Choosing my first .45ACP BE pistol

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Post by Al W. on 10/3/2019, 3:26 pm

Hi Folks,
I've been shooting pistols plenty in the last few years , loading for several calibers .
I'm having fun.
I want to step up to .45 ACP because I think it will give me the accuracy that I'm looking for.
Been shooting rimfire league , I'm holding my own but lets just say I'm not really liking what I see from my center fire results.
I've been using a 6" model 14 in .38sp and a M52 in that caliber , my results with 9mm were never such that I would consider pursuing Precision pistol with that round.
So here I am looking for entry level .45 ACP
Folks recommend the Springfield Armory RO as a good starting point for a custom build and give it good marks for out of box performance.
My question is , how about the Colt Gold cup. A few of the guys at my club recommend those.
The Gold Cups vary widely in price, seemingly dependent on the collectability .
I'm in no way concerned with that .
Every one knows a Colt is the icon of .45 , I get that , but if you were to choose between a SA-RO and one of the lower end Gold Cup Colts which way would you roll ?
Is the Colt that much tighter than the Springfield out of the box ? Or am I still going to go for a barrel and a bushing anyway and find myself paying for the name more than actual performance.
Just a geezer trying to get it right .Smile
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Post by TomH_pa on 10/3/2019, 3:42 pm


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Post by James Hensler on 10/3/2019, 3:47 pm

I didn’t do this but if I had to do all over again I just might do this!

For what a Colt Gold Cup cost you could do this

Buy a new Range Officer
Get a Smith to tighten up the frame to slide 
Install a good bushing
Have the trigger gone through and make it 3.5
Install a good rail
Install an ultra Dot match dot
That’s almost equal in price and it would smoke the Gold Cup at the range
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Post by farmboy on 10/3/2019, 6:24 pm

There is a very nice .45 for sale in commercial row that would be an excellent gun and is reasonable priced because it comes complete with an aimpoint dot and mount  https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t13084-fs-price-loweredfrerking-custom-premier-1-5-45-acp-2-moa-aimpoint-micro-w-totts-shade-and-kodiak-base
FCW make a very accurate .45. I shoot one.
by the time you buy any gun and have any accuracy work done to it and put a dot on it you won't have much if any less in it that what the seller is asking(I have no financial interest)
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Post by Outthere on 10/4/2019, 5:47 am

Some good advice listed above. 

Colt is in the business of selling that prancing horse. Accuracy is not on their priority list.

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Post by James Hensler on 10/4/2019, 6:08 am

The pistol listed is for 2200 bucks! I would hope and pray he could do the option I mentioned for less than 1400 and use the rest for a cruise! Lol
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Post by james r chapman on 10/4/2019, 8:54 am

Pick up an RO, sand bag it with match ammo, see how it groups at 50 yds.
If 10 ring or less, fix the trigger, and shoot it.

Most RO’s will give you plenty enough accuracy out of the box.

They can be had for $700 or less.
Don’t get caught up in the accuracy rabbit hole before you absolutely need it.
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Post by zanemoseley on 10/4/2019, 8:56 am

The $2200 pistol for sale also includes a fully decked out Aimpoint micro, ain't cheap.

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Post by Aprilian on 10/4/2019, 9:47 am

From my experience;  Trigger is the biggest issue I am learning (and I believe that to be true for many others).   Buy the RO, install a rib, dot and roll trigger. 

I could have saved a lot and invested it in ammo, if I had of listened to the good advice here, but as an engineer it seems like I have to "learn for myself" instead of just "listen".
  lol!

Best of luck.
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Post by zanemoseley on 10/4/2019, 10:00 am

There's nothing wrong with going straight to a nice custom pistol if you have the money and drive to stay with the sport. However if you're not 100% sure you're going to stick with it or your budget is tighter there's nothing wrong with going with an upgraded RO. Better fit barrels will also tend to have a more mild recoil as they stay in battery longer, loose fit barrels fly open faster and can be more snappy.

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Post by 45ACP223 on 10/4/2019, 2:25 pm

james r chapman wrote:Pick up an RO, sand bag it with match ammo, see how it groups at 50 yds.
If 10 ring or less, fix the trigger, and shoot it.

Most RO’s will give you plenty enough accuracy out of the box.

They can be had for $700 or less.
Don’t get caught up in the accuracy rabbit hole before you absolutely need 

Some good sound advice!
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Post by mikemyers on 10/4/2019, 5:15 pm

Al W. wrote:.........I want to step up to .45 ACP because I think it will give me the accuracy that I'm looking for.........I'm not really liking what I see from my center fire results.............I've been using a 6" model 14 in .38sp and a M52 in that caliber........So here I am looking for entry level .45 ACP.....
Just curious - why do you feel you will get better results with a 45, if you're not happy with your results from the Model 14 and Model 52, both of which are supposed to be VERY accurate.  Why not work with what you got, and when you're shooting those guns well enough, then consider a 45.   If you expect the change in gear will make you more accurate, you're likely to find it's going to make you less accurate.

Do you shoot either of your two guns one handed?  What results do you get.  Can you please post a target from, say, 25 yards?
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Post by SW-52 on 10/4/2019, 5:53 pm

Go with Springfield Range officer, the best bang for the Buck!!
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Post by dronning on 10/4/2019, 5:55 pm

The M52 can be a very challenging gun to shoot well, even High Masters get occasional keyholes at 50 yards.  You can find many threads on the love/hate relationship with the M52.  The 14 should be as accurate as any 45 even at 50 yards.  Great slow fire gun, but you are a a definite disadvantage in timed and rapid.  If you are going to compete in 2700's you will need a 45.  You might as well get one now BUT I'd recommend you do most of your training with the 22 until your fundamentals are solid.

+1 on the RO
- Dave
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Post by mikemyers on 10/4/2019, 7:12 pm

Al W. wrote:Hi Folks,
I've been shooting pistols plenty in the last few years , loading for several calibers .
I'm having fun.
I want to step up to .45 ACP because I think it will give me the accuracy that I'm looking for.
............
Based on personal experience only, I'm not sure how many hands the OP has been shooting with.  Most people by far at my club use two.  If I had it to do all over again, the first thing I would do, with a 22, is learn how to shoot Bullseye style.  If that's the goal, which 45 to buy comes later (and should have, for me).  Maybe I'm wrong, and the OP is already shooting that way.

The 52 is very challenging at Bullseye, but it's a dream to shoot with two hands.  I'm not sure I could hold up my Model 14 for a match, let alone do well with it; mine is very heavy.

When I first discovered this forum, I was really doing "two hand target shooting", and I wanted to get better at it.  I literally could't hold my 1911 out in front of me for more than a second or two, with one hand, without it shaking uncontrollably.  I never would have found or bought my Les Baer, had my good friend at my club found me a good deal, and pushed me to buy it.  Maybe it wasn't ideal, but it was better than my Colt Combat Commander.  And for that matter, the Les Baer wasn't useful until I set it up differently.

I finally followed the advice you guys have been preaching - someone offered a used Springfield Armory gun, set up for Bullseye by someone named Dave Salyer, who I never had heard of.  After all the discussion, I bought it, and learned how to shoot it one handed with my own reloads.  I know now that what you guys are advising is good advice, but it also took me a LONG time to learn how to shoot it one handed.  If I wasn't so dedicated and stubborn, I'd have given up.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is it would be nice to hear from the OP what his plans are for the future, and what he's already doing.  I'll stop here.
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Post by Al W. on 10/4/2019, 10:56 pm

mikemyers wrote:
Al W. wrote:.........I want to step up to .45 ACP because I think it will give me the accuracy that I'm looking for.........I'm not really liking what I see from my center fire results.............I've been using a 6" model 14 in .38sp and a M52 in that caliber........So here I am looking for entry level .45 ACP.....
Just curious - why do you feel you will get better results with a 45, if you're not happy with your results from the Model 14 and Model 52, both of which are supposed to be VERY accurate.  Why not work with what you got, and when you're shooting those guns well enough, then consider a 45.   If you expect the change in gear will make you more accurate, you're likely to find it's going to make you less accurate.

Do you shoot either of your two guns one handed?  What results do you get.  Can you please post a target from, say, 25 yards?
I can shoot my guns reasonably well. I can stay in the black with both of them on a standard NRA slow fire target at 25 yards. I only shoot at 25 yd. Unless its my point and shoot 380s , some of those I run at 25 for the challenge.
I think  everything I've learned leads me to believe that the .45 ACP will get me closer to the goal. I think the round has greater stability .
Have you fired a M52 ? Or a M14. M52s are very accurate but hard to shoot well, thats the common wisdom and its true in my experience. No one uses them any longer for a reason I think, a very interesting gun though, I'm glad to own it. My 14 groups well , I mostly train with it in double action , which with the target trigger is a bit of a bear as the wide target trigger is intended for single action shooting , makes it harder not to deflect the gun when shooting DA, but I do OK with it. If I shoot 2.9 of BE under a 147gr hbwc Zero , I can do ok.
I shoot all my guns one handed , trained one handed for a few years now. I'm not great , but I do think guns matter. My technique isn't bad for a guy thats  only been at it for a few years. If I shoot 2 handed I'm pretty good. I can stay 10X on a PPL target at 25 with my High Standard Trophy.


Last edited by Al W. on 10/4/2019, 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Al W. on 10/4/2019, 11:07 pm

dronning wrote:The M52 can be a very challenging gun to shoot well, even High Masters get occasional keyholes at 50 yards.  You can find many threads on the love/hate relationship with the M52.  The 14 should be as accurate as any 45 even at 50 yards.  Great slow fire gun, but you are a a definite disadvantage in timed and rapid.  If you are going to compete in 2700's you will need a 45.  You might as well get one now BUT I'd recommend you do most of your training with the 22 until your fundamentals are solid.

+1 on the RO
- Dave
Yes the 52 is awesome but requires total focus , I bought mine from a master shooter , he stopped using it because of all the usual reasons.
I like loading for it and my conclusion is that the difficulty we all have shooting it has something to do with the recoil impulse . Strange things go on after primer detonation in that gun I think. Still love it , still might sell it. So yeah.
The 14 is cool I can shoot it pretty well, but no way I can do timed and rapid fire with it. No way no how. I tried one set of PPL with it last year. Not good results in timed and rapid , I know I can train and get it better, but there's reasons why no one shoots 38sp for the center fire round these days. Everybody tells me , go 22lr and 45 ACP .
I feel confident of my 22 which is a High Standard Trophy . I'm doin' OK with my HS , my best gun IMO.
My fundamentals are well developed, not great by any means but I have my head screwed on right.
The RO seems the favorite. I'm not eager to drop a fortune and the SA RO seems to be the logical choice.
I wish they blued them rather the Parkerized them though. Sorta fugly.Laughing


Last edited by Al W. on 10/4/2019, 11:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Al W. on 10/4/2019, 11:21 pm

mikemyers wrote:
Al W. wrote:Hi Folks,
I've been shooting pistols plenty in the last few years , loading for several calibers .
I'm having fun.
I want to step up to .45 ACP because I think it will give me the accuracy that I'm looking for.
............

I guess what I'm trying to say, is it would be nice to hear from the OP what his plans are for the future, and what he's already doing.  I'll stop here.
I've been shooting one handed since I started up pistol shooting again a few years ago. I shot as a kid , random plinking with a 22lr kit gun.
Learned on rifle as a kid with my father and scouts.
I have been shooting in the remnants of a PPL league at my club for the last 3 years. I shoot in the middle of the pack.
Thats an old game that no one plays anymore but as the club ceased to sponsor 2700 matches it was the closest I could get to the thing I wanted to do , which was Bullseye.
I train with the revolvers  in .38sp and a 9mm which I have and now load with 147 gr MJHP because that round groups much better for me then the 115 gr. I always run at least 100 rounds a session through the HS .
The club I'm moving into sponsors matches 2700 and various "fun pistol" shoots and various rifle events.
I'll shoot some bench rest with my 22lr CZs. Might try silhouettes  , give that a go.
I think I like the recoil impulse of the 45 slug and the way the load works the gun. Think that will go well for me. I'll bottom feed and check out an RO and hope to get a tight one so that its target accurate out of the box. I'll buy used , keep the price low. Combat accuracy is OK , but I prefer target accuracy . 
I would like to shoot qualifying matches.
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Post by mikemyers on 10/5/2019, 6:52 am

Al W. wrote:.........Have you fired a M52 ? Or a M14. M52s are very accurate but hard to shoot well, thats the common wisdom and its true in my experience..........
I agree with what you wrote, but I have two M-52's, one with steel sights and one with a red dot, and like you wrote, IF I concentrate, and follow-through after firing, I shoot it very well (for me).  
Again, FOR ME, I don't find the 45 any easier.  If I don't concentrate, I can shoot the 45 just as poorly as with the 52.  Again IF I concentrate, I can shoot it to the best of my ability.
Also, FOR ME, my ancient High Standard seems the easiest to do well with of any guns I own.  Maybe it's the balance, or the weight...   dunno.
Finally, I do have a Model 14, beautiful gun, but I've mostly been shooting other guns until now.  The 14 seems to be a fantastic gun.  I need to learn it.

My own solution was first to buy a 45 that Dave Salyer had already modified, before I even knew who he was, and a year or so later to buy another better gun from him.  Dave has reasonable turn-around times, does good work, is affordable, and he works with anyone he's sold a gun to, to help them get the most out of it.

My own "Plan B" would be to contact Jon, or KC Crawford.  That they're fully booked with a long waiting time tells me they're as good as everyone thinks they are.   I'm sure there are others, but these are the three I think of first.



I don't think the way many people in this forum write.  My thoughts are someone like CR could pick up ANY gun that I own, and shoot beautiful groups.  And also that I could pick up their "best" gun, and I doubt I would shoot it much better than what I shoot nowadays.  On in different words, you can't buy performance - you have to learn/earn it, to the best of your own ability.     .......I'll shut up now; the best I can do for my own ability, is to read, not write.
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Post by Al W. on 10/5/2019, 10:52 am

mikemyers wrote:
Al W. wrote:.........Have you fired a M52 ? Or a M14. M52s are very accurate but hard to shoot well, thats the common wisdom and its true in my experience..........
 FOR ME, I don't find the 45 any easier.    Again IF I concentrate, I can shoot it to the best of my ability.
Also, FOR ME, my ancient High Standard seems the easiest to do well with of any guns I own.  Maybe it's the balance, or the weight...   dunno.


My own solution was first to buy a 45 that Dave Salyer had already modified, before I even knew who he was, and a year or so later to buy another better gun from him. 

I can shoot some. You need to put in the time. I have no problem lifting my guns or holding them on target. I'm no giant.
The 14 isn't very heavy, in fact many elite shooters shooting .38sp in the long line often, run a full lug 686 or 586 specifically for the extra weight , the weight stabilizes the gun.
My HS T has a bull barrel and the barrel weight. Its shooting as well as it shoots because of the sight picture and the stability of the HS platform and the slide weight , spring tensions and the low recoil of the 22 lr. A great gun.
I think that part of my attraction to the 45 ACP is my desire to work up a load for it.
My observation is that I do better with a larger subsonic projectile , the ballistics of the the 45ACP are very favorable for  precision shooting.
Ima go SA RO and see how that goes. 
I'll need to buy a 45 shell plate , tool head and powder drop so I can rig up my quick change for the Dillon. Mo Money:lol:
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Post by Al W. on 10/5/2019, 9:45 pm

While I'm trending  on the Springfield Armory Range Officer I noticed the "loaded" in Stainless Steel is offered in a California Compliant version with the adjustable rear sight.
Any reason to not think about that as I am not a big fan of the Parkerized finish look ?
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Post by james r chapman on 10/5/2019, 9:49 pm

I have a 9mm (now .38 super) loaded that is a very nice pistol.
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Post by lablover on 10/5/2019, 9:56 pm

james r chapman wrote:I have a 9mm (now .38 super) loaded that is a very nice pistol.
Same here..fine shooter in 38 super
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Post by Al W. on 10/6/2019, 3:42 pm

I have some folks telling me that I need to avoid Springfield models with the trigger lock.
Any of you folks have any info on that ?
When I mentioned to a range pal I was buying a used RO he was all for it , but warned against the trigger lock, which he mentioned was only used for a couple of years?
Whats up with that ?
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Post by LenV on 10/6/2019, 4:13 pm

It was a lawyer thing. SA's version of a series 80. It's no big deal if it comes with the lock. There are a million mainspring housings out there looking for a new home. And trigger lock is a mis-noumer. It is really a mainspring lock.

Len
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