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Colt National Match

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dronning
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Colt National Match Empty Colt National Match

Post by mikeb 12/13/2013, 4:42 am

I have a National match pistol that was made in 1966. It looks like a gold cup. I have heard that the slide had some metal removed and should not use this pistol for hardball phase of bullseye that it might split the slide. I m wondering if this statement is true or can I use this for hardball.

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Post by dronning 12/13/2013, 6:54 am

I'd be concerned with safety if the slide has been modified so much someone told you that you can't shoot hardball.  If the slide has been modified it may not qualify for an EIC match - maybe that is what they meant.

Hardball matches
The only time you are required to shoot hardball ammo is when you compete in the EIC (Excellence-In-Competition) match to try and qualify for CMP Distinguished Pistol.  These are separate matches.

Your pistol must meet service pistol specs and some Colt National Match pistols don't qualify - see page 33
http://www.thecmp.org/Competitions/Rulebook.pdf
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Post by mikeb 12/13/2013, 7:08 am

Thank you for the information. That means I should be able to shoot the center fire stage and the 45 stage with my national match with semi-wadcutters.

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Post by DavidR 12/13/2013, 8:22 am

If the gun has been modified as you say, it would not be legal for EIC hardball matches, if safe you could use it for bullseye matches.
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Post by Rob Kovach 12/13/2013, 9:35 am

Can you post pictures of the gun and the area that was modified?
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Post by mikeb 12/13/2013, 10:40 am

I am not sure that this particular pistol has been modified. I had heard that that particular year was made just for semi-wadcutters and not ball ammo. But since it does not meet the EIC specs. I should be able to use it in the center fire stage and the 45 stage, or am I mixed up.

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Post by mikeb 12/13/2013, 10:46 am

I do not how to post pictures

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Post by spursnguns 12/13/2013, 11:11 am

Some of the early versions of Colt's National Match M1911 did indeed come with the slides lightened for proper functioning with target loads.  From the outside; you can't tell.  If you take the slide off and look underneath though; you can easily see the lightening cuts (exposed extractor channel, reamed body, etcetera).  It will also have come originally with a lighter recoil spring.  Colt did the same thing to their 9mm's to help them function properly during the same time frame.  These Colt's won't last if you use hardball in them.
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Post by dronning 12/13/2013, 11:26 am

mikeb wrote:I am not sure that this particular pistol has been modified. I had heard that that particular year was made just for semi-wadcutters and not ball ammo. But since it does not meet the EIC specs. I should be able to use it in the center fire stage and the 45 stage, or am I mixed up.
Yes you can use it for CF and 45acp as you were told just don't use store bought hardball ammo in it.

Personally I would have it checked out to see if was a factory modified gun or if someone lightened it.  I'd just want to make certain it was safe.  Not all mods made to firearms are done properly.
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Post by mikeb 12/13/2013, 11:28 am

Thank you for your help and yes I will have a gunsmith take a look at it. Thanks again

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Post by mikeb 12/14/2013, 3:26 am

I am changing the recoil spring in my National Match, and wondring what spring to use. I have one spring marked 16.5 and I have another marked 15. which should I start with to shoot a 185gr lead bullet.

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Post by dronning 12/14/2013, 6:51 am

Are the springs new?  When you go to the gunsmith to check your slide out have him/her check the springs actual weight.

I run the 13 lb. recoil spring in my wad gun (200gr SWC & 3.4-3.8 clays), and an 18.5 lb spring in my hardball gun (230gr FMJ with 5.4-5.7gr W231), the answer to your question it really depends on the load you shoot. 

Too light of a spring with heavy loads and you are beating your gun to death and the recoil would be unmanageable.  Too heavy of a spring with a light load and your gun won't cycle properly. 

I have several .45's that will not function with my lighter target loads.


Last edited by dronning on 12/14/2013, 6:59 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : clarity & examples)
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Post by GrumpyOldMan 12/15/2013, 10:07 pm

What you heard might not match what is.

To see whether a slide was lightened as an early Gold Cup model, just look under the rear of the slide while it's locked back. If you can see a deep channel going almost all the way up to where the extractor is, it's lightened and not suitable for hardball, at least with regular springs. If in doubt, compare with a USGI slide or a current-production Colt slide.

The stuff the IPSC shooters are doing with slight weight and cuts and light springs and such makes me believe that all you have to do is put a heavier than standard spring in it. 

I've heard the disadvantage as being high slide velocity, wear, and battering of the slide. Never heard of one cracking without adding the extra element of bad ammo blowing out at the feed ramp cut, but that's a whole different subject.

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