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44special vs 45acp

This is a discussion on 44special vs 45acp within the Wheelguns forums, part of the Armory category; I think im understanding this right. But 44 special vs 45LC the 45LC can be loaded to higher pressure and more powerful loads due to ...


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Old April 24th, 2013, 09:34 AM   #1
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44special vs 45acp

I think im understanding this right. But 44 special vs 45LC the 45LC can be loaded to higher pressure and more powerful loads due to the length of the case.

What about the 44 special vs the 45 acp?


Ive searched for forums about this topic, but haven't found anything close to my question.

I simply want to know which one can be more powerful. +p loadings and all that.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 09:43 AM   #2
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Standard (not +P) maximum pressure per SAMMI specs is 15.5k for 44 special and 21k for 45ACP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert1811 View Post
I think im understanding this right. But 44 special vs 45LC the 45LC can be loaded to higher pressure and more powerful loads due to the length of the case.

What about the 44 special vs the 45 acp?


Ive searched for forums about this topic, but haven't found anything close to my question.

I simply want to know which one can be more powerful. +p loadings and all that.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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so are you saying 44 spl can be loaded hotter than 45 acp +P?
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Old April 24th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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if you maxed it out?
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Old April 25th, 2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mkbruce View Post
Standard (not +P) maximum pressure per SAMMI specs is 15.5k for 44 special and 21k for 45ACP.
And only 14k for .45Colt.

OP - Pressure is only one variable in the very fluid equation of loading. It's a big variable, but it's not in itself an indicator (or determiner) of power. Example - take the max load of a fast powder in a long-barrel revolver, vs. the max load of a slower-buring powder in the same gun. The slower powder may (and sometimes may not) give more power with a lower maximum pressure.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by robert1811 View Post
so are you saying 44 spl can be loaded hotter than 45 acp +P?
Typically they're not; but I hesitate to throw out absolutes in loading discussions since someone will inevitably come up with an example that proves me wrong. But most of the time, a .45acp +P will be more powerful than a .44 special. Thing is, with all the exotic loadings out there - some with super-flyweight bullets - the energy levels (not necessarily the capability levels) of any given defensive handgun caliber will be all over the board. If you do a net search for .44 special power level, or .44 special energy, etc, you'll find muzzle-energy levels of anywhere from 200 ft/lbs to probably near a thousand ft/lbs with some of the uber-light bullet loadings.

So even though the 'average' or 'typical' .45acp (and especially .45acp +P) will be more powerful than the average or typical .44 special load, if someone starts blathering that they can load a .44 special to twice the power of a standard .45acp load or vice versa, it could very well be a true statement.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #7
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Wow thanks John!
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Old May 15th, 2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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Muzzle energy is not really a relevant measure of much of anything.

If you want to compare calibers look at the velocity thy can shoot the same weight bullet, or the max bullet weight at a given velocity.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 10:17 PM   #9
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If you stick with factory loaded ammunition, the .45 ACP in a +P loading will be more powerful than the best .44 Special factory load that you can find. However, if you start into handloading the two to absolute maximum loads to be fired in modern firearms like the Ruger Blackhawk, you can hot rod a 240 grain .44 Special up to the area of 1250 fps. You could not get a 230 grain .45 ACP load to match that kind of velocity.

Keep in mind that the .44 Special is held back in factory loads because of the many weaker open top frame guns that are chambered for the cartridge. Only a hand loader can bring out the real potential of the .44 Special in a modern firearm!
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Old June 7th, 2013, 06:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 40fan View Post
Muzzle energy is not really a relevant measure of much of anything.

If you want to compare calibers look at the velocity thy can shoot the same weight bullet, or the max bullet weight at a given velocity.
Elmer Keith vs. Jack O'Connor all over again!!!!
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Old June 7th, 2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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Not really. If max muzzle kinetic energy was important we would be shooting the lightest plastic bullets at very high speeds, not lead or even copper. If momentum was everything we would roll bowling balls at attackers.

The best way to compare "power" in a handgun is to eliminate one of the variables. Compare weights or velocities. For example, the caliber that can get 1000 fps with the heavier projectile is obviously more powerful than the one that achieves that velocity with a lighter bullet. Alternatively, the caliber that gets 1200 fps with a 147 gr bullet is obviously more powerful than the one that gets 1000 fps with a 147 gr bullet. The relative power difference is clear.

Trying to compare energy wont work out as well because energy varies with bullet weight. Choosing a light for caliber bullet in one caliber and a heavy for caliber bullet in another can give a wildly false impression of the relative capabilities of the two calibers. You could find a 9mm with more energy than a .357, but only an idiot would conclude 9mm is a "more powerful" cartridge.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 08:26 AM   #12
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Note, more powerful does not mean better stopping power or more lethal etc. as the terminal balistics depend on more than the power of the cartridge.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #13
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Warning - thread drift alert...


Quote:
Originally Posted by 40fan View Post
Not really. If max muzzle kinetic energy was important we would be shooting the lightest plastic bullets at very high speeds, not lead or even copper. If momentum was everything we would roll bowling balls at attackers...
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Originally Posted by 40fan View Post
Note, more powerful does not mean better stopping power or more lethal etc. as the terminal balistics depend on more than the power of the cartridge.
Agreed. From my camp-9 carbine, I get over 600 ft/lbs with numerous factory 9mm loads, and average 740 ft/lbs with one factory 9mm load (corbon pow'rball). But that can't be the sole determiner of load choice, because a part of the decision is "what is the target?" If we ask "is 740 ft/lbs enough energy for hog hunting?", the answer is yes if we're using a .41 magnum, but the answer needs to be "no" if using that 9mm pow'rball. On the other hand, for our coyotes around here, I have zero qualms about the pow'rball for them. A 100-grain, 35-caliber bullet at over 1800fps is fine (imo, again) for a small, thin-skinned animal like that. Same muzzle energy, but very different "sweet spots" as far as application.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin357 View Post
Elmer Keith vs. Jack O'Connor all over again!!!!

Good point... IIRC, the .44 Magnum is the result of Elmer Keith's experiments at hot-loading the .44Sp in N-frame S&W revolvers. S&W created the new cartridge and guns to handle the extra added power. Isn't the .454 Casull basically an overloaded .45 Colt?
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Old June 8th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #15
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...Isn't the .454 Casull basically an overloaded .45 Colt?
Dimensionally, yes, it's basically a stretched .45colt much the way a .357mag is a stretched .38 special. But the 'overloading' is HUGE in proportion; the difference being far greater than there is between the .38 & .357, .44spl & .44mag, etc. Believe it or not, the .454 runs more chamber pressure than even the .30-06 and .300 winchester magnum rifle rounds, running the same 65,000 PSI top chamber-pressure rating as a .300 Weatherby magnum. In fact, it uses rifle primers so as to contain the higher pressures. Touching off a full-house .454 load, you can literally feel the concussion on your eyeballs; a whole different neighborhood than any normal magnum revolver round.
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