.45ACP Match Ball

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.45ACP Match Ball

Post by Richard Ashmore on Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:25 am

For those wishing to duplicate the performance of .45ACP Match Ball, here are the relevant detail-

Velocity- the average velocity of the sampled cartridges, conditioned at 70F (+/-2), shall be 855 feet per second (+/- 25 fps) at 25.5 feet from the muzzle.  The standard deviation of the velocities shall not exceed 27 feet per second.

The average fifty (50) yard group size (nine ten-shot groups are fired) shall not exceed 3 inches.  

I have a pdf copy of the Mil Spec but it's too large to attach.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by BE Mike on Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:45 am

I've always heard that the bullet choice was the real difference. Is the Sierra still on top?

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by KevinB on Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:01 am

Is there ever a reason to shoot 230 gr ball any more?

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by SteveT on Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:14 am

My service pistol won't feed JHP, and it will shoot 230FMJ into about 3". Eventually I'll probably adjust it to shoot JHP, but I'm hesitant to change it when it works so well. Besides, real 230 FMJ hardball is cool.

Yes Sierra 8815 is a great bullet. Zeros are essentially the same. I've heard IMI makes a good FMJ bullet but have never tried it.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by gptuners on Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:01 pm

KevinB wrote:Is there ever a reason to shoot 230 gr ball any more?
Noob here... why wouldn't you?

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by SteveT on Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:25 pm

Prior to this year service pistol matches requires 230gr FMJ bullets.

Starting in 2015 the CMP expanded the legal bullets to include FMJ and JHP and removed the weight requirement. Good JHP are almost always more accurate than FMJ and 185gr produce less recoil, so 185gr JHP should be both more accurate and easier to shoot.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by gptuners on Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:16 pm

SteveT wrote:Good JHP are almost always more accurate than FMJ and 185gr produce less recoil, so 185gr JHP should be both more accurate and easier to shoot.
I realized the rule change, but didn't know that JHP are more accurate. I always thought of JHP as defense ammo, not necessarily match ammo.

It doesn't help that all the 185gr I've shot is +P or ++P. Smile

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by SteveT on Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:39 pm

I don't know all the reasons why, but...

JHP has the center of mass further back than solid round nose

JHP has a higher moment of inertia relative to the mass since the center is hollow the mass is further out.

When Forming FMJ the jacket is applied and swaged in place from the tip of the bullet and wraps around the bottom, requiring another step to form the base, and another opportunity to introduce slight inconsistency. The jacket of a JHP is applied and formed from the base of the bullet and wraps around into the hollow point. The base and sides of the bullet are swaged in one step and one die, so they edges of the base should be perfect.

I don't know if any of these really are the reason why they are more accurate and I am sure there are other reasons I don't know about.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by DeweyHales on Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:13 pm

In my guns, 230s really shot poorly. I felt that the 230s really held me back. I tested Sierras, Zeros, Winchesters, Magtechs, Montana Golds, and Precision Deltas. 185s are outstanding in my gun. I now use Noslers or Zeros with 4.6 of N310.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by Ed Hall on Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:34 am

I have added the specifications document from Richard Ashmore, that he referenced in the first post of this thread, to my home page.  The title and link are:

Military Specifications for Match Grade .45 Ball (.pdf)

Thanks Richard!

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by Blsi2600 on Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:57 pm

There seems to be a difference in the velocity in the "3.4 Velocity ... 855 FPS"
in the MIL-C-46482B(MU) and the 820 FPS marked on every box of white box match ball that I have observed in the last 40+ years.  Could there be another revision to the spec after 46482B?

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by Jerry Keefer on Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:20 pm

I have some 1972 white box... it all says 820..
Also have some Brown box, but no velocity noted on the box..

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by Dr.Don on Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:34 pm

I chronographed some WCC 85 Match ball at 865 fps within the last year.  I never believed any of it was really as low as 820.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by Jack H on Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:58 am

I have some red box 45A from the 70s ? match ball that chronographs right at 820. 

And this:


Also I have blown up a picture of very very early brown box.  Printed on it is definitely velocity 820. 

I loaded my ball with either Titegroup 4.8 or N320 5.2, both 820ish and very good ammo

Recent 45A and AE45A chrono near 870.  Why? I donno.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by james r chapman on Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:25 am

Maybe a change in chronograph technology?

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by Wobbley on Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:17 am

The early chronographs used break wire screens and they were blacked at some distance apart. The early ammo velocities reflected that. I do know that 30-06 had velocities sfpecified at 78 feet because the screens were placed at 3 feet and 153 feet for rifle ammo.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by james r chapman on Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:00 am

I believe the factories now use induction rather than optical chronograph now.
I'd suggest chrono'ing a few factory thru your setup and just match what you record.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:03 pm

Folks, JBM Ballistics using the default mostly "standard" conditions has the Sierry 230-gr Tournament Master at 855 fps at 25.5 feet from the muzzle motoring along at:

muzzle: 860.4
10 yards: 854
20 yards: 847.8
30 yards: 841.6

The old 78 feet measurement point is closer to 30 than 20 yards, so if the posted specs are the now-current values, I would venture to guess that the specs changed by about 23 fps.  All of that *could* be accounted for by the longer deceleration time for the bullet under the old military measurement equipment...making them look just a little bit slower. I would expect that effect to be greater with lower-BC bullets.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by Jack H on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:54 pm

To add to above post, I chronoed with the same setup both the old 45A and New 45A  at about 8-10 feet out with a sky screen unit. 

Old 45A goes 820.  New 45A goes about 860-870.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by SteveT on Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:30 pm

Blsi2600 wrote:There seems to be a difference in the velocity in the "3.4 Velocity ... 855 FPS"
in the MIL-C-46482B(MU) and the 820 FPS marked on every box of white box match ball that I have observed in the last 40+ years.  Could there be another revision to the spec after 46482B?

Someone years ago posted on the old Bullseye List that the manufacturers couldn't meet the accuracy requirements at 855fps, so they were granted an exception for match ammo allowing 820fps. I didn't keep the old email so I don't know if there was any documentation or if it was just hearsay, but it's not too hard to believe.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:49 pm

Jack H wrote:To add to above post, I chronoed with the same setup both the old 45A and New 45A  at about 8-10 feet out with a sky screen unit. 

Old 45A goes 820.  New 45A goes about 860-870.
IF it were going that fast at the *correct* distance, your old 45A is only 10 fps slower than the minimum in the specs' tolerance.

Even allowing for smokeless tends to shoot slower the older it gets (usually...), this makes me believe that the new stuff is indeed faster, and consistently so.

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Re: .45ACP Match Ball

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