So which is it....


May 4, 2005, 07:47 AM
45 Colt or 45 Long Colt? I see it typed out as either one on here oftentimes. And whenever I say Long Colt around here the old fellas look at me funny. So what do you guys think? Any history behind it to give it an "official" name?

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May 4, 2005, 07:51 AM
Not sure what "it" is that you wish us to identify. .45 LC precedes .45 APC (Automatic Colt Pistol). .45 LC was popular, and continues to be today, in single action revolvers among other things. The flagship of .45 ACP is the 1911.

May 4, 2005, 08:01 AM
Ah, sorry about any confusion. I'm not referring to 45 ACP at all. I just know that some people, when discussing the rimmed cartridge, call it 45 Colt, some call it 45 Long Colt. Same cartridge, two different names. Just wanted to see what everyone thought about it and what they refer to it as.

May 4, 2005, 09:05 AM
Ah, understood. Didn't mean to come off as condescending, I forgot to look at your post count and thought you were maybe just new. Apologies.

Back to the topic at hand. The answer is ".45 GAP." Absolutely, positively kidding. :eek:

I really don't know what the proper term is, but I do have an opinion to offer on what it should be. I don't hunt with the revolver tribe frequently, where .45 Colt may be the standard reference. So as a shooter who's mostly experienced with semis, I have to say that calling it .45 Long Colt clears up any confusion (such as that in my earlier post). I realize that the LC preceeded the APC (at least I think I realize that, it's been a long night) and as such may be the orginal .45 Colt. But since there's multiples it helps to be a bit more specific.

Old John
May 4, 2005, 10:24 AM
Hi Y'all,

For me it has always been the .45 long Colt or
Inj Cowboy Action Shooting they also have the
.45 Schofield, which is considerably shorter.
Different strokes, I guess.
Why is it an "Issue"?
Does it bother you either way??

Just...........Have Fun!
'Til later,
Old John

May 4, 2005, 10:29 AM
To me, 45 colt is a term to be avoided like dinner. In some parts of the country dinner is a late lunch, and in some parts it is the evening meal. So I say breakfast, lunch, and supper. It may sound funny but everyone knows what I mean. The second post is a perfect example of why 45 colt is a bad term to use. Confusing the issue, many vendors put .45 LC next to .45ACP, and either one might say 45 colt on it. I say .45ACP and .45 Long Colt, (And now .45GAP, I guess.) No confusion there.

Here's one. Glock has a pistol chambered in .357, right? But that's not the same as S&W's .357 mag is it? .357 mag and .357 SIG helps that one out. I guess Gaston doesn't like mentioning the European competition.

May 4, 2005, 10:38 AM
When it was first produced, it was the 45 Colt. Later Smith & Wesson came out with their version of a 45 that was similar, but with a hair shorter case. Then other 45's showed up including the 45 acp (automatic Colt pistol). To prevent confusion with the various cartridges out there, people started calling the 45 Colt the LONG Colt, because it was the longest of the bunch. When put that way, everybody knew which one was meant, but it was never the "official" name of the cartridge.

May 4, 2005, 10:42 AM
I guess it depends on how you look at it to a degree.

1. .45 Colt(black powder rimmed) back when this came out there was only on and there was no need to distinguish one from the other.
2. .45 Schofield is shorter than .45 Colt and led to some people calling .45 Colt .45 Long Colt.
3. .45 ACP (automatic Colt Pistol) (rimless smokeless automatic pistol cartridge) the APC is part of the name and needs to be appended this is the cartridge under discussion.
4. .45 GAP (Glock Automatic Pistol) came last and needs to be used when this is meant.

May 4, 2005, 11:10 AM
Well, if nothing else the confusion generated makes for intersting conversation. I had forgotten about the Schofield round. I guess its a slippery slope when it comes to ammo nomenclature :p

I forgot to look at your post count and thought you were maybe just new. Apologies.
No need to apologize ;)

May 4, 2005, 11:32 AM
SRYnidan said...
APC is part of the name and needs to be appended this is the cartridge under discussion. I don't think so.

jobu07 said...
Ah, sorry about any confusion. I'm not referring to 45 ACP at all.

Father Knows Best
May 4, 2005, 01:29 PM
The correct names are:

.45 Colt
.45 Smith & Wesson
.45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP)

The .45 S&W is commonly referred to as the "Schofield", because it was created at the request of a Major Schofield, U.S. Army, who was evaluating S&W's top break revolvers. He suggested that a .45 caliber round would be preferred over the .44 rounds (such as the .44 Russian) the firearm was then offered in. He also suggested other changes to the revolver. S&W obliged by producing a new model top break in .45 with Major Schofield's changes. That revolver became known as the "Schofield" revolver, and the cartridge it was chambered in became known as the .45 Schofield.

Incidentally, the .45 Schofield is not merely a shortened .45 Colt case. It also has a larger rim. The rim on a .45 Colt case was not large enough to be reliably grabbed by the extractor in the S&W top break revolver.

The U.S. Army bought several thousand "Schofield" pattern revolvers from S&W in the early 1870s. They also adopted the Colt Model P chambered in .45 Colt, and ordered them by the tens of thousands. The Colt became known as the "Single Action Army."

A little known fact is that the Army quickly decided that the .45 Colt cartridge was too powerful. The original load of 40 grains of black powder under a 255 grain bullet made a heck of a bang and was hard to control. They wanted a lighter charge. Unfortunately, you can't merely reduce the powder when you're using black powder. Anything less than a full case can have explosive results with devastating consequences (hence the rule of never leaving air space in a black powder cartridge).

At the same time, people realized that: (1) the Army was already producing and supplying .45 S&W ammo for the Schofield revolvers that had been issued; (2) the shorter .45 S&W cartridge would fit in the Colt revolvers; and (3) the .45 S&W's standard loading of 28 grains of black powder under a 230 grain bullet provided adequate power with very manageable recoil. The Army killed two birds with one stone by simply eliminating production of the .45 Colt cartridge. From 1875 on, the Frankford Arsenal produced nothing but .45 S&W ammo for Army use, and it was issued for use in both the S&W Schofield and Colt SAA revolvers.

Confusion probably began shortly thereafter, because the ammo boxes were often marked with "For use in .45 Colt revolvers" or something like that. To distinguish the shorter .45 S&W round from the longer .45 Colt cartridge, people began to refer to the .45 Colt as the "Long Colt." Shortly thereafter, some commercial ammo makers started marking their products as "Long Colt."

These days, you can avoid confusion by using the terms ".45 Schofield" for the .45 S&W, and ".45 Long Colt" for the .45 Colt, even though there is no such thing as a "45 Short Colt." Technically, you'd be inaccurate, but everyone would know what you mean.

May 4, 2005, 01:52 PM
wait till you come upon a:
Cartridge, Cal.45 U.S. M1909

Which is 45Colt dimensioned with the exception of having a Larger rim for use in the Revolver, Model 1909.
The Colt sized rims slipped under it's extractor too.
You cannot fully load a SAA with them as the rims will overlap.


May 4, 2005, 02:54 PM
What is wrong with being (just new)?

Brian Williams
May 4, 2005, 03:17 PM
Stole this from

The Long & Short of the .45 Colt
by Jim Taylor

The debate over whether there is a .45 "Long" Colt cartridge is an on-going one that has been active for probably 75 years. Elmer Keith alluded to the arguments many years ago when he wrote "...Some newcomers to the game claim there is no such animal, but if they had shot the short variety that Remington turned out in such profusion before, during and after World War I they would see there was some basis in referring to the .45 Colt as the .45 Long..." (Sixguns, page 285)

As far as I know there have never been any .45 Colt cartridges headstamped "Long" and though I have reports of old cartridge boxes marked "45 Long" I have never personally seen any. Mr. Keith referred to them from time to time as "long" Colt's (with a small "L"). If you have ever seen the short Colt .45's you can understand why.

The Winchester .45 Colt's that Paco and I have came from Shootist Keith Owlett who gave them to us a short time before he passed on. The cartridge box is deteriorated and I have it put away now - at least what's left of it. But it is plainly marked ".45 Colt Government". The headstamp on the cartridges is ".45 Colt" ...BUT these are SHORT .45 Colts! The headstamp is the same as the longer .45 Colts, even down to the "W" on the primers.

These are not S&W or Schofield cartridges. The rim diameter is the same as the long .45 Colts, which is smaller than the Schofield rim diameter. These are true .45 Short Colts. The cartridge is listed in Cartridges of the World on page 306 as ".45 Colt - .45 Colt Government".
I can visualize someone walking into a hardware store around the turn of the last century and asking for a box of .45 Colt's. As the clerk pulls down a box the customer says, "Not the short ones. I want the Long Colts!" and the name ".45 Long Colt" came down to us as a "user-applied" name, not a factory name.

While I can't prove it, I believe the usage was common since Colt had factory cartridges like the .32 Short Colt, .32 Long Colt, .38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, .41 Short Colt and the .41 Long Colt.

I pulled one of the .45 shorts apart and weighed and measured it. The case is 1.1" long. The powder charge was black powder, approximately 28 grains. The bullet weighed right at 230 gr. and was lubed with a white chalky-looking substance. I fired one from my Ruger 7 1/2" barreled .45 and it went through the chronograph at near 750 fps.

The following week I went out in the hills and called up a nice large coyote and shot him with the .45 short. He ran to within 10 feet of me, responding to the call. I pulled the gun up and shot, hitting him up through the right shoulder and spine, dropping him instantly. The little pointy bullet did not damage the pelt at all. I was able to tan the hide and make a nice looking wall hanging from it.

He was probably the last critter on earth ever killed with a short .45 Colt!

May 4, 2005, 04:07 PM
What is wrong with being (just new)?

It's not a matter of right or wrong in this case, just a matter of misunderstanding/misidentifying the question. But since you ask, new people smell funny and have hairy feet.

May 4, 2005, 04:55 PM
it is not my feet that are hairy and the smell sure aint funny have fun/good luck

May 4, 2005, 05:05 PM
In the 60s during the quick draw craze Colts made those plastic cartridges with wax bullets and yes the box was marked .45 Long Colt.

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