.45 Super Questions


September 23, 2003, 09:29 AM
How does the the stack up next to a 10mm?

And, can a 1911 GM be converted to .45 Super with just a recoil and firing pin spring and a lighter firing pin, or does it need a full out conversion by a gunsmith?

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Sean Smith
September 23, 2003, 02:27 PM
.45 Super is in about the same ballpark as 10mm Auto.

Comparing factory ammo, with .45 Super you can get 230gr @1,200 ft/sec from a 6" Springfield Armory V-16 with TAC's "Express" ammo. With 10mm you can get 200gr @ 1,200 ft/sec or 180gr @ 1,320 ft/sec from a shorter 4.6" barrel with Cor-Bon hunting ammo. Account for the differences in barrel length, and the difference in ballistics is nil out of the same barrel lengths.

The main reason for the extra power of 10mm or .45 Super over .45 ACP would be hunting, and for that purpose 10mm Auto is arguably superior due to the wider variety of bullets and factory loads appropriate for that purpose. Also, 230gr bullets are usually the heaviest you can get for .45 ACP/Super, and those have lower sectional densities than the 200 and 220gr 10mm bullets that are widely available in .400"/10mm caliber.

September 23, 2003, 10:26 PM
Most 45 Super guns were converted by just changing springs - put in heavier recoil, magazine and firing pin springs and start shooting. The heavier recoil spring is needed to handle the extra power in the ammunition, a stronger magazine spring is needed to get the next round in proper position for feeding more quickly as the slide is moving much faster, and the stronger firing pin spring is needed to prevent slam fires as the slide is moving much faster when it returns to battery due to the heavier recoil spring.

IMHO this should really only be done with the "long slide" 6" guns as I think a heavier slide is needed to help slow down the slide velocity; both to prevent battering the pistol to death and for proper feeding from the magazine. Making the slide heavier is something that isn't often done when converting to 45 Super - and again in my opinion really needs to be done.

September 23, 2003, 10:55 PM
I've run two boxes of Triton's .450SMC (same as .45 Super) through my CZ-97B without incident. Stuff is a HOOT to shoot.

And what's all this about .45 Super being "too powerful"? What happened to "all handguns are underpowered"? As long as you can control it, there's no such thing as too powerful.


September 24, 2003, 03:07 AM
I don't really think there would be much practical difference. I have killed deer with a S&W 625 with 45 Super class loads and a Win '92 in 38-40 clocking about the same as 10mm handloads. With either gun I passed on all but the best shots under 25 yards. The results were the same, dead deer. I wouldn't use either one to hunt anything larger or meaner that a southern whitetail.

As for SD, the lower end 45 Super loads are the absolute limit for me. There comes a point where I can't make good hits as fast as I want, and this is it.

I have owned and shot both full conversion and spring-swap guns. For my money, a new recoil spring on a bone stock kimber or equal quality 1911 is the better buy. I've been fighting my custom 6" bull-barrel gun for almost 6 months, and I may sell it when it comes back from the 'smith.

If you are not a experienced handloader, you may want to get the 10mm. The 10mm's prime advantage is better factory ammo at half the price.

If you are serious about the 45 Super, I can go into a good deal more detail.


September 24, 2003, 03:10 AM
David, I for one am getting serious about it, please tell me more.

Thanks, and thanks to everybody else for their input.

September 24, 2003, 12:43 PM
Thanks for the caution S.Pig, I agree that the cylinders of the .45 N-frames are thin and that this should be kept in mind, but as long you set some firm limits there is no reason you can't up the pressure somewhat.

Please note everyone that I do not advise anyone to use 45 Super loads in a 625.

In fact all your 45 ACP and 45 Colt S&W are too weak to be safely fired. You should send them to me for safe disposal!

It is the opinion of several respected gunsmiths that a absolute max working pressure for the 625 is around 30,000 psi. I think my 230 grain JHP at 1170 fps comes in below that. In fact, a fellow 45 Super user had a similar (different bullet) load tested that gets 1200 fps from a 5" 1911 @ a tested 28,500 CUP. 45 Auto Rim loads in the 22-25,000 psi range have been around for years. I never shot many full power 45 Super loads through it, but I always felt pretty safe with my 15 year old 625.

Please, nobody use anything but 45 ACP loads in your 45 ACP S&W revolvers!!!

In fact leave the 45 Super alone too!


Nero Steptoe
September 24, 2003, 08:47 PM
Check out this exact question on 1911 Forum. Some pretty good answers there.

September 24, 2003, 09:03 PM
Yep, I'm the one who posted the topic over there.

September 25, 2003, 01:59 AM

If you are serious about buliding a 45 Super, I suggest you pick out a nice 1911 for starters. Order a 28 lb recoil spring from Wolffe and try to install it (and a heavy duty firing pin return sping). If you can get it in without hurting yourself or teaching the kids a few new words, the 45 Super might be for you. If you get it in without too much trouble, then you can see if you like it or not. I don't mind the extra force required to move the slide, but it is too much for lots of people. Next go out and shoot some with good stout 45 ACP loads. Most 1911's will run hardball or better. You may get a stovepipe or failure to eject. Try anything less powerful and the gun may stop running. This has been my experience on every Super conversion I have had anything to do with. Now break the gun down and clean it. After you are done, ask yourself; "Wouldn't I really rather put the stock recoil spring back in?" If the answer is no, you may be lying to yourself. Go ahead and put that %(*%% spring back in anyway, just to be sure. Then get yourself a few Super cases (there are places that sell them by the hundred) and load 'em up. Don't handload? Forget it then, don't bother. If you do, then load up a few (50 or less) and try them out. You may get a few failure to feed, or not. Then clean your gun again. If you still think the 45 Super is for you after you stick that $#*&$#* spring in again, you still have to figure out what you need to do to help your gun stand up to more of them. The longslide is a very elegant solution,as is an expansion chamber comp. Dual recoil spring setups work well and some people are fitting flat bottom firing pin stops and running single springs lighter than 28lbs. Of course there are others that just run the single 28lb spings and don't worry about it. If I could have the money I've spent on my current gun, I'd buy a Dan Wesson, S&W or Kimber 1911 and get a spare compensated unramped barrel and good adjustable sights fitted. A close second would be a 6" longslide with unramped, bushingless bull barrel and reverse plug so it would take standard GM springs.

The 45 Super is great for advanced handloaders who happen to be 1911 nuts. It isn't so hot for anybody else. Even if you are 1911 expert, you still might need a few trys to get the timing just right. My next 45 Super will be a CZ97B, assuming I can talk people into making the parts I need.

Have fun and be safe,


September 25, 2003, 04:04 AM
If you're serious about .45 Super, buy an HK USP45 (full size, not compact), and shoot away.

You'll want to replace the recoil spring every thousand rounds or so, and if you're just shooting Super I'd run a stiffer spring.

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