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    Exploring Modern .45 ACP Handguns: Beyond the Iconic M1911

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    Colt m1911” by miso beno is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    When talking about the .45 ACP, its rich history cannot be overlooked. This caliber has played a vital role in major conflicts, from World War I to Vietnam, and is known for its powerful impact in neutralizing threats decisively.

    Glock 30 (.45 ACP) Muzzle Flash” by Charles & Clint is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Despite this, modern developments in ammunition have sparked a revival for the .45 ACP, with fresh variants introduced as recently as April 2023.

    Colt Defender 1911 (45 ACP)” by SveenysArmory is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Despite the presence of other popular calibers, the .45 ACP still rules the roost for many shooters, especially those who appreciate the raw power and the inherent trust built through its combat-proven effectiveness.

    2010 SHOT Show – Dan Wesson 1911 .45 ACP” by Tac6 Media is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Its larger diameter projectile inherently functions well as a subsonic round, offering versatility across various barrel lengths.

    Wilson Combat CQB 1911 and Smith and Wesson M&P 9c” by Section_Eight is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Diving into the contemporary .45 ACP pistol market, we find models like the Smith & Wesson M&P 45 Shield M2.0, which stands out as a stellar compact choice for everyday carry (EDC).

    Wilson Combat CQB 1911 and Smith and Wesson M&P 9c” by Section_Eight is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    With its aggressive textured grip and stainless steel chassis, it ensures reliability and precision.

    SIG SAUER” by ZORIN DENU is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    For those looking for a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) pistol, the Sig Sauer P220 Legion remains a formidable option, sporting a P-SAIT trigger and high-visibility day/night sights.

    Walther’s PPQ .45 ACP also makes the list with its outstanding ergonomics and a trigger system that allows for rapid, precise shooting.

    MARUSHIN GLOCK 21 Airsoft 8mmBB DUAL MAXI マルシン デュアルマキシ” by Laineema is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Then there’s the ubiquitous Glock 21 Gen 4, a full-size striker-fired handgun known for its reliability and adaptability.

    Heckler & Koch USP Expert .45 ‘Variant 1’” by Williamthewolf is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

    Not to be outdone, Heckler & Koch’s USP 45 Tactical offers sub-2-inch groups at 25 yards thanks to its match-grade trigger and precision barrel.

    Magnum44 900pix” by Niels Noordhoek is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

    No list would be complete without mentioning revolvers, and the Ruger Redhawk .45 ACP/.45 Colt revolver is a testament to the adaptability of the .45 ACP caliber in different firearm platforms.

    It boasts a solid frame and no side plates, offering exceptional durability and recoil management.

    FNX 45 ACP” by jwinfred is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Rounding out tactical models, the FN FNX-45 Tactical screams “tacticool,” providing a package complete with a threaded barrel and suppressor-height sights.

    CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow” by cb_agulto is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Another notable mention is the SAR K2, which flies under the radar with a significant 14+1 capacity, blending aspects of the CZ 75 and 97 series with its slide-in-frame design.

    Hi-Point Model JHP .45 ACP” by This photo was graciously donated by Laura Floyd, who sells Hi-Points on Gunbroker.com under the seller name lafoyd. is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

    Interestingly, the Hi-Point JHP 45, often derided for its budget-friendly and simplistic design, shoots well and holds a niche place for those seeking a no-frills .45 ACP pistol.

    Relevant articles:
    10 Best .45 ACP Pistols (That Aren’t 1911s), Pew Pew Tactical
    The Best Handguns, Tested and Reviewed, outdoorlife.com
    Fading Away? The .45 ACP Isn’t Going Anywhere, gundigest.com

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