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Introduction To ACP Ammo: Is ACP Ammo More Useful Than Regular Ammo?

All gun lovers come across the acronym ACP sooner or later. But what does ACP mean? How was it created, and by whom? How does it compare to other ammunition types?

Join us on this journey as we try to answer these questions and more to help you get informed on ACP ammo and its best uses.

  1. Brief history of ACP ammo
  2. .45 ACP vs. 9mm
  3. .45 ACP vs. 45 Long Colt

Hopefully, after reading this article, you will have extensive knowledge of ACP ammo and decide if it is the right choice for your shooting preferences, so let’s dig right in.

1. A Brief History of ACP Ammo

First, ACP stands for “Automatic Colt Pistol” and was invented by the legendary John Browning.

Widely known for his ingenious gun engineering, John Browning was the mind behind many iconic weapons, including the lever-action 1984 Winchester rifle and M2 Browning heavy machine gun.

ACP ammo is mostly associated with .45 ACP bullets, but there are other cartridges that came before and a few that came after. Here they are arranged in chronological order:

1. .32 ACP

John Browning designed .32 ACP ammo in 1899 for his first automatic pistol. It was initially manufactured by a Belgian company, Fabrique Nationale, and was often called a European round.

With a bullet diameter of .3125 inches, a case length of .680, and a weight of 60 to 75 grains, this round was chambered in many pistols, including Colt, Remington, Smith & Wesson, and others.

On April 30 1945, 32 ACP became a part of history when Adolf Hitler used this bullet to end his life. This event marked the end of Nazi Germany and World War II.

2. .38 ACP

.38 ACP was released in 1900 as a round for the M1900 pistol – the first pistol that operated on short recoil. Even though the pistol itself was revolutionary then, the .38 ACP was deemed ineffective and quickly replaced with the .38 Super round.

3. .45 ACP

.45 ACP ammo was released in 1904 to accompany another one of Browning’s inventions – the M1911 handgun. With a bullet diameter of .452 inches, a case length of .898 inches, and a bullet weight of 100 to 230 grains, the .45 ACP round was initially made specifically for military purposes.

The .45 ACP stood the test of time and is, to this day, one of the most popular pistol cartridges in the US and is used by tactical forces, the military, and civilians. It is widely spread and can be found in most shooter supplies shops like Natchez .45 ACP ammo and many others.

4. .25 ACP

The .25 ACP was released in 1905 as a response to the .22 Long Rifle round-to-chamber semi-automatic pistols. This semi-rimmed, straight-walled pistol cartridge offers low power and short range, and it is significantly more expensive than its .22 LR rival.

5. .380 ACP

Released in 1908, .380 ACP was and still is one of the most popular rounds for self-defense purposes. Initially, it was made to chamber Colt’s “Pocket Model 1908,” but it found its use across Europe with police and military forces.

.380 ACP had many ups and downs over the years, and if you ask gun enthusiasts about this round, they will either love it or hate it; rarely will there be any middle ground.

From this brief history, we can conclude that only .45ACP stayed relevant consistently over time. This is why we will further compare it with other cartridges commonly used today.

2. .45 ACP vs. 9mm

Which round is better, the .45 ACP or the 9mm? This question has sparked many heated debates in the firearms community. We will take a neutral stance, compare the performance of both rounds, and let you decide which one fits your personal preferences best.

.45 ACP pros and cons

Pros:

  • .45 ACP is a very common caliber and can be found in most shooters’ supply stores.
  • .45 ACP has great knock-down power and is proven to be a very reliable cartridge.
  • .45 ACP is longer than 9mm caliber and causes stronger hits and bigger entry wounds.

Cons:

  • .45 ACP is more expensive than 9mm rounds.
  • .45 ACP produces more recoil power than 9mm.
  • .45 ACP has less magazine capacity.

9mm pros and cons

Pros:

  • 9mm is also very accessible and can be found in many forms, including a full metal jacket, hollow points, and frangible ammo.
  • 9mm is more accurate as it can reach a higher velocity – 990-1350 fps compared to the .45 835-1150fps.
  • 9mm has more magazine capacity.
  • 9mm produces less recoil.

Cons:

  • Due to its lightweight design, 9mm has a lot weaker knock-down power.

Looking at our list of pros and cons for both rounds, it seems that 9mm ammo wins almost every game except for self-defense, where you need to stop the attacker with one bullet. In this game, the .45 ACP is the absolute winner.

3. .45 ACP vs. 45 Long Colt

Though they sound similar, .45 ACP and .45 Colt are two different cartridges – .45 ACP is used for semi-automatic guns, while.45 Colt is revolver ammunition.

Let’s compare these two cartridges according to their most important features:

Velocity

A standard .45 ACP cartridge consists of a 230-grain bullet and reaches 850 fps muzzle velocity.

A typical .45 Long Colt cartridge has a 250-grain bullet and reaches 860 fps muzzle velocity.

It seems that the .45 Long Colt wins the velocity battle.

Stopping power

These two cartridges are very similar in total foot-per-pound energy. While there are some variabilities depending on the specific type of load, the .45 ACP is generally considered to be the more powerful of the two.

Recoil

The .45 ACP ammo produces around 7.5 ft-lbs of recoil power, while the .45 Colt produces about 8 ft-lbs. So it is another close battle.

It looks like these two cartridges are very similar in their performances, so the deciding factor might fall down to their prices and carrying capacities. And since the .45 ACP is cheaper and has a bigger carrying capacity, we can declare it a winner of the .45 ACP vs. the .45 Long Colt battle.

Closing Thoughts

Who knows what the world of firearms and ammo would look like if there weren’t for the gun pioneers like John Browning and Samuel Colt?

So, it’s only fitting to end this article with one of John Browning’s famous quotes: “The time and place for a gun maker just got together on this corner. And I happened along.”

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