45 Colt Versus 44 Mag – The Confrontation Between Two Powerful Bullets

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For people who love to collect or use firearms, 45 Colt and 44 Mag are two popular handgun cartridges that they usually want to add to their collections.

And if you live in a country which allows the use of firearms like America, you may need to have some knowledge of these cartridges, to know which one is suitable for your gun.

You may wonder what the difference between 45 Colt and 44 Mag is? 

Then let continue to read our analysis and comparison between two cartridges 45 Colt versus 44 Mag.

I’m sure that you will have enough information to find out what is better for your demands.


      44 Mag


      45 Colt

The Differences Between 44 Mag Vs 45 Colt

The Design for Gunshots Using 44 Mag and 45 Colt

Usually, the revolver handguns which have long cylinder design of the gun barrel use the 44 Mag.


If you love the old cowboy style in the movies, the gun using 44 Mag is the one which satisfies your desire.

Just like the 44 Mag, the 45 Colt (often called the .45 Long Colt) is a gunshot has the revolver design. However, this gun doesn’t have a long barrel, so the size of the firearm using 45 Colt is more compact than 44 Mag.


The Designs of 44 Mag and 45 Colt

Although its name is 44 Mag, the diameter of the bullets is not .44 inches.

The real size of the shots is smaller than I expected, which is about .429 inches in diameter. And the rim is about 1.285’’ of length.

And one specific difference from 44 Mag.

The real diameter of the 45 Colt is .45 inches, which is similar to its name.  However, the rim of 45 Colt has the same length as 44 Mag, which is 1.285’’.

The Durability Difference

The Colt 45 and 44 Mag were tested durability by shooting 6000 bullets continuously for two days.

When the gun barrel turned red, they immersed it in water to cool it down and then shoot again. Surprisingly, the gun using Colt 45 had no errors while the other firearms cartridges include Mag 44 had some problems.

We can see that the 45 Colt has excellent durability and accuracy than 44 Mag.

The Power and Ballistic Differences

There is a problem in Colt 45 in the reloading system.

The Colt 45 is an old model; the manufacturer made this during the time of Black-power. Not like the smokeless powder in modern.

The manufacturer covers a hard metal in Colt 45. Therefore, you need to spend more pressure on the gun to reload the bullets.

Another information is the 44 Mag was made after the first appearance of 45 Colt, which is about 80 years.

Because the size of 44 Mag is smaller than 45 Colt, and the weight of balls 44 Mag is lighter than 45 Colt. Therefore, the 44 Mag can be fired and go faster than the 45 Colt.


There is a test to compare the velocity of these two different bullets. And the conclusion is the bullets from 44 Mag weapon can come out with the speed of 1270 fps (feet per second) while that of the 45 Colt is only 957 fps.

Otherwise, the 44 Mag can go farther than the 45 Colt as the result of the lighter materials in 44 Mag.

The Individual Opinion

From my point of view, I prefer the 44 Mag to the 45 Colt. The first reason is I love the design with long gun barrel using 44 Mag.

And the second thing is the 45 Colt was too old and less dangerous. I love using firearms which has a vintage style but still have a powerful shot as a modern handgun cartridge.

In General

From all the information above, we hope that you can have good knowledge to distinguish these two amazing cartridges 44 Mag and 45 Colt.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends who have the same hobby about firearms.

By the way, You should read my recent post on Scopes & Sights resource about best scope for ar 10 here. It's useful!
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
james reese - August 3, 2019

I, as a reloader, and shooter of both 44 mag and the 45 colt ,I find they are close to each other when loaded to the max, and both will get the job done . the 45 colt has it’s advantage over the 44 mag as the big bullet has a bit more mass. now in the Black Hawk , the 45 can be loaded to the 44 mag levels, or beyond with the right powders
Now in the field , both are great guns, but me personally , I like my 45 colt loaded with 24 gr h110 and a 250 gr hP. Shot placement is everything with hand guns, and a good 250 gr cast bullet gets the job done , so personal preference , is where it’s at with these two .

jim reese - September 1, 2019

I too as a hand loader, find them both to be good as gold in the field. I, load my 45 colt to 22,000 psi and with the right powder and bullet it does the job as does the 44 mag . but taking game with Both, and having done so at over 60 yards I find no difference in the two. but I do prefer the 45 colt as it seems to have the power the 44 mag lacks at 100 yards plus. as a side note , loaded with a full packed case of BP. and a 255 gr cast bullet, makes an impressive kill at 50 to 80 yards. For over 30 years now I’ve played with them both , and the race is close ! but my 45 is my favorite

Capt Brent - April 1, 2020

I prefer the 45 colt since revolvers in that caliber have more subcaliber cartridges that can be used in a pinch. Several of the 45 colt revolvers today are able to use 45acp as well with moon clips or conversion cylinders. I’m using 21 different 45 cal family cartridges in my Blackhawk. From wimpy 450 Adams to 450SMC and beyond. Having been a soldier, hunter, explorer and scientist in many areas of the world, I find the ability to adapt your equipment very important.


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