Q: Have you ever heard of a cartridge called the .45 Winchester Magnum? I believe it was a pistol cartridge brought out sometime during the 1970s, but that’s about all I can find out about it. Can you tell me more?
A: I attended the Winchester Seminar for gunwriters the year the .45 Win. Mag. was introduced – it may have been in 1978 at Nilo Farms, Illinois. It was chambered in a brand new semi-auto Wildey pistol. The cartridge is a .3 inch longer version of the .45 ACP, bringing it within .1 inch of the .44 Magnum’s case length and it has nearly the same capacity. Winchester factory ammo featured a .451″ diameter 230gn FMJ bullet 1400fps. The gun and cartridge were both designed for silhouette competition. I remember it was a man-sized gun but kicked like hell and was hard to handle. We all had a go shooting it at targets, but Bill Jordan who had hands the size of dinner plates did best. I believe he shot 4 inch groups with it at 50 yards. Neither Elmer Keith or Charlie Askins appeared too enthused about it. I believe I have some photos somewhere of these guys shooting the Wildey.