Originally Posted by walkin' trails
The 45's legendary man-stopping properties all seem to originate from the Philippine Insurrection where the Army's 38 Colt service revolvers were found to be ineffective against determined, possibly substance-influenced attackers. My question in all of the debate was about where the rifles were to begin with? From what I've read of that overall campaign, there were some attacks on Army units that were primarily successful due to surprise on the part of the insurgents, and lax security on the part of the Army. I don't know if officers who might have had their revolvers readily available while the troops had their long guns stacked played into the story of the ineffectiveness of the smaller caliber. Another question was what long arms the Army carried into the Philippines? The 30-40 Krag was the standard infantry weapon of the time, but it seems that even after the Spanish-American War, was not necessarily in great supply. I've even seen some reference that Guard units activated from the Midwest could have even still been armed with 45-70 Trapdoor Springfield single shots. The Trapdoors, while faster to load and fire then their muzzle loading predecessors, still weren't ideal, which may have indicated the need to transition to a handgun during a massed frontal attacks. And furthermore, no one seems to dispute the effectiveness of the .45 Colt cartridge, or likely the .45 Scholfield in 230 grain RNL form that might have accompanied the SAAs that were supposedly shipped in.
Actually, the part about the hastily substituted .45 not being much more effective against the Moros either usually is much less well-known.
I believe it was Jack Lott who did research into that and corrected the fairy-tales in a series of articles back in the 1970s.
But by then the conventional story of the "legendary .45" that knocked the Moros off their feet if you just hit them in the finger was too well-established, and since that was also the heyday of 1911 worship, the correction didn't get much traction.