Best 45 Long Colt Ammo - Editor's Choice

What is 45 Long Colt ammo?🤔

It is a type of centerfire revolver cartridge originally developed for use in the Colt Single Action Army revolver, also known as the Colt Peacemaker. It was introduced in 1872 by the Colt Manufacturing Company and has since become a popular and iconic round in the United States. This cartridge typically has a bullet diameter of .452 inches (11.5mm) and a case length of 1.285 inches (32.6mm).

45 Long Colt ammo


The .45 Long Colt ammunition has several features that make it popular and effective for various applications. Here are some key ones:

❇️ With its large diameter and heavy bullet options, it is known for its significant stopping power. It can deliver substantial energy to the target, making it effective for self-defense and hunting larger game.

❇️ The cartridge is available with various bullet designs, including lead round-nose, flat-nose, semi-wadcutter, hollow point, and jacketed hollow point. Shooters can choose the most suitable bullet type based on their specific needs.

❇️ It is used for hunting medium to large game, such as deer and wild hogs, particularly when fired from a strong, modern revolver with appropriate loads.

❇️ These cases can be reloaded, allowing shooters to save money and fine-tune their loads to suit their preferences.

Our Top Pick
Barnes Vor-TX 45 Colt Ammo 200 Grain
This premium line of ammo offers exceptional value, ensuring you have maximum fun without breaking the bank. What sets it apart is its superior loading, surpassing most other options on the market. It allows you to focus on honing your shooting skills without any worries about ammunition performance. The 200-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets ensure optimal stopping power and accuracy for your hunting needs. Made with high-quality brass cartridge cases, you can trust the durability and reliability of this ammunition. With a muzzle velocity of 1025 ft/s, you'll experience consistent and controlled shooting performance.
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The .45 Long Colt ammunition offers several advantages that have contributed to its enduring popularity over the years. Here are some of the key benefits:

⭐️ Stopping Power: One of the primary advantages is its significant stopping power. The large caliber and heavy bullets can deliver substantial energy to the target, making it effective for self-defense situations and hunting larger games.

⭐️ Versatility: It can be used in both single-action and double-action revolvers, providing versatility for shooters who prefer different types of firearms. It can also be used in lever-action rifles chambered for .45 Colt, further expanding its applications.

⭐️ Cowboy Action Shooting: This is a popular choice for cowboy action shooting competitions. The historical significance of the cartridge, as well as its association with the Old West, adds to the appeal of using it in these events.

⭐️ Historical Significance: It has a rich history and is associated with legendary firearms like the Colt Single Action Army revolver, which adds to its allure for history enthusiasts and collectors.

Benefits of 45 Long Colt ammunition

Can shoot it at 1000yards?🎯

The .45 Long Colt cartridge is not designed or intended for long-range shooting, especially at distances as far as 1000 yards (approximately 914 meters). It is a handgun cartridge with a relatively low muzzle velocity and a trajectory optimized for shorter ranges typically encountered in self-defense, hunting, and cowboy action shooting.

💥 When fired from a typical revolver or lever-action rifle, the effective range is generally limited to around 50 to 100 yards (45 to 91 meters). Beyond these distances, the bullet’s trajectory will drop significantly, making accurate shooting at 1000 yards virtually impossible.

📌 If you’re interested in long-range shooting, it’s essential to use the appropriate firearms and ammunition specifically tailored for the task. Attempting to shoot a .45 Long Colt at 1000 yards would be highly impractical and ineffective.

45 Long Colt Ammo Review | Top-3 45 Long Colt Ammo

Sig Sauer V-Crown 45 Colt Ammo 230 grainSig SauerBUY
Barnes Vor-Tx 45 Colt Ammo 200 grainBarnesBUY
Liberty Civil Defense 45 Long Colt Ammo 78 grainLiberty Civil DefenseBUY

1# Sig Sauer V-Crown 45 Colt Ammo 230 grain

Sig Sauer V-Crown 45 Colt Ammo 230 grain

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Introducing the Sig Sauer V-Crown 45 Colt Ammo, designed to deliver top-tier accuracy, reliability, and performance for personal defense. This ammunition is a game-changer, providing you with the peace of mind you need when it matters most. The stacked hollow point design sets new standards for self-defense ammunition. By incorporating a smaller, secondary hollow point cavity behind the main one, these bullets ensure controlled and uniform expansion at all effective distances and velocities. The result? Unmatched stopping power that you can rely on. The V-shaped jacket skives and scores on these bullets further enhance their performance, promoting controlled expansion and penetration with every shot. Embrace confidence and elevate your self-defense game with this ammunition. It will empower you to face any situation with the utmost assurance in your gear and abilities!

  • Controlled expansion
  • Maximum weight retention
  • Low flash propellant
  • Technicrom-coated brass cases
  • It may not be the best choice for target practice or plinking


2# Barnes Vor-TX 45 Colt Ammo 200 grain

Barnes Vor-Tx 45 Colt Ammo 200 grain

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Discover the Barnes Vor-TX 45 Colt Ammo – a top-value choice for your shooting adventures. As a team of passionate shooters, we’ve put this premium line of ammo to the test and found it to be a perfect blend of quality and affordability. The ballistics on these bullets are impressive, and we were pleased to find that they feed reliably and effortlessly, enhancing our shooting sessions. It stood out among other options, loading better than most and allowing us to sharpen our skills with every shot. The 200-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets provide the stopping power needed for hunting applications, making them versatile and effective for various shooting scenarios. The brass cartridge cases are top-notch, ensuring durability and smooth extraction. With a muzzle velocity of 1025 ft/s, you can trust the consistent performance of this ammunition. Whether you’re honing your skills or heading out for a hunting adventure, these rounds have got you covered.

Video review

  • Great ballistics
  • Reliable feeding
  • Effective hunting performance
  • Quality cartridge cases
  • Optimal muzzle velocity
  • Limited availability
  • Not the lowest-cost option


3# Liberty Civil Defense 45 Long Colt Ammo 78 grain

Liberty Civil Defense 45 Long Colt Ammo 78 grain

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If you’re seeking the ultimate self-defense round for your 45 Colt, look at the Liberty Civil Defense 45 Long Colt Ammo. These rounds deliver far more kinetic energy while maintaining less recoil, ensuring optimal shooting comfort and control. What sets these projectiles apart is their unique design, purposefully crafted for maximum damage and tissue disruption. Moreover, rounds fragment into a starburst pattern upon explosion, creating multiple wound channels for unparalleled effectiveness. Not only do they perform well against barriers, but they also reduce the risk of over-penetration and unintended casualties, a crucial consideration in self-defense situations. The lighter projectile design contributes to less muzzle flip, facilitating faster follow-up shots, essential for maintaining control in high-pressure scenarios. Trust in this ammo for unmatched stopping power and enhanced safety when it matters most.

  • Reduced recoil
  • Minimized over-penetration
  • Starburst fragmentation
  • Hydraulic shock effect
  • Some shooters may require additional practice to adapt to lighter projectile


Reloading step-by-step🧑‍🔧

Reloading .45 Long Colt ammunition, like any other cartridge, requires careful attention to detail and adherence to proper reloading practices to ensure safety and performance. Below is a general overview of the steps involved in reloading it:

➡️ Step 1: Gather Equipment and Components 🧩 You’ll need the following equipment and components: reloading press, reloading dies, brass cases (previously fired and inspected for defects), primers (appropriate for .45 Long Colt), powder (suitable for .45 Long Colt and the specific bullet weight), bullets (appropriate for .45 Long Colt), powder scale or dispenser, calipers for measuring cartridge overall length (COL), reloading manual (for recommended powder charges and load data).
➡️ Step 2: Clean and Inspect Brass Cases 🧩 Before reloading, clean the brass cases to remove any dirt, debris, or residue from previous firing. Inspect each case for any signs of damage, such as cracks or splits, and discard any questionable cases.
➡️ Step 3: Resize and Deprime Cases 🧩 Run the brass cases through the resizing die in your reloading press to restore them to the correct dimensions. This step also removes the spent primers from the cases.
➡️ Step 4: Prime Cases 🧩 Using a priming tool, insert new primers into the primer pockets of the resized cases.
➡️ Step 5: Charge Cases with Powder 🧩 Carefully measure the appropriate powder charge for your chosen bullet weight and type, following the load data from your reloading manual. Use a powder scale or dispenser to ensure precise and consistent charges.
➡️ Step 6: Seat the Bullets 🧩 Insert the charged cases into the reloading press and set up the bullet seating die. Adjust the die to achieve the desired cartridge overall length (COL) for your chosen bullets. Carefully seat the bullets to the correct depth.
➡️ Step 7: Crimp the Cases 🧩 If desired, use a separate crimping die to apply a proper crimp to secure the bullet in the case and prevent bullet movement during recoil.
➡️ Step 8: Inspect Finished Rounds 🧩 Once all the steps are completed, inspect each reloaded round for proper powder charge, primer seating, bullet seating, and overall length. Check for any defects or anomalies that could compromise safety.
➡️ Step 9: Store and Label 🧩 Store the reloaded ammunition safely, away from heat and moisture, and label the containers with the cartridge type, bullet weight, and powder charge data for future reference.

❗ Always start with conservative powder charges and work your way up, checking for signs of excessive pressure during test firing. It’s essential to follow recommended load data from reliable reloading manuals and continually prioritize safety throughout the process.


What difference between a 44 Magnum and .45 Long Colt?

💥 They are two popular handgun cartridges with different characteristics, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a comparison of the two:

🟦 .44 Magnum:

✔️ Power and Performance: It is a high-powered revolver cartridge known for its impressive stopping power and energy. It was originally developed as a powerful hunting round and gained fame from its association with the “Dirty Harry” movie series.

✔️ Recoil: Due to its high muzzle energy, the .44 Magnum generates significant recoil, which can be challenging for some shooters to manage, particularly in lightweight handguns.

✔️ Range and Accuracy: It is a capable cartridge with an effective range of several hundred yards, making it suitable for hunting medium to large games and for long-range shooting with the right firearm and load.

✔️ Applications: It is commonly used for hunting, self-defense, and target shooting. It’s also popular in revolvers and some lever-action rifles designed to handle the higher pressures of the cartridge.

🟦 .45 Long Colt:

✔️ Power and Performance: It is a moderately powerful handgun cartridge known for its historical significance and association with the Old West. While it is not as powerful as the .44 Magnum, it still offers substantial stopping power, especially with modern loads.

✔️ Recoil: The .45 Long Colt generates moderate recoil, making it more manageable for many shooters, especially when fired from heavier revolvers.

✔️ Range and Accuracy: The effective range is typically limited to around 50 to 100 yards, making it more suitable for closer-range engagements and hunting applications.

✔️ Applications: The .45 Long Colt is popular for cowboy action shooting, self-defense (especially with modern defensive loads), and hunting smaller to medium-sized games.

😉 The choice between a .44 Magnum and a .45 Long Colt depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you are searching for a more powerful cartridge with an extended range and the ability to take down larger games, the .44 Magnum might be the better choice. However, if you prefer a more historically significant round with manageable recoil and practicality for various applications, the .45 Long Colt could be a better fit.

📺 More info in the video:

What is the best grain for it?

✍️ The best grain for .45 Long Colt ammunition depends on the intended use and personal preferences of the shooter. Different grain weights offer various advantages and may perform differently in different scenarios. Here are some common grain options and their general characteristics:

200-250 Grain: These are typical bullet weights for a .45 Long Colt and are versatile for various applications. They strike a balance between recoil, velocity, and stopping power, making them suitable for self-defense, target shooting, and hunting smaller to medium-sized games.

255 Grain (Traditional Cowboy Load): The 255-grain bullet is often associated with traditional cowboy loads and is known for its mild recoil. It is popular in cowboy action shooting competitions due to its historical significance and pleasant shooting experience.

300-325 Grain: These heavier bullets provide increased stopping power and deeper penetration, making them suitable for hunting larger game or when more stopping power is desired in a self-defense scenario. However, they may generate higher recoil.

📌 The choice of the best grain weight ultimately depends on the shooter’s intended application and personal preferences. For self-defense or general shooting, a 200-250 grain bullet is often a popular choice, offering a good balance of performance and recoil. If hunting or more substantial stopping power is the primary concern, heavier bullets in the 300-325 grain range may be preferred.

What is this ammo good for?

📝 It is a versatile cartridge with a long and storied history. It was originally designed in the 1870s for use in the Colt Single Action Army revolver, also known as the “Peacemaker.” Over the years, it has found use in a variety of applications, including:

✴️ Self-Defense: While not as commonly used for self-defense today as some other handgun calibers, the .45 Long Colt can still be effective for personal protection, particularly when using modern defensive loads.

✴️ Hunting: It is suitable for hunting medium to large game at close to moderate ranges, such as deer and wild hogs. It provides adequate stopping power and penetration for ethical hunting.

✴️ Cowboy Action Shooting: Due to its historical significance and association with the Old West, the .45 Long Colt remains a popular choice for cowboy action shooting competitions. Shooters reenact scenes from the Old West using period-correct firearms and attire.

✴️ Target Shooting: .45 Colt is enjoyable for target shooting, especially with lighter loads or reloads designed for reduced recoil. Its mild shooting characteristics make it suitable for extended shooting sessions.

✴️ Collecting and Historical Interest: This cartridge has a rich history and is often collected by firearms enthusiasts and history buffs interested in the Old West era and firearms development.

✴️ Lever-Action Rifles: Some lever-action rifles are chambered for a .45 Long Colt, making it an option for shooters who prefer the familiarity of a lever-action platform.

✴️ Reenactments and Entertainment: It is frequently used in historical reenactments, theatrical productions, and movies set in the Old West due to its iconic status.

What is the pressure on a 45 Long Colt?

💡 The pressure of ammunition can vary depending on the specific load and manufacturer.

✅ The standard maximum average pressure (MAP) for the .45 Long Colt, as defined by SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute), is around 14,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

🚩 However, it’s important to note that there are different pressure levels in ammunition, especially considering modern loads and +P (overpressure) loads. Some specialty ammunition manufacturers offer higher-pressure loads designed for specific purposes, such as hunting or self-defense, which may exceed the standard SAAMI pressure.

❗ When using this ammunition, it’s essential to consult the manufacturer’s specifications and adhere to their recommended pressure levels.

What's the difference between 45 Colt and 45 Long Colt?

⏰ The terms “45 Colt” and “45 Long Colt” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same cartridge, but technically, there is no difference between the two.

📝 The proper and original name for the cartridge is “.45 Colt”. However, over time, the term “45 Long Colt” has been used to distinguish it from the shorter .45 Schofield cartridge, which was also used in the Colt Single Action Army revolver.

☑️ The confusion arose because the .45 Schofield cartridge was a shorter version of the .45 Colt, designed to be used in the Smith & Wesson Schofield revolver, which had a shorter cylinder. To differentiate the two cartridges, some people began referring to the .45 Colt as the “45 Long Colt” to indicate its longer case length compared to the .45 Schofield.

📌 However, it’s essential to note that both terms refer to the same cartridge, and they are interchangeable. The official and correct designation for the cartridge is “.45 Colt.” If you encounter either term, it refers to the same handgun cartridge designed for use in revolvers like the Colt Single Action Army and other firearms chambered for .45 Colt.


45 Long Colt Ammo is a popular caliber for many shooters, a versatile cartridge with a rich history dating back to the Old West era. Its applications range from self-defense and hunting to cowboy action shooting and historical reenactments. In this article, we’ve taken a look at different ammo rounds and given our recommendations for how the right round for your needs. Thanks for reading!😉❤️‍🔥

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7 months ago

I have a reloading question specifically for .45 Long Colt. I’m looking for advice on powders to use. And is reloading cost-saving? Can you help me?

    Graham Rodriguez
    Graham Rodriguez
    7 months ago
    Reply to  Pita

    Let’s do some back-of-the-envelope math to analyze the cost savings of handloading .45 Long Colt ammunition. For primers, a brick of 1,000 costs around $45-50, resulting in a cost of $0.05 per cartridge. Powder is priced at $35 per pound, containing 7,000 grains. With a charge weight of 10 grains per cartridge, the powder cost comes to $0.05 per round. Commercial cast bullets are available at $45-60 per 250 bullets from brands like HSM and Berrys, equating to a cost of $0.18 to $0.26 per bullet. Assuming reused range pickup cases, the cost for each cartridge’s components totals $0.28 to $0.36, amounting to $14 to $18 per box of 50 rounds. Consequently, the initial investment in a set of carbide dies, typically priced at $75-80, would be recouped in less than three boxes of ammo. For those who can cast their bullets using free scrap lead, the cost savings are even more significant. I can put together .45 LC ammunition for about $7-8 per box, making handloading an incredibly cost-effective option.

      7 months ago

      I’m in search of recommendations for .45 Colt ammunition, and I need some assistance. Your assistance will be immensely valuable in ensuring I have the right supplies to continue enjoying shooting my revolver.

        Emmanuel Washington
        Emmanuel Washington
        7 months ago
        Reply to  Nestrum

        I have found that Liberty Civil Defense 45 Long Colt Ammo 78 Grain has proven to be reliable and effective rounds for my shooting needs. And, of course, I recommend it to you!

          Zahir Wright
          Zahir Wright
          7 months ago

          I come to you with a humble request for your valuable knowledge. I recently acquired a 1858 Remington conversion revolver that is chambered to shoot .45 Long Colt ammunition. The store where I purchased it advised me to use cowboy rounds, but I noticed that the cylinder is marked with “Long Colt.” Now, I’m curious to know if these terms are interchangeable, or if there is a specific type of ammunition I must use for this revolver. Your insights would be greatly appreciated.

            7 months ago
            Reply to  Zahir Wright

            After doing some research, I understand that you need to stick to .45 Colt cowboy loads for this particular revolver. Using hotter .45 Colt rounds meant for other firearms chambered in .45 Colt could be dangerous and potentially lead to a catastrophic failure due to the revolver’s design limitations. Safety might be a top priority, so ensure the appropriate ammunition to avoid any potential risks.

              Zaid Carter
              Zaid Carter
              7 months ago
              Reply to  Zahir Wright

              Cowboy Rounds can be either .45 Long Colt rounds loaded with black powder or .45 Long Colt, .45 Schofield, or .45 Cowboy Special rounds loaded with light loads of smokeless powder. The smokeless powder rounds typically achieve velocities below 900 ft./sec. and pressure levels below 14,000 psi, closely matching the speed and pressure of black powder rounds. Knowing this, you will be careful to choose .45 Long Colt ammunition that falls within these specifications to ensure safe and appropriate use for your revolver.

                Enzo Phillips
                Enzo Phillips
                7 months ago

                Can you recommend a quality ammo for .45 LC?

                  7 months ago
                  Reply to  Enzo Phillips

                  For target shooting, I prefer to go with the most affordable option available. Whether it’s cowboy loads or any other budget-friendly choice, I find that shooting for fun doesn’t require expensive ammunition. When it comes to self-defense, I trust BSig Sauer V-Crown 45 Colt Ammo 230 Grain above all else. I believe in not compromising on quality and performance in critical situations, and it delivers unmatched reliability and stopping power.