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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I continue to mull over data concerning the Army's trials which ultimately led to the adoption of the M1911 pistol. I found this most interesting, from Colt .45 Service Pistols, by Charles Clawson:

"Colt submitted two automatic pistols and two revolvers for the Board to test. ...................................The first revolver was a standard length New Service Revolver, chambered to fire the short experimental revolver cartridge (F A 4 06). It could be modified to fire standard government ammunition without any change except boring out the chambers to fit the longer black powder cartridges. The second revolver was of the New Service design, but the cylinder was shortened about one-third inch to accommodate only the short experimental cartridges. The receiver was shortened by an amount equal to the shorter cylinder."


And a footnote was added:

The Colt revolver that was designed to fire the British New Service Cordite Cartridge, Caliber .455, became known as the Colt "New Service " Revolver, in reference to the English New Service Cartridge. On February 21, 1899, the name was registered with then U.S. Patent Office as a trademark of the Colt's Patent Firearms Mfg. Company."

And my recent duplication or the cartridge:



Bob Wright
 

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As others have said here.... Very interesting.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
According to that same work, the Army directed Frankford Arsenal to produce a .45 caliber cartridge that would work in both auto pistols and revolvers. The resulting cartridge was sort of a semi-rimmed cartridge with an extractor groove. Smith & Wesson complained that the rim was so small as to be of no use with their revolver, while those who submitted autos complained that the rim interfered with functioning. The result was that Frankford made two separate cartridges, one for the auto which was identical with Browning's cartridge except for the 230 gr. bullet. The other was of the same dimensions as the .45 ACP round except having the rim.
As a matter of note, both were loaded with the same powder charge, but further testing revealed that the revolver round did not equal the performance of the auto pistol round. It was later given an increased powder charge to compensate for loss through the barrel/cylinder gap and give it equal performance.

I don't have dimensions in front of me, nor handy, but the English .455s are different from the US .45s. How much I don't know.

Bob Wright
 

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Bob, am I reading correctly when I seem to see here that the US Army developed what was essentially a ".45 Auto Rim" ctg. well before the Colt 1917 revolver was introduced, then shelved it and someone (who?) introduced it later as a round that allowed shooters to skip the half-moon clips AFTER WWI?

.45 AR was very commonly used in Colt and S&W '17s when I was a kid in the 1950s and I think both of the big ctg. manufacturers offered it. Cost the same as the conventional rimless .45 ACP, if I recall correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bob, am I reading correctly when I seem to see here that the US Army developed what was essentially a ".45 Auto Rim" ctg. well before the Colt 1917 revolver was introduced, then shelved it and someone (who?) introduced it later as a round that allowed shooters to skip the half-moon clips AFTER WWI?

.45 AR was very commonly used in Colt and S&W '17s when I was a kid in the 1950s and I think both of the big ctg. manufacturers offered it. Cost the same as the conventional rimless .45 ACP, if I recall correctly.
The main difference between the .45 Auto Rim and the .45 M1906 is that the M1906round had a thin rim much like the .45 Colt or .45 S&W round. Since M1917 revolvers required half moon or full moom climps the cylinder was shortened to increase headspace. With this headspace, conventional rimmed cartridges could not be used, or if used, had iffy ignition. The thick rim of the .45 AR filled inthis headspace.

Bob Wright
 

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Friends,
Has anyone seen the shorter New Service mentioned in the first post???
The cylinder of the Webley MK VI .455 was 1.5 inches long. The New Service is 1 5/8 (?)
 
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