You Gotta Love 45ACP

A GLOCK 30 with some spent and unused Federal 45 ACP ammo.

Let’s be realistic and fair, firearms chambered for 9mm are ubiquitous, easy to learn, and easy to feed. Even in this era of surge buying spurned by a more-hostile-than-usual government, it’s not difficult to find 9mm firearms and ammunition for them. Yes, you may have to pay a little more to feed them, but the inventory is there. Companies are catching up.

If it’s your first rodeo, you should get a 9mm pistol. No question about it. However, even though we’ve been down this road before in a practical sense, I still think everyone should have at least one gun chambered in that all-American caliber, .45 ACP

Yes, .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. Born and bred in these United States courtesy of John Moses Browning, it’s the quintessential caliber of our nation. A standard service caliber for the US military from 1911 until 1985, with some specialized units still using it today, the .45 ACP, most often feeding a 1911 handgun, helped bring our nation to victory in two World Wars. Eminently practical, even novice shooters can handle it after some basic familiarization.

Though 9mm is the caliber du jour for both government and citizen users today, .45 does have some practical advantages.

The Advantages of 45 ACP

So, what’s so great about 45 ACP? Younger Second Amendment Radicals may scoff at the caliber, calling it 45 AARP, responding with “OK Boomer”, and so on. And yes, it’s an old caliber, but ironically 9mm is actually a few years older than 45 ACP…

But don’t let the age fool you, there’s some advantages.

Expansion Matters

A good defensive hollow point round will expand to twice it’s normal diameter before impacting into a target. A 9mm should expand to about 18mm, which is about .71 of an inch. A good .45 ACP load, such as the Federal 230gr HST +P, expands to at least .90 of an inch. Out of the gate, .45 ACP wins. If the target is a threat, putting a bigger hole in something is going to shut things down faster, usually.

Recoil Is Manageable Despite The Size

Most people think the bigger the projectile, the more severe the recoil. While this is generally true, there’s more to recoil than is obvious. Assuming a similar-sized pistol for each caliber, you’ll see that 9mm has a pronounced recoil, .40 S&W is just plain snappy (quick and harsh, like a spike in time), and .45 ACP is like a slow and heavy shove. More force is being delivered, yes, but it’s over a slower period of time, so it’s manageable, and even fun. Sometimes big and slow is useful.

In A Pinch, 45 ACP FMJ Ammo Works For Defensive Use

A hard and fast rule of ammunition use is that full-metal jacket rounds are only for training and range use. And yes, this should be your mantra. FMJ rounds will go straight through a target, presenting a hazard to anything beyond it if you aren’t careful. Defensive rounds in smaller calibers like 9mm depend heavily on sophisticated hollow point designs to achieve their goal of incapacitating a threat. And they do an amazing job at it. However, in a real SHTF situation, where beggars can’t be choosers, all you might run across is FMJ rounds - and .45 ACP, in it’s base FMJ form, will create a rather substantial wound channel. While that big bullet will keep traveling after striking the target, it’s less likely to cause collateral damage, owing to it’s inherently subsonic nature, as well.

But anyways, enough about the practicals of .45 ACP - the real reason you should have a gun in the caliber is rather cultural…

There’s A Cultural Cachet To 45 ACP

Fact check. 9mm wasn’t invented here. It was invented by Georg Luger, a German, way back in 1902. Bless his talents, but since fireams are a cultural touchstone here in the US, it’s only appropriate that American Second Amendment Radicals have a firearm or two in .45 ACP.

45 ACP Has A History

From it’s origins as a more effective combat round during major world wars, to the preferred defensive caliber for a whole generation of pioneering Second Amendment Radicals, .45 APC just has the cultural and professional cachet in this nation of ours. The boomers say, “Two World Wars”, and they are right. Sure 9mm is awesome, and you should have a 9mm pistol in your safe - but .45 ACP is uniquely American.

45 ACP Features In Music

Sure, 9mm stands out in hip-hop, but 45 ACP features in the whole spectrum of music. It’s just there.

Aaron Lewis won’t be caught out of the house without his .45 ACP. OK, his 9mm as well, but there it is in his take on ‘Country Boy’.

Master P, with many others, featured .45 ACP in ‘Soldiers’, claiming he could stop a bulldozer. He knows the score, ha ha.

Afroman named an entire song about our favorite caliber, knowing that it was all he needed aside from his Zigzags. You do you.

45 ACP Features in Cinema

.45 ACP features prominently in cinema, even lending itself to the title of the movie.

Of course, we have Love and a .45 - and surprisingly for Hollywood, the protagonist wields an RIA 1911.

Beyond the appropriately-named aforementioned movie, firearms chambered in our favorite caliber abound in cinema, especially with 1911s, featuring prominently, and not-so-prominently in films like Scarface, Titanic, The Maltese Falcon, and innumerable war films where the caliber is present in the sidearms of choice of good and bad guys alike.

It’s just there - keep an eye out, and you’ll see.

Colt 45, It Works Every Time

Oh come on - we have to mention everyone’s favorite malt liquor for players down on their luck. Our guy Billy Dee Williams says it thusly:

If I drank, I’d have this in wretched excess.

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