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First introduced in 2002, the Bersa Thunder 45 is still in production, and is marketed in the United States as the 'Thunder 45 Ultra Compact'. The first production runs of Thunder Ultra Compact 45 pistols in the U.S. produced reliability problems for users, stemming from a somewhat-anemic recoil spring. The issue has since been resolved, and replacement springs are readily available from official distributors.
This cartridge was developed by John Browning and was adopted by the United States Ordnance Department along with the Colt-Browning automatic pistol in 1911. It has also been made the official military handgun chambering by several other governments, notably Argentina, Mexico and Norway. The 45 Automatic is the most powerful military handgun cartridge in use today. This is a heavy and powerful sub-sonic round. Although its muzzle energy can exceed 400 ft-lbs, its velocity and bullet weight creates a steep trajectory curve that limits its effective range to self-defense distances.
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