Colt .45


#1

Hello, I’m just doing a little study on the “English Order” Russian contract for the Colt 1911 .45 by Czar Nicholas the second. Would anyone know if Russia ever manufactured the Colt .45 ammnition between 1916 and 1949? Has anyone ever seen a case with Russian writing on it in this round? Thanks


#2

I studied russian ammo for about 20 years and in particular ammo for small arms and never came across any trace or bit of information that such cartridges were made.


#3

As far as I know, the contract was let via England. It is possible that a British firm provided the ammo, or commercial US ammo was sent along with the pistols.


#4

The question of Russian .45 ACP ammunition production during the WWI and WWII period probably is best answered by two circustances, one pointing to WWI supplies and one from recent years involved with WWII.

The English order, which was made through the British Government due to previous agreements between Russian and England, is pretty clear. In Ovember of 1915, The Russian Chief of Staff sent a telegram to the Ministry of War authorizing the purchase of arms and ammunition from Allied and Neutral countries regardless of caliber, provided THAT THEY COULD BE PURCHASED WITH ACCOMPANYING AMMUNITION. Since England was already involved in the War, and the United States was not, I would think that the likely source of ammunition was the United States, and that it was probably commercial production rather than from Frankford Arsenal, the only military factory producing caliber .45 Pistol ammunition at the time.

The Russians received large quantities of the M1911A1 pistol during WWII, but according to Russian sources, these ended up seeing almost no service. Some were, as one book suggests but did not know, went to other Satellite countries, probably after WWII. Bins of brand new M1911A1s were shown, along with binis of new Tokarevs and Makarovs, headed for destruction in Lithuania, on a fairly recent website. Some years ago, a large quanity of WWII U.S. .45 Ammunition, repacked in Russia, was sold as surplus. As I recall, it was primarily, of course, Evansville Chrysler manufacture (steel case). That would support the fact that no Russian-made .45 ammunition had ever been encountered until the commercial “Wolf” ammunition, and then some from other factories, made recently.

For the full story of the Russian “English Purchase” and the World War II lend-lease .45s, I would highly recommend the book “Colt .45 Service Pistols, Models of 1911 and 1911A1, Complete Military History Development and Production 1900 through 1945,” by Charles W. Clawson. The information on the Russian “English Purchase,” covered here in very scant form compared to the book, came from Mr. Clawson’s work.

John Moss