Light loads in ported 1911


November 2, 2006, 05:26 PM
I have a Springfield Armory 1911 that originally came with a ported barrel. I think it was called the V-12 or something like that. When I got it, I took it back to SA and had a plain barrel installed so I could use it in USPSA matches without going into the Open division. I forgot about the ported barrel.
Now, I'm trying to get my wife going shooting again and am remembering the ported barrel.
While she much prefers the .22 rimfire 1911, if she wants to make the steel plates fall with any regularity, some sort of centerfire is necessary. She used to like shooting a puffball load I've worked out with a 230gr RN Rainier traveling about 550-570fps (3.5gr WST). With a 10-pound spring, it works pretty well for me, and okay for her, about 95%. I'd say it's about the lightest-recoiling centerfire (above a .32) I've ever tried. To me, it kicks only a little more than the alloy-framed rimfire gun.
The question is, is the porting effective for such light loads in terms of recoil reduction? If it is, I could up the power slightly and get her better function.
I barely recall shooting it with the holey barrel and puffballs and thinking the porting didn't help to any noticeable degree. I know it's subjective, so I'm looking for subjective answers.

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Black Majik
November 2, 2006, 05:45 PM
Hmm.. can you make major PF with that light of a load?

Jim Watson
November 2, 2006, 05:53 PM
It might help a little. It would do more good if you went to a lighter bullet at a higher velocity to put some more gas out the holes. A 185 at 710, which has the same power factor and is pretty close to factory mid-range might feel softer.

It might help HER to know that she has a "special" barrel to make it easier for her to shoot. Even subjective improvements help.

November 2, 2006, 06:06 PM
Major PF? Hah! It would have trouble making the floor in a rimfire match. And you can almost count the revolutions the bullet's making as it moseys downrange.
It is very, very quiet, though, and I have become convinced that blast is almost the same level of trouble for newbies as actual kick. Winchester WST is actually sold as having a "mild report", and I agree. I use it for almost all of my .45ACP loads.
I'm leaning towards the USPSA now-conventional wisdom that the heavy-bullet/fast powder thing is the way to go. In regular guns, anyway. When I have rangemates try the puffball one in the full-size 1911, nearly every one can't finish a magazine without cracking up. I don't even keep lighter bullets on the shelf anymore.
The Boss' power factor spec is: knocking over the plate rack plates. Anything more is a waste.
Not that she does that badly with the .22. She just says she needs to hit higher on the plates, and so she does. Makes some of us experts look a little silly, sometimes.
She very much prefers the C&S triggerjob kit trigger in the rimfire 1911 to all of my other guns, too, showing some good taste. In guns, if not hubbies.
And Mr. Watson- I agree completely. I feel so dishonest...

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