This miniature replica of the famous Colt .45 Peacemaker, known as, “the gun that won the West,” actually fires small percussion cap-like blank ammunition. The caps are stored inside the cast plastic replica of a full-size .45 caliber bullet, which also serves to give a reference to size scale. This gun is purported to be a prototype for the manufactured version, but unfortunately the years have not been kind to the diecast cylinder, which has swollen and cracked and will no longer rotate in the frame. This was common on others like it as well. The miniature pistol was made by American Miniature Gun & Cartridge Co., Hollywood, CA.

Also referred to as the Frontier “45” in much of the literature, it is too nice to be a toy but cannot be considered a true miniature either because it does not exactly duplicate the function of the original Colt design. Made in the 1950s, its cylinder rotates and it has a half and full cock position. It has a flip-down, side loading gate and spring-loaded ejector rod like the original.

Rather than a pivoting trigger, the entire trigger guard moves forward when cocked, and is pulled back to release the hammer. There is simply no room inside the trigger guard for a finger to fit, so this seems a logical solution. The rarest of these were offered with gold plating and custom engraving but all are fairly hard to find now. The model came in a wooden box with a plastic full-size .45 caliber bullet to hold bullet primers.

This "Little .45" is a miniature replica of the famous Colt .45 Peacemaker.

Exhibit added: July 15, 2008 - Last modified: May 26, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship