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.45 Auto Euro Marking on 1911 Barrel?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by cslinger, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    So I have this run of the mill Colt 1911 but it has one oddity that I think about from time to time but haven't been able to get an answer for.

    The Barrel (chamber) is marked -.45 Auto Euro - and I don't know what this means or why it is marked this way. I am attaching pictures of the firearm and barrel in question. Appreciate any insight to satisfy my curiosity.

    Left side of 1911

    Right side of 1911

    Barrel with .45 ACP round in chamber

    Barrel markings
  2. SDC

    SDC Well-Known Member

    Have you fired this pistol with standard 45 Auto ammo? It's possible that this barrel was either made for, or mismarked as being for, one of the European countries like Italy that prohibit "military" calibres like 45 Auto, 9mm Luger, etc. That being the case, shooters in those countries normally get versions with different chamber lengths. Can you drop a live cartridge into the barrel (out of the pistol), and see how far into the chamber it sits?
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Thats a new one on me.
    I checked S&B as well as Fiocchi and can find no referance to .45 Euro ammo.

    I'd really strongly suggest you call Colt and ask them what it is.
    Then tell us!

    Colt = 1-800-962-2658

  4. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Well-Known Member

    I had a similar odd caliber on a 1911. My father had an old Colt 1911, actually a Sistema Colt Model 1927 marked 11.25mm. It uses regular 45 ACP ammo.
  5. tango2echo

    tango2echo Well-Known Member

    I ran into this once before on a 1911. An ex-girlfriend (Polish) had one that was bought in France at some point. The answer I got was that it was not allowed for a "civillian" to own a "military" caliber, so some manufactures made-up new names for existing calibers so that they could sell the guns.

    I would still check this as I don't know it to me fact. Also, I would imagine there may be some collector interest in it to the right person.

    Would be a good idea to have the gunsmith make sure it is a .45acp.

  6. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    That is the metric designation of the 45ACP
    Never heard of a 45 euro.
  7. Runningman

    Runningman Well-Known Member

    I would not fire 45 ACP in that pistol headspacing will be off. The 45 auto Euro is a 45 HP. It is obsolete these days as far as I know. It is basically the same as a 45 ACP except the case was shorted 1 mm along with the overall length. Hirtenberger was the only company to ever offer a factory load in it that I know of.

    45 HP was made for country's like Italy perhaps France that could not own military calibers for non military shooting. It is somewhat along the lines of the Italian 9x21.
  8. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Well-Known Member

  9. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    Something seems a bit off, because if it were a ".45 HP" barrel, it seems it would be marked ".45 HP" and not ".45 Auto Euro." Also, that gun appears to be a NRM 1991 Colt, meaning it was made at least 15 years or so AFTER the cartridge was discontinued. Or is there someplace that says they were synonymous?

    I can't tell from the photo - is the cartridge proud of the barrel hood or not? If so, then it does seem it would be a match to the .45 HP. Interesting...
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Oro is on the spot about headspace.

    If you drop a .45 ACP in the chamber, it's rim should be flush with the end of the barrel hood.

    If it is, I'd guess somebody ran into an ammo problem long ago, and had the chamber reamed to .45 ACP spec so he could use the gun.

    If it isn't flush, but sticks out of the chamber too far to go in battery, you need to find a Colt collector who wants the gun real bad.
    Or a gunsmith with a .45 ACP finish reamer.

    Or probably better still, just stick a new .45 ACP barrel in it and keep the .45 Euro barrel for posterity.

  11. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    I have a Colt Commander in 9mm, but the barrel is marked ".30 Luger." Apparently, they made a batch in that caliber for Italy, and had some barrels left over, which they salvaged by reboring to 9mm. I wrote Colt and they denied such a thing existed, saying they had never made a gun in .30 Luger. (I don't know why such a pointless lie, when I had proof that they had.) Anyway, they offered to "correct" the gun if I sent it back. I didn't, but have always thought a Commander in .30 Luger would be a nice gun.

  12. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    Jim, not only did they make them in 30 Luger, they also made them in 9MM Largo. You know how " I know a guy who said he knew...." but I was told by a usually reliable source that Colt made up a batch of odd ball calibers at the request of a unknown agency. Hey, who knows for sure, I don't, but it makes for a good story and why else would they claim no knowledge of such animals.:what:
  13. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    Because there's always a young engineer or cs rep who has to know it all...

    Even I've heard about the .30 Luger models, and I don't work at Colt...
  14. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    More to the story, Fred Kart. in the 1970's ( when he was still at his NY address), was contracted to make 200 barrels for the Colt Government models in "Non" military calibers ( 9MM Steyr ), there could very well have been other suppliers for other calibers. Who contracted him , can't find any names and no one is talking. At least one of the Steyr chambered guns was on one of the web sites { Security Arms } about 3 years ago with no information available. There is a very good possibly that the guns left the Colt factory in correct configuration and then re barreled, That would explain why Colt has no records of such an animal. In my other posting I was in error, it wasn't 9MM Largo, it was 9MM Steyr I was thinking about. Perhaps the State Department refused to issue a export permit and they wound up on the civilian market.:confused: Can I prove any of this, not a word . BTW, they were marked the same manner as the above 45 Euro is.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  15. Nolo

    Nolo Well-Known Member

    .45 Glock Automatic Pistol, made by a company that didn't want to acknowledge Glock?

    That would explain why the .45 ACP sticks out so much.
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I believe if it was in fact a .45 GAP, Colt would be required to mark it as such by SAAMI.

    And it clearly says ".45 Automatic Caliber" on the slide.

    SAAMI would surely have a hissy-fit if it was intended for U.S. sales with two different caliber markings on it.

    The other thing is, the .45 GAP was just introduced 6 years ago, and that Colt is about 15+ years old.

    Nope, I believe something along the lines of someone was trying to make an end run around some European countries laws that ban military calibers.

  17. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    Thanks all.

    Colt, or at least the drone on the phone knows nothing.
  18. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    45 Italian?

    I've seen .30 Luger Colts for sale on Gunbroker, most were made for the German civilian market.
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The question still remains unanswered as to whether a .45 ACP will fit in the chamber with the rim flush with the back of the barrel hood?

    Or, will the slide close with a .45 ACP in it?

  20. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    ohh sorry .45 fits and shoots fine. It headspaces fine. In my mind it is either a mismarked chamber or was reamed out to fit .45 ACP.

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