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Converting to Basic Wad Gun

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Rob Kovach
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Converting to Basic Wad Gun Empty Converting to Basic Wad Gun

Post by bmac 8/21/2014, 9:38 am

What is involved in converting a 1911 from hardball to wad gun?

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Post by BE Mike 8/21/2014, 9:42 am

For me, it is simply done by replacing the recoil spring with a lower powered one. After I do that, my hardball gun shoots midrange ammo like a champ. Now, if you want to mount a red-dot, there are various ways of accomplishing that.
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Post by Rob Kovach 8/21/2014, 9:48 am

+1
My ball gun IS my Wad gun.  If I'm shooting really hot Hardball, I put in a stiffer recoil spring.  When I shoot light wad loads with iron sights I use a 19lb mainspring and a 19lb recoil spring.
When I bolt on the slide mounted rail and ultradot, I use a 10lb recoil spring and a 19lb mainspring.
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Post by bmac 8/21/2014, 10:03 am

Well that's easier than I expected! For some reason I thought there had to be some barrel work done in order for them to feed. 

I have a LB CMP Hardball .45 What power recoil spring would be a good one to start with? I'd like to try out shooting mild to medium 185's over Bullseye.

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Post by inthebeech 8/21/2014, 11:18 am

Depends on the velocity of your 185 loads and the weight (rate) of the mainspring that LB uses.  My 730 f/s loads cycle reliably with a 12 lb recoil spring and 19lb mainspring - open sights.  get the variety pack from Wolf.  Don't let the spring dictate the load.  Find an accurate load first and drop in the correct spring afterwards.
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Post by Larry Lang 8/21/2014, 11:43 am

BMAC,
EIC matches require a 4lb trigger weight, whereas NRA bullseye allows 3 1/2. Small difference, but when compared to the avg .22 at 2 1/2 lb it's noticeable. This can easily be changed by substituting a different sear spring that has been set for a lighter weight.

Converting to Basic Wad Gun Sear_s11
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Post by DavidR 8/21/2014, 12:03 pm

Yes it does Also depend if your hardball gun has had the barrel throated to feed wadcutters, if not then some machine work is needed unless you stick with something like the zero or nosler 185 fmj-hp.
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Post by Rob Kovach 8/21/2014, 1:17 pm

Don't let the spring dictate the load.  Find an accurate load first and drop in the correct spring afterwards.
^^This is correct^^
When you have the load you want find the spring that gets the slide to lock back for the empty magazine most of the time on a cold day.

depend if your hardball gun has had the barrel throated to feed wadcutters

Most commercially available guns have throats that will feed wadcutters.
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Post by BE Mike 8/21/2014, 2:39 pm

bmac wrote:Well that's easier than I expected! For some reason I thought there had to be some barrel work done in order for them to feed. 

I have a LB CMP Hardball .45 What power recoil spring would be a good one to start with? I'd like to try out shooting mild to medium 185's over Bullseye.
I have a heavy 20 lb. spring in my hardball gun. If yours has a standard 16 lb. spring, you may be good to go. Try a some wadcutters and see what happens. I wouldn't mess with the trigger weight if you haven't gone distinguished yet. A good 4 lb. trigger job won't hamper you once you get used to it.
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Post by robert84010 8/21/2014, 7:40 pm

I don't know what kind of magazines you have but if they are original style for hardball then you might want to get some metalform mags with the rounded follower and the different release point, if the wadcutter rounds don't feed. I'm sure a LB pistol is already smithed for wadcutter rounds but the mags do make a difference in feeding.

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Post by Rob Kovach 8/21/2014, 8:01 pm

I use only flat follower Colt magazines for Wad and Ball, so only worry about changing mags if you have a problem.
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Post by bmac 8/21/2014, 8:41 pm

Thanks guys! Looks like I'll load some up and give them a try.

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Post by bmac 8/21/2014, 8:55 pm

One last related question. Would these be a good bullet to try out? http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=64&category=5&secondary=13&keywords=

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Post by Rob Kovach 8/21/2014, 9:26 pm

I like the Bullseye #1s but those Bullseye #2s are good too.
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Post by BE Mike 8/22/2014, 7:51 am

I would lean towards the 200 gr. long nose swc for starters. The long nose aids in feeding and that little extra weight might help in functioning of the slide. That style was a staple of bullseye shooters for years and still is very popular. Once you have your pistol running with these wadcutters, you can experiment around some if you need better accuracy or a little (tiny) decrease in recoil for sustained fire.
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Post by bmac 9/1/2014, 6:59 pm

Just to close the loop on this. I loaded up some 185gr LSWC with a light load of BE. The gun functioned fine with no feeding or cycling issues.

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