.451 Detonics Magnum

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An excellent image showing a lineup of various cartridges in the .45 caliber family, including the .45 ACP (#4), .451 Detonics Magnum (#6), .45 Winchester Magnum (#8).

The .451 Detonics Magnum, or simply the .451 Detonics, is a pistol cartridge developed by Detonics that is similar to (but slightly longer than) the .45 ACP. It uses a reinforced case to handle higher pressure loads. Its parent case is the .45 Winchester Magnum (which is 30.4mm long), trimmed down to 0.942 inches (23.9 mm). It was deliberately made to be longer than the .45 ACP cartridge (which is 23mm long) in order to avoid accidental chambering and/or safety issues.

The cartridge was available with 185 grain (11.98 gram) and 200 grain (12.95 gram) bullets. Like both the .45 ACP and .45 Winchester Magnum, the .451 Detonics also utilizes a .452 caliber projectile.


Performance by the .451 Detonics Magnum vastly outperforms the classic .45 ACP load of a 230 gr FMJ bullet at 850 feet per second. It even well-exceeded .45 ACP +P loadings. However, compared to its parent cartridge (the .45 Winchester Magnum) or even the .460 Rowland, the .451 Detonics appears tame by comparison.

Bullet Weight / Type Velocity Muzzle Energy
Classic .45 ACP: 230 gr FMJ 850 fps 369 ft lbs
185 gr (.451 Detonics) 1,353 fps 752 ft lbs
200 gr (.451 Detonics) 1,281 fps 729 ft lbs

External Links

Hollywood Hooey: The Phantom (SyFy) - An excellent article from "The Truth About Guns" about the .451 Detonics cartridge, why it was created, and it's appearance in the 2009 mini-series "The Phantom" on SyFy channel.