What Are The Differences: .45 LC VS .45 ACP

The .45 Long Colt (LC) and .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) are two very popular handgun cartridges. Both cartridges are .45 caliber and are popular for self-defense and hunting. But they have different characteristics, and they are not interchangeable.

The .45 LC is a revolver cartridge developed in 1872, while the .45 ACP is a semi-automatic pistol cartridge developed in 1905. Moreover, the .45 LC is more powerful than the .45 ACP, but the .45 ACP has a higher magazine capacity and is more effective for rapid-fire shooting.


How Do the Performance of .45 LC and .45 ACP Differ?

The .45 LC and .45 ACP differ in several ways.

The .45 Long Colt is the first large-caliber cartridge designed specifically for use in revolvers. It’s a rimmed cartridge with a larger case diameter than the .45 ACP, which was designed in 1905 as an automatic pistol cartridge.

On the contrary, the .45 LC is generally loaded with heavier bullets and it has the potential to produce higher velocities when fired. The .45 ACP is a rimless cartridge designed for use with automatic pistols and is generally loaded with lighter bullets. The .45 ACP generally produces lower velocity and energy levels when fired.

Benefits of .45 LC Over .45 ACP

  1. Higher Velocity:  The .45 LC is capable of producing higher velocities than the .45 ACP, making it potentially more effective for hunting.
  2. More Versatile:  The .45 LC can also be used for a variety of activities such as target shooting, hunting, and self-defense.
  3. More Reliable:  The .45 LC is generally considered to be more reliable than the .45 ACP due to its higher velocity. It has the ability to be reloaded multiple times.
  4. Cheaper Ammo:  The .45 LC is cheaper than the .45 ACP and is available in a wide range of bullet weights and sizes, making it more cost-effective.
  5. More Powerful:  The .45 LC has a larger case capacity, allowing it to fire higher-powered rounds than the .45 ACP. And this makes it more powerful.

Benefits of .45 ACP Over .45 LC

  1. Increased Capacity:  The .45 ACP typically holds more rounds than the .45 LC, as the straight-walled .45 LC is limited to only five rounds due to its larger case size. This can be an advantage when engaging multiple targets.
  2. Greater Velocity:  The .45 ACP has a higher velocity than the .45 LC due to its shorter overall length and semi-automatic action. This can make the .45 ACP more effective at longer ranges.
  3. Easier to Reload:  The .45 ACP is typically easier to reload than the .45 LC due to its shorter overall length and semi-automatic action. This can be an advantage when reloading quickly in a defensive situation.
  4. More Common:  The .45 ACP is more common than the .45 LC, meaning it is easier to find ammunition and firearms for it. This can be a major advantage when trying to find ammunition in a pinch.


What Are The Differences: .45 LC VS .45 ACP?

The .45 Long Colt (LC) and .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) are both handgun cartridges used for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting. They both use .45 caliber bullets, but the major difference between them is the type of ammunition they use.

  • The .45 LC is a rimmed cartridge and is used in revolvers, while the .45 ACP is a straight-walled cartridge and is used in semi-automatic pistols.
  • The .45 LC is slightly less powerful than the .45 ACP, but the increased capacity of a revolver compared to a semi-automatic pistol makes it a more effective choice for self-defense.

A Short Chart: .45 LC VS .45 ACP Bullet


.45 LC

.45 ACP

Bullet Diameter .452 in 451 in
Case Length 1.285 in .898 in
Overall Length 1.610 in 1.275 in.
Maximum Pressure 14,000 psi 21,000 psi
Energy at Muzzle 400 ft. lbs 355 ft. lbs
Muzzle Velocity 1,000 fps 900 fps


Types of Weapons Can Use In .45 LC and .45 ACP

Both .45 LC and .45 ACP can use handguns, such as revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, and derringers. They can also be used in rifles and carbines.

Types of Ammunition Available for .45 LC and .45 ACP

.45 LC:

  • Lead round nose (LRN)
  • Soft-point (SP)
  • Jacketed hollow point (JHP)
  • Full metal jacket (FMJ)
  • Wadcutter (WC)
  • Semi-wadcutter (SWC)
  • Lead semi-wadcutter (LSWC)
  • Lead flat point (LFP)

.45 ACP:

  • Lead round nose (LRN)
  • Soft-point (SP)
  • Jacketed hollow point (JHP)
  • Full metal jacket (FMJ)
  • Wadcutter (WC)
  • Semi-wadcutter (SWC)
  • Lead semi-wadcutter (LSWC)
  • Lead flat point (LFP)
  • Truncated cone (TC)
  • Jacketed flat point (JFP)
  • Jacketed soft point (JSP)

Comparing The Cost of .45 LC and .45 ACP

The cost of .45 LC and .45 ACP ammunition depends on the brand, quantity, and type of bullet.

  • In general, .45 LC ammunition tends to cost slightly more than .45 ACP ammunition.
  • The .45 LC ammunition is typically less common and harder to find than the .45 ACP ammunition.


Safety Considerations for Using .45 LC and .45 ACP

When using any firearm, safety should always be the top priority.  There are several important safety considerations to keep in mind with .45 LC and .45 ACP.

  1. Make sure to always use the correct ammunition for your firearm. Because .45 LC and .45 ACP cartridges are not interchangeable. And they can cause damage or injury if used in the wrong firearm.
  2. Be sure to always wear eye and ear protection when shooting. Because the .45 LC and .45 ACP are powerful and can cause significant damage to hearing and vision if not protected.
  3. Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction. Even when unloading and cleaning, never point the firearm at yourself or anyone else.
  4. Store your firearms and ammunition safely and securely and keep them in separate locations. You must keep all firearms and ammunition out of the reach of children.
  5. Always practice safe gun handling and be aware of your surroundings. And be sure to only shoot in designated areas and never shoot at hard surfaces or water.
  6. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your firearm. This will ensure that the firearm is being used safely and correctly.


Environmental Impact of Using .45 LC and .45 ACP

The environmental impact of using .45 LC and .45 ACP ammunition is minimal.

  • The lead used in the bullets is contained within the cartridge casing and is not released into the environment during a shooting session.
  • The expended cartridge casings are typically collected after a shooting session and can be recycled or disposed of properly.
  • The propellant used in the ammunition is also contained within the cartridge and is not released into the environment.

The only environmental impact is the small amount of noise generated by the firearm, which dissipates quickly. But this does not cause any long-term environmental impacts.


Legal Considerations of Using .45 LC and .45 ACP

When using either caliber, it is important to be aware of the legal considerations that apply, as their use is regulated by federal, state, and local laws.

In some states of the US, owning or carrying a firearm with a .45 caliber bullet is illegal. On the contrary, it is illegal to transport or own a firearm with a barrel shorter than 12 inches in some states.

Moreover, both calibers are subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA), which regulates the sale, possession, and use of certain firearms and their components. Thus it is good to be aware of the laws in your state, as well as any federal laws, before using either caliber. Understanding the legal considerations of using .45 LC or .45 ACP can help ensure that you are in compliance with the law when using either caliber.



Can I Shoot A .45 ACP In A 45 LC Pistol?

No, you cannot shoot a .45 ACP in a .45 LC pistol. Because the two cartridges are not interchangeable and attempting to do so can cause harm to the gun and to the shooter.

What Is The 45 Long Colt Good For?

The 45 Long Colt is a powerful handgun round that is primarily used for hunting medium-sized games, such as deer, and for self-defense. It is also a popular choice for Cowboy Action Shooting competitions.

Is 45 ACP Stronger Than 45 Colt?

No, .45 Auto and .45 ACP are not interchangeable. The .45 Auto is a rimless cartridge that is slightly shorter than the .45 ACP, making them incompatible.

Is .45 Better Than 9mm?

No, the type of ammunition is not the only factor in determining which is “better.” It depends on the specific application, such as the intended use (target shooting, self-defense, etc.), the type of firearm, barrel length, and other factors.



45 ACP is the more popular of the two rounds, as it has a higher velocity and better-stopping power than the .45 LC. It is also a much more common round and can be found in a variety of handguns, thus making it the more practical choice. On the other hand, the .45 LC is still a powerful round but is more suited to revolvers and lever-action rifles.