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Old August 1, 2012, 05:21 PM   #26
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" the ONLY cartridge which gets people all in a twist"

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Old August 1, 2012, 07:46 PM   #27
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There really was no ".45 S&W" as S&W never made a .45 revolver (up to the WWI era) except the Schofield and it was made for the .45 Government, which had to have a small rim diameter in order to fit the Model 1873 (SAA) revolver. When the Model 1909 came out, the Model 1873 was long out of service and the military could not have cared less whether the Model 1909 cartridges fit the old single action or not.

The rim diameter of the .45 Government is .512" (Frankford Arsenal Benet primed), the .45 Colt is .505" (modern); the .45 Model 1909 is .536" (Frankford Arsenal 12 18). Measurements are from specimens indicated. The .45 Government has a slightly larger rim than the .45 Colt, with some specimens up to .523" rim diameter, about as large as it can be and still get six into the Model 1873 cylinder. That was done to help resolve extraction problems with the Schofield.

While the confusion is rife about various rim diameters, there is little discussion as to why the .45 Colt has such a small rim in the first place. The answer lies in Colt's traditional attitude of never wasting anything. When the Army went looking for a new revolver and hinted that .45 would be nice, the "anything" was all the tooling Colt had invested in its percussion revolver frames. To make the cylinder significantly larger than that of the .44 Army would have meant revamping a whole lot of expensive machinery. So Colt made the cyinder a bit bigger (1.621" to 1.652") which was about as much bigger as it could go without a lot of changes to the grip straps, internal parts, etc. But skimping on cylinder diameter meant a .45 cartridge had to have a small rim, no problem at all with the SAA, which has an ejector rod. But when folks wanted to use the .45 Colt in rifles and other revolvers, the small rim was a problem. It is only recently in response to CASS and other sports that rifle makers have come to chamber the .45 Colt, and it still gives trouble.

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Old August 1, 2012, 09:13 PM   #28
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Bob posted a picture including a cartridge headstamped .45 S&W.
In the same category as the .45 Colt headstamped short case, I guess.
No such thing, but there it is.

There hasn't been a .45 Colt around here in years and years, but I found a couple of cases in my box of odds and ends. The R-P had a .507" rim, the WW was .510". I remember reading that current production had been beefed up a little for use in the anachronistic .45 lever actions.

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Old August 1, 2012, 09:14 PM   #29
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Cylinder lengths - .45 Colt

Since there's so much interest in the caliber here, does anyone know why the cylinder on a Ruger apparently is slightly longer than the one on a Smith Model 25? I was surprised, after I bought my Model 25, that some purchased reloads I had kept for many years and had (as I recall) successfully fired in my 3-screw Ruger, stuck out the end of the cylinder chambers in the Smith.

Note that I used "apparently" - I haven't fired the Ruger in about 35 years and I'd have to dig it out of storage in order to actually measure the cylinder.
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Old August 1, 2012, 09:51 PM   #30
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"There really was no ".45 S&W" as S&W never made a .45 revolver (up to the WWI era) except the Schofield and it was made for the .45 Government"

Actually, there was.

Smith & Wesson developed the cartridge in-house specifically to counter what it saw as being the shortcomings of the .45 Colt cartridge -- the length and the miniscule rim.

Smith & Wesson's internal records refer to the cartridge as the .45 S&W Schofield, as noted in the Neal and Jinks book, in Roy Jink's "History of Smith & Wesson," and Supica and Nahaus' "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson."

Given that Roy Jinks is, and has been for decades, the official S&W historian, I'd say his usage of that nomenclature is about as positive an affirmation as anything anyone here has come up with for contending that it's the .45 Colt, not Long Colt. Or vice versa.
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Old August 1, 2012, 10:03 PM   #31
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Smith & Wesson has an interesting way of addressing another cartridge. On the side of the barrel of my wife's nifty little 351C .22 Magnum snubbie is stamped ".22 M.R.F. Ctg." Never mind that all the ammo I buy for it says "22 WMR."
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Old August 1, 2012, 10:07 PM   #32
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That's been a common trick in the firearms industry for well over 100 years.

How many Colt revolvers from the 1920s have you seen that are stamped .38 Smith & Wesson or .38 Smith & Wesson Special?

None.

Colt went so far as to redesign the bullets on the .32 S&W Long and the .38 S&W and rename them the .32 Colt New Police and the .38 Colt New Police cartridges, and so mark the guns.

For awhile Colt even marked some of their guns .38 Colt Special.

The shenanigans that some of the rifle makers pulled was even worse.
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Old August 1, 2012, 10:16 PM   #33
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That's interesting to know. Seems unnecessarily petty. I just checked the side of my Detective Special and it says, ".38 Special Ctg., " which supports your point and/or perhaps shows that the competitors gave up and agreed on 38 Spl. to stop confusing the public.
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Old August 2, 2012, 12:06 AM   #34
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.45 Long Colt....

yes, I know the proper name is just .45 Colt, and its listed that way in the manuals, and on the reloading dies, but I like calling it the "long Colt", I think it sounds better!

After all, it is a .45, and its the longest one common (leaving out the modern .454, 460, etc.)

I think in those old days, when someone went into the drygoods store and asked for ammo for his Colt, telling the clerk he wanted "long" Colt rounds just became common practice.

one thing about it, even though some people will argue there isn't one, when you say Long Colt, everyone knows what you are talking about.
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Old August 2, 2012, 05:41 AM   #35
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You're probably right 44amp on how it got its name of "long" Colt. I have a friend that always corrects me when I say 45 Colt, kinda funny. but apparently Ruger couldn't decide what to put on their guns because mine says .45 caliber .
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Old August 2, 2012, 06:22 AM   #36
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apparently Ruger couldn't decide what to put on their guns because mine says .45 caliber
That's because with a cylinder change, you can fire .45 ACP...

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I know the proper name is just .45 Colt, and its listed that way in the manuals,
My Hornady 4th edition lists the cartridge as "45 Long Colt", page 637...
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Old August 2, 2012, 06:31 AM   #37
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yeah i know that i was just crackin some wise.
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Old August 2, 2012, 06:51 AM   #38
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Here's a box of .45 Long Colt...>

...sort of :-)

From the January 1991 issue of Guns & Ammo magazine. I found this in the "Handgunning" page by Wiley Clapp, (page 17).

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Old August 2, 2012, 07:15 AM   #39
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I say it just to get peoples panties in a twist, this is again another example of people worring about silly things in the grand sceme of life......So what! Who cares what you call it?, When you die is everyone around you going to say ( He was such a good man, he always went around correcting people when the called it long Colt, boy he made the world a better place.) No I dont think that going to happen. People just need to mind there own business and stop getting into other peoples business. Education is one thing but beating a dead horse is another
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Old August 2, 2012, 08:16 AM   #40
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I bet you call a cotton swab a "Q-Tip", facial tissue a "Kleenex", and an analgesic tablet an "Aspirin" too, don't you!
Yea. I'm just a troublemaker.

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Old August 2, 2012, 09:38 AM   #41
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I don't think I have ever heard of any of those terms before...

But, I THINK these are what you're talking about...

Spun cotton gathered on a stick.

Non-laid, low durability pulp paper product.

non-prescription acetasalasylic non-steroidal anti-inflamatory


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Old August 2, 2012, 12:09 PM   #42
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Smith & Wesson has an interesting way of addressing another cartridge. On the side of the barrel of my wife's nifty little 351C .22 Magnum snubbie is stamped ".22 M.R.F. Ctg." Never mind that all the ammo I buy for it says "22 WMR."
Quote:
That's been a common trick in the firearms industry for well over 100 years.
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That's interesting to know. Seems unnecessarily petty. I just checked the side of my Detective Special and it says, ".38 Special Ctg., " which supports your point and/or perhaps shows that the competitors gave up and agreed on 38 Spl. to stop confusing the public.
S&W calls it "MRF" because it is a 22 Magnum RimFire ctg which is specific enough, the ammo maker calls it that because Winchester developed it. Often you will see 270 240 and 30-30 refered to as "cal name" followed by "WCF" which stands for Winchester CenterFire because they developed these cals. S&W developed many cals and Colt refused to put the name "S&W" on their guns, because they didn't want to adverstise for their competitor or to cause people to think that they had to buy the ammo from Winchester or S&W or whatever. So if you look at the old Marlins, none are marked "38 WCF" or "30 WCF" but rather 38-40, 30-30, etc.

The guns marked "38 special" are not called such to stop confusing the public. S&W developed it, and many companies refuse to put S&W on it, so they call it "38 special" when it came out it was called "38 S&W special". The suffix "special" or "super" were pre-magnum terms for cartridges with extra power compared similiar cals. For example, a 38 special is more powerful than a 38 colt, and so they called it the 38 "special". The "magnum" term only arrived in 1935 with the 357 S&W MAGNUM. Allegedly it was coined that because one of the people involved with its initial production preferred to drink wine from a magnum glass, becuase it held more IE more powerful.
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Old August 2, 2012, 02:44 PM   #43
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There really was no ".45 S&W" as S&W never made a .45 revolver (up to the WWI era) except the Schofield and it was made for the .45 Government,
In his book Artistry in Arms, the Guns of Smith & Wesson (1991) by Roy Jinks, he states 884 commercial models were sold, and depicts a nickel plated Schofield. Packets of Frankford Arsenal ammunition are labeled simply ".45 Revovler." Packets of cartridges made by Union Metallic Cartridge Company are identified as ".45 S & W."

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Old August 2, 2012, 03:16 PM   #44
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I thought I was the troublemaker around here, Mr Bass (CajunBass, that is). I have thought for a long time that another reason it was called the .45 Long Colt was because there were other cartridges that came in short and long. There were the .32 short and long and .38 short and long. The .38 Long Colt was the army service cartridge for a while. In fact, I discovered two in a box of .38 S&W cartridges (which a certain army manual calls ".38 Regular"). I don't have them in front of me, so I don't remember the manufacturer. However, the are marked simply ".38 LONG." I trust Colt was not offended.

There were also some rifle cartridges from before the turn of the century that came in a long and even an extra-long variety, all for single shots, I believe.
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Old August 2, 2012, 03:24 PM   #45
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"There were also some rifle cartridges from before the turn of the century that came in a long and even an extra-long variety, all for single shots, I believe."

More than that. Most of those were rimfires...

There was the .22 Short (plus the BB and CB caps), the .22 Long, the .22 Long Rifle, and .22 Extra Long, with the shorter cartridges being chamberable and fireable in longer chambers.

Then there was the .25 Stevens Short and the .25 Stevens.

.30 caliber is where it gets interesting...

The .30 Extra Short was a cartridge for the palm "Protector" pistol. Then there were the .30 Short, the .30 Long. Not sure if the Extra Short would chamber and fire in those.

There was a .32 Short, a .32 Long, a .32 Long Rifle, and a .32 Extra Long.

And it goes on from there up to .46 caliber.

There were similar, but fewer, rounds in center fire. Apparently the lack of enthusiasm for some of the rimfire rounds weeded the choices out.
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Old August 2, 2012, 03:29 PM   #46
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Remington also referred to the cartridge as the .45 S&W


Given that the above ad mentions Kleenbore priming, it would appear that this particular advertisement was post 1929 or so when Remington began advertising centerfire ammunition with the Kleenbore priming system, and prior to 1940, when the .45 S&W was finally dropped from production for the run up to World War II.

Ah, someone at the site where I found that picture says that the last Remington catalog to show .45 S&W ammo was in 1937.

In fact, this is an interesting discussion: http://www.iaaforum.org/forum3/viewt...hp?f=8&t=11411

Wow... and this one is gorgeous.

This box style, plus the wording on the box, would have probably put it between 1900 and 1910. The tax stamp is interesting because at one point in time a number of southern states taxed handgun ammunition, but not rifle ammunition. So, you'll occasionally see factory labels stuck on boxes of handgun ammunition stating "Rifle Cartridges." It was a way the manufacturer tried to get around the tax. Even if the box label showed a very distinct picture of a handgun.

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Old August 2, 2012, 05:44 PM   #47
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does anyone know why the cylinder on a Ruger apparently is slightly longer than the one on a Smith Model 25?
S&W's "N" frame was originally designed back around 1906 for the shorter 44 Special cartridge. The frame window is large enough for standard loads but extra heavy bullet loads or bullets seated too far out will be too long.
Ruger designed their 45 Colt chambered guns from the start on their 44 Magnum frame, which itself has a larger frame window.

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Old August 2, 2012, 10:55 PM   #48
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I will not only stand corrected on the term ".45 S&W" but will also offer a correction to my statement that S&W did not make another .45 revolver up to the .455 and .45 ACP Hand Ejectors. In fact, as is stated in the Neal and Jinks book, New Model No.3's were made on special order, not only in .45 Government (.45 Schofield) but also in .450, .45 Webley, .455 Mk I and .455 Mk II.

Also mentioned in that book is that S&W had plans around 1908-1909 to make a revolver for a cartridge developed by Frankford Arsenal. That would have been too early for the Model 1909 cartridges, which would have been too long anyway, but it would fit into the time frame of what was informally called the "Model 1906" cartridge, which was developed by the Ordnance Department for testing new revolvers. So it looks like S&W was going after another Army contract; if so they lost, because ultimately the Model 1909 (Colt New Service) revolver was adopted for use until an acceptable auto pistol was found.

Jim
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Old August 3, 2012, 12:43 AM   #49
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Jim (Layton1) - thanks.

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Old August 3, 2012, 11:18 AM   #50
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but it would fit into the time frame of what was informally called the "Model 1906" cartridge, which was developed by the Ordnance Department for testing new revolvers.


There were two M1906 cartridges, one for revolvers, one for autoloaders, that any handgun had to chamber for further consideration by the Army.

Both of these are rare and have escaped my grasp for my collection.

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