.45 Colt

by
posted on May 25, 2012
lessons_ah2015_fs.jpg (10)

I sat down to my reloading bench this morning to put together some .45 Colt ammo for my new Ruger Flattop. It got me to thinking: The .45 Colt just might be the best—or at least the most versatile—handgun cartridge of all time. Of course, that only holds true if you consider the role of a handgun in its traditional sense—a reactive tool for stopping threatening or edible creatures at close range.

The .45 Colt was the result of a joint venture between Colt Patent Firearms and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company in 1872. This 140-year-old cartridge has a well-deserved reputation as a man-stopper, even with its traditional round-nose bullet with a small, flat meplat. It sends a chunk of lead the size of your thumb downrange with enough authority to mess up anything it runs into. Switch to a semi-wadcutter, and the stopping power increases. In all but the skimpiest of guns the .45 Colt is easy to shoot by a seasoned shot.

There is no doubt that the striker-fired semi-auto pistol with high-capacity magazines rules the self-defense market today. Most folks want to be prepared for a Miami- or West Hollywood-style shoot-out where dozens of rounds may be fired. Ninjas and law enforcement aside, the reality is that most armed encounters are settled with two or three shots.

A few years ago there was a trend to “magnumize” the .45 Colt—load to .44 Magnum velocities in heavy Ruger Blackhawks or T/C Contenders. You can do it, but case life suffers. If I need that kind of performance, I shoot a .44 Magnum. I find that a 265-grain semi-wadcutter at about 850 to 900 fps can accomplish anything I would reasonably ask a handgun to do.

I’m still pretty much wedded to my .44 Specials for day-to-day work, and when I am forced into more “civilized” environments—sometimes referred to as cities—there will usually be a 1911 nestled up next to me. But in all honesty a .45 Colt would do just as well.

Latest

Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen New Models Lead
Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen New Models Lead

Browning Introduces New A5 Sweet Sixteen Shotguns

Browning’s A5 Sweet Sixteen lineup grows with several new models for designed for upland and waterfowl hunting.

New for 2022: Ruger-Made Marlin 1895 SBL

The first Marlin to be produced at Ruger’s factory, the new 1895 SBL, with its classic style and rugged reliability, lives up to the hype.

First Look: Realtree Max-7 Camouflage

Realtree has designed Max-7 to conceal hunters in virtually every scenario and any waterfowl environment.

First Look: Leica Geovid Pro 32 Rangefinding Binocular

Leica launches its iconic Geovid rangefinding binocular in new compact, lightweight size with added functionality.

First Look: Winchester Blind Side 2 Waterfowl Ammunition

Winchester Ammunition has introduced Blind Side 2 waterfowl shotshells. Similar to their predecessors, they utilize hex-shaped shot, but are differentiated by a nickel-plated head and Drylok wad system

First Look: Legacy Pointer Acrius Cerakote Over/Under Series

Legacy Sports Int’l and Pointer Shotguns have collaborated to create the Acrius Cerakote Over/Under series.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.