John Browning gave the world the .45 ACP cartridge in 1905 in response to the famous Thompson–LaGarde Tests on bullet effectiveness, and today the round is still popular as are the firearms that are chambered for it.
With that in mind, here is a rundown of some of the cooler "fuddy-fives" currently in circulation.
While the first pistol, the M1905, to use the .45 ACP was a Colt autoloader, by far the most famous to be chambered for the fat slug were the follow-on M1911 models which have been in widespread production for the past 108 years and counting. It is likely that Colt will still be making M1911A1 variants well 108 years from now. Available in both new production and a host of collectible specimens, the "GI 45" is the gold standard when talking about pistols chambered in for the round.
Expanding from 9mm, Glock introduced the .45 ACP-chambered G21 in 1990. Now in its 30th year of production, the full-sized 13+1 capacity G21 is still popular, floating around in both 3rd and 4th Gen models. For those wanting to keep Glock Perfection but go more compact in the same caliber, there is the G30 and G36, while the G41 goes more practical/tactical with a 5.31-inch barrel and MOS options.
Kimber entered the business of making M1911A1-style handguns in 1995 and is still going strong with a variety of models ranging from the affordable Ronin series to the more aristocratic Grand Raptor and Rapide line for those who want a little more flash.
Although Sig Sauer has its roots in Switzerland and Germany, today it is seen as a New Hampshire-based American company (indeed, its German-based sister company _ is reportedly shutting down the sauer kraut stand), and what can be more American than a .45? While Sig first sent its P220s into the States chambered in Mr. Browning's caliber as the Browning BDA in the 1970s, the company has long been making good old fashioned 1911s, ditching the strudel for apple pie.
Smith & Wesson began production of the first U.S.-made 9mm pistols in the 1950s and by the Miami Vice era introduced the Model 645 (guess which caliber it was chambered in?) which later morphed into the 4500-series. The 945 was a highly tuned hybrid of the aforementioned that blended more 1911-style characteristics.
While Smith got away from their 1980s/90s-classic all-stainless DA/SA pistols in favor of the polymer-framed M&P series guns, they wisely saw that there was still a hunger for all-metal .45s as their 945 model remained in demand. Logically, they introduced the SW1911 to meet the needs of the boomer masses with a beautiful gun that flat-out works.