.460 Rowland

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An image comparing the .45 ACP's case length to the longer .460 Rowland case.

The .460 Rowland is a high-powered Wildcat Cartridge developed by Johnny Rowland in order to reach .44 Magnum ballistics in a handgun chambered for .45 ACP. The case is very similar, other than being 1/16" longer than a standard .45 ACP case. This is primarily to prevent .460 cases from chambering in a standard .45 handgun. It also has the effect of keeping the bullet seated deeper in the overall length of the case, as well as allowing for slightly more powder capacity. Standard .45 ACP ammo can typically be fired reliably from a gun that's been converted to the .460 Rowland.

Pressures produced by these loads vastly exceed those of a standard .45 ACP, which SAAMI rates at 21,000 PSI max. In fact, the .460 Rowland is rated for 40,000 PSI, or almost double. This is why it is important to use a high-quality firearm for a .460 conversion. It has been reported that some guns experience issues such as magazines being released upon firing and other odd occurrences.

As a result of the difference in cartridge pressure and length, conversion kits are needed to safely and properly fire the .460 Rowland. These kits are sold on the 460rowland.com website and are made for 1911's, Glocks, XD-series handguns and more. They come with a stainless barrel and are rated to safely handle the increased pressure of the cartridge, as well as a sizable muzzle brake to make shooting these high-powered rounds much more comfortable to the shooter.


Below is some data on several .460 Rowland loadings, all available at the 460rowland.com website:

Loading / Name Bullet Weight (Gr) Velocity (FPS) Muzzle Energy
Johnny's Personal Carry 185 Gr JHP 1575 fps 1,019 ft lbs
Johnny's Duty Round 230 Gr JHP 1350 fps 961 ft lbs
Johnny's Magnum 240 Gr JHP 1300 fps 901 ft lbs
Dangerous Game Defense 255 Gr Hard Cast 1300 fps 957 ft lbs

Recommended Guns & Safety Concerns

Not all guns that can accept a conversion kit for the .460 Rowland may actually be able to tolerate the stress of firing the cartridge. Johnny Rowland has recommended known high-quality 1911's from manufacturers like Smith & Wesson, Colt, Springfield Armory and so on. Cheaper "budget" 1911's may be a mixed bag and it is not recommended to use these guns for a .460 conversion.

External Links

460Rowland.com - The official website for the .460 Rowland. Conversion kits, ammo, and more.


YouTuber Sootch00 did a video focusing on a 1911 converted to .460 Rowland: