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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried searching this topic but could not find a clear answer. Does anyone know what is the oldest production handgun (semi or revolver) that can fire a modern and usually available handgun cartridge (pre pandemic) without modifications to the gun, the round, or the magazine if one is used? No handloading or special fitting in the gun.

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What was then called smokeless power was brought into production in 1884. Gun makers soon followed suit in making their products capable of the increased preasures.
 

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IIRC, 45 colt, 38 SP, and 45-70 started life as black powder cartridges. I'm sure there are others. like the 44-40, but not sure what you are calling "Modern".
9MM dates back to 1901, 45 ACP to 1904, if that is what you are referring to.
 

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I'm gonna' take a wild guess and say the Colt Single Action Army Model 1873 for revolvers in 45 Long. Turn of the century Colt and S&W revolvers in 38 Special.

Colt 1903 in 32 ACP, Colt 1908 vest pocket 25 and Model 1908 380 and of course the 1911 in 45 ACP and 38 Super, Browning High Power, German Luger and P38 in 9mm for semi auto's.

The 1934 Beretta was chambered in 32ACP and 380. There's gotta' be others of course.

As far as I know they can all fire modern day and readily available ammo today. Depending on the condition of the gun of course. I wouldn't use +P in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
IIRC, 45 colt, 38 SP, and 45-70 started life as black powder cartridges. I'm sure there are others. like the 44-40, but not sure what you are calling "Modern".
9MM dates back to 1901, 45 ACP to 1904, if that is what you are referring to.
By modern, I mean ammo that is regularly sold today from non-specialty dealers not making small batches for antique guns. Just stuff like 45 acp, 38 sw, 9mm, 22 lr, etc.
 

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The .45 Colt is a good candidate, it came out in the black powder era, and is still being sold. And the Colt Peacemaker is still being sold, so that’s my guess.

Ruger and others like Uberti make .45 Colt revolvers. But the Peacemaker was the original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The .45 Colt is a good candidate, it came out in the black powder era, and is still being sold. And the Colt Peacemaker is still being sold, so that’s my guess.

Ruger and others like Uberti make .45 Colt revolvers. But the Peacemaker was the original.
Can the original Colt .45s shoot modern .45 ACP? Maybe as Desertman man said, the Model 1873.
 

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Can the original Colt .45s shoot modern .45 ACP? Maybe as Desertman man said, the Model 1873.
The Colt Model 1873 is a single action revolver that fires the 45LC (Long Colt) cartridge. It was not designed to fire or accept the 45ACP cartridge. The Colt 1911 is a semi automatic pistol that was designed to fire the 45ACP cartridge. You can not under any circumstances chamber and fire the 45LC in a 1911. They are two entirely different cartridges and guns. If both guns are in good condition and in proper working order there's no reason why they can't accept and fire modern ammunition. That ammunition is alive and well and still in production today.
 

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How about the S&W Model 1 revolver, chambered for the still-available .22 Short cartridge, which was first introduced in 1857?

I probably wouldn't shoot modern High Velocity .22 Shorts in it, but if you could find a box of Remington standard-velocity shorts (still fairly common just a few years ago, before the latest shortages began), it would probably work just fine. I used to have a Beretta Minx (model 950) in .22 Short, and it was a great little pocket plinker, as well as a better-than-nothing pocket defensive pistol.
 

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How about the S&W Model 1 revolver, chambered for the still-available .22 Short cartridge, which was first introduced in 1857?

I probably wouldn't shoot modern High Velocity .22 Shorts in it, but if you could find a box of Remington standard-velocity shorts (still fairly common just a few years ago, before the latest shortages began), it would probably work just fine. I used to have a Beretta Minx (model 950) in .22 Short, and it was a great little pocket plinker, as well as a better-than-nothing pocket defensive pistol.
I had no idea that 22 short had been around that long. It shouldn't surprise me, since American ammo is rather anemic, and was made that way, probably still. I'm sure ease of manufacture and a few other things came to play, along with rim fire was a popular means for a time in the era.
I remember in days gone by there was a company called Hirtenberger (sp). we got 9mm rate for +P+ here, but you could tell it was added to the brown unmarked box except for the white label. It would run near 1400 fps out of a G19, and a bit more out of a G17. 100 grain SP and made the pistol run like a sewing machine. Makes me wonder if that was the ammo the pistol was built around to start with.
 
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Can the original Colt .45s shoot modern .45 ACP? Maybe as Desertman man said, the Model 1873.
Liquid Fluid Ammunition Bullet Cylinder

Same caliber completely different design.
 

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The 45 long colt was the best caliber of its time but when the military wanted a semi automatic pistol they wanted a energy of the 45 long colt. Saint John Moses Browning went to work and after several version he came up with the 1911 pistol, and blessed the world with it.
 
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