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Accuracy problems re visited

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Post by thessler 1/6/2021, 6:52 am

Hi
I have been struggling with my 1911 45 acp.  Can't get it to shoot straight,  "I know it's the shooter not the gun" 
I have previously posted about this and was told to boost my reloads from 3.5 bullseye to 4.0, I said I thought it helped but then just blamed it on my trigger finger.  I'm still getting un explained fliers. Yesterday I bench rested it at only 50 ft. First shot I was very careful squeeze the trigger , called a ten looked up and got a ten. Second shot, the same exact squeez called a ten looked up and got a solid four. Now at 50ft on a bench rest I feel I shouldn't get a four unless I wanted a four.
Bushing is tight , slide is tight, barrel is spotless and looks perfect. In general I think the gun is shooting good maybe not great but good enough for 50ft, and then I get these fliers which end up in four or out of the rings. I take the blame for that but off the bench I don't see how I can mess it up that bad and not know it.
I never shot this gun well, but thought I'm still learning the 45.
I had accu rails put in it off season, Im wondering if that changes the function of the gun or timming,  or some un known force. Or maybe I just need a new barrel.
I can't tell you how much I don't want to blame the gun , but I think there is something going on here.
Thanks for any advice , Tom

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Post by rkittine 1/6/2021, 7:18 am

I saw your targets in practice yesterday Tom and then the targets you shot last night in the match with a different gun, with open / mismatched sights. Considering the differences, I think a lot of the problem is in your gun. Beyond that I can not help. You certainly shot what you thought was your back up gun, better than your main competition piece.

Bob
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Post by Jwhelan939 1/6/2021, 7:26 am

It's always possible. I started a long time ago with a Colt Gold Cup that was re-barreled by Ed Brown. I was terrible but chucked it up to be inexperienced. I stepped away from the sport to finish my degree. Fast forward, when I got back into the sport I benched the gun and had very obvious vertical stringing. After talking with some smiths I found that the barrel had spring in it and was not properly fitted. Of course I still needed to work on my own poor shot plan, but confidence in your equipment is pretty essential for the mental game.

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Post by Jwhelan939 1/6/2021, 7:26 am

Have you had your gun checked by a Smith?

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Post by chiz1180 1/6/2021, 7:28 am

Try good factory ammo or  have someone else shoot the gun. Eliminates you from the variables, it could be trigger control issues. Personally back when I started shooting 45 it magnified a ton of my technique issues.

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Post by Allgoodhits 1/6/2021, 11:03 am

Separate the unknowns. Is the problem gun related, ammunition related or shooter related, or a combination of the three? Once two of the 3 have been eliminated then, determine what element or elements of it are the problem. Are your expectations reasonable, given equipment, physical abilities, skill set and venue?

Have some known, very good shooter shoot the gun with their known good ammo.
You shoot a known good gun with known good ammo.
Follow similar eliminations until the variables have been identified. Until you have done this, it is almost impossible to identify which leg of the 3 legged stool is failing first. Identify the faulty leg(s) then determine how to fix it.

If ammo is determined bad, why is it bad? Bullets, load data, assembly process?
If gun is bad, why is it bad? Barrel, barrel fit, slide fit, sights?
If shooter is obstacle, then is your process a good one, are you following it?

I would suspect that at 50 ft the first two would be harder to identify, however shooting error can rear it's head at very, very close range. We are all capable of making errors, and we do.

Last, I would suggest, if possible, to do your evaluations at greater than 50 ft. Seventy five feet plus would be a much better initial screening test. 

Best in your quest. Shooting is simple, it just isn't easy.
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Post by thessler 1/6/2021, 11:17 am

I was under the impression that careful bench resting at 50ft would eliminate or eliminate most of the shooting error.
If I test at longer distance I'm pretty sure the fliers will not be on the paper. 
Thanks , Tom

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Post by Jon Eulette 1/6/2021, 11:49 am

A great trigger job is an absolute must have. A properly fit barrel also makes or breaks you.  In the last year I have rebarreled many pistols that the owners complained of accuracy issues. Experts to high master. All happy campers and a national record as well. I see a lot of really poorly fit butchered barrel jobs. Unfortunately even on high dollar $$$$ pistols as well. 45 is forgiving cartridge. If pistol is not shooting well I bet its your barrel (fitting). Accu-Rails shouldn't affect the function/timing of the pistol. Timing is a bottom barrel lug and link issue; not always built/fit correctly.
Get someone who really knows 1911's to look at your pistol.
Jon
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Post by BE Mike 1/6/2021, 3:53 pm

Bench resting takes a good technique. If the gun is contacting the bench, at all, that could explain the fliers. If possible have someone who is a top shooter and bench rester test the gun for you. You started off saying that you were suspecting that your loads were the problem. Can you state your bullet and powder charge?
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Post by thessler 1/6/2021, 5:21 pm

Reloads are 185 Missouri bullet brand. 4gn bullseye federal primers. 
Range found cases.

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Post by BE Mike 1/6/2021, 6:14 pm

I only see coated 200 gr. bullets in .45 ACP caliber on Missouri Bullet's website. Coated bullets may not be giving you the best results possible or if you are using a button nose 185 gr. bullet, your gun may not like them. Coated bullets should have a light crimp of about .470" to keep the crimp from cutting through the coating to the lead bullet. To eliminate the possibility of the ammo being the problem. I'd suggest you either try some Federal factory match ammo or reload either a Zero or Nosler 185 gr. JHP bullet over 4.5 grains of Alliant Bullseye. The COAL should be about 1.20" with a light crimp of .470". If that 185 gr. JHP load won't shoot well, I'd next look at getting someone else to test the bullet/ gun combo using either a bench rest or machine rest. Who accurized your pistol? What barrel does it have? Good luck.
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Post by Wobbley 1/6/2021, 6:54 pm

In Missouri bullets, there are varying hardness levels.  Using too hard a bullet can cause accuracy issues.  Make sure your bullets are 12 BHN and not 18.
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Post by DA/SA 1/6/2021, 7:37 pm

It's hard to imagine a .45 ACP 185 or 200 LSWC with 4 gr Bullseye not shooting decently at 50 feet!
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Post by rkittine 1/7/2021, 4:51 am

I shot with Tom in practice and at the match when he experienced did. Assume he was using his same reloads in both the gun that would not shoot and then on the gun he finalized used. Since the latter shot much better with the same Ammo, I suspect there is a gun issue. Same loads, same shooter and two different guns on the same day. Sounds like the gun is at least one problem.
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Post by PMcfall 1/7/2021, 9:00 am

Why not fire some quality factory loads like Fed Gold Medal Match or some from Atlanta Arms to check accuracy comparison to handloads.  Right now too many variables involved, need to eliminate something.
Phil
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Post by NYKenn 1/7/2021, 6:26 pm

Had similar problems a number of years ago at Camp Perry. Gun was tight, barrel was tight. Trigger was smooth. Shot Star 200 lswc w/3.5 Bullseye that were grouping 2-2.5 inches at 50 yards when I did the right things. Stared to experience flyers that I had not called. Found the crown on the barrel was the cause of the occasional 7 or 8 at 25 yards.

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Post by Centerline 1/7/2021, 11:58 pm

verify twist rate of barrel. verify recoil spring not too light.

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Post by TargetShooter27 1/8/2021, 8:58 am

I didn't read if you are shooting iron sights or a red dot, but if a dot you need to check the mount.  My experience has been that randomly off-call shots are due to a loose mount.

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Post by rkittine 1/8/2021, 9:01 am

That is an interesting thing to consider as the pistol Tom is questioning has a dot and the one that he used to shoot with as a backup has not only open sights but they are mid matched .
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Post by 5shooter 1/9/2021, 11:27 am

My father in law made his living for 20 years as a factory service engineer traveling across NA to fix industrial strapping machines. After showing up on site and fixing half the machines by turning on the power he learned to ask each location to verify that important detail before he got on a plane.

Previous posters identified all the most likely culprits behind thessler's on and off accuracy. Here's a couple suggestions that might help put the finger on what it is.

It doesn't take much time to gently verify the torque on the dot sight/mounting fasteners, and that's a good thing to do periodically, even if it doesn't feel loose.

If this pistol was not originally set up for BE competition...getting the barrel lock-up super tight on a commercial pistol might enhance accuracy with full power loads and a factory recoil spring, but that could also translate to erratic lock-up with a half power recoil spring for target loads. One way to check would be to re-install a factory power recoil spring and verify accuracy with full power ammo. If there's a big improvement the barrel fitting probably needs some work for BE use. If there's no improvement, it might need a lot of work for any use. A bullseye pistolsmith would be well able to diagnose and correct the problem.

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Post by thessler 1/10/2021, 4:58 am

Thanks guys
I have an old essex 45 I just picked up. It needs some sorting out, once it's up and running fine I can lay up my colt and it will get what ever it needs. Definitely a new barrel weather it needs it or not. 
I bought the colt used and we'll worn, was told the barrel was replaced but I have no idea by who or their skill level. 
Thanks , Tom

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