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Jeb48

.45acp vs .45 Long Colt

Thanks to TGO member Bud, I'm the new owner of a S&W Governor. I have probably already shot it more than he did. I shot a few carpender bees doing some skeet shooting off the back deck with #9 .410 plus a box of old .410 shells I had laying around just because it is fun shooting a hand canon and put a box of colt long and acp through it. The real question for me other than price is there a reason you would shoot .45acp over .45 Long Colt?

I plan to shoot a lot of acp for fun because of price but was also wondering what the opinion on defensive ammo (other than the .410 options). Does the Long Colt has enough extra umph to override the larger selection of different defensive ammo in acp.

The Long Colt is an impressive cartridge when you start loading it around someone that has never seen it before.

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Posted (edited)

If for some reason, ACP was all you could get ahold of. Or wanted to not stock another caliber and had a .45acp pistol or 10 laying around.

Most of your commercial.45Colt ammo is about the same velocity as .45acp +p. The Colt is obviously capable of much more, though I don't know how hot of loads the Governor can handle. 

Another thing to think about is the ACP will have a big jump from chamber to barrel on this particular firearm. May or may not affect anything 

Edited by nightrunner

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7 hours ago, nightrunner said:

........ The Colt is obviously capable of much more, though I don't know how hot of loads the Governor can handle.

Exactly...  My old huntin bud loads his 45 colt to exceed 44 mag ballistics.  VERY hot. 

He only shoots them in his Ruger tho.  I'd be especially cautious puttin something that hot in a Smith.

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9 hours ago, SmokyBaer said:

Exactly...  My old huntin bud loads his 45 colt to exceed 44 mag ballistics.  VERY hot. 

He only shoots them in his Ruger tho.  I'd be especially cautious puttin something that hot in a Smith.

I got about 30 rounds of my "bear load" from when I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk. Since all I have now is a S&W629 I keep it in a very clearly marked DONT USE box. 

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I'm a fan of both cartridges. The .45 Colt has an edge due to a heavier bullet at a slightly higher velocity. Bear in mind that the .45acp was designed to be a near equal to the .45 Colt and still work in a semi-auto. The difference isn't enough to worry about. OTOH, the .45acp has the advantage of a much wider variety of factory ammo and its cheaper. 

My own preference is to keep the two cartridges where they belong. The acp in a semi-auto and the Colt in revolvers. 

I'm not a fan of hot rodding the .45 Colt. When you consider that a 250-255gr  hard cast lead bullet at standard velocity will go completely through the average white tail deer, you'll see that there's really no point to it. If you want a magnum, then get a magnum. 

And yes, it's not advisable to be shooting .45 "Magnums" in a Smith & Wesson. It won't blow up, but it will accelerate wear on the gun.  However, the Smith is tougher than most people think. If you must, you can push the .45 Colt up into the +P range without any worries.  

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Obviously the OP knows this but remember the Governor has a scandium alloy frame, very light and I'm betting not as strong as a steel N frame. It likely would  not handle "Ruger only" .45colt loads.

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Thanks for all the advice. I had considered the .45acp for multiple guns as a plus. Currently don't have any other guns that shoot .45 but I do like having at least 2 guns for each caliber I stock :-)

My wife asked if it was big enough to take down a bear when I told her it would be my woods walking gun. I told her it depended where you hit it, but would be better than my 9mm or .22 handguns.

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I wouldn't trust the .45Colt from the Governor for brown, Grizzly or Polar bear. For black bear it should be fine. I would want something that could handle Ruger only loads for the bigger bears.

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In the governor, I don't see too much of a difference. The hassle would be moon clips for the auto. I'd save my money and order a box of 45acp +p woods loads from buffalo bore with a flat nosed cast bullet. Good bear medicine, not tear up gun.

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I actually like moon clips I have a 9mm LCR also. Makes for fast reloads and more compact than the speed loaders. I already ordered more moon clips so I can load up all I would use for a range day. Did the same thing for the 9mm.

Made a de-mooning tool out of a .50 cal casing. For the 9mm it holds all the casings in the shell to be dumped at once, .45 you have to dump an extra time.

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