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#4617762 - 12/29/17 12:09 PM Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland
john_pifer Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 1966
Loc: Nashville, TN via Memphis
I'm sure most of y'all have heard of this, but if you haven't, it's a conversion that's available for 1911s, Glocks and Springfield XDs that gives you .44 MAG-like power levels out of a pistol chambered for .45 ACP.

The .460 Rowland cartridges do this by almost doubling the chamber pressure of standard .45 ACP, but the ported or compensated barrel makes it safe to shoot in a standard .45 ACP gun by momentarily delaying the opening of the slide in order to vent the excess gas pressure. Power gains over, say, 10mm Auto, are substantial.

The round overall length is the same length as .45 ACP, though the case is a bit longer.

The compensated barrel also actually reduces muzzle flip when compared to standard .45 ACP. It works very well due to the high pressure of the .460 Rowland round, as evidenced by watching the video of Sootch00 shooting his .460 Rowland-converted Colt vs. a standard .45 ACP 5" barreled handgun:



I've been thinking about getting a conversion kit for my Dan Wesson 1911. It would be $332 plus $25 for a stainless compensator, since my DW is stainless.

Any of y'all done the .460 Rowland conversion?
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#4617798 - 12/29/17 01:05 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3041
Loc: NJ
I use my .45 as my home defense gun. It's fine just the way it is. Maybe if I had multiple .45 pistols I'd consider a conversion but probably not even then. .45 is plenty powerful enough for me.
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#4617808 - 12/29/17 01:24 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
Power gains over, say, 10mm Auto, are substantial.


I guess the concept is lost on me.
I think 10mm is overkill for most any handgun use.

For big game hunting in Montana, I did use to use my Ruger .44 mag, though.
I just never felt like I needed a semi-auto with that power.
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#4617844 - 12/29/17 02:01 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
john_pifer Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 1966
Loc: Nashville, TN via Memphis
I guess itís similat to owning a powerful automobile. If you have to ask ďwhy?Ē, then itís not for you.

And then there are those of us whose immediate reaction is, THATíS FREAKING AWESOME! I WANT ONE!!
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#4617902 - 12/29/17 03:39 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: S California
Just do it. Life's too short to worry about it. It's a good conversion if you are comfortable with the increased power. It's really not that big of a deal.

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#4617949 - 12/29/17 04:44 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
billt460 Offline


Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 4394
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
The .460 Rowland cartridges do this by almost doubling the chamber pressure of standard .45 ACP, but the ported or compensated barrel makes it safe to shoot in a standard .45 ACP gun by momentarily delaying the opening of the slide in order to vent the excess gas pressure.


This is the part I'm not getting. Going by the gun in the photo, by the time the bullet reaches the compensator, it would have been out of the barrel on a standard 5" 1911. So where is the "delayed" part coming from? I can't see that system being any less hard on the gun. Especially if it's running over double the chamber pressure of a standard .45 ACP. As fine of a gun as the 1911 is, it's not "Magnumized". Even the .38 Super was hard on it when it first came out.

I remember when Colt first introduced the 10 MM Delta Elite. They had issues with slides cracking on several guns. I don't know what they did to fix it. If in fact they did anything. This was back when the 10 MM first came out, and was loaded hot. Perhaps the problem was self correcting when all the ammo makers started loading down the 10 MM to the anemic levels it now enjoys. Same with the .38 Super. That cartridge is loaded to nowhere near the power levels it was when it came out in the 30's.

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#4617999 - 12/29/17 05:19 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: billt460]
john_pifer Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 1966
Loc: Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted By: billt460
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
The .460 Rowland cartridges do this by almost doubling the chamber pressure of standard .45 ACP, but the ported or compensated barrel makes it safe to shoot in a standard .45 ACP gun by momentarily delaying the opening of the slide in order to vent the excess gas pressure.


This is the part I'm not getting. Going by the gun in the photo, by the time the bullet reaches the compensator, it would have been out of the barrel on a standard 5" 1911. So where is the "delayed" part coming from? I can't see that system being any less hard on the gun. Especially if it's running over double the chamber pressure of a standard .45 ACP. As fine of a gun as the 1911 is, it's not "Magnumized". Even the .38 Super was hard on it when it first came out.

I remember when Colt first introduced the 10 MM Delta Elite. They had issues with slides cracking on several guns. I don't know what they did to fix it. If in fact they did anything. This was back when the 10 MM first came out, and was loaded hot. Perhaps the problem was self correcting when all the ammo makers started loading down the 10 MM to the anemic levels it now enjoys. Same with the .38 Super. That cartridge is loaded to nowhere near the power levels it was when it came out in the 30's.


Iím not sure, Bill. I also wondered how it is doing it. Maybe the weight? Iíll have to do some more research.

I know the Rowland Company says that 1911s that donít have heat-treated slides shouldnít be converted. They also have a list of 1911s they say are good to go. The Dan Wesson is on that list. And a quick search over on the DW section on the 1911 Forum revealed at least one person whoís done it.
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#4618042 - 12/29/17 05:58 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
Marco620 Offline


Registered: 02/25/14
Posts: 2186
Loc: Deplorable Kansan,HK fan!
Goodnight! I like 45 but apparently that aint enough for you. Dan Coonan makes 1911 in 38 Super,357, and 44mag.
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#4618074 - 12/29/17 06:28 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
bigj_16 Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 1267
Loc: Douglas County, Colorado
I remember about twenty five years ago, I went in my local gun store. The guy that worked there had just got a Grizzly .45 Win Mag in. Now, I am a pretty big, strong guy(and a lot younger back then smile ). I grabbed a hold of the slide like I would a 1911, and that sucker wouldn't move. I couldn't believe how hard I had to grip it, to rack the slide.

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#4618090 - 12/29/17 06:43 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
spk2000 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 984
Loc: Prospect, KY
Ever look at the Magnum Research 44 Mag semi auto already built to handle the heavy loads and common ammo readily available in case you don't have the reloads ready when the zombie apocalypse begins.
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#4618099 - 12/29/17 06:54 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1351
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
I almost did this about 15 years ago. I had custom Caspian that already had a slide cut in it for an integral ramped barrel. I bought a Clark .460 barrel and was about to fit it and then tool up to reload for it.

I decided a dedicated .44 Magnum was more suitable for my needs (bear gun), more reliable, and a good excuse to get a beautiful classic S&S .44 mag. So I sold the barrel and stepped away. But those were my needs and as a range gun and for the fun of it, it's a very compelling project.

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#4618101 - 12/29/17 06:55 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 4203
Loc: Port Orange, Florida
How available is the ammo?
According to most 1911 .45 Auto people a .45 Auto already has the stopping power of a Howtizer. This ought to really excited them. I d watch for the fine print like not liable for condition of your firearm.
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#4618108 - 12/29/17 07:01 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
bigj_16 Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 1267
Loc: Douglas County, Colorado
The Underwood .460 Rowland 185 gr. load is listed at 1575 fps, and 1019 ME.

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#4618111 - 12/29/17 07:02 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: john_pifer]
spk2000 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 984
Loc: Prospect, KY
Nice video. Very informative. I had a compensator like that for my Glock 21 which is 45 ACP and it would cause it to jam. Tried it for bowling pin shoots but the jamming was a real problem. It may have been the recoil reduction did not allow the slide to fully blowback. Also a friend had the Glock 20 10mm version and we were able to swap barrels and clips and shoot the other caliber just fine in each others gun.
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#4618142 - 12/29/17 07:29 PM Re: Converting .45 ACP 1911 to .460 Rowland [Re: Marco620]
john_pifer Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 1966
Loc: Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted By: Marco620
Goodnight! I like 45 but apparently that aint enough for you. Dan Coonan makes 1911 in 38 Super,357, and 44mag.


Thing is, .45 ACP is not that powerful! Itís a Low-pressure cartridge. Thatís why when you shoot a .45, itís not that sharp of a recoil. More of a shove...unlike, say, .40 S&W, which has the tendency to be sharp and snappy to many people.
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