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Hi, New here.

Hope I have the proper forum to ask this question. I have always called the 45 Colt cartridge by that name and always get grief for doing so by those that call it by it's nickname, 45 Long Colt. Where can I find the historical data to show those that disagree with me, that the proper name given the cartridge was 45 Colt?

Thank you in advance for your answers.
 

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.45 Long Colt is a more colloquial name given by those who either don't know better or simply to differentiate it from the .45 ACP or the .45 Schofield as noted above. I think most today wouldn't even know the .45 Schofield. The name .45 Colt is its official name by SAMMI which governs ammunition standards (best descriptor I can give it). I think most familiar with firearms and calibers know the difference and don't make a big deal of it.
 

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As stated by every post above, the name is "the 45 Colt". I've also heard that the "Long Colt" miss-naming was to distinguish the older cartridge from the Schofield or more correctly the 45 Smith & Wesson, and the 45 ACP. Why isn't Schofield, or S&W, or ACP distinction enough from the original 45 Colt? Why does it have to further distinguished by adding "Long"?

Dave
 

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The earliest boxes were labelled "Colt's Revolver, Cal .45" or "Revolver Ball Cartridges, Calibre .45" But within a year or two catalogs, boxes, and actual head stamps were always ".45 Colt". The "long" slang came shortly thereafter.

Just because people call something a .30-40 Krag today, doesn't mean it didn't start as a .30 USG. Or the .30-06, which started as.... and so on. People may coin a term and the ammo and reloading companies eventually start doing it too. That doesn't mean it's the name it STARTED with, which is what he's asking.
 

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As all the others have stated the correct name is 45 Colt. But it's also one of those terms that through incorrect common usage you either accept or get wound up about, like clip/magazine, grips/stocks, or SAA for any single action clone that's not a Colt. I've gotten to the point where while I use the correct terms (I slip once in a while), I'm not really bothered by those who use the wrong terms. What it does when I hear the incorrect terms is that it immediately tells me a great deal about the actual knowledge of the person speaking.

Best regards,
 

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Look here to see some examples of government issue .45 ammunition...A look at the .45 Colt/Schofield boxes...........



To further confuse things, when the Army introduced the Model 1909 revolver it enlarged the rims to ensure more positive extraction. Good in the big New Service cylinder, but t was only possible to load three in an SAA cylinder as the rims tried to overlap.

 

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Hi, New here.

Hope I have the proper forum to ask this question. I have always called the 45 Colt cartridge by that name and always get grief for doing so by those that call it by it's nickname, 45 Long Colt. Where can I find the historical data to show those that disagree with me, that the proper name given the cartridge was 45 Colt?

Thank you in advance for your answers.
Maybe you should ask them to show a 45 Short Colt cartridge? If they cannot do this, then you are correct!
 

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Lots of cartridges have 2 (or more) names. As long as everyone knows the terminology, nothing bad happens.

9mm is probably the king of this. There are dozens of 9mms, but go into any American store selling ammo and ask for 9mm, you'll get 9x19mm aka 9mm Luger aka 9mm Parabellum 100% of the time.

Same with "thirty eight". Ask for "forty five" and, well, you're probably getting .45ACP unless the store is really inquisitive. Ask for ".45 Colt" or ".45 Long Colt" and you'll get the same ammo.
 

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The U.S. Army had already purchased the S&W .45, both firearm and ammo, when they adopted the Colt Single Action Army revolver as the U.S. Army's official sidearm. They had discovered that the Colt S.A.A. revolver would chamber and fire cartridges for both revolvers, but the S&W .45 would not chamber or fire the longer Colt .45 cartridge. After the Army dropped the S&W .45, they still had ammunition for the S&W .45 in inventory. It was this circumstance that prompted the ( long Colt .45) reply, when requesting ammunition. It was simply a request for the more powerful Colt .45 cartridge that prompted this misnomer. The correct name for the cartridge has always been Colt .45.
 

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Maybe you should ask them to show a 45 Short Colt cartridge? If they cannot do this, then you are correct!
There was a short 45 Colt, see below.

But the history of our language is so riddled with misnomers it can drive you crazy if you let it! The 45 Colt vs. 45 Long Colt certainly is a common one especially among knowledgeable gun people.


History of the unofficial 45 Long Colt description:


As soon as those unaware of the 'short' 45 Colt, learn of its existence, the discussion can end.
Although there was initially a justification for the long 45 Colt description, it preceded the short 45 Colt Rem-UMC round by decades.

Shortly after the Army procured S&W Schofield revolvers, the 1st time a supply depot accidentally shipped 45 Colt ammo to a unit issued the 45 S&W Schofield revolvers (needing the shorter S&W round), the Army figured out it had a multiple ammunition problem! Coincidentally troops were complaining about the recoil of the original Colt ~40gr load of blackpowder and resulting poor marksmanship.

Soon the original ~40gr load was reduced to 28 grs. Then government arsenals established the 45 S&W round as standard in 1887 since it would chamber in both the 45 Colt SAA and S&W revolvers.

Since the 45 Colt cartridge inventory was not depleted for some time, those troopers who appreciated the superior performance of the 45 Colt round and were issued the 45 Colt SAA, specifically requested the longer round, the “long Colt” round with small L.

Remington-UMC did actually introduce a “short” 45 Colt round before WW I. It’s not a Remington version of the 45 Schofield because it has a narrower and thicker rim like the 45 Colt and will not chamber in S&W Schofield revolvers.
It’s simply head-stamped 45 Colt. It’s of similar length to the Schofield round but is not the same as the Schofield round because it has the standard, small 45 Colt rim size. It does not properly extract from the Schofield revolvers. I have several factory loaded rounds and cases which are balloon head cases. The headstamps of the Remington short 45 Colt and the 45 Schofield were always different to delineate their lack of interchangeability in S&W revolvers.
Colt also developed the 45 ACP in the 1905 model. They used the long colt terminology to keep people from buying the wrong ammo for their semi-autos.

And there you have it; it was originally a description, NOT an official designation. Since both revolvers were popular on the frontier the distinguishing description continued to be used whenever ammunition was purchased. SAA users wanted the 45 Colt rounds. As is the case with most misnomers, the darned term stuck. So much so that some ammunition in 45 Colt caliber is actually marked 45 LC on packaging boxes, and is to this day by several manufacturers. I’ve become indifferent to either term.

But I just don't see the need for continuing to use the obsolete term 45 'LONG' Colt any longer.
There were no original guns even marked as such, certainly not COLT SAAs! I've only seen a few of the modern era SAA clones marked 45 Long Colt.

But again, I don't lose any sleep over it either way.
 

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Sorry, I couldn't help myself!:p

Rick, such a good example and I hope its not lost on people that its a Government Model not a 1911.

I don't agree with those that need to feel superior by insulting the intelligence of those that use the long colt moniker. I think the purpose of language is to communicate and I use the term long colt to differentiate it from the .45 acp, not because I don't know that it is was originally called the .45 colt.

Colt even renamed cartridges so it wouldn't have to put it competitors name on its guns. .455 eley(webley), .32 and .38 Colt New Police (.32 S&W long and .38 S&W). How about all the Winchester Center Fire (WCF) cartridges that are now 32-20, 38-40, 44-40 and 30-30 to list a few. I rare see anyone say their frontier six shooter is chambered for 44 wcf. Does anyone not know what cartridge people are referring to when they say 45 long colt??
 
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