The .45 adventure ahead...

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Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
2,791
Well, as many of you know, and some of you who know me personally, know that I have started expanding into new calibers, specifically revolvers.

For years, I primarily shot and reloaded for long barrel .44 magnum revolvers (dies, powders, etc.)

Most of my shooting time is consumed by tactical 3-Gun courses, semi-auto competitions, etc.

But revolvers have always had a special place in my heart.

A few weekends ago, a buddy had me shoot his .45 Colt blackhawk. I fell in love with it.

I started researching and learning the versatility of this load.

If there is something I can't do with a .45 colt, that would require a .44, I'm going to 454 or 460 now.

I'm very excited about this transition and I've read several posts from other members here who are on the same path.

I would like to see posts from any of you interested in the .45.

Certainly not bashing the .44 mag. Just thinking out loud, with my wallet.
 

reloader

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
148
I like them both equally. They both can be loaded up or down depending on what you want to do with them.
If you end up buying other 45 Colts that are not as strong as the Ruger, it's a good idea to pick up some nickel plated plated brass for the 45 Colt to use for the heavy loads so that you don't accidentally put a heavy load in a weaker gun.
 

tsubaki

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
413
I joined this forum in order to educate me on my quest for a 45 Super Blackhawk as a twin for my 44 magnum and companion for a 1892 Winchester in 45colt.
Most of you know the unicorn, a 7 1/2" stainless with Super Blackhawk grip frame.

Refitting a 7 1/2" stainless from an XR3 to a Super Blackhawk grip frame and trigger would add over $250 to my quest and just live with the fluted cylinder until a Bisley cylinder became available and add more $ to the quest. Or I could simply rebarrel a stainless Bisley to 7 1/2". Not ever handling a Bisley, I was unsure of doing that.

And then along comes the Super Blackhawk Hunter to fit the bill perfectly but finding one is almost as elusive as a winning lottery ticket. Just slightly more $ than building one to suit me.
The whole purpose was to fit my slightly over sized hands and safely shoot/hunt with 45cal stuff at pressures above Colt replicas.

I gave up pursuing the unicorn about 910 days after joining this forum, I "settled" for a model #0871.
Yes, it is an inch shorter, a little heavier, only a 5 hole and a dang Bisley grip but at least it will safely shoot 250gr stuff at 1100fps.

As for the unicorn, like my wife said "Just because you are married, it don't mean you're dead, you can still look".
 

MaxP

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,012
DA_TriggR4Ruger said:
If there is something I can't do with a .45 colt, that would require a .44, I'm going to 454 or 460 now.

There is nothing on the face of this earth the .44 Mag can do that the .45 Colt can't. You can load it quite warmly in a Ruger. I think you will find this great old caliber to be very versatile.
 

Cracker-American

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
705
I enjoyed a thirty five plus year love affair with the .41 magnum. And still have a soft spot for all of mine. But in 2007 I traded into a 4&5/8" Blackhawk .45 LC. I have since changed out the frame for a Super Blackhawk frame and added a single hole sight blade from Steve (Sixshot).

I load and use heavy soft point bullets from Sierra and H110 powder. Combination has killed whitetail deer and hogs for me and one hog for a fellow forum member.

Yeah, I like the .45 Long Colt.
 

veeman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
421
I've had my .45 Colt Blackhawk for many a year, bought new in 91 I believe. I have never thought I needed a 44 Mag, the 45 will do it all. Recently put on a stainless SBH grip frame and hammer, and stag grips.
super%2045%20001_zpsyse34j4e.jpg
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,018
I think you will discover a lot of us enjoy the 45. I'm a bit different than many in that I have a love affair with almost all calibers. I can reload over 60 different calibers if I want, I have the dies & such. I have several 41's, 45's & 45's. All have their purposes & all have their good points. I choose to enjoy them all.
But, as many will attest,,, the 45 is extremely versatile, and you can do almost anything you wish with it.
Enjoy the fun!
 

trapperon

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
729
In my opinion, I believe a 7.5 inch ruger Blackhawk 45 colt loaded with 250-265 grain slugs at 1000fps is the ideal revolver. In comparing this load to a 44mag, I believe the larger bullet diameter makes up for the couple hundred fps speed of the 44. Its a true big bore--with some history--and will get the job done without even having to find a 454 or 460!

Another thing I like about this combination is the ability to stick with keith style cast slugs. At the 1000 velocity leading of the barrel is not an issue.

Good luck in your procurement--and welcome to the 45 world!

Ron
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,268
Nothing quite like it. Been on the job since 1873. Has lots of character.... Can be loaded from mild to wild as needed. Just something about the .45 Colt that feels right (to me). Something the .429 Mag just doesn't have. For my purpose It will do everything a big bore needs doing. Whether target shooting, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting.... Therefore the .454, .480, .500 just have no 'pull' nor really the peanut .357. Anyway, may not be for everyone, but it fits me. I shoot the other cartridges too, but the .45 Colt is rarely far from hand. Enjoy.
 

s4s4u

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
1,891
I've had calibers come and go from my small herd, but the 45 Colt will always be there to stay.
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,989
As to the .45 Colt, I do like 'em. Here is a sampling of my .45s:



As most of y'all know, my heart is with the .44ss, both Specials and Magnums. Too hard to pick a favorite for me.

My own observation has been the .45 Colt handles heavy bullet loads (up to 350 grs.) better than the .44 Magnum, while the Magnum gets maximum velocity with the light (180 gr. weight) bullets.

For some time time (some folks have attributed it to my advancing age) now I have preferred the smaller Blackhawk Flat Top in .44 Special or a Blackhawk with 4 5/8" barrel in the milder persuasion in cartridge selection. Too tough to choose one over the other, so I'll just go with both.

A recent acquisition, this represents my ideal revolver, so held since my youth:



Bob Wright
 

Varminterror

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
513
Folks will go back and forth between the 44mag and 45colt as long as the two are available to be purchased. Flip a coin, you'll be happy. For the reloader, the gap is null, for the factory ammo shooter, full house "Ruger Only" 45colt loads aren't as widely available, and typically come at a significantly higher cost. Guys will banter about cylinder wall thickness, case head strength, sectional density, bore volume, ballistic coefficient, etc etc until the end of time.

I have both, I shoot both, I've killed game with both. For a reloader, flip a coin, you won't be disappointed. If you're NOT a reloader (or not YET a reloader), then be careful when you hear this kind of statement below:

MaxP said:
There is nothing on the face of this earth the .44 Mag can do that the .45 Colt can't.

Two specific exceptions for factory ammo shooters:

1) 44mag can be found in full power loads at EVERY shop that sells handgun ammo. Go find some Buffalo Bore or Garrett 45colt (or any other 44mag equivalent load) at your local Walmart. There are even gas stations around here that sell 44mag full house ammo - they also sell STANDARD 45colt, but they're not loaded to the same level.

2) 44mag full power factory loads can be found with hunting quality bullets for cheaper than full power "Ruger Only" 45colt loads. The Garrett, Grizzly, HSM, Buffalo Bore, etc loads for 45colt that match 44mag performance tend to run between $1.25-1.75 per shot, whereas you can get that level of 44mag ammo at the same performance for 60 cents to $1.00 per shot.


So for anybody shooting factory ammo, the 44mag and 45colt are NOT equivalent. The higher power 45 colt loads are less prevalent (harder to find), and more expensive.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
683
Ok , with certainty , "Ruger Only" .45Colt loads will fully match standard full power .44 Mag. 300-320gr in .44 loaded to old school 42K pressure vs stock .45 Blackhawk is interesting campfire debate.

Strictly common factory load comparisons involve priorities. As noted standard 240 Jhp .44Mag everywhere ammo is sold. .44spl / cowboy .44Mag , or "sweet spot" .44 ammo ( 240-ish @ 900-1000fps , either warm Spl or 3/4 throttle Mag ) not so much , wheras traditional .45Colt (250/255 @ 900-ish) is semi-common.

And *for me* the New Model BH is just right in .45 or .41 , better than Super or the shrunken BH .YMMV .( Yes , Bisley is great specifically for extra powerful loads , but for all around use , the XR3red is more natural. YMMV.)
 

Mus408

Hunter
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
2,271
I like my .45's too and have a few...great to shoot and load for.
Recently traded in my one and only .44 Mag SBH Hunter for my first DA .45/454 revolver...SRH Alaskan because I also like the beefy short barrel setup.
Disappointed had to send him back for repair/replacement, however it will be back soon.

If you are looking for some good factory loads for .45 Colt check out Underwood. He has them from mild to wild like a 250 gr XTP going 1400+ FPS but use only beefy revolvers or 1892 lever rifles!
 

MaxP

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,012
Varminterror said:
Folks will go back and forth between the 44mag and 45colt as long as the two are available to be purchased. Flip a coin, you'll be happy. For the reloader, the gap is null, for the factory ammo shooter, full house "Ruger Only" 45colt loads aren't as widely available, and typically come at a significantly higher cost. Guys will banter about cylinder wall thickness, case head strength, sectional density, bore volume, ballistic coefficient, etc etc until the end of time.

I have both, I shoot both, I've killed game with both. For a reloader, flip a coin, you won't be disappointed. If you're NOT a reloader (or not YET a reloader), then be careful when you hear this kind of statement below:

MaxP said:
There is nothing on the face of this earth the .44 Mag can do that the .45 Colt can't.

Two specific exceptions for factory ammo shooters:

1) 44mag can be found in full power loads at EVERY shop that sells handgun ammo. Go find some Buffalo Bore or Garrett 45colt (or any other 44mag equivalent load) at your local Walmart. There are even gas stations around here that sell 44mag full house ammo - they also sell STANDARD 45colt, but they're not loaded to the same level.

2) 44mag full power factory loads can be found with hunting quality bullets for cheaper than full power "Ruger Only" 45colt loads. The Garrett, Grizzly, HSM, Buffalo Bore, etc loads for 45colt that match 44mag performance tend to run between $1.25-1.75 per shot, whereas you can get that level of 44mag ammo at the same performance for 60 cents to $1.00 per shot.


So for anybody shooting factory ammo, the 44mag and 45colt are NOT equivalent. The higher power 45 colt loads are less prevalent (harder to find), and more expensive.

Why be careful? In order to extract the best possible performance out of any firearm, one will reload. I didn't draw the distinction between cowboy action type loads and proper .45 Colt loads as the conversation didn't warrant drawing such a distinction IMO. It's a given that in factory form there are more options available to the .44 Mag owner. That said, I stand by my statement.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
2,791
MaxP said:
DA_TriggR4Ruger said:
If there is something I can't do with a .45 colt, that would require a .44, I'm going to 454 or 460 now.

There is nothing on the face of this earth the .44 Mag can do that the .45 Colt can't. You can load it quite warmly in a Ruger. I think you will find this great old caliber to be very versatile.

MaxPayne, this is great news. I'm still learning these things.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
2,791
veeman said:
I've had my .45 Colt Blackhawk for many a year, bought new in 91 I believe. I have never thought I needed a 44 Mag, the 45 will do it all. Recently put on a stainless SBH grip frame and hammer, and stag grips.
super%2045%20001_zpsyse34j4e.jpg

This is almost the exact gun that got me started down this path "of madness".

It's a fever right now.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
Messages
2,791
trapperon said:
In my opinion, I believe a 7.5 inch ruger Blackhawk 45 colt loaded with 250-265 grain slugs at 1000fps is the ideal revolver. In comparing this load to a 44mag, I believe the larger bullet diameter makes up for the couple hundred fps speed of the 44. Its a true big bore--with some history--and will get the job done without even having to find a 454 or 460!

Another thing I like about this combination is the ability to stick with keith style cast slugs. At the 1000 velocity leading of the barrel is not an issue.

Good luck in your procurement--and welcome to the 45 world!

Ron

Thank you! I'm very excited
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,268

MaxP

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,012
Rclark said:
If you get a chance to, pick up the book Big Bore Revolvers by Max Prasac. Besides the wonderful pictures there is lots of good info there. A good read. Max gives couple of pages just to the .45 Colt on p. 28 and p. 29. Voice of experience :) .

Thanks for the kind words, Rclark! Much appreciated!
 
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