For many firearms users, this question can be a little confusing. Grain isn’t exactly commonly used anymore. So, in this article, we will clear up some of the confusion about what exactly a grain is, and then make some recommendations about what grain is best to shoot.
Continue reading to learn more about grains in ammo.
A grain is a unit of measurement for mass. It is an extremely small unit. In fact, 1 ounce is equal to 437.5 grains, just to give you an idea of how small it is. For another comparison, 1 gram is equal to 15.43 grains. Since 1 gram is approximately a paper clip, I’m sure this gives you an idea of how small a grain is.
Many people think that grain refers to something with the gunpowder or propellant used. However, it really has nothing to do with that. In ammunition, grains are used to say how large the projectile of the cartridge is.
So, when ammunition says it is 55 grain FMJ, it means that the actual bullet that will fly downrange weighs 55 grains.
Now that you know exactly what a grain is, and what it refers to in ammunition, let’s talk a little about how to choose which bullet size you will shoot.
Each caliber of ammunition generally has quite a few different choices for grain size. This number is only increased if you are handloading your own ammunition. Before making a decision, it’s important to know about all of the options available in the caliber you are thinking about.
When you’re trying to decide the size of the ammunition, there’s a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, what exactly are you shooting for?
If you’re hunting, you want a different round than if you are just shooting at the range.
For hunting and any kind of defense shooting, a larger grain is generally better. Larger grain, heavier bullets, generally perform better inside a target. However, there’s a lot more to consider.
For example, jacketed hollow point ammunition performs extremely well inside of a live target, while full metal jacket ammunition will not do as well.
If the choice is between heavier full metal jacket and lighter jacketed hollow point, I would go with jacketed hollow point every time. It expands on impact, and damages more tissue.
However, if there are multiple grains of jacketed hollow point ammunition, heavier is generally a little better. Just to caveat that, it’s not a set in stone rule. Your best bet is to try and find some ballistics testing or gelatin testing that others have done to see which performs better.
If you’re doing any type of competition or long range accuracy shooting, the exact projectiles can play a huge factor in the accuracy of the weapon. Most people choose match grade ammunition, but there are a couple things to keep in mind.
First, the shape of the bullet plays equally as important of a role. Aerodynamics are extremely important, especially over distance.
Next, there are some weapons that just don’t shoot some ammunition well. For whatever reason, some weapons seem to prefer some types of ammunition. The only way that you’ll know this is by testing and shooting multiple types of ammo.
If you are just plinking at the range, your bullet weight really doesn’t matter. If you’re going to be using the weapon for anything other than range shooting at other points in time, we recommend putting some of your actual choice of ammunition through the weapon, just to make sure it handles the ammunition well.
Now that you understand what grain means in ammunition, you will hopefully be able to make some better choices with what ammunition you are shooting. Unfortunately, there isn’t one exact answer since most calibers have so many different choices, but we have given you some recommendations to consider.
Essentially, just make sure you test out different kinds of ammo, and see which one offers the best performance for your use for your weapon.
Obviously, ammo is round in shape. However, what really is one round?
I’m sure most people have the general idea right. One round is one cartridge or one shotgun shell. However, the term is commonly mixed up with the term “bullet.”
So, in this article, we will cover the absolute most basic parts of ammunition. In doing so, you will understand what exactly a round is, and how it is different from a bullet.
When looking at a handgun or rifle round, they are really pretty similar. These rounds are composed of a bullet, which is located inside a casing, which is filled with a propellant.
The bullet is the “front” of the round. It is the actual projectile that will fly through the air. It is also the part that will enter the target, whatever that may be.
This bullet is crimped into the casing, which is the larger brass part that makes up a good portion of the round. This casing will be ejected from the weapon after the trigger is pulled.
The casing has a primer on the very back of it. When you pull the trigger, the firing pin in the weapon will strike the primer. The primer has a very sensitive igniter in it, which will light the propellant.
The propellant is located inside the casing. It is never seen by the normal shooter, because it is contained within the casing and is completely consumed after firing. After the primer is struck, the igniter lights the propellant. The propellant, or gunpowder, burns rapidly, which creates gas pressure. This gas pressure is what actually fires the bullet downrange.
All of these components added together are referred to as a cartridge. One “round” of ammunition is simply one cartridge.
Shotgun ammunition is slightly different. Instead of having a brass casing, shotgun shells have a plastic hull. These plastic hulls are crimped at the end opposite the primer.
Instead of one bullet, shotgun shells have “shot” in them. Shot refers to the pellets that are located within the hull. Shotguns traditionally fire many pellets, as opposed to only one bullet. The shot is actually inside of the hull, as opposed to rifle ammo, where you can see the projectile.
Shotgun shells also have what is called a “wad.” The wad is located between the powder and the shot. Its purpose is to protect the shot and trap the gas behind the shot, which allows the shell to work.
Other than these terminologies, shotgun shells work very similar to handgun and rifle ammunition. They have a primer, which ignites the powder and propels the shot downrange.
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As you can see, ammunition is pretty simple. One “round” simply means one cartridge or one shotgun shell. It’s really that simple.
Ammunition can get a little confusing, but understanding the basics will give you a better grip on ammunition as a whole.
Alright, so you’ve just got yourself a firearm. Awesome! You get home with your new weapon and a box of ammo, excited for a trip to the range. But…. Shoot. How can you store the ammo?!
Not to worry! This is a pretty common question to people that are new to the firearm scene. As you will see, ammo is relatively durable, so you don’t have much to worry about.
In this article, we will go over some tips for storing ammo, and make some general recommendations.
The Three Factors: Temperature, Moisture, and Location
It’s really this simple. These are the extremely simple factors that you need to keep in mind when thinking about storing ammo.
If you are storing ammo, we are going to assume it is for longer term. Most people don’t buy ammo to shoot it the very next day. Many people, like hunters and survivalists, will have a large quantity of ammunition stored up at any point in time.
So therefore, we are going to assume that preserving your ammunition is in your plans as well.
First and foremost, your ammo should be stored in a cool environment. If it is stored in a place that is too hot, the excessive heat can negatively affect the gunpowder inside the bullet.
It will be a slow process, but high heat can affect the actual chemical composition of the gunpowder. This will negatively affect your ammunition, and could make it unusable.
Next, your ammunition should be stored in a dry place. Water and moisture can rust the case and affect the propellant within the cartridge.
If the propellant is wet, it may burn slower, or not at all. This will degrade the effectiveness of the ammunition.
One thing to keep in mind with this, once your ammunition has been exposed to the outdoors, it is \ likely that it has experienced some moisture. This is multiplied if it was in a swampy area, or brought along on a rainy hunt. Any environment with high humidity has high moisture.
When we say location, we are talking about a couple of different things. The ammunition should be stored in a safe place, where no one will be able to get to it if they shouldn’t be able to. For example, children shouldn’t be able to get to the ammunition.
The ammo may also be stored in a secure spot, or under a lock and key. While not everyone will do this, it is a pretty common practice.
Another factor of the location is exactly what you are storing the ammo in. The cardboard boxes that ammo comes in aren’t meant to be a long term storage solution. These should be secured in a safe, or even better, in an ammo can.
Storing Ammo – Don’ts
Storing Ammo – Dos
Some people don’t like storing ammunition with the weapon. I don’t really have any issue with it, but it is something to keep in mind. I do store some ammunition in my gun safe, but not everyone likes to do this.
Following these extremely easy considerations will allow you to store your ammo effectively. Storing the ammo effectively will ensure that it lasts for a decade or more. For most people, this is a huge pro.
When in doubt, just think about the temperature, moisture, container, and location of the container. As long as you are thinking about these factors, you will have no issues.
Both .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield are extremely popular rifle cartridges, specifically for big game hunting. Are you looking for some of the differences between the two?
We will help you make a decision today by comparing the two cartridges in terms of size, ballistics, and performance.
Before getting into the specifics, we will give a very brief history of both rounds.
.308 Winchester: .308 was developed over 50 years ago, but despite its age, it is a very popular hunting round. It has retained its popularity for hunting due to its deadliness. In fact, it is the most widely used big game hunting cartridge in the world.
The cartridge is the starting point from which 7.62x51mm NATO was created, which is still widely used in the United States military today. On top of that, .308 is used by US military and various police snipers.
.30-06: It is well over 100 years old. Similar to .308, this round is still very popular today. Also similar to .308, the round was originally used in the US military. As a matter of fact, .30-06 is a parent cartridge of .308 Winchester.
.308 bullets are 7.8mm in diameter, or .308 inches. The case measures 2.015 inches, and the overall length is 2.8 inches.
.30-06 bullets are also .308 inches in diameter, but the case is much longer. The case of .30-06 cartridges is 2.49 inches long. Overall, the round measures 3.34 inches.
In terms of size, the primary difference is the case length. While the projectiles are somewhat similar, .308 cases are much shorter. .308 is a short action rifle cartridge, meaning that it is fired from a weapon with a smaller bolt. This cuts down on the weight of the rifle.
The projectiles of .308 cartridges commonly weigh between 150 and 170 grains. Some hunting ammunition has bullets that weigh 178 to 185 grains. These projectiles are fired with a muzzle velocity of between 2600 and 2800 feet per second. This equates to around 2700 foot pounds of torque.
.30-06 projectiles weigh between 150 and 180 grains, generally speaking. When fired, the muzzle velocity of these bullets are around 2700 to 2900 feet per second, which is around 2800 foot pounds of torque.
In terms of effective range, the rounds are very similar. Both cartridges can be expected to shoot around 700 yards, dependent on the exact weapon and cartridge chosen.
As you can see, the bullets are extremely similar in size and weight. However, the primary difference comes with the fact that .30-06 bullets are fired with a greater muzzle velocity and energy. This comes from the fact that the case is longer, so they are able to fit more propellant into the cartridge. For this reason, this cartridge is deadlier than .308.
The ammunition of both calibers is extremely commonly priced.
Much of the same ammunition is available for the two rounds, and the prices are generally close together. In making your decision, price will not be much of a factor.
One difference worth mentioning is the available weapons in each caliber.
.308 weapons run the gamut. Since it is a short action cartridge, there are multiple options available. There are bolt action rifles and modernized tactical rifles, such as the AR-15, that are all available in .308. best ar15 scope is good option for .308 rifle.
Due to its added length, .30-06 weapons are much more limited. There really aren’t many tactical weapons available. Most .30-06 weapons are either bolt action or lever action, although there are some exceptions. There are a couple semiautomatics and at least one pump action rifle.
.30-06 weapons will also be much heavier.
If you will be hunting from a stand or doing any other type of hunting that does not require much walking or movement, we recommend .30-06. The increased deadliness will be worthwhile.
If you are going to be doing mountain hunts or some stalking, we would recommend .308. There are lighter weapons available that you will be able to move around easier.
If you are looking to do precision shooting, we recommend .308. It is slightly more accurate.
Both rounds are an excellent choice for big game hunting. There are very slight differences between the two, but we hope that this guide has been helpful.
Handloading ammunition is a very common practice for intense shooters. Handloading allows you to save money while also customizing your ammunition to your exact kind of shooting.
However, there are also some mistakes that come along with handloading your ammunition. Some of these mistakes can be very dangerous, despite the fact that they are usually easily avoidable.
Look below to see some of the most common reloading mistakes, and get our recommendations for how to avoid it.
The first common mistake is loading the wrong powder or too much powder into the cartridge. This is first on our list due to how dangerous it can be.
If the wrong powder is loaded, or if one case is accidentally loaded with extra powder, there is a potential for serious damage and injury to occur.
To avoid this mistake, visually inspect each cartridge to make sure it has the same amount of powder as the rest. Another tip, if you are loading multiple types of cartridges, make sure to keep the powders separate and labeled correctly.
The next common mistake is using a bad casing. Whether the casing is cracked, dented, or the incorrect size, using a bad casing is a bad idea.
If there is a crack in the casing, gases will be able to escape the cartridge, and could potentially harm the shooter. In the worst case scenario, the cartridge could actually split open completely and damage your weapon, if not worse.
To avoid this mistake, thoroughly inspect each casing before using them to handload ammunition.
When seating the primer in the cartridge, there are two things that can go wrong.
If the primer isn’t seated deep enough, it will stick off the back end of the cartridge. Primers can be very sensitive, so if it sticks out too far, you risk the unlikely situation of a cartridge being ignited early. However, if the primer sticks out too far, it could also affect the cycling of the weapon.
If the primer is seated too deep, it could become even more sensitive, because some of it will be crushed as it is forced too deep into the casing. It also could cause issues with firing and cycling the weapon.
To avoid this mistake, inspect the cartridge after you put the primer in. It should sit below the surface of the back of the casing, but it shouldn’t be in too deep.
When you put the bullet in the cartridge, it is possible to either put it in too far or not far enough. If the projectile isn’t seated correctly, it could damage the action or the barrel of the weapon.
To avoid this, make sure you are guiding the projectile into place precisely and double checking after it is crimped.
Speaking of crimping, the last common mistake on our list is either crimping the casing too much or not enough.
If the case is crimped too much, it can cause issues cycling the weapon. It creates a bulge in the cartridge, which can cause it to hang up when trying to enter the chamber.
If the case isn’t crimped enough, the projectile could actually come out of the casing a little bit, which would also cause issues with loading and cycling the weapon.
To avoid this, make sure you develop a process for crimping and inspecting the ammunition after you have crimped it.
In the modern age, almost all shopping is done online. Even grocery shopping can be done completely online now. So, with these technological innovations and changes, how does the firearms community change with it?
Wondering if you are able to buy ammunition online? Let’s take a look at some of the laws to keep in mind.
The short answer is yes, you can buy ammunition online. However, as with almost anything in the firearms industry, there are some stipulations.
In some areas, ammunition can’t be shipped in. A few examples are New York City and Washington D.C.
In other areas, you can’t get it shipped to your house. Similar to purchasing a firearm, ammunition can only be shipped to a federal firearms license holder in these areas. Some of these are Massachusetts, New York, Chicago, and most of California.
Lastly, in Illinois and Connecticut, you have to have paperwork on file in order to be eligible to buy ammunition online. Some of this paperwork could be permits or IDs.
The biggest takeaway is to make sure you know the laws in your area. Generally speaking, you can find them with a quick Internet search. However, there are also some websites that have compiled multiple states’ laws into one location. One example is this page on Able’s Shooting: https://www.ableammo.com/catalog/how-to-guns.php
However, keep in mind that laws can change. Always double check your own state laws before relying solely on that website or others like it.
There are a few other considerations that apply when buying ammunition online. For example, most websites have to charge extra for shipping due to the fact that they are shipping a hazardous material. Federal hazard classification is required, so it costs more money.
It is also common that weapons and ammunition must be purchased separately online.
Many different websites will not ship to Alaska and Hawaii, so be sure to keep that in mind if you are in those areas.
There are a couple differences between buying ammo online and buying it at the store. The primary ones will be the price and the fact that you can’t actually see the ammunition
While it is not set in stone, there is a good chance you can get a better price online. However, keep in mind that you will have to pay for shipping. Also, some stores will do price matching, so you may be able to get the price in the store down.
For some people, not being able to physically see the ammunition may be a little difficult. Especially if you are newer to firearms, physically seeing the ammunition may make you a little more comfortable that you are getting exactly what you need.
When buying online, there won’t be a store representative there to answer your questions. However, many websites will have frequently asked question pages or online representatives to assist you.
When you buy ammo online, you will not be able to return it. Similarly, nearly every store will not accept returns on ammunition for safety reasons, so there’s not much difference there.
There are hundreds of different places online that you can buy ammunition. Brownells, Lucky Gunner, and Cheaper Than Dirt are always popular options, but there are more than a few.
Brownells has the largest supply of many different types of weapons and ammunition, but they can sometimes be beat in price by Cheaper Than Dirt. With these two websites, you really can’t go wrong.
For reloading, I have found that Brownells has a wider variety of products. MidwayUSA also has a great selection of reloading supplies.Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops also sell ammunition, but they usually sell at the exact same price as in the store, so there wouldn’t be much incentive to buying online, unless you live in an area where you can’t easily get to an outdoors store.
Wondering how far a bullet can travel?
The projectile of a rifle cartridge, often called a bullet, can travel at vastly different distances, dependent on a few key factors, that can be dumbed down to basic physics.
The main factors that will affect how far the bullet can travel are: projectile weight, muzzle velocity, trajectory, shape of the bullet, and environmental factors.
Here’s some physics that will blow your mind: if you were to fire a rifle and drop a bullet at the exact same height at the exact same time, the two projectiles would hit the ground at the exact same time.
However, how far downrange would the fired bullet be?
If two projectiles are fired in the exact same way, at the exact same velocity, the heavier one will travel slightly further.
The reason for this is that the heavier projectile will have less drop, which means it will travel further before its velocity slows down enough for the resistance of the air to actually significantly slow the bullet down.
Once the air resistance begins to slow down the projectile significantly, the projectile will begin to tumble through the air, which causes it to slow down and eventually fall.
If two projectiles of the exact same weight are fired the exact same way, the one that is faster will travel further.
The reason for this is the same as the previous one. If the bullet has a greater speed, it will take longer for the air resistance to slow the bullet down.
The primary things that will affect the muzzle velocity are the specific cartridge used and the barrel length.
A cartridge with more powder will produce more muzzle velocity, and longer barrels produce more velocity as well.
This one boils down to aerodynamics. A longer, skinnier bullet will travel further because it is more aerodynamic. It cuts through the air easier, which allows it to travel further.
Increased resistance on the bullet slows it down faster, which then decreases the distance it can travel.
At higher altitudes, air is thinner, so the bullet will travel further.
At lower altitudes, the air is more dense, so the bullet will experience more resistance, and won’t be able to travel as far.
Similarly, cold air is denser, so a bullet will travel further in warm air.
Wind can also affect how far a bullet can travel, as it will blow the bullet side to side as it flies through the air. To preserve ammunition, you should have the best gun safe with dehumidifier, it will help you ammo have good quality.
As you can see, there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
It is entirely based on the other factors.
Thinking about these factors, you will be able to easily decipher what has the most impact on how far a bullet travels, but there is not one number answer to give.
With enough research, you could find a general idea for multiple calibers of weapons, but even then, these factors all apply.
Even if both rounds are 5.56, different rounds fired from different weapons in different environments will significantly change how far the bullet is able to travel.
Wondering about the shelf life of ammunition is an extremely common question that most people have.
Whether you are hoping to stockpile ammunition for any number of purposes or have found some older ammunition, it is extremely common to wonder how long it will last for.
While there is no one single answer, as not all ammo is the exact same, there are a few rules of thumb to follow.
Most ammunition is good for at least 10 years, but a few factors can affect this. The primary factors that will shorten this shelf life are being exposed to high heat or moisture.
At high temperatures, the chemical composition of the gunpowder can start being affected. While it may not be instantaneous, sustained exposure to extremely high heats can negatively impact the ammunition. Over time, it may cause the round to be less effective, and eventually could lead to the ammunition not working.
When ammunition is exposed to moisture, whether it is submerged in water or experiences high humidity, the powder could potentially become ineffective.
Once the propellant gets wet, it may not burn, so the ammunition may not function.
Generally speaking, manufacturers say that their ammunition is supposed to last for 10 years. However, this is just a general number that they give.
There is absolutely no reason that the ammo can’t be used after 10 years, if it is stored properly. Ammunition that is stored in a generally cool and dry place will last for well past 10 years. While it may not be the best idea to keep ammunition for this long, there’s no reason that it wouldn’t still function.
One thing to keep in mind is that once your ammunition has been taken out of this cool and dry environment, it should be used at your soonest convenience.
If you take your ammo out to the range on a hot or rainy day, or take it out hunting in the swamp, your best bet is to expend that ammo sooner rather than later.
In conclusion, ammo will last as long as you treat it right. As long as it’s stored in a cool and dry environment, there is no reason that the ammo can’t last for decades.
However, once it has been exposed to high heat or moisture, you run the risk of it being no good.
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When it comes to short-action cartridges, few have seen the rapid rise in popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Reports come in from all over the country about hunters making the switch and moving to this effective, thorough cartridge.
Is this a good thing?
Are hunters actually noticing an improvement in their skill and results?
The answer lies in the testimonials, and we’ve heard so many. But we finally wanted to answer the question flat out: is the 6.5 Creedmoor good for hunting?
I firmly believe that part of the obsession is just a trend.
Shooters latching on to what’s current and what the people in the public spotlight are using.
That said, there are a few really incredible happenings that have clearly swayed public opinion on the cartridge. For instance:
Any readers of popular shooting pubs like Guns & Ammo and Field and Stream likely have noticed the rise in discussion about the Creedmoor and its firm place in the mainstream arena.
This is a big cause of its increased use, and is a result of it being good for hunting.
Media discussions will continue just as surely as talks around the campfire about the Creedmoor’s durability and dependability across various situations.
Another cause behind the affection is the solid build of the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Everything about the construction is solid and ensure long term performance will not be affected by small adversities.
This stretches beyond the cartridge itself – hunters notice an increase in the longevity of their hunts because they aren’t worn out or suffering from a sore shoulder.
New hunters have an easier time finding their comfort zone and getting up to speed with more experienced hunters.
One of the reasons the 6.5 Creedmoor is so popular with hunters is that it is versatile.
Fans of shooting history may recall that the last time the world saw such a craze with customize-able firearm accessories came in the 1950s with the influx of classic military weaponry to public hands.
A similar craze is happening now, as a clearly superior product continues to increase its market dominance. We’ve yet to see any stain on the reputation, so look for this cartridge to continue increasing in use and popularity.
6.5 cartridges do so well with these guns that it’s a natural fit – and because the Creedmoor is both modern and compatible with popular guns, the resulting success is no surprise.
The Creedmoor performs well in long-range hunts and those with rapidly moving targets. Hunters easily become comfortable with setting the cartridge and follow-up. It’s rare to see any kind of jam or frustration on the part of the hunter when using the 6.5 Creedmoor.
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Any who doubt this need to look no further than the competition results over the last few years.
The 6.5 Creedmoor is among the most accurate cartridges available for the everyday hunter. Recoil is not an issue, assisting not only accuracy but hunter comfort as well.
Many find that with the shot, they have no problem holding ground. As a result, they are more confident lining up the shot and coming to zero, knowing that when they pull the trigger their effort will be right on track.
One situation where this cartridge is not great for hunting is for big game.
The 6.5 Creedmoor performs well with mid-sized animals such as deer, and slightly smaller creatures.
But you don’t want to be out there hunting a Sasquatch with this thing. Likewise, short range shots under 25 yards don’t necessitate such a badass cartridge.
While it will certainly get the job done, it’s almost like overkill – unless you’re in practice mode or otherwise trying to up your skill level.
This is the main reason why it has become so popular, and firmly confirms the fact that this cartridge is good for hunting.
Durability of the hunter. Namely, his or her shoulder and body. The Creedmoor won’t tear you up after a day of shooting like a .308 will.
The recoil is so negligible that firing dozens of shots on the Creedmoor is causes less wear on the hunter than firing five shots with a .308.
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Hunters notice less deflection by wind and less effect on their overall accuracy.
Everything that has to do with the Creedmoor, including stock ammo, is more affordable than many other cartridge selections as well.
Hunters are consistently coming to the conclusion that once you go Creedmoor, you never go back.
Fifty years from now, this cartridge will have the track record and reputation of the most legendary hunting cartridges available – wait and see!
Is the 6.5 Creedmoor is good for hunting?
The answer is a resounding and emphatic ‘YES’. It is great for hunting.
The one thing that may put a dent in the Creedmoor’s rise in use is the invention of a better product that – and here’s the kicker – not only out-performs the Creedmoor, but has a solid marketing team behind it to cause a media blitz and completely overhaul the discussion.
Hopefully this article has shed some light on the 6.5 Creedmoor and why it is so good for hunting.
Please share on social media if you’ve enjoyed this post, and feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below. We always love hearing about new situations where the Creedmoor has done the job. What’s yours?
As their names may suggest, .45 Long Colt and .44 Magnum are very similar rounds.
Ever wondered what the specific differences are?
In this article, we will go over some key differences, and what situations may be better for each caliber.
For starters, the name .44 Magnum is slightly misleading.
This name would suggest that the bullet is .44 inches in diameter, when in reality, it is .429 inches in diameter.
The bullet is fired from a 1.285 inch case. This round can be used in handguns, rifles, and revolvers.
While it is newer than .45 Long Colt, it is still a relatively old round.
Unlike the .44 Magnum, .45 Long Colt is true to its name.
The bullet is approximately .45 inches in diameter.
Similar to the .44 Magnum, .45 Long Colt is fired from a 1.285 inch case.
This specific round is used solely in revolvers, and is an extremely historic round. It was first designed over a century ago.
As you can tell, the .45 Long Colt is the same height as the .44 Magnum, but slightly wider.
As a result,
Ballistic testing has shown that .44 Magnum is shot much faster than .45 Long Colt. When shot from a similar length barrel, .44 Magnum will be much faster.
For our purposes, we will use a 5 inch barrel for a comparison.
When shot from a 5 inch barrel, .45 Long Colt has a muzzle velocity of 957 feet per second, while .44 Magnum has a muzzle velocity of 1270 feet per second.
.44 Magnum shoots a bullet that is nearly the exact same size at a much higher rate of speed.
What this means to you, is that .44 Magnum is deadlier.
This improved performance is the result of nearly 100 years of ammunition and weapons technology advancements between the creation of .45 Long Colt and .44 Magnum.
Given this ballistic data, I would recommend using .44 Magnum over .45 Long Colt in a self-defense or hunting scenario.
If you are simply shooting for fun, both cartridges are extremely fun to shoot, and either will work.
Overall, both .44 Magnum and .45 Long Colt are excellent cartridges. While .44 Magnum has better ballistics, .45 Long Colt is an absolutely iconic American cartridge.
With more modern weapon technologies and more versatile weapons, .45 Long Colt has remained relevant today. Weapons such as the Taurus Judge and the Smith & Wesson Governor are capable of shooting .45 Long Colt, along with .410 bore shotgun shells, so the round still sees plenty of use.