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Old July 30th, 2011, 11:08 PM   #1
Baccusboy
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Why is the .44 Special so low in "stopping power" vs. .45 ACP?

Ok, I know some people take these ratings with a grain of salt, but I am curious why the .44 Special is so much lower in "stopping power" than the .45 ACP? The bullets aren't that much different in size or weight, depending on the loading, and fps are pretty darned close. Is it the shape of the bullet that makes the difference? Honestly don't understand how these stats make sense?



.44 Special "Stopping Power"

http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppi...=14&Weight=All

.44 Special Ballistics By The Inch #'s:

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/44special.html


.45 ACP "Stopping Power"

http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppi...=18&Weight=All

.45 ACP Ballistics By The Inch #'s:

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/45auto.html


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Old July 30th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #2
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I don't know, but judging by the charts on the Handloads site, we're not really comparing apples to apples. For instance, the best 45 load was Federal Hydra shok 230grain with a 96% one shot stop. But the best tested on this site for the 44 was a "generic" Federal JHP @ 200 grain with a 73% one shot stop rate. I can't find Federal Hydra Shok on the interwebz in 44 spec, I only see it in 44 Mag.

So, if we look at the "generic" 45ACP JHP @ 185 grains on the chart, the one shot stop rate falls to 81% which is more close to the best 44 Spec rating.

By looking at this, my conlusion is that there are more choice in self defense loads availableon the market for 45 ACP and the best of the best made for 45ACP are not commercially available for the 44 Special because 44 special is a less common cartridge.

But, what do I know, it's just a wag at the end of the day.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fishguy View Post
I don't know, but judging by the charts on the Handloads site, we're not really comparing apples to apples. For instance, the best 45 load was Federal Hydra shok 230grain with a 96% one shot stop. But the best tested on this site for the 44 was a "generic" Federal JHP @ 200 grain with a 73% one shot stop rate. I can't find Federal Hydra Shok on the interwebz in 44 spec, I only see it in 44 Mag.

So, if we look at the "generic" 45ACP JHP @ 185 grains on the chart, the one shot stop rate falls to 81% which is more close to the best 44 Spec rating.

By looking at this, my conlusion is that there are more choice in self defense loads availableon the market for 45 ACP and the best of the best made for 45ACP are not commercially available for the 44 Special because 44 special is a less common cartridge.

But, what do I know, it's just a wag at the end of the day.
Seems like a logical conclusion to a straight forward question to me; nice job.


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Old July 30th, 2011, 11:43 PM   #4
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Look at the number of shootings documented with each caliber.
There have been far more documented shootings with the .45acp than the .44 special...

Then look at the ballistics per inch and you will see that out of a 5 inch barrel (typical for a 1911 type pistol) and you will see almost identical performance in an identical bullet weight with a slight edge given to the .44 special.

The majority of ammo available for the .44 special commercially will be either cast lead SWC or JSP where the .45acp is available not only in Ball or FMJ form but most manufacturers also offer some form of JHP or other defensive ammo.

You will not find a semi-auto chambered in .44 special and because revolvers are no longer as popular as they once were there is not as much effort put into load development as you will find with with any of the auto-loading calibers. Hell I think they make a .25 now that will damn near kill a moose, (I jest of course) but do look at just the development of 9mm ammo over the last 20 years.
There was a time when the 9mm was thought of as inadequate as a defensive round but I will take 15 rounds Speer Gold Dot 9mm over 8 rounds of .45 ACP ball ammo any day.


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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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I bet you can find some great loads, I m starting to experiment with 44 in lever guns and my Dan wesson.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:18 AM   #6
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I bet you can find some great loads, I m starting to experiment with 44 in lever guns and my Dan wesson.
If you want to let me know where you are trying to go and how you're trying to get there.
I declared this year the year of the .44 eight months ago and have been doing a lot of development for my wheel guns if you're interested.


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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:24 AM   #7
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I bet you can find some great loads, I m starting to experiment with 44 in lever guns and my Dan wesson.
Gasp! But how can you ignore factually truthful true facts from the internet???

I don't care what statistics get spat out, the laws of physics will prevail over the claims of a website. As already noted, this is more of a bullet issue than anything good or bad about the cartridges. As an added bonus, .44 special tends to be shoot out of long-barreled revolvers and lever guns rather than 5 inches or less barrels, giving most .44 special guns a boost.

Besides, if you've got to take down alien space tiger monsters and your gun has magnum chambers, you can always dump .44 special and move up to .44 magnum. I don't think that anybody in their right mind is going to compare .44 magnum to .45 ACP, but stranger things have happened in modern gun culture.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 01:41 AM   #8
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Stopping power is a myth. There are simply too many variables to statistically evaluate the so called "stopping power" of any round, the biggest of which being shot placement.

Read this: http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf


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Old July 31st, 2011, 05:13 AM   #9
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If I were using the 44 Special for defensive purposes I would load it with Winchester SilverTips.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 05:35 AM   #10
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Good food for thought. I think nobody has done an updated look at the round.

You can find nice loads in .44 Special. Even Speer Gold Dot HP.

http://www.ammoengine.com/find/ammo/.44_Special


Some more:

Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition 44 Special 165 Grain Flex Tip eXpanding
Hornady Custom Ammunition 44 Special 180 Grain XTP Jacketed Hollow Point
Speer Gold Dot Ammunition 44 Special 200 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point
Winchester Super-X Ammunition 44 Special 200 Grain Silvertip Hollow Point
Cor-Bon Self-Defense Ammunition 44 Special 165 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point
Cor-Bon DPX Ammunition 44 Special 200 Grain Barnes XPB Hollow Point Lead-Free
Grizzly Self-Defense Ammunition 44 Special 220 Grain Xtreme Copper Hollow Point Lead-Free
Buffalo Bore Ammunition 44 Special 180 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point


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Old July 31st, 2011, 06:07 AM   #11
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Looks like Corbon DPX is a winner in the .44 Special:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/C...2044%20Special


Quote:
...Corbon's .44 Special DPX looks like a winner to me. It was accurate, reliable, consistent shot-to-shot over the chronograph, and expanded consistently and uniformly. According to Mike Shovel of Corbon, the 200-gr. DPX penetrates approximately 14 1/2" of 10% gelatin...


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Old July 31st, 2011, 06:28 AM   #12
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You need to read some Elmer Keith or John Taffin to realize the wonderful and forgotten potential of the 44


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Old July 31st, 2011, 06:45 AM   #13
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This is what got me thinking about a .44 Special. Taurus has re-introduced the .44 Special revolver. Just 22 ounces.

BTW, there is also a new .40 S&W revolver on this page, too:

http://www.taurususa.com/2011newcata...atalog_page=11


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Old July 31st, 2011, 08:21 AM   #14
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Gasp! But how can you ignore factually truthful true facts from the internet???

I don't care what statistics get spat out, the laws of physics will prevail over the claims of a website. As already noted, this is more of a bullet issue than anything good or bad about the cartridges. As an added bonus, .44 special tends to be shoot out of long-barreled revolvers and lever guns rather than 5 inches or less barrels, giving most .44 special guns a boost.
.......OR, just the opposite, in 2" barrell revolvers. Inch for inch (barrel length), .44 special delivers just as good performance as the .45acp in same design projectiles. The .44 special is definately a hugely overlooked cartridge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazin View Post
If I were using the 44 Special for defensive purposes I would load it with Winchester SilverTips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baccusboy View Post
Good food for thought. I think nobody has done an updated look at the round.

You can find nice loads in .44 Special. Even Speer Gold Dot HP.
I use both of the above loads.


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Old July 31st, 2011, 08:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Baccusboy View Post
Ok, I know some people take these ratings with a grain of salt, but I am curious why the .44 Special is so much lower in "stopping power" than the .45 ACP?
You've already answered your original question with your original post (with a grain of salt). Better follow the salt truck. As indicated pretty much throughout this thread, the .44sp is just as good a performer as the .45acp.
If your question has anything to do the "one shot stops" percentages, it is almost certain that most of the .44sp were from 4" barrels or less (2") though from what I remember it doesn't indicate barrel lengths in that report. Most guns being used in that caliber for self defense against another human will be handguns (revolvers), by far most of which will don a 2" to 4" barrel.

Now let's do the .45acp. The chart DOES show to some degree the barrel length in the breakdown by indicating the amount of times out of the semitotal that a barrel length of 4" or less was used as it was a VERY SMALL percentage of the totals; which almost certainly indicates (by ommission) that vast majority of .45acp in this study was shot from 4.25" barrels and greater, probably most of which being 5".

Summary
If by far the .44 special was being shot out of 4" to 5" barrels instead of 2" to 4" barrels, the .44special would be just as good a performer as the 45acp with all other remaining factors being equal.


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Old July 31st, 2011, 10:33 AM   #16
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First off, the charts that those "stopping power" links came from has been debunked thoroughly, the book that contained them has also been rightly ridiculed as junk science at best, being pretty much every factor except for anecdotal evidence of "one shot stops" listed by caliber and ammo brand are thrown out. Clothing, barricades, shot placement, barel length etc.. are not considered. Kinda like saying 22 has a 100% "one shot stopping rating" and 9mm only 10%. What isn't mentioned is that the 22 data was from 3 mafia executions where someone was shot in the back of the head at contact distance, and the 9mm data was from 10 incidents where police fired on suspects with MP5 SMGs, 9 were hit multiple times, and stopped effectively, however not by a single round, 1 was hit only in the hand, before stopping and surrendering, and counting as a "1 shot stop".

external ballistics between 44spl and 45ACP are very close, with a decent bullet, and good shot placement, I would say they are realistically about equal, perhaps with a slight edge to 44spl on paper, slightly higher sectional density, and slightly higher velocities, but in reality there are dozens or hundreds of factors that will come into play before any minor difference in terminal ballistics.


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Old July 31st, 2011, 10:42 AM   #17
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This is what got me thinking about a .44 Special. Taurus has re-introduced the .44 Special revolver. Just 22 ounces.

BTW, there is also a new .40 S&W revolver on this page, too:

http://www.taurususa.com/2011newcata...atalog_page=11
I dont see the logic in this, one of the reasons I am playing around with .44 special is I hope to go on a camping trip outwest, if I do I will buy either a Taurus or S&W ultra light ain .44 mag a couple months before. So I need some good field loads saving the magnums for emergencies (as they tear your hand off in an ultralight). That said, I still hope to stumble across a Taurus Tracker in .45LC which would be my preferred choice. Plus .44 special is fun out of the lever guns (quicker target recovery).
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Old August 1st, 2011, 10:19 AM   #18
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It's a combination of factors. Many revolvers are loaded with wad cutters or semi-wad cutters. That's all my older cop buddies ever used in wheel guns. They don't stop people near as good as modern JHP's. Plus the spot that gets shot has to have something vital behind it. Heart, lungs, liver, brain, wallet, etc. Either 44 spl shooters are crap shots that can't hit a vital spot (and I doubt that!!) or they are such good shots they successfully only shoot to incapacitate.

Then again it could be that .45acp "will rip your arm clean off if you get hit in the pinky". and any hit no matter where is an instant stopper!



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Old August 1st, 2011, 11:04 AM   #19
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 06:36 AM   #20
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One more quick question for anyone who has carried a .44 Special revolver??

Is the cylinder a behemoth and uncomfortable, or a liability for CCW?


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