.45 GAP: The Cartridge That Should Have Replaced the .45 ACP.

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Miami_JBT
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.45 GAP: The Cartridge That Should Have Replaced the .45 ACP.

Post by Miami_JBT » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:28 pm

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The .45 GLOCK Auto Pistol cartridge, otherwise commonly known as the .45 GAP was and is in my opinion still a viable cartridge for the 21st Century. Developed by Ernest Durham, of CCI/Speer in November 2002 at the request of Glock to have a cartridge of the same overall length of a 9x19mm cartridge but be equal in power to a .45 ACP cartridge. It was introduced to the shooting world in 2003 to good fanfare and support from a number of industry writers and critics.

Speer originally released the cartridge in a Gold Dot packaged defensive load where a 200gr JHP was pushed out at 1,050 ft/s and delivered about 490 ft-lbf in energy. This load replicated the +P .45 ACP loads that Speer was making at the time.

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They later released the cartridge in a 230gr load where it achieved 935 ft/s and delivered 445 ft-lbf in energy. Which is similar to other non +P .45 ACP loads.

Glock of course chambered the cartridge in a standard, compact, and sub-compact sized pistol. The frames were the same size as their 9mm/.40 S&W counterparts and though the slide was slightly wider. The .45 GAP chambered guns fit in most holsters made for the lesser diameter guns.

The Glock 37 was of course the full-size duty pistol. Having a total capacity of 10+1rds. It served well with the big five; the Florida Highway Patrol, Georgia State Patrol South Carolina Highway Patrol, New York State Police, and Pennsylvania State Police. Smaller county and city agencies issued the .45 GAP chambered Glocks too. Agencies like the Melbourne (FL) Police Department, Burden (KS) Police Department, Greenville (NC) Police Department, the Berkeley (MO) Police Department, and others.

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I personally carried a G37 in my career as a uniform patrol officer and actually enjoyed it. At no point did I ever feel under-armed while carrying the G37. With a total of 41rds on me plus a backup S&W 642, I think I did pretty well. Shooting it was a hoot. It was smooth and comfortable. Little recoil and no snappiness. Prior to the G37, I was issued a G22 in .40 S&W and I find both to be equals. I love the .40 S&W. They're both great cartridges that are highly misunderstood. To me both are fantastic duty cartridges and do the right job for their intended tasks.

There were some other manufacturers that chambered their guns in .45 GAP. HS Produkt, the manufacturer of the Springfield XD (HS2000) chambered their pistols in it for a period of time. It was marketed and marked as the Springfield Armory XD-45LE.

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It came with 9rd capacity magazines and had the option of a 4" or 5" barrel.

Other than the G37, Glock also made the G38 with an 8rd capacity and G39 with a 6rd capacity.

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So, guess what dear reader? I'm about to do something that the online gun community will find repulsive. I'm going to defend the .45 GAP. Yes, you read that right. I'm defending the cartridge and openly stating that I like it.

The .45 GAP is what should have replaced the .45 ACP industry wide. The .45 ACP is horribly outdated and full of wasted space. The cartridge is from a bygone era of black powder, horse mount cavalry attacking infantry with sabers, and where the airplane was viewed as an oddity.

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.45 GAP (left) next to .45 ACP (right)

Why carry a cartridge that is horribly outdated and wastes space and makes the gun unnecessarily bigger when you can carry a smaller cartridge and gun that achieves the same power? It isn't logical, and you know if the .45 GAP didn't have the bad reputation it did you'd be carrying it. It is the truth, search your feelings. Deep down you know it is true.

I believe that the .45 GAP simply was released in the wrong era. The cartridge was Glock hedging their bets that the 1994 Clinton AWB would be permanently renewed by President George W. Bush. It is no coincident that the full-size G37 holds 10rds.

During the ban, Glock did very well selling their pistols for two reasons. One, they had a great marketing strategy. Get as many of them out into police holsters and on the both the big and small screens. During their aggressive marketing back before the AWB came into effect, they would go to a police department and allow the agency to trade in their old stock of guns and magazines, even if they were a competitor's product. Why? Because they'd flip the guns and mags on the used market.

When the AWB kicked in, it was the era of the .40 S&W and agencies left and right were trading in their 9mm Wondernines for the new hot .40 S&W. Glock did the same thing with their own stock of 9mm pistols. They'd go to an agency and practically trade the older pre-ban Gen 1 and Gen 2 9mm guns and mags for brand new G22 pistols in .40 S&W. They'd then take those used, but very valuable pre-ban magazines and sell for them a very profitable price.

Well, by the start of the 21st Century; the supply of pre-ban mags to get like that were running out. Brand new full-size 9mm and .40 S&W guns weren't going to sell as well when the buyer couldn't get a 15rd or 17rd magazine for their new gun. So why buy and carry a 10rd limited G17 or G22 when a 10rd G37 made more sense. That is why the popularity of the 1911 came back after the AWB was signed into law. Suddenly having a 8rd single stack 1911 made since because it was "thinner" and "had more knockdown power". Well, a 10rd .45 GAP G37 makes even better sense since you get more ammo than a 1911, it is the same size and weight as a G17, but you still get the capabilities of the .45 ACP in an overall better package.

If the .45 GAP was instead released when the .40 S&W was (January 17, 1991), it would have taken the LE and civilian market by storm. The Glock 21 was released the year prior and the biggest complaint was that the frame was too big. Sure, it sold well but still. Everyone wanted a pistol that was just as capable as the .45 ACP chambered pistols but with an overall smaller size. The same complaints were made about the Sig P220, S&W 4506, and Ruger P90. They were just big guns. That is what led to the huge popularity of the .40 S&W. A cartridge that gave the shooter more power than a 9mm but still able to fit in a 9mm framed gun.

If the .45 GAP came about then, everyone would have jumped on board because it would have directly replicated the .45ACP. Possibly agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations, California Highway Patrol, US Border Patrol, City of Miami Police Department, and other big .40 S&W would have instead gone with the .45 GAP.

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As I said, I personally carried a .45 GAP G37 for a stint in my career as a cop. I truly loved the gun and the chambering. I am on the hunt for an affordably priced G37 right now. I still have about 500rds of the Speer 200gr Gold Dot ammo and I have it all on moon clips for my S&W Model 625. Yeah, they work great in .45 ACP chambered revolvers. It is a hell of a self-defense cartridge.

So please stop looking down on the .45 GAP. It was a great idea released during the wrong timeframe. It was a commercial flop not because it was an answer to a question no one asked or because it just was bad. It flopped because the market dynamics that would have benefited it changed. The AWB ended, the majority of the market could buy full capacity 9mm magazines again, and the evolution of ammunition as a whole benefited the popularity of the 9mm. But in truth, the .45 GAP isn't bad and it shouldn't be forgotten.

Gregg
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Post by Gregg » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:04 pm

Sorry, but in my opinion, the 45 GAP was a Answer in search of a Question.
If you want Plus P ammo in a 1911, just buy and shoot Plus P in your 1911.

Gregg

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Iosef
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Post by Iosef » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:13 pm

> The .45 ACP is horribly outdated and full of wasted space.
> The cartridge is from a bygone era of black powder, horse
> mount cavalry attacking infantry with sabers, and where
> the airplane was viewed as an oddity.

If your .45 ACP loads have extra space in them, you are using the wrong powder. The correct load should slightly compress the powder when pressing the bullet to the proper depth. This significantly improves the consistancy of your loads FPS. That's why there are so many different powders on the market.

...and my hands are big enough that I don't need to use a downsized cartridge :-)

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Outgunu
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Post by Outgunu » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:30 pm

I was always under the impression that the 45GAP came about for countries like Mexico that won't allow civilians to have a weapon that was ever used by any military in the world. GLOCK thought there would be a good market for them and was wrong. I liked the idea of the smaller frame but decided to wait and see how popular it became just like I have done with all the short magnum rifle rounds. Lots of busts in the group. I did step up and buy the 300BO and 22TCM which is a hoot to shoot.

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NorincoKid
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Post by NorincoKid » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:49 pm

Outgunu wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:30 pm
I was always under the impression that the 45GAP came about for countries like Mexico that won't allow civilians to have a weapon that was ever used by any military in the world.
That was my understanding as well.

TACC
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Post by TACC » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:12 pm

I am one of the few shooters that own all 3 gun models for 45 GAP. I had all 3 slides NiB coated and they are great shooters. I prefer the G38 out of all 3 of them. I really enjoy shooting them because of the size grip and the recoil associated with that round. I got a bunch of the gold DOTS that are very accurate and pleasurable to shoot. Yes I also carry other guns when I EDC, but this is a great group of guns and ammo in my opinion as well.
The fact that you can't buy the ammo on the shelves at Walmart or brass pro has not changed my opinion of the rounds, my internet still works.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk


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rentprop1
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Post by rentprop1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:35 pm

Old time reloaders shunned it from the beginning, they didnt wanna deal with plucking out the smaller cases, just as 9 mm reloaders curse the 380s.

Now if half of those guys put the effort when Fiocchi started that crap with the small pistol primer pocket....would make life that much easier

Miami_JBT
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Post by Miami_JBT » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:29 am

Outgunu wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:30 pm
I was always under the impression that the 45GAP came about for countries like Mexico that won't allow civilians to have a weapon that was ever used by any military in the world. GLOCK thought there would be a good market for them and was wrong. I liked the idea of the smaller frame but decided to wait and see how popular it became just like I have done with all the short magnum rifle rounds. Lots of busts in the group. I did step up and buy the 300BO and 22TCM which is a hoot to shoot.
Mexico bans anything larger than a .356 diameter bullet, hence the once thriving popularity of .38 Super there. But the laws have changed and it is now legally limited to .380 Auto.

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Iosef
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Post by Iosef » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:29 pm

rentprop1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:35 pm
Old time reloaders shunned it from the beginning, they didnt wanna deal with plucking out the smaller cases, just as 9 mm reloaders curse the 380s.
I reload both the 19mm and 17mm versions of the 9mm. In fact, I even load some of my .357M cartridges using .380 bullets, for pistol varmint loads. The .380 hollow point bullets can be very effective when loaded up to over 2,000 fps :-)

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Firemedic2000
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Post by Firemedic2000 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:36 pm

Iosef wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:29 pm
rentprop1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:35 pm
Old time reloaders shunned it from the beginning, they didnt wanna deal with plucking out the smaller cases, just as 9 mm reloaders curse the 380s.
I reload both the 19mm and 17mm versions of the 9mm. In fact, I even load some of my .357M cartridges using .380 bullets, for pistol varmint loads. The .380 hollow point bullets can be very effective when loaded up to over 2,000 fps :-)
Now that's something right there and would make one heck of a gun.
RANGER AIRBORNE, FIREMEDIC, NRA BENEFACTOR, OATH KEEPER 
In the Government's/Elitist eye's I'm a Terrorist for believing in the Constitution and taking an oath to defend it instead of destroying it

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