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.45 ACP vs. .45 Colt

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bandit01, Mar 8, 2005.

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  1. Bandit01

    Bandit01 Member

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    What's the difference between the two?
    I make .45 ACP rounds with my Dillon 550B.
    Can I also make .45 Colt rounds using the same dies?
    Does any manufacture make .45 Colt in Semi-Auto?
     
  2. halvey

    halvey Member

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    .45 Colt is similiar to .44 mag. .45 Colt = think revolver.
    .45 ACP is much shorter.

    No and no.
     
  3. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    .45 Colt is a revolver cartridge, more powerful than the .45 ACP. I don't know of any semi-auto pistols made for it, but quite a few revolvers are still made.

    As for making them in the same dies, no.

    The cases are quite different in terms of dimensions, and the .45 Colt is rimmed.
     
  4. 1911user

    1911user Member

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    The typical bullets are a slightly different diameter also: 0.452 vs. 0.454 inches
     
  5. halvey

    halvey Member

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    True, but a lot of people use lead 230 gr and 255 gr in both the ACP and Colt.
     
  6. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    Actually, you can use the same carbide sizing and belling dies for either .45 ACP or .45 Colt. However, you will need two different seating/crimping dies since the ACP cases need a taper crimp and the Colt cases usually need a rolled crimp. I have a Hornady set that is specifically designed for use with both cartridge types.
     
  7. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    .454 is long obsolete for .45Long Colt

    I have sold hundreds of .452 .200Gr SWC and 230 gr Rn bullet molds to cowboy and SASS competitors since the 1970's and am still doing so.

    Paul Jones Retired
    Ca-Saeco Distributor designer
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2005
  8. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    .45ACP vs. .45 Colt

    If you have not already- check out "Duke"(turncoat*)Venturino's article on this very thing in the latest edition of AMERICAN HANDGUNNER.Also in this issue is a great article from our very own (THR)Stephen Camp.

    * Turncoat is absolutely in jest- I have the utmost respect for Mr. Venturino and wish him nothing but the very best in his new venture.

    Edit: halvey's suggestion of .45 Colt= think .44Mag. needs a caution,I believe,that only certain very strong revolvers and Thompson Centers are capable of the Magnum pressures generated by high pressure.45 Colt loads.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2005
  9. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Member

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    Bandit01, you will need different shell plates, also...
     
  10. Bandit01

    Bandit01 Member

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    Thanks guys--it ain't worth the hassle.
     
  11. Edgeofthewoods

    Edgeofthewoods Member

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    Quoted by Kimbernut 45ACP vs. .45 Colt

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you have not already- check out "Duke"(turncoat*)Venturino's article on this very thing in the latest edition of AMERICAN HANDGUNNER.Also in this issue is a great article from our very own (THR)Stephen Camp.

    * Turncoat is absolutely in jest- I have the utmost respect for Mr. Venturino and wish him nothing but the very best in his new venture.

    Edit: halvey's suggestion of .45 Colt= think .44Mag. needs a caution,I believe,that only certain very strong revolvers and Thompson Centers are capable of the Magnum pressures generated by high pressure.45 Colt loads.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Yup I read Mike's article in this months handgunner, I was at first PO'd at his saying the .45 Colt sucks, but on reflection He is correct. But I do love my .45 Colt chamber pistols. One is a NMA Remington converted to .45 colt the other is a 1875 Remington in .45. I shoot smokeless out of the '75 and bothe smokeless and Goex out of the NMA. I get beter velocity with the black powder. (Yup hard to believe) but I can stuff the case full of FFFg and a 250 grain bullet and hit 950-98 fps easily. 6.0 of Tightgroup wil lonly give me about 800. And still keep presure with in reason. The BP loads is good for getting folks attention at the range tho!!:) 35 grains makes an unholy BOOOOOM and enough smoke to kill skeeters for 3 miles around

    Chuck
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Does anyone have an e-copy of Mike V's article? I'd like to read it.
     
  13. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    E-copy

    Steve sent email.Let me know if it works. Don
     
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I'd like to have a copy, too -- if you can swing it.

    I have two revolvers in .45 Colt, a Ruger Blackhawk and a Colt New Service (the latter made in 1906.)

    Brian Pearce wrote an article in the June, 2002 issue of Handloader (#217) on "Understanding the .45 Colt." He stratifies the .45 Colt and gives loads in each strata (14,000 PSI, 16,000-19,000 PSI, 23,000 PSI, 32,000 CUP, and 50,000 PSI.)

    The lower margin loads are within SAAMI limits for the .45 Colt. The highest pressure are for 5-shot cylinder revolvers built especially for heavy loads. The 32,000 CUP loads are for the Ruger Blackhawk and similar guns.

    The 16,000 to 19,000 loads are for the Colt New Service (which as you know, was chambered for .45 ACP in the Model 1917.) The rationaille here is that if it will handle .45ACP pressures in .45 ACP, it will handle those same pressures in .45 Colt.

    The 23,000 PSI loads are for post-war Smiths.

    There is one caution here -- some of Pearce's loads are identical to those in the Hodgdon #26 manual -- but Hodgdon gives significantly lower pressures and velocities.
     
  15. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    Vern

    Vern,

    Sent e-mail.System won't allow me to cut and paste to "post reply" for all.If someone can point me in the right direction I'll try again.

    Try this:
    www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_mOBTT

    Then type in american handgunner -click search
    type in venturino-click search and look down article list to ...45 Colt sucks...
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2005
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    It came through nicely. I now have a Word version, if you'd like it.
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    OK, I read the article. I'm one of the guys that load the .45 Colt to its max, and I'll agree with Venturino as well. For its standard loading, the ,45 Colt IS dead. The only place it really has in modern times is with it's maximum loads in appropriate guns, and in the hands of anachronists.
     
  18. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    quote:
    --------------------------
    OK, I read the article. I'm one of the guys that load the .45 Colt to its max, and I'll agree with Venturino as well. For its standard loading, the ,45 Colt IS dead. The only place it really has in modern times is with it's maximum loads in appropriate guns, and in the hands of anachronists.
    --------------------------

    I'm not so sure -- I look on the .45 Colt as a multiple personality cartridge (kind of like the .45-70.)

    You don't HAVE to load tiny powder charges -- my load of 19 grains of H4227 is a good use of the case capacity.

    In modern guns (including my 1906 New Service) it can be safely loaded to significatly more velocity, energy and bullet weight than the .45 ACP or .45 AR. You don't have to go nose to nose with the .44 Magnum to have a top-notch deer cartridge.

    But if you WANT to go nose to nose with the .44 Magnum, in something like the Ruger Blackhawk, you can edge that cartridge out.
     
  19. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    Venturino was always a 'gun writer's gun writer'. I don't mean that in a kind manner.

    I have owned a number of .45 Colt handguns through the years. I have 3 DA revolvers and I think 4 SA revolvers now. My son keeps borrowing them, so the number is always in question. :)
    I load milder loads for the DA revolvers, and juice them up a bit for the Rugers. I like the cartridge, and have found them to be very accurate, much more so than Venturino reports them to be.

    I also have two DA revolvers in .45 ACP, and one Ruger Convertable, so I have a SA that fires the round also. I am very happy with the smaller .45 round, but, to paraphrase Lloyd Benson, it is NOT a .45 Colt.
     
  20. Edgeofthewoods

    Edgeofthewoods Member

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    I love both of the common .45's. I have a New Model Army with an R&D cylinder in .45 Long Colt, and a WW2 GI Springfield in what else .45 ACP. To keep the confusion down on the bullets for the two, I use a Lee mold 255 grain SWC for the Long Colt and a Lee 230 grain Round nose for the .45ACP. Now truth be told that Remington loves those 230 grain round noses. 6.2 of Titegroup makes a damn fine and accurate load. But I do enjoy 35 grains of FFFg and a Miester 250 grain SPG bullet. Accurate and impressive. It's enough to make almost everyone at the range ask "What the hell was that you touched off!!" The 45 Long Colt is a fine round and very useful and it's forgiving. Plus it is impresive as all get out when you dump the cylinder of that Remmie and those soot blackened cases hit the table and folks see that 1 1/4" long case hit the table!!

    Chuck
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I have 3 M1911s, a Fed Ord gun I built myself from a "kit", an M1927 Argentine (identical to the M1911A1, and built in Argentina on Colt machinery under Colt Supervision) and a Kimber Custom Classic. The latter is my carry gun, the other two currently wear .22 Conversion kits (a Ciener on the Fed Ord, and a Colt Service Ace on the M1927.)

    My .45 Colts are a Colt New Service (made in 1906, with 7 1/2" barrel) and a Ruger Blackhawk (also with 7 1/2" barrel)

    I use the Lee 230 grain round nose tumble lube bullet in .45 ACP and the Lee 255 grain flatnose in .45 Colt -- I lube both with liquid Alox.

    Both my .45 Colts like the 230 grain bullet as well. And for an experiment, I loaded up some 230-grain bullets backwards. They shot abouit as well as any bullet, and made holes like a wadcutter. That approach offers some promise for hunting -- one day I'll try a 1400 fps max load and see how it does.
     
  22. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    Bullet Diameter

    With all due respect to 1911user, all modern (post WW-II) .45 Colts have .451 -- .452" bores. They WILL shoot lower pressure loads with .454" bullets, but frequently excessive leading results.

    A few years back, I bought a nice Colt New Service of 1920s vintage, chambered in .45 Colt. It wouldn't reliably stay on cowboy hat at 25 yards using a favorite handload with LSWCs sized .452. When I tried some old Remington factory loads, though, groups improved dramatically. It appears that the 250 gr lead flat point hollow based bullets slugged out to fill the .454" barrel nicely. I special ordered some 250 gr LSWC bullets, sized .454" and they performed quite well, until I let a shooting buddy talk me out of the revolver.

    In answer to Bandito01's original question: Yes, they'll do, with reservations.
    My early handloading efforts with .45 Colt were done with .45 ACP dies. The old CH dies set had a gentle roll crimp, and I was using an old Lyman carbide size die. It worked well, but I didn't like readjusting the dies when i switched back and forth to .45 ACP. My revolver was a Second Generation Colt SAA and it did fine with 230 RNL and the heavier ~270 LSWC from a Lyman/Ideal 454424 mould, sized to .452". I later obtained a proper set of RCBS .45 Colt dies.

    I've never heard of an autoloader in .45 Colt - - I really think the gain over the proper .45 ACP would be minimal. I've had three SAAs in .45 Colt, the New Service mentioned earlier, a Second Model Hand Ejector, a Model 28 conversion to .45 Colt, and old and new model Ruger Blackhawks. My only current .45 Colt caliber revolver is a Smith Mountain Gun. All have given good service. With all due respect to Mr. Venturino, I like the .45C cartridge for heavier duty than .45 ACP. I use the heavier LSWC bullets with Unique or H. Universal. It is an excellent cartridge for whitetail deer, wild pigs, and other sporting uses, but I don't try to make it into a .44 mag or .454 Casul.

    The Mountain Gun does very well in IDPA or "Tactical Revolver" matches with a 230 LRN bullet over 231 powder.

    The compactness and rapid handling of the .45 ACP in an autoloader make it my choice for "social use," but the .45 Colt would certainly serve if I didn't have the autoloader platforms.

    Best,
    Johnny
     
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