The original 45 Colt cartridge was developed almost 150 years ago. The pressures developed by this cartridge were mild at 14,000 PSI Maximum Average Pressure. Even though modern firearms can and are being manufactured to handle much higher pressures, the official SAAMI standard for 45 Colt ammunition is still as originally produced.
Because of the vast numbers of vintage and replica firearms that can safely handle only ammunition loaded to the original ‘Cowboy Action’ level of pressures, shooters should never use any +P style ammunition in any firearm unless they are confident of the strength of that firearm.
Firearm manufacturers are understandably hesitant to claim their firearms are capable to safely shoot ammunition that exceeds SAAMI specifications since they probably do not know anything about that particular ammunition.
Our research into this issue has resulted in the following recommendations for firearms that we are confident can safely shoot our 45 Colt Bear Load +P and our other 45 Colt +P ammunition. Although shooters may claim other firearms can safely shoot this ammunition, unless the firearm manufacturers go on record stating that fact, we advise shooters to not use this ammunition in any other firearms.
45 Colt ammunition OTHER than Cowboy Action ammunition is for use ONLY in the OLD STYLE LARGE FRAME Ruger Blackhawk (post 1973, not the pre 1973 3-screw) including the ORIGINAL Ruger Vaquero and Ruger Bisley version of the Blackhawk, the Thompson/Center Contender, the Magnum Research BFR, or any firearm chambered in 454 Casull or 460 S&W including the Taurus Raging Judge.
It is NOT for the NEW STYLE SMALL FRAME Ruger Blackhawk and its variants like the NEW Vaquero or the New Flat-top Blackhawks.
It is NOT suitable for the Colt Single Action Army, Colt Cowboy, Colt Anaconda or Ruger Redhawk, Taurus Judge, any Smith and Wesson revolvers including the Governor or any vintage or replica firearms.
We have no information on any rifles that can safely shoot this ammunition at this time.