Yeah, that threw me for a while as well. And I still catch myself saying Long Colt when I talk about it. So where did the term come from? Was there ever a .45 Short Colt cartridge?
I've got several Anacondas that shoot this caliber, and that Taurus I carry around. I've got the Anaconda in 4, 6, and 8 inch barrels. Never seen one in 2 inch, so I don't even know if Colt made one. I had a devil of a time finding that 8 inch barrel model.
One of these days I want to pick up a S&W if I see one that catches my eye.
That Vaquero was dad's too. It went to my 13 yr old son along with the belt and holster. In MY safe of course!
I was fiddling with the holster looking for a name when I noticed something in an open slot of the doubled over belt leather. Dad had stashed a 1935 (his birth year) silver doller in there.
Dakota Dave lives on in our memories!
It was my understanding that S&W lost out on the contract with the government because the gov. wanted to standardize on the existing .45 cartridge. It already fit the Colt single action (of which there were plenty) and the Henry repeaters, which were not issued but were definately in high demand.
I understand that the calvary prefered the S&W because of ease of loading while riding. It would have been way to hard to supply two different sized rounds to the troops. I sure wouldn't want to get stuck with the Schofield if the only ammo available were the .45 LONG Colt.
In 1873, Colt introduced the .45 Colt cartridge for their Peacemaker revolver. It was adopted (along with the Peacemaker) by the U. S. Army as its official handgun / caliber until 1892, when it was replaced by the .38 Long Colt.
In 1875, Smith & Wesson introduced a .45 for their Schofield revolver. That combination also was used by the U. S. Army. It is properly called the “.45 Smith & Wesson”, popularly called the “.45 Schofield”.
The Peacemaker would chamber and shoot the S&W cartridge but the Schofield would not accept the Colt cartridge. The S&W case is 1.10” long while the Colt is 1.23”. There were more Peacemakers issued than Schofields, and the issue cartridge came to be known as “Colt”. To differentiate between them, some quartermasters would ask for the Long or the Short Colt, rather than the Colt or the Smith & Wesson. Kind of rough getting into a battle with ammunition that wouldn’t chamber.
A noted writer, who I have great respect for but don’t always agree with, Paco Kelly, claims that he has seen an old cartridge box labeled “.45 Short Colt”. If so, I would guess that the box was a forgery of some sort. Collectors will pay a good deal for rarities of that type, if genuine or REAL good forgeries.
There was never a cartridge designated properly as “.45 Long Colt”, and, to the best of my knowledge, there was never a “.45 Short Colt”, Paco notwithstanding.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that Colt DID come out with a .32 Long Colt and .32 Short Colt (1875), a .38 Long Colt and .38 Short Colt (also 1875), and a .41 Long Colt and .41 Short Colt (1877).