hunting preference

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Chief 101

Hunter
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Feb 14, 2007
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2,096
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Idaho
I'm hunting with a OM single six 22lr today.
Have never had a 45 that shot for sh*t so I have always used the 44 with castlead handloads. Out West here where I hunt you just need to be patient and try to get close, so, most game I have shot at archery(20-30yds) ranges.
For deer either can be overkill. Blablabla...Use what you have confidence in and...it ain't about the gun it is about the hunt.
Chief aka Maxx Load
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jpb in me

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
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Maine woods
had a poll question in there, did,t show up for some reason.
The question is would you rather a 44mag or 45 LC for deer hunting using factory ammo and what would be the preferred barrel lenth?
 

dougader

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Jun 18, 2008
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Well, factory ammo in 45 Colt is pretty anemic, unless you're willing to pay over $1 a round for Buffalo Bore.

But IMO for short range handgun hunting you don't need full power 44 mag (or heavy 45 Colt, for that matter) for deer.

If I could get a 240 - 265 grain SWC or LBT style slug at 900 - 1000 fps from either I'd be happy.

I like the shorter barrels on my revolvers. Its just a personal preference. I like the way they look, the way they handle; that kind of thing. A S&W Mt Gun in 44 mag or 45 Colt would be fine with me, or a 4-5/8" Blackhawk/SBH.
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
Joined
Dec 30, 1999
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4,417
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Maine
dougader":3b3tut89 said:
Well, factory ammo in 45 Colt is pretty anemic, unless you're willing to pay over $1 a round for Buffalo Bore.

Hmm, seems the faithful old cartridges of yesteryear worked fine for the western hunters. Guess the lowly whitetails have gotten tougher hides in your nexk of the world. :roll:
Never felt the Remington STHP or the Hornady stuff was below what I'd need it for. Maybe I'll digress those loads down to the squirrel hunting purposes.
 

Scott

Single-Sixer
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Dec 14, 2009
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296
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Missouri
I'm planning on using my 4 5/8" .45 Colt this fall - with some kind of factory loads - for white tail this fall
 

dougader

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BlkHawk73":pf15ijwv said:
dougader":pf15ijwv said:
Well, factory ammo in 45 Colt is pretty anemic, unless you're willing to pay over $1 a round for Buffalo Bore.

Hmm, seems the faithful old cartridges of yesteryear worked fine for the western hunters. Guess the lowly whitetails have gotten tougher hides in your nexk of the world. :roll:
Never felt the Remington STHP or the Hornady stuff was below what I'd need it for. Maybe I'll digress those loads down to the squirrel hunting purposes.

You could quote the whole text if you want to pick on me. :)

For one thing, Remington does not make, nor never has made, the STHP... which - in any event - was not available in the old "cartridges of yesteryear" anyway.

IME the STHP and the GDHP don't even make 800 fps from a 5-1/2" Bisley revolver. I have never seen Hornday 45 Colt ammo in the stores around here... or the Winchester STHP or Speer GDHP either. I have seen the Federal 225 grain lead hp and its just as anemic as the others mentioned.

If the factories loaded a 250 grain lead bullet to an honest 900 fps (you know, like they did when the load was powered by 40 grains of black powder), then that would be great. But none of it that I've fired across a chronograph lives up to any advertised claims.

In addition, I don't like hollow points in slow moving slugs anyway. I wouldn't use my 1,000 fps handload with the 250 grain GDHP for deer. I want a hardcast lead slug moving at 900-1000 fps. That's easily done within SAAMI specs, but no one produces it.

I also don't want to shoot full house factory-loaded 44 mag, either. Talk about overkill. Its just not needed. If I hunt with a 44 mag, then I'll use a 240 grain SWC at 1000 fps, not 1400 fps... provided shots are close enough for my old eyes and shaky hands to consistently hit at the ranges encountered.
 

AzRebel

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
216
Location
Next to the creek, under a pine
First, I want to know why I'd be forced to use factory ammo?

I've never, not even once in my life, hunted any big game animal with factory loaded ammunition.

In fact, the times I had a bit of factory centerfire ammo, I either used it up on targets or on varmints to recover the brass.

In factory loaded ammo, the .44 mag has an advantage in both price and available loads. The .45 Colt is harder to find hunting ammo for, and it's more expensive when you do. With limited choices, it's also harder to find a load that shoots good in your firearm.

So, if I have to use factory ammo, I reckon I'd take my handloaded ammo and go on a different hunt with a .45 Colt. Mine all have fixed sights that are adjusted to hit POA with my loads. No reason to change that now.
 

BearHawk 357

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Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
Location
Ohio
Most feel that the 44 will give you tons of bullet options and plenty of power while the old 45 colt, while plenty powerful, is easier on the ears and wrist. I like them both and would have a hard time saying which one would win "best overall" deer hunting round.

There are lots of gun choices in both calibers. However, the 45 is offered in some interesting choices. An example of this would be the Taurus Judge. This might end up being a great hunting piece if you can find one that hits point-of-aim with a solid heavy cast bullet (as they have fixed sights). These shoot the 410 shotgun shells too. T/C offers this combo in a single shot pistol version. NEF makes a single shot 45 colt/410 shotgun in a rifle. There are others offered in this configuraton as well.

So, does this make the 45 a better choice? Being able to shoot 45 colts and 410 shotgun shells out of the same gun could be pretty handy. Sometimes it not just the round itself that makes it great but rather all of the other factors that revolve around that round.

Other things to consider are the guns that shoot both the 454 and the 45 colt. Furthermore, there are guns that shoot 460 S&W, 454 and 45 Colt. Talk about versatility. What type of combo are you getting out of a 44? I know you can shoot 44 specials out of them but that's just about it, as far as the common stuff goes.

What barrel length is best, you ask? It's my opinion that barrel length matters when shooting steel gongs at 200 yards but makes almost no difference, at 20 yards, on deer sized game. I would use a Ruger Alaskan, in 45 colt, for deer hunting if it were legal in Ohio. Some guys like the longer sight radius of a longer barrel and they certainly look better on paper from an energy standpoint. However, I tend to shoot a shorter barrel better. Why do you almost never see 7.5" barrels in cowboy action shooting? It's because folks want to hit their mark(s) and the shorter barrels pop out of a holster faster. Most folks prefer the balance of a shorter barrel when they take the time to give them a chance.

My state places a minimum requirement of 5" on barrel length for deer hunting. Which is dumb if you ask me. They measure revolvers from the start of the barrel and not the back of the round. While they measure single shots and automatics from the back of the round (rim). Here is an example of another thing that doesn't make full sense: A S&W 460V, shooting 45 colts, with a 5" barrel is legal here (even though there is only 4" of rifling due to the compensator) but my 45 colt Redhawk with only 4" of rifling is not legal. Two guns, same amount of rifling, same bullet....and only one of them is legal for hunting. This is just one example.

You asked your question with the mention of factory ammo. I don't know about other parts of the country but around here, 45 colt ammo flies off of the shelves. I do seem to always see 44's. This might give the 44 an edge. If you are going to be shooting factory ammo then it helps to have it available in stores for purchase. My dad started shooting 45 colts 30 years ago because he could do a lot with the ammo and it was a third of the cost of 44 mag's. Things have changed.

A lot comes into play when looking at a hunting revolver/caliber. I'm just glad that we have all of the options that we do. Now, if we could just get the law makers to stop over-regulating the hunting tool requirements. A guy can shoot 2" off-hand groups, with hot 45 colts, out of a 4" barrel and that is not legal to take hunting in Ohio. The same hunter can shoot 10" groups with a 6" GP-100 and that's legal to take. How is this common sense? They should trust that most people, who hunt, are really into the sport and we want to use the most accurate tool available. Even if that tool has a barrel that is 1 inch shorter than "legal" length. Ok, I'll get off of my soap box, now. I just had to get all of that off my chest.
 

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