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1911 wad AND BALL PISTOLS ---DIFFERENCE

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Post by ermakevin 3/16/2022, 10:42 am

MYBE THIS WAS ANSWERED BEFORE BUT I CANT FIND.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WAD 1911 AND A BALL 1911. 
I HAVE A CONNECTION TO PURCHASE A 
BALL 1911 AND WHAT TO KNOW IF ITS DIFFICULT TO CONVERT TO A WAD CUTTER PISTOL?


THANKS IN ADVANCE

ermakevin

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Post by chiz1180 3/16/2022, 10:58 am

A ball gun is the old school name for a service pistol to be used in Service pistol matches. The current Service Pistol rules are basically iron sights (no bomar rib or extended front sights), a 4lb trigger and any safe jacketed ammo.

A wad gun is an accurized gun to shoot wadcutter ammo, these are used in more typical matches. Basic rules, any sights (irons, dot, ect.),a 3.5lb trigger, and any safe ammo, lead (typically SWC or SWHP) or jacketed.

Their are some you use a legal ball gun for both service and the more typical bullseye match formats. Some guns even have provisions to switch back and forth between legal iron sights and a dot.
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Post by NukeMMC 3/16/2022, 12:22 pm

Old-school "Ball" or "Leg" guns were made to shoot issued 230gr FMJ ammo.  They typically had heavier recoil springs and mainsprings to retard the slides under the full power loads.  In those days, they could not vary from base 1911A1 except for the front and rear sights could be target-style but have a sight radius no more than 7".  You couldn't use the beavertail grip safeties, rail frames, commander hammers that you can now.
With current rules, my current "Leg" pistol has a beavertail, EGW hammer and shoots 185gr JHPs with 4.1gr N310, same as my wadcutter.  Wad gun uses a 10# recoil spring and 19# mainspring.  Leg gun uses a 19# main spring and 12 or 13# recoil.
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Post by Wobbley 3/16/2022, 3:18 pm

In the awld days there were a lot of guys who had one 45.  It was configured for “DCM rules” but they’d change recoil springs maybe added a “buffer” (spring loaded recoil spring guide) for shooting “hardball” matches. 

 The only real configuration difference internally for a “ball” gun and a “wad” gun was the “feed” ramp polishing and blending.  Most smiths got in the habit of expanding and polishing feed ramps on ball guns just as if it was a wadgun for reliability purposes.  Hence the dual usage was common.  

Most of the guys that did this were either just starting out or more casual shooters who only shot a few matches a year.
You could go that route today if money was an issue.
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Post by Froneck 3/18/2022, 10:05 am

"Ball Guns" had heavier firing pin spring.

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Post by ermakevin 3/20/2022, 1:41 pm

thanks all, for the insight.

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