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Old November 26, 2018, 21:00   #1
flejl
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1911 Commander and Ammo Preference

For many years I have been shooting standard Winchester White Box (WWB) and Remington UMC 45 ACP 230 GRN, FMJ in my full size SA GI model 1911 and the SA V10 Ultra Comp we have with no problems other than my bad eyes not finding the target.

I also a 1911 commander model that has been less than 100% reliable and was told I should be using ammo "with a little more chamber pressure" than the standard WWB loads I have used for years now.

I plan to give this a try, but with "a comfortable amount" of WWB stashed away for "just in case" I would hate to have to feed the commander model a special diet.

I could see a 1911 not liking certain non FMJ rounds, but my view is WWB has been spot on for me for several years with my other 1911's and is more or less what every 1911 should be able to eat on a regular basis.

I plan to give a "hotter" load a try, possibly something in the 880 FPS range of the WWB JHP ammo I use for CCW instead of the 830 FPS of WWB 230GRN FMJ.


Any experience on the topic anyone would like to share on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
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Old November 26, 2018, 21:42   #2
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It should function fine with 230 hardball....

Before beating it up with "Hotter" loads, I'd be trying a lighter recoil spring.
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Old November 26, 2018, 22:59   #3
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Put in a new recoil spring and adjust the extractor. Chasing ammo is bullshit.
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Old November 26, 2018, 23:01   #4
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If the pistol does not function with WWB, there is another issue.

What make is it ?





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Old November 27, 2018, 08:05   #5
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And what is the malfunction?
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Old November 27, 2018, 09:04   #6
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https://www.gunsprings.com/COLT/COMM...cID1/mID1/dID2

Factory standard recoil spring is 18 lbs.
I wouldn't deviate from that weight for standard ball.
Yes also to an extractor check.

One could argue the two things above are the first factors to look at with a problem 1911, closely followed by the magazine, ejector block and limp wristing probably.
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Old November 27, 2018, 16:34   #7
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The pistol is a Zenith M45. I previously sent it back to Zenith due to consistent FTF and FTE issues.

They polished the frame feed ramp, "throated" the barrel, sent new magazines, and adjusted the extractor. They also said they tested with both WWB and S&B 230 GRN FMJ before shipping back.

The pistol runs much better now, but on 2 of the 3 mags I ran through the pistol after receiving back the last round did not completely feed into the chamber and the slide go "into battery."

The SA 1911's I have run fine with WWB and I have not had this problem with either one of them, so it is not likely I am "limp wristing."

When I contacted Zenith after my test, they said they tested the pistol with all mags sent back with the pistol, however, the alternated between S&B and WWB, so it is possible the mag I used was tested with S&B, which they said is has high chamber pressure. When I looked on the S&B website, it looks like their 45ACP runs around 853 FPS at the muzzle and WWB runs at 830FPS.

I picked up some Federal American Eagle 230GRN FMJ ammo that is rated at 890FPS and was planning to give it a try, but going back to my first post, my other 1911's ran fine out of the box on WWB so the need for the faster ammo seemed "odd."
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Old November 27, 2018, 17:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG&L View Post
Put in a new recoil spring and adjust the extractor. Chasing ammo is bullshit.
This ^^^ Ive had a 1968 mfg LW Commander for years and its digested plenty of WWB hardball...and every other hardball load for that matter.
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Old November 27, 2018, 19:00   #9
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What mags are you using? Some 1911's don't like the 8 rounders for some reason. Sometimes, the follower is the culprit.

I'd put a new Extractor in from one of the whoopee doo purveyors of 1911 parts, Ed Brown, C&S and the like.

But before you throw money at it, try a google on "1911 last round fail" or something like that. I'm thinking you will turn up some info that may be helpful.
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Old November 28, 2018, 00:27   #10
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Get one each, Wilson Combat 47D & Chip McCormick power mag...whatever versions fit a Commander. Any problems I have w my series 80 1911 were instantly solved, FTF, Failure to lock slide back on last round. Was running original Colt mags..I now only use the OEM Colt mags at the range to confirm my suspicions they are the culprit...comparing so far, seem to fit. No more performance issues. Even McCormick Shooting star mags run great...compare the 47D and Power Mag and see which you prefer. My 1911 likes em both the same. Maybe in time one will manifest as better, I have a few of both...hopefully that helps.
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Old November 28, 2018, 11:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flejl View Post
The pistol is a Zenith M45. I previously sent it back to Zenith due to consistent FTF and FTE issues ..........
So, it is a 4 inch barreled Turkish import.


NOT a Commander.


Caveat emptor.



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Old November 28, 2018, 12:43   #12
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Make sure to run it wet with lube (CLP).
New 1911's like the wet.
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Old November 28, 2018, 14:03   #13
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I hear that the best way to address your problem is to acquire a set of Wolff springs and swap out at the shooting bench until Nirvana has been reached.

https://www.gunsprings.com/COLT/1911.../mID1/dID1#799


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Old December 02, 2018, 16:14   #14
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Everyone,

Thank you for you input, it gives me some ideas.


tdb59,

Then I suspect you believe Imbel did not make FAL's?

I neve stated I had a Colt.
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Old December 02, 2018, 19:20   #15
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Everyone,

Thank you for you input, it gives me some ideas.


tdb59,

Then I suspect you believe Imbel did not make FAL's?

I neve stated I had a Colt.

Being as Commander is a registered trademark of Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC , one would presume that your reference is specific.

The acronym for Fusil Automatique Legere is common vernacular for the type of firearm, not a specific manufacturer.


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Old December 02, 2018, 19:46   #16
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Being as Commander is a registered trademark of Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC , one would presume that your reference is specific.

The acronym for Fusil Automatique Legere is common vernacular for the type of firearm, not a specific manufacturer.


.................................
So Words really do mean something...who'd a thunk it.
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Old December 02, 2018, 21:56   #17
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I think I will end the thread here, we all have our views and are entitled to them.

Thank You
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Old December 08, 2018, 16:39   #18
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Know you say your done with this thread but... You have an import 1911 pattern copy that has failure to digest ball ammo. Whether a lower velocity or hot load any 1911 should run 100% with any factory ball ammo. I own more compact 1911's than can count and all run all ammo 100% but a few did require tuning the spring. An 18 pound spring should be your factory specification rating. Based on materials, design and other factors springs are very important. My 1911 range pistols get a new recoil spring every 5,000 rounds and all springs replaced every 10,000 rounds. While I have been using Wilson chrome silicon Flatwire springs in most of my five inch 1911's use a variety of makers and designs.

My Quadralink barrel equipped pistols use a two spring design and eleminate the barrel bushing as are bell shaped toward muzzle and fit them to the frame. For my Commander size 1911's and have "Commander" size 1911's from a myriad of manufacturers. I purchased the complete range of Wolff Commander length springs. The kit ships with a 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 pound spring in reduced power, an 18 pound factory spring plus a 20, 22, 24, 26 and 27 pound extra power spring. If have a load pistol combination (especially after other modifications are made) that do not like the 18 pound spring I experiment with springs closest to the factory going heavier and lighter till find a spring that runs reliable with all ammo then order a pair for that pistol putting one of the new in the master set so it keeps fresh low round count springs for testing.

Built my wife a Commander size 1911 that runs a light load and 185 grain cast bullets that does not hurt her fragile bones. If opening a jar of jelly breaks her wrist and walking sometimes breaks bones in her feet "we have a problem NASA". I specialize in adapting firearms to handicap folks as have met many who thought their shooting career was over. My adopted son who had a stroke at age 29 and lost most use of his right arm is now shooting rifles left handed using his dominant eye after a lot of modifications and tricks used to build him some specific guns. My wifes lightweight Commander is lobbing bullets at a velocity that if sun is behind use we can see the sun shining off back of the big cast bullets from about 25 feet on out to 100 yards. Almost like seeing tracers or phaser shots on sci-fi movies. Like to stand behind her and watch bullets start glinting and follow them to target.

Her Commander is currently using a 14 pound spring which let's me know can lighten loads and powder charge at least two more times and have her still shooting a 45 acp 1911 in very minor power factor catagory. She has always liked 1911's and since may have to pick one up off my dead body to protect herself she continues to train with low power rounds in light pistol so can quickly adapt to my 1911 and if breaks her hand the adrenalin of a firefight will keep her in the game as long as alive once her Walther PK380 runs dry even if hand her my primary and swap to my backup. I would follow the spring advice along with polishing the chamber as may be a bit sticky if not nicely polished.

As to eyes not finding the target try not using the rear sight. Just put front sight on target and bet most rounds will go center of mass without wasting time trying to find the rear sight.
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Old December 08, 2018, 21:25   #19
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hueyville,

I appreciate your post, your posts and some others were the type of response I was hoping to find. I have been a long time member of the FAL files and have found most members to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful, that is why I have hung around for so long.

You are correct, I am not done, it just seemed like a better idea to end things when it seemed "brand snobbery" started to creep in...ie the implication that only Colt can make a commander model... in one of the replies, I found that once things like this start to happen the value of the conversation goes down hill quickly.


I did another test as requested by Zenith with the "hotter" ammo and found the same results. At that point, since the pistol is still under warranty, I sent to back to Zenith to have them solve the problem.

I am sorry to hear about the health issues of your wife and son, but it sure sounds like you are doing what you can to help them enjoy life, that is truly a great thing.

Again, I do appreciate all of the useful feedback and this provided the sanity check I needed. I will provide an update when I get the pistol back.

Thank You
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Old December 09, 2018, 08:19   #20
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Don't think it is brand snobbery. Folks just wanted to know what you really had as certain makes may have certain problems.
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Old December 09, 2018, 11:38   #21
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Don't think it is brand snobbery. Folks just wanted to know what you really had as certain makes may have certain problems.
This^

For instance, a Colt Commander generally comes with trouble free magazines whereas a Kimber "commander style" and a Springfield Champion "commander style" had mags that ended up in the junk box.

No snobbery here, only one of my 1911's is a genuine Colt, the rest are of the Whatnellisthathing verity. They all shoot about the same.
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Old December 09, 2018, 12:33   #22
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Mainer,

I agree the manufacturer is useful information and you rprevious post was helpful and the tone of your previous response, along with most others was trying to help and gather more information in order to help.

When I do d a "google search" on "1911 commander", allot of other manufacturers come up way before anything Colt is implied.

To me and what seems t be most of the rest of the world, a 1911 commander is a 1911 pistol with an slide of approximately 4.25 inches.

But the statements made by one responder:

"So, it is a 4 inch barreled Turkish import."
"NOT a commander."
"Being as Commander is a registered trademark of Colt's Manufacturing
Company, LLC , one would presume that your reference is specific."

as at best are not helpful and intended to achieve something else.

Again, thank you very much to every one that responded to my question.
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Old January 06, 2019, 19:09   #23
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Just thought I would post an update.

The pistol has been back from Zenith since shortly before Christmas, but we had to put our 8 year old Britany to sleep due to liver failure two days before Christmas, and to by honest, it was like we lost one of our kids.

Since then I was able to go test the pistol twice and overall, the result of a second trip to the Zenith gunsmiths did not significantly improve the reliability of the pistol.

At this time, my view is if this were not a new pistol purchase, I would most likely go off and replace the extractor, as Zenith has seen fit to adjust it twice, but out of principal I believe they need to make the #$%^&*(#$ thing work reliably...

I bought my two other Springfield 1911s back in the early 2000's and they have been 100% reliable since day one. My experience during the late 1970's/early 1980's in the USMC with 1911's is they were also bet your life reliable, so it really gets under my skin when I see an unreliable 1911.

With all of that said, I have documented the testing I did, the failures experienced, and sent an Email off to Zenith again. It is sad the pistol simply cannot work reliably with the same WWB, Federal, and Remington UMC 230 FMJ ammo my two SA 1911s and my SAR K2 45 can eat 100% reliably.
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Old January 06, 2019, 19:23   #24
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So, it is a 4 inch barreled Turkish import.


NOT a Commander.


Caveat emptor.



............................
Yeah....I got bored then thanks for the book mark.
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Old January 06, 2019, 19:36   #25
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Just thought I would post an update.

The pistol has been back from Zenith since shortly before Christmas, but we had to put our 8 year old Britany to sleep due to liver failure two days before Christmas, and to by honest, it was like we lost one of our kids.

Since then I was able to go test the pistol twice and overall, the result of a second trip to the Zenith gunsmiths did not significantly improve the reliability of the pistol.

At this time, my view is if this were not a new pistol purchase, I would most likely go off and replace the extractor, as Zenith has seen fit to adjust it twice, but out of principal I believe they need to make the #$%^&*(#$ thing work reliably...

I bought my two other Springfield 1911s back in the early 2000's and they have been 100% reliable since day one. My experience during the late 1970's/early 1980's in the USMC with 1911's is they were also bet your life reliable, so it really gets under my skin when I see an unreliable 1911.

With all of that said, I have documented the testing I did, the failures experienced, and sent an Email off to Zenith again. It is sad the pistol simply cannot work reliably with the same WWB, Federal, and Remington UMC 230 FMJ ammo my two SA 1911s and my SAR K2 45 can eat 100% reliably.
i agree on the new pistol working right, stay on them. I had the same issue with a rock island armory 1911 10mm. went back to the factory twice, they have great customer service, but it never shot reliability. Different springs, throat polishing, feed ramp, everything...it just didn't run well with different ammo. Sold it to a buddy who swore he could make it work. Good luck, nothing worse than a new pistol with issues, im sending one back to Colt this week..(other thread here)
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Old January 14, 2019, 22:04   #26
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Yesterday I took the pistol out for another test using WWB 230GRN FMJ ammo and encountered similar results, FTD, FTE, etc... I documented several of the failures and sent them to Zenith.

I also field stripped the pistol again and while I was checking the extractor tension with an empty shell, I noticed the shell could not sit flat against the breach face due to the amount of tension applied by the extractor.

I did the same check with a live round and could see this was more obvious due to the longer length of the live shell. Using both an empty and live shell, I then tried to make the shell sit flat on the breach face, but could not make that happen.

I did the same thing with another one of my 1911's that works 100% reliable, and the empty and live shells sit flat on the breach face on that pistol.

Since two different Zenith Gunsmiths have worked on the Zenith pistol and the paper work from both said they adjusted the extractor, I would like to think it was done correctly.

To me it seems like they have not adjusted the extractor correctly, this "seems odd" to me, or am I nuts?

I also heard back from Zenith last week (1/9) , they suggested I contact CDNN to have them replace the pistol.

I spoke with CDNN on 1/9 and sent them the Email from Zenith stating I should contact CDNN and they would work with them to replace the pistol. I checked back with CDNN today and they are currently waiting for the owner to decide if they want to help.
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Old February 05, 2019, 16:03   #27
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I loaded some x-treme 200gr hardcast roundnose bullets and 5.1g Unique for my brothers Kimber. Cant wait to get a report back on their functioning.
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Old February 07, 2019, 09:11   #28
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I loaded some x-treme 200gr hardcast roundnose bullets and 5.1g Unique for my brothers Kimber. Cant wait to get a report back on their functioning.
Why the exceptionally light load? Target shooting? He will get about 680 fps with that load. That poofer load would be a functioning pita in many 1911's unless light recoil springs were used.

Oh wait, your "brothers" gun, right?
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Old February 07, 2019, 20:28   #29
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Why the exceptionally light load? Target shooting? He will get about 680 fps with that load. That poofer load would be a functioning pita in many 1911's unless light recoil springs were used.

Oh wait, your "brothers" gun, right?
Data says 810 ft/sec. We'll see how they do soon!
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Old February 08, 2019, 00:42   #30
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Dude you've jacked around with Zenith far too long. Your time is worth money. Two trips back and it still won't run? Their smithfu is weak. My advice is to see if they will take it back for a refund. Put the money towards another Springer. You said you had a couple of those and liked them. Not trying to piss you off, just my advice.
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Old February 08, 2019, 05:12   #31
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Dude you've jacked around with Zenith far too long. Your time is worth money. Two trips back and it still won't run? Their smithfu is weak. My advice is to see if they will take it back for a refund. Put the money towards another Springer. You said you had a couple of those and liked them. Not trying to piss you off, just my advice.
I agree 100%. Not because it is a Zenith mfg gun, but because of the trips back to be fixed.
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Old February 09, 2019, 12:07   #32
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While I consider a 1911 with a full size frame and ~4.25" barrel to be a "Commander" regardless of its manufacturer, I do NOT consider them to be created equal.

But I'm sure yours is at least as good as a Colt, maybe even better!
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Old February 09, 2019, 17:54   #33
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Data says 810 ft/sec. We'll see how they do soon!

Originally Posted by MAINER View Post
Why the exceptionally light load? Target shooting? He will get about 680 fps with that load. That poofer load would be a functioning pita in many 1911's unless light recoil springs were used.

Oh wait, your "brothers" gun, right?


I got the load data from the Lee reloading manual/ For lead 200 grain bullet, 5.1 g Unique--if it's jacketed then it calls for 6.1 g Unique--anyone tell me what the difference is?
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Old February 11, 2019, 13:36   #34
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Being as Commander is a registered trademark of Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC , one would presume that your reference is specific.

The acronym for Fusil Automatique Legere is common vernacular for the type of firearm, not a specific manufacturer.


.................................
While browsing on subjects relating to 1911'see found this.



Hmmm, maybe Colt is so hard up for cash they are leasing or selling rights to use their trademarks?
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Old February 14, 2019, 10:14   #35
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I own a SIG 1911 Carry Nitron, which is a Commander-length 1911. Mine never had any issues with ammo, be it factory or reloads.
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Old February 14, 2019, 10:27   #36
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Originally Posted by Heisser Mann View Post

I got the load data from the Lee reloading manual/ For lead 200 grain bullet, 5.1 g Unique--if it's jacketed then it calls for 6.1 g Unique--anyone tell me what the difference is?
Lubricated lead bullets have higher lubricity than copper jacketed bullets, hence less powder is required to achieve desired velocity.
or
Lead slides more easily down the bore than copper.
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Old February 15, 2019, 20:15   #37
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Back when I was shooting .45's a lot more than I am now (torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder), my "go to" handload was a 200 gr. semi wadcutter bullet and 5.7 gr. of WW231 powder. Comparing loading manuals from the 1980's versus today, the new manuals seem to list a lot lighter loads than they used to.
Also, not too long ago, like a couple of months, I saw an article that suggested that if you have a Commander (or equivalent), the preferred load is a 185 grain bullet, whether factory or handload.
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Old February 16, 2019, 09:46   #38
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Originally Posted by catmguy445 View Post
Back when I was shooting .45's a lot more than I am now (torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder), my "go to" handload was a 200 gr. semi wadcutter bullet and 5.7 gr. of WW231 powder. Comparing loading manuals from the 1980's versus today, the new manuals seem to list a lot lighter loads than they used to.
Also, not too long ago, like a couple of months, I saw an article that suggested that if you have a Commander (or equivalent), the preferred load is a 185 grain bullet, whether factory or handload.
Good to know! I just loaded up 10 test loads of that same recipe, well, 5.6 gr231. Ive got a newer Hornady book, and 5.6 is gettin on max load
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