So much of our gun culture today was influenced or actually designed by a legend named John Browning. To understand where ACP Ammo came from we have to understand a little bit about this man.
I’ll go into more detail about John Browning in a second but let’s answer the main question first, “What is ACP Ammo?”.
ACP stands for Automatic Colt Pistol. The .45 ACP cartridge is a rimless straight-walled cartridge that was invented in 1904 by John Browning.
It is a handgun cartridge that was used by the military for many years in the M1911. It is also used in many other semi automatic pistols.
There are five cartridges that carry the name ACP. Those are:
- .45 ACP
- .380 ACP
- .38 ACP
- .32 ACP
- .25 ACP
The typical 45 ACP bullet is composed of 230 grains which travel about 830 feet per second when fired from a government issue M1911A1.
It operates at a relatively low maximum chamber pressure rating of 21,000 psi (145 MPa), compared to 35,000 psi (241 MPa) for the 9mm parabellum.
Due to its subsonic speed it is a useful caliber for suppressed weapons because it does not create a sonic boom.
History of the Automatic Colt Pistol
John Browning grew up around firearms. In fact, his father owned a gunsmith shop in Ogden, Utah. John began working at the gun shop at age 7.
He learned how to clean firearms. He learned how to take guns apart and put them back together. He even learned engineering concepts and how to build firearms.
John built his first of many guns at age 13. Over his lifetime he amassed 128 firearms patents.
The Moro Rebellion was an armed conflict between America and the Moro people that began in 1899 in the Philippines. During this conflict the Army and Cavalry realized the .38 Long Colt did not have enough stopping power.
At the time John was working on a 41 caliber cartridge with the Colt Firearm Company. The U.S. Cavalry asked them to submit a 45 caliber cartridge for testing. So they created the 45 ACP to submit.
There were several other companies that submitted designs but after multiple rounds of testing the 45 ACP was the clear winner.
The M1911 semi automatic pistol was also designed by John Browning. It was chambered for the 45 ACP and was adopted by the U.S Army right before the first world war.
The model M1911 was used exclusively all the way until 1985 when the Army switched to the Beretta M9.
What Does ACP Stand For?
ACP stands for Automatic Colt Pistol.
What is the difference between .45 auto and .45 ACP?
There is no difference between .45 auto and .45 ACP. They are interchangeable. The original name was .45 ACP.
The SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturing Institute) was created in 1926 to standardize ammunition specs.
SAAMI did not allow trademarked or copyrighted names. The C in ACP stands for Colt which is a trademarked name.
So the .45 ACP was submitted to SAAMI with the generic name of .45 Auto. Again, they are both the same cartridge.
What does 380 ACP stand for?
The 380 ACP is another rimless straight walled cartridge created by John Browning. It is also called 380 Auto, 9mm short, or 9mm Kurz.
The 380 ACP has been used by foreign militaries and police forces. But very few still use it today. Most units have upgraded to the 9mm or 40 caliber.
The 380 ACP is not my favorite round but it is the round I carry daily. I carry the Ruger LCP which is chambered for .380. I love this gun because it is lightweight and small enough to fit in my front pants pocket.
Since I must tuck in my shirt for work this is the most comfortable way to carry. The .380 has less stopping power than 9mm or .40. But experts always say to buy the gun you will actually carry every day. And for me that is the Ruger LCP.
45 acp ammo vs 9mm
Both of these cartridges have great stopping power. The 45 automatic looks much bigger but it actually has a lower velocity than 9mm. This is because the 45 has a much heavier bullet.
Typical velocity from a 45 acp is between 800 and 1100 feet per second. A 9mm is faster at 1000 to 1350 feet per second.
45 acp ammunition can be almost twice as expensive as 9mm. Even at today’s prices it seems like there is always a shortage of both calibers. You can find both of these rounds at Lucky Gunner.
Magazine size is another consideration. Manufacturers are able to fit way more 9mm into a magazine than 45 acp. A standard 1911 chambered for .45 can only hold 7+1 . But a Glock 17 has a capacity of 17+1.
This may be a valid concern for the police and military but not so much for individuals. Most self defense situations are over in seconds. This means you may not even have time to fire off the full 8 rounds in your 1911. So carry the firearm that works best for you.
.380 acp ammo vs 9mm
Both cartridges are 9mm in diameter but the .380 ACP is only 17mm in length. The 9mm is 19mm in length.
This is where the European names for these cartridges come from. The .380 ACP is called 9x17mm and the 9mm is called 9x19mm.
380 and 9mm ammo are not interchangeable. Don’t try to use them in the same gun.
The 9mm is a more powerful round. It has more stopping power. But this also means that it has more recoil than the .380 ACP. Many police and military units use 9mm the world over but very few still use the .380 ACP.
You might be wondering if a 380 can stop an attacker. Most defense situations happen at short ranges. .380 ACP can be very effective at short ranges.
If you are shooting at someone who is outside the lethal range of a 380 round then you are probably not in a defense situation, and you will most likely have some legal troubles.
Can you reload 45 acp ammo?
Yes, you can definitely reload 45 ACP ammo. You will likely save over half the cost of new rounds. The old rounds can be reloaded almost indefinitely.
Is ACP the same as Ball Ammo?
Not exactly. An ACP cartridge can be loaded with a ball bullet, hollow point bullet or other types of bullets. Here is a great article to learn all about Ball Ammo.
ACP vs LCP ammo
This is a question that Google suggested but I believe there is a misunderstanding here. There is no lcp ammo. There is a Ruger LCP pistol which will fire 380 acp rounds.
What is the best 380 acp ammo for self defense?
380 ammo can be hard to find sometimes, especially self defense rounds. Here are a couple great options:
What is the best 45 acp ammo for self defense?
It’s hard to name a particular bullet the best. Instead I’ll give links to 3 excellent 45 caliber rounds at Lucky Gunner.
Is 45 acp a good defense round
Yes, 45 ACP has very good stopping power. This is why the military switched to it back in 1911.
There are many models chambered in 45 but the most popular is the 1911. It is relatively slim which helps with concealment. Make sure you choose hollow points for self defense.
What is the difference between acp and gap ammo?
GAP stands for Glock Auto Pistol. The 45 GAP cartridge was developed by Glock and CCI/Speer in 2002. Glock wanted a shorter cartridge so they could design a smaller 45 caliber automatic pistol that could compete with 40 s w and 9mm.
You should not use GAP ammo in a weapon chambered for ACP.
What is the best 45 acp practice ammo?
Here is a great choice for 45 ACP practice ammo:
This is about the cheapest 45 practice ammo you can find:
Have you ever thought about buying ammo online?
I’m telling you it’s so easy with Lucky Gunner! The ammo shown on their site is guaranteed to be in stock and will ship fast. I heartily endorse Lucky Gunner and so do their many customers.
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Imagine: only items in stock are advertised. Who’da thunk, eh? The more highly advertised ones – Cheaper Than Dirt, Cabela’s, et. al. – will put you on backorder forever and a day. But LuckyGunner – I ordered 500 shells of .45 ACP (hard to get in this “shortage”) – and there it was at my address. No backorders, no bull. Business as it should be.
Yes, I’m telling my friends! I’m constantly writing down your addy on bits of paper (and running out of the latter), spreading the joyous news, “No backorders! No bull! Try LuckyGunner.com, you won’t be sorry!” Thank you for being there for an ammo-starved public. And, thanks for the SUPERB customer service.”— Walter J., Silverdale, WA —
Owner of CCWClasses.net
Jason Huskey is a family man with three kids and a wonderful wife. He’s always starting new hobbies, but his true passion lies in shooting sports. Jason has been a CCW license holder for over 10 years and carries every day. In addition to firearms, he also enjoys playing guitar and writing songs. He tries to live by the Christian values he believes in.
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