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Old 08-09-2009, 05:08 PM
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David LaPell David LaPell is offline
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Default .44 Special vs .45 Colt on whitetail deer

Ok, most of you that know me know that I love old time cartridges. So, between the two, which would be better on whitetail deer? I have always had a warm place in my heart for both the .44 Special and the .45 Colt, but to me, there is something to be said about using a modern .44 Special like a 624 or 24-3 with a 250 grain cast Lyman #429421 behind Skeeter's old load of 7.5 grains of Unique against a whitetail buck.
Vaya con Dios
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:24 PM
flop-shank flop-shank is offline
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With a decent length barrel and the best factory loads in each caliber the deer likely won't know the difference. Handloaded hot, the .45 Colt in the right gun can out run the .44 magnum. So It gets the nod in that case.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:25 PM
NE450No2 NE450No2 is offline
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I would prefer the 44 Special, but I would use one of Elmer Keith's 2400 loads for deer hunting.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:53 PM
mod34 mod34 is offline
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I vote for the bigger hole..........45LC.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:59 PM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
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In factory loads, the .45. With suitable handloads, either.
But unless you're using a big Ruger SA, the thinner chamber walls in tthe .45 require the .44, if you're loading hot. Elmer Keith had discovered that by the 1920's!

I'm sure that your Skelton load will work to at least 60 yards, but is on the light side if you're deliberately hunting a deer, as opposed to taking a target of opportunity under ideal circumstances.

If you hunt with a handgun, I really think the .44 Magnum is a better choice, and you don't have to worry about acccidentally slipping a "Ruger only" .45 round into an old Colt New Service or SAA. Or, a M-25-5, this being the S&W forum...

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Old 08-12-2009, 08:57 AM
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Mule88 Mule88 is offline
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With the right load, the whitetail wont know the difference between the 44 or 45. So shoot the one one you like and enjoy yourself.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:19 AM
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bmcgilvray bmcgilvray is offline
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Assuming good hits there's no way there's any difference in between the two cartridges.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:38 PM
TJC TJC is offline
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I have and load for a 25-5. The .45LC as stated is as good/better than a .44 Mag if loaded right. It also makes a bigger hole which is nice.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:51 AM
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Vulcan Bob Vulcan Bob is offline
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With proper bullet placement,(all calibers) Skeeters .44 Special load will work just fine! Used to use the same load in a Ruger .44 mag and had no trouble with the three whitetails I bagged. The only whitetail that left the front sight was one I nailed in the lungs useing the Speer .44 225 gr half jacket hollow point. It sorta blew up on a rib on the way in and not much of it reached the off side lung. Had to track that one for a bit, never used a jacketed hollowpoint again. Hard cast LSWC, big hole in, big hole out, works every time!
Stay safe people!
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:10 AM
LoboGunLeather LoboGunLeather is online now
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Many years ago, while serving on a US military base in the south, I took several whitetails using an issued M1911A1 .45 ACP 230-grain ball ammo. All were taken within 25 yards, and all were one-shot kills with heart-lung shots.

Both the .44 Special and .45 Colt are superior in power to the .45 ACP. I would recommend the heavy semi-wadcutter bullets for this use.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:14 AM
LazarusLong LazarusLong is offline
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Critters can't tell the difference.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by David LaPell View Post
a 250 grain cast Lyman #429421 behind Skeeter's old load of 7.5 grains of Unique against a whitetail buck.
That will surely work, but I feel a whole lot more comfortable with my 7.5" Blackhawk .45 with a 250 grain SWC and 10.0 grains of Unique. I have recently reduced that load to 9.0 grains of Unique, but I still have several hundred rounds of the old 10 grain load.

That 10 grain load will punch through a 150 pound Georgia whitetail more times than not, usually taking out both front shoulders. The bullet will usually either pooch up under the off-side skin, or go clean through. That is from the Blackhawk or a Trapper 94 Winchester.

I believe I will "sight in" the Winchester this weekend. I have seen two nice bucks on one of my places, and my neighbor stopped me Saturday and told me he had seen them just minutes before, crossing the road going through my place. Gun season opens here in five or six weeks.
Georgia On My Mind
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44 magnum, 624, colt, military, model 25, ruger, saa, skeeter, skelton, wadcutter, winchester

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