIED that it was what I THOUGHT. That the recoil difference was because of the pressures and velocities of the two rounds.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #4
 
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Both can do what each other can do but I give the nod to the 45 for more frontal area. The 44 black powder is really 45cal and the 44mag is really .429 cal which puts it between to the 41mag and the 45colt. The fatter the case the less pressure needed to move the same weight
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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #5
 
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If we are talking in terms of recoil i feel they are the same really because a 240 cowboy action load is pretty much the same as a 250 cowboy load. Since they are found in similar to identical guns i feel they are about the same with comprable loads. hot hand loads or +P .45 that run on the same level as a good .44 hunting load really shouldn't be much different.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #6
 
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We are many years past the old style 45case
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