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about 45 gap

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Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to talk about .45 GAP today. The cartridge notably mark’s the first cartridge to bear Glock’s name. Our goal with this blog post is to provide a brief overview of the cartridge while delving into things such as traits, features, use cases, and more. Without further ado, let’s talk about .45 GAP.


What is .45 GAP?

The origins of the .45 GAP can be traced back to November 2002. The cartridge is the product of a collaboration between Ernest Durham and the notable pistol company Glock. Due to Glock’s involvement with the development of the cartridge, the cartridge was dubbed .45 GAP, or .45 Glock Automatic Pistol. At the time, Glock was soliciting a handgun cartridge which would perform similarly to the established .45 ACP with a few design changes. Notably, the .45 GAP was designed to be shorter than the .45 ACP and feature a stronger case head. The shorter length was desirable as it promotes reliable feeding and chambering in semi-automatic firearms. A stronger case head was implemented to attempt to make it less probably that blowouts would occur. The cartridge eventually made its debut in 2003 and ultimately did not replace the .45 ACP and other conventional rounds in mainstream use.

The cartridge saw some use by law enforcement agencies in the United States shortly after its introduction. Notably, multiple state law enforcement agencies adopted the cartridge for a period of time after its introduction. The New York State Police, South Carolina Highway Patrol, Florida Highway Patrol, and Pennsylvania State Police are among the notable agencies which have utilized the .45 GAP. These agencies utilized the cartridge in the full-sized Glock 37 handgun for duty use. Today, most law enforcement agencies utilize more conventional cartridges such as 9mm Luger, .40 Smith & Wesson, and .45 ACP.

Like the .45 ACP, most conventional .45 GAP ammo offerings feature a 230 grain projectile. Originally, the .45 GAP was designed with 200 grain projectiles in mind. Further development of the cartridge in the way of tuning velocities and pressure proved that it could handle 230 grain bullets. Beyond 230 grain loadings, one will also often encounter 180 or 200 grain .45 GAP ammunition. The cartridge also features a higher pressure than its .45 ACP counterpart, typically putting .45 GAP loadings close to +P .45 ACP load pressures. Recoil for the cartridge can be described as stout but controllable, especially when fired in full-size handguns.

45 GAP VS 45 ACP
.45 GAP VS .45 ACP

Is .45 GAP the Same as .45 ACP?

The .45 GAP and .45 ACP are completely different cartridges. While they both feature .45 caliber projectiles, the cartridges are distinct from one another and are not interchangeable. .45 ACP ammo cannot be used in .45 GAP handguns. Conversely, firearms chambered in .45 ACP will not accept .45 GAP ammo. Simply put, the two cartridges are unique and are incompatible with each other.


Who Makes .45 GAP Ammo?

.45 GAP ammo is produced by a number of companies. Companies who produce this type of ammunition hail from all around the globe. Manufacturers include companies such as Magtech, Speer, Winchester, Sellier & Bellot, and Federal to name a few. These loadings will typically encompass both full metal jacket (FMJ) loadings and defensive loadings which generally feature hollow point bullets.


How Available is .45 GAP Ammo?

At this point in time, .45 GAP ammo is somewhat of a rare find these days. Not many firearms are currently available in the chambering, meaning that not many shooters are utilizing the cartridge. .45 GAP ammunition is not as prevalent as more contemporary calibers such as 9mm Luger, .40 Smith & Wesson, and .45 ACP. This does not mean that the cartridges are unobtainable by any means, a prospective buyer will just need to look a bit harder to find .45 GAP ammo. If you aren’t having any luck finding it in person, one can always buy .45 GAP ammo online. All in all, .45 GAP ammo may be more elusive than other loadings but it is not impossible to find.


How Available are Firearms Chambered in .45 GAP?

As mentioned above, there are not many firearms available in .45 GAP. When it comes to factory handgun offerings in the caliber, most will come from Glock. The handgun offerings from Glock which will accept .45 GAP ammo are their 37, 38, and 39 pistols. The 37 represents a full-sized handgun, the 38 represents a mid-sized handgun, and the 39 represents a compact handgun. Springfield Armory used to offer XD pistols in the caliber many years ago, but ultimately discontinued them due to a lack of interest. Simply put, these types of firearms are just not as plentiful or available as firearms chambered in 9mm Luger, .40 Smith & Wesson, and .45 ACP.


Is .45 GAP Good for Self-Defense?

The .45 GAP cartridge is certainly viable for self-defense based on the merits of the round itself. The near equivalent pressures to +P .45 ACP ammo in addition to modern day defensive ammo offerings allow the round to perform well in this use case. Modern defensive loadings help provide consistent and reliable expansion, allowing for a good effect on target. The cartridge did see use by law enforcement agencies, meaning that the .45 GAP had proven itself to be reliable for duty use. Generally speaking, if something is good enough for use by armed professionals, it is good enough for use by civilians.

The .45 GAP is ultimately hindered by a lack of support in terms of firearms and ammunition. It is simply harder to maintain a good stock of ammunition for the .45 GAP than it is for other calibers. One will have to look harder for defensive and practice .45 GAP ammunition, creating potential supply issues. Additionally, there are fewer options as far as handguns in the caliber go. Concealed carriers and shooters in general will not be able to consider a wide variety of handguns for their use cases. These traits simply make the cartridge less optimal for self-defense than other calibers.

All in all, while the cartridge is potent and viable for self-defense, it is simply not as optimal as other offerings on the market. One can certainly get the job done with a .45 GAP chambered firearm if it came down to it.

Magtech .45 GAP
Magtech .45 GAP


All in all, the .45 GAP cartridge may not have succeeded as a mainstream law enforcement or duty round, but it still remains popular with a fair number of shooters today. The cartridge ultimately suffers from issues regarding availability of ammo and firearms but is by no means a slouch when it comes to actual performance. We here at True Shot Ammo occasionally have .45 GAP ammo for sale in addition to the rest of our ammunition offerings. Whether you are looking to buy some .45 GAP ammunition or purchase ammunition of another type, we have got you covered. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.


View more posts about ammo:

  • About .357 Sig
  • About .50 BMG
  • All About .45 ACP
  • All About Buckshot
  • All About Shotgun Slugs

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