45 Auto (ACP) Ammo

An iconic American cartridge, the .45 ACP was popularized in John Browning’s classic Colt Model 1911 pistol. Today it remains as popular as ever – with military, police and civilian shooters continuing to make this cartridge their choice for personal protection. Learn More

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  1. Winchester Win1911 45 Auto Ammo - 50 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    32 In stock now

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    Image For 50 Rounds Of 230 Grain JHP Boxer Nickel-Plated Brass 45 Auto Winchester Ammunition
    $38.00 Price

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    • 50 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 50 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • 76¢ Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU X45P
    • UPC 020892220195
  2. Federal 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 165 Grain JHP Ammunition

    18 In stock now

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    $15.99 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Federal

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Federal
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • 80¢ Cost Per Round
    • Federal SKU PD45HS3 H
    • UPC 029465091514
  3. Winchester 45 Auto Ammo - 50 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    10 In stock now

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    Image For 50 Rounds Of 230 Grain JHP Boxer Brass 45 Auto Winchester Ammunition
    $41.00 Price

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    • 50 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 50 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • American-made Discount Defense
    • 82¢ Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU USA45JHP
    • UPC 020892213234
  4. Hornady 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 200 Grain JHP Ammunition

    28 In stock now

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    Image For 20 Rounds Of 200 Grain JHP Boxer Brass 45 Auto Hornady Ammunition
    $17.99 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • 90¢ Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 9112
    • UPC 090255391121
  5. Hornady 45 Auto Ammo - 200 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    5 In stock now

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    Image For 200 Rounds Of 230 Grain JHP Boxer Brass 45 Auto Hornady Ammunition
    $180.00 Price

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    • 200 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 200 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • 90¢ Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 9096
    • UPC 10090255390961
  6. Hornady 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    45 In stock now
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    $19.00 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • 95¢ Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 9096
    • UPC 090255390964
  7. Winchester W Train & Defend 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    19 In stock now

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    Image For 20 Rounds Of 230 Grain JHP Boxer Nickel-Plated Brass 45 Auto Winchester Ammunition
    $20.50 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • American-made Discount Defense
    • $1.03 Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU W45D
    • UPC 020892221659
  8. Winchester 45 Auto Ammo - 200 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    2 In stock now

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    Image For 200 Rounds Of 230 Grain JHP Boxer Nickel-Plated Brass 45 Auto Winchester Ammunition
    $209.99 Price

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    • 200 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 200 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.05 Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU S45PDB
    • UPC 020892217904
  9. Hornady 45 Auto Ammo - 200 Rounds of 185 Grain JHP Ammunition

    3 In stock now

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    Image For 200 Rounds Of 185 Grain JHP Boxer Nickel-Plated Brass 45 Auto Hornady Ammunition
    $209.99 Price

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    • 200 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 200 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.05 Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 90900
    • UPC 10090255909002
  10. Hornady 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 200 Grain JHP Ammunition

    24 In stock now
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    $22.00 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.10 Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 9113
    • UPC 090255391138
  11. Magtech 45 ACP +P Ammo - 20 Rounds of 165 Grain SCHP Ammunition

    26 In stock now

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    Image For 20 Rounds Of 165 Grain JHP Boxer Nickel-Plated Brass 45 Auto Magtech Ammunition
    $22.50 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Magtech

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Magtech
    • Foreign-made Self-Defense
    • $1.13 Cost Per Round
    • Magtech SKU FD45A
    • UPC 754908184514
  12. Hornady 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 185 Grain JHP Ammunition

    53 In stock now

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    Image For 20 Rounds Of 185 Grain JHP Boxer Nickel-Plated Brass 45 Auto Hornady Ammunition
    $22.99 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.15 Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 90900
    • UPC 090255909005
  13. Hornady Duty Defense 45 Auto +P Ammo - 20 Rounds of 220 Grain FTX JHP Ammunition

    48 In stock now
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    $22.99 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Hornady
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.15 Cost Per Round
    • Hornady SKU 90926
    • UPC 090255909265
  14. Winchester 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 185 Grain JHP Ammunition

    23 In stock now

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    Image For 20 Rounds Of 185 Grain JHP Boxer Brass 45 Auto Winchester Ammunition
    $23.00 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.15 Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU X45ASHP2
    • UPC 020892201675
  15. Barnes TAC-XPD 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of +P 185 Grain SCHP Ammunition

    24 In stock now
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    $23.00 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Barnes

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Barnes
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.15 Cost Per Round
    • Barnes SKU 21555
    • UPC 716876145010
  16. Winchester 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    47 In stock now
    Image For 20 Rounds Of 230 Grain JHP Boxer Nickel-Plated Brass 45 Auto Winchester Ammunition
    $23.50 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Winchester
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.18 Cost Per Round
    • Winchester SKU S45PDB
    • UPC 020892217898
  17. Black Hills Ammunition 45 Auto +P Ammo - 20 Rounds of 185 Grain Barnes TAC-XP HP Ammunition

    13 In stock now

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    Image For 20 Rounds Of 185 Grain JHP Boxer Brass 45 Auto Black Hills Ammunition Ammunition
    $25.50 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Black Hills Ammunition

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Black Hills Ammunition
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.28 Cost Per Round
    • Black Hills Ammunition SKU D45N720
    • UPC 612710128778
  18. Speer 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 230 Grain JHP Ammunition

    16 In stock now

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    $26.50 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Speer

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Speer
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.33 Cost Per Round
    • Speer SKU 23975
    • UPC 076683239754
  19. Corbon 45 Auto Ammo - 20 Rounds of 160 Grain DPX Ammunition

    31 In stock now

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    Image For 20 Rounds Of 160 Grain JHP Boxer Brass 45 Auto Corbon Ammunition
    $29.00 Price

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    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Corbon

    • New Condition
    • 20 Rounds
    • Made by Corbon
    • American-made Self-Defense
    • $1.45 Cost Per Round
    • Corbon SKU DPX45160/20
    • UPC 757750450165
  20. CCI 45 Auto Ammo - 10 Rounds of 1/3 oz. #9 Shot (Lead) Ammunition

    42 In stock now

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    $20.25 Price

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    • 10 Rounds
    • Made by CCI

    • New Condition
    • 10 Rounds
    • Made by CCI
    • American-made Discount Range
    • $2.03 Cost Per Round
    • CCI SKU 3745
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Designed by an American, made in America, and created for the United States Armed Forces – nothing encompasses the American spirit of ammunition like the .45 Auto caliber and the gun it was made for. Known as the .45 ACP, this cartridge is the all-American bullet. And over 100 years after its debut, it’s still used by both law enforcement and civilians, and remains a favorite across the U.S.

What is .45 ACP Ammo?

The .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP), also known as the .45 Auto, is a caliber of ammunition designed by John Moses Browning in 1905. The standard ammo design holds a 230 grain (gr) lead bullet that travels at an impressive 830 feet per second (fps).

The bullet in the .45 Auto cartridge measures 11.43 x 23mm, with a bullet diameter of .451 inch. Its casing features a slight taper – from the casing’s rim to its mouth, there’s a .003 inch difference.

Used in the military, by law enforcement, by civilians for personal protection, and as a first-class match cartridge, the .45 ACP gives its shooter an ammunition that’s accurate and has excellent stopping power. While it can take some practice to become effective with these rounds, it often becomes a favorite to shoot.

Development of the .45 ACP

When Browning created the .45 Auto, he was looking for a replacement for the "less than stellar" .38 Long Colt cartridge for the U.S. military. The U.S. Cavalry had determined that they lacked an efficient and effective bullet and that the cailbers they currently had available did not pose big enough threats to their enemies.

Army weaponry at the time included the 1860 Colt Army and the 1873 Single Action Army, but the .44 ball and .454 flat-tipped bullets didn’t expand or create the ideal damage. After field testing a number of calibers in 1904, it was determined that nothing less than a .45 bullet would have the stopping power the military was looking for. Military stipulations also included a firearm that could hold no less than six rounds, a bullet that weighed at least 230 gr, and a trigger pull that was no less than six pounds.

In 1905, Browning introduced his first .45 ACP cartridge to the U.S. Army, along with what would become his prototype for the iconic M1911 pistol. The original 200 gr bullet traveled 900 feet per second, but Browning tested the weapon and cartridge over the next six years, making modifications until it became what it still is to this day – ammo with an increased bullet weight of 230 gr (while keeping the same powder load) and a decreased muzzle velocity of 830 feet per second. These features remained the standard load for the .45 ACP throughout its service life and into today.

The Success of the M1911 and the .45 ACP

In March of 1911, the Army set forth on the final testing to determine its new service weapon. The choices had been narrowed down to a Savage and a Colt, with casings covered in acid and sand, and each weapon firing 6,000 rounds. Of the rounds fired, the Savage had only 37 incidents. The Colt had none, and the M1911 became the official weapon of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The success of the M1911 is one of the reasons the .45 ACP cartridge rose in popularity. Over its course, the firearm and its cartridge became the longest serving pistol of any military force and it remains an icon among gun collectors and enthusiasts.

Numerous stories circulate about the role the M1911 has played in the our military history. At least 68 awardees of the Medal of Honor have carried the .45 ACP and the M1911 pistol in the course of their heroic actions. In one such act during World War I, Sergeant Alvin York used his .45 ACP to single-handedly kill six German soldiers while assaulting their machine gun emplacements, supporting the claim that the cartridge is an excellent man stopper.

Why is the .45 ACP So Popular?

The .45 ACP grew in popularity outside of the Armed Forces due to its ability to adapt to a variety of shooting applications, including sport shooting, law enforcement, and self defense. Both target shooters and backyard shooters appreciate the .45 ACP for its accuracy, mild recoil, and heavy bullet.

Law enforcement agencies have chosen the .45 ACP for its proven ability to stop dangerous aggressors. Units such as the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT, as well as other specialized units, carry firearms chambered in the .45 Auto.

The U.S. military officially replaced the .45 ACP with the 9mm in 1985, though it continues to have pockets of dedicated users in the service. Operators of the Marine Expeditionary Units, Delta Force and others within the purview of the United States Special Operations Command have the option of using pistols chambered in the .45 ACP.

As a self-defense weapon, in its basic full metal jacket (FMJ) cartridge, the non-expanding .45 Auto is heavy and penetrates deep. The large bullet diameter creates a significant wound, which can damage the central nervous system, circulatory system, and critical organs. Those looking for personal protection may also opt for specialty configurations from a variety of ammunition manufacturers including Hornady, Federal, and Magtech.

Different Types of .45 ACP Ammunition

Like other cartridges, the .45 ACP is available in a range of different types and styles. Some of the most common .45 Auto ammo includes:

  • Full metal jacket (FMJ): The FMJ cartridge features a lead bullet encased with a copper or other hard metal coating, helping the bullet keep its form until impact. People sometimes refer to these cartridges as full metal case (FMC) ammo.
  • Jacketed hollow point (JHP): The JHP also has a lead bullet encased in a hard metal, but instead of a round ball, the bullet has a hollow point inside – which makes it expand on impact, increasing its stopping power.
  • Advanced energy transfer (AET): AET ammo, also called frangible ammunition, looks like standard ammo, but when it hits its target, this bullet fragments into tiny pieces of composite materials (as long as the target is harder than the bullet).
  • Total metal jacket (TMJ): Much like the FMJ, the TMJ features a bullet completely covered in a hard metal. The difference between the two is that FMJ ammo exposes a small amount of lead at the base of the bullet, but TMJ completely covers the bullet – minimizing the shooter’s lead exposure.

What Are Some Popular .45 ACP Pistols?

While .45 ACP ammo is popular, the guns that fire this ammunition make it so. The Colt M1911 was the first of many .45 caliber pistols that American law enforcement, special forces, and civilians flocked to. Other popular .45 caliber firearms include:

Beyond these semi-automatic pistols, multiple submachine guns have been chambered for the .45 ACP. Reising designed and manufactured a .45 Auto semi-automatic rifle in the 1940s.

What are .45 ACP Ballistics?

The .45 ACP cartridge packs more energy than the 9mm and .40 S&W. It’s powerful, yet accurate and controllable. With a low pressure and full powder burn, the round gives its shooter a softer recoil than the other high-bore cartridges like the .357 Magnum and .50 Action Express.

Averaging across brands and specifications, the .45 ACP ballistic performance is rather impressive:

  • BULLET WEIGHT: 230 gr FMJ – VELOCITY: 835 fps – ENERGY: 356 foot-pound force (ft·lbf)
  • BULLET WEIGHT: 185 gr JHP – VELOCITY: 1,100 fps – ENERGY: 497 ft·lbf
  • BULLET WEIGHT: 165 gr JHP – VELOCITY: 1,060 fps – ENERGY: 412 ft·lbf
  • BULLET WEIGHT: 145 gr +P – VELOCITY: 1,350 fps – ENERGY: 587 ft·lbf

Popular .45 ACP Ammo Manufacturers

A wide range of ammunition manufacturers make .45 ACP ammunition. Popular brands include:

Are There Other Types of .45 Caliber Ammo?

While .45 ACP ammunition is by far the most popular .45 caliber, there are other ammunitions that have been made with this size bullet. Some of the most common calibers are:

  • .45 Colt: The .45 Colt ammunition was designed for the 1873 Peacemaker single-action revolver. A heavy, fast-moving bullet at 255 gr and 900+ fps, this cartridge was vital in settling and civilizing the American West.
  • .45 S&W (Schofield): Designed for the 1875 Smith & Wesson Schofield revolver, this chamber was used heavily during the turn of the century and may have been used by General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. While .45 S&W ammo can be used in most Colt .45 revolvers, .45 Colt ammo should not be used in .45 S&W pistols.
  • .45 Automatic Rimmed (Auto Rim): Because the .45 ACP casing is rimless, it requires a half-moon clip. To solve this problem, a rimmed version, the .45 Auto Rim, was created. While it never caught on in mainstream popularity, those who prefer remanufactured ammunition and .45 caliber for hunting may use it.
  • .45 Glock Auto Pistol (GAP): The .45 GAP is made exclusively for Glock 37s, 38s, and 39s. These cartridges are one-eighth inch shorter than standard .45 ACP ammo, but feature the same performance. This smaller casing allows for a narrow magazine and smaller firearm frame and grip. Along with the pistols chambered for .45 GAP, Glock also offers multiple gun models chambered in .45 ACP.
  • .45 Automatic Short (HP): In some countries, including Italy, France, and Mexico, citizens are not allowed to carry firearms chambered in a military cartridge – which makes any .45 ACP gun illegal. To get around this, the .45 HP has a casing that is 1mm shorter than the standard .45 Auto. Most .45 ACP pistols can be converted to a .45 HP by replacing the standard barrel with a shorter one.
  • .45 Automatic Match: While .45 Automatic Match ammunition features the same chambering and dimensions of .45 ACP ammo, it has a smaller casing with a reduced powder load. These rounds are accurate and used in bullseye target shooting.
  • .45 ABC Mi-Bullet: Created by Advanced Ballistics Concepts, LLC (ABC), the multiple-impact (Mi) bullet is a multi-part ammunition that increases the shooter’s hit probability in a self-defense situation. Featuring a bullet that divides into pieces tethered together like a web, it provides multiple strike points and up to a 10-inch impact diameter.

.45 ACP vs. 9mm Ammunition

For personal defense, law enforcement, and overall efficiency, the battle between .45 ACP and 9mm Luger (or Parabellum) remains intense. While each side has valid points, it should be noted that with practice, both calibers are lethal.

In May 2014, the FBI released a report on their decision to opt for the 9mm over other caliber options, including the .45 ACP. Because of modern ballistic technology, the 9mm’s small cartridge and bullet size didn’t have as large an impact on penetration and stopping power as they had in the past. With today’s ammunition, the 9mm cartridge has grown into a deadly caliber that offers some benefits over the classic .45 Auto.

When all things are factored in, including the cost of ammunition, magazine capacities, and the impact of recoil, many shooters are faster and more accurate with a 9mm than larger caliber cartridges. Yet the .45 ACP offers accuracy and precision that sport shooters have chosen for years.

The unparalleled accuracy, reliability, and carry capacity of a practiced .45 ACP pistol can’t compare to other pistols. Once a shooter gets comfortable with the .45 ACP, it quickly becomes their go-to caliber. After more than a century of use, the .45 ACP is a cartridge that has been modified and studied extensively, and is still used all over the world. Today, it remains one of the most prized cartridges on the market and can be found in gun cabinets across the country.

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