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Thread: Revolver accuracy comparison -- 44 Mag vs 45 Colt

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    Senior Member cjwils is on a distinguished road

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    Revolver accuracy comparison -- 44 Mag vs 45 Colt

    I understand that the 44 Special and before that the 44 Russian were popular with target shooters because they had a good reputation for accuracy in revolvers. Recently, I came across a comment from someone claiming that the 44 Magnum is inherently a more accurate revolver cartridge than the 45 Colt. Can anyone provide any real data or real experience comparing those two in revolvers?

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    Senior Member Kingcobb is on a distinguished road

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    I would reckon its more personal preference and shooting ability than an inherent accuracy advantage between the two rounds.
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    Supporting Member weagle99 is on a distinguished road
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    Probably has more to do with oversize cylinder throats on .45 Colt revolvers than anything else.
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    Supporting Member TFlyboy is on a distinguished road
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    Bullets have their own inherent accuracy.

    After that, accuracy depends on several other components -- powder characteristics (burn rates, case fill, measuring consistency), gun characteristics (rifling twist, jump distance, cylinder gap), brass (case thickness and length, crimp), and primers (ignition consistency, heat, burn).

    Bullseye's -- very seldom is a bullseye a perfect shot. More often than not, a bullseye is just a matter of compensating errors (heart beat, breath, wind, stance, hold, trigger squeeze, and thinking about the girl shooting next to you). The more you control these variables through consistency, the better your accuracy will be.
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    Senior Member capstan is on a distinguished road

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    The only experience i have in that regard is shooting my SAA Colt 45 and shooting 44 mags out of an anaconda,ruger and S&W.
    I never really compared the group results. The barrel lengths are different, the sights are different,the designs are different so it wouldnt be much of a comparison.
    With certain loads, my SAA shoots a nice tight group even with the small nonadjustable sights. The Anaconda shot the tightest group of all the guns. The first 3 shots oout of the gun were all touching at 25 yards.But it depends upon the loads I am shooting etc..
    Now if someone had Anacondas in 44 mag and one in 45 colt with the same barrel length,then that would be worth comparing groups size with various loads. Maybe they could come to a conclusion that one seems to be a tighter shooter than the other.
    Maybe someone here has both 45 colt and 44 mag anacondas and has done some testing?

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    Supporting Member trap4570 is on a distinguished road
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    Lockup and alignment is where the accuracy of the gun is. The shooter can make a great gun into a poor shooter and vice-versa. I would venture a guess that crunching the ballistic figures might give an edge to the magnum but I've never witnessed anyone shooting a paper target match with full-house magnum loads. Pistol steel matches the magnum shines because of a flatter trajectory. My guess is that historically the .44's were used because of a lighter recoil and a heavier revolver - but that is just my opinion. During the 1930's the .38 midrange wadcutter was the ticket due to the light recoil and it was somewhat the standard caliber of law enforcement. I could be wrong and it may be the .44 was popular just like bell bottom pants in the 60's! I would like to know the answer as well.

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    Supporting Member smkummer is on a distinguished road
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    I have a Colt Anacondna 6 in. in 45. It really likes .454 diameter bullets but have had luck with the Lyman 452454 Kieth bullet unsized (.452-.453) and a hotter than SAA load. I wasn't having much luck using .452 bullets except for a very light load of 700X and a 200 SWC. I have done very little with jacketed bullets for cost reasons. The only 44 mag. revolver I own now is a Ruger Superblackhawk and it shoots everything well including lead bullets that are .430 or bigger. So from my experience the 45 Colt CAN be accurate but it takes more load developement than most 44 magnums.

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    Senior Member Texas Man is on a distinguished road

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    Of all the guns I have, By far the best made and most accurate is Freedom Arms. The downside to 454 and 44 mag is the recoil if you have small hands. The 45 Colt is good in that matter. Many men can put the first shot on target but after that few do as well. A brused and bloody hand is no fun.

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    Supporting Member BigG is on a distinguished road
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    I would hazard the 44 Magnum would have better intrinsic accuracy than the 45 Colt as it was developed from the premier target cartridge of the 19th century the 44 Russian. The projectiles have as much to do with accuracy as any other factor and the 44 240 gr bullets are supremely accurate. The S&W N frame revolvers are pretty darn accurate, too, at least the older ones from the 70's and prior. YMMV

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