Askins on the .45 Auto

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Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by beeser on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:49 pm

"I hardly feel competent to write authoritatively on the .45 automatic.  But then I do not know of anyone else who is, either!  After five years of shooting, representing an expenditure of thirty thousand rounds, I am still frank to say that the big auto is the most baffling and mysterious handgun of my acquaintance.  Time and again I've felt certain I had discovered something worth while regarding the gun only to find in subsequent trials that my original ideas were all wet.  Of all the fickle shootin' irons the .45 is undoubtedly tops by a margin!  I frankly admit that I have little affection for the .45 self-loader ..."

The Art of Handgun Shooting by Captain Charles Askins, Jr.

Aside from the expenditure of thirty thousand rounds , this sums up my experience with the .45 auto.

PS  Elsewhere in the book Askins mentions favoring 2.8 grains of Bullseye behind a 200 gr. H&G bullet.  Has anyone tried this?

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Wobbley on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:57 pm

2.8 might be a bit too low.  But as to the question of the issues Capt Adkins had with the M1911, remember that during that time the vast majority shot a 1917 revolver in matches and accurizing a 1911 was in its infancy.  In some respects they didn't even know how.

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Jerry Keefer on Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:47 am

beeser wrote:"I hardly feel competent to write authoritatively on the .45 automatic.  But then I do not know of anyone else who is, either! The Art of Handgun Shooting by Captain Charles Askins, Jr.
PS  Elsewhere in the book Askins mentions favoring 2.8 grains of Bullseye behind a 200 gr. H&G bullet.  Has anyone tried this?

Oh,  I know a lady who recently shot a 295 -11x NMC with 2.7gr and 180 gr PENN lead..
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by beeser on Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:04 am

I suspect many of the comments that Askins made about the .45 auto were tongue and cheek.  At least that's my take after reading the entire book.  It's an interesting read by a colorful writer and offers a different perspective on competitive handgun shooting, despite its timeline.

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by beeser on Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:07 am

Jerry Keefer wrote:
beeser wrote:"I hardly feel competent to write authoritatively on the .45 automatic.  But then I do not know of anyone else who is, either! The Art of Handgun Shooting by Captain Charles Askins, Jr.
PS  Elsewhere in the book Askins mentions favoring 2.8 grains of Bullseye behind a 200 gr. H&G bullet.  Has anyone tried this?

Oh,  I know a lady who recently shot a 295 -11x NMC with 2.7gr and 180 gr PENN lead..
What kind of velocity does she get with that load?

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by jmdavis on Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:26 am

beeser wrote:
Jerry Keefer wrote:
beeser wrote:"I hardly feel competent to write authoritatively on the .45 automatic.  But then I do not know of anyone else who is, either! The Art of Handgun Shooting by Captain Charles Askins, Jr.
PS  Elsewhere in the book Askins mentions favoring 2.8 grains of Bullseye behind a 200 gr. H&G bullet.  Has anyone tried this?

Oh,  I know a lady who recently shot a 295 -11x NMC with 2.7gr and 180 gr PENN lead..
What kind of velocity does she get with that load?
Does the velocity really matter if it produces a 295-11x? Perhaps a better question is what Spring would be recommended to run that load. 

If we look back at some of the historic bullseye loads, 2.7 is definitely on the low side, but 3.5 was a common load with a 200 H&G and I have shooters notes that show good results at 3.8 with 185's.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by beeser on Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:33 am

jmdavis wrote:
beeser wrote:
Jerry Keefer wrote:
beeser wrote:"I hardly feel competent to write authoritatively on the .45 automatic.  But then I do not know of anyone else who is, either! The Art of Handgun Shooting by Captain Charles Askins, Jr.
PS  Elsewhere in the book Askins mentions favoring 2.8 grains of Bullseye behind a 200 gr. H&G bullet.  Has anyone tried this?

Oh,  I know a lady who recently shot a 295 -11x NMC with 2.7gr and 180 gr PENN lead..
What kind of velocity does she get with that load?
Does the velocity really matter if it produces a 295-11x? Perhaps a better question is what Spring would be recommended to run that load. 

If we look back at some of the historic bullseye loads, 2.7 is definitely on the low side, but 3.5 was a common load with a 200 H&G and I have shooters notes that show good results at 3.8 with 185's.
No, the velocity doesn't matter but it would still be interesting to know.  And yes, what spring too?  What's even more interesting though is the wide range of loads that folks find successful with Bullseye.

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by DavidR on Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:44 am

Those light loads were used in guns that probably had  looser fit frame/slides and iron sights. Also some  powders seemed to be reported as being more potent back then than whats offered today. History like this is interesting but has very little value to todays shooters.  IMO anyway As a famous bullseye shooter once said... Looking for the Secret ? There is no secret!
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by jmdavis on Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:09 am

David, I'm not sure about the loose frames. But I'm pretty sure that the load Jerry was talking about was modern powder. I also know that the 3.8 loads in my shooters notes were with tight guns because one of them is in my gun box.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by DavidR on Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:41 am

jmdavis wrote:David, I'm not sure about the loose frames. But I'm pretty sure that the load Jerry was talking about was modern powder. I also know that the 3.8 loads in my shooters notes were with tight guns because one of them is in my gun box.

OP listed 2.8, Big difference in 2.8 and 3.8. 3.8 and a 200 will work in many 45s.  I would like to hear what powder and setup on a 45 would run 2.7 with a 180 lead bullet.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by james r chapman on Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:48 am

Nah, cause it's a competitive secret.   lol
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Jack H on Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:15 pm

According to LtC Miller in 1970 the accepted lead load had been 3.4 BE for the iron sighted 45.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by beeser on Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:55 pm

Jerry - Can you shed some more light on the 2.7 gr. of Bullseye behind the 180 gr. Penns?


Last edited by beeser on Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by DavidR on Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:57 pm

beeser wrote:Jerry - Can you shed some more light on the 2.7 gr. of Bullseye behind the 200 gr. Penns?

it was a 180 bullet.

Here is the 1968 NRA loads of master shooters, these would have all been pre red dot days im sure.
http://www.hostingfms.com/~cholt/Bullseye-LLoadsFromThePast.html
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by beeser on Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:00 pm

DavidR wrote:Here is the 1968 NRA loads of master shooters, these would have all been pre red dot days im sure.
http://www.hostingfms.com/~cholt/Bullseye-LLoadsFromThePast.html
Were these all 200 gr. bullets?

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by DavidR on Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:48 pm

beeser wrote:
DavidR wrote:Here is the 1968 NRA loads of master shooters, these would have all been pre red dot days im sure.
http://www.hostingfms.com/~cholt/Bullseye-LLoadsFromThePast.html
Were these all 200 gr. bullets?

most likely most were 200 lswc but 185s were around too just not as popular
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Jerry Keefer on Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:07 pm

I was shooting hard and heavy in the 60s. The predominate rig, back then, was an accurized 1911 with a Bo Mar rib..BE was the preferred  powder, with cast bullets. Frame mounted optics appeared very late 60 early 70. Lead is a  different animal, and will tolerate lighter loads. It seemed like everyone settled on 3.5 BE shortline and as high a 4.0 long line. As I said the slides were topped with steel Bo Mars almost universally. The first optics were frame mounted Oxfords. Optics promply won Perry in the capable hands of Joe Pascarella. The gun  I am referring to in my case, has frame mounted optics. The slide has  lightening cuts. The load I referred to is short line. The spring is adjusted to compliment the shooter's recovery.. Something that is rather difficult to do when shooting a slide mount.
I don't know the velocity. All it needs to do is cycle the gun and go thru the x ring consistently.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Froneck on Thu May 14, 2015 8:43 am

I had a complete set of all the NRA Rifleman magazines back to 1921. Lots if great articles. Askins wrote the 1911 pistol is junk and it will never be used in competition and never replace the revolver!
 Unfortunately a leak developed in the roof of my home, though it was a small leak all the magazines got wet and destroyed before the leak was noticed. There was quite a bit of great information in them not like the junk in the Rifleman today. Though there are some good articles from time to time.

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Jon Eulette on Thu May 14, 2015 10:01 am

In my experience as a successful BE shooter, I'm of the opinion that the individual shooter is the problem 99% of the time, not the ammunition. In otherwords, the shooter has a breakdown in the fundamentals that is the cause of poor shots, not the ammunition. I shoot what I like to call marginal ammo. I know my pistol will shoot 1" ish groups with the best ammunition, but I'm willing to shoot ammunition that will hold 2" @ 50 yards from Ransom. As a former USAR/AMU pistol team shooter I know that shooting every day with jacketed match ammo makes for good BE scores. But as a has been aging High Master I cannot shoot everyday and can feel the difference between a hard kicking 185 gr JHP and a soft recoiling 200 gr LSWC driven slowly. The 2700 is a endurance match! I don't like giving up points because I'm fatiguing from the JHP ammo, that's one of the reasons I use lead. I can call 99% of my shots at 50 with my slow marginal ammo. I don't think my scores would be any better if I used JHP, but my wallet would be much lighter. I'm with Jerry on the light loads. My tight 6" longslide .45 (slide mounted scope) will shoot 3.3 gr BE with 200 gr Magnus bullets reliably. I shoot a few 100-10X short line targets a year with it. It's easy to shoot Razz)
I do push'em a bit faster for the 50 yard line though. I think if shooters learned trigger control that would make more/greater difference than the ammunition. I recently Ransomed some mixed brass 200 gr Magnus LSWC with 3.6 gr BE; 1.75" @ 50 yds. No excuses! If it's not a 10 it's my fault. TRIGGER, TRIGGER, TRIGGER!
Askins is old school dinosaur and times have radically changed for the 1911 for the better.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by beeser on Fri May 15, 2015 10:51 am

Jon Eulette wrote:... Askins is old school dinosaur and times have radically changed for the 1911 for the better.
Jon
When Askins wrote about the 1911 it had already been around for about 50 years.  What is so radically different about the 1911 today from its original design or since Askins wrote about it?

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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Rob Kovach on Fri May 15, 2015 10:59 am

oh, let's see....back then they would peen and lap the slide to frame fit, the metallurgy back then was.....less advanced, springs and all manner of parts were not readily available--leading to much jerry-rigging.  and that's just the tip of the iceberg of what has changed.

Now we have CNC machining, pistols made from billet steel or milled castings with almost perfect reproducibility that leads to parts that need almost no fitting, lapping or anything else...the parts just fit right out of the machines.  Metallurgy and metal composition consistency has improved by leaps and bounds.  Parts including springs are available everywhere, in almost every spring weight and parts in every configuration imaginable.

The automobile has been around about as long as the 1911 pistol.  Cars still have 4 wheels, but the cars of today are so much better than the ones of 1911.  The changes in the 1911 pistol are less obvious, but the technology has progressed far beyond what Askins' would have ever imagined.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri May 15, 2015 11:13 am

My grandfather shot BE during the 40's and 50's in San Diego. My introduction to BE was from him and his old 1911 match pistol in 1987. Fast forward to today. I started building BE 1911's in 1989, I have seen/shot old Clarks, Shockey's, Giles, Dinan, and many more older MATCH quality pistols. I have learned that they did the best with what they had a the time, but in comparison to a modern built match 1911 they are inferior. You will never ever see one of those pistols win at Camp Perry or being shot by a high master who has intentions of winning Perry. So I believe that I am more than qualified to say that those old pistols are nice heirlooms, but not competitve in today's arena. When the oversized match 1911 barrel became available (anyone know the year?) that was the turning point in my mind of when a 1911 .45 became a modern match pistol. I know that our glorious aggregate record of 2680 was shot in 1974, but that pistol wasn't half the pistol of a current match built pistol. I wasn't degrading Askins, I just believe many things have changed since 1941 (74 years ago) in regards to the quality levels obtained with the 1911.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by DavidR on Fri May 15, 2015 11:15 am

Have we really progressed that much? Better 1911's in every way, including ammo, addition of the red dot sighting system and so on but a old armory built 1911 in the early 70's in hands of a military shooter named Anderson using iron sights still holds the high score record set in 1974. Looks like with all the so called advancements not much has advanced except the cost of a good accurate pistol.
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri May 15, 2015 11:24 am

David R, the pistols have changed, the shooters haven't. But giving credit where credit is due, Zins and Zurek both 2679 shooters. Henderson (2677 high) has broke 2670 more than any shooter ever. I remember when I shot on the USAR team we had over 30 2650 shooters on the team at one time. How many actual 2650 shooters out there competing today? Pistol cost have risen just like automobiles. Inflation sucks Razz)
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

Post by DavidR on Fri May 15, 2015 11:51 am

I agree, but it just doesn't  logically seem possible with all the refinement's in the sport  that Herschel's record still stands. But it does, even as close as some have come it still eludes them all. And the big prize of a perfect 2700 seems like light years from being achieved
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Re: Askins on the .45 Auto

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