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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This topic has been split from "Shot a Glock 37 in 45 GAP Tonight"
MikeO said:
Since some persist in calling another cartridge the .45 _Long_ Colt (seeing recall notices for just that all over the place)...
Actually, the term ".45 Long Colt" is technically and historically correct. This has been confirmed by historic cartridge boxes, ammunition advertisements, and actual cartridges going back to the late 19th Century.

The US Army was simultaneously issuing Colt's Model P and S&W's New Model #3 Schofield revolvers. The S&W chambered the shorter .45 S&W, which also had a somewhat different rim. To simplify supply, the Army decided to stop issuing Colt ammo and issue only the shorter S&W cartridge (with a redesigned rim) which it called .45 Colt Government or .45 Army. This is really the elusive ".45 short Colt" that made necessary the use of the name ".45 Long Colt", though I am not sure the name ".45 Short Colt" was ever used. The headstamp on at least some of these shorter cartridges said ".45 Colt" thus further showing that the use of "Long Colt" on longer cases was potentially significant.

Here are some references:

With two very similar-but not interchangable-cartridges in use, mix-ups inevitably occured. Units armed with the S&W revolvers were occasionally issued ammunition for the Colt, and vice versa. ""To resolve this issue, the Ordnance Corp. simply discontinued the production of the .45 Colt cartridges, and reduced the rim dimensions of the .45 Schofield to a point that would allow it to chamber in the Colt SAA's.. . . . The resulting combination became known as the .45 Colt government or the "".45 Army cartridge.""

It is interesting to note that the """"misnomer""",.45"Long"colt came into being to differentiate the original colt loading from the shorter cased ammunition then in use by the army. This ammunition remained in use until the S&W revolvers were withdrawn from service in the mid to late 1890's. The cartridge may also be commonly referred to as .45 Smith&Wesson, the .45 S&W, As well as the .45 Schofield."
http://my.net-link.net/~napfn/45histy.htm

There are short cartridges still surviving from that time marked "45 Colt", so it is easy to see why old timers referred to the present .45 Colt as the "Long Colt".
http://www.sixgunner.com/backissues/guests/45%20Colt%20-%20Unlimited%20Potential.htm

The short .45 Colt round was produced by the Army until 1892. Most all of the major ammunition producers made the short .45 rounds. Remington produced them until after WW I, though Elmer Keith states in his writings that they were never popular. The third edition of "Cartridges of the World" says the short .45's were produced by various manufacturers up into the mid-1940's.

I have a partial box of short .45's that was given to me years ago. These are made by Winchester and are marked ".45 Colt" on the headstamp. The box says they are for "Colt Single Action and Double Action Revolvers." The lid of the box [which long ago deteriorated] states they are ".45 Colt Government" rounds. Since these are marked ".45 Colt" and since they ARE short, they are .45 Short Colts!
http://www.sixgunner.com/backissues/taylor/notgone.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another thing to keep in mind is that unlike today, where cartridges have "official" names such as those accepted by SAAMI in naming cartridges, back at this time names could be somewhat nebulous.

Take a look at these two early cartridge boxes:

http://www.coltparts.com/edcox/am_102.JPG

http://www.coltparts.com/edcox/am_103.JPG

and note they do not even say ".45 Colt." As was not uncommon for the time, they state the caliber and the guns in which the cartridge will fit.

Here's another box, this one from 1911:

http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/bp351.htm

which shows the same cartidge called ".45 Revolver Ball Cartridges, Model 1909." Again, it nowhere says ".45 Colt."

Here's another box labeled "U.S. Government Standard" and later ".45 Caliber":

http://www.auctionarms.com/search/displ ... um=5637591

which is probably the shorter .45 S&W with the modified rim.

I'll keep an eye out for further examples, and check my collection of old ammo catalogs and advertisements for early references to ".45 Long Colt" cartridges and ".45 Colt" being used to refer to the shorter round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Charlie Petty said:
Dean's recalcitrance aside, .45 Colt is the proper nomencalture.
I agree that .45 Colt is proper. My point in setting forth this info is that the opposition to the use of the term ".45 Long Colt" seems misplaced. The arguments I've seen against using that name have been that ".45 Long Colt" is historically and technically inaccurate because there never was a short .45 Colt. But since there was indeed a shorter cartridge which bore the .45 Colt headstamp, ".45 Long Colt" is a distinction that made sense and it is understandable that the nomenclature has hung around so long.

I agree with Dean on taking people to task who use "clip" when they mean "magazine," and "bullet" when they mean "cartridge," etc. But using ".45 Long Colt" is not really erroneous. Superfluous today, perhaps, but not inherently erroneous.

Then again, now that .45 Schofield ammo is in production again, maybe we should start calling it .45 Long Colt again. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just another data point, this one from Paco Kelly:

Those that voraciously disagree with the word 'LONG' in the phrase 45 Long Colt............don't e-mail me.....my spiritual brother (for almost a lifetime), and dear friend, John Taffin, has been trying to change my position for decades....and John may be correct, as all of you may. But in this, I am unrepentant...why? Because among other reasons, I have a full box of 45 Short Colt ammo produced in 1883 and that got me to really investigate! Not Schofield...but "45 Short Colt" Ammunition.....(230 grain bullet/hollow base/28 grains B.P.) People back then called them LONG or SHORT Colts when making purchases......so do I today.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/ ... vergun.htm
 
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