The .45 Schofield or .45 Smith & Wesson is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson for their S&W Model 3 American top-break revolver. It is similar to the .45 Colt round though shorter and with a slightly larger rim, and will generally work in revolvers chambered for that cartridge. US government arsenals supplied .45 Schofield cartridges for the Schofield revolver and the Colt Army revolver to simplify their armament needs. 45 Colt cartridges cannot be used in .45 Schofield firearms, since the .45 Colt is a longer cartridge.It's interesting that back in those days, different manufacturers made small changes in cartridge dimensions to satisfy legal concerns. This time was before SAAMI, and cartridges were proprietary. Still, a look at the drawings shows us the almost minuscule differences between the two.
First the Colt.
Proprietary cartridges were a problem in the late 1800s and they are a problem today. Sometimes, contractual restrictions get in the way of real progress, so workarounds become necessary. I realize that I'm being obtuse, but there are good reasons for that. The question remains, though; If we can't use .45 Colt brass, why can't we use Schofield brass?
This is a question that deserves an answer, and I'll have to look further into this. Exit question: Who besides Starline makes brass in the US and might be amenable to a fairly large custom order?
I'm going to leave this right here so that I can find it later.