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The colt .45

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Barry the Bear, May 12, 2013.

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  1. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    I went to my lgs with my 10 year old brother in law to look around and get some ammo. Well these younger kids are huddled around a citadel 1911 in .45 acp and keep saying its a colt .45 but my young brother nexts to me says "i thought that was a colt .45 " pointing to a ruger vaquero . I couldnt for the life of me tell him the right answer . So brands set aside, what is the true colt .45 ? 1911 or SAA?
     
  2. joecil

    joecil Member

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    I would say the SAA since it predated the 45 ACP by about half a century or so. Besides it is my understanding Auto Colt Pistol is what ACP means.
     
  3. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    45 Colt cartridge has always been associated with the SAA for as long as I can remember.
    The 45 ACP came along much later and has always been THE cartridge for the Browning designed 1911.
     
  4. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    The colt 45 revolver is the saa. The colt 45 autoloading pistol is the 1911.
     
  5. Weevil

    Weevil Member

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    Well actually they both are.

    The .45 Colt for the SAA revolver was indeed the original but the .45 ACP was designed as a pistol version of the .45 Colt.

    The ACP stands for Automatic Colt Pistol.

    They were both .45s designed for Colt handguns ones a revolver version and the other for pistols.

    So I don't really think it's wrong to call either one a Colt .45.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  6. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    I would say out this way...

    The vaquero is chambered in .45 Colt. The Citadel is chambered in .45 ACP or "Auto Colt". The oversized can of beer is a Colt 45.

    :)
     
  7. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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  8. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    I've "trained" myself to call the short ones "45 ACP" and the tall ones "45 Colt" just to avoid this sort of confusion.

    And my tastes in beer means that I won't ever need to say "Colt 45" since I'd never order that sort of dishwater.... :D
     
  9. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Hence one of the reasons for the term 45 LONG Colt.
     
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The Single Action Army (SAA) revolver was chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge (other chamberings were offered later.)

    The M1911 United States Pistol was chambered for the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP).

    So there are two .45 Cartridges in general use, one for revolvers and one for automatic pistols.
     
  11. Rob G

    Rob G Member

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    I think if you really want to know about Colt 45 one should consider the words of Billy Dee Williams:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHtT0x6_MDM

    But in all seriousness I think it's probably a somewhat personal thing. When you say Colt .45 to me I automatically think of a 1911 and many of my friends would say the same. However older generations, or those really into the cowboy thing might very well think of a Colt SAA instead. Billy Dee Williams would of course think of a cold can of malt liqour.
     
  12. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Well, the 1911 is a Browning .45, since it was designed by John Moses Browning.
    If you want to pick nits, which I sometimes enjoy. :)

    If you really want to confuse the issue, throw in the Colt New Service DA revolver in .45 Colt, AND the Colt 1917 DA revolver in .45 ACP.

    Ah, yes. Lando Calrissian doing commercials for malt liquor.
    That takes me back about 30 years.
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    But he designed it for Colt. Colt owned the patents.
     
  14. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Yes Single Action revolvers (SAA stands for Single Action Army) tend to be made in .45 LONG COLT. The original version being the .45 COLT (the U.S. Army adopted a 230 gr lead slug at 850 fps) and bit later the civilian version, slightly longer, called the .45 LONG COLT which threw a 255 grain lead slug at 900+.

    When the U.S. Army decided the little .38 Long Colt was inadequate they decided a semi-auto in the original velocity and weight would do the deed. Thus the .45 ACP threw a 230 gr FMJ at 850 (as it does today.)

    Happily you can get a single action revolver in .45 Long Colt that also shoots .45 ACP with the change of the cylinders. But that is because the bore diameter was changed in the .45 Long Colt from .454 to .451.

    All .45 Long Colt revolvers now days use the .451 bore dimension.

    Deaf
     
  15. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    It depends on where you go.

    colt_45.jpg



    :evil::D

    Oh yeah. Disclaimer: Alcohol and guns do not mix. Do NOT try this at home.
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Just the other way around. Scholfield persuaded the Army to buy some Smith and Wesson revolvers, but the Army wanted them in .45 Colt -- which was the standard at the time. The Smith and Wesson cylinder was too short to take the .45 Colt, so they proposed to design a shorter cartridge -- that's where the 230 grain bullet at around 800 fps came in.

    The Army made its own ammunition in those days and stopped production of the longer cartridge, since both Colt and Smith and Wesson revolvers could use the shorter cartridge.
     
  17. Weevil

    Weevil Member

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    Another thing to consider is the .45 acp offered .45 Colt performance in a pistol version.


    The .45 Colt was a tried and true performer from the era that had a reputaion for being one of the best manstoppers of the day. The .45 acp was meant to carry on this tradition for exellence but in an autoloader form.



    The ACP is basically just the next generation of Colt .45.
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Wouldn't any .45 Caliber handgun manufactured by Colt be a Colt 45?

    There is a distinct difference between a 45 Colt and a Colt 45. Many different manufacturers make a handgun that will fire a 45 Colt cartridge while only Colt can manufacture a Colt 45.
     
  19. Old_Gun_Hand

    Old_Gun_Hand Member

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    It can refer to both and may be more appropriate to the 1911 since that only came in .45 while the Colt SAA came in a lot of calibers. The .45 LC was not the most popular as legend suggests. It may be now, but not back then when mean preferred the bigger calibers to match what they shot in their rifles. Rifle calibers were often the first choice and not the pistol .45 pistol cartridge.

    It also can refer to a Malt Liquor. There is no right answer but I would have smacked, I mean, given that kid a time out for making me look foolish in front of other people. :D
     
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    This is true, the Colt SAA was very popular in 44-40 because they could also buy a Winchester levergun in 44-40. Back then there were no leverguns chambered in 45 Colt. The only real SAA revolvers chambered in 45 Colt were made for the Army, hardly any were in civilian hands, that's probably why no Winchesters in .45 Colt. (I think I got the history right)
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Correct. Any .45 caliber handgun manufactured by Colt could be called a Colt .45. And Colt .45s come in two flavors -- .45 Colt and .45 ACP.
     
  22. murf

    murf Member

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    the 45lc was not chambered in a lever action rifle because the rim was too small.

    there were many manufacturers of the colt 1911: remington, singer, ithica (i think). so, a 45 caliber colt patented firearm could be, and were, manufactured by other companies. the government could do anything it wanted when the world wars came along (money talks).

    i will always refer to the 45 caliber cartridge, originally designed for the colt single action army back in 1872, as the 45 long colt. less confusion thataway.

    murf
     
  23. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    From the OP:

    Short answer, with brands set aside, they both are. If that helps understanding any.

    But you can't set brands aside totally because that's part of the history that gave birth to the term, "Colt 45".

    A SAA made by Colt and chambered in 45 Colt is now and has been since 1877 referred to as a "Colt 45". Different from a "Frontier Six Shooter" which was a SAA made by Colt and chambered in 44-40.

    A Ruger Blackhawk or Uberti SAA chambered in 45 Colt are called a Blackhawk in 45 Colt or an Uberti in 45 Colt, or Long Colt if one prefers, both terms refer to the same caliber.

    When the 1911 came along, manufactured by Colt to the Army's specs and chambered in 45acp, it was a natural that folks also called it a "Colt 45". The military never called it that nor did Colt, but everyday folks who are not such sticklers for proper nomenclature, well they did. That continued for a long time. Nowdays many non gun folks still call all 1911s a "Colt 45". Most shooters no longer apply that term to all 1911s. But if it's made by Colt and it's in 45acp it can be your Colt 45.

    So if I was explaining this to a 10 year old I'd say, "Nope that gun is a Ruger Blackhawk that shoots the cartridge called a 45 Colt. The gun is a lot like the old 45 Colt's though. That other gun is a pistol called a 1911 type. It's also based on a gun made by Colt shoots a slightly different cartridge. It's complicated and takes time to learn. We have the time though, and it's fun!"

    tipoc
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  24. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Double post.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  25. ottsixx

    ottsixx Member

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    the old revolver was or is the 45 colt the 1911 is the 45 ACP "automatic colt pistol".
     
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