Old December 30th, 2020, 05:05 PM #1
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Working on Pistol Load Accuracy

So, I'm working on getting more accuracy out of my 45ACP pistol loads.

I started with "what I have" so I can work on my progress.
I have never really concentrated on Pistol accuracy in the past instead looked at similar factory loads of the same bullet weight and emulated an approximate velocity or with some old milsurp stuff, just looked at lighter pet loads that cycled. Making sure pressures were good and reliability was good.

I took my ATI 1911 to the range and a pistol rest and ran 10 rounds through a chrono and shot at a target at 25 yards. Stock Iron sights

ATI 1911 45ACP
5.4gr W231 200gr Copper washed RN from Xtreme Bullets @ 1.250"
Avg 838fps StdDev 37fps 108fps Extreme Spread
Groups were about 5" @ 25 yards

5.6gr W231 200gr Copper washed RN from Xtreme Bullets @ 1.250"
Avg 843fps StdDev 19fps 67fps Extreme Spread
Groups were about 5" @ 25 yards

I also brought 2 9mm Pistols that have decent crisp triggers.

Star B
4.0gr Bullseye 124gr FMJ RN
Avg 1054fps StdDev 14fps 44fps Extreme Spread
Groups were about 5" @ 25 yards

4.0gr Bullseye 128gr Powder Coated RN Wheel Weight Lead (10-12BH)
Avg 1093fps StdDev 12fps 36fps Extreme Spread
Groups were about 3"

Taurus PT199 with Target Sights
4.0gr Bullseye 124gr FMJ RN
Avg 1056fps StdDev 18fps 70fps Extreme Spread
Groups were about 5" @ 25 yards

4.0gr Bullseye 128gr Powder Coated RN Wheel Weight Lead (10-12BH)
Avg 1079fps StdDev 12fps 41fps Extreme Spread
Groups were about 4" @ 25 yards

I was surprised that the PC bullets did better in the 9mm but the velocity of course was different w/o the Jacket. I could stand to do a latter/ocw with that powder (or different powders).

The 45ACP is a cheap 1911 but I don't know how much that has to do with it from the bench.

My next step really is to look at a .452 Mold for the 45 and cast up maybe a SWC? I have read how they shoot better in a 45. I can powder coat (Prefer) or Xlox coat them.

Powders I have to choose from are Bullseye, W231, Unique and Power Pistol Not sure which one would be more favorable to start with.

Also, using iron sights, not sure how much I'm handicapped with that. I could take a 22 with a red dot and see how good that shoots compared to the same pistol/bullet and iron sights on the same pistol rest just to compare. I can do that with my Browning Buckmark.

Just not sure what my expectations SHOULD be with the 45, should I be able to get 3" or even 2" groups out of a good 1911 with iron sights from a pistol rest?

Thoughts?
Thx

EDIT: I do have this mold that I use for my 45 Colt Cowboy loads. All of the bullets I have already cast are soft lead though. I tried the soft lead Powder coated just once and it was all over the place. I could run some with harder lead though and see how well it shoots.
https://leeprecision.com/mold-dc-452-200-rf.html
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Old December 30th, 2020, 07:01 PM #2
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Baseline Questions :

1. What size groups do you usually shoot with that set up/ technique , with pistol & load of known accuracy potential ?

2. What size groups does your ATI 1911 shoot using loads of known accuracy potential ( ie shoots particular group sizes in other 1911 that is generally accurate) ?
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Old December 30th, 2020, 08:16 PM #3
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1. I have not punched paper offhand in probably over a year w/ Pistols I have been shooting a 12" Torso target @ 25 yards.
I plan to get a baseline grouping measurement with my reloads with the above pistols sometime soon

2. As stated above, Last time I shot at paper was probably with factory rounds and only 25 feet. I don't recall the group size.

My goal is to get better at shooting 25 yards at targets 2 handed and 1 handed with 22LR, 9mm and 45ACP
Having reasonably accurate 45ACP gun/bullet I think is missing from my arsenal which I plan to rectify.
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Old December 30th, 2020, 08:58 PM #4
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The standard Bullseye Pistol accuracy load is 185GR lead semiwadcutters with 3.7-4.4GR Bullseye, but 231 also works great. 200GR wadcutters, use a bit less powder—same accuracy.

The standard jacketed load is 185GR hollow points (like Nosler or Zero) with VV N310 (~4.1GR) or Bullseye again (~4.4GR).
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Old December 30th, 2020, 09:17 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpm32 View Post
The standard Bullseye Pistol accuracy load is 185GR lead semiwadcutters with 3.7-4.4GR Bullseye, but 231 also works great. 200GR wadcutters, use a bit less powder—same accuracy.

The standard jacketed load is 185GR hollow points (like Nosler or Zero) with VV N310 (~4.1GR) or Bullseye again (~4.4GR).
No feeding issues with the 200 grain wadcutter?
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Old December 30th, 2020, 09:23 PM #6
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Isolate variables .

As I am understanding , there are presently three variables : Your "bench" shooting techniques , the accuracy of your gun ( 1911) , and the accuracy of your handloads . You testing is limited by the least accurate of the three . ie a 5 inch grouping handgun won't be able to differentiate between 1 inch and 2 inch ammo, etc .

What is the most accurate pistol you own, or can borrow, perhaps a target .22 ? Test your bench techniques with that to establish a baseline for that , then larger groups than that could be attributed to the gun & ammo .

Do any friends/ fellow gun club members/ MDS friends have an accurate .45acp and loads that shoot accurately in their guns ? Then test that ammo in your gun to give yourself a goal for your load development .

*****************8

I could give some generalized ranges of expectations for 1911's , but I know that John from Maryland is knowledgeable about accurizing 1911 , and accurate handloads , so perhaps he could share some of his observations and expectations for stock 1911's here .
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Old December 30th, 2020, 09:45 PM #7
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Does the build tolerance of the gun play a part in accuracy?
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Old December 30th, 2020, 09:45 PM #8
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Absolutely
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Old December 30th, 2020, 10:00 PM #9
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David,

When you say stock sights, are they stock WWII military type with the really small front sight? If so, that may be part of your problem as it is hard to use those for precision shooting. Do all your loads group to the same POI? 4.0 of Bullseye and a 200 grain bullet used to be a standard target load when I was shooting Bullseye back in the '70's. Of course we didn't guns with stock military sights.

I use the Lee 200 grain RFN bullet for some of my .45s. In my 1927 Colt, with a Kart barrel and more modern sights, it will make one ragged hole at 20 yards with 4.4 gns of Bullseye. and the Lee bullet. I would try changing bullets first as I never liked copper washed bullets for accuracy. They were good when I shot IDPA and USPSA stuff but not when I was shooting steel for money.

I have a bunch made up and Xloxed if you want to try them.
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Old December 30th, 2020, 10:39 PM #10
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Working on Pistol Load Accuracy

Bigfoot, as mentioned I was thinking to take my Buckmark and run a red dot then compare that to the stock sights.
That is the most accurate pistol I have (I can use CCI Green Tag or Ely Match). One handed I probably am better with the Wife's 22/45 Lite or an old High Standard.

The 1911 is this:
https://www.americantactical.us/939/detail.html

Front sight is .090" wide and the rear notch is .115" Pretty much the same as my 1911A1 but a taller front and taller rear/deeper notch.
The Buckmark and the Taurus PT99 has more target sights and easier to see and align.

John, the POI was low for both 1911 loads groups were so big that it was hard to tell the center

I could stand to bring my "eye pal" diopter attachment to my glasses next time to help with the sight alignment.

John, I'll let you know about the Lee 200 RFN offer, I'm planning to do some molding this weekend and making some more using harder lead than the last time is on my list.

I also have about 150 of these I could load up just to see how they shoot.
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