The many beloved self-defense ring of all time may just be the .45 ACP or .45 Auto. That was produced by J. Browning and also has seen major action in both human being wars, as well as countless other conflicts. Over there is no other method to share the round other than one of the single most effective man stoppers ~ above the market. This method that the .45 ACP is one of the an initial things the potential gun owners space going to shop for as soon as they’re in search of a defensive handgun.

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Most that the .45 ACP pistols you view on best-of lists space a batch the the newest 1911 rehashes the really only appeal to folks who choose that form factor. I love 1911-style handguns, however there are a lot more pistols out there that fire .45 Auto rounds. This method there should be miscellaneous on this perform for many tastes, purposes, and also most importantly, budgets.

Best .45 ACP Pistols

Glock 21 Gen4


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This compact pistol is a favorite for number of reasons. The is obtainable in 40 S&W, .45 Auto, and 9mm. This small-framed handgun gives you the best of both worlds. It’s compact and easy come conceal, when being big enough to usage a full-hand grip. You have the alternative of various magazines, part are more low profile than others.

Key Features

Corrosion resistance keeps it functioning well longerAmbidextrous magazine releaseUniversal mounting for easy customization

What Is for this reason Special about The .45 ACP?

There are whole blog post series about the services of .45 Auto. There are conveniently dozens of reasons that you may select to go with .45 Auto over any other caliber, but here space the big reasons that the .45 ACP has remained so renowned for practically 120 years.

Proven power & Legacy

This is a huge one. The .45 ACP has seen official action across two human being Wars and several various other conflicts, incursions, and also operations. It has actually proven itself across millions of rounds together the supreme self-defense round. The Army as well as the cavalry decided the they essential something that was far much more substantial 보다 the .38 caliber rounds the were letting castle down.

It to be at this suggest that they determined that lock absolutely required a .45 caliber round. This caused the manufacturing of the .45 Auto, which was comparable in ballistics to other .45 ring of the era, being the traditional from its fostering by 1911 till 1985.

This battle-hardened, war-proven performance is what keeps many older shooters loyal, and what draws many brand-new shooters into the caliber. There is a team of enthusiasts that execute think that the .45 ACP is over-hyped because that its level that performance, yet the caliber is a well-established favorite.

Bullets advancement Along v Technology

Since it has actually remained so popular and prevalent, the bullet industry is continuous evolving and changing. Due to the fact that .45 caliber rounds allow for an ext machining and also refinement in ~ the manufacturing level, there is one amazing selection of different varieties of ammo accessible for the .45.

The range and ease of access of the .45 ACP ammo are several of the solid points that this caliber that will certainly be difficult for smaller rounds to repeatedly imitate. There exists a very big array of cartridge weights, pack power, pointer type, and even materials to pick from.

Since the round enjoys a regular demand and fanbase, the will proceed to remain one of the many common and popular ammunition calibers. This also way that as modern technology continues to advance and evolve, so will certainly .45 ACP bullets.

Reloading Ease

If you room the form to reload your spent brass, .45 Auto will be one of the far better calibers for you to fall in love with. This is true particularly if you room just starting out in the reloading hobby. A good feature that .45 rounds is that they are an extremely forgiving in ~ the reloading bench. Part cartridges space relatively challenging to reload well, but the .45 ACP provides it available to also the newest the the newbies.

To a most shooters, this might not sound like a large deal. Those shooters probably don’t burn sufficient brass to make reloading precious it, to it is in honest. As soon as you take into account the mean price that .45 ACP top top the shelf, reloading those casings because that a tenth the what you paid initially have the right to save girlfriend a lot more money than you realize.

Bigger Pistol Frame

Let’s challenge it, few of us just have bigger mitts 보다 others. This way that ours geometry as soon as holding and firing a weapon deserve to be much less than ideal. Make the efforts to be nimble v a smaller sized pistol deserve to be challenging at some points, and downright difficult at others. This provides the often larger frame that renders up countless of the well-known .45 ACP pistols much an ext comfortable to hold.

The boosted weight that the larger framework can feel more solid and an extensive in her hand as well. This can likewise be a downside, too. If you have actually smaller hands, it can be exceptionally difficult, though not impossible, come safely handle and also fire. The weight have the right to exacerbate this problem for those with smaller hands.

This large frame additionally has the second benefit of providing more space because that accessories. The much longer slide will have plenty that room because that a comfortable sight, laser, and also even a tactical light. Spacing things out on the bigger .45 ACP pistols helps store your attachments native interfering through your grip.

Are There any Downsides come Buying A .45 ACP Pistol?

There are tons of upsides, and while this points might not especially be downsides depending upon how you look in ~ them, they definitely may impact your decision or purchase process.


There are many beginner-friendly elements of .45 ACP pistols, however when that comes down to it, it really isn’t a caliber because that a beginner. If you don’t own any kind of other guns and have only communicated minimally through firearms, a .45 caliber i will not ~ be ideal.

The learning curve to come to be proficient v .45 Auto is likewise much steeper than with smaller sized caliber rounds. The bullets are lot heavier, and also even though they are more powerful, they space often far slower. This can influence ballistics in far-reaching ways, do learning how to shoot top top a .45 caliber a very an overwhelming task.

Weight & Recoil

Compared to most pistols, .45 ACP pistols are considered heavy. Plenty of first-timers that choose one up are surprised in ~ how heavy they room for their size. As soon as you fire the gun, girlfriend will need to solidly regulate the weight of that pistol as it recoils. Frequently, the stamin of this recoil is relatively strong, and also can even cause injury with negative shooting form.


As we talked about, .45 ACP ring are fairly a bit larger than countless other rounds. Enlarge diameter rounds typical fewer ring in the magazine. Several of this deserve to be mitigated with a double-stack magazine, however the bullets are additionally heavy, so more of them deserve to really add to the weight. This is among the compromises the .45 ACP devotees make.

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Ammo Cost

This is one the is tough to acquire around. Sure, you can uncover some sales here and also there, mass order v some girlfriend or neighbors, yet anyway you slice it, .45 ACP ammo is no cheap. This is another compromise that us make for the love the the .45. The understandable, the bullets room bigger, heavier, and more powerful than smaller sized calibers, so there are much more materials and machining needed.