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New Colt Gold Cup Trophy group-How bad is it?

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chiz1180
mikemyers
Froneck
inthebeech
Merick
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Jon Eulette
Wobbley
Amanda4461
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Post by Amanda4461 Tue Jul 25, 2023 8:05 pm

Hello folks,
I decided to range test a couple of handloads in my new 9mm. While my new Colt Gold Cup Trophy has a couple of thousand rounds run through it, I wanted to see what a typical group looks like at 25 yards. This is the stainless model with fiber optic front sight. It has been 100% reliable with all ammo types. Today’s test used Nosler 147 gr. JHP and 125gr. Hornady Action Pistol from a sandbag rest.
The fire control group is EGW with a long roll, providing a 4.5lb. Trigger weight. The OEM front sight is a hindrance for me using a 6 o’clock hold. Other than the trigger group, the gun is stock Colt.
Please advise if a fitted barrel bushing would improve the existing ability to reduce group size.
Basically, how well should this gun group to provide Expert class scores at 25 yards?
The Hornady HAP bullets bested the Noslers, but this barrel has shown a preference for 125 grain bullets previously. Next test will use 125 grain RN, HAP as well as some lead bullet loads, with a black post front sight.
I’ll also try some Tightgroup and Power Pistol powders.
Target is B-16. Bullet 125gr Hornady Action Pistol. Powder 6.5gr BlueDot. 1.0580” OAL.
Thanks for all comments and suggestions!
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Post by Wobbley Tue Jul 25, 2023 8:25 pm

Well, that target leaves a lot to unpack. If it was my gun and I wanted to test loads, I’d use a grip replacement scope mount and use an optic.  Even an un-magnified red dot would be better than relying on iron sights.  You do not need a fancy rest, just rest your forearm on the bench and align your gun to the target.  It can work quite well. Here is what this technique can do.

All this said, from watching videos on YouTube, it seems that a lot of pistols prefer 147 grain bullets, so you might try those.  In your picture there’s too many random shots to give an opinion, however, when I shot the same distance with the iron sights after I bought it it shot a nice round group with a few clusters… 

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Post by Jon Eulette Tue Jul 25, 2023 8:51 pm

The several newer model Gold Cups I’ve built were horrible from the factory. Barrel fit sloppy loose and MIM parts. Used KKM barrels and Harrison or EGW ignition parts. Shot excellent afterwards. In stock form it’s not BE worthy.
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Post by james r chapman Wed Jul 26, 2023 2:48 am

Try what wobbley said.
125 or 147 grain.

Grip mounted scope mount for testing.
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Post by Merick Wed Jul 26, 2023 10:37 am

Jon Eulette wrote:The several newer model Gold Cups I’ve built were horrible from the factory. Barrel fit sloppy loose and MIM parts. Used KKM barrels and Harrison or EGW ignition parts. Shot excellent afterwards. In stock form it’s not BE worthy.
Jon

If they can't build a gold cup with parts we don't need to throw away, why not* build one without those parts at all and sell it at a discount?

*I know why. Whatever labor savings there are in not fitting mim parts would be lost later 10x to an unending stream of phone calls from people that hand annihilated their kit with a dremmel or chainsaw file, and were confused why it doesn't work.

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Post by inthebeech Wed Jul 26, 2023 10:54 am

[quote="Jon Eulette"]The several newer model Gold Cups I’ve built were horrible from the factory. Barrel fit sloppy loose and MIM parts. Used KKM barrels and Harrison or EGW ignition parts. Shot excellent afterwards. In stock form it’s not BE worthy.
Jon[/quote]

This amazes me and not in a good way.  How can a shop today not get very well-fitting parts by needing to do any more than clamp the trued up blank in a fixture, slide the machining center door closed and push a button?  It seems that it takes almost intentional neglect to not get a really well-fitted set of parts that really are much less complex than the turbine parts we machine correctly every day with boring regularity.  How is SA capable of this in a (I can't say "every") $700 mil-spec?  Shameful that they call them target guns.
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Post by Wobbley Wed Jul 26, 2023 11:29 am

The reason they put in MIM parts is that they are low cost and at least functional.  Difficult to sell a non-functional firearm today and opens up huge liability issues.
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Post by Jon Eulette Wed Jul 26, 2023 11:39 am

A SA RO is 90%+ of the time better put together than a Colt Gold Cup from any era. The RO frame to slide fit is closer, the headspace (rear of barrel hood) fit is closer, the bushing fit tighter, and barrel bottom lugs closer to the slide stop pin. All these things do help it to be a better fit factory pistol. A SA milspec is normally worse in these regards compared to a GC.
Colt really should be performing some level of match quality fitting on their GC pistols.
The Dan Wesson Target models I’ve seen/worked on are better than the RO.

All the factory guns have some trade offs affecting target level quality. Only way around it is having custom gun built.

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Post by Amanda4461 Wed Jul 26, 2023 1:08 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:A SA RO is 90%+ of the time better put together than a Colt Gold Cup from any era. The RO frame to slide fit is closer, the headspace (rear of barrel hood) fit is closer, the bushing fit tighter, and barrel bottom lugs closer to the slide stop pin. All these things do help it to be a better fit factory pistol. A SA milspec is normally worse in these regards compared to a GC.
Colt really should be performing some level of match quality fitting on their GC pistols.
The Dan Wesson Target models I’ve seen/worked on are better than the RO.

All the factory guns have some trade offs affecting target level quality. Only way around it is having custom gun built.

Jon
You just hit on a problem that I can relate to. I have two Dan Wessons, a Vigil .45 Commander and a Valor .45 5" made in 2014. Both are better finished and both will out-group my two new Gold Cups. They also have no MIM parts in their 3.5lb trigger systems.
The new Gold Cups are fit well in comparison, when looking at slide to frame. Unfortunately, the bushings are loose, and the MIM triggers were sad to feel. I replaced the .45 Gold Cup trigger with one from KC Kustoms, and the 9mm uses an EGW trigger group. After comparing the two, KC will get the next sale.
I'll try some size-matched bushings, while planning on getting one new KKM and one new Kart to see how they do.
I have owned several Gold Cups before, one with the collet bushing and the rest 70-series from different years. None grouped as well as my CZ Target Sports 9mm.
Maybe KC can make the barrels group to equal the Target Sports cheers
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Post by Froneck Wed Jul 26, 2023 1:14 pm

I know machining well! Never worked in industry as a Machinist, Engineering was my field. However my father was a tool and die maker and I learned quite a bit in home workshop from him. Eventually I started a Machine shop. I 2014 I worked in a company, I was responsible for CNC machinery. Most think they are super accurate, however their main function is to operate without an operator! We had what is known as lights out machines, my son works for a company that all the machinery is lights out! Simply put, at the end of the day when the lights are out and everyone goes home the machine is still operating! Other companies rely on an operator to place the item in a fixture, that worker is usually unskilled and the machine relies on him to accurately put the blanks in the fixture! Then there is cutter wear, a cutter will get dull and not cut as was a  new sharp so size changes. Add to the fact that machines wear they will eventually produce bad parts! At the shop my son works at they purchased a CNC machine that cost 1 million dollars, they were told by the manufacture price the parts so that in 5 years the machine will be worn out and replacement parts will not be available!
 Simply put that is why you can't get a factory built gun to shoot to BE standards. Can it be done? YES but it world require a more expensive machine known as a Jig Mill and a high skilled operator. That would probably double the cost that companies are unwilling to spend and unlike a company such as Pardini is willing, simply put they produce high end pistols especially those used in Olympic shooting and willing to use the expensive Jig Mills.
 On the other hand a skilled gunsmith can adjust the parts, purchase after market components and fit them so that high accuracy is achieved but is a slow process! This extend into the high accuracy machinery too, the very best are had fitted by skilled tool and die makers, they do very accurate work but are expensive.

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Post by mikemyers Wed Jul 26, 2023 1:45 pm

I watched this video last week - I came away from it not nearly as exciting as what I expected to see.

Years ago, before I knew how to spell the word Bullseye, I found a used Gold Cup at a gun shop that used to be close to where I live.  I was thinking WOW!, but it failed everything I thought I should be looking for.  Common sense told me to ignore it.

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RObkLjMQYos 

Most of what I think I have learned about 45 bullseye guns came from this forum, and from the experts posting here, and then from Dave Salyer.  I now have two bullseye 45's, both built by Dave Salyer, and I've got a Baer Premiere II.  When Dave fixed up my new 9mm Springfield, he did all the things he thought I needed, and told me the rest of the work wouldn't help me any - I'm not good enough to appreciate that little additional amount of accuracy.  It, and my Baer, are configured with open sights.  That's also a limitation, as I do better with a red dot.

This thread has me thinking - are ANY of today's gun as good as they used to be?  Is a Python 2020 as good as the old ones?  Is a S&W revolver today as good as one from the 1970's?  I suspect not, unless it comes from a skilled gun assembler who will manually make it as good as it can be....
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Post by Froneck Wed Jul 26, 2023 2:18 pm

It's hard determine better or not! Definitely skill level has increased. Master Class years ago was 90%, changed to 95%, was no High Master class. High Master class was added. Another issue was the machinery used by the gun makers in the USA, they were old but the older machines were made to last. Many men are taking lathes used back in the turn of the century and still do accurate work with them. Modern machinery is cheap and don't last long. However those high production machines were wearing out so quality suffered. Now they are being replaced by new CNC machines, quality returned but for how long, probably dropping as machines wear. Computers replace skilled workers and companies driven by quantity not quality so quality will not return until it's profitable.


Last edited by Froneck on Sat Aug 05, 2023 10:31 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Wobbley Wed Jul 26, 2023 4:02 pm

It isn’t necessarily the machines per se, in many cases it’s the fixtures (tooling that holds the parts) that loses accuracy.  As an example the S&W 52 was halted because the fixtures were shot.   They’re expensive to repair and prohibitive to replace.  One of the key advantages Of CNC is that the special fixtures aren’t needed as much.
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Post by Merick Wed Jul 26, 2023 6:52 pm

Keep in mind (1) the phone or computer you are reading this thread on has multiple components with tolerances of single digit nanometers, and (2) Colt has had almost 170 years to learn how to move metal.

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Post by chiz1180 Wed Jul 26, 2023 8:04 pm

Merick wrote:Keep in mind (1) the phone or computer you are reading this thread on has multiple components with tolerances of single digit nanometers, and (2) Colt has had almost 170 years to learn how to move metal.
Yes but at the same time no. Upfront Manufacturing cost for phone/computer tech devices is exponentially higher and is justified by a massive market that far exceeds anything any firearms manufacturer could ever dream of achieving. 

At the end of the day the vast majority of Colt (and others) customers do not have demands that are as high as the small group known as bullseye shooters. How many people buy guns and put them in the safe without shooting them at all? Most of the market doesn’t have the expectations that bullseye shooters do, why should Colt put the the time in money if they don’t benefit from it in almost all cases? In manufacturing margins are tight, it is foolish to build a product significantly higher quality than the majority of the customers needs. 

Building a bullseye quality gun takes time, experience, and lots off attention to detail. All of these those aspects cost money.
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Post by Froneck Wed Jul 26, 2023 9:17 pm

Chiz is correct, I've programed and run CNC machinery, Have a Bridgeport CNC, older model but it's some what the same. In companies I was responsible to insure they worked as intended. They also wear out fast! Tables move so fast that you can't be near one. Light curtain will shut the machine off if you get too close! That speed eventually wears out the machine. Newer smaller machines are totally closed, put part in fixture, close the door and coolant splashes so much you can't see the part being machine thru the window in the door!
No Wobbley, Special fixtures are needed and on a CNC machine, it's very critical. The machine moves the table to where cuts are required. Something like a 1911 frame has to be placed exactly in the position required, if not you will have a 1911 frame pattern all cut in the wrong place! On the other hand a manual machine can be adjusted by the machinist regardless where on the table the frame is put! It's very possible to have the 1911 90% complete and if the frame is not put in the fixture properly the frame will be screwed-up! Caspian sell those frames at Perry that have a minor screw-up!

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Post by Wobbley Wed Jul 26, 2023 9:54 pm

Froneck,  In old  school production cells the machines were set to make 1 cut at a time.  Then the part was moved to the next machine in the cell and the next cut was made. Very often the operators didn’t adjust the machines.   Each machine had a fixture and often a specially formed tool.  In CNC the tool is programmed in a path which can combine cuts and replace special form tools.  In theory it outdated be possible to machine a 1911 frame (say) in 4 or 5 setups.  In old school production it might be 12 cells of 6 machines each.
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Post by mikemyers Thu Jul 27, 2023 7:13 am

chiz1180 wrote:
At the end of the day the vast majority of Colt (and others) customers do not have demands that are as high as the small group known as bullseye shooters. How many people buy guns and put them in the safe without shooting them at all? Most of the market doesn’t have the expectations that bullseye shooters do, why should Colt put the the time in money if they don’t benefit from it in almost all cases? In manufacturing margins are tight, it is foolish to build a product significantly higher quality than the majority of the customers needs. 
While this is true, it's also true that I wanted to buy a Colt Gold Cup decades ago because of its reputation.
Nowadays I see ads with lots of meaningless (to me) claims.

When I saw this Gold Cup at the gunstore, I wanted to buy it so badly, but the bore was filthy, and the gun looked to me like I was buying trouble, despite the reputation.  

In today's strange world, unless I was willing to spend thousands of dollars on a Baer, Ed Brown, or equivalent, I think my best choice would be to buy a Springfield Range Officer or equivalent - and then send it of to Jon, Dave Salyer, or KC to have them improve it as needed for me.

  • Sadly, if I wanted to buy another revolver, it would likely lead to my finding a quality S&W on Gun Broker, and buying there rather than buying new.
  • The last "new" gun I bought was a Springfield SA-35.  It took several trips to Springfield and back, before I had a working gun.


  • Every one of my purchases from Gun Broker (with one exception) got me exactly what I wanted.  
  • For a 45 wad gun, I have twice bought a used gun that Dave Salyer had built, and was familiar with.
  • I also have had a perfect experience in buying used guns for sale in this forum, but only from people whoI felt had an excellent reputation here.


My only exception from GunBroker was a model 17-5 that shoots well, but looks (to me) like the factory made several mistakes.  It also had a damaged rear sight, and the seller told me he didn't know about it, but sent me a few hundred dollars to have my gunsmith fix it.  (As it turned out, I fixed it myself, and was surprised that I was even able to do it.  I'm unhappy about the gun, but it shoots fine.  (An expert on these guns told me that buying a 17-5 was just asking for trouble, as that was a time when S&W weren't making high quality guns - wish I had known that before buying.))

Back to this thread - the famous name "Colt GoldCup" was a major reason for wanting one, just like "Colt Python".  For a Bullseye Gun, based on what I know now, I would prefer a gun from one of the Bullseye 'Smiths, or from this forum, used.
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Post by Froneck Fri Jul 28, 2023 7:32 am

Typed a long response to Wobbly, went to send and couldn't. Having 2 landline numbers I called myself, phone would ring one time and stop. Tried to call phone company, busy signal. Phone started working about 1hr later (I think, could call myself) Late last night internet was back on!
 Simply put there is no easy fixture! The greater the accuracy the better the fixture must be! In addition a CNC can not in this case make an entire1911 frame, multiple fixtures are required and I suspect for production speed each fixture is in a different CNC machine! Furthermore cut in the frame where the recoil spring is put is probably better done on an old style machine (new replacement). I doubt there was any gain in accuracy in using CNC other than the older machines and fixtures were wearing out! Replacement fixtures will require the same effort, I know because I've made them though not for 1911. Only change is CNC will reduce labor cost and run faster, not more accurate, accuracy in CNC is in design not the fact it will run by computer! In addition I doubt that the CNC used is a typical machine but rather one purchased for the function needed. So it was not cheaper! Simply put the gun companies didn't want to spend the money to upgrade worn machinery and fixtures! Other locations such as the magazine well is broached, no CNC required!

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Post by LenV Fri Jul 28, 2023 10:24 am

Is now a good time to correct a false assumption? No, I'm not talking about old vs new. The OP is trying to get his GC to group with the wrong ammo. Try shooting a group using 6.4gr power pistol and a 115gr Zero, HAP, XTP or Nosler JHP. Round nose bullets just don't group as good as Hp's. Sierra Match is about the only bullet in RN that comes close. If you must use 147gr then try Hornady's 147gr HPBT. Just my .02. 

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Post by only_8_ring Fri Jul 28, 2023 1:15 pm

Amanda4461,

I experienced similar issues when I bought a used Gold Cup National Match. The accuracy just wasn't what I wanted out of the gun.

I'm going to assume that your sight picture is good and you know what you're doing testing the gun off of sandbags. If you're not sure you did it right, it's worth asking a resident known-good bullseye shooter to get a second opinion. I'm not being patronizing, I just don't want you to spend lots of resources pursuing what might not actually be an issue.

That said... The issue you showed with your sandbag rested target is not good. Even for expert or marksman class, you really want your gun to be able to hold the 10 ring or 9 ring as an acceptable standard for 95% of your shots. At least then you know the gun isn't costing you more than 0.5 or so points per shot in the worst case. 

I fixed my issue by fitting a Kart EZ-Fit barrel kit to my gun, which took about 6 hours plus whatever that kit cost, and hammer-peening my frame rails (which was pretty stressful, honestly). I would say most people can do the Kart EZ-Fit barrel procedure themselves, but I would really not recommend the layman attempt rail peening. That's really something a bullseye pistolsmith should do. I can provide more details if you're curious.

My gun improved from "unacceptable" as in your case to more reasonable, something that will get 99%  of shots in the 10 ring at 50 yards from a ransom rest.

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Post by Amanda4461 Fri Jul 28, 2023 3:46 pm

LenV wrote:Is now a good time to correct a false assumption? No, I'm not talking about old vs new. The OP is trying to get his GC to group with the wrong ammo. Try shooting a group using 6.4gr power pistol and a 115gr Zero, HAP, XTP or Nosler JHP. Round nose bullets just don't group as good as Hp's. Sierra Match is about the only bullet in RN that comes close. If you must use 147gr then try Hornady's 147gr HPBT. Just my .02. 

Len
Interesting you brought this up. I just received a 50 pound box full of 115gr HAP and 125gr XTP bullets. Since Power Pistol is unobtainium at the moment, I’ll fall back on Vihtavouri until I can locate PP. I’ll have a better fitting bushing in a few days to play with.
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Post by Amanda4461 Fri Jul 28, 2023 3:56 pm

only_8_ring wrote:Amanda4461,

I experienced similar issues when I bought a used Gold Cup National Match. The accuracy just wasn't what I wanted out of the gun.

I'm going to assume that your sight picture is good and you know what you're doing testing the gun off of sandbags. If you're not sure you did it right, it's worth asking a resident known-good bullseye shooter to get a second opinion. I'm not being patronizing, I just don't want you to spend lots of resources pursuing what might not actually be an issue.

That said... The issue you showed with your sandbag rested target is not good. Even for expert or marksman class, you really want your gun to be able to hold the 10 ring or 9 ring as an acceptable standard for 95% of your shots. At least then you know the gun isn't costing you more than 0.5 or so points per shot in the worst case. 

I fixed my issue by fitting a Kart EZ-Fit barrel kit to my gun, which took about 6 hours plus whatever that kit cost, and hammer-peening my frame rails (which was pretty stressful, honestly). I would say most people can do the Kart EZ-Fit barrel procedure themselves, but I would really not recommend the layman attempt rail peening. That's really something a bullseye pistolsmith should do. I can provide more details if you're curious.

My gun improved from "unacceptable" as in your case to more reasonable, something that will get 99%  of shots in the 10 ring at 50 yards from a ransom rest.
8-ring,
I shoot my Pardini SP with the stock irons. No trouble keeping all in the ten ring from a bag rest. Folks I shoot with all have given poor feedback on the Colt, so I’ll keep working on it. When my $475 Remington R1 Enhanced 9mm provides better groups than the Colt, improvements are needed. 
I like the idea of putting a red dot on the Colt, but the grip scope mount is either OOS or on extended backorder everywhere. I’ll find one eventually, or get the Colt D&T for a Rock River rail.
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Post by LenV Fri Jul 28, 2023 5:08 pm

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Amanda4461 wrote:
LenV wrote:Is now a good time to correct a false assumption? No, I'm not talking about old vs new. The OP is trying to get his GC to group with the wrong ammo. Try shooting a group using 6.4gr power pistol and a 115gr Zero, HAP, XTP or Nosler JHP. Round nose bullets just don't group as good as Hp's. Sierra Match is about the only bullet in RN that comes close. If you must use 147gr then try Hornady's 147gr HPBT. Just my .02. 

Len
Interesting you brought this up. I just received a 50 pound box full of 115gr HAP and 125gr XTP bullets. Since Power Pistol is unobtainium at the moment, I’ll fall back on Vihtavouri until I can locate PP. I’ll have a better fitting bushing in a few days to play with.
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Post by Froneck Fri Jul 28, 2023 5:16 pm

Grip mounts were very popular when Red Dots started to be used but after a while they were removed. I had a few, after the holes started to egg shape. Gunsmiths pinned it with dowel pins, they too egg shaped. Having a machine shop I started doing my own gunsmithing. Was told that an insert that fit tight in the opening on the sides of the frame cured the problem, it didn't! Eventually I made my own slide mount from 7075 aluminum. problems ended!!
 I too purchased a Gold Cup when I started shooting BE, could not shoot the .45, it kept me in marksman class, used 52 .38 for center fire though I was shooting master scores in .22 and center fire. It was Fred Kart that looked at the gun at Perry, told me my problem was not me, the gun would not shoot! He took it with him, needing a .45 I purchased a gun smith built gun, returned the following year as an expert, day before I left for Perry I got the Gold Cup, it shot great, used in in National Match and got 10 points also Presidents 100 rocker! Eventually I replaced the rear sight with a Bomar for the Gold Cup, was told it was the last one they made and silver soldered the front sight. Jimmy Clark did a roll trigger for me at Perry, I took the rapid fire target to show him I aced rapid fire with issued ball ammo! When I got home there was a master class card in the mail! I purchased that Gold Cup new is the 70's! As far as I have been told the Gold Cup was never good for BE unless it was worked on.

Froneck

Posts : 1618
Join date : 2014-04-05
Age : 76

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New Colt Gold Cup Trophy group-How bad is it? Empty Re: New Colt Gold Cup Trophy group-How bad is it?

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