.44 Magnum Vs. .45 ACP: Which is Better and Why?

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If you were to start a conversation on the .44 Magnum vs. .45 ACP, among gun fanatics, it would be an endless banter. These are iconic firearms that have lived through many reincarnations and mythologies. But what they all have in common is their unbelievable stopping power. 

There is a particular interest that surrounds revolvers. While being both deadly and recognizable, they have an aura of vintage. Revolvers have been around since the 1800s and have been used as military handguns. 

Today, many kinds of revolvers come with modern inspirations for shooting. However, this article focuses on two popular revolvers: the .44 Magnum and the .45 ACP. 

.44 Magnum vs. .45 ACP Overview

There are many aspects to review to say which between the two revolvers is the best conclusively. It’s not to say that one handgun is superior for shooting at the range, in a firefight, or as the best hunting gun. However, these are the dynamics that compare the two revolvers. 

The .44 Magnum ammo has been versatile since its inception. Smith and Wesson are responsible for the revolver culture that influenced many Hollywood films. As the two popular choices, these are the attributes you should know about each handgun. 

The .44 Magnum Review

Revolver guns capture the imaginations of every classic cowboy movie fanatic. None more than the .44 magnum revolver. The most iconic .44 magnum model is the Smith and Wesson’s .44 magnum model 29. 

Memorable quotes from movie stars feature the .44 Magnum as a powerful handgun in the world. The famous soundtrack from Robert De Niro’s Movie taxi driver is even titled the. 44 Magnum is a monster. 

With such attributions, it’s accurate to say that the .44 magnum revolver has enough stopping power to counter any adversary. The firepower is adequate for both four-legged and two-legged threats. 

Features and Materials

Reloading

You have lots of flexibility when it comes to reloading the .44 magnum revolver. You can choose different bullet weights and powder ranges that make it fire anyplace between wild and mild. If you want, your revolver can be a manageable recoil when plinking or a hard hitter capable of stopping any big game dead on its tracks. 

Cylinder/ Barrel

The Smith and Wesson’s .44 magnum model 29 is a classic handgun. The frame comes from carbon steel and a vintage grip made of wood. While it is hardly aesthetically appealing, you can be assured of its firepower and endurance. 

The .44 magnum model 29 carries a six-bullet capacity. Typically, in a close distance self-defense situation, one bullet is more than enough to stop any threats from advancing. Carbon steel is an alloy of iron and carbon that comes from both virgin and recycled steel. The steel is molten then undergoes decarburization to remove the carbon from the steel. It’s a process that produces both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide gases. 

There are many .44 magnum revolvers in the market today. For example, the .44 magnum model 69 is more affordable than the .44 magnum model 29. However, it comes with a 5-bullet capacity, and the frame is made of stainless steel and a synthetic grip. 

Stainless steel is a popular material for making modern handguns because it prevents the firearm from rusting, corrosion and is less resistant to heat.  

Red Ramp Front Sight

This is specific to the .44 magnum model 69 with a red ramp front sight for easy shooting. Kudos to the reflecting light, as it is an excellent execution from the manufacturers. However, upon further shooting in practice, it’s not the best if you are looking to shoot tight groups. 

While it’s the best in combat and fast shooting, the .44 Magnum can be used in target practice. 

Self Defense

In the right hands, nothing beats the .44 magnum revolver as a self-defense handgun. Whether you face a big game four-legged predator or a two-legged adversary, you will enjoy many perks. 

After reviewing many user opinions, the .44 magnum handgun acquires an overwhelming consensus over-penetration when used for self-defense. Compared to other revolvers, it’s loud, has a heavy recoil, and is tough to be accurate if you are shooting fast. 

But to reduce the cons, the .44 Magnum has significant versatility if you pair the proper load to the right firearm. 

Target Practice/Plinking

.44 magnum revolver is not what most people consider a fun day of plinking at the range. However, it is accurate for a handgun that carries so much substantial power. When firing, there are no pains at the palm of your hands despite the heavy recoil. 

There is so much enthusiasm that surrounds the .44 magnum revolver. Here is a summary of the Pros and cons that should help you before you decide to buy this firearm. 

Pros

  • Solid construction that makes it durable
  • Some people find the vintage look aesthetically pleasing
  • Substantial power and great accuracy
  • Delightful for handloaders
  • The whole family can use it with considerable ease. 

Cons

  • There are complaints that the ejector rod can come up short. It will force you to pull out the spent case manually from the chamber.  

.45 Automatic Colt Pistol—ACP Review

Features and Materials

Here the review is also for another Smith and Wesson’s .45 Automatic colt Pistol. For starters, the.45 ACP is hardly considered a beginner’s handgun. While it carries a social and historical significance, it tends to be obsolete as it has many downsides. 

As a beginner, you will find marginal advantages compared to modern handguns. But this article isn’t about disparaging the .45 ACP. On the contrary, here is what to expect. 

Reloading 

It’s easy to reload and shoot, making it among the favorite cartridges to take to the range. Besides the reloading, the .45 ACP is among the best conceal and carry weapons you can find today. It’s among the smallest handguns, slightly less heavy but can carry some serious punch. 

When going for ballistic testing, the .45 ACP is a regular handgun because of its versatility. 

Capacity and Recoil

If you are looking for a functional concealment and carry handgun, they don’t make it better than the .45 ACP. While it has high perceived recoil, its capacity to stop predators is highly acknowledged.

In an adult man’s hands, the .45 ACP is a diminished figure. However, what it lacks in size, it compensates for in shooting accuracy. It is highly manageable but compared to modern handguns (guns like the 9mm), the .45 ACP comes with some deficits. 

Cylinder/ Barrel

The Smith and Wesson’s .44 magnum model 29 is a classic handgun. The frame comes from carbon steel and a vintage grip made of wood. While it is hardly aesthetically appealing, you can be assured of its firepower and endurance. 

The .44 magnum model 29 carries a six-bullet capacity. Typically, in a close distance self-defense situation, one bullet is more than enough to stop any threats from advancing. Carbon steel is an alloy of iron and carbon that comes from both virgin and recycled steel. The steel is molten then undergoes decarburization to remove the carbon from the steel. It’s a process that produces both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide gases. 

There are many .44 magnum revolvers in the market today. For example, the .44 magnum model 69 is more affordable than the .44 magnum model 29. However, it comes with a 5-bullet capacity, and the frame is made of stainless steel and a synthetic grip. 

Stainless steel is a popular material for making modern handguns because it prevents the firearm from rusting, corrosion and is less resistant to heat. 

Firing Pin

One of the most significant faults of the Smith and Wesson’s Governor .45 ACP is its firing pin and the need to have a moon clip. In some cases, the firing pin wouldn’t fire, and without the moon clip, the bullets would fall inside the chamber and misfire. 

Die-hard .45 ACP fans will have an aggressive opinion. The high remarks are that it has high stopping power and bullet mass. However, for beginners, the .45 ACP is barely recommended. 

Here are some of the pros and cons that make the .45 ACP handgun worthwhile. 

Pros

  • Plenty of ammunition options and handguns. 
  • Highly commercial as it’s widely accepted as a conceal and carry weapon.
  • It uses modern bullets that consider technology in the manufacturing process.
  • Reloading is easy. 

Cons

  • It is a low-capacity handgun in almost all models that chamber its rounds
  • Stopping power is a myth if you are not an accurate shooter. It applies to all handguns
  • High recoil considering its small size
  • Requires longer training to gain proficiency for most beginners.

What’s the Difference Between the .44 Magnum and .45 ACP?

No handgun/firearm is uniquely remarkable for every function. Therefore, the handgun category comes from the intent of specific shooting groups. While most people perceive the .44 Magnum to be a brute force than the .45 ACP, die-hards will find favor in each. 

The .44 Magnum has high stopping power and is suitable for hunters, while the .45 ACP is accurate and best for law enforcers. 

The .44 Magnum can pack up to 900-1000 pounds of energy upon firing, and the .45 ACP manages only 400-600 pounds. 

Logically, it means that the .44 Magnum has high recoil and can compromise on accuracy if you have to fire more than once. In contrast, the .45 ACP is best for firing multiple shots because of the low recoil. 

Considering the debate between the .44 Magnum and 45 ACP, there are many dynamics to weigh in. Differences arise from scientific advancements over the years, historical significance, and commercial acceptance. 

However, if you can own both handguns, you will be in a unique position to enjoy the best of both worlds. On the one hand, there is the .45 ACP that is lightweight and accurate, and the other a high recoil but with devastating stopping power. 

Conclusion

Before you settle for the .44 Magnum or the .45 ACP handguns, you should consider the price, features, and materials. Also, the .45 ACP isn’t a favorite for beginner shooters, but you can make it work favorably, depending on your intent. 

There are more advanced handguns that offer higher capacity with low recoil. More are considering faster, smaller calibers to face out the .44 Magnum and .45 ACP. However, there will always be someone who fancies historical revolvers. 

Overall, the winner between the.44 magnum and .45 ACP is the former. The .44 Magnum can be an expensive option, but you will not have to visit the gun shop to make minor tweaks in the long run. Something about handguns is that they need to be reliable, especially if you plan to conceal and carry weapons. 

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