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Dumb Question Colt SAA

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by kludge, Aug 4, 2006.

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  1. kludge

    kludge Member

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    OK here's my dumb question, when someone says Colt Single Action Army, .45 cal., does that mean .45 Colt?
     
  2. Derby FALs

    Derby FALs Member In Memoriam

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    45 Long Colt.
     
  3. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Isn't that just two different names for the same thing?
     
  4. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    Technically, just .45 Colt, not to be confused for .45 ACP.
     
  5. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    99.9 times out of a hundred, yes. Oft-times aka .45LC for long colt... tho' I've never seen a short colt... maybe a .45 S&W Schofield, which is shorter than the SAA round.
     
  6. kludge

    kludge Member

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    OK, follow up question. Would a "modern" Colt SAA in .45 Colt be able to shoot loads for whitetail deer, or should I stick to something like a Ruger Blackhawk? In other words is a Colt SAA just for "cowboy" loads?

    I'm thinking of a revolver for deer hunting and I've narrowed it down to the .44 Mag, .44 SPL, .357 Mag, and .45 Colt. 4" is the shortest legal length in Indiana, but I'd prefer something in the 6-7" length.
     
  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    "Cowboy loads" are much lighter than standard .45 Colt loads. A standard load driving a 250 grain cast bullet at 800 to 900 fps will be just fine for deer, and well within SAAMI specs for the SAA Colt.

    You don't need a fire-breathing magnum load for hunting -- you need to be able to hit the vitals. The standard .45 Colt load is easy to shoot well (because of the mild recoil) and will sail through a deer broadside.

    The downside of the SAA is that you must pick one load and stick with it -- the fixed sights can be adjusted by careful filing, but once adjusted must be left alone.

    Shorter barrels are more convenient for carry -- especially if you are driving a vehicle and have the gun in a hip holster. Longer barrels give you a longer sight radius and, being muzzle-heavy, are easier to shoot from an unsupported position.

    One of my .45 Colt revolvers is a Ruger Blackhawk with the 5 1/2" barrel. This is close to ideal. I can shoot "cowboy loads," switch to standard loads, or go up to "Ruger only" loads with the adjustable sights. This makes the gun very versatile.
     
  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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  9. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Vern, Is that a regular or "Super" Blackhawk that can take the high pressure loads?
     
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Followup question...

    I thought the Super Blackhawk was just a bit longer than a regular one (not an old or reissue Flattop, but a regular new-manufacture Blackhawk).

    What exactly IS the difference?
     
  11. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Armed Bear et al, this from Mike Venturino re: Blackhawk
    Weight, non-fluted cylinder and some still have the squared rear triggerguard (ouch!)
     
  12. kludge

    kludge Member

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  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    All .45 Blackhawks can take the full "Ruger Only" load -- the Super Blackhawk has never been offered in .45 Colt, so far as I know.
     
  14. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Besides chambering (I see that some of the Supers come w/ fluted cylinders... hmmm) Weight & Frame/Grip size. The New Blackhawks frame/grips are now downsized to more closely match the Colt SAA frame size (also closer to their original design 50 years ago) as opposed to the supersized Super Blackhawk's frame/grips.
     
  15. Bobhwry

    Bobhwry member

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    Technically, there is no such thing as a 45 long colt. It is simply the 45 Colt.
     
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    That .45 Colt/.45 Long Colt business is confusing, and much of the confusion is due to the U.S. Army.

    There is only one cartridge officially called the .45 Colt, and the Army adopted it, along with the Colt Single Action revolver, in 1873. But when the Army also adopted the S&W Schofield in 1875 (and ultimately ordered some 8320 of them) the .45 Colt round was found to be too long for the S&W cylinder. So the Army made a common round they called the .45 Revolver cartridge. It was the same diameter and same rim size as the .45 Colt, with the length needed to fit the S&W revolver. Some civilian companies also made the round; some makers headstamped the round ".45 S&W", but others marked it ".45 COLT" or ".45 C GOV'T". There was no intent to deceive; the round worked fine in the .45 COLT SAA.

    So can one find short cartridges headstamped ".45 COLT"? Yes. But I know of no cartridge marked ".45 SHORT COLT."

    Jim
     
  17. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    1) Today, it is better to use the term "45LC" or "45 Long Colt". It doesn't matter historically what was going on. Today, we have to worry about newbies getting a box of 45ACP when they ask for "45 Colt" at WalMart or whatever. The historical purists arguing for "45 Colt" are *maybe* historically correct, but they're modernly stupid. Sorry, but that's how it is. I wish they would just stop confusing newbies, it's getting ridiculous.

    2) "Blackhawks" and "SuperBlackhawks" post-1973 are all built on the 44Magnum-size frame, all can take the same power levels. "Super" Blackhawks always have steel grip frames and ejector housings instead of aluminum. Stainless Blackhawks have stainless grip frames and I *think* stainless ejector housings.

    3) The 2005-model 50th Anniversary 357 Blackhawk is an exception to #2 above - it is built on a new mid-frame size very similar in heft and strength to a 2nd or 3rd generation Colt SAA, maybe a bit stronger. As a Blackhawk this frame has shipped in 357 only; in a fixed-sight "New Vaquero" format it has shipped in 357 and 45LC. The latter can't take 45LC+P "Ruger ONLY!!!" loads.

    4) A grand total of one model of 45LC "SuperBlackhawk" has so far shipped under that name - a special run of "Hunter" model SBHs - heavier barrel, integrated scope ring mounts and a larger gripframe but with a round triggerguard instead of the "Dragoon Squareback". (SuperBlackHawks with barrels of 5.5" or under have the smaller grip frame size from the regular Blackhawk of 1973-forward. 7.5" barrel and up SBHs have a bigger grip frame with a squared rear triggerguard...'cept for Hunters, they have the same big grip frame but round triggerguard.
     
  18. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    Except there is no ammo marked .45LC. It will all be marked .45 Colt.
     
  19. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    Um, why is that a worry? Every box of .45 Colt ammo I've ever purchased has been marked ".45 Colt", not ".45 Long Colt." Every box of .45ACP I've ever purchased has been marked ".45ACP." I've never heard anyone refer to .45ACP as ".45 Colt", either. They either call it .45 ACP, or .45 Auto, or just .45, in which case the guy behind the counter asks for clarification. It's no different than someone asking for ".30 cal" ammo. The counter clerk will ask what gun it's for to find out whether they want .30-06, .308, .30-30, .30 carbine, or whatnot.

    I'm also not aware of any safety issues. Even if someone is dumb enough to try to load .45 ACP into a .45 Colt firearm, can anything really bad happen? I don't think so.

    Nice attitude, Jim. The historical purists are *definitely* historically correct. The round designed and introduced with the SAA in 1873, adopted by the U.S. Army and commonly sold today is and always has been the ".45 Colt", period, regardless of what other rounds may have existed then or now. The fact that some people get confused by the occasional erroneous reference to it as the "Long Colt" doesn't change that, and doesn't make us "stupid." To the contrary, it's the people insisting on using the incorrect "Long Colt" that are stupid, because it merely continues the promotes the confusion. If no one called it "Long Colt" then we wouldn't have to deal with confused newbies asking what a "short Colt" is and whether their new ".45 Colt" guns could shoot "Long Colt" ammo. Either that or we should direct all firearms and ammo manufacturers to start marking their guns and ammo ".45 Long Colt" instead of ".45 Colt", right?

    I suppose we all ought to start calling every semiauto pistol a "Glock", and any black rifle an "assault rifle." To insist that terminology is wrong *may* be historically correct, but would be "modernly stupid", right? :scrutiny:
     
  20. Derby FALs

    Derby FALs Member In Memoriam

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    "...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..." Elmer Keith
     
  21. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    I don't disagree with Keith's statement that "there is some basis" for referring to the .45 Colt as the "Long" Colt. I do take issue with those who insist that it is "stupid" to call it by the name that is both historically correct and used by the vast majority of people.
     
  22. Derby FALs

    Derby FALs Member In Memoriam

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    "Historically", the military men of the 19th century nicknamed it long colt.

    :D
     
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