View Full Version : 44-40 WCF vs 44 Special vs 44 Mag vs 41 Mag vs 45 Colt vs 41 Swiss. THE GREAT DEBATE!

02-19-2015, 08:54 PM
For the sake of keeping another thread on course, I've brought this discussion here. Before I go on, let me first say that all of these rounds are great in their own way, and I hope to someday have a gun in each chambering. The point of this thread is not to say that one is better than the rest, but to instead discuss the differences between them.

02-19-2015, 11:06 PM
Since all of these rounds except one are handgun rounds, it may be difficult to get a full picture of their potential when shot out of a rifle. Typically you'll see an increase of a few hundred FPS when shot out of a rifle.

For the 44-40, I've seen loads listed for 1800-1900 FPS for a 200gr bullet out of a rifle. Impressive, but probably not loads I'd shoot in an original gun.

The 44 magnum can pack quite a punch. With 200gr bullets zipping out of the barrel at 2000-2100 FPS, 240gr bullets at 1700-1800 FPS, and behemoth 300gr bullets at an impressive 1400-1500 FPS.

The 41 Swiss AKA the 10.4x38mmR Swiss Rimfire on the other hand is typically shot with a 312gr bullet at roughly 1400 FPS using black powder.

02-19-2015, 11:17 PM
The 45 Colt like the 44 mag is capable of some impressive ballistics. The ones I found though seem kind of light. I've seen 45 Colt hotrodded to hell in Ruger SAAs. I'm not sure how hot they can be loaded in a rifle. 250gr at 1100-1200 FPS is the max I saw listed.

The 41 Magnum has 210gr bullets listed as high as 1700 FPS.

02-19-2015, 11:24 PM
This leaves us with the 44 Special. The 44 Special is one of those rounds that doesn't get the attention it deserves. In a strong gun, it can easily outperform rounds such as the 357 Magnum and perform at lower 44 mag levels. Did I mention STRONG gun though?

The rifle data is lacking, so we'll have to settle for handgun data for now. The rifle data is likely 100-200 FPS more at the minimum.

Loads for the 200gr bullets max out at 900 FPS, and the 240gr maxes out at 1000 FPS. Those are the tame loads. Ask Elmer Keith about his loads, and you'll see quite a difference. He was pushing 250gr bullets at 1200 FPS out of a 4" revolver...

02-20-2015, 01:25 PM
I missed a good deal on 41 mag, another buddy has 2 Ruger 44 mag pistols for sale, I need to save for 1 at least. I have been looking at the 45 LC too. Currently everything seems to be dominated by the semi auto market.

02-20-2015, 01:35 PM
that's because the wussies these days can't handle magnum revolvers! hell, my wife can handle a magnum revolver!

Do we need a 'Glock vs 44 Mag' thread??:cool:

02-20-2015, 10:26 PM
A Glock will kill a criminal deader than dead. A 44 Magnum will kill a criminal, and the 5 criminals behind him... :p

02-20-2015, 10:50 PM
i have a love affair with the 44 Magnum going back many years! is there a perfect caliber or cartridge in a revolver? no, but the 44 Magnum is pretty close!

I find that the 44 Mag and the Special are just rounds that seem to such a wide variety of needs, that they are about as close to perfect as you can get. The 44 Special is a fantastic self defense round and is more than capable of taking small game with the right loads. The 44 mag can also be downloaded for self defense loads, but can also be hotrodded quite a bit. It's more than capable of taking deer with even moderate loads. I have molds for 210gr (SWC), 240gr (LFN), and 310gr (LFN) bullets. With H110, those suckers come screaming out of my Rossi 92's barrel.