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Lead 200gr SWC's are as reliable as ball ammo, they are ONLY maligned because they are improperly seated by most handloaders. I have the following 100% stock 1911's and ALL digest my 200gr SWC's with 100% reliabilty. Colt Comp Series '70, SA LW Loaded Oper, SA TRP Oper. I ONLY load Lead 200gr SWC these days, as their accuracy is unrivaled in my guns.
This right here, I chased feeding problems for quite a while after building my 1911. Since it was my first build, the problem HAD to be me, well it was just not with the build. I load my own ammo, took too long to learn how important the crimp is regarding feeding especially with a 'match' barrel, (I'm such a great shot don't ya know, I HAD to have one when I ordered the build parts).
 

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NO I'n not a big deal 1911 guy but had ole copy licensed argentine modelo 1927 , colt officers in "88 , ria 5" 1911 and now a lw commander WC 45 that all run fine with 200gr swc and a Kimber ultra that runs well with 124gr swc . The 3 later 1911 will chamber sized empty brass too .

Forgot the kahr ct45 that came after I sold the ria . Only problems is lite loads may not cycle well do to heavy recoil springs . I had a few 200 gr 740fps still around, loads my young grandson shot some years ago . In the kahr the brass flipped back and hit my chest on the right side and fell at my feet .
 

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First let me say my Kimbers all had trouble with JHPs. That said both my Kimbers I used for competition, Raptor and Eclipse had no trouble with 185 wadcutters. Neither of my Sig 1911's had any issues either. I fellow bullseye shooter who was really good used them in his Les Baer.
 

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Once you choose an 'affordable' pistol be certain you don't scrimp on magazines. When our only choice was G.I. mags we learned how to modify them to feed SWCs. Then the manufacturers designed them to work with 230gr FMJs and H&G SWCs. There's about a million posts on this forum that'll clue you in on quality mags. They're not cheap but you will only have to buy once.
 

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All mine do but saying that there are lots of different semi wadcutters like there are lots of different hollowpoints. Below the couple I shoot and have shot the most to the right of the 230gr FMJ; one I cast and the other is store bought but I do reload it.



In 2015 I bought a new Gold Cup and they provided two springs. A 16lb which was in the pistol for FMJ and one with green on the end which is about 14lb and for target loads. They also provided two magazines. An 8 round for FMJ and a 7 round for SWC I think. The feed lips and followers are a bit different.

 

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Any 1911 worth owning should eat 200 gr SWC's right out of the box. Right down to a bottom dollar Tisas or American Arms Classic or an RIA. If a 1911 won't feed that ammo....it's got problems.

EDIT. You got a price range??? One man's $5000 is another man's $500.
True dat.

Each of my .45acp 1911's eat 200 lswc like hungry beasts. :rock:


All of mine are what I'd consider basic out-of-the-box guns. Nothing fancy.


Springfield Loaded, TRP, Colt Defender, DW Valor Commanders.
 

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I used a lightly modified SA 1911 in IPSC competition. It was somewhat sensitive to AOL. I put maybe 10,000 rounds of LSWC 200 grain through it with minimal malfunction.

I recently bought a Kimber Stainless LW. It has fed about 500 rounds of LSWC without a glitch.
 

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As has mine, but my XD won't handle SWC bullets at all.
I wonder if the chambers are different between the match and standard barrels, but I doubt it.

Any 1911 worth owning should eat 200 gr SWC's right out of the box. Right down to a bottom dollar Tisas or American Arms Classic or an RIA. If a 1911 won't feed that ammo....it's got problems
I will politely dissent, but I want to put that in context. I have bullseye pistols reamed for a specific load. My CMP EIC pistol won't feed JSWC reliably but is pretty darn good, but not perfect with 200 gr LSWC. However it does put out sub 1" 10 shot groups at 50 yards from an HEG rest with the AMU 45 ACP load. Conversely my wad gun will feed anything but does better with the ammo it was chambered for, lead 200 gr LSWC (H&G 68 mold). Does that make the ball gun not worth owning? Nope.

Factory and many semi-custom barrels are generous to support a variety of ammunition types (shapes/weight/length/etc.) since they don't know what the end user is going to throw in. The trade off is that at some point you are trading flexibility for accuracy and that may also have a negative affect on your brass as it expands/shrinks more than a tighter chamber. Arguably most don't care and would take the ability to use any ammo over the slightly negative results.

SAAMI also has different specifications for 45 Automatic ad 45 Automatic Match, although from my view it pertains to length primarily.

A couple notes from Jerry I consolidated

Jerry's Keefer's Resume

* Guild Master Pistolsmith
* VA Govener's 20 - 15 times
* PPC Master Class Champion - '94 Pearl Magnolia Regional & '94 National Police Shooting Championship
* PPC High Master Class Champion - Virginia State - '00
* Distinguished Revolver
* Distinguished Semi-Automatic Pistol

Your Dan Wessons are better suited for any ammunition, than a barrel with no throat or leade.. I have reamers custom ground to cut chambers per the photo.. notice the pronounced shoulder to head space against, 1.5° concentric leade and free bore..

Here the free bore is evident..as is the gentle 1-1/2 degree leade. The benefit of this can be evaluated by tapping a lead bullet thru a standard chamber
and a chamber done like this, with a wooden dowel. Inspect and compare the surface disruption, under magnification. The scarring and ripping of the lead by the lands of a standard barrel,
is very apparent. I use a bore scope to insure the leade is centered in the groove.. If the Z axis is not true, it can be off..and it's easily seen with the scope.. If the projectile starts
off center, it never corrects itself from the center of gravity shift that takes place.




# 1: Headspace is of critical importance. Seldom do I see headspace on the money after a new barrel is installed. Reaming is always required. The 45 has generous tolerances, and the factory case length is so short, that many escape with a less than ideal chamber.
#2: Most leade angles are 5 degrees. Why the industry adheres to this is beyond me. 1-1/2 is far more desirable and you can look by eye to see if a 5 degree angle is present.
#3: I am not a fan of off the shelf, one size fits all reamers.. They are a compromise for general use. A custom ground reamer gives a gunsmith the flexibility to place the leade and freebore where they believe it should be.
A small amount of free bore is advantageous for auto loading pistols. Touching the leade with the projectile often creates problems.
For years I ran the guns at .903, now I have several at.898 and I going to give .895 a try very soon. SAAMI spec reamers are, well, SAAMI spec and contribute little to accuracy. After market chambers are too big..and the 45 runs much better with some free bore blending into the lands @ 1& 1/2degrees. Many problems disappear with a well designed chamber. I'll provoke this subject a little more.Typically, chambers receive very poor attention.
Throw the barrel in a vise , reamer in a tap wrench, and it is cut by hand, if it gets cut at all. No effort to insure concentricity on either axis. No human can cut the chamber by hand and keep the reamer concentric.. Pilot or no..
Having helped run the pistol portions of regional matches and helped at Camp Perry the worst thing I've seen a 1911 chamber is the 185 gr JSWC from Federal and TZZ. Typically only the wad guns make it through unscathed over the week. Not sure what it is about that round, but lots of 1911s choke on it occasionaly, Springfield, Kimber, Les Baer, Smith & Wesson, Colt (USGI and factory), etc. Match ball guns are the worst. I think the small shoulder, short length and "button" style nose work together to inhibit reliable feeding unlike the H&G 68 mold, which is "somewhat" close to the shape of a RN. That's all a guess as I'm in no way a gunsmith and have no more knowledge than anyone else, just looking at it as a casual observer.



Great info Dakota, and the magazines can in fact make a difference.
I agree. It seems like Metalform, Mec-Gar, Wilson, etc. with the rounded follower due pretty dang good.
 

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Revolvers that use the half-moon clips?

Tom
 

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My vote is for RIA 1911. Probably eat anything out of the box. If not, easy to make it feed wadcutters. I have an older ATI that ate wadcutters and almost any JHP. $275 used.

The barrel fit on recent RIA 1911 seems quite good for a $400 gun. YMMV
I'd also vote for the Philippine made 1911s, RIA, ATI, Armscor, etc. Well made guns that should eat most anything you feed them.
 

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Wadcutter ammo vs. semi-wadcutter ammo.....

Several posts use the term wadcutter ammo vs. semi wadcutter......which is confusing.

Wadcutter ammo, is often used in semi auto pistols like the S&W mod 52 or revolvers. The lead bullet used is flush with the case mouth with no bullet nose beyond the case mouth.

A semi-wadcutter is often used in semi auto pistols that have a lead bullet nose that is truncated with a slight taper to the tip.

Years ago, when revolvers were still being used in law enforcement, .38 special revolvers were often loaded with wadcutter ammo with light powder charges for training and practice, and was capable to shoot very good groups with the right load. However, vast improvements in 9mm accuracy and power in semi auto pistols with higher ammo capacity gradually took over in many LE agencies.

I remember reading a story about a state trooper that was patrolling an area where a violent armed criminal was on the loose. His agency had switched to using a nine shot .38 super Colt semi auto pistol. He spotted the criminal's car, and got into a car chase and finally forced the car off the round, and a shootout unfolded. The two cars were not very far apart, and the criminal was counting the shots fired by the trooper. After the sixth shot was fired, he charged the trooper thinking he could kill him when he went to reload a revolver. That was his last and fatal mistake. The trooper emptied three more well placed shots into the criminal and stopped his murderous rampage.

Wadcutter ammo is not as popular these days. I also agree with others that the Rock Island Armory 1911 is a good and affordable gun that will feed semi wadcutter ammo. It uses a Parkerized finish, but that does not deter from the reliability and accuracy, and offers a lower retail selling price.
 

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Hornady still makes 38 HBWC bullets. 158 gr if I recall. We sell quite a few of them.
 

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Hornady still makes 38 HBWC bullets. 158 gr if I recall. We sell quite a few of them.
HBWC are usually 138grain.
Nope. Most 38 special HBWC bullets are 148 gr. You can find some different weights for self-defense (underwood & buffalo bore, etc), but that's a small population. If you look at what bullet manufacturers are generating or selling as loaded ammunition its 148 gr primarily. Other than Distinguished Revolver (DR) which requires 158 gr LRN/SWC bullets, that's what most of use for Bullseye.

http://www.rozedist.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=RZD&Product_Code=R109-A&Category_Code=ZSB-38S

http://saas.shopsite.com/magnusbullets/store/page5.html

https://www.brazosprecision.com/38-Special357-Magnum_c_13.html

https://www.pennbullets.com/38/38-caliber.html

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1601192625
 

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Yep. You are correct on that. Hornady offers a 148 gr HBWC. I stock so many bullets of different weights on the shelves that I can't keep them all straight in my brain.

148, ....149..... Whatever it takes....
 
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