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.45 ACP from .45 Colt?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Zonamo, Nov 4, 2006.

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  1. Zonamo

    Zonamo Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    The Old Pueblo, Arizona
    I have been thinking lately about a revolver to add to my autos. I have seen where you can modify cylinders to take moonclips for almost any caliber, including .45 Colt. According to the descriptions, this will allow you to shoot .45 Colt loaded singly or with clips as well as .45 ACP from the same gun. This seems like it would be more versatile than a dedicated .45 ACP.

    I know people do this all the time with .38 and .44 special out of .357 and .44 magnum. I also know that the difference in case length is about 0.13 in. for the .38 and .44 but over 0.39 in. for .45 ACP vs .45 Colt.

    Not being as familiar with revolvers as I am with autos, I don't know if this really makes a difference or if modified cylinders are not the same as a cylinder designed to shoot both.

    I would like to hear opinions from anyone that has modified their .45 Colt Smith & Wesson or Ruger to use moonclips for .45 ACP.

    Did it work as advertised or were there unforseen drawbacks?
  2. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    I've always just bought a seperate gun in each caliber, so I don't have any 1st hand knowledge of the their work. But www.pinnacle-guns.com offers a .45 Colt/.45 acp conversion for $75.

    Good Luck...

  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    One problem is that if you have the chamber long enough to take the .45 Colt, you won't be able to use .45 ACP without the clips, as the rounds will drop right down into the cylinder. Another problem is that some .45 Colt cases are not as strong internally as the .45 ACP and using them in a revolver that does not fully support the case might create a problem.

    I don't know anything about the conversion JoeHatley mentions might it might be a good idea to check. The best answer would be two cylinders, like the Ruger SA convertibles.

  4. Tom C.

    Tom C. Member

    Jan 15, 2003
    Southern Maryland
    If you want to shoot both .45 ACP and .45 Colt in the same revolver, I recommend two cylinders. The .45 ACP is short enough that even if it were properly headspacing, the bullet has a lot of chamber to traverse totally unsupported, before it hits the chamber throat. If the gun is a S&W double action revolver, the power of safe .45 Colt loads hardly exceeds that of .45 ACP/AR.
    I have a Redhawk in .45 Colt, a S&W 25-2 and 625JM in .45 ACP/AR and several Ruger Blackhawks in .45 Colt with spare cylinders in .45 ACP/AR. I love being able to use inexpensive Mil Ball in the Smiths and Blackhawks, but I don't miss not being able to use .45 ACP in my Redhawk. I enjoy shooting Mil Ball in my Blackhawks, and they are very accurate, but as a 1911 user you may not be happy with a single action revolver.
    As a 1911 user, you would probably be happier with a revolver in .45 ACP. Currently there is a better selection of .45 ACP revolvers than .45 Colt.
  5. usp_fan

    usp_fan Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Bismarck, ND
    For a DA revolver with a cylinder chambered in .45 colt, it is possible to do a simple conversion to allow the use of moon clipped .45acp. Search Hamilton Bowen's website for more detail, or do a quick search for moon clip conversion on the web. Here's one site worth a look. My goal is to build a 4" barreled .45 colt Redhawk with this conversion done to allow full house .45 colt loads, or plinking with leftover .45 acp handloads.

  6. DonP

    DonP Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Chicago area
    .45 SAA

    I have a Cimarron 1873 Gen I Colt replica SAA that came from the factory with two cylinders that change out very easily. One for the .45 Colt and one for the .45 ACP.

    They also sell the .45 ACP cylinder as an aftermarket item, and it will work with any of their .45 revolvers.

    I believe Ruger makes a Vaquero the same way. It does make practice with that gun very economical.
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