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Old 09-07-2017, 04:11 PM
gman51 gman51 is offline
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Default 45LC and 45 ACP compare

I haven't ever shot a 45 LC and I was wondering how does it compare to shooting a 45 ACP? Which one is the hotter more powerful round? Are they basically in the same fruit basket?
I figured I could get the answer here quicker than checking Google for the answer.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:27 PM
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Hi, The ballistics of a .45 Long Colt (or .45 Colt) versus the .45 ACP is basically a wash. I hand load both with 200-240 grain jacketed bullets and both around 700-800 fps muzzle velocity; hence, the muzzle energy is about the same. In my .45 ACP revolvers, I usually shoot .45 Auto Rim loaded just like .45 ACP, but usually with a lighter 185 grain bullet for less recoil and it beats have to load moon clips.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:54 PM
Pisgah Pisgah is offline
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In standard velocity loads, they are essentially the same. Having much greater case capacity, and being chambered in some mighty strong revolvers (like the Ruger and Freedom Arms) and long guns, the .45 Colt can be loaded much hotter.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:57 PM
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All depends. Most 45LC and 45ACP will be roughly equal. However, if you have a Ruger, Freedom Arms, or T/C, there are +P loads that are safe to use. Example-Buffalo Bore has a +P load with a 325gr bullet at a published 1325fps.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:19 PM
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My "plinking" rounds are loaded about the same as my .45ACP rounds as I run them through clone SSA's and want to keep them mild. For my lever 92, I load them pretty warm with a hog bullet. If I wound one, I can finish them off with light load to the brain housing group
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:19 PM
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You can safely load 270-280 grain 625 loads up to the 950-1000 fps range. Brian Pearce is a good resource on doing this, he had articles in Handloading in 2002 and 2007 if you can find them. This post covers this pretty well.

Heavy Bullet .45 Colt loads for 625-6
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:26 PM
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In factory form, basically the same. In handloads, you can go way beyond the 45acp even in a Colt SAA. A 300gr LFP @ 950fps is doable in a modern Colt w/o bending anything, more in the Ruger BH.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:53 PM
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Having shot both for many years in a variety of guns, I find the .45 ACP to be more useful overall than the .45 Colt. Both work very well with cast bullets, in fact, jacketed bullets offer no advantage in either cartridge.

From a purely practical perspective, few would shoot very heavy (270-300 grain bullets) in the ACP. However, as a trick, it's probably possible. While one can shoot very heavy bullets in the .45 Colt, the benefit of such bullets over a 255-260 Lyman #454424 or something similar would certainly be of dubious worth unless there was a significant accuracy advantage.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:36 PM
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Back somewhere around 1905 Mr. John Browning designed the 45 ACP to mimic the 45 Colt in a semi-auto at normal pressures and it does. The 45 Colt however can be loaded with heavier bullets so that could be an advantage. Felt recoil is similar depending on the gun you are shooting.

Is there a particular reason why you are asking or just curious?
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:46 PM
S&WIowegan S&WIowegan is offline
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The question is hard to answer definitively because of the range of ammo available at retail. The 45ACP was intended to mimic the ballistics of 45 Colt ammo loaded in government armories or contract production.

Both cartridges are loaded to very mild levels for SASS shooters(for example) and can be loaded to very hot velocities in guns strong enough to handle the pressure(for shooting steel knockdown targets).

Lots of fun exploring the possibilities.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:52 PM
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I was just curious about how they compare. Thanks for the responses.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:06 PM
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I can't say positively as I've never done a comparison , but I suspect you'll find the .45 ACP autos somewhat more accurate than .45 Colt revolvers. That's not because of the cartridges, but because of the guns each cartridge is available in. That's a general statement; there are always exceptions.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:21 PM
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45 acp,45 colt and 44 special in standard loads are basically all the same
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:23 PM
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I load my 45 colts with 255 gr slugs to about 1000 fps in a 4" barrel. Factory 45 colt ammo is kept to lower power levels because there are still lots of older 45 colts around. You not going to get that kind of velocity out of a heavy slug with an acp. You may not be able to load a S&W to the levels of one built on a super Blackhawk frame, but, they will easily handle more than factory rounds deliver. I will also dispute the accuracy of a regular 1911 vs a stock S7W revolver. Unless it is a high end or tightened up 1911 the revolver will be more accurate as well as be a lot less fussy about bullet shape and power level needed to function reliability,
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:08 PM
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the "easy answer" is to get a 625 chambered in 45 Colt and have it cut for moonclips so you can find out for yourself... I did not realize this so I ended up with a 625 in each caliber... oh well, not so bad... and like so many have stated... off the shelf ammo "feels" about the same in each...
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