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.45 ACP Revolvers

The .45 ACP was never designed to function with a revolver, but during the first World War, the 1911 could not be produced fast enough. Manufacturers including Colt and Smith & Wesson had excess tooling and machinery to build revolvers, so an order was placed for a .45 ACP revolver. The M1917 was born, and was the name given to both Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers. After the war, they proved popular with the civilian and police market, and an order of 25,000 .45 ACP revolvers was sent to the government of Brazil. Brazil M1917s, occasionally called M1937s, are distinguishable by the Brazilian crest on their side plate.

The .45 ACP remains a popular option for revolvers. This is in part due to it being more powerful than the .38 special without a harsh recoil like the .357 magnum. Often, .45 ACP revolvers are easy shooting weapons with light recoil and high accuracy.

Modern revolvers are still being produced in the .45 ACP caliber and new models are introduced regularly. Smith & Wesson produced three, Ruger produced two, and Taurus has one in their popular Tracker series.

Quick Facts

  • In the 2014 action film "Fury," Brad Pitt’s sidearm is a Smith & Wesson 1917 .45 ACP revolver
  • Jerry Miculek, a famed professional shooter, prefers .45 ACP chambered revolvers for competition
  • The .45 auto rim is essentially a .45 ACP with a rim. These auto-rim cartridges did not require a moon clip due to their pronounced rim

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