The Best .45 ACP Revolvers You Can Get in 2020

The Unique Features of .45 ACP Revolvers

Before we get to the best .45 ACP revolvers, let’s have a look at some features about the .45 ACP to understand what to look for when purchasing one for yourself. Unlike a regular pistol, you will find something interesting that you might not know.

Reliability

The .45 ACP cartridge is known for its reliability in the market. It operates at a relatively low maximum chamber pressure as compared to a 9mm. Due to the low pressure, it can help to extend the service life of your revolver. 

Performance

The .45 ACP is an effective cartridge that combines accuracy and stopping power for use against human targets. It is also a good choice when it comes to using it for bears and boars. 

The .45 ACP is a large and heavy cartridge which affects its accuracy when it comes to long ranges, however, most of the self-defense that involves a firearm happens at close ranges. It is also safer when fired in a house because it is hard for a .45 to penetrate a wall and hit someone. To increase the accuracy of a .45 ACP, it’s important to consider the weight and balance of your revolver. 

Top 5 Best .45 ACP Revolvers Review

After understanding the .45 ACP, now let’s move on to some of the best revolvers.

1. Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek

S&W 625 JM

The Smith and Wesson 625 is a six-round, single/double-action revolver chambered for the .45 ACP using moon clips. The Smith and Wesson 625 is an improved stainless steel version of Smith & Wesson Model 22 and a direct descendant of the Smith and Wesson M1917 revolver first issued during World War I.

The Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek is a collaboration of Smith and Wesson and Jerry Miculek, the record holder of speed shooting. Jerry Miculek shot a custom 625, reload and fired six more in the span of three seconds. To achieve the skills demonstrated by Jerry Miculek will take many years of practice. 

Features

The Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek is made with a stainless-steel barrel, slide and cylinder and features a “Jerry Miculek” wood grip. The trigger of this .45 ACP revolver is a “Miculek Style” .265” Wide-Grooved Speed Trigger and an exposed hammer. The front sight uses a Gold bead patridge on an interchangeable base with an adjustable rear sight. It also has a low reflection bead blast finish. 

Specification

  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Capacity: 6
  • Barrel Length: 4.13″ / 10.5 cm
  • Overall Length: 9.4″
  • Weight: 40.5 oz / 1,148.2g
  • Cylinder Material: Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Finish: Matte Stainless

Performance

The Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek has remarkable accuracy for plate shooting. It is fast to get on target and to transition. With the use of moon clips, reloading is much easier and quicker and the plunger also ejects the old clips with ease. However, in some cases, it might require a little wiggle to get the old clips out. Reloading with speed is a crucial element when it comes to speed shooting and this .45 ACP revolver is able to deliver the results you are looking for.

This .45 ACP revolver has a smooth grip. Jerry Miculek likes this grip because he can easily slide his hand over the revolver and get to the trigger faster. With a smooth grip, there is a concern that getting a good grip may be difficult but the Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek gives a good grip than what most people would expect. 

Pros

  • Lightweight – Weighed at only 40.5 oz(1,148.2g). Practical for users that are smaller size in self-defense situations.
  • Easily accessed safety – Minimal thumb movements required to reach the safety or cock the hammer back.
  • Aesthetic – Matte stainless finish for a stylish revolver.
  • Versatility – Able to swap out different barrel lengths for different purposes. 

Cons

  • Smooth grip – An issue that some gun enthusiasts might find concerning, however, handgrip can be easily replaced with aftermarket grips.
  • Difficulty finding holsters – The Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek is not the most common revolver in the market which makes it harder to find the right holster for it.

Who will use this?

Anyone. Almost anyone would enjoy using the Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek revolver. Because of its versatility of being able to change the barrel length, it is adaptable for various occasions like target shooting and competition shooting by using a long barrel and easy to handle using a shorter barrel in self-defense situations. 

2. Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP

Charter Arms Pitbull

The Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP design provides a dual coil spring assembly located in the extractor, it allows the .45 ACP caliber to be inserted and held in each chamber of the cylinder. 

Charter Arms has taken the difficulty of rimless loading and ejection to the simplicity of the rimmed cartridge in the revolver industry. The Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP revolver was the first .45 ACP revolver ever made that doesn’t require the use of moon clips to hold the cartridges. This patented system allows the shooter to easily empty spent cartridges for faster reloading. 

The Charter Arms Pitbull is a great short-range, self-defense weapon. The .45 ACP revolver is built with an average sight and a short barrel with a length of 2.5″ only. Because of the short barrel, it makes the revolver extremely easy and quick to be drawn. Accuracy is not a concern for users of this revolver as it is good for short ranges only.  

Features

The Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP revolver is available in two finishes – brushed stainless steel and Blacknitride™. A rubberized handgrip featuring a subtle company logo. Its 2.5-inch barrel is stamped with the usual company, model, and caliber data along with a Pitbull head on the barrel.  

Specifications

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Capacity: 5
  • Barrel length : 2.5” / 6.4 cm
  • Overall length: 7” 
  • Weight: 22 oz / 623.7g
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Stainless
  • Frame Finish: Matte

Performance

The Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP loads just like any revolver, except that there is a little bit of resistance from the integral rim clip. The trigger pull is like a typical revolver, long and heavy. Accuracy is consistent when shot in single or double action, no problems of any sorts. 

The grip is only comfortable for people with a medium-sized hand. A .45 ACP revolver of this size usually delivers a recoil, however, the Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP was no more unpleasant than any small revolver and it is easier to control than a traditional single-action .45 ACP revolver. 

Pros

  • Lightweight Weighed at only 22 oz(623.7g). Small and lightweight making it easy to carry around.  
  • Easy to draw and hold – Critical in self-defense situations to draw and hold your revolver and keep yourself safe. 
  • Comfortable handgrip – People with smaller hands will find it comfortable holding the revolver. People with bigger hands might find it harder to hold it comfortably.
  • Easily accessed safety – Minimal thumb movements required to reach the safety or cock the hammer back.
  • Durable finishing – Uses Blacknitride™ finishing. Adds hardness to the finish of the revolver, also reduces friction and wear. Textured grip – The textured grip allows smaller users to easily handle the kick.

Cons

  • Low capacity – With a capacity of 5 shots only, it is lesser compared to common revolvers with 6 shots.
  • Short-range use only – Built with an average sight and short barrel. Difficulty pushing beyond the 100-yard mark. 

Who will use this?

If you are looking for an above-average self-defense weapon, the Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP should be at the top of the list. It is convenient to carry around as it is lightweight and you can barely feel its weight on you. It’s easy to draw and hold which is extremely helpful in self-defense situations. If you do not wish to be in a self-defense situation where your revolver’s barrel is snagged to the holster, the Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP will be the right choice. It is also recommended for people with a small to medium-sized hand or a weak hand to go for this revolver. 

3. Smith and Wesson Governor

S&W Governor

The Smith and Wesson Governor is a snub-nosed single/double-action revolver. It is lightweight and versatile. The Smith and Wesson Governor is a multiple caliber handgun. It fires .45 ACP (with moon clips), .45 Colt, and .410 gauge shotshells.

Smith & Wesson puts a unique twist on the gun by installing a six-shot cylinder, instead of the more common five-shot configuration. The cylinder and ejector of this revolver are milled to allow the use of .45 ACP ammunition in moon clips. 

Features

The Governor is a revolver built on the Z-frame (a stretched N-frame) and utilizes a K-frame grip with a lightweight scandium alloy or stainless steel frame. Tritium Night Sight front sight dovetailed into the barrel, a fixed rear sight and a soft synthetic grip. 

Specifications

  • Caliber: 410, 2 1/2″, 45 ACP, 45 Colt
  • Capacity: 6
  • Barrel Length: 2.75″ / 6.9 cm
  • Overall Length: 8.5″
  • Weight: 29.6 oz / 839.1g
  • Cylinder Material: Stainless PVD
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material: Scandium Alloy

Performance

Performance of the Smith and Wesson Governor has been reported to be consistent with decent stopping power. However, in some cases, the firing pin doesn’t strike with enough force to expel the bullet from the barrel which can result in poorer stopping power. You may need to visit a gunsmith to ensure the performance of this revolver does not fail during critical moments.

With a shorter barrel and a longer cylinder, travel distance of the bullet is increased before hitting the rifling of the barrel and the exit velocity of the bullet is reduced which will cause a loss in performance. However, it’s one of the trade-offs of being able to fire a few different calibers such as the .410 shotshells in a handgun. 

Pros

  • Lightweight Weighed at only 29.6 oz(839.1g). Small and lightweight making it easy to carry around.
  • Easy to hold and handle – Comfortable and easy to hold grip. Hard to drop.
  • Improved accuracy – Tritium night sight helps to improve the accuracy of your shots.
  • Low chance of snagging – Snub-nosed revolver reduces the chance of snagging on a holster.

Cons

  • Faulty firing pin – Firing pin sometimes does not strike hard enough. Can be solved by visiting the gunsmith after purchasing the revolver.
  • Not very concealing – The Smith and Wesson Governor may have a short barrel but it has a long cylinder. Not the best revolver for concealed carry.
  • Requires moon clips – To fire .45 ACP rounds with the Smith and Wesson Governor, moon clips are a must. Without the moon clips, the .45 ACP just slides forward into the chamber and will not fire.

Who will use this?

The Smith and Wesson Governor is an excellent defensive revolver, so for anyone who is looking for a good defensive firearm, the Smith and Wesson Governor will be the right choice. It is lightweight and easy to handle. It has a matte black finish that gives it an aesthetic look. Even though it may be a medium to small-sized revolver, it can still deliver quite the power that you need in critical situations.

4. Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator

Chiappa 1873 Regulator

Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator is part of the 1873 series that holds the spirits and attraction of these exceptional revolvers. The 1873 is a classic handgun and a symbol of the American West. The Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator revolver will make a lot of modern cowboys happy. It is a faithful replica of the Colt 1873 Single Action, which is never missed in the most famous western films. 

The Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator revolver is Chiappa’s response to customers’ demand for a single-action model that would be classic in design and yet chambered for a popular round that would be easily encountered off the shelf or easily reloaded with components plentily available.

Features

The Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator features a top-notch quality 7075 T6 aluminium frame, fixed front sight on a 4.75 inches barrel and black polymer grips. Firing pin transfer bar for safety. Finished with a black cerakote to give the revolver a durable look while keeping its classical aesthetics. 

Specifications

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Capacity: 6
  • Barrel Length: 4.75” / 12.1 cm
  • Overall Length: 10.25”
  • Weight: 48 oz / 1360.8 g
  • Barrel Material: Steel
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Barrel Finish: Black Cerakote 
  • Frame Finish: Black Cerakote 

Performance

The Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator fires accurately with all of the components working as it should. A smooth process when it comes to changing the cylinders or disassembling the components for maintenance. 

Apart from the classical design of the Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator, it also packs a powerful shot with the .45 ACP caliber. When firing such powerful shots, safety is a factor that is clearly brought to attention for the Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator with the use of a transfer bar for safety. 

Pros

  • Good safety – Transfer bar safety mechanism for increased safety.
  • Durable design – Black cerakote gives the revolver a durable and aesthetic finishing.
  • Chambered in the powerful caliber – The revolver is chambered in the .45 ACP caliber which delivers a powerful shot.
  • Good accuracy – A longer barrel increases the exit velocity of the bullet and the effective range. 

Cons

  • Heavy Weighed at 48 oz(1360.8g). Heavy and bulky making it harder to be carried around.
  • Single-action – Limited fire rate.

Who will use this?

With the detailed design and shooting powerful .45 ACP calibers, the Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator is the perfect firearm for casual shooters. This .45 ACP revolver is also good for practices, fun shooting or anyone getting started in Cowboy Action Shooting. Besides that, it is also a great piece of collection for modern cowboys and for those who are embracing the cultures of the American West. 

5. Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch

S&W PC 325 TR

Performance Center firearms are the best of the best products by Smith and Wesson. The firearms of the Performance Center are a representation of a hybrid of old-world craftsmanship and the essence of modern technologies. It allows gun enthusiasts to own customized firearms without having to pay a high price for it. 

The Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch is a product of the Performance Center. This .45 ACP revolver is built on the large “N” frame to chamber the big calibers like .45 ACP. 

Features

The Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch features a Performance Center Trigger with a trigger stop. It is also a Performance Center Tuned Action. The frame is made with Scandium to reduce the weight of this revolver and has a stainless steel barrel. The front sight uses a Gold bead patridge with an adjustable rear sight. The handgrip is also made with synthetic material for a comfortable and stable grip.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Capacity: 6
  • Barrel Length: 4″ / 10.2 cm
  • Overall Length: 9.5″
  • Weight: 30.5 oz / 864.7g
  • Cylinder Material: Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material: Scandium Alloy
  • Frame Finish: Matte Black

Performance

The Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch never failed to impress its users. The trigger of this .45 ACP revolver has a smooth face and the Performance Center Tuned Action gives it a very clean trigger pull. Light double-action pull and a clean single-action pull. 

Users of this .45 ACP revolver have mentioned the impressive balance between its weight and durability. Gun enthusiasts also appreciate the fact that the Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch is able to mount under barrel optic. 

Pros

  • Good trigger – Clean trigger pull for single-action and a light trigger pull for double-action.
  • Adjustable sights – Being able to adjust the sight to cater for different situations and for different styles of shooter.
  • Good handling – Textured synthetic grip. Revolver will not easily slip and the user can get a good grip.
  • Ability to mount accessories – Under-barrel removable accessory rail to allow users to mount/dismount accessories.
  • Lightweight frame – The use of scandium for the frame reduces the weight of the revolver making it more desirable to be carried around.

Cons

  • Pricey – Higher price as compared to some of the revolvers with similar functionality.
  • Not concealed carry – This revolver is more of a gun that you carry over your waistband than a concealed carry. 

Who will use this?

The design of Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch was meant to be used for tactical defense. However, its intended function was not just limited to tactical defense only. This .45 ACP revolver is also recommended for target practice with the .45 ACP rounds as the revolver is an all-rounded firearm. Besides that, it is also a revolver that can be used as casual shooting and competition as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which revolver suits me?

Most of the .45 ACP revolvers in the market are designed to fit one purpose. It can be from self-defense to target shooting to competition. The revolvers that are mentioned in this list do not only perform well for its intended purposes, it also does decently well in other purposes as well.

To find the right revolver, you must first understand what is your purpose of purchasing a .45 ACP revolver. Whether it’s for practice shooting, competition or for self-defense. If you are looking for something that has the best of all world, the Smith and Wesson 625 Jerry Miculek will be highly recommended as its intended purpose is for target shooting and it is also a great self-defense firearm.

The Charter Arms Pitbull .45 ACP and Smith and Wesson Governor would be a great choice if you are picking up a revolver for self-defense. These two revolvers are lightweight, easy to handle and low chance of snagging which is important in life and death situations.

For collections of firearms, the Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator and the Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch are great picks. The Chiappa SAA 1873 Regulator is a great collection if you are into the American West culture and the Smith and Wesson Performance Center Model 325 Thunder Ranch is a personalised and handcrafted revolver that makes a good collection too.

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