When the US Army entered the market for a handgun that employed metallic cartridges in post Civil War America, the Colt Firearms Company, was slow to participate. Around 1869, Smith and Wesson released their .44 S&W American cartridge. A heavy-hitting round that in fact, was the first big bore sixgun in the self-contained cartridge era. In 1871 the US Army adopted the cartridge, and the fine folks down at Colt decided they'd better get to work. If they were slow to start at the beginning of the new decade, they made up for it three years later. The year 1873 should be considered a major turning point in American history, at least in the firearms realm. Winchester would introduce the famous Model of 1873, the so-called "Rifle that Won the West." Two new inventions from Colt, however, would overshadow the repeater and later become as synonymous with America as apple pie or baseball. When the door of Colt's room for new inventions opened and the steam abated with a hiss, beams of light shined, angelic harps played and on the altar of American genius laid the Colt 1873 Single Action Army and it's cartridge, the .45 Colt. The cartridge would pave the way for big bore sixguns and hold the title for the most powerful handgun cartridge for decades until the introduction of the .357 Magnum in 1935. Out of all the cartridges from the black powder era, the .45 Colt has survived and thrived in the years since 1873, with more handguns being made now for the versatile cartridge than ever before. In the next few weeks, we'll look into the history of the caliber and tell some of the stories that made the .45 Colt the legend that it is today.
My name is Ethan Douglas, and I run the Instagram page @the_classic_outdoorsman. As an avid hunter, shooter and handloader I want the best when it comes to cartridge components. Since I began loading, the only brass I've used for my six-guns and pistols has been Starline Brass. In this writer’s opinion, they're the best in the business for quality and affordability.