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On light days, when RF totes his 460XVR around Austin with no reasonable expectation of ursine assault, there’s probably no need to bust out the heavy artillery. Why schlep around big, expensive .460 S&W magnum rounds all day when you can probably get by with some easier-shooting .45 Colt? The good news is that now, thanks to Liberty Ammunition, he has a new choice in personal defense rounds with their Civil Defense .45 Colt personal defense ammo. Make the jump for their press release . . .

Bradenton, Fla. (March 2015) – Liberty Ammunition, the global leader in high performance, lead-free ammunition for military, law enforcement and civilian markets, has added the .45 Long Colt caliber to their growing line of Civil Defense personal defense rounds.

The popularity of the .45 Long Colt started in 1872 when it was designed specifically for one of the finest guns in all of America’s history: the Colt Single Action Army revolver. The powerful cartridge was an effective negotiator during our country’s push west and was used for protection and hunting by many Americans.

Fast forward to 2015 and the historic caliber has been dusted off and revamped and added to Liberty Ammunition’s expanding ammo line-up. The new .45 Long Colt is a copper, monolithic, hollow-point fragmenting round with a weight of 78 grains and a velocity of 1800 FPS delivering almost twice the speed of the traditional round.

Liberty Ammunition’s .45 Long Colt round is a powerful defensive round and well-suited for handgun hunters. It delivers less recoil than a traditional .45 Long Colt, taking the discomfort out of range practice and making the big bore caliber manageable for all levels of shooters. For revolver fans, the .45 Long Colt from Liberty Ammunition delivers power, speed, less recoil and lead-free attributes at about the same cost of traditional .45 Long Colt ammo.

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  1. Lowest price per round according to Ammoseek was $1.25/round before shipping, from Selway.

    At that point its not that far off other defensive rounds … But $/round in this caliber, along with .454 Casull and 460 S&W, are good arguments to start reloading.

    • I bet the largest point of cost in that price per round (for the Liberty) is the fancy bullet, in which case handloading won’t help much. Mostly, handloading is massively helpful when the cartridge case is the largest single expense.

      The idea of more comfortable range practice, when a BB costs $1.25+, is laughable.

      • I don’t even know that liberty would sell you the bullet, and that’s a pretty fast round at 1800 fps claimed.

        Most of the data I saw for .45LC look to be in the 900-1200 fps range and I don’t know I would want to even try to get to where Liberty is without a lot more experience reloading.

        Anyway, all that said, this would not (as Mountain mentions below) be my first choice in self-defense ammo.

        • The speed is due to the exceptionally light weight of the bullet. These are only 78 grains, which is only about 1/3 the mass of a normal. 45 Colt (typically they are 225 to 250 grains).

  2. So, Energy wise, how does this compare to +P .45 ACP?
    Just want to know why I’d want to carry 5 in a .460, when I can carry 15+1 in my GLOCK 21.

        • I have done some testing on their 9mm and seen lots of tests from others. Generally I think most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a Liberty’s damage cavity and one from a G2 R.I.P.

          The Liberty’s base is much smaller and penetrates shallower than the R.I.P.’s base. On the other hand, the Liberty’s velocity can make it able to pierce soft body armor.

    • My thoughts exactly. That’s a really light bullet. I wouldn’t expect great penetration on these.

      • They don’t penetrate, they fragment. They create a bunch of shards in the first few inches, and that is about it. Like the R.I.P., they do have a small base that penetrates deeper; on the 9mm the base is about 26 grains and is a very thin flat disc. It goes to about 10-11″ but creates a tiny wound path and has very little momentum when compared to conventional hollowpoints.

  3. I assume exotic ammo does not work as advertised unless independent barrier / gel testing indicates otherwise. Currently Lehigh Defense is about the only exotic ammo maker that I trust. Glaser Safety slugs certainly suck.

    Otherwise it’s Ranger, HST, Critical Duty / Defense, and “normal” premium JHP ammo that gets the nod.

    • 45LC has a lower max pressure than 38Spl. It’s outdated and pretty lackluster when compared to even 44 special. Get a 44 mag, it’s better in every way.

      • .45 Colt is a low-pressure round, but that doesn’t make it weak. It’s on par with .45 ACP+P and 44 Special. Look at the loadings from any given manufacturer for both rounds (such as Buffalo Bore; for .45 Colt Standard Pressure they list their loads at an average of about 540 ft/lbs; for .44 Special they show an average of about 550 ft/lbs).

        .38 Special is higher pressure, but vastly, vastly inferior. More in the 220-240 ft/lb range.

        • Hey, speaking of .44 special, how does that do out of a short barrel? I’m planning to get a .44 special snubbie for a new carry piece.

      • .45 Colt + P has more power than a .44 mag. Check out Buffalo Bore, CorBon, Underwood, competent hand loads, etc. Just make sure you are using a strong revolver like a Ruger or something already chambered in .454 Casull or .460 Smith.

      • The factory SAAMI-spec ammunition has such low pressures because of the possibility of some moron buying modern hot ammo and stuffing it into an early Colt SAA and creating a grenadius maximus event at the end of his arm.

        The truth is, there’s nothing inherently “weak” about the .45 Colt cartridge. If you so choose, you can load the .45 Colt to be on par with the hottest .44 RemMag loads out there. Feed them through a modern Ruger single action revolver or a Freedom Arms revolver, and you will see just how powerful the .45 Colt can be.

        Old cartridges have to be loaded to the century-old pressure spec because the the dangerous stupidity of some shooters out there. If there were no need for this conservative approach, there likely would never have been a .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum. Before there was a .357, there was the .38-44. Before there was a .44 Mag, there was Elmer Keith’s hot-rocket .44 Specials.

  4. They took a poor performer and made it… worse. What’s the point of a big bore cartridge if you stuff it with a bullet that weighs less than some .32ACP rounds? Yay… 5 shots of extremely shallow wounds, with a muzzle blast akin to an M80.

    • There was actually a shorter .45 Colt, which is exactly why the current so-called .45LC got the name of “long Colt”. And no, I’m not talking about the .45 Schofield.

      Here’s an article from that discusses and shows the original, shorter .45 Colt. It is not called “short Colt”, the brass is headstamped “45 Colt”. But it is clearly substantially shorter than today’s .45 Colt.

      Note also in the article that this naming pattern is well established. There is a .32 Short Colt, and a .32 Long Colt. There is a .38 Short Colt, and a .38 Long Colt. There is a .41 Short Colt, and a .41 Long Colt.

      Nowadays there is no need or reason to refer to .45 Colt as “Long Colt”, because there is no actual .45 Short Colt in existence anymore. But it did exist.

  5. Hmm, 78 gr bullet at 1800 fps … impressive out of a 45 colt, speed yes, weight no. My thoughts 45 colt best rounds for it are 200-300 gr, 250 being ideal. The lead 250s are running high 900s fps and low 1000s, coppers run bout low 850 fps to about 1000 fps. So in my thoughts 78 gr way under half the weight flying almost 2x the speed is a joke at best. The 45 colt is a great gun and caliber why mess with what is a proven round. The 78 grain say in a defensive situation my thoughts are the round will exit the intruder … to much penetration. Yes granted the velocity will cause additional cavitation but well will result in over penetration. Point being 45 colt 250 grain lead or jhp good rounds proven.


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