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The .45 Colt was a joint development between Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, of Hartford, Connecticut, and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company of Bridgeport, Conn. Although development started in 1871, it was adopted by the Army in 1873. It replaced the 44 Colt that was an outside lubricated bullet whereas the 45 Colt was inside lubricated so it did not pick up dirt and grime along the way. The 45 Colt was a replacement for the 50 cal. M71 Army revolver. During 1874 the S&W Schofield model was introduced with a shorter case that caused some confusion with troops. The 45 Schofield could be fired in the 45 Colt but not vice versa. At the time it was also referred to at the 45 Long Colt but was retired in 1874 by the Army and the Schofield was kept as the service revolver. During 1909 the Colt Revolver M1909 was introduced that was almost the same as the 45 Colt, but with a slightly larger rim. There has been a resurgence in the popularity of the 45 Colt for Cowboy Action Shooting games and it also served as a base for a number of new developments like the 454 Casull. (Erlmeier, Brandt Ref. 430).



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