.45 ACP cartridge

Sunday Gunday: Paying Homage to the Grand Ole .45 ACP Cartridge

Our favorite big pistol cartridge is more popular now than ever.

The great .45 ACP cartridge was adopted for the Colt Model 1911 pistol back then, and many more have since followed suit.

This cartridge isn't too shabby, considering it's 113 years old.

John Browning invented the cartridge that would be known as the .45 ACP for a military trial in 1905. He was certainly ahead of his time. How could he even imagine that well over a century later, his creation would still be one of the best man-stoppers? Briefly known as the .45 Auto, the .45 ACP absolutely defy time.

The Colt Model 1911 and the Model 1911A1 had the knockdown power of a 230-grain .45-caliber full-metal-jacket slug buzzing along at muzzle velocity of 850 fps. With a full standard magazine loaded with seven cartridges and one in the chamber, army soldiers, police officers or American citizens had a hard-hitting sidearm. This .45-caliber cartridge was much more powerful than many other military or law enforcement calibers of the time. The .45 ACP ammunition for a pistol cartridge was a game-changer for the U.S. Army for knockdown power and incredible terminal ballistics. When fired from the Thompson Submachine Gun, the cartridge gained extra velocity, accuracy, and lethality.

Now, fast-forward to modern day. Most manufacturers such as Glock, Remington, Colt, Browning and others offer weapons chambered in .45 ACP. They range from carbines, submachine guns, semi-automatic pistols and even revolvers. It's a popular self-defense cartridge, particularly if you go the higher-velocity hollow-point route with .45 ACP +P ammunition. Now that's stopping power out of a home-defense pistol round, even with the 230-grain FMJ ammunition.

Many pistols, such as the Glock 21, have increased capacities that hold 15 rounds in a detachable magazine. That's more than twice the capacity of the standard Model 1911. However, the 1911 is still a much-loved competition and self-defense weapon that is coveted by their users.

Is there an end in sight for the old .45 ACP cartridge? Will there always be a demand for 230-grain bullets? Well, we see no end in sight and I'd bet this great cartridge will still be popular 100 years from now.

Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram.  You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.