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  #1  
Old 10-09-2011, 08:37 AM
MarylandShooter MarylandShooter is offline
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.45 ACP and COAL




I had four 1911s apart and thought - good time to measure distance to rifling.

Kimber = 1.231
SA Loaded = 1.245
SA Micro = 1.314
SA LW Operator = 1.354

OK - so this is what I got by seating a bullet in a case and tapping it in with a bullet puller, and they all were pretty much even with the hood.

So to experiment with COAL and how it affects accuracy, I figured I'd come here and ask. Now somewhere I got it in my head to be .030 off the rifling, but you can see by the dimensions and a little math, that my COAL on the Kimber and SA Loaded are gonna be pretty short.

I loaded a bunch - like 500 rounds - yesterday with a COAL of 1.250, again - getting it in my mind that was a good starting point. These are 200g, 230g RN FMJ and a hundred of 185g JHP.

They all fed fine in all the pistols (except my Kimber, which is in parts - long story - I need to assemble it when I have an abundance of patience).

Didn't get to the range, though I may on Monday.

So - 1911 reloaders - enlighten me if you have the time.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

M_S
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2011, 12:52 PM
EMorr EMorr is offline
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What you have described is a fairly common practice with rifle shooters looking for a little more accuracy and I am assuming that you have done this before with rifle cartridges.

However you should realize that you are measuring the length to the ogive of the bullet and not the actual COAL of the finished cartridges. Without testing this myself I would think that even the shorter length to the ogive of the Kimber throat would be more than enough to give you a COAL for the .45 ACP which has a max of 1.275” and the longer examples you have listed would not matter because if you load the rounds to those lengths the finished rounds would not fit into any magazines. (At least not in any of mine)

My advice would be to load your bullets to the recommended seating depths in your reloading manuals for safety and functionality reasons and not worry about chasing the rifling in handguns. I also don’t see much of a benefit for the above practice in handgun cartridge reloading and I’ll give an example why. If you find that seating to a certain depth off of the lands say 0.015” in a rifle cartridge shrinks your groups a total of .5 (Being somewhat generous) MOA at 100 yards. Now you want to try this with your handgun at a distance of 25 yards. Even if you were capable of shooting 1 MOA groups with your hand gun at 25 yards (which is a .25” group) the improvement would be 0.125 inches. A more realistic group for a handgun placed in a ransom rest with the target at 25 yards is about 2 inches, but again a .5 MOA improvement would only net you a 1.875” group.

There are many other variables within handgun reloading that will have a greater effect on accuracy, such as powders and bullet combinations. Good luck and stay
safe.

Also I’m not sure how accurate your measurements could have been if you were tapping the round into the chamber with a hammer, even if you were doing it lightly.
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Last edited by EMorr; 10-09-2011 at 01:32 PM. Reason: added some information
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2011, 04:08 PM
beretaus beretaus is offline
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I would think that those numbers are meaningless because most barrels are tapered to the rifling ,so all the guns may have the rifling starting within.02" of each other, but some are tapered more than the others so the bullet goes in further before hitting.
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2011, 08:22 AM
MarylandShooter MarylandShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMorr View Post
What you have described is a fairly common practice with rifle shooters looking for a little more accuracy and I am assuming that you have done this before with rifle cartridges.

However you should realize that you are measuring the length to the ogive of the bullet and not the actual COAL of the finished cartridges. Without testing this myself I would think that even the shorter length to the ogive of the Kimber throat would be more than enough to give you a COAL for the .45 ACP which has a max of 1.275Ē and the longer examples you have listed would not matter because if you load the rounds to those lengths the finished rounds would not fit into any magazines. (At least not in any of mine)

My advice would be to load your bullets to the recommended seating depths in your reloading manuals for safety and functionality reasons and not worry about chasing the rifling in handguns. I also donít see much of a benefit for the above practice in handgun cartridge reloading and Iíll give an example why. If you find that seating to a certain depth off of the lands say 0.015Ē in a rifle cartridge shrinks your groups a total of .5 (Being somewhat generous) MOA at 100 yards. Now you want to try this with your handgun at a distance of 25 yards. Even if you were capable of shooting 1 MOA groups with your hand gun at 25 yards (which is a .25Ē group) the improvement would be 0.125 inches. A more realistic group for a handgun placed in a ransom rest with the target at 25 yards is about 2 inches, but again a .5 MOA improvement would only net you a 1.875Ē group.

There are many other variables within handgun reloading that will have a greater effect on accuracy, such as powders and bullet combinations. Good luck and stay
safe.

Also Iím not sure how accurate your measurements could have been if you were tapping the round into the chamber with a hammer, even if you were doing it lightly.
Well since I am off today, I may hit the range. I hear what you are saying, but I bought a pistol from a guy who is a pretty sharp reloader. The pistol I bought - an XDC chambered in .45 - has an accuracy of a quarter sized group at 25 yards using a Ranier LRN with a COAL of 1.195 if memory serves..

Typically I run RMR Bullets as I have found them to be decent for what I am doing and HP38 has a very good burn rate of near or at 100% as opposed to, say Power Pistol, which gives great velocity, but is dirtier with a burn rate closer to 70%.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2011, 08:44 PM
1911smith 1911smith is offline
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In for range report. The rest you've gotten in e-mail sent.

Just remember feed ability comes before all else. If cartridge can't feed, it can't fire. Meaning oal and case mouth od has to be adjusted for feed channel.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2011, 08:08 AM
MarylandShooter MarylandShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911smith View Post
In for range report. The rest you've gotten in e-mail sent.

Just remember feed ability comes before all else. If cartridge can't feed, it can't fire. Meaning oal and case mouth od has to be adjusted for feed channel.
Got it and the email as well. I never made the range, but hope to go Thursday.

Back at ya then!
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2011, 10:07 PM
tsp45acp tsp45acp is offline
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Not to hijack, but just curious where in Md you are. What range do you shoot at? I grew up in Elkridge (Ho. co) and lived my last 10 years there in Pasadena.
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2011, 06:50 AM
richpetrone richpetrone is offline
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COAL and Accuracy with a .45

First off, you need to determine the accuracy potential of your gun. Any barrel for any gun may not shoot a load as well as another, or may shoot it better. I would start off by purchasing a factory match quality round, such as used in Bullseye, to determine how well your gun shoots. I believe Federal 185 gr match ammo is a good standard to start, and should make a good standard for comparative purposes.

You can then try any COAL desired and experiment. However, more things may affect the accuracy other than COAL. The powder choice for that barrel may be important, along with the taper crimp, etc.

You are worrying about COAL for optimal accuracy, which is overthinking a nonexistant problem for a pistol. Sometimes the COAL for a pistol cartridge can make a difference on pressure, if the case volume is significantly reduced by seating a bullet too deep, thereby reducing the COAL. The 9mm case is any example where the seating depth of a bullet may make a noticeable difference in case pressure.

IMHO, the best method is to use your barrel as a guide for COAL. I like to use the drop test, by removing the barrel and holding it muzzle down with one hand, then drop a loaded round into the chamber. I like to see that the bullet is level or flush with the back of the hood extension. If not, you can adjust the seating depth of your cartridge until it does become flush. When doing this, I always start with new or once fired cases, since the case length may vary with a lot of reloading.

The seating depth may vary with the style of bullet used, since the ogive shape may be different for different styles of bullets. From my experience, for accurate bullets for target purposes, a LSWC 200 gr bullet, styled after the H&G#68 mold is a proven bullet design for accuracy when shooting an accurized .45 pistol.

Last edited by richpetrone; 10-15-2011 at 08:22 AM.
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2011, 06:58 AM
MarylandShooter MarylandShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsp45acp View Post
Not to hijack, but just curious where in Md you are. What range do you shoot at? I grew up in Elkridge (Ho. co) and lived my last 10 years there in Pasadena.
Sometimes I hit a small outdoor range that is basically a small spot on a friiends 7 acres in Joppa, MD. That is until the po-po grabbed my ass on 7/14, proned me out, cuffed me and performed illegal searches of my person and property.

They found nada, but I am still pretyy pissed about it. ****ing thugs with badges.

I also signed up at FreeState - near White Marsh Mall, which is nice as you can shoot rifles there.

I still go to my buddy's property, but it has been raining and muddy - you need a 4WD to get to the spot and the mud makes it a bit of a risk getting stuck.
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2011, 07:03 AM
MarylandShooter MarylandShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911smith View Post
In for range report. The rest you've gotten in e-mail sent.

Just remember feed ability comes before all else. If cartridge can't feed, it can't fire. Meaning oal and case mouth od has to be adjusted for feed channel.
Everything ran fine and I started out with a GSG1911 with a suppressor, so that first real 1911 shot felt like the slide was gonna come off an go through my head.

I was running RN FMJ 230g over 5.0 grains of HP38 - accurate as I was.

I had a few others as well - 185g JHP and 200 RN FMJ - everything fed fine and I tested mags first thing. IIRC 4 of 32 need new springs.

Maybe now I'll put that Kimber back together (for the 10th time) and see if I can get the grip safety to work properly.

Good news is I have 1,800 rounds of .45 ACP loaded. Bad news is I need 8 lbs of HP38 and 10K primers. I have my month's outlay tied up in suppressor and SBR stamps for November.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2011, 07:34 PM
SteedGun SteedGun is offline
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I sure am seeing a lot of complaining about Kimbers lately. Glad I stayed with SA and DW. I really have not had any issues with either.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:59 PM
tsp45acp tsp45acp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteedGun View Post
I sure am seeing a lot of complaining about Kimbers lately.

Apparently you haven't been around very long...Peeps have been complaining about Kimber's for a LONG time....In my opinion, there are 2 main reasons
they get complained about:
1-Kimber makes a lot of guns, so statistics show that if there are more of them, the more problems you will hear about (same amount of percentage of bad guns as everybody else---but more saturation of the market with Kimbs).
2-Due to the shear #'s of Kimbs on the market, quality can't keep up with production #'s.


Just my opinion.....let the flames begin.

When I was shooting a LOT of competitions, there would be a few probs with other guns, but there seemed to always be probs with Kimbers. That being said, it seemed like there were twice as many Kimbers as all other guns combined. Tracy
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:59 AM
MarylandShooter MarylandShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteedGun View Post
I sure am seeing a lot of complaining about Kimbers lately. Glad I stayed with SA and DW. I really have not had any issues with either.
I wasn't complaining. My Kimber ran GREAT. I had the LaserMax laser guide rod in it and it ran GREAT.

I went to change the recoil spring, wound up stripping the gun to the frame, cleaning it up and going back to the original parts.

I assembled it about 10X and just couldn't get the grip safety to function properly.

I would say it is more my fault than Kimber's.

Like I said - I'll get back to it when I have an abundance of patience.
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