1911 Hand Cannon – The 460 Rowland Conversion Video

Woo! Baby.

460 Rowland.

Designed by Johnny Rowland. He is the host of ‘The Shooting Show’.

A very unique character. In fact, a great guy to watch. I’ve been doing the research on the 460 for a while and watched quite a few videos with Johnny Rowland.

He’s just a really great guy.

He wanted to design a pistol from the 1911 that would should very similar in ballistics to the 44 magnum.

So, what we’ve come up with is the 460 Rowland.

It really, in some areas, exceeds 44 magnum, which really is pretty powerful considering you can use a standard 1911 to fit this round.

This is a barrel conversion kit with a compensator. This compensator really makes a big difference with recoil.

Now, to give you a comparison of the pressure of a 45 ACP, it runs 21,000 psi. The 460 Rowland runs 40,000 psi. That’s almost double the pressure.

One thing that makes the 460 Rowland a really successful cartridge is that it is the same height as your standard 45. So, it’ll use 45 magazines.

The biggest difference, as far as in physical property here, is the case. You can see the case is slightly longer. But, the reason for the longer case is to keep you from putting a 460 Rowland in a standard 45 ACP chamber.

But, one of the great things about this is you can shoot a standard 45 ACP in a 460 Rowland chambered barrel. Very similar to a 38 special 357 kind of marriage.

Or 44 special 44 magnum.

The big difference is the bullet is seeded deeper. So, what that does it allows the pressures to get really high in this smaller area.

So, with the stronger chamber the 460 you’re able to put more powder which builds up more pressure and will send this bullet really flying.

Very similar to a 44 magnum.

Here, I’ve got the 460 with the lead bullets. These are actually 250 grain lead bullets. These are his large and dangerous game ammunition.

Then I have the standard full metal jacket, 230 grain, 45 ACP from HPR.

So, I just wanted to show you how…

What a comparison it is.

It’s very uniform. So, this really allows for you to use your standard 1911 magazines.

Now, to give you a general idea of how the 460 Rowland performs against the 44 magnum, the 10mm, and the 45 ACP.

The 44 magnum is running about 1500 feet per second. It’s putting out about 1100 ft pounds.

The 460 Rowland is putting out 1350 feet per second, and about 1000 ft pounds.

So, just a little under, but yet the bullet weight is about 250 grains compared to 230 grains.

200 grain 10mm is going about 1300 feet per second. But, it’s only delivering 750 ft pounds of pressure.

Your standard 45 230 grain ball is going about 700 feet per second. The ft pounds of energy are 414 pounds.

So, you have a considerable difference with the 460.

It’s really closely aligned with the 44 magnum. Whereas, the 10mm is definitely superior to the 45, but much less superior than the 460 Rowland.

After this video is over you’re going to be given a test on all the statistics of these bullets.

Okay, maybe not.

460 Rowland case is 1/16th of an inch longer than your 45 ACP. If you’ve ever gotten close to putting one of these in a standard 45 ACP, you’re going to be glad that it’s a little longer.

It’s not going to chamber.

45 ACP here on the right. On the left, 460 Rowland.

You can see definitely now, there’s a big difference in case length.

Here you can see that the gun is unloaded.

Johnny Rowland developed the 460 Rowland in 1998 with Starline Brass and then Clark Custom Guns.

They were the first ones to start with the conversion kit.

The conversion kit is a stainless steel barrel, a unique guide rod system with a heavier spring. In fact, for the carbon steel models, you use a 24 pounds spring which is pretty hefty.

It does have a compensator here that really helps to tame recoil. That’s one of the big things that they were wanting to do. Less noise, less muzzle flash, less muzzle rise.

As you’ll see when we’re going a lot of the shooting, it really holds very well for the power that’s coming out of the end of this barrel.

After shooting this big boy…

Definitely need a smoke.

In fact Johnny Rowland designed this to shoot like a dream and hit like a sledge hammer.

So, this is going to be an excellent pistol to be able to carry especially if you’re on a hunting trip, you need a side arm for large and dangerous game.

They do make conversion kits for the Glock and 45 calibers for the model 21 and the model 30.

They also make a number of conversions for the Springfield armory XD and XDM models and all the different barrel lengths.

You can go to 460Rowland.com and check out all the different conversion kits they make for these pistols.

But, I was specifically wanting one for my Colt 1911. I thought it would be a pretty powerful round, especially with the way that it really tames the recoil.

A lot of people have tried to get them to design one without the compensator. But, it shoots really too damaging to the firearm.

So, the compensator really makes a big difference.

Here, at the end of the compensator, authentic 460 Rowland, you’re not going to mistake what’s pointing at you if this thing ever does.

Another beautiful thing about the 460 Rowland is that you can use standard 45 ACP dies, which makes that really nice.

There are a number of companies that make the 46 Rowland ammunition. Underwood, Buffalo Bore, to name a few. Then Georgia Arms also produces a line of 460 Rowland.

Then you can also get right there on the Rowland website, their ammunition which…

They have different bullet weights which starts out with a 185 grain bullet. That’s Johnny’s personal custom carry that he does.

Then they have a 230 grain. Then they have the 250 grain, which is the large and dangerous game load.

That’s what we’re going to be testing today.

Now, the Colt 1911 that has the 460 Rowland conversion is the only full size 1911 that I have. So, I decided to take out my Ballester-Molina in 45 ACP to do the recoil comparison.

Now, the recoil is definitely a little bit heavier, no doubt, than your standard 45 ACP.

We are shooting a 250 grain bullet compared to a 230 grain out of the 45. But, with the compensator it makes it really nice.

Most of the energy comes back on the slide. It’s not flipping your muzzle up. It’s staying right on target.

I was able to hit my standard steel silhouette targets with ease with repeated shots.

Try to do that with a 44 magnum.

It is more significant than the 10mm, of course. The ballistics are a lot more significant.

I’ll tell you guys, just to be honest, putting this in my Colt 70 series 1911, I had a little bit of reservations. But, after doing a lot of research, you know, I thought, hey man, this is going to be the perfect pistol.

Now, I need to put on some aftermarket sights and put me on a nice beavertail and I’m ready to go.

One big nice hole.


I’m telling you guys. It’s not bad at all on the 1911.

But, even with these old GI sights, you saw what it did to the target.

Now, here are the contents for your 1911 460 Rowland conversion.

You’re not going to use the existing barrel, recoil spring, recoil guide rod, plug, or barrel bushing.

So, we’re going to put these out of the way.

We are going to retain the slide, the slide stop, and the existing frame.

The kit comes with a 460 Rowland barrel with compensator and your barrel bushing.

It also comes with a 2 piece guide rod with your guide rod plug and you have your recoil spring.

This is a 24 pound recoil spring, which works better with carbon steel slides.

Now, they do furnish a 20 pound recoil spring. This is better for stainless steel.

They also include an Allen wrench, which will go into the end of your guide rod. We’ll show you that later.

There’s an opened end 460 Rowland bushing wrench, which you’re going to need because of the compensator.

To get started, take your existing slide, go and slide your barrel, get it started, and we’re going to place our recoil plug into the end right here.

Go ahead and take your barrel bushing and get it into place. Now, it’s really tight, so it’s going to take a little bit of work to get it in.

Once you have it into place, go ahead and turn your barrel bushing. Line it up with the plug.

The bushing should be lined up so the plug will fit right there in the bushing. You’ll want to place the threaded end of your guide rod in through the plug first.

You got to take your recoil spring, put the back end of your guide rod first and then slip it into place through your rod.

This is probably the toughest part of the whole installation is getting the rear of the guide rod…

You’re going to want to get it through on to the back of these lugs.

We’re going to mate it with the front piece in just a minute.

So, go ahead and get it started and then what I do is grab hold and hold this spring into place with my other hand.

Once it’s into place behind the lugs…

Take your slide and put it on the frame.

This will help hold that guide rod into place.

What you want to do is line up the front of the guide rod into the rear. You’re going to want to go ahead and take your Allen wrench and then get it started.

You can see right here with the threads are going into place and it’s joining together.

Go ahead tighten that down and then just remove your wrench.

Now, bring this slide on over to make sure you have it captivated and we do.

Now, you want your barrel link to be showing, just like a standard 1911. Go ahead and put your slide stop there.

Then bring your slide to the rear position where that little notch is showing.

I’m going to slide it right into place like that and then let it go.

Now, you want to test.

Make sure that everything’s linked up.

We’re ready to go.

Now, I fit this before the shooting sequence.

I did this afterwards.

It was much easier the second time around, getting this in.

Once this spring was broken in just a little bit.

But, once you get it down it’s really not that difficult.

Behind the camera it is fairly difficult to be able to use it.

One of the things there that I found was I needed to rack my slide in this position, this way.

One area to take special note is to make sure that your slide stop is flush. If it’s not flush, it will start to bind up just a little bit.

So, just double check and make sure that’s in place.

Everything’s ready to go.

Then because of the various heat treating processes that go on with 1911s, there’s a list of recommended 1911s that Rowland says are able to take the 460 Rowland caliber.

You can go to the Rowland website and check those out.

Most of your really high quality manufacturers and post world war II 1911s.

But, there are a number of companies that you need to be weary of, especially your budget 1911s, which can handle 45 ACP just fine. But, when you run up to the 460 Rowland, the heat treating process is really important with the slide.

Now, 460 Rowland is also joined up with Masterpiece Arms. They’re doing a couple of really cool carbine conversions. In fact, I’ll have the links annotated right here for you to check out.

Johnny Rowland himself is doing the demonstration and it is impressive.

He’s also shooting a 44 magnum next to the 460 Rowland.

So, there’re a lot of cool things that Johnny Rowland has done and continuing to do.

So, I think the 460 Rowland is just an incredible caliber. The ballistics are unbelievable.

Really for the recoil, even though it seemed like…

Re-watching the shooting sequences, the recoil does seem to be pretty heavy but really it just rides back in your hand.

It is very manageable.

I’ll tell you, I think the 460 Rowland is an excellent caliber. I think we’re going to be seeing more and more from that caliber.

Definitely in the magnum class, top notch.

460 Rowland comes way up.

We’re going to be running this through the chronograph. We have some ballistic jail we’re going to be showing the ammunition test and penetration test and also just some different medium.

Because I think you’re going to find this is a really phenomenal caliber and a good choice for you know, your 1911, your Glock, or your XD, XDMs.

This is sweet.

Big thing is, it’s going to give you a lot more confidence when you’re hunting.

When you’re out in the field, having something like this will give something a very bad day.

Be strong.

Be of good courage.

God bless America.

Long live the republic.

We’re going to give you a very bad day.

Long live Johnny Rowland, baby.