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9mm Range Officer Capability

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Post by Axehandle Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:35 pm

Two headed post.  There will be another in the Reloading folder.  My 9mm Springfield Range Officer arrived Friday.  We'll be running some jacketed stuff through it this week.  Assuming it shoots well we'll shoot a few hundred rounds of jacketed factory ammo through it for a baseline.  Then we'll run some cast bullets through it.   Unless it is absolutely exceptional it will then go out for a barrel fitting.  We get the standard "Barsto won't Shoot cast" so I'm currently considering a Springfield match barrel or maybe a Kart.  My questions are :

1. How good do your 9mm 1911s built for bullseye shoot?
2. Do you shoot cast bullets?
3. What kind of barrels are you running?

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Post by pergoman Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:47 pm

I have 2 Rock Island 1911's in 9mm. One is a single stack while the other is a high capacity double stack version that came with another barrel for 22 TCM rounds. Both of these guns were shot in order to evaluate their potential from the factory before they made a visit to my smith. The triggers got tuned up a bit and new bushings got fitted to the factory barrels. Nothing else has been done to either gun. In Ransom rest testing both of these 9mm's will keep them under 1.5" at 25 yards with my cast tips or jacketed pills. The single stack loves the 105 gr SWC from a Lee 6 cavity mold and sized to .357". The holes look like they were made by a paper punch. Both guns love the 125 hollow points I cast from a MIHEC 4 cavity mold. HS-6 is my powder of choice for lead in 9mm's.

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Post by kc.crawford.7 Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:58 am

The couple of 9mm I've built for centerfire have shot just under 1 inch at 50 yards.  They only accomplished that with a slow twist KKM barrel and jacketed bullets.  Never had any luck with lead at 50 yards with a 9mm regardless of twist.
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Post by DavidR Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:24 pm

As for a RO 9mm, there is no way to know its capability without 50 yd testing, Springfield is selling these guns as "match ready" so maybe it has a match grade barrel already. Of all the bullseye  competitors  ive seen shoot 9mms with good results, I have never seen any use anything but fmj ammo.
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Post by BE Mike Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:32 pm

I shot in a couple of matches with a top shooter from Illinois named David Glenn. In at least one match, where we shot side-by-side, he shot a Springfield Armory 9mm 1911 from their custom shop. He really could drill that X ring with his setup. IIRC, he used hollow point ammo. I know that PPC shooters used to like 147 gr. JHP ammo in their 9mm pistols.
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Post by james r chapman Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:01 pm

many like the Hornady 115 gr jhp.

I've found th 115 gr HAP (Hornady action pistol) works well.
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Post by Axehandle Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:05 pm

Thanks for the replies...  Completed the 4473 and am sitting on the range with the gun this morning.   First looks are positive.  Supported chamber barrel, no full length guide rod, barrel cams up on the barrel lugs, slide to frame fit is pretty good, and the barrel bushing and barrel are fitted.  Just burning up ammo in it to today.  100 rounds down the pipe and no malfunctions.  The trigger is NASTY...

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Post by Rob Kovach Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:11 pm

Change the mainspring...the one they put in from the factory is like 30lbs or something stupid like that.  Change it to 19lb and the trigger will feel much better.
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Post by james r chapman Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:19 pm

or, nibble away at the mainspring, 1/2 coil at a time till it drops down to a nice 3-4# ...
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Post by Rob Kovach Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:21 pm

Remember that 3.5lb is the minimum legal trigger pull weight for that centerfire gun.

Because of that goofy EFS mainspring housing, I say replace the  mainspring with a 19lb, replace the top mainspring plunger and add a mainspring pin to the EFS housing and it will be just like normal.

Maybe in 1975 when springs with actual spring ratings were not available, then cutting springs was a good idea.  You want a mainspring that delivers good power at full extension.  You don't want a cut spring to give you soft hits.
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Post by scrum derringer Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:29 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:[size=15.555556297302246]Remember that 3.5lb is the minimum legal trigger pull weight for that centerfire gun.[/size]

3.5lbs is minimum for a .45. 9mm would be 2.5 lbs
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Post by Rob Kovach Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:39 pm

....you are correct!  2.5lbs is the minimum trigger weight...
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Post by james r chapman Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:55 am

I'll be sure to post when I get soft hits...
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Post by Rob Kovach Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:58 am

James,
If you haven't worked on one of those EFS mainsprings yet, the spring isn't the same as a standard mainspring.  It's not the same length, and it is extremely stiff.  ...and when you take an EFS mainspring off of a gun, all of the parts fall out.
There is no good reason to cut on one of those--and when a new one costs <$8 you will never convince me that it's better to have some hacked up spring of unknown spring weight in your gun.  If I have a mainspring failure, I have a 19lb ismi mainspring pack in my gunbox.  When I replace the spring, my trigger pull will be the same as with the spring that broke.  You can't duplicate that with a cut up spring.
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Post by james r chapman Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:13 am

i'm not trying to convince you, and yes, I have worked on the Springfield Armory 1911 ILS mainsprings.

yes, the internals are replaceable, and yes, that would be the best way.
But, in a pinch, when you want an acceptable alternative to allow shooting the gun, old school works fine then, and now.


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Post by aloreman Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:17 am

If you go with a lighter mainspting you may also need to replace the firing pin and spring. Springfield uses a titanium firing pin and a heavier spring in some of the models to act as a drop safety.

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Post by Axehandle Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:27 am

Smile FWIW When I first saw the internals of the Springfield mainspring housing lock I thought someone had failed to put it back together properly.  When I discovered the truth I ordered a few spring caps, pins, and mainsprings for my parts box.   My standard modifications for my personal 1911s includes a mainspring housing change to the Wilson "V" housing.  That with the internal pieces and the Springfield lock is just a fading memory.


Last edited by Axehandle on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by james r chapman Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:13 pm

someday, but the PPC seasons not over yet....
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Post by Axehandle Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:13 am

Okay...  Pics.   With a little barrel and locking detail.  500 Rounds into shooting.  Shoots decent.  Out for checkering and hard chrome in a few weeks.  No lofty accuracy expectations here.  This will be a draw and shoot game gun.  We'll be shooting a few cast bullets through it this week.
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Post by BE Mike Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:56 am

May I be nosy and ask who is doing the front strap checkering and hard chroming job?
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Post by Axehandle Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:27 am

First thought Cogan and Accurate Plating.  Current plan is back to Springfield.

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Post by BE Mike Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:25 pm

I've heard very good things about both places.
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Post by Axehandle Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:10 am

Accurate moved  here to Alabama a while back.  Their front strap checkering looks to be limited to 20 LPI.  Springfield does 20, 25 and 30 by machine or hand.

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Post by Axehandle Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:34 am

A good 800 rounds into shooting this thing. Slide to frame has loosened a bit.  Barrel  locks solid but still only on one side.  Zero malfunctions with about 10 different people and 4 to 5 different brands/types of ammo.   Planning to shoot it at 25 yards next week.  Maybe shoot some cast bullets too.

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