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

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For firearm fans, 45 Colt and 44 Mag are two popular handgun cartridges that they desire to have in their collections.

And if you live in a country with relaxed gun laws like America, you’d better get to know these cartridges for self-defense.

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

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

      44 Mag


      45 Colt

The Differences Between 44 Mag Vs 45 Colt

The Design for Gunshots Using 44 Mag and 45 Colt

Usually, the revolvers, which have a long cylinder design, use the 44 Mag.

If you love the old cowboy style in Western movies, you can’t go wrong with a 44 Mag gun.

Just like the 44 Mag, the 45 Colt pairs well with a revolver. However, its size is a bit more compact than 44 Mag, so it requires a revolver with a smaller cylinder.


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 inches in length.

This special feature sets this cartridge apart from the 45 Colt.

The real diameter of the 45 Colt is .45 inches, as its name suggests.  However, the case of 45 Colt has the same length as 44 Mag, which is 1.285 inches.

The Durability Difference

The durability of Colt 45 and 44 Mag was tested by shooting 6000 bullets continuously in two days.

When the gun barrel turned red, they immersed it in water to cool it down and then shot it again. Surprisingly, the gun using Colt 45 had gone smoothly, while the other had experienced some difficulties.

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

The Power and Ballistic Differences

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

It is an old model. The manufacturer made it during the time of Black-power, not like the smokeless powder in modern days.

There is a hard metal cover in the 45 Colt, so you need to spend more pressure to reload the bullets.

The 44 Mag was first available about 80 years later than its counterpart but proved itself the winner in velocity.

There is a test to compare the velocity of these two different bullets. And the conclusion is the bullets from the 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 its lighter materials.

The Individual Opinion

From my point of view, I prefer the 44 Mag to the 45 Colt for its outstanding velocity.

And another reason is the 45 Colt was too old and less dangerous. I love using firearms with a vintage style but still have a powerful shot with a fast cartridge like the 44 Mag.

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.

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8 thoughts on “45 Colt Versus 44 Mag – The Confrontation Between Two Powerful Bullets”

  1. 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 .

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Thank you everyone for helping me decide…. I think for a Henry Mare’s Leg I will go with the 44 since I am not yet to the point of reloading my own cartridges (but will definitely learn at a later time). They also offer the rifle in .38/.357 which was appealing since I could use two very common available rounds. But I’m thinking the .44 will have a bit more punch & be a better fit for both hunting, plinking, & home defense.

    • I prefer the 44 mag 430″ 240gr with a +p load ( go Biger on the load but no nead) gives my more power than i nead ( dafunutly more than the 45colt ta 100 yards

  5. the 44-40 can be loded up to psi of 2000 also. you can load up the 44 mag to reach evan hier psi than the 44-40 or the 45colt but why????

  6. I own many 45L.C. / 45acp handguns and a couple of 44Magnums , I love both cartridges . With “Ruger Only” loads , the .45Long/Colt +P is a formidable round & so is the .44 Magnum !
    Both of these rounds produce Velocities and Energies that are exact . The 45long/Colt is not your Grandpa’s revolver anymore . However , the enormous range of Factory loadings for the 45L./C. is too numerous to mention . Underwood produces 135gr. loads and all the way up to 300+ gr. loadings . That’s just (1) manufacturer and there are dozens . The 45l.c. is definitely more versatile but the 44 Magnum is truly a “Beast” . Like I said , I LOVE ‘EM BOTH !!

  7. I have both revolvers. I like the old SA style guns…with the introduction of the Cimarron Bad Boy, I am able to have an Old West gun with a more modern cartridge. Either weapon packs a real wallop.


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