The .45 Colt
.45 Colt (often but incorrectly called the ".45 Long Colt" -- Yeah, I
know old ammo boxes were sometimes marked that way, but that doesn't
make it correct) has been around for well over 100 years. Introduced in
1872 the .45 Colt quickly became a popular revolver cartridge and was
adopted (along with the Colt Single-Action Army revolver) by the US
military. It performed brilliantly and was only replaced by a desire
for a more "modern" Double-Action revolver in a smaller and lighter
cartridge. The Army got their way, but quickly learned the error of
their ways in the Philippenes during the aftermath of the
Spanish-American war. By 1911 the Army had adopted yet another modern
pistol, but back in the old .45 calibre although it was an entirely
The .45 Colt is still a viable round today.
You can buy ammunition that duplicates the older loads, for use in
those old Colt SAAs, or you can load it up to near .44 Magnum levels
for use in stronger, more modern revolvers such as the Ruger Blackhawk.
It works both ways.
I have shot many rounds of hot-loaded .45
Colt ammo through my Ruger Blackhawk in IHMSA (International Handgun
Metallic Silhouette Association) matches when I was a lot younger and I
did pretty well with it.
It is good for just about any handgun
use (with the right loads). It can be a fun plinker, serve you for
competition in IHMSA or Cowboy Action matches, or defend your home. You
could even hunt deer with it if you keep to close-range shots.