1911Forum - View Single Post - Looking for a light shooting 45 ACP practice load
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:21 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 7,910

A standard G.I. 5" 1911 .45 used a 16 lb. recoil spring for 230 gr ball ammo. Why are you using a heavier recoil spring....? A heavier recoil spring my not allow the optimal sight tracking if the slide is slamming closed from the heavier recoil spring.... When shooting fast controlled pairs, if the second shot is much lower (let's say 4-5") than the first shot, it might be best to use a lighter recoil spring. If your .45acp load is ejecting the spend cases 3-4 ft. from the gun, this indicates for the load used, the slide velocity is good. However, if the load used is ejecting the case 6-8 ft. or further from the gun, a heavier main spring might be needed, to reduce the slide velocity. A standard main spring for a 1911 .45 is 23 lbs. For some of my 1911 guns with very hot .38s super loads, I have used 26 lb. mainsprings to keep the slide velocity to an acceptable level, which improved the reliability of the gun.

It might be best to have a separate main spring housing with a lighter main spring, when shooting reduced power loads. It would not be difficult to use a lighter main spring and a lighter recoil spring (perhaps 14 lbs.) to reliably shoot a low powered .45acp round. A 200 gr. lead semi wadcutter with 4.0 - 4.2 gr. of Bullseye powder is substantially softer than using 230 gr. ball ammo.

When I shot NRA outdoor Bullseye, I had a mil spec style 1911 .45acp pistol with the exception of a Bo-mar adj. rear sight. It was accurized by Jim Clark Sr. out of Keithville, LA. I used 4.2 gr. of Bullseye powder with a 200gr semi wadcutter swaged lead bullet for the 50 yard line and my gun with this load in a Ransom Rest would hold 5 shots in two inches. For the 25 yard line, I used 3.8 gr. of Bullseye powder with a swaged 185 gr. bullet.....and the accuracy needed for the 25 yard timed and rapid fire was still excellent.

I used the same gun for the service "hardball" matches, however I swapped out and used a different main spring housing with a 25# mainspring, and a 14# recoil spring....and my gun shot fine when using the 230 gr. hardball ammo supplied in the match. At the time, the Army shooters did not have to pick up their fired brass, and I would scoop up as much as 300-400 once fired cases after the match.....
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