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Thread: .45 GAP for CC

  1. #1
    rachilders's Avatar
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    .45 GAP for CC

    At more than one gun forum, I've seen the question asked, "What is the perfect CC pistol", and in my opinion, I hasn't been made yet. If I could get it; a K-T P-11/SKYY CPX style pistol in .45 GAP. The P-11/CPX are small, easily concealed pistols currently in 9mm and the .45 GAP was designed from the get-go as a round that delivers .45 ACP stopping power in a 9mm sized frame. Put the two together and I think SKYY or Kel-Tec would have a real winner on their hands! It would also be a chance for them to get ahead of the competition. Another option would be to offer a single stack model (like the new PF-9 from K-T or SKYY's proposed MPX-9) in .45 GAP. Talk about a pocket pistol with stopping power! Plus being in GAP, it would be controlable... a major drawback with the .45 ACP in a small pistol!

    There has been a lot of talk about why the GAP round was even designed in the first place, but I think with the recent increase in states allowing concealed carry and interest in CC pistols, the GAP's time may have arrived. If someone at K-T or SKYY would take this ball and run with it, they just may come up with the perfect concealed carry pistol AND put to rest the question of why have the .45 GAP round.

    FWIW, I personally believe SKYY makes a superior product compared to K-T (FYI, I own two CPX-1's and three K-T's - a PLR-16, PF-9 and P3AT - so I have some experience with both brands), with better overall fit, finish, and a smoother trigger with second strike ability. Since SKYY's MPX line seems to be in limbo, this could be the perfect chance for SKYY to jump ahead of it's competition and come out with a totally new product, rather than being the bridesmaid again. On the other hand, K-T could also take the ball and run with it. Nothing wrong with a little competition!

    What do you folks here think, am I on to something?
    Last edited by rachilders; 05-15-2007 at 12:43 AM. Reason: UPDATE/Typo's

  2. #2
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    A few thoughts.

    1. I've never shot a Skyy, but I have shot several KelTecs (and own two). The KelTecs worked fine - both my P32 and P3AT are 100% reliable - so I'm not sure how much better Skyy could be.

    2. Why .45GAP instead of, say, .40S&W? Does .45GAP have some special status - aside from being harder to find, more expensive, and reducing magazine capacity?

    3. The Glock pistols chambering the GAP round have a 9mm frame with an ungainly, blocky slide the width of their .45ACP slides. Can Skyy overcome this and make the GAP slide the same width as the 9mm slide? It would seem like quite an engineering feat, especially in a subcompact pistol.

    4. The GAP in a tiny pistol will recoil fairly strenuously, possibly enough to make split times unacceptably long. .40 has a similar problem, being right on the edge of realistic controllability in a pocket gun. I prefer 9mm in a small pistol.
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  3. #3
    rachilders's Avatar
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    The reason I mentioned the .45 GAP is because it's designed to work in smaller framed, modern guns that currently shoot 9mm. On the other hand, the .45 ACP was designed to operate in the full size 1911 pistol using 1900 era powders and loads, which is why the .45 ACP has almost always proved to be a problem in small pistols. The current crop of 9mm compacts are designed to shoot high pressure loads, like the 9mm and the 40 S&W, so they should have no problem handling the .45 GAP which was ALSO designed to use the same frames as current 9mm/40 S&W's.

    From the start, the .45 GAP was designed to give .45 ACP performance in a smaller, more managable package. My suggestion is that for someone who wants the stopping power of a .45 in an easy to conceal gun without the problems often associated with the .45 ACP and small framed pistols, the GAP would seem to be a good alternative.

    I mentioned the CPX (SKYY) and P-11/PF-9 specifically because they already have a basic size and design I would would consider workable. Rather than start from scratch, it would be much simpler to beef up the SKYY/K-T to handle the load.
    Last edited by rachilders; 05-15-2007 at 12:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachilders View Post
    The reason I mentioned the .45 GAP is because it's designed to work in smaller framed, modern guns that currently shoot 9mm.
    Agreed, but you could make the exact same statement about .40S&W.

    On the other hand, the .45 ACP was designed to operate in the full size 1911 pistol using 1900 era powders and loads, which is why the .45 ACP has almost always proved to be a problem in small pistols.
    As I understand it, the major problem with running .45ACP in small pistols (3" 1911s, mainly) is related to dwell time and possibly barrel angle as the slide cycles. This could presumably be fixed in a modern design, rather than just chopping down an old one. Glock's short .45ACPs run well, for example.

    The current crop of 9mm compacts are designed to shoot high pressure loads, like the 9mm and the 40 S&W, so they should have no problem handling the .45 GAP which was ALSO designed to use the same frames as current 9mm/40 S&W's.
    I don't think pressure is the issue so much as the physical dimensions of the cartridge. The GAP is just wider than either of the other cartridges, obviously. The slide might have to widened considerably, as Glock did. If so, it would somewhat defeat the purpose of making a small pistol.

    From the start, the .45 GAP was designed to give .45 ACP performance in a smaller, more managable package. My suggestion is that for someone who wants the stopping power of a .45 in an easy to conceal gun without the problems often associated with the .45 ACP and small framed pistols, the GAP would seem to be a good alternative.
    If you're utterly convinced that the .45GAP is that much better than the .40S&W (and we're talking a 1.35mm difference in diameter), you might be willing to put up with a "beefed up" gun in order to use it, so your idea is probably workable if the engineering was successful.

    But we already have .40S&W pocket guns that work very well, and there is precious little evidence that .45GAP is superior to .40S&W in terms of "stopping power." So you'd basically have a bulkier gun that MIGHT be marginally more effective, in a caliber that is more expensive to shoot, harder to find, and has a far more limited ammo selection. I don't know how many of those you'd sell.

    I mentioned the CPX (SKYY) and P-11/PF-9 specifically because they already have a basic size and design I would would consider workable. Rather than start from scratch, it would be much simpler to beef up the SKYY/K-T to handle the load.
    I'm not an engineer, so I don't know how hard or easy it would be to make those guns work with the wider GAP round. I do note that the Kahr PM40 is readily available and works well. I assume Skyy and KelTec could make something that retails for considerably less than the PM40, so that would be a good selling point. I think either gun would be far more successful in .40S&W rather than .45GAP, however, for the reasons stated above.
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    To answer/reply to a few of your statements...

    The 40 S&W is a high pressure round (think of a slightly larger 9mm +P round), which causes problems in smaller guns. It's recoil is sharp, causing more stress and control problems than the .45 GAP, which is a much lower pressure round with more of a "push" than a sharp recoil. The closest comparison that comes to mind are the .357 mag and the .45 Colt rounds. The .45 Colt is a larger bullet in a larger case, but the .357 mag has MUCH greater recoil and causes much more stress on a guns frame than the Colt round.

    I mentioned the K-T and SKYY pistols because the P-11/CPX already are "wide body" guns with double stack magazines. As such, their frames are already larger than a standard, single stack 9mm. It should be easy to fit the wider case of the .45 into the mag well of either since they already are designed to hold the wider mags and the length of the GAP case/bullet is the same as the 9mm round.

    FWIW, K-T tried making a P-11 in 40 S&W a few years back called the P-40. It was dropped after a fairly short time because of it's recoil and problems it caused with the guns frame, not to mention it was hard on the shooters hands and difficult to control for follow-up shots. I saw one at a gun show several months ago for $249 NIB and ALMOST bought it. Since the GAP is not a hi pressure load, it shouldn't have the same problems the 40 S&W did.

    BTW, I considered the SKYY a better candidate than the P-11 for the "upgrade" to .45 because not only does it have a few features the P-11 doesn't - a safety and second strike capability to name two - but it's slide is slightly thicker/wider than the P-11 slide. It shouldn't need as much beefing up to handle the larger .45 round as the P-11 would.

  6. #6
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    But the slides and barrels of the guns may not be WIDE enough for the added width of the GAP, which was my point (which I apparently made poorly). I understand that the GAP mimics the 9mm/.40 cycle length. As I noted, Glock had to use a much wider slide on their GAP pistols, but were able to use the smaller frame. So it's not a frame issue, it's a slide/barrel issue.

    I agree that .40S&W recoil is snappier than .45GAP, obviously due to the higher pressure. I don't agree that muzzle flip is much different. Anyone who can't control the .40 probably can't realistically control the .45 either, at least in a small pistol, and would be better served by a 9mm.

    You seem set on getting a GAP, however, so I wish you good luck in your quest of getting Skyy or KelTec to make it. Considering the rather sluggish sales of GAP pistols (Springfield has abandoned the round, for example), you probably have an uphill battle ahead of you.
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    Maybe I was just trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    Many people like the idea of firing a .45 caliber round in their personl defense gun, but most of the .45's available today (virtually all in .45 ACP) are too large for most people to easily conceal or have too many problems with reliability and controlability. Despite it's size, there are a lot of folks who DO carry a full size .45, such as the 1911. However, there are a LOT MORE who'd prefer a .45 over the 9mm or 40 S&W if it was in a package that's more easily concealed and controled. My idea was if you can put a managable .45 round/load in a gun the size of the P-11 or CPX, you'd have built the better mouse trap. Since the .45 GAP is already designed to fit into a 9mm/40 S&W size gun and has less recoil, it seemed an obvious choice rather than design a new .45 ACP load or a new gun aound it.

  8. #8
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    I like where your head's at, and I agree that your proposal would fill a certain niche that is currently bare. However, I think this would be a tough sell. I agree that there is a market for .45 cal self defense pistols for those who prefer the big bullet. However, I would bet this market is mainly for the .45 ACP. There is a certain romance with this old round, and I think that anyone who would accept that the .45 GAP has similar performance would also accept the seemingly substantial evidence that the .40 S&W has better stopping power than either. If a person did accept it, it would be hard to sell him a gun of the same size firing a less powerful round and less of them. This could be why the .45 GAP hasn't really taken off.

    Even so, as an engineer I enjoy hearing ideas thrown around.

    Cheers.

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