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How much hard ball can a hard ball gun shoot?

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Post by spaatz1644 on 7/12/2020, 7:00 pm

How many rounds does it take to beat the accuracy out of a hardball gun?

I'm shooting 4.5 grains of Bullseye, and 230 grain FMJs.

Will a lighter load maintain accuracy at 50 yards, and be meaningfully less abusive on the gun?

PS I have 10k 230 grain bullets. I know I could shoot a lighter bullet, but I'd rather use these up first.

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Post by KBarth on 7/12/2020, 7:04 pm

Depends on who builds it, not all are going to be the same.
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Post by james r chapman on 7/12/2020, 7:13 pm

Save money for rebuilds by using up your 230’s
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Post by Jon Eulette on 7/12/2020, 10:18 pm

I’m shooting shots on call at 50 with 3.8 BE 230. I really like shooting the 230’s.
Someday I’ll RR the load. Averaging 280 + NMC with this load and old eyes lol. 
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Post by 71firebird400 on 7/12/2020, 10:40 pm

I am interested in what the experts say. In my completely unqualified opinion it seems that shooting a 230 at 800FPS vs a 185 at 750FPS isn't "that" much harder on the gun itself. I would think it just comes down to how many times that frame/barrel/slide/bushing has been cycled and what lubrication is in play.

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Post by rkittine on 7/13/2020, 6:58 am

No expert on pistol barrels, but I can tell you for rifle barrel accuracy and deterioration, how hot you get the barrel and how you clean it are two of the things that ALSO can effect barrel life.

Bob
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Post by James Hensler on 7/13/2020, 7:47 am

If I told you guys how many rounds I have through my barrel no one would believe me and I would be laughed at
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Post by rkittine on 7/13/2020, 9:02 am

When I mentioned to a friend I was going to try Bullseye shooting, he told me be careful buying used as some of the Bullseye Shooters put more rounds through their guns then you would ever believe, so I certainly would not laugh at you.

I am a little excessive complusive (anal retentive etc.) and have a small notebook with every one of my firearms. Has the specifications, where and when I bought it, serial numbers etc., what I paid for it, but than by date how many rounds I fired of what. I start either with a round count or 3 if I bought the gun new, considering there were probably three proof rounds fired, or what the seller claimed was the round count if known. As a last resort, if I really want a firearm and there is no current round count available, then I have my local gunsmith, who I trust, look at it and give me an estimate after he rips it down and puts it back together.

I have probably over paid for my Bullseye Pistols, but I did because I paid a premium for ones that were either brand new or had documented round counts that were very low and confirmed by inspection.

There are others out there as excessive as I am I guess. 

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Post by mpolans on 7/13/2020, 9:49 am

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

It all depends.  Some factors include proper build/assembly, load, proper springing (using too light a recoil and main springs will accelerate wear), and proper lubrication and maintenance.

Under the best circumstances, I'd think a hardball gun could last at least tens of thousands of rounds without a rebuild.

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Post by Wobbley on 7/13/2020, 9:52 am

In RIFLES, the barrels will improve in accuracy up until 500 rounds or so. After that starts a slow decline until 3000-5000 (depending on caliber and application.  For PISTOLS, particularly Bullseye pistols, barrel wear is so slow that it can be ignored.  The mechanical aspects of a 1911 fitted up for bullseye are the weakest area.  How fast the fitting up lasts depends on a lot of factors, but like all sliding surface mechanisms, they will eventually loosen.  If you are a high master level shooter, you might send your gun off for refitting at 5000 -7000 rounds.  A Master perhaps at 7000-10000 rounds.  Expert and below maybe never.  All this will be dependent on the parts used and the techniques of fitting up the gun.  With modern techniques and parts, the gun might last way longer.

Shooting 230 Gr at 830 is like a 200 at 945.  Guns can be built to withstand that level of oomph for a long time.
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Post by mpolans on 7/13/2020, 9:54 am

rkittine wrote:No expert on pistol barrels, but I can tell you for rifle barrel accuracy and deterioration, how hot you get the barrel and how you clean it are two of the things that ALSO can effect barrel life.

Bob
Highpower rifle is whole different ball game.  The bullet velocities and the heavier, slower burning powder charges required to achieve them are harder on barrels.  For example, throat erosion is unheard of in most pistol calibers.

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Post by KBarth on 7/13/2020, 9:59 am

I think suggesting that a high master will have his gun rebuilt after 5-7k rounds is very inaccurate.  There was an example of a Eulette hardball gun on the forum with over 12k rounds through it that still held an inch from a rest.   1911 barrels are going to last a long time of someone builds it right
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Post by James Hensler on 7/13/2020, 10:01 am

Folks mine has 134k right now
Until last year late I had always shot LSWC but for the long line I switched up to Zero JHP’ so I am looking harder at the barrel every cleaning

As far as 230 factory ball goes I would say it’s a lot harder on the frame and slide Fit but with reduced loads I would lean towards as many as you would or could ever shoot
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Post by spaatz1644 on 7/13/2020, 10:50 am

The reason I asked the question in the first place was reading an internet thread that indicated after just a few thousand rounds of hardball, the gun will need some form of rebuild. 

I want to avoid making mistakes early on that will cause premature degradation of the pistol. Sounds like its not nearly as common as I was led to believe.

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Post by James Hensler on 7/13/2020, 11:07 am

spaatz1644 wrote:The reason I asked the question in the first place was reading an internet thread that indicated after just a few thousand rounds of hardball, the gun will need some form of rebuild. 

I want to avoid making mistakes early on that will cause premature degradation of the pistol. Sounds like its not nearly as common as I was led to believe.
Sir I would keep an eye on how tight the frame to slide fit is. Once it loosens up send it out to get tightened up. 
A few ways to do this

Accurails 
Peening 
Micro welding. 


Also I forgot to mention earlier but I change my bushing out a lot. Under 5k each time
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Post by robert84010 on 7/13/2020, 11:47 am

spaatz1644 wrote:The reason I asked the question in the first place was reading an internet thread that indicated after just a few thousand rounds of hardball, the gun will need some form of rebuild. 

I want to avoid making mistakes early on that will cause premature degradation of the pistol. Sounds like its not nearly as common as I was led to believe.
oh, if you read it on the internet it must be true.

I bet that was written by an M1a shooter. Probably a High Master that thinks all rifle knowledge overrides pistol knowledge.

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Post by spaatz1644 on 7/13/2020, 12:54 pm

robert84010 wrote:
spaatz1644 wrote:The reason I asked the question in the first place was reading an internet thread that indicated after just a few thousand rounds of hardball, the gun will need some form of rebuild. 

I want to avoid making mistakes early on that will cause premature degradation of the pistol. Sounds like its not nearly as common as I was led to believe.
oh, if you read it on the internet it must be true.

Well, that's why I came to double check.

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Post by L Valdez on 7/13/2020, 1:12 pm

I had a USAR issue Hardball gun that I personally shot over 45,000 rounds of issue 230 grain ammo. Almost every team shooter told me not to worry about accuracy. Those team shooter were collectively the best bullseye shooters in the 1990's, well, one was questionable. I won't mention his name, but his initials were Jon Eulette. 
I don't know how many rounds it had down the barrel before it was issued to me, but it would shoot a low 290 a couple times a year with issue 230 ball ammo. That makes me think they last pretty long with "modern" ball ammo.

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Post by robert84010 on 7/13/2020, 1:14 pm

I'm pretty sure I know where you read that and that is why I answered how I did.

I asked here because of it. I understand you asked about hardball and there is a difference.

https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t6555-highest-round-count-45-pistols?highlight=round+%2Bcount

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Post by Jon Eulette on 7/13/2020, 1:59 pm

The pistol itself has a lot to do with longevity of the build. Newer pistols like a Caspian or JEM build will outlast an older Colt or donor pistol build in many cases. The heat treatment and steel is better quality. Newer build with properly fit frame and slide have less vertical play which aids consistent barrel unlocking. When the barrel unlocks it has a degree of timing based on upper barrel lug engagement, bottom lug bearing surface length, and the link. Proper link length is vital to both going in and out of battery.

In my opinion the absolute worst thing you can do to a barrel is use an accuracy tuner, a shimmed upper barrel lug, a welded tab on the slide to limit barrel height/engagement depth into the slide or a Kart EZ fit barrel. When loads are warmer the lack of engagement prematurely wears the upper barrel lugs and the slide lugs. It will round the corners. I've seen pistols that should have the barrels and the slides destroyed for safety reasons based on this.

Properly fit barrel I think has the largest factor in accuracy lifespan. It will lock up consistently better, it will slow the slides recoil velocity attributing to less felt recoil and it will run reliably for its lifespan.


I had a 45 pistol with 100k rounds of Federal Match 185 jswc through it that still shot 1.5". So I don't think the barrels rifling contributes as much as the build quality of the pistol. Speaking of rifling, an old Colt barrel with rough rifling in comparison to newer barrel will still shoot 1.5" groups. 
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Post by spaatz1644 on 7/13/2020, 2:03 pm

Thank you everyone for the responses. I'm hearing that with normal maintenance, and normal loads, shooting a hard ball gun to death really isn't something I should be thinking about short term.

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Post by CR10X on 7/13/2020, 5:27 pm

The internet has more crap than my granddaddy's outhouse. Get a good ball gun. It will last until you get distinguished or give up. 10 thousand rounds is just a good break in for a good gun. The gun will tell you when it needs to be rebuilt or needs a new barrel bushing and slide stop.
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Post by james r chapman on 7/13/2020, 5:32 pm

The internet has more crap than my granddaddy's outhouse.
CR


Now THAT’s a byline!
🤣
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Post by CR10X on 7/14/2020, 5:35 am

The outhouse down by the tobacco barns even had a handy stick hanging on the door.  

You used it to bang around the seat before you sat down to drive off any lurking critters, snakes, wasps, etc., that might interrupt your thoughtful period of contemplation.  

Kinda wish the internet had one of those sticks too.

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Post by TonyH on 7/14/2020, 6:09 am

If I remember correctly, the stick was defunded when Al Gore invented the internet...
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