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.45 Winchester Mangum
A lineup of Wildey cartridges, with the .45 Winchester second from left.
Type Pistol
Place of originUSA
Production history
Parent caseNone
Case typeRimless
Bullet diameter.452 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Neck diameter.473 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Base diameter.476 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim diameter.480 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim thickness.049 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case length1.198 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Overall length1.575 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case capacity38 gr H2O (Bad rounding hereScript error cm3)
Primer typeLP
Maximum CUP40,000 CUP
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
230 gr (Script error g) FMJ 1,400 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s) 1,001 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
260 gr (Script error g) JSP 1,200 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s) 832 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
300 gr (Script error g) RN 1,150 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s) 940 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)

The .45 Winchester Magnum, or simply .45 Magnum, is a .45 caliber rimless cartridge intended for use in semi-automatic pistols. The cartridge is a stretched version of the .45 ACP with additional strengthening in the web area to accommodate the higher operating pressure. The Win Mag is nearly identical in dimensions and loading to the .45 NAACO developed by the North American Arms Corporation for their Brigadier pistol, developed to supply to the Canadian Army after World War II. The army ultimately did not adopt the pistol and its non-NATO standard ammunition.[1]

The cartridge has been primarily used by hunters and metallic silhouette shooters.[2]


Although, the .45 Winchester Magnum may be based on the .45 ACP and have the same Rim and Base (web) dimensions, the .45 Winchester Magnum has no parent case. The .45 Winchester Magnum case is redrawn with thicker walls and longer case. The thicker wall dimensions of the .45 Winchester Magnum are designed to accommodate a higher internal pressure (40,000 cup) than that of the .45 ACP (18,000 cup [21,000psi or 140MPa]).

General commentsEdit

The .45 Winchester Magnum had been on the drawing board for two years before its introduction, in 1979, by Winchester. The cartridge did not gain much popularity due to the intermittent availability of the Wildey and LAR Grizzly pistols. The cartridge was chambered in the Thompson-Center Contender single shot pistols.

The cartridge provided the shooter with a higher performance level than the .44 Remington Magnum in a semiautomatic pistol. The cartridge is able to fire a heavier bullet than the .44 Magnum given similar velocities or similar weighted bullets at higher velocities.

The .45 Winchester Magnum gained a following among IHMSA competitors as it provided the power and performance necessary to knock down targets at an extended range. The cartridge has been used by handgun hunters and is among the few semi-automatic pistol (as opposed to revolver) cartridges which have been adopted for this sport.[2]


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