45 Auto (ACP) Ammunition
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History of 45 Auto (ACP) Ammunition
Introduced in 1905, the John Moses Browning designed .45 ACP was inspired by the U.S. military’s need for a cartridge to replace the “less-than-stellar” performance of the .38 Long Colt cartridge. The .45 ACP was originally introduced with a 200 grain bullet traveling at 900 feet per second. Over the next six years, the .45 ACP along with the M1911 went through testing with the U.S. Army, where modifications were made to both. One major change to the cartridge was the increase in bullet weight to 230 grains, this new bullet weight made the velocity drop to 830 feet per second. This remained the standard load for the service life of the .45 ACP.
Heralded as an excellent man stopper, the .45 ACP was used by Sgt. Alvin York during World War I when he used it to singlehandedly kill 6 German soldiers while assaulting their machine gun emplacements. While one of the more famous stories, York is not the only Medal of Honor winner to wield the .45 ACP. Since its’ adoption by the military in 1911, the .45 ACP in the M1911 pistol has been carried by no less than 68 Medal of Honor awardees in the course of their heroic actions.
Outside of military service the .45 ACP is used in a wide variety of sporting, law enforcement and personal defense applications. Competitive shooters appreciate the accuracy, mild recoil and heavy bullet that are inherent to the .45 ACP. The major ammunition manufacturers have specialized self defense ammunition that is chambered in .45 ACP. Hornady, Federal and Magtech are a few of the manufacturers that are regularly refining and introducing new ammo for self defense use.
Law Enforcement agencies continue to issue or allow the use of the .45 ACP for their officers and agents. The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, LAPD SWAT, and other specialize law enforcement units choose the .45 ACP for its excellent ability to quickly stop dangerous subjects. Although officially replaced in 1985 by the 9mm, the .45 ACP continues to serve in the U.S. Military. The Marine Expeditionary Units, Delta Force and other units of United States Special Operations Command offer pistols chambered in the .45 ACP cartridge as an option for their operators.
The .45 ACP is one of the most modified, analyzed and utilized cartridges in the world. Yet after more than 100 years, it is still one of the most valued cartridges on the market.
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