Tuner...1911 ammo question


January 20, 2005, 08:40 AM
In your opinion...for a 4 1/4" commander size .45acp...what bullet weight at what velocity would you recommend for optimal reliability. Just my old brain working overtime, again, tells me that this should be different from a 5" pistol, or am I all wet.

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Al Thompson
January 20, 2005, 09:16 AM
:) I'm not Tuner, but I read with great interest Charlie Petty's article in American Handgunner last year about testing factory ammo in short barreled .45s. Bottom line was any of the modern ammo (Gold Dots, SXT or Golden Sabers) expanded well with velocities as low as 700 FPS.

I run 124 grain Gold Dots out of a Glock 19 and have experianced great results on deer and hogs despite the short barrel. :)


January 20, 2005, 09:22 AM
Thank's Al, but I'm talking about pistol reliability, not penetration and expansion.....

Old Fuff
January 20, 2005, 09:40 AM
I'm not Tuner of course, but I'd say ...

Each pistol is a law onto itself. What works fine in one may jam in another. Simply changing magazines, or magazine springs may make a difference. However if you pick a particular load or configuration (overall length can be important) a pistol can be adjusted in various ways so that your chosen ammunition will work.

Now we'll wait and see what Tuner says.

January 20, 2005, 10:10 AM
Thanks, Fuff....I'm sure we'll here from Tuner as soon as he's thru with the dogs....and I'm sure the Captain has an opinion on this also...ya know these thoughts just jump into my head.....

January 20, 2005, 10:53 AM
Powerball or Ranger.

January 20, 2005, 12:22 PM
I'm not Tuner either and I don't know where he is, but I would stick with 230 grain loads at standard pressures.

January 20, 2005, 01:19 PM
Howdy J,

Sounds like you've gotten some good advice so far...even though some may seem conflicting, it's really not.

As Fuff noted...each one is a law unto itself...and trying to put my finger on a particular brand/bullet type and weight/velocity and pressure level is a lot like fixin' you up with my cousin's best friend's daughter's sister-in-law. Might be a match made in heaven...but the odds are against it.

As stans noted...It's probably best to at least start with 230-grain, standard pressure stuff and experiment a bit to find what it likes best. Also...reliability
with just about any modern loading isn't far out of reach, but unless you're
willing to fine-tune the gun to eat anything that comes along, you're probably better served with the 230-grain offerings in the 800-850 fps range.

The thing about the short barreled variants is timing. Timing is the key to reliability assuming that the feed ramp and throat are good...and the shorter the barrel, the narrower the window of opportunity...and bullet dwell time in the barrel is counted into the equation too. The quicker the bullet exits, the less time it has to impose its influence on the slide. Get it out too quick, and
the slide may not make the full trip with standard recoil springs. Although it sounds backward...I've cured a few malfunctioning chopped pistols firing
185-grain +p ammo by dropping the spring load a notch, even though
common wisdom and advice says to go to a heavier spring for these screamers.

If I were going for reliability as a first consideration, and wanted a hollowpoint...I'd have a close look at 230 Golden Saber. Try some
230 Hydra-Shok too. One of the often-overlooked rounds is the PMC Starfire in 230-grain weight. I like the Starfire better than the Hydra-Shok, though it has a truncated-cone bullet profile that gives problems in some guns...it feeds smoother across the board than most in that class.

Those are all healthy rounds that have enough wallop to handle the job, and are what I consider to be low-end +p rounds. Slightly above hardball pressures, but not quite at the level of the Remington 185-grain loading.

As a final note...there are some out of box pistols that seem to gobble up
everything that you can throw at'em without so much as a hiccup. That
GI Springfield that I bought last year is one such...even 200-grain lead semi-wadcutters go through it like grease thru a goose, and did from day one.
Another one that my step-son bought from the same store choked on hardball
until we tweaked it a little...but it took very little tweak to have it feeding
everything. I have two identical Norincos. One doesn't care what's in the magazine, and the other burps once in a while on the lead SWCs and what's left of an old lot of Winchester Black Talons.

Hope this helps...

January 20, 2005, 01:29 PM
Thanks, Tuner...I just thought bullet wt./vel would be more critical(for timing issues) as we shorten up from 5 inchers....note; am using 230gr.GS...but didn't know if a lighter weight in shorter barrel might be better(no prob's w/230 GS)....just thinken too much!

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