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I'm pondering the ideal of a new hunting revolver so I've been reading over tons of threads about which caliber and there's certainly no shortage of threads to read on this topic. I'm pretty aware of the capability and ballistic potential of each and either would be fine to me. I was actually leaning towards .45 Colt mainly due to me already having dies and some components for reloading that caliber but some threads I’ve read have led me to the impression that the .44 Mag may be more accurate due to better tolerances from gun to gun made by Ruger vs. the .45s. I’ve read things about having to have the throats reamed out some and fire lapping which I haven’t looked into yet. All this extra work to accurize the 45 is pushing me towards a .44 Mag. Is there anything to this as the 45 Colt probably needing some work to be as accurate as the .44 Mag right out of the box?
 

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Welcome to the Forum! :)

I'm not sure as I've never shot a .44 Blackhawk but my .45 Colt was plenty accurate, granted I bought it used so someone could have already worked on it.

So it seems clear that you need to get both! :D
 

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I have 2 SBH .44 magnum , 5 1/2" barrels . Traded for one used the other new . Neither have been worked on. I can put 10 shot in 2" at 25 yrds. with either one. Not bad for 75 yrs.
Also have the option of shooting .44 special with .44 magnum .
I can find .44 ammo most places not so much .45 colt.
 

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I have Colt, Ruger, and S&W double-action and single-action revolvers in .44 magnum, .45 Colt, and .454 Casull. The qun's accuracy depends on the gun and the ammo. They are all more accurate than I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So it seems clear that you need to get both! :D
You know how it is, got to scratch head for awhile on the first one purchased but we all know it won't be too long before wanting the other one that we decided against the first time around just to see if we made the right decision or not :D I'm sure that's how it'll go since I'm leaning towards the 5.5" in 45 and the Bisley Hunter 7.5" in 44mag so they're both different enough to justify two aren't they :rolleyes:
 

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.44 SBH Hunter

I always wanted one.
I had the SBH with the squared off trigger guard.
Deadly (on both ends).
Traded it for a Model 1.

In 2007 my son was stationed in Afghanistan. He sent an email around November asking me to do a transfer for him here in Northern California.
He buys and sell a lot of guns as he is an IPSC shooter.
I said OK.
He told me to meet the guy at the local shop.
When I got there the paperwork was just about filled out.
They just needed my retired military ID Card.
We scanned that and I was told to pick the gun up in 10 days.
I said thanks and turned to go home and the guy transferring the gun stopped me.
"What?"
"Do you want to look at the gun?"
"OK, but it is for my son."
He opened the gray plastic box and said he was told to say, "Merry Christmas".
Pretty good kid.
In combat and thinking of his dad.
I put a 2x Leopold on that SS SBH Hunter and, to date it has accounted for three black-tails here in La La land and two Antelope in Wyoming.
As long as I do my part, there are no worries.:)

 

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I can tell you this much if you are planning on hunting with a pistol you need to have money set aside for a gunsmith. If the gunsmith is good enough to get the best out of a Super Blackhawk he will be a couple months behind.

People think you can sit there with a stone and sandpaper and accurize a revolver. You can smooth out the action and make the gun a little easier to shoot with a stone and sandpaper but that is all you can do.

Ruger cuts the notch on the trigger to deep. You need a machine to deal with that issue properly. The sear needs to be fitted to the hammer. You can do that with a stone but a machine that cuts the sear the same size every time is better. That way the sear fits the hammer perfectly. The cylinders are often to small. You can fix the cylinders with sandpaper but a gunsmith will do better with a reamer. The forcing cone needs to be reamed out. Once again a reamer does a better job. You need to be certain the cylinder is lined up perfectly with the forcing cone. You can take a stab at it at home but a gunsmith has a tool to make certain everything is perfect every time. There is a lot more to it that I have not written here. It has been a while since I have had a revolver accurized but it only cost $80 in the early 1990's including parts (springs). I shoot my guns a lot. I have never had any problems with any of my Ruger revolvers. I have a Super Blackhawk I have been shooting for over 35 years.

I am partial to a 44 magnum. I have no problems finding ammo. If your time means anything at all it is nice to be able to buy quality ammo. Right now I am in such bad physical condition that I would have to load ammo one week and shoot the following week.

I help a friend load ammo. He casts his own bullets. He claims he has $6 a box in 45 colt ammo. But he has an electric furnace that cost several hunded dollars. He has a die for every bullet under the sun. He has 3 presses on his bench. He has a nice bullet sizer that presses a gas check on the bullet when he sizes the bullet. Plus his stuff breaks here and there that costs $40 or more to repair plus he is on the phone or a computer for a couple evenings trying to find the part. I have only told him once that he has more like $60 in a box of ammo. We didn't talk for several months after. He is a good friend. I just let him go on thinking he has $6 in a box of ammo.

Accuracy is really equal after a competent gunsmith gets done with any Ruger single action. It makes no difference if you buy a S&W there are things a gunsmith needs to fix to get the best out of the pistol. Mass production only gets so far. The finishing touches have to be done by the consumer.
 

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As far as accuracy goes I think you will never hear exactly the same answer twice, but for me I think it all depends on ones definition of the word coupled with what one is trying to accomplish,
For me and hunting deer I hunt in thick woods all shots are close as in less than 40 yards and almost always inside of 20 so if I can always hit the vitals ( and I can with all my .44s and .45s I am accurate enough and this gives a bit of lee way, for others they want to see holes touching that is a bit more than I need,
With that said I have been lucky enough to have never owned a gun that wasn't good enough for that
I use .22s for target work and I expect tighter groups for that
My 2 cents and have fun
 

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some components for reloading that caliber but some threads I’ve read have led me to the impression that the .44 Mag may be more accurate due to better tolerances from gun to gun made by Ruger vs. the .45s. I’ve read things about having to have the throats reamed out some and fire lapping which I haven’t looked into yet. All this extra work to accurize the 45 is pushing me towards a .44 Mag. Is there anything to this as the 45 Colt probably needing some work to be as accurate as the .44 Mag right out of the box?
The Fire Lapping is NOT specific to the 45colt versions, and to be honest, it's NOT a good solution, in my experience and opinion. Those threads suggest fire lapping to remove a constriction of the bore that was caused when the barrel was over tightened into an undersized threaded frame, such that the frame slightly crushed the barrel - constricting the bore. Fire lapping rounds the rifling in the entire bore, which can be detrimental to barrel life and will not necessarily fully remove the constriction.

AND - the barrel/frame crush issue is NOT exclusive to the 45colts. They're more vulnerable because the barrel is thinner walled, but I've had to send back two Rugers because the barrels were improperly installed and crushed - both 44mag.

The improperly sized chamber throat issue is also not exclusive to the 45colts. I have had improperly reamed throats in 357, 44mag, and 45colt Rugers.

So largely, your hypothesis is incorrect - you would not have additional smithing costs for a 45colt compared to a 44mag, both could need it, or both could NOT need it.

Personally, I heavily favor the 44mag for hunting. If you're a reloader, you can make them essentially even, but it does force you to exclusively reload for your 45colt if you want 44mag power, whereas you can find equivalent 44mag loads on any shelf anywhere that will match the power of your reloads.
 

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Buffalo Bore and Underwood both make .45 Colt ammo that approaches .44 magnum power.
 

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I would suggest using a double action model to get controllable grips. That wouldn't be a Ruger though. The size of the Redhawk is more justified in .45 Colt, which is what I have. My S&W 629 is a much nicer gun in 44 Mag. My favorite shooter is a Sauer Montana Marshall in 44 Magnum, all SAA in design, but the cylinder pin won't stay put. Working on a new spring for the catch. I'm not sure I would hunt with it. Are we talking scopes here?
 

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If you reload either caliber is okay. In factory guise 44 mag ammo is very commonly available. 45 colt hunting poer ammo is less common. Corbon or Buffalo bore etc is usually only in stock at full service relatively large gun stores but hey that is what ups is for. Most 45 colt full power ammo has more recoil than 44 mag due to lighter weight revolvers. 452 hole versus 430 hole.in the cylinder and the bore.
 

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I've got four Super Blackhawks in 44 Magnum and three Blackhawks in 45 Colt.

I don't know or care about tight cylinder throats, barrel constrictions, bad rear sights or anything else.

Each revolver shoots far better than I ever could, even with lead reloads.
Very, very little leading, outstanding accuracy and reliability.

I wouldn't change a thing on any of them.
 

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It depends what you "hunt", but I don't think mention of hunting necessarily calls for wildly powerful 45 Colt ammo. There is a mid range 20k psi level of loading that I expect would be adequate for many applications. One would not necessarily be wanting to shoot full power 44 Mag either.
 

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It depends what you "hunt", but I don't think mention of hunting necessarily calls for wildly powerful 45 Colt ammo. There is a mid range 20k psi level of loading that I expect would be adequate for many applications. One would not necessarily be wanting to shoot full power 44 Mag either.
At Liberty - Could you elaborate a bit on the bolded comment above? I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here?
 

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At Liberty - Could you elaborate a bit on the bolded comment above? I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here?
You don't necessarily use the hottest load available with 44 Mag just because you want to hunt with it, yet with hunting references to 45 Colt the discussion immediately goes to Buffalo Bore, 300 grain bullets, etc. I am not seeing how this idea is unclear. You can reload custom ammo for 44 Mag as readily as for 45 Colt.
 

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It depends what you "hunt", but I don't think mention of hunting necessarily calls for wildly powerful 45 Colt ammo. There is a mid range 20k psi level of loading that I expect would be adequate for many applications. One would not necessarily be wanting to shoot full power 44 Mag either.
You don't necessarily use the hottest load available with 44 Mag just because you want to hunt with it, yet with hunting references to 45 Colt the discussion immediately goes to Buffalo Bore, 300 grain bullets, etc. I am not seeing how this idea is unclear. You can reload custom ammo for 44 Mag as readily as for 45 Colt.
I bolded the two comments that aren't equivalent - that's what was not clear.

The "hottest load available" for 44mag is a non-SAAMI "44mag +P" load, whereas "full power 44mag" loads are readily available as standard SAAMI compliant factory ammo.

When I read your FIRST post, where you say "one would not necessarily be wanting to shoot full power 44mag either." then as "one" that hunts with 44mag, I don't agree with that statement, and my mind wondered - Why in the world would you NOT buy standard 44mag 'full power' loads for hunting?

I agree, that the "hottest load available" is not necessary, but that's a very different load than "full power" factory loads. "Extra power" might be more accurate to describe the "+P" cartridges out there.

The Super hot Buffalo Bore stuff for 45colt isn't necessary for hunting either, but it's definitely nice bumping up to "tier 2" loads as compared to standard SAAMI compliant loads. The standard fodder will kill deer, but it's nice having the extra thump and flatter flight of Tier 2 loads.
 

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I bolded the two comments that aren't equivalent - that's what was not clear.

The "hottest load available" for 44mag is a non-SAAMI "44mag +P" load, whereas "full power 44mag" loads are readily available as standard SAAMI compliant factory ammo.

When I read your FIRST post, where you say "one would not necessarily be wanting to shoot full power 44mag either." then as "one" that hunts with 44mag, I don't agree with that statement, and my mind wondered - Why in the world would you NOT buy standard 44mag 'full power' loads for hunting?

I agree, that the "hottest load available" is not necessary, but that's a very different load than "full power" factory loads. "Extra power" might be more accurate to describe the "+P" cartridges out there.

The Super hot Buffalo Bore stuff for 45colt isn't necessary for hunting either, but it's definitely nice bumping up to "tier 2" loads as compared to standard SAAMI compliant loads. The standard fodder will kill deer, but it's nice having the extra thump and flatter flight of Tier 2 loads.
I figured that question was the setup to an argument about how many fairies will fit on the head of a pin. You didn't disappoint.
 

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I have a SBHK in .44 mag from 85 if I remember correctly 5", round trigger guard and fluted cylinder. Has been an excellent hunting handgun for me as I used it only in heavy cover where I did not want to carry a rifle. Added a BHK Combo 45 with a 4 5/8ths barrel. Another great hunting handgun for short range brush hunting. Like em both and I do handload.
 

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I have hunted with my Ruger Blackhawk with a 9.5 inch barrel in 45 LC. I started hunting with the Blackhawk when I moved to Ohio. Ohio doesn't permit big game hunting with rifles. My load is 240gr to 260gr JHP on top of 24.0gr to 26.0gr of W296 and Federal large pistol magnum primers. I have successfully hunted deer with these loads and the recovered bullets had plenty of expansion though some lost their jackets.
 
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