Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

most accurate out-of-the-box .45?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by tuj, Jun 20, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. tuj

    tuj Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Houston
    Hi all:

    I'm looking to buy my first centerfire handgun. I have been shooting 22's in bullseye competition for a few months now and want to add a .45.

    My question is: are there any .45's that out-of-the-box can shoot accurately enough for bullseye competition? If you're not familiar with the bullseye guns, the best ones will shoot a 1.5" group at 50 yards from a machine rest.

    Ideally I'd like to find a sub-$1000 gun that could be my starting point. I don't need high capacity as bullseye only uses 5-shots at a time. Accuracy is my biggest concern. Second is having a great trigger. I would like to have a pull around 3lbs that is very consistent.

    Or would I be better off just buying a used bullseye custom gun from someone for around $1500 bucks? How much 'refreshing' is necessary on these guns and how often? I plan to put a lot of rounds through whatever I buy.

    All your thoughts appreciated!
     
  2. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,735
    I think that your price limit is a very limiting factor. I've been a big fan of the .45 ACP for a very long time. I've owned and shot a countless number of handguns chambering the round. I'd have to say that in my experience, the most consistently accurate, out of the box, .45 has been the Sig P220, full size. I've owned quite a few of them and they all shot very well.

    Of course, a nice 1911 will exceed the performance of a P220, in terms of ergonomics and accuracy, but only after you've done some upgrading. With some, all it took was a good trigger job and the addition of a few amenities, and on others it takes some barrel/slide work in addition to the trigger work. One of the amenities that I'm referring to is having the area under the trigger guard relieved to allow you to get your hand higher up on the grip.

    Personally, I'd go the route of getting something like an STI Spartan and then doing the work to it as finances became available.
     
  3. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    5,957
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    You might get lucky, but I do not think you will find a manufacturer or custom smith that will guarantee 1.5" from a .45 for under $1000. Th extra work that goes into a gun to GUARANTEE such definitely adds to the price.
     
  4. Overkilll0084

    Overkilll0084 Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    UT
    In the Sub $1k bracket, I would think Colt Gold Cup would be a good starting point. I don't know if it will meet the 1.5" @ 50 yds criteria though.
     
  5. chrt396

    chrt396 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Kimber makes it's standard Kimber Custom..in a 5" barell. The target version..I just bought, was $800 otd. New! At 33 feet, I keep 2" groups with 5 shots! The Range Officer is another beginner target gun. That gun is doing great in sales and they are hard to find! I believe they are selling for less than $800. My Les Baer isn't THAT much better to justify the difference in price. Les Baer does guarantee 3" groups at 50 yards however! The rest...is up to me! Practice, practice, practice!! Money, money, money!!!!:uhoh:
     
  6. Get R Done Guns

    Get R Done Guns Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    Pleasant View, Utah
    I really doubt that any sub 1000.00 dollar handgun will guarantee 1.5" groups at 50 feet!
    That being said a custom 1911 in les Baer or nighthawk etc would more fit that bill! But then your talking 2k plus.

    Try a colt gold cup for around a grand and you will have to do work with it from there. It's a good start but it will still need work. Nighthawk and Wilson and les Baer will give you what you are looking for "out if the box"
     
  7. schmeky

    schmeky Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,190
    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    New, 1.5" @ 50 yards, for a grand? Sorry, ain't happening.
     
  8. cavman

    cavman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    Maine
    tuj,

    Kimbers have great sales but honestly I never see them on the Bullseye line. I can't think of a single person that uses them.

    To get the 1.5" at 50 yards is an extra that companies such as Rock River used to offer (now focusing on their rifles, unfortunately, and don't make make their pistols anymore although they still provide full support for all of them out there.)

    The Les Baer offers a 1.5" package but as others have said, new they will run a pretty penny.

    They Colt gold cup has historically been the starting point for smiths to accurize for Bullseye but there have been companies like Baer that have come along since then over the years to offer some competition.

    Also, I imagine you are looking for a wadcutter pistol rather than a Service Pistol? The Service pistol set up for hardball shooting, rather than wadcutter, and is frequently the ultimate goal for Bullseye shooters to receive their Distinguished badge. (most properly Service pistols will shoot wadcutter bullets but by Rule can't have the modifications frequently found on non-Distinguished set-ups; mainly beaver tail and of course no red dots.

    Because the 1911 can certainly do up to 50,000-75,000 rounds before a barrel is worn out, I would go for a Bullseye gun that has been used if you are stuck at the $1,000 barrier. (They as a rule don't seem to lose too much value however.)

    As a rule, you mustn't accept any gun that can't hold 3" at 50 yards. That is the minimum. For a smith to claim 2" or tighter like 1.5" it is beginning to get towards really high end. I have seen 7/8' groups from a 1.5" guarantee gun but they are pretty unusual.

    I would recommend at your price that you have to try and find a really really good deal for a used Rock River, Les Baer, or Gold cup, but whatever it is it must be a BULLSEYE gun.

    Regarding the trigger: by definition the trigger will be sweet if it is a bullseye gun.

    With $1500 you can get an excellent used gun from one of the above somewhere without too much difficulty.

    The amount of upkeep is really quite minimal.
     
  9. rellascout

    rellascout member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    5,149
    Location:
    VA
    Under $1000 look at the following:

    • Used Colt Gold Cup 1911s
    • CZ 97B
    • Used Semi Custom 1911s

    If you are looking for that kind of accuracy you will be looking at a used gun until you get to the $2500 range.
     
  10. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    Didn't come with a guarantee, but I have at least half-dozen that do so.
     
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    7,518
    Location:
    Alabama
    This Les Baer wadcutter has to be the most accurate M1911 I have owned or shot. It is un real tight and the trigger is a dream.

    Probably over your budget.

    [​IMG]

    This weekend I finally was able to zero my P220 with its new adjustable sights. The gun shot low with factory and I bought a set of meprolite sights.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=194528

    I am absolutely amazed at how accurate this P220 was once I got it zero'd.

    The single action trigger is heavy and has creep, it would be hard to shoot this well Bullseye style.

    I don't know who can do trigger jobs on the thing.

    [​IMG]

    One option, buy something tight, a Kimber, a Springfield, and take it to Camp Perry during the National Matches. The Marines were still using M1911's on their Pistol Teams and I had them do a trigger job on my Kimber. They will do this for FREE! and I loved the results.
     
  12. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,922
    If you want a .45 ACP for bullseye competition - not just jacking around at the range with your buddies - you aren't going to get anywhere with a <$1,000 production model. Like cavman said, you need a gun that was purpose-built for the rules of the competition you're shooting.
     
  13. Got_Lead?

    Got_Lead? Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    348
    Tuj:

    I feel your pain. I'm an old bullseye shooter, from many years ago, I shot with the Oregon State Military team for a number of years in the 80's. We were issued some pretty nice weapons, hand fitted .45's and Smith 41's. The .45's we were issued were really tight, and made of the hardest steel I have ever seen in 1911, they were hand fitted Colts, probably 1950 vintage.

    1.5 inch groups at 50 yards is a pretty tall order, even among race guns, this is very good accuracy. I have a Smith M 52, and I beleive, they were only required to shoot a 2" group at that range.

    There are a lot of parts moving around in an automatic when she pops off. It takes about .0006 seconds for the bullet to exit the barrel in a 5" barreled 1911. This isn't a long time, but parts do start moving. There's quite a dynamic of getting everything from bullet and barrel stuff, to finding a recoil impulse that your gun likes. Even if you had the tightest 1911 ever made, you're still going to have to develop a load that shoots well in it. This is where it gets interesting.

    It has been said that a well fitted barrel goes a long way toward accuracy in the 1911, provided other factors aren't too far out of whack like trigger pull. The slide fit, while a factor, has been said that it doesn't affect accuracy as much as the barrel fit.

    Here is my $389 project, a milspec Springfield. I have only done a couple of things to it. One, I installed an overtravel stop on the trigger, second, I installed a tighter fitting barrel and bushing. The slide to frame fit has always been a little sloppy, however, fitting the barrel tightened it up a bit because of the tight hood and recoil lug fit.

    So anyway, I had the Springfield apart one evening, and just for grins, tried the barrel out of a standard Kimber for fit. Both the bushing and barrel fit the springer tighter, so I swapped them. The Kimber will get a Kart barrel later on.

    I used some low-heat filling compound in the recesses of the barrel locking lugs to precisely fit it to the slide, kind of like how you fit a Kart EZ-Fit barrel. It's pretty rock solid, going into battery with just a little over-center click, there is no vertical play when in battery, and the slide stop positively engages the locking lug. Kind of a poor man's match gun, like I said, I've got less than $400 into her, and she's shooting about 1" groups at 25 yards (if you subract my error)

    Anyway, here's some pictures of the groups I get out of her, she won't shoot every load into a tight grouping, but when you feed her something she likes, she'll shoot an inch or so at 25.

    My error given slight unsteadyness of rest, and eyes, etc, etc, is probably 1" to 1 1/2". So subtract standard deviation of this error from the mean radius of what shows up on the target, now we're looking at the accuracy of the gun, much better than I can shoot.

    Anyway, here are some pictures.

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, the target on the upper right is with a leaded bore from firing hotter rounds during load work-ups. The bottom targets were the subsequent targets after firing 3 or 4 jacketed rounds to clean out the lead.

    [​IMG]

    You might consider a resonably good 1911 with pretty tight slide and adjustable target sights. It may shoot very accurately right out of the box with the right load. If you still want better accuracy, you might consider hand fiting a barrel like a Kart for a couple hundred bucks. I know that's not "out of the box", but dollar for dollar, it may give you the best performance.


    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  14. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,408
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    Mas Ayoob was getting .75" - 1.25" groups at 25 yards off-hand with a Springfield RO. He was more than impressed with the RO's accuracy.
     
  15. tuj

    tuj Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Houston
    That's for all the reply's. Yeah, I know that the 1.5" group at 50 yards is a pretty tall order and that the custom bullseye smiths charge extra for that. I guess I was just looking for a way to get in the door and not be tremendously handicapped by an inaccurate pistol.

    Can anyone tell me why non-1911's don't ever make the cut for accuracy? Just curious; I'm surprised that no one has been able to make a gun that has better inherent accuracy. I'm very impressed with what a number of .22's out of the box can shoot. Why is it that the .45's have such a hard time with accuracy? Is it because of the moving barrel? Why don't we see alternative designs like the Beretta's PX4 rotating barrel locking-scheme in .45? Would it be any more accurate? What about a gas-operated system? Too low pressures with the .45?

    Thanks again for all the replies. Looks like I'll probably be saving up some more and go for a used bullseye pistol around the $1500 mark that I know is a good shooter and the owner can point me towards what loads it shoots well. BTW, I'm not interested in going Distinguished at this point, so a wadcutter is what I'm looking for. Gotta start somewhere, right? I just wish the difference between a good .22 and a good .45 wasn't such a financial chasm...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  16. loadedround

    loadedround Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,343
    Location:
    Valley Forge, Pa
    Being an old retired bullseye shooter for many years prompts me to ask the following question. With all this talk about 1.5'' groups at 50 ft, how many shooters can actually fire this size group standing using a one handed hold.
    It takes several or more years shooting many thousands of rounds yearly to be that profiicient. I've been there and know what it takes. BTW, the Colt Gold Cup both in 38 Spl and 45 ACP served me well for many years. Both were more accurate than I could shoot them.
     
  17. cavman

    cavman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    Maine
    1.5" at 50 yards is as has been mentioned, a group that is not common, even with Bullseye guns. However, if you don't have one that is at least 3" at 50 yards you will make shooting a 100 nearly impossible (unless you have an unobtainable 0" wobble ! :)

    Here is a link from the encyclopedia of bullseye that talks about this.
    http://www.bullseyepistol.com/cstomgun.htm

    The size of the group of the gun plus the size of the individual's wobble really says how well one can say with certainty if the shot went to "there" because of good/poor technique, or by random chance.

    Also, I have never heard of testing done at 50 feet or even 25 yards. Bullseye guns are tested at 50 yards.
     
  18. tuj

    tuj Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Houston
    loadedround: I understand that I am not proficient enough to hold the X-ring at 50 yards with every shot; hardly. I am at best an 800 shooter right now. But everyone I have talked to about the subject of 'how accurate is accurate enough for bullseye' has told me that a 1.5-2" group from a machine rest at 50 yards is what is required to have a pistol you can have full confidence in and know that when you shoot a flyer, its *your* fault and not the pistol's. Right now my .22's are more accurate than I am, and I would like a .45 to be the same, that way I *know* that its me and not the gun when I can't hit the X-ring.

    BTW at 50 *feet*, I can shoot a 1.75" group off-hand with my .22's.
     
  19. dajowi

    dajowi Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    I'm happy that you can see the target, (much less the 1.7" x-ring) at fifty yards.
     
  20. doc.lonestar

    doc.lonestar Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Hands down my Glock 30 has been the most accurate firearm I have carried. She takes all kinds of ammo without a hickup and accepts the g21 mags. I have shot and carried a lot of different firearms but find the G30 to be my favorite and thus my edc. I am amazed at how accurate it is every time I go to the range.
     
  21. tuj

    tuj Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Houston
    doc: how far do you shoot and what kind of group sizes are you getting with your Glock?
     
  22. Get R Done Guns

    Get R Done Guns Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    Pleasant View, Utah
    If you are as dedicated as you sound then do it right the first time. The pistols people have mentioned in the custom 1911 are going to hold value well. So when you are done you can get most of your money back if you need it. It costs a pretty penny but really is a one time expense. If you buy one of the best then you know it will do it's job and the rest is up to you. I'm sure there is prize money and if you can win because you have one of the best pistols then you can pay yourself back from that! Good lick in any decision you make!
     
  23. doc.lonestar

    doc.lonestar Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    TEXAS
    I am a chl instructor so I spend my time at 3,7,15 yards using a B-27 targets. I can punch the center out of the 10 ring at will at 3 and 7. At 15 I have to concentrate a little more but it is easily more accurate than I am.

    added:

    To be honest - I also carry an American Classic Commander on occassion. While it shoots just as accurate, I find the Glock 30 to be more what I consider a every mans gun vs a 1911 you may have to put in some time to ensure that everything works as you expect and may have to make some adjustments to ammo used and/or some internals (springs, magazines used, grips etc.) I have no issues trusting the American Classic Commander but just prefer the Glock 30 for round count, and size.
     
  24. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    6,604
    Location:
    USA
    CZ-97B
    Colt Gold Cup
    HK USP
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    24,953
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page