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A Brief History of the .45 ACP Cartridge

A Brief History of the .45 ACP Cartridge

A guest post written by Chris Colson, Editor-In-Chief of ColsonTaskForce.


For over 400 years, the Spanish Empire ruled the Philippines.

Then, in 1898, the Spanish gave the Philippines to America with the Treaty of Paris. This resulted in the Philippine War.

This war led to a rebellion which would lead to the invention of the first .45 caliber, and later the .45 ACP. Thanks to this, we now have the two finest weapons known to man: the M1911 and the .45 ACP carbine.

But…how did it all happen? I’ll tell you how today. Keep on reading.

The Moro Juramentado Warriors

For over 400 years, the Moro — a name for South Philippine Muslims — have resisted ALL foreign rule.

Whether it be the Spanish or the Japanese, the Moro rebelled to the death. Why? The Moro believed in developing a Muslim nation (called Bangsamoro).

So, how do you think the Moro felt when the Americans showed up to quell the Philippine revolution?

They were pissed. This resulted in a full-on rebellion later called…

The Moro Rebellion

The Moros saw the American forces as a threat to their mission. As a result, they assembled their mightiest Jihadi warriors.

Their name? The Moro Juramentado Warriors.

These warriors were unafraid of death. In their eyes, they believed that killing (and dying) for the sake of God would grant them entry into paradise. So the Moros would often fight suicidally.

You can see this when the Moro impaled themselves onto American bayonets in an attempt to kill American soldiers. They were that crazy.

The worst part?

It would take a dozen .38 Long Colt bullets to take down ONE Moro Jihadi. This caused the American forces to be hopelessly overwhelmed by these fearless Jihadi.

But that quickly changed when the U.S. Military adopted a more powerful caliber…

.45 SAA

This was the turning point for the American forces.

Instead of a dozen .38 Long Colt bullets, it would take a few .45 SAA bullets and the crazed Jihadi suicide spree was over.

This allowed American forces to quell the Moro Rebellion so effectively that it was almost branded a massacre.

This swift American victory encouraged development of a dedicated .45 caliber for our Army. However, the .45 caliber was never fully adopted until a…

Prison Break Attempt Went Wrong

Antonio Caspi tried to escape from an American controlled prison on the island of Samar.

His attempt was thwarted when Antonio tried to go full on ‘Jack Reacher’ on a guard…and lost. As a result, Antonio was shot four times with a .38 caliber.

You’d think that would stop him, right? Well, it didn’t.

Supposedly, Antonio kept attacking the guard after the 4 bullets (which were well placed) and only stopped after being stunned by the butt of a Springfield carbine.

Colonel Louis LaGarde heard of this incident and immediately reported it to the Army.

This led the Army to ask Colonel Louis LaGarde and Thompson — the inventor of the Tommy Gun — to find a more suitable caliber for our armed forces.

They accepted. Their research was later called…

The Thompson—La Garde Tests

In these tests, Louis and Thompson basically gathered all of the most powerful pistol calibers and shot them on test subjects — like live cattle and cadavers.

The result of all this testing?

That the Army should use no smaller than a .45 caliber.

Due to this finding, the military asked all of the top firearm manufacturers to submit their designs for a .45 caliber for their armed forces.

This led to the development of…

The .45 ACP

John Browning — the genius firearm inventor of of the M1911 — designed a .45 caliber ammo on behalf of Colt.

This .45 caliber was later known as the .45 ACP.

The round originally fired a 200 grain bullet at 900 feet per second. And that’s why the Army immediately adopted the cartridge after seeing it in-action.

To make it better, the Ordnance Department made one minor change: they added a little more grain (making it 230 grams). This made the .45 ACP go a tad slower (850 feet per second).

The improved round was so good that the army and law agencies worldwide STILL use the .45 ACP 1911 today.

And that’s why…

The .45 ACP Used By Civilians

Put simply:

The bullet is powerful, accurate, and highly reliable.

It’s also a really great suppressor cartridge. The reason? The .45 ACP produces NO supersonic crack and operates at 21,000 copper units of pressure.

In other words:

It’s the ideal suppressor cartridge.

It’s also battle-proven. The .45 ACP has served in all our major American wars (from World War I all the way up to the Iraq War) and is STILL in active service today.

In fact:

Elite agencies like the FBI HRT, SWAT, USMC SF, and LAPD still use the .45 ACP cartridge. It’s served in all our major American wars and came back a hero.

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