Input needed for match ammo reloading for Kimber 45ACP.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by U.S.SFC_RET, Oct 4, 2017.

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  1. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    The Old Dominion State
    I need to stand on the shoulders of giants here. I am trying to develop a load for a Kimber Classic Gold Match pistol shooting bullseye competition. Its not fair that I have to compete against Pardini's. :cuss:.
    I know of some very nice SWCs but am hesitant in using them because of the failure to chamber. However if anyone has had a good experience using them or any other type of bullet that "cuts" paper then your input is greatly appreciated. Also how you sort and prep cases, primers and powder that has worked out for you.
    I shoot indoor pistol matches at 50' but would like to enter the dreaded 2700 matches so developing a load for outdoor matches apply.
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    I load both 185 gr and 200 gr MBC SWC over 5 gr. of Unique. I seat them so a thumbnails thickness of bullet shoulder is above the case rim. Either are very accurate. My Colt National Match will feed either without a hiccup.
  3. John C

    John C Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    I had a Kimber Gold Match that was/is a great shooter. My neighbor has it now. It did have a very short lede and tight chamber, and had difficulty with SWC bullets. Once loaded correctly for the lede on the chamber, SWCs shot great. I think the tight chamber is what made it shoot so well. If this is your only Bullseye gun, get some good match SWCs, and load them up for your pistol. After all, isn't one of the main points of reloading to tailor ammo for a particular pistol?

    Good luck. These are good pistols.
  4. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    May 25, 2011
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    For the long range 200gr LSWC (MBC BE #1) will give better accuracy over the 185gr. 185gr is good for the shorter 25yrd distance. I load 4.1gr WST under both. Please note this is below min suggested loads so work down the load. My 1911 will function with the std 16# RS but I normally run a 14# due to slide mounted optic (c-more). You may need to play with your RS so the gun returns to battery and not dip the nose down. A lot of them run RS down into 8-9# range. Like said load the bullet so only a thumbnail is showing. I opened up my bullet seating stem to seat the bullet using the shoulder and not the nose. This insures the bullet goes in straight.

    Good Luck. you will just need to experiment and see what your gun likes.
    jell-dog likes this.
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    I had to create my own program to figure out the course of fire in Bullseye. It seems all the shooters know what they are doing and fail to put out a helper program to describe the sequence of events.


    I have been shooting Bullseye pistol and using the great H&G 68 type of 200LSWC. I have also been using Bullseye. My 50 yard load is 4.0 grains Bullseye. This is an old staple of Bullseye shooters and superbly accurate. The stock spring for a Les Baer Wadcutter is 13 pounds. My Wadcutter has the optical sight attached to the slide and Les Baer does not recommend firing bullets greater than 200 grains in these pistols. .

    Last year I went and velocity tested my target loads. I wanted less recoil for the timed fire and rapid fire sequences at 25 yards and later in the year started using a 200 LSWC load with 3.5 grains for the timed fire and rapid fire stages. This worked fine from June through Oct, with no failures to function. My 200 LSWC 4.0 grain load is my 50 yard load and is very accurate. Well early in this year I participated in a February Bullseye match and the ammunition was in the vehicle the night previous and temperatures had reached the lower 30’s ºF. I was surprised to find that my 3.5 grain Bullseye load would not function the slide, I had stovepipes and failures to eject. A load that functioned fine in 80’s- 90’s ºF was not working in 40 ºF ! My 4.0 grain Bullseye load functioned the pistol each shot and that is what I used for the remainder of the match. When weather got 90ish I used up the last of my 3.5 gr loads. I tried it at 50 yards and it was horrible. The load will shoot a clean at 25 yards but it is so slow at 50 yards that something happens and it won't group well.

    I do dribble oil over my 3.5 grain cartridge cases, to break the friction between case and chamber, and ensure reliable extraction. It is messy as all heck as the magazines are oily, and oil is blown out into the air in front of the pistol. But I was not having malfunctions in the warmer weather, something I was having around 100 rounds into the bullseye match when I used non lubricated cases. I had a couple of failures to feed with the lighter load with dry cases and dry chambers. Actually, the chambers were pretty foul by the time I get to the 45 ACP stage. I shoot the same pistol through the 90 round centerfire pistol match and the 45 ACP match. However, oil did not prevent failures to eject in 40 ºF.

    After this match I replaced the old 13 pound recoil spring and found that it was about 3/8” shorter than the new! I highly recommend replacing recoil springs.

    I also tested plated bullets. I purchased H&G 68 type plated bullets from Xtreme Bullets. I want to reduce the amount of lead being blown out of my barrel. I have heard that for plated bullets you just use the same data as for cast. This seems to be true for velocity, but at the lower end of pressure and recoil, where I am operating, while the velocities were close, function was not. Ejection and lockback were not reliable with a load of 200 Xtreme plated bullet and 3.7 grains Bulleye. This even though the cartridges were oiled. However, a test load of 4.0 grains Bullseye with the Xtreme plated bullet functioned, ejected and lockbacked for my test rounds as long as the weather was hot. When it got cold, I had the occasional failure to eject, failures like stovepipes. So I bumped the charge up to 4.2 grains of Bullseye. No failures to eject but the recoil went up. You can't have everything.

    When Alliant made Bullseye hard to find most of the shooters tried Titegroup and stayed with it. Titegroup is an excellent target 45 ACP powder, the charges are basically the same. When I ask, the Titegroup loads are always within a tenth of what I am using with Bullseye.

    Don't forget your recoil spring. If you use the stock 16lb mainspring your pistol will short stroke and stove pipe with these marginal loads.

    M1911 Les Baer Wadcutter  new 13 lb recoil spring                                   
    200 LSWC (H&G 68 type) 3.5 grs Bullseye Lot 919 11/2005 WLP Brass mixed cases
    23-Mar-16 T = 69 °F OAL 1.250" Taper Crimp 0.469"
    Ave Vel = 664.9      
    Std Dev = 16.18       
    ES = 51.71       
    High =  686.1      
    Low = 63.3      
    N = 8      
     stove pipes, would not latch slide   
    200 LSWC (H&G 68 type) 3.5 grs Bullseye Lot 919 11/2005 WLP Nickle, mixed cases
    8-Jun-15 T = 91 °F OAL 1.250" Taper Crimp 0.469"
    Ave Vel = 660.6     
    Std Dev = 16.37      
    ES = 60.28      
    High =  695.6     
    Low = 635.3     
    N = 22     
    functioned every round,  light recoil, accurate   
    Marginal in cold weather     
    200 LSWC (H&G 68 type) 3.8 grs Bullseye Lot 919 11/2005 WLP Nickle, mixed cases
    8-Jun-15 T = 91 °F OAL 1.250" Taper Crimp 0.469"
    oiled cases      
    Ave Vel = 714.4     
    Std Dev = 17.17      
    ES = 77.2      
    High =  755.1     
    Low = 677.9     
    N = 30     
    200 LSWC (H&G 68 type) 4.0 grs Bullseye Lot 907 6/20/2005 WLP Brass mixed cases
    23-Mar-16 T = 69 °F OAL 1.250" Taper Crimp 0.469"
    oiled cases      
    Ave Vel = 723.3     
    Std Dev = 9.48      
    ES = 28.65      
    High =  741.6     
    Low = 712.9     
    N = 10     
    200 LSWC (H&G 68 type) 4.0 grs Bullseye Lot 919 11/2005 WLP Nickle, mixed cases
    8-Jun-15   T = 91 °F OAL 1.250" Taper Crimp 0.469"
    oiled cases      
    Ave Vel = 742.9     
    Std Dev = 9.89      
    ES = 33.19      
    High =  760.6     
    Low = 727.5     
    N = 20     
    200 Xtreme Plated SWC 3.7 grs Bullseye Lot 907 6-20-2005 WLP Brass mixed cases
    23-Mar-16 T = 72 °F OAL 1.250" Taper Crimp 0.469"
    oiled cases      
    Ave Vel = 651.7     
    Std Dev = 11.66      
    ES = 40.03      
    High =  676.9     
    Low = 636.9     
    N = 14     
    all ejected, slide failed to lock back once   
    200 Xtreme Plated SWC 4.0 grs Bullseye Lot 907 6-20-2005 WLP Brass mixed cases
    23-Mar-16 T = 72 °F OAL 1.250" Taper Crimp 0.469"
    oiled cases      
    Ave Vel = 686.8     
    Std Dev = 26.32      
    ES = 91.37      
    High =  730.4     
    Low = 639.1     
    N = 14     
    accurate, functioned and slide locked back   


    The guys who are willing to spend more money are either using factory 185 gr JHP all the way back, or loading their own. This is a very accurate bullet and the recoil is less.

    A bud was using this load and it worked well.

    M1911 Les Bauer 5" Bar Sto Barrel

    185 gr Nosler JHP 4.5 grs WST Mixed cases Fed Match primers
    12-Dec-11 T = 53 °F

    Ave Vel = 760.1
    Std Dev = 9
    ES = 24.27
    High = = 769.7
    Low = 745.7
    N = 5

    When the AMU shot a 2700 match with the rest of us, at CMP Talladega, they were using Atlanta Arms 185 JHP in their 45 ACP's.


    The electronic targets are amazing.


  6. noylj

    noylj Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Out of all my .45 Autos, they ALL feed 200gn L-SWCs perfectly.
    If they "worry" you, then go to 185gn JHPs from Nosler or Zero.
    So far, my "best" bullet is the Zero 200gn swaged L-SWC, followed by the Precision Bullet 200gn swaged and coated L-SWC.
    Best powder in my guns is 231/HP38, followed by Bullseye, Red Dot, and AA2.
  7. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    I like to use Zero 185 SWCHP for my bullseye loads at 50 yards, 25 yards, and 50 ft.

    I use two loads, one for long line and one for short(25 yd and 50ft). My long line load runs about 750 across he chrono and the short line load is doing right at 650. I'm using Lovex D032 which is basically AA#2 just a very slightly different burn rate.
  8. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    The Old Dominion State
    Its going to take me awhile to digest all of this. I appreciate all of the input and thank you for your time involved.
    I have quite a bit of work to do to establish a good target load and once I do, look out.
    I need a good recommendation for an optic like the one pictured, 55 year old eyes will not cut it anymore and again thank you.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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