.45 Long Colt - .45 Colt - Which is Right & Which is Not!

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by JohnnyFlake, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Henderson, Nevada
    First, let me say that I did a search or two and nothing came up for me on this issue. So, I apologize if this has been discussed too many times already. Anyway, I'd like to know once and for all.

    Many people insist that it's .45 Colt, however, a large number of enthusiast insist that .45 Long Colt is correct.

    Those that insist .45 Long Colt is correct, say it is because in the 1880s for about a decade there actually was a round named .45 Colt Short. In fact, the Wikipedia Site confirms that as fact.

    There is no clear reason, that I can find, explaining why the name .45 Colt Short was dropped but it was. Some articles and post that I have read in the past, have claimed that the .45 Colt Short became known as the .45 Schofield.

    Does anyone have a reliable source on information which gives a clear definition of what is correct?

    Opinions and thoughts are all welcome!
  2. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    The reloading manuals all list it as 45 Colt. They will all give a brief history of the so called name and caliber, so that will sum it up by the pro's. Generally and naturally, any reloader worth his weight will call it 45 Colt because that is how the books call it so that is how the reloader learns it if they pay attention. I do not understand why people that shoot store bought ammo call it 45 Long Colt, because the labels on the boxes even say 45 Colt. A gunman calling it 45 Long Colt is like calling a GMC a Chevy. It's not at all right. I encourage all shooters to read every reloading manual you can find. That is the authority on the correct terminology. Also, research how the pro's like Elmer Keith and Jeff Cooper addressed the different calibers. Hope this helps.

  3. savage170

    savage170 Member

    May 3, 2011
    I think the term long colt came from this just so the troopers wouldn't try to chamber them in the Schofield

    The .45 Schofield cartridge was shorter than the .45 Long Colt. It could be used in both the Schofield and the Colt 45 Peacemaker, but the .45 Long Colt was too long to use in the Schofield. As a result, by the 1880s the army finally standardized on a .45 cartridge designed to fire in both revolvers, the M1887 Military Ball Cartridge. The M1887 was made at Frankford Arsenal, and was issued only to the military. It had a shortened case and reduced rim; as it was short enough to fit the Schofield, and its rim was not needed for the rod-ejector Single Action Army, the M1887 would fire and eject from both revolvers
  4. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Old Dominion
  5. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    That's funny.
  6. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Active Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    Medina, Ohio
    Most everyone on these sites and in my company refer to the cartridge as the ".45 Long Colt" and write it as ".45LC", so as not to confuse it w/ any of the other .45 cartridges.
  7. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
  8. When I was a puppy a Schofield was a Schofield and 45ACP was 45 auto or 45ACP, (my preference). The real 45's were 45 colt. Yeah yeah, I'm a dinosaur but even then I heard the Schofield story and why some called the 45 colt 45 long. Later the story changed because of the 45ACP but either way among us guys who like shooting the 45 it is a 45 colt. We may be wrong but our minds are made up so take that and stuff it in your pipe, we ain't gonna call it no 45 long. :na-na:
  9. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Henderson, Nevada
    This has been very interesting so far guys. I have been around longer than most of you, so I am one who refers to the .45 Colt as .45 Colt. However, there are many, many people out there who insist on .45 Long Colt. I am just trying to understand the reasoning behind both points of view.
  10. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Today, with no other cartridges to confuse it with, it's "45 Colt"...
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Yep, officially known as 'Colt' and 'ACP', the 2 major .45s.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Long colt was unofficially dubbed to the .45 colt because the .38 long colt had a .38 short colt counterpart and the .38 long colt was about the same length as the .45 colt, therefore folks just called it the long colt, even though it didnt have a short colt counterpart.
  13. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Henderson, Nevada

    That is not correct, at least according to Wikipedia and other Western History Encyclopedias. According to the historical documentation, in those guides, there was a .45 Colt Short, by name, in the 1880s. But it's life span was only about a decade. As I mentioned above, many believe it became known as the .45 Schofield.
  14. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    It is not wrong, it's just not the "correct identifier". It doesn't matter how one says it. Hey Old grump, I don't have a pipe to smoke it in. Can you pass one over this way.
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    You misunderstand what you read..

    The .45 Schofield was never known officially as the short colt, it was for a short time called the .45 short because it was also chambered and used in the Colt SAA in the 1880s. It was known as the .45 schofield long before it was known as the .45 short. Both cartridges came on scene around the same time (1871-1873 for the schofield) and 1872 for the colt. But the colt was intended specifically for the 1873 Colt SAA and the Schofield was intended specifically for the S&W break top cavalry revolvers, that later bacame known as schofields due to modifications by Major George Schofield.


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