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Springfield Range Officer 9mm

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jglenn21
Wobbley
pgg
shanneba
mikemyers
blindshooter
Jon Eulette
NukeMMC
Allgoodhits
LenV
tovaert
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Post by tovaert Sat Oct 29, 2022 12:53 pm

Last Winter's project gun. Started with a new 9mm SA RO from my LGS. Tightened the slide/rail fit using method 2A in the Kuhnhausen manual. Fitted a Fusion 1:10 match barrel, and an 0.001" over/under size EGW angle-bore bushing. Other EGW parts: ball-end disconnector, 0.200" slide stop (I kept the factory link...I could probably go one size shorter though), and enhanced sear spring (set-up for 4#). C and S parts: ultra-match hammer, super-lite sear, oversize hammer and sear pins, and 1-piece guide rod. Wolff recoil (8-9#) and 15# mainsprings. Rail (fits over the stock sights) and trigger shoe by Froneck. "Antiqued" rail finish by me. Tripp (Dawson) 9mm magazine. Smooth grips (from Amazon) that I then finished, then added the grip tape for my sweaty hands. It shoots pretty well, posted a target pic using the rail/dot in the Ammunition discussion under Ransom vs. Linear Slide testing. I load 147 JHP gr bullets (Zero, Magnus, and XTP) and ~3.0 to 3.2 gr. of fast powder for a ~875 fps subsonic soft shooting round. Only thing left is some trigger work. The C and S trigger is not bad, but I'd prefer a little less roll. About $650 in new parts (excluding the Holosun) plus the pistol. Roughly 20 hrs spent doing the handiwork. Interesting: fitting a barrel/bushing removing (polishing) small amounts of material as the barrel goes from being "sprung" to a precise non-binding fit. It felt like I was removing a tenth or two at a time (disassemble, polish, reassemble, check, repeat...). I was fun to do this. 1911's are much more interesting than AR service rifles.

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Post by LenV Sat Oct 29, 2022 9:36 pm

I did the same thing. Kinda. I took it apart probably 50 times getting the hood and link fit right. I also used a Fusion 1:10 twist match barrel. I spent the extra dime and got the threaded barrel. I should also mention I got the barrel in 38 Super. Last week I took it to the range and tried to find a decent load for all my 147gr LFP.  I found out you can shoot them too fast. My 4.6gr Bullseye loads (which my 1:16 twist likes) were actually keyholing. I suspect the 3.6 will be better but I'm heading back with a full set of recoil springs. It turned into a single shot...Springfield Range Officer 9mm 20210211
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Post by tovaert Sun Oct 30, 2022 8:29 am

LenV wrote:I did the same thing. Kinda. I took it apart probably 50 times getting the hood and link fit right. I also used a Fusion 1:10 twist match barrel. I spent the extra dime and got the threaded barrel. I should also mention I got the barrel in 38 Super. Last week I took it to the range and tried to find a decent load for all my 147gr LFP.  I found out you can shoot them too fast. My 4.6gr Bullseye loads (which my 1:16 twist likes) were actually keyholing. I suspect the 3.6 will be better but I'm heading back with a full set of recoil springs. It turned into a single shot...
3.6 BE maybe with a 9 or 10# spring? I'm using Alliant e^3. I'm using Fed 100 primers so I went with the lightest mainspring. I also kept the factory rounded-edge firing pin retainer. Do you recall what the factory link size was? I never measured it. Also, what tube size is your Sightron? I had an odd sized 33mm Sightron but I sold it.

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Post by LenV Sun Oct 30, 2022 10:03 am

30mm tube. I also sold my 33mm scope.the link is not marked but I'm pretty sure it is a 4. I also have a .200 Fuzion slide stop. That barrel came super rough. I spent quite awhile just polishing the ramp.
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Post by LenV Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:18 am

Update, I wish I had a glowing report. I've solved all the failure to feed problems that were caused by sharp edges and a very rough ramp. I just can't get it to cycle with anything other than max loads and even that is iffy. Heading back to range soon with plan 37. I've changed the #4 link with a #3, put in 10lb recoil spring and left the muzzle brake off. I know I'm doing 3 changes all at the same time. Not my normal procedure but it will let me know if I'm wasting my time on the Fusion barrel and put the Sig back in.
Not a glowing report...prints good though.
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Post by Allgoodhits Sat Nov 19, 2022 5:32 pm

LenV wrote:Update, I wish I had a glowing report. I've solved all the failure to feed problems that were caused by sharp edges and a very rough ramp. I just can't get it to cycle with anything other than max loads and even that is iffy. Heading back to range soon with plan 37. I've changed the #4 link with a #3, put in 10lb recoil spring and left the muzzle brake off. I know I'm doing 3 changes all at the same time. Not my normal procedure but it will let me know if I'm wasting my time on the Fusion barrel and put the Sig back in.
Not a glowing report...prints good though.
FWIW our 1911 Bianchi Open Class guns are very accurate. Equal to the best Bullseye guns. Typically 9mm or .38 Super and most use jacketed 115 or 125 gr bullets. Most will load the 115s to 1100 - 1160 fps and the 125s 990 - 1080 fps. Since these are "open" guns they will have a comp and optic, but the optic will not be slide mounted. Getting them to run can be finicky.  

Most will have recoil springs around 6 - 9 lbs and the mainsprings 15 -17 lbs, If the compensator is aluminum or titanium then springs may be able to be stronger, if comp is steel then typically lighter springs. Remove the comp and the gun can be sprung more normal. The downward energy and weight of the comp pushes downward on the muzzle end of the barrel. This prevents the rear of the barrel to drop down. As you know the rear of the barrel must drop down in order for the gun to unlock. The heavier the comp and more effective the ports in reducing muzzle flip the greater the problem. The slide mounted optic will add more complexity to getting it to run with light loads.

My .02
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Post by NukeMMC Sun Nov 20, 2022 2:59 am

Allgoodhits wrote:
LenV wrote:Update, I wish I had a glowing report. I've solved all the failure to feed problems that were caused by sharp edges and a very rough ramp. I just can't get it to cycle with anything other than max loads and even that is iffy. Heading back to range soon with plan 37. I've changed the #4 link with a #3, put in 10lb recoil spring and left the muzzle brake off. I know I'm doing 3 changes all at the same time. Not my normal procedure but it will let me know if I'm wasting my time on the Fusion barrel and put the Sig back in.
Not a glowing report...prints good though.
FWIW our 1911 Bianchi Open Class guns are very accurate. Equal to the best Bullseye guns. Typically 9mm or .38 Super and most use jacketed 115 or 125 gr bullets. Most will load the 115s to 1100 - 1160 fps and the 125s 990 - 1080 fps. Since these are "open" guns they will have a comp and optic, but the optic will not be slide mounted. Getting them to run can be finicky.  

Most will have recoil springs around 6 - 9 lbs and the mainsprings 15 -17 lbs, If the compensator is aluminum or titanium then springs may be able to be stronger, if comp is steel then typically lighter springs. Remove the comp and the gun can be sprung more normal. The downward energy and weight of the comp pushes downward on the muzzle end of the barrel. This prevents the rear of the barrel to drop down. As you know the rear of the barrel must drop down in order for the gun to unlock. The heavier the comp and more effective the ports in reducing muzzle flip the greater the problem. The slide mounted optic will add more complexity to getting it to run with light loads.

My .02
As I also learned when shooting Open class in USPSA, a comp's efficiency is dependent on MASS of powder.  When load developing, I got my pistol to recover the dot faster and flatter with about 9.5+gr of 3N37 and a 121gr JHP.
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Post by Allgoodhits Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:05 am

NukeMMC wrote:
Allgoodhits wrote:
LenV wrote:Update, I wish I had a glowing report. I've solved all the failure to feed problems that were caused by sharp edges and a very rough ramp. I just can't get it to cycle with anything other than max loads and even that is iffy. Heading back to range soon with plan 37. I've changed the #4 link with a #3, put in 10lb recoil spring and left the muzzle brake off. I know I'm doing 3 changes all at the same time. Not my normal procedure but it will let me know if I'm wasting my time on the Fusion barrel and put the Sig back in.
Not a glowing report...prints good though.
FWIW our 1911 Bianchi Open Class guns are very accurate. Equal to the best Bullseye guns. Typically 9mm or .38 Super and most use jacketed 115 or 125 gr bullets. Most will load the 115s to 1100 - 1160 fps and the 125s 990 - 1080 fps. Since these are "open" guns they will have a comp and optic, but the optic will not be slide mounted. Getting them to run can be finicky.  

Most will have recoil springs around 6 - 9 lbs and the mainsprings 15 -17 lbs, If the compensator is aluminum or titanium then springs may be able to be stronger, if comp is steel then typically lighter springs. Remove the comp and the gun can be sprung more normal. The downward energy and weight of the comp pushes downward on the muzzle end of the barrel. This prevents the rear of the barrel to drop down. As you know the rear of the barrel must drop down in order for the gun to unlock. The heavier the comp and more effective the ports in reducing muzzle flip the greater the problem. The slide mounted optic will add more complexity to getting it to run with light loads.

My .02
As I also learned when shooting Open class in USPSA, a comp's efficiency is dependent on MASS of powder.  When load developing, I got my pistol to recover the dot faster and flatter with about 9.5+gr of 3N37 and a 121gr JHP.
The Power Factor requirement for NRA Action Pistol is only 120,000. Getting a semi-auto comp gun to run reliably in the 125K - 130K PF range and still be very accurate was a challenge. Your above load is probably 200 - 300 fps faster that what we typically run.
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Post by tovaert Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:28 am

LenV wrote:Update, I wish I had a glowing report. I've solved all the failure to feed problems that were caused by sharp edges and a very rough ramp. I just can't get it to cycle with anything other than max loads and even that is iffy. Heading back to range soon with plan 37. I've changed the #4 link with a #3, put in 10lb recoil spring and left the muzzle brake off. I know I'm doing 3 changes all at the same time. Not my normal procedure but it will let me know if I'm wasting my time on the Fusion barrel and put the Sig back in.
Not a glowing report...prints good though.
Not sure if this is relevant, but I tried loading Zero 147 JHPs "long" out to ~1.210" COAL, about 0.010" back of the rifling in my Fusion barrel. Fed them with a Tripp 38 Super magazine. I did not see any accuracy improvement loading long, however, there was an occasional FTF (I was using a 9# spring).  Maybe it has something to do with the RO (overall dimensions)? I went back to typical 9 mm COALs. I have a Tripp 38 Super magazine collecting dust...happy to send it to you if you want to give it a try. Sometimes it's the magazine I've heard.

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Post by NukeMMC Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:36 am

Allgoodhits wrote:
NukeMMC wrote:As I also learned when shooting Open class in USPSA, a comp's efficiency is dependent on MASS of powder.  When load developing, I got my pistol to recover the dot faster and flatter with about 9.5+gr of 3N37 and a 121gr JHP.
The Power Factor requirement for NRA Action Pistol is only 120,000. Getting a semi-auto comp gun to run reliably in the 125K - 130K PF range and still be very accurate was a challenge. Your above load is probably 200 - 300 fps faster that what we typically run.
Yeah, that was USPSA and 10+ years ago.  I believe I was shooting major at 165 or 170k
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Post by LenV Sun Nov 20, 2022 10:40 am

Thanks for the offer. I'm sure my magazines work fine. If I swap back to any of my other 3 barrels they work perfectly. I've just been trying to get the micro groove 1:10 twist to work. Right this minute my $58.00 Sig barrel works better than any of my $200.00 barrels.
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Post by Jon Eulette Sun Nov 20, 2022 11:14 am

KKM Len, KKM:)
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Post by tovaert Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:17 am

I'll have to check and see if KKM sells a 1:10 twist 9mm barrel. 1:16 isn't the best choice (IMHO) for the 147 gr projectiles.

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Post by blindshooter Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:29 am

Tag

I have 2 SA 9mm guns both stock barrels. They have been frustrating trying to get decent groups.

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Post by mikemyers Sat Jan 14, 2023 9:11 am

After struggling with first, a Taurus PT-92AFS, and then a Springfield SA-35, I mostly gave up on them and decided (a year ago) to find a 9mm 1911.  Nothing I could afford showed up here, and Dave Salyer has always been enthusiastic about the SA Range Officer.  My converted wad gun (based on a Springfield 1911) is perhaps the best gun I own for making me look like I almost know what I'm doing (but I've never gotten the ability to shoot it one handed, at least not if I wanted my target to resemble something decent).  I shoot my Baer Premiere II almost as well, and it's still enjoyable to shoot with steel sights, but the red dot always allows me to shoot better.

Enough history - I went shopping for a 9mm 1911, and the Dan Wesson PM-9 sounded good, but costs more than I was willing to spend, and is difficult to find.  Meanwhile, the Springfield Range Officer 9mm has always sounded like a good choice.  After some more searching, then asking Dave, who approved it, I bought this:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/965413252

It arrives in Miami this coming Tuesday.  I expect it to work well, probably with "sharkskin" grips, and I plan to shoot it as-is for a while.  Part of my brain is screaming at me to add a red dot sight to the gun.  I've tried lots of sights, but always come back to the one-inch Ultradot.  (I think a Vortex Venom would be perfect, but that doesn't seem to be all that popular on this forum.)

Looking over this thread, my thoughts are WOW!!!!  Scary!!!  I wonder how my stock, out of the box, RO Target 9mm will shoot.   ......and to be honest, should I use it in our club's Bullseye Matches, the distance are 15 and 25 yards, usually two handed, or a small group that shoots at 25 and 50 one-handed.  

(My ammo will be "Magtech 9mm Luger 7.45g (115 gr) FMJ (9A) BS0630 L-1299).  
....or in my words, Magtech 115 gr FMJ.
I bought a case of it six months ago.

If I go with a red dot, I'll probably want a duplicate of my 45 setup:
Springfield Range Officer 9mm Img_6611

Added later - this is what I expect:
https://www.springfield-armory.com/1911-series-handguns/1911-range-officer-handguns/1911-range-officer-target-9mm-handgun-stainless/
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Post by tovaert Wed Jan 18, 2023 5:51 am

Enough history - I went shopping for a 9mm 1911, and the Dan Wesson PM-9 sounded good, but costs more than I was willing to spend, and is difficult to find.  Meanwhile, the Springfield Range Officer 9mm has always sounded like a good choice.  After some more searching, then asking Dave, who approved it, I bought this:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/965413252
Regarding 9mm loads...if you or someone you know can fit a 1:10 barrel (as I mentioned above) with an angle bore bushing and .200" slide stop, you can load 147 gr JHPs and they should be stable and accurate at 50 yds. Atlanta Arms sells 147 JHPs loaded around 900 fps, but if you do it yourself you can go lower. Sig sells a 147 gr Elite target round that is also accurate, but expensive. There may be others that I'm not aware of. 

I'm down around 825 fps with the 147 JHP. That's about the "edge" for what I consider an accurate round at 50 yds, in my RO. I haven't checked yet regarding it's theoretical time of flight to 50 yds or typical wind drift (say, 10mph at 3 o'clock) compared to a .45, but I would guess it's similar assuming a 185 gr .45 JHP load at ~725 fps MV.   

I'm also shooting a 147 Brazos coated RN with 2.5 to 2.6 gr powder, and it will cycle my RO w/iron sights. With an optic/rail I have to step it up a bit. I also want to try a coated 150 gr SWC. These are short line loads. Uncoated lead bullets would be interesting to try but for now I'm sticking with the coated ones.

I haven't tried lighter (115, 124) bullets in a while. My impression is that to keep them accurate at 50 yds, you have to increase the MV and that is when the undesirable "snap" recoil pulse emerges. There is likely a grey zone where 124 and 147 gr will do well in 1:10 and 1:16 barrels, but I don't want to expend primers running that exercise. Others may have already anyway. I think the key to an accurate 9mm build is the 1:10 barrel and 147 gr bullet. Not surprising as the typical .38 WC load is 148 gr WC fired out of a 1:10 (or 1:12?) barrel, e.g., S&W M52 or .38 1911. 

I think the only downside with 9mm is its lack of diameter.

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Post by shanneba Wed Jan 18, 2023 6:56 am

Eley (Killough) offers a "Minor 9" ammo in 115, 124 and 147 grain bullet weight.
Price is $21.00 / 50 (it was $22.30 / 50 a month ago)

I believe the 147 gr will be about 880 fps based on the PF of 130.
That is inline with the Sig Match elite 147gr velocity.

ELEY Minor 9mm 147gr Competition Pistol Ammo| Killough Shooting Sports

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Post by tovaert Wed Jan 18, 2023 8:47 am

That's a good deal, especially with the cost of reloading going up.

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Post by pgg Wed Jan 18, 2023 12:28 pm

Brief unsolicited plug:


I bought a Springfield RO 9mm a few years ago.

The factory trigger was the worst factory trigger I've ever felt in my life, in any gun, ever. Gritty stop-start awfulness. As if someone tumbled the parts in grit and threw them down a driveway covered in sandpaper a dozen times, then offered up a prayer to the Great Lord Of The Dark to curse it further.

I replaced it with the Tac II Commander hammer kit from KC and it's now excellent.

Just in case yours sucks out of the box, here's the link:

https://kcskustomcreations.com/product/tac-ii-commander-hammer/

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Post by mikemyers Wed Jan 18, 2023 12:57 pm

Thank you.  The trigger on my new gun felt good, but was 6 pounds.  It was smooth, not rough.  

When I get the gun back from my gunsmith, I'll find out.  

Did you also install a match barrel, and the rest of the parts?

KC does quality work - If I buy those parts, my gunsmith, or Dave Salyer, will do the work.
Springfield Range Officer 9mm Scree112
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Post by Jon Eulette Wed Jan 18, 2023 1:26 pm

I’ve built RO with 10, 16, 18 & 32 twist barrels. I rarely load 9mm, so I typically use factory ammunition for function firing. With handloads from customers in RR all the twist are capable of X-ring at 50yds; jhp bullets.
Lead bullet testing at 50 hasn’t worked well thus far, but commercial bullets being used and QC is probably driving force behind the poor groupings.
I’ve used AA 115 ammunition and shot excellent from hand. I’ve used factory Winchester 147 and has shot well; not in 32 twist.
RO factory barrel lead does not allow much room for playing with OAL. I’ve never got the factory barrel to shoot well: welded and refit. So I wouldn’t waste time on one.
I know some people have had success with lead bullets, so their load data could be profitable to save chasing your tail.
I highly recommend using match grade barrels.
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Post by pgg Wed Jan 18, 2023 1:30 pm

mikemyers wrote:Thank you.  The trigger on my new gun felt good, but was 6 pounds.  It was smooth, not rough.  

When I get the gun back from my gunsmith, I'll find out.  

Did you also install a match barrel, and the rest of the parts?

KC does quality work - If I buy those parts, my gunsmith, or Dave Salyer, will do the work.
Springfield Range Officer 9mm Scree112

No, didn't upgrade the barrel. I was early in my bullseye development (well ... earlier than I am now Wink) and the gun wasn't the limiting factor.

Short version of the story - I had a lemon of an accurized Beretta that was back with the not-very-punctual-or-hurried gunsmith for fixing, and I needed something to shoot at the upcoming Navy fleet matches. I had a whole bunch of match 9mm ammo, so I went looking for a reasonably inexpensive 9mm service pistol to ensure I wouldn't show up with nothing. The RO fit the bill. And after the trigger upgrade it was solid but I didn't want to invest a ton of $ on it.

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Post by LenV Wed Jan 18, 2023 1:54 pm

If you decide to invest in a match grade barrel why would you put another 9mm barrel back into it? The 38 Super is a lot more match friendly with lead bullets. There are a lot of good formulas to get the results you're shooting for. I tried quite awhile to get my 9mm RO to match or even get close to my other 9mm and it was never going to happen. Putting a Super barrel in changed everything.. I purchased  a couple of good magazines and started tweeking loads. I never looked back. I know if I never get this expensive Fusion 1/10 micro groove barrel to work I can always drop the Sig barrel back in and start shooting 10's and X's again. I kept the 9 barrel. It's in a drawer somewhere waiting to be put back in if I ever sell it. Since this topic started up again talking about triggers I should mention that mine is perfect. Slight roll, 2.5lb  and all done by Roddy Toyota.
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Post by mikemyers Wed Jan 18, 2023 2:32 pm

I'm not sure how much I want to invest in this gun.  If it shoots as well as my Salyer/Springfield 45 Wad Gun, with me shooting it, some of these ideas might be worthwhile - but if so, I should ship the gun to Dave Salyer and lit him work is magic on it.

So, there is the "stock" Springfield 9mm barrel that came with your gun and is now in a drawer
You have a Fusion 1/10 micro groove barrel - 9mm??
You also have a Sig barrel (10's and X's) - 9mm?
And your 38 Super match barrel - perfection!

About your "perfect" trigger - is that from Springfield, or ??

Who knows, if this gun works out well for me, I might get to put the reloading stuff you sent me to use.  I guess I should start saving my cases.

Did you guys put red dot sights on your guns?  I don't plan to do that, but my eyes would be happier if I did.
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Post by LenV Wed Jan 18, 2023 3:20 pm

Mike, the Sig and Fusion barrels are 38 Super. The Sig just dropped on and shot good. The Fusion is a project barrel. I'm having function but not accuracy problems with it. I never found any barrel that would drop in with 9mm.
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