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How good does it need to be, really?

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Post by Amanda4461 9/27/2023, 8:59 pm

Hopefully, the Master class folks who stumble across my tale can educate me. Even knowing the falsehood of the marketing heaped upon the Colt Gold Cup, I bought a few of them. I have had one off and on for over 35 years. The longest I could put up with one was an 8 year period while shooting 50-yard pistol metallic silhouette in the tropics of south east Texas. Luckily, the targets are relatively large, and relatively close.
Thanks to this forum, and the opinions within, I became smitten with the desire to start a re-entry into Bullseye by purchasing both .45 and 9mm Gold Cups. 
Why?
In order to provide a myriad of mechanical challenges while testing my patience, now that I am retired. I like to know how mechanical devices function. Holley carbs, Rochester Quadrajets are things kids today cannot describe. I learned to rebuild them through exposure and trial and error. Pre-Internet.
I have recently met a few folks who like the challenges of Bullseye, and have been encouraged, as long as I am spending my money and time of course, to endeavor to persevere, like the 
Indian in The Outlaw Josey Wales.😏
Starting off, none of the four Colts would group 7 rounds in the black at 50 yards. I received many helpful suggestions, so started off by establishing a decently accurate load for each Colt. Next came hard-fit bushings from EGW and Bailey, with an acceptable improvement in accuracy. But not enough accuracy.
My .22 is a Pardini SP-22 from 2005. A tough gun to measure up to.
The next step up was a pre-fit Ed Brown barrel for my Combat Commander, my CCW pistol.
Since it was in need of improvement, it was a test case. Ed makes no secret that his barrels require plenty of file work. They do indeed, but the results were nice enough to give me confidence to continue on.
KART next provided an EZ-FIT barrel and bushing in .45. Internet Claims of a one-hour installation make me wonder who is zooming whom. The Kart gets shot each range trip, and has proven 100% reliable and groups less than half as large a group as the pistol did from the factory.
My toughest task to date, a KKM in .45, requiring hours of measuring, many trials of file and assemble, file and cuss, file and assemble. This pistol is my favorite blued NM without Beavertail, but it had the benefit of a KC Kustom CMP roll trigger at 3.5lbs. What a joy KC’s triggers are! 
Once the KKM barrel was fit, I needed to Finish Ream the chamber. KC offered to do this task, but being OCD, I decided to buy a reamer and proceed. Might as well, since he is covered up in work, and I have four pistols that will be getting the same treatment eventually. Thanks KC!
Briley was my choice for their spherical bushing system. I had high hopes after completing the barrel,  and hard-fitting the bushing to the slide.
Today was Finals Test day for the Colt. I had a whole hour and fifteen minutes to set up my shooting box, hang a couple of targets at 25 yards, and function-fire and then sight-in the Colt. I had 20 rounds of Magnus 185gr. LSWC available, and more ZERO 185gr. JHP then I had time to shoot, ready to go. Function was perfect, other than some stovepipes from my weak loads, but the recoil spring will be of lower rating tomorrow.
Please inspect my target below, and offer criticism and/or opinions relating to the acceptability of this particular gun and load for use in the Bullseye game. 
I’ll have more time later in the week to test at 50 yards. While I am doing so, I will be trying out different optical lenses to see if they can help my 20/15 farsighted and focused at Infinity vision, since watching the front sight close enough to avoid the missed shots landing away from POA is troublesome with post-cataract man-made lenses. Still, it is better than my previous 20/500 nearsighted Coke bottle eyeglasses allowed.
Thanks to all you helpful folks. Much like being able to safely leave shooting gear and weapons out of sight at Camp Perry, and know they are in safe hands, this forum group always manages to provide honest opinions.
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Amanda4461
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Post by Amanda4461 9/27/2023, 9:00 pm

Can you tell that I normally use a red dot sight?
🤷🏼‍�
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Post by Wobbley 9/27/2023, 10:30 pm

I think your accuracy is fine.
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Post by Steve B 9/28/2023, 12:18 pm

Looks like it's showing some promise.  When you test it out at 50 yards that'll tell you what you need to know.
But, what are your goals?  Your goals will determine the quality of your equipment.

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Post by Amanda4461 9/28/2023, 2:39 pm

My goal is to get this Colt, and the others, to hold the 10-ring at 50 yards, shot from a RR. Once I get this one grouping to that level, my goal is to reach Expert. My stretch goal is to reach Master.
Of course, with just one match completed, these things will take time. Good thing I retired🥳
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Post by Steve B 9/29/2023, 2:27 pm

A 50 yard 10 ring measures 3.36".  A 45 caliber bullet just touching the extreme edges is just over 3.81" of separation.  IMO, a gun that shoots just under 4" groups will be frustrating.  When I shot guns of this caliber (pun intended), and knew that I was on the edge of the 10 ring but ended up scoring an 8, that was highly frustrating.  You could probably make Master using shooting a 4" gun but it'll be much easier with one that's 1 1/2" or less.

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Post by Merick 9/29/2023, 2:52 pm

Steve B wrote:...  Your goals will determine the quality of your equipment.

I wasted all this time thinking it was my budget.


Last edited by Merick on 9/29/2023, 3:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by JRV 9/29/2023, 2:57 pm

I think we would all love a 1.5” pistol with a perfect-for-shooter trigger, but as between a 1.5” gun with the wrong trigger and a 3” gun with the right trigger, I’ll take the 3” gun.

Yeah, the occasional 10 might break as a 9—but the opposite is equally possible. Call and 8 or a 9, and get an edge 10 near call.

Playing the averages and accepting it might be costing a couple points on the long line is better than fighting with the wrong trigger and shanking preventable 7s during RF.

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Post by TonyH 9/30/2023, 7:01 am

Merick wrote:
Steve B wrote:...  Your goals will determine the quality of your equipment.

I wasted all this time thinking it was my budget.
Not at all! Staying under budget is your primary goal....and my better half's for me! lol!
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Post by Bob L. 10/5/2023, 12:19 pm

fine target...

I've also enjoyed the experience of cataract surgery. It was definitely worth it to me. But, now that I'm far sighted instead of near sighted, I've found that I can't focus on the front sight wad... My Vortex Red Dot solved that problem very well.

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Post by mikemyers 10/6/2023, 2:16 pm

Bob L. wrote:........I've also enjoyed the experience of cataract surgery. It was definitely worth it to me. But, now that I'm far sighted instead of near sighted, I've found that I can't focus on the front sight wad... My Vortex Red Dot solved that problem very well.
After cataract surgery, your eyes are set for focus at one distance (unless you get "premium" lenses, but they have other issues.
The following is for shooting with open sights, not a red dot.

Step #1 - hold the gun up as if you were going to shoot, and have someone measure the distance between your shooting eye and the front sight.

Step #2 - have your vision checked and get a prescription for the distance from your eye to the front sight distance you've just measured.

Step #3 - get a new pair of shooting glasses, with polycarbonate (or equivalent) lenses, for that prescription for your shooting eye.
            - for the other eye, get a prescription for the distance to your workbench, so you can adjust your sights and other things.

Shoot with both eyes open.  If you find that impossible, buy one of the devices that allows light to reach your other eye, but no details.    They're easy to find - someone on this forum once sent me one as a present - it clips onto my eyeglass frame, and an opaque plastic piece flips up or down, if I need that for shooting, which I no longer need.

Since these glasses are only for shooting, buy a pair of the flexible plastic eyeglass shields that cover the open spaces above and to the side of your eyes.


For shooting with a red dot sight, do the same thing, but the prescription for the shooting eye's lens should be your distance prescription.  Non shooting eye gets a prescription so you can focus on your workbench, maybe for adjusting the sights, etc.
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Post by Froneck 10/7/2023, 8:11 am

Simply put you learn by the results of you effort! If everything is applied properly resulting in an X you will learn something. However if was a 8 or 7 at 50 yards it will leave you wondering what you did wrong! Works the other way too, you action should have resulted in a 8 or7 but you get a 10, now you think you did what was required to shoot a 10! You will do it again, now you get a 6! When Adam was young (he was 10 years old when he shot his first match at Perry) I put X ring gun is his hands with perfect triggers and proper length of pull. Had to modify a few guns to fit his young small hands! He learned fast because the score he got was the result of his action, only thing needed was to correct what he did!
 That's not a bad 50 yard target, but you didn't say how it was done! Ransom rest? Sand bags? Free hand? Also how many targets? 10 targets and it's the best one? Quite often you see groups shot by some gunsmith's gun, what he didn't say is he shot 20 targets and picked the best one! A great gun will not shoot one great group but a great group every time it was shot! Function is also important, The 1911 I built for Adam that he shot before going into the Army AMU did not have an alibi at any match he shot or at practice at the club! Remember a broken clock is right twice a day. A lousy grouping gun will shoot a good group once in a while!

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Post by Amanda4461 10/7/2023, 12:18 pm

Colt was shot off a bench with the last Zero JHP that I had available. The zero LSWC shot better, but I only tried it at 25 yards.
Ransom Rest arrived yesterday, so I’ll get some better feedback this week without as much of my errors involved. I suspect the groups won’t have as many fliers🤦🏼‍�
I’ll use groups of twenty initially with the RR, then find my best load combo and use 10-shot groups. Gives me a way to measure my progress in putting a new barrel on a gun, or lack thereof.
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Post by Froneck 10/7/2023, 4:41 pm

I personally am not fond of the Ransom rest. But when I use one I mount a scope with as much magnification as possible. After each shot I check zero with the scope and readjust it to a spot on the target is was set-up to for the first shot. Since when using the pistol the sights are what is used then when testing sights should be used regardless if they are the same of not. I addition if frame mount sights are used then any difference in group size can be attributed to the frame mount. Another issue your going to have is with drop-ins! I have never found any drop-in of any kind work! Granted they may improve performance but are never as good as can be. The standard of better than it was is not the same as the best it could possibly be.

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Post by Merick 10/7/2023, 4:56 pm

To counter all the slop and tolerance stacking in ransom rest testing I thought about mounting my camera behind it a couple feet so I could check the reset point optically.

I think I'd want a zoom lens (300mm) stopped down for the best view of the sights and depth of field to the target, and probably the cable release accessory I don't have for clean trigger pulls. Meanwhile the target backer for the rr bench firing point blew away, so I haven't made much progress.

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Post by Amanda4461 10/7/2023, 9:49 pm

Colt has original Bomar type rear and post front sights, barrel is a KKM hard-fit with a NM hard-fit bushing. I have a 9mm Trophy version with a Delta Point Pro attached via the rear sight mortise, that I am also curious about, so I’ll be busy with this Avenue of investigation. How good does it need to be, really? 1f62c
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Post by Jon Eulette 10/7/2023, 10:20 pm

Amanda4461 wrote:barrel is a KKM hard-fit with a NM hard-fit bushing. 
Please describe your version of hard fit?
Thanks
Jon
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Post by Wobbley 10/7/2023, 10:28 pm

Merrick:  I’d put a laser on it (on the dust over or use the Picatinny rail for the red dot.) if the gun is moving in the Ransom rest it will be apparent.
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Post by Merick 10/7/2023, 11:29 pm

I thought about those things you (Wobbley) listed but I just have iron sights.  I messed with setting some v blocks mounted to a rifle scope on the slide to check aim but that was fiddly and I wound up bumping the top end out of place as I removed it half the time, but it did show me how much movement there was with the slightest touch (a lot).

1 Barrel to slide and sights fit should be good,
2 slide to frame is fair,
3 and frame to rr & rr to bench is what it is.
If I could test and get only #1 and eliminate #2&3, that would be a lot less irrelevant noise in the test target.


Last edited by Merick on 10/8/2023, 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Amanda4461 10/8/2023, 11:12 am

Jon,
My description of hard-fit is taking the oversized bushing O.D. and turning it down until it fits into the slide, while needing the bushing wrench to tighten or close. The I.D. was determined before purchase by the O.D. of the new KKM barrel, at the muzzle.
The barrel hood was fit with minimal air gap at the breechface, and the sides of the hood were relieved enough to allow barrel passage to obtain the hood air gap, while being centered between the slide rails.
After this step was completed, the barrel was locked into place with bushing installed, using a barrel fixture with the firing pin centering rod installed. The barrel feet were then cut until the safety would engage and the rear of the slide mated up with the rear of the frame. I then dykem’d the upper lugs to confirm complete contact, chamfered the edges of the upper lugs and checked function. 
While I started with the #3 link, I ended up using a #4 to firm up the lockup. Since the functioning with all test firing has been without failures of any kind, I called this my first success in fitting a KKM gunsmith-fit barrel.
The entire process took between 12-16 hours, hand-tools only, measuring 3 or 4 times a filing lightly, trying the fit, and repeating until satisfied.
My wife wanted to know why my hands were blue, and had a few small cuts on the fingers.
Any advice on how to improve this process, or reading material that would impart knowledge, would be great. My normal 25 yard targets are scored vastly higher than when bone stock, but the areas of weakness such as getting the exact barrel link selected, and others that I am unaware of, will need to be addressed for me to improve upon my results.
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Post by DA/SA 10/8/2023, 11:42 am

The fact that you started with a #3 link and then went to a #4 to firm it up indicates that the barrel may be locking up on the link rather than the lower barrel lugs.

The barrel should lock up tight with no link installed.
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Post by Froneck 10/8/2023, 11:58 pm

Link should never be use to tighten lock-up, link is used only to un-lock the slide. Increasing link length will change the timing. Probably why you plan to use a lighter recoil spring. Dykem should never be use to check fit. It's for lay-out purposes! Prussian Blue should be used, works best! Magic marker works if Prussian blue is not available.
 I don't know how much you chamfered the upper lugs but I Never chamfer them!
Have no idea how you selected bushing, I never rely on manufactures dimensions! I use a micrometer and bore gauge! I have found dimensions were a few thousands off from the very best of suppliers. I check my micrometers with a set of Starrett Gauge blocks that are accurate to +/-6 millionths of an inch. However if you use one micrometer the accuracy is not important! I fit barrels bushing and everything else my self not manufactures claimed size! You should have a good micrometer capable of reading .0001",  gauge pins in the sizes needed will help!
i

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Post by Amanda4461 10/9/2023, 5:29 am

Froneck,
Thanks for the tips.
The bushing was made by EGW using dimensions for barrel O.D. provided by Starrett micrometer. I used a bushing mandrel in my drill press with sand paper, to work the O.D. Down until the bushing just fit into the slide.
The lugs got enough chamfer to just break the sharp edges.
The link was basically for me to test and see if it made any difference in lockup, which was not really noticeable. I used a 15lb recoil spring, and functioning has been perfect, with empties ejecting beside my feet. Better than chasing brass all over. 
My gauge pins are large enough to measure revolver throats, but .0550 is as large as they go. I’ll need to find a place that will sell me a small set sufficient for slide 
I.D.s.
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Post by Froneck 10/9/2023, 9:09 am

McMaster sells individual gauge pins pins but are a bit high in price .625 class Z is $7.72. Check around you can find cheaper prices. You would be far better to get an adjustable lap from McMaster, sand paper on a rod will tend to produce barrel shaped or tapered holes that are not round.  Bushing will soon come loose! Micrometer when used to determine size from others must be accurate. Dimensions under 1" when prosper fitting will require a micrometer that will measure .0001" and be accurate if purchasing parts from others by size. I've purchased item from EGW that were not the size they listed. Needed a .2050" slide stop pin, EGW don't have that size so I ordered 206", pin I got was .2051" Fit a little tight but loose enough so Mag. spring was able to push it up.
 Putting a #4 links will add .005", depending on the actual hole sizes in the link that could require double the .005 in increase in slide stop pin size. You might have a problem locating a slide stop pin +.010 larger than what your using!
 Ejected brass falling at your feet is too little, they are barely getting out of the slide!


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Post by Amanda4461 10/9/2023, 9:15 am

I only use the sandpaper by holding a small strip against the o.d. Of the bushing, as it spins on the mandrel How good does it need to be, really? 1f601
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