Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

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Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by daflorc on 1/3/2017, 7:55 pm

Hello,

I've got the itch for a third bullseye pistol. I've got a MKIII and Springfield RO, and I shoot in a 25 yard league (however I plan on attending some outdoor matches as well). I'm debating between a 9mm Range Officer, something in 38 Super, or another 45 wad gun, likely the Rock River Armory wadcutter, which seems to be a good tradeoff between semi-custom, tight tolerances, and fair price. My concerns are that my range officer won't be a good choice on the 50 yard line, but I also know that my scores are higher with lighter recoiling guns, and I was thinking 9mm or 38 super would do me well in centerfire vs. a 45 due to the lighter recoil characteristics. Any insights?

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/3/2017, 8:14 pm

45 RO with Kart barrel will hold 10 ring at 50 with 3.7-3.8 gr BE and 200 lswc all day long. Can shoot 3.4-3.5 gr BE with 200 lswc at 25 yds and kill the X all day long. Those 25 yd loads are vwry soft. You need the extra velocity for 50. 45 is hard to beat!
Jon
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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by willnewton on 1/3/2017, 8:59 pm

Do you reload your ammo?  I only ask because I stopped questioning the need for a non-.45 centerfire gun once I began reloading.

Buy a reloading press instead of another gun and never worry about .45 recoil again.  Target loads in .45 are no trouble to shoot all day.  It will pay for itself in no time.

  I often have "9mm@5-yard guys" at the range come over and ask what I am shooting because my .45 is "too quiet."

 Reloading also enables you to rationalize purchasing other guns with the money you save in ammo costs.   Smile

Every league night I have shots that have just squeaked into a higher scoring ring because of caliber alone. I'll take any advantage I can get!

Follow Jon's load suggestions and you will be a happy camper.


Last edited by willnewton on 1/3/2017, 9:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by LenV on 1/3/2017, 9:05 pm

Your timings good. Check out the 9mm Rock River JIMPGOV just posted in our classifieds.
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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by daflorc on 1/3/2017, 9:19 pm

I do reload, I got a Dillon 650 about two months ago, been using 200 grain SWC with 4.8 grains of Unique, but I noticed it doesn't meter well so I bought a jug of HP38, should get in the mail any day now. Still the powder puff loads increased my average by at least 30 points a match, it was amazing. I wouldn't mind going with a lighter load, but I was getting some stovepipes with 4.5 grains. I'm wondering if my 11lbs Sprinco spring is too light, going to try a 14lbs since I have it on hand. If I pick up a Kart barrel, won't I need to have a smith fit it to my gun, and bushing, or is there an easier route? The only local bullseye smith around here has a 6 week waiting list to get anything done, and my league is in session. Len I'll check out that rock river, thanks. I heard HP38 is the same as W231, which is somewhere between bullseye and Unique. That'll fill my purpose, right? I hope so, because the jug I bought is 6lbs lol.

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by weber1b on 1/3/2017, 9:22 pm

+1 on Jon and Will's comments. When I started this game I really could only justify two guns. So I went with the 45 in CF and love shooting it. It is still my only CF gun, not counting the S&W 586 I bought for DR matches. I now also shoot another 45 for Service Pistol. Reloading is actually fun and relaxing and the savings mean I can shoot enough to keep improving my skills.

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Wobbley on 1/3/2017, 9:29 pm

If a third gun is a definite want, you might want to consider a EIC gun. Get a Springfield RO work on the trigger and load up some 185 HAPs or JHPs in an accurate load.

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Merick on 1/3/2017, 11:51 pm

My peanut gallery recommendation is to look for a decent air gun/pellet pistol and setting up a practice range in a basement or garage.

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by kgs113 on 1/4/2017, 12:14 am

Kart has the easy fit barrel kit. I installed it in my RO in an evening. Went from good to great!

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by kgs113 on 1/4/2017, 12:31 am

I've only shot a few outdoor matches but on the 50 yard target every shot was in the black first time out.

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Russ OR on 1/4/2017, 2:43 am

+1 on Merick's air pistol at home suggestion.  
My best Bullseye results are when I'm doing more air pistol at home (40% of which is with a Crosman 1377c - the other 60%: Pardini.

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by daflorc on 1/4/2017, 11:22 am

I really like the air pistol suggestions, I never thought of that! I live in the suburbs where shooting actual guns in my backyard is frowned upon lol. I average about 278 in rimfire and about 10 points less with my RO now that I started reloading (which alone brought my centerfire scores up an average of 30 points/match) but more practice is probably a better idea than chasing equipment to improve my scores. I already go to the range 2-3 days a week, between matches and practice. Glad to hear my Range Officer just needs a Kart barrel and bushing to be competitive on the 50 yard line - I was cringing thinking I'd have to pay another couple grand for a semi-custom wad gun!

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by bdas on 1/5/2017, 2:33 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:45 RO with Kart barrel will hold 10 ring at 50 with 3.7-3.8 gr BE and 200 lswc all day long. Can shoot 3.4-3.5 gr BE with 200 lswc at 25 yds and kill the X all day long. Those 25 yd loads are vwry soft. You need the extra velocity for 50. 45 is hard to beat!
Jon
Jon, are these loads with iron sights, frame-mounted red dot, or slide-mounted red dot?  If slide-mounted red dot, which rail and red dot are you talking about (or perhaps more to the point... how much do the rail and red dot that you're talking about weigh)?

If using a slide-mounted Matchdot II, as shown in pic of the OP, any guess as to what springs (recoil spring, and/or mainspring) you'd need to get loads like those to cycle reliably?

I have an RO with an aluminum rail and a Matchdot II, a 19lbs main spring, and a 10lbs recoil spring, and it barely cycles with 4.0 gr Bullseye and 200gr LSWC bullets.  (When I say "barely", I mean the last round does not always eject the casing with vigor, sometimes it just dribbles out.) When I tried it with some 200gr LSWC with 3.6gr Bullseye (that I had reloaded before having the red dot mounted), it did not cycle reliably.  Hence my questions.

Thanks,
Dave

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/5/2017, 3:06 pm

These loads will function all my slide mounted optic 45's both gov't and longslide. I've used Micro and UD optics. 19# main and 10# eqivalent recoil springs. I must admit I hold (entire body) really hard. You might tighten your crimp (I use .469) and use 200 gr lswc. The 200 seats deeper into case and builds more pressure than 185. I can run lighter charges in my pistols but like some recoil:)
Jon
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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/5/2017, 3:12 pm

Just read your post again. My break in load for a tight match 45 I build is 4.0gr BE with 200 gr lswc. Why a stock RO won't cycle 4.0 gr is beyond me. I'm curious if the extra headspace (chambers are deeper on stock pistol) allows pressure to bleed off and doesn't build enough pressure to cycle the lighter charges?
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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Tim:H11 on 1/5/2017, 3:44 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Just read your post again. My break in load for a tight match 45 I build is 4.0gr BE with 200 gr lswc. Why a stock RO won't cycle 4.0 gr is beyond me. I'm curious if the extra headspace (chambers are deeper on stock pistol) allows pressure to bleed off and doesn't build enough pressure to cycle the lighter charges?

My stock RO cycles that load. That's my 50 yard load.
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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by bdas on 1/6/2017, 11:52 am

Jon Eulette wrote:Just read your post again. My break in load for a tight match 45 I build is 4.0gr BE with 200 gr lswc. Why a stock RO won't cycle 4.0 gr is beyond me. I'm curious if the extra headspace (chambers are deeper on stock pistol) allows pressure to bleed off and doesn't build enough pressure to cycle the lighter charges?
I had a Kart NM barrel put in at the same time I had the rail mounted on the slide, so it's not the stock barrel any more.  With iron sights, the stock barrel, 19# mainspring, and a 14# recoil spring, my RO cycled reliably (although, again, the casing from the last round sometimes dribbled out) with the 3.6gr Bullseye and 200gr LSWC.

When I had the Kart barrel fitted and rail mounted (and added the UD MD II red dot), the gunsmith put in a 10# recoil spring.  It cycles fine (except last casing dribble) with 200gr LSWC and 4.0gr Bullseye, or 185gr LSWC and 4.3gr Bullseye.  But when I tried some of my previously-made 3.6gr Bullseye and 200gr LSWC rounds, it failed to pick up a round one time (suggesting to me that it didn't fully cycle), and didn't hold the slide back a couple times.  But one thing you said above may be my issue... break in.  I tried those 3.6gr rounds when it was new and tight.  Having gone through a few hundred rounds since then, perhaps it would cycle them ok now.  Which begs the question... how many rounds of your "break in" load do you shoot before you consider it to be fully broken in? 100 rounds?  1000 rounds?

One other consideration, since you brought up the subject of headspace... I've been using very well-worn, very mixed brass.  Mostly stuff I got as reloads from Quality Made Cartridges, so I don't know its history at all, and some is much more worn than others.  So that may be contributing to any headspace issues (I've read that 45 brass experiences head shrinkage after many firings). I admit that I'm still fuzzy on how/why the headspace (the distance from the rear of the casing when the round is chambered to the face of slide, if I understand it correctly) has the effects that it does on accuracy, pressures, and cycling.  Among other things, I'm fuzzy on how headspace is created... if the round is held tight to the slide by the extractor as part of the controlled-feed process, and then shoved into the chamber by the slide... how is it that the round is positioned in the chamber by the case mouth, and not by the position of the slide?  Does the extractor release the case as it is chambered, and then momentum carries the round forward further into the chamber, creating headspace?  Will switching to new brass (or at least more consistent brass, in terms of manufacturer and number of times fired) help minimize any headspace issues?

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/6/2017, 12:42 pm

Headspace is the measurement from breech face to forward edge of chamber on 45 acp barrel chamber. The acp is semi-rimmed so it headspaces off the case mouth. Uniform case length does aid in consistency. The extractor does not assist in feeding. Cases will feed without an extractor in pistol. Extractors mission in life is extracting cases from chamber for ejector to eject the case. Since you have a Kart I would like to guess/assume headspace is correct.
When I refer to break in, it's just the starting load I use for initially shooting pistol after building it. It allows function so that I can shoot pistol and then tear it down for inspection/alteration depending on what I see.
If your pistol is really tight then 3.6 might not cycle until some wear in occurs or even possibility of pistolsmith needing to loosen/refit pistol. I've seen Baer pistols that were ridiculously tight not function anything except hot BE loads. So there is more involved than just loading a certain powder charge and bullet to get performance we are looking for.
Jon
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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

Post by daflorc on 1/10/2017, 3:24 pm

With the RO in the picture in my initial post, I found that 4.8 grains of HP38 (about 4 grains of bullseye, I believe) and a 11lbs recoil spring would result in the occasional stovepipe and the occasional failure to fully return to battery and chamber a new round. I throated the barrel and switched to a 9lbs spring - problem solved.

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Re: Third Pistol Suggestions (and other Questions)

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