Identical Opposites

| Think Tank |


By Tank Hoover

Is “His Editorship” really just a demon behind the keyboard toying with Tank’s mind —
or does he make Tank think so hard for a reason?

The Email was short, blunt and to the point, “Clean up this bucket of worms!” referring to an article I submitted. There was a P.S. at the bottom. “Write something on why the .32 ACP and .45 Colt are the same.” Huh? Has the man behind the curtain, “The Great OZ of AH” gone off his rocker? Glued to his computer screen, the conveyance for his tentacles to “reach out,” keeping pulse on staff, day in and day out, I can understand why. Was he messing with me?

How could two totally opposite cartridges be the same? One is an anemic, rimless, compact round shot in autoloaders while the other is an old war horse of a rimmed cartridge, big, robust — showing a versatility like no other. Was this some type of test to trick or humiliate me? I admit to being flabbergasted and am wondering why Coy Roy was revealing a hand I had never seen before.

I spend most of the day futilely racking my brain on the diabolical question.

At 2:00 am a light goes on, rousing me from sleep. That tricky, tricky man… — is crazy! I was looking at the two cartridges through a handloader’s eyes. With a new set of glasses, I had a different view to the question.

I know the answer!

Physically, the two cartridges are as different as any possibility. They are however, the same in their meaning. With this new perspective, I understand. Physically opposite, yet emotionally identical in their meaning to two different people, the cartridges are indeed the same. The puzzle is solved.

Just For Fun?

Our own John Connor wrote a piece called “Pure Pleasure Guns“ in our sister magazine, GUNS, June of 2017. Being different, Roy tells us his favorite fun gun is a Novak refurbished Colt 1903 in .32 ACP. He carries it in a floral carved Barranti Barton Special holster — the special guy. Aha! A 2X4 smacks me between the eyes. In police work, we call this a clue!

Meeting Roy for the first time at an NRA Show was a bit confusing. Decked out in an impeccably tailored suit, hair and mustache professionally groomed, a well-spoken gentleman asks, ”Tank?” Confused, but suddenly understanding the situation, I think, “Damn!” Roy sent his limousine driver to pick me up. I ask, “Where’s Roy?” The driver, with the confidence and aura of James Bond, grits through clenched teeth, “Tank! You idiot. I’m Roy!”

“Oh? Ohhh!” finally understanding. Double “Oh” Roy firmly shakes my hand as I eyed him suspiciously, and flashback to the Colt 1903, wondering if he understands how to effectively use a .32 ACP, whatever the deed.

“Where’s he hiding it? I know it’s on him.” The original classic, printless pocket piece is perfect for a man who understands the limits of the cartridge but enjoys the ease and confidence of everyday carry. Pet cartridges are a personal choice and have a special meaning to each and every individual. No doubts, a well placed .32 slug is effective, whatever the deed, and fun as hell to shoot.

Painfully editing my scribblins’, Roy has picked up on my affinity for a certain cartridge. I write about bullets, guns, and hunts using the cartridge yet to be bailed out by the keeper of the key. One day, perhaps, his tentacle arm will see fit to unlock the door. For you dummies out there, I’m talking about the .45 Colt! Even I can see that.

One of these ain’t like the other … but Editor Roy says they’re the same. His Novak .32 Colt on
the left balances the books against the Turnbull .45 Colt on the right. But how the heck are these
the same? It took some “figgerin” by Tank until he got it.


The .45 Colt is the perfect cartridge and represents everything I love. History, long track record, good manners, versatility, the list is endless. As Skeeter said of his beloved .357, “It may not be my favorite, but it would be my first choice for just one cartridge.” This is how I feel about the .45 Colt.

By good manners, it can be accurately down-loaded, or turbo-charged, making the .44 Magnum seem insignificant. Versatile, it propels bullets ranging in weight from 200 to over 350 grains accurately and with ease. Honest. Plopping those sausages in a cylinder with a resounding “thunk” feeds the spirit of bygone days and simpler times. Different cartridges can have the same soul stirring ability in people. The bond of igniting our emotion is the common ground of such opposite cartridges.

Roy left a faint scent trail for me with his assignment, but I took to it like a crippled bloodhound afflicted with a severe case of hyposmia. In the end, I made the connection.

I made the connection in more ways than one. I guess now I know yet again why he’s the editor and stuff, eh?

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