So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

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So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Slartybartfast on 3/9/2018, 1:38 pm

First topic message reminder :

Here's today's go at poking the hornet's nest with a stick:

Seeing as there's no power factor requirement involved, what's the challenge of firing a custom powder puff load of 45 ACP over any other calibre with a similar power factor?

I've often read people claiming that shooting another calibre other than 45 for the CF portion means you don't have time to master the 45. But the only thing to master is the extra firearm. No?

All I'm seeing is the advantage of an extra .1 inch diameter over 9mm.

Besides tradition then, why bother shooting 45 ACP? If there's not going to be a power factor forcing the use of 45 ACP or 9mm +P loads, why not allow competitors to shoot .22, and 9mm twice for a 2700? Or 10mm (only at a .05 inch diameter disadvantage, but power seems higher)?

Being in Canada, the questions are kind of moot. Seems here competition is 1800's. .22 and a CF.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by james r chapman on 3/11/2018, 8:24 pm

CR10X wrote:Ed:

Sorry, forgot about the .22 changes from .22 rimfire; to .40 gr bullet rim fire; and now just to rimfire Long Rifle .22.  Not that I used it, but the option for .22 Short will be missed.   I did use ".45" in my post on purpose as one day I may show up with .45 Schofield wadcutter loads with black powder just for fun.  

CR
Id' follow with my .32/44 #3, but, I think BP isn't allowed
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by LenV on 3/11/2018, 8:36 pm

I shot a NMC last week with a 45 Colt. I just wanted to try it once. I had planned  on shooting it the 17th for a local match. Having done it once I no longer feel like shooting it for the .45 match (too heavy) But, I can do it one more time for the Reeves match. I also have a question about the rules. If those 22 only shooters can shoot the whole match with a .22 then why can't we shoot the whole match with a 45?

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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Ed Hall on 3/11/2018, 10:16 pm

Hey CR,

I was mentioning the ACP part for the OP's benefit mainly, especially since it's in the title.  I noticed your lack of its use and knew you were aware it was any .45.  The .22 portion was for your posting since you mentioned 40gr and I figured you were aware of the change, but others might not be.  I also often thought of trying .22 shorts and even have a short kit for my Ruger that I used for International Rapid Fire way back when...

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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Slartybartfast on 3/21/2018, 10:11 am

Glad to see my question generated a lot of responses. And lots of good info.
Don’t know if putting up one long response is the best practice, but I copied this thread off line to get round to responding so here goes:

dronning wrote:2.5lb trigger for CF (non-45acp) verses 3.5lb trigger required for 45.  For shooters that haven't "Mastered" trigger control it does make a difference.

First response in and I get the one thing I hadn’t paid enough attention to and probably the only thing that addresses my central question of what the real difference is.

dronning wrote:Recoil management is another challenge for some people and yes even a soft shooting 45 can't compare with a soft shooting 38. 

The reason for my post, and my central question which may not have been understood by all is comparing a soft shooting .45 with a hard hitting or average cartridge in another caliber.
To make it straight forward, consider the same frame/trigger, trigger set to 3.5lb, with conversions for .45 and 9mm.
What would the difference be, from a shooting difficulty standpoint between shooting these two cartridges:
.45 ACP (or any 45 as a later poster points out) @ 185gr, 750 fps = 231 ft-lb/313 J (a bullet and velocity discussed in a thread on here)
9mm @ 115gr, 1180 fps = 356 ft-lb/482 J (data from wikipedia for Federal FMJ)
Seems to me that the “beast” to be mastered in that comparison would be the 9mm. Not the 45.
And besides suffering from more recoil, the 9mm also has the disadvantage of a smaller hole on target.


Jon Eulette wrote:I've known some really good 22 & 32 shooters over the years that never mastered the 45. They won't win the big matches because the 45 is their downfall. The 45 is a beast all its own. Steve Reiter & Mel Makin were both averaging in the 2660's and shot .38 spl 1911's to see if they could raise their scores. They both had a drop in averages. The bigger bullet diameter does make a difference. That's why the best shooters typically shoot 45 for both CF & 45 aggregate.
Jon

But what makes the 45 a beast all it’s own? That’s the crux of my question. There's trigger and if in the above scenario a soft shooting .38 was used as well as a soft shooting .45 there's recoil. Consider the scenario that I proposed (same trigger and frame) and you eliminate differences in trigger and you're left with recoil. Recoil is a function of energy not necessarily caliber.
Then the phrase I’ve heard often: “The bigger bullet diameter does make a difference.”
Assuming other calibers shot were soft shooting, and the operators were equally skilled with the triggers, with equal skill and experience and equally precise instruments of course bigger hole equals better result. So that phrase makes logical sense.
Being masters with the heavier trigger of the .45 and larger recoil, I wouldn’t be surprised that a switch to a lighter trigger (if they were lighter to the CF standard) and different recoil could certainly also have an effect on their performance and results (a change in the equal experience part of the equation).

Chris Miceli wrote:Why do you want to change the sport? It’s a 22,cf,and 45 match.

Don’t necessarily want to change the sport. I want to understand a sport that I’m interested in.
And if the reason for the sports rules is “just because”, so be it.
But if the object of a sport is to test the skill of the participant looking at what rules allow, what they control, and what they ignore is a good exercise. Learning the effect of each gives insight on where to concentrate and how to work around the rules to become a more effective competitor.
Or, where to start and concentrate without making a huge investment in multiple pistols and reloading equipment.  

Chris Miceli wrote:If you only want to participate up to the CF part of them match you are more then willing to. A few shooters around me can’t shoot the 45 any more so they leave after centerfire.

As I’ve said, I’m in Canada and seems we only shoot .22 and CF here. Really just wondering how my results might compare with people shooting the whole course in US competition. When I get a CF pistol, I’ll be using factory ammo for the foreseeable future and 9mm is looking like the choice I’m circling around.
I’m sure I’ll enjoy shooting 45. I enjoy shooting many pistols and all calibres I’ve tried.
But if I don’t get a .45, I’d like to know what skills I’m not developing and what difficulties I might have if I do pick up a .45


scheibenpistole wrote:The OP has a legitimate point.

Thanks. Even if all your examples weren’t entirely correct, as pointed out by others, you make a good point about rules. Not really the point I wanted to discuss here, but one that certainly underlines the silliness of getting worked up about questioning rules. Rules evolve.
But can’t blame people for being protective and passionate about the rules under which they have been successful.
And I don’t mind competing under those same rules. But in discussing rules I want to understand the reasoning behind them and what they represent.
IMO rules need good reasons to be changed, but they need good reasons to be kept as well. The only thing that needs to be immortalised IMO are the foundational reasons for a rule. And comparisons between newly proposed rules and old traditional rules and the foundational reasons need to be done regularly.
New rules get rejected or accepted or old rules get modified based on how well they follow the foundational reasons.
The foundational reasons similarly can be changed to better reflect consensus of the participants, raise participation, or match new realities.
As with laws, these foundations (the preamble, or constitution as it were) serve as the basis on which to interpret all the actual rules. Many rulebooks are missing this information.

CR10X wrote:As for the original poster, why don't you try it and then see if it makes a difference or not?   Take the .45 as low as you can get the gun to function (I see a lot of single shot, semi-automatics on the line anyway), same as with centerfire .32 or whatever. 

Well, I was hoping that those who compete would have insight into what makes various parts of their sport challenging so that I might make a decision on where to take what is currently a rather simple hobby.
It’s a fairly ridiculous suggestion to “just try it”, when trying it requires a rather steep jump in equipment and expertise (no reloading experience or equipment here).
And not having any league or nearby competition to participate in regularly I don’t want to put so much money, equipment, and time into concentrating on a specific aggregate score game to learn what others should be able to offer me some insight into.
So far, I’m leaning towards a good pistol in 9mm. And probably going for a DA/SA and avoiding purchasing a SAO match gun. Also, to develop the skills aim for a trigger pull on the higher side. Just to keep my options and skills open and be able to participate in as many different types of competition if possible as opportunities crop up. Although most of the various rules books I’ve read have an open classification that would at least allow entry and participation.
Unless I find a regular competition that I really enjoy and start equipping myself specifically for it, I know that I’m not going to be winning so just being able to participate in the largest goal.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jon Math on 3/21/2018, 12:38 pm

"And not having any league or nearby competition to participate in regularly I don’t want to put so much money, equipment, and time into concentrating on a specific aggregate score game to learn what others should be able to offer me some insight into."

 

I’d love to shoot international center fire and sport pistol. They don’t shoot either event anywhere local to me, so my options are invest in the equipment, practice locally by myself (hope I’m doing it right) and spend even more money in travel and entry fees than I did for the equipment, to travel to matches and get my head handed to me a few times as I learn in competition; or forget it and find something that is shot locally by local guys. 

I can find two or three league shoots a week for Bullseye pistol, I might be able to afford to travel to one or two international matches a year.  It was a pretty easy decision where to spend my time and effort.  It seems like you need to make a similar decision.  Master what is shot local to you.  If you only have 1800’s fired with 22’s then get a great .22 and strive to shoot scores or 1800 every time out.

The rings in the center are worth more points, the more holes you put in those rings the higher your score.  A 9 mm hole that just missed the 10 ring would have cut the ring if the same location was hit with a .45.  It’s really that easy a decision which pistol to master.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Slartybartfast on 3/21/2018, 1:28 pm

Jon Math wrote:Master what is shot local to you.  If you only have 1800’s fired with 22’s then get a great .22 and strive to shoot scores or 1800 every time out.

The "local" 1800's are .22 and CF.
International  "local" is also .22 and CF.

And I say "local" in quotes because they'll involve drives of at least 2 hours.


Jon Math wrote:The rings in the center are worth more points, the more holes you put in those rings the higher your score.  A 9 mm hole that just missed the 10 ring would have cut the ring if the same location was hit with a .45.  It’s really that easy a decision which pistol to master.


For the two "local" types of competition, I believe that the .22 FAS I have and a 9mm will be the best without going into the arcane and expensive world of .32 S&W Long.

And I'm exploring whether the calibre conversion kits are available here for the pistol I want to buy. Then I can save up and buy a pricey (and hopefully precise) complete 9mm pistol and eventually buy the conversions for .45ACP and possibly .22lr.

But I really wanted to know what it is about the .45 that makes it such a beast and hard to master according to some. To be able to judge my performance with another calibre. Until my shooting skill can have me holding the 9 ring I'll assume the occasional points that I could eek out of larger holes would be rather insignificant.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jon Math on 3/21/2018, 1:57 pm

Who is telling you a target 1911 is a beast?  Have you ever fired one?  If you can align sights, accept your wobble zone and pull a trigger straight back without disturbing the alignment then aside from a bit more sound and recoil it is the same as any other semi automatic SAO pistol. 

You can get a long or short, straight or curved trigger for them, and being single stacked they are fairly thin gripped, so most people with an average sized hand have little issue fitting them. 

Match grade ammo is available if you don’t want to reload. 
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jon Eulette on 3/21/2018, 2:23 pm

With the 22 you can shoot fairly decent with mediocre fundamentals. The 45 requires a mastering of mostly trigger and gripping fundamentals to shoot anywhere close to the same scores as the 22. Shooting the 45 starts with positive attitude that you can shoot it well. It's no different than showing up for a fight and expecting to lose.
Jon
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Wobbley on 3/21/2018, 2:31 pm

As one that shoots a S&W 52 and the 45, I’ll offer this:  The 45 has recoil Dynamics that some find hard to master.  I struggle with it now that I’ve gotten older.  The original rationale to include the 45 was the fact that the US military adopted it in 1911 and wasn’t about to change.  So the NRA and the DCM (precursor to the CMP) encouraged its use.  Hence the 2700.  The 38 WC has  several times the effective recoil of a 22.  Double that for a 45 with powder puff Loads.  As we’ve discussed in the past, a substantial amount of the recoil in a 45 is the slide hitting the recoil spring guide and receiver.  Recoil control is a learned experience.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Slartybartfast on 3/21/2018, 2:46 pm

Jon Math wrote:Who is telling you a target 1911 is a beast?  
Said in this thread. Said elsewhere.
Maybe misconstured by me here.
But the only differences I see are grip and trigger pull.
Logically, once those are the same a factory load of 9mm will be more difficult to master than a target load of 45.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by dronning on 3/21/2018, 2:58 pm

Slartybartfast wrote:But I really wanted to know what it is about the .45 that makes it such a beast and hard to master according to some. To be able to judge my performance with another calibre. Until my shooting skill can have me holding the 9 ring I'll assume the occasional points that I could eek out of larger holes would be rather insignificant.

The true answer to your question all BS aside is 3lb.

No I'm not talking about trigger weight the thing that makes the 45 a beast for some is the 3lb of brain matter between your ears.  Yes the trigger is heavier and yes there is more recoil making it a little harder to recover in sustained fire, BUT these are things you should be able to conquer with training and repetition!   UNLESS of course you have convinced yourself that the 45 is really a beast that takes some kind of magic to master.

Remember this sport is 95% mental and with the 45 it's probably 99%.

- Dave
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by TureB on 3/21/2018, 5:17 pm

With regards to recoil differences between .45 and 9mm: I believe comparisons should be made based on momentum, not muzzle energy.
A very simple calculation, not taking the powder gases into account, tells me that the full power 9mm load has less momentum than the target. 45 load and given that a 9mm 1911 normally has a heavier barrel this translates to less recoil energy being transferred to the shooters hand from the 9mm.
The difference in momentum isn't that large, about 2%.
I don't have much experience with light. 45 loads however I find my 9mm 1911 to be more soft shooting than my .45 with the loads I've fed either with.
My 9mm load is 124gr @ 1115fps

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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by LenV on 3/21/2018, 8:34 pm

Just for fun. How about a recoil calculator.

http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp

In an attempt to add accuracy to the calculator I weighed my 9mm RO and my .45. To add to my confusion they both weighed 2.36 lbs with empty magazines. Weighed them twice expecting to get a different result. Nope. They weighed the same. 9 is a RO but the .45 is a Kimber.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Wobbley on 3/21/2018, 9:24 pm

LenV wrote:Just for fun. How about a recoil calculator.

http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp

In an attempt to add accuracy to the calculator I weighed my 9mm RO and my .45. To add to my confusion they both weighed 2.36 lbs with empty magazines. Weighed them twice expecting to get a different result. Nope. They weighed the same. 9 is a RO but the .45 is a Kimber.
Cool.

If you put in the weight of the recoiling parts, say .4 pounds for a 22 and 1.2 pounds for a 1911, you get some interesting results.  The energy of a 22 slide is on the order of 2 ft lbs and a free velocity of 17 fps.  The same energy for a 38 is 4 and a velocity of 15.  A 45 WC is 6.5 and Velocity of 19.  The 45 HB has an energy of 13 and a velocity of 26.  

This energy would give an impulse when the slide hits the frame and this is the wrenching recoil we feel.  While it may not be exact as this doesn’t take in to account the energy absorbed by re-cocking the hammer, but it seems to fall in to my experience.  A 38 WC in my 52 hits about twice as hard as my 22 and the 45 WC is not quite double that of the 38, and the HB is some serious recoil.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by desben on 3/22/2018, 5:19 am

The action sports use Power Factor as a rough estimate for recoil. 115@1180 is 135.7, and 185@750 is 138.8. If you switch to a 200gr like some do for 50 yards, pf goes up to 150.

And that's not really fair because that 9mm is hot at 1180 and we're comparing it to target 45 loads. Regular 45 ACP is 230@830 is a pf of 191.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jon Math on 3/22/2018, 7:50 am

dronning wrote:
Slartybartfast wrote:But I really wanted to know what it is about the .45 that makes it such a beast and hard to master according to some. To be able to judge my performance with another calibre. Until my shooting skill can have me holding the 9 ring I'll assume the occasional points that I could eek out of larger holes would be rather insignificant.

The true answer to your question all BS aside is 3lb.

No I'm not talking about trigger weight the thing that makes the 45 a beast for some is the 3lb of brain matter between your ears.  Yes the trigger is heavier and yes there is more recoil making it a little harder to recover in sustained fire, BUT these are things you should be able to conquer with training and repetition!   UNLESS of course you have convinced yourself that the 45 is really a beast that takes some kind of magic to master.

Remember this sport is 95% mental and with the 45 it's probably 99%.

- Dave

This is the point I was trying to make.  He may be fooling himself into thinking the 1911 is some kind of rearing cobra ready to strike.

The biggest problem I have with one is that my muscle memory is from shooting European pistols with their slopping angled grips, I have to pull the muzzle of the 1911 up to get the sight alignment because my ready stance has my hand pointing down.  Once I get that straight (in my mind), and in the stress of a match I really have remember to keep that muzzle up,  it just like every other tool to make holes with.

Even that is not a significant problem, and if it really was there are plenty of 1911 angled grips available for European pistols.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Slartybartfast on 3/22/2018, 12:00 pm

Jon Math wrote:
This is the point I was trying to make.  He may be fooling himself into thinking the 1911 is some kind of rearing cobra ready to strike.

As people keep saying how crucial the 45 stage is, the difficulty of mastering the .45, how some shooters have given it up, or that only shooting 45 will get you to Masters, I was trying to get people to explain what it is that needs mastered.

I'd really simply like to know what the additional challenge is between a 9mm 1911 shooting factory loads and a 45 1911 shooting target loads.

Last few posts on recoil are very interesting.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jack H on 3/22/2018, 12:44 pm

Most people do not train enough to the Master level with the 45.   Nor have they invested in real quality triggers and accuracy of purpose built equipment.  And last, they have not reached the mental nirvana of a Master shooter.  Until then they are full of excuses.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by CR10X on 3/22/2018, 1:19 pm

That's because most people are "practicing" and not "training".  Practice does not create improvement.  Even perfect practice does not create improvement.  Practice simply gets us to the limitation of our current technique and process.  Find out what is needed to make the process or technique better, then train on those individual parts.  Then the sum will be greater than the parts.  Break down a good shot into all the things that were correct and train on doing those every time.  (After shooting a "X" at 50 yards' there should be a lot of stuff to write down in the journal.  Basically everything you can remember.  Conversely, after shooting an "8", there is nothing you need to remember.) 

Most people do not train enough to the Master level with the 45. 

As for:

Well, I was hoping that those who compete would have insight into what makes various parts of their sport challenging so that I might make a decision on where to take what is currently a rather simple hobby.

I think you'll find that the point is that even with the 9mm, most shooters will still try to get the lowest recoil, most acceptable accuracy possible.  So, comparing a 9mm factory to .45 wad is not going to be the case in any competition.  Most of your CF competition will be against some .32 variant anyway.  But having to shoot a .45 does get the playing field to a slightly higher level of recoil and mental management under the .22 / CF / .45 competitions.  Same as if you compete with a 9mm against a .32 in certerfire.   

Its mostly mental, but also a little physical as well.  With lesser recoil, grip and stance can be sacrificed.  But as recoil goes up, consistent and firm grip pressure and a stance that gets one more "behind the gun" to absorb the recoil and get back on target gets to be more important.  That's where good .22 shooters start coming up short against good CF and .45 shooters.  Doing it through a CF match and then having to do it again in a .45 match, just makes it that much more important.  Its a whole other level of physical endurance and mental fortitude.  Most people don't train for three 900 aggregates in a row over 5 to 6 hours. 

If you can shoot a 9 mm factory against .32 CF and win, then congratulations; you will have mastered the pistol or need to look for better competition.  

In any case, buy what you need to to compete in what you can shoot.  But yes, in my opinion, you'll be missing out on a great way to become a better shooter by not eventually including the .45.  

CR


Last edited by CR10X on 3/22/2018, 1:43 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jon Eulette on 3/22/2018, 1:22 pm

As people keep saying how crucial the 45 stage is, the difficulty of mastering the .45, how some shooters have given it up, or that only shooting 45 will get you to Masters, I was trying to get people to explain what it is that needs mastered.

I'd really simply like to know what the additional challenge is between a 9mm 1911 shooting factory loads and a 45 1911 shooting target loads.

Truth be known Barty, but the people shooting the 9mm aren't shooting it any better than the 45. Not much better with the 32's either. They like less recoil but aren't benefitting score wise just psychologically. The 45 has been part of the 2700 for 60-70 years. Just learn to shoot it. But unfortunately most BE shooters don't even dry fire so they're never going to grow as a shooter; even with the 22. Sad but true. Ruby Fox is a small woman. She shot a 2660. Guess what? She had to use a 45 to do it. She worked on it. No different for the rest of us.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jack H on 3/22/2018, 2:24 pm

To offer a comparison of the 9mm vs 45, I shot the Beretta and 1911 in leg matches.  They were equally capable being set up by Roddy.  I scored to the same level with each.  But using the 1911 more, I have much more liking and confidence in it.
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by L Valdez on 3/22/2018, 2:27 pm

Jon, Ruby may be small now, as we all get with age. When she was shooting with the USAR team she had great muscle structure.

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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

Post by Jon Eulette on 3/22/2018, 2:29 pm

Luis, she was a woman whoopin' mens asses! Smaller weaker but mentally tougher. Wink
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Re: So, What's the Challenge of Shooting 45 ACP?

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