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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:08 AM #1
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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 31st, 2011, 12:26 AM #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 31st, 2011, 12:29 AM #3
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Quote:
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 31st, 2011, 12:43 AM #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, 01:07 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, 01:18 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbob2.0 View Post
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, 01:24 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, 02:41 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, 06:13 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, 06:35 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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