Difference Between 45 ACP and 45 Colt Bullets

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by saustin692, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. saustin692

    saustin692 New Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    I am new to reloading for the 45 Colt. Is there a difference between the 45 ACP bullet (projectile) and the 45 Colt bullet?

    I have quite a few 45 ACP bullets and want to know if I can use them in the 45 Colt.
  2. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay New Member

    May 26, 2009
    Central CT
    Lyman's #49 reloading manual [or its equivalent] is required to be on any loading bench.
    r e a d it and understand enough to be able to know where in the book all the answers to your questions are.
    after you can do this--start reloading with powder & primes & projectiles.
    harsh?, not considering the consequences of depending in intenet advice vrs T"he Book"

    i load these calibers and can answer you from memory--but i would still verify at the book befors i made a single bullet.
    besides, you will have other questions and more after that also. the answers are all in that book for about $20.00
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  3. Haligan

    Haligan Active Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    FEMA Region II
    Alittle harsh, but very, very correct.
  4. saustin692

    saustin692 New Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Thanks. I don't think that is harsh at all. It is very good advice.

    I am using the Speer Reloading Manual and it implies that the two are the same diameter so they should be interchangeable.

    I surmise after looking at it that they use the same bullets but I wanted to get an answer, or opinion, from someone who has experience successfully reloading both 45 ACP and 45 Colt cartridges.

    The Speer manual has been my bench reference manual for reloading for many years now.
  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Yup, they are the same diameter.
    The biggest problem can be most .45ACP bullets don't have a crimp groove (or cannelure)
    Most .45 Colt (and other rimmed revolver cartridges) use a roll-type crimp to hold the bullet in place, where a rimmless autoloader round like the ACP uses a taper-crimp because the cartridge headspaces on the mouth of the case.

    If you're using bullets with no cannelure, just be sure to taper crimp instead of trying to roll crimp and you should be good to go. A taper crimp won't hold the bullet as well as a roll crimp, so if these are stout loads the bullet may still creep in the casing.
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida

    If what you have is lead bullets it will work better. I have many 200 grain lead SWC 45 ACP bullets and have loaded them with no problems in 45 Colt. I also have a bunch of 230 grain lead RN and TC bullets, and have also loaded them in 45 Colt.

    As Bindernut said, if you want to use your 230 hardball in your 45 Colt, you need to taper crimp them. Trying to put a roll crimp in a jacketed bullet is not a really great idea.

    If using jacketed, seat and crimp your bullets using your 45 ACP seating die. You will screw the adjustment up, so the next time you want to load ACPs you'll have to reset the die, but at least you can get the Colts loaded.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Northeast Georgia
    I too load the 230 grain cast bullet in the .45 Colt. I think that the .45ACP diameter is .451 and the .45 Colt is .452 which ain't a whole lot of difference!!
  8. tEN wOLVES

    tEN wOLVES New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Northridge, California
    What the others have said, and I'll add this, if your planning to use the round nose 45 bullets in a lever action rifle, DON'T, only use a flat point bullet, round nose bullets have been known to detonate in tube feed guns, I use RNFP (Round Nose Flat Point ) bullets in all my 45's from hand guns to rifles, from 200 gr. to 260 gr. with good results, round nose are find for revolvers and some rifles just not lever guns or any tube feed gun.

    Good luck with your reloading, be safe and have fun too


    tEN wOLVES
  9. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    +1 to Bindernut.

    I've loaded 230 gr. FMJ Winchester .45 ACP bullets and 6.0 Red Dot for my indoor Colt .45 loads. They work fine for paper shooting.
  10. oldreliable45120

    oldreliable45120 New Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Just a quick note, not all 45 colt bullets are the same. Original Colts used a .454 Bullet. You should slug ths cylinder of you 45 Colt, and try to use a bullet as close to cylinder mouth size as possible for best results.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I have some .45 ACP loaded with 255 gr. cast boolits intended for my .45 colt. They work fine and even function through a 1911 despite the flat nose...
  12. jroco

    jroco New Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    I size all my 45 caliber bullets to .452 and shoot them in both a 1911 in 45acp and a ruger blackhawn in 45lc with no problems at all. 185gr up to 230gr. Heavier bullets (250 and 255 gr) I use only in 45lc.
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