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Old September 4, 2013, 11:49 PM   #1
Nick_C_S
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Buffalo Bore .45 ACP +P - Do I want to shoot these?

I recently bought a box of 20 of Bullalo Bore 185g JHP +P. The box (which I don't have with me at the moment) states some 1150 FPS and 540 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

Do I want to shoot these in my Colt Series 80 1911? My gun was made in 1984. I have the strongest Wolf recoil spring in it - 22Lbs, I think. It's also got a recoil spring bushing. So I think I'm good there. But I'm still concerned.

I've been shooting and loading for years. I've never seen velocity and energy numbers that high for a 45. I'm starting to think it's gonna blow my gun to pieces.

Any thoughts? Experiences?
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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I use BB for dangerous game in .454 and .44 mag (Ruger Super BH and Alaskan). Although others may argue the point, BB are such hot loads I would not shoot them out of any auto loader for fear of having a slide embedded in my forehead. Even if it does not happen, I fear it is so hard on the action that eventually something will have to give. My two cents.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:38 AM   #3
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I doubt you'll have an issue with a box. If you are worried about shooting them why buy them?

185 grns are quite a bit lighter then the standard 230 ball ammo so speeds will increase golden sabers travel close to that speed.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:45 AM   #4
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When I bought them, they were behind the counter and I only saw the "+P" on the box. I didn't see the ballistics in fine print until after I got them home.

I only plan on shooting 6 or 7 of them. I wanted to chronograph some high performance factory rounds so I had an "absolute ceiling" to stay under for my 185g reloads. I just didn't realize they were that "high performance" lol.
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Old September 5, 2013, 02:48 AM   #5
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I've shot many different boxes of Buffalo Bore ammo. They are loaded to safe pressure. Fire away. You won't have any issues with the gun blowing up or anything like that.
Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, and Cor Bon all load hot rounds, but they are safe to shoot in any modern quality gun without issue.
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Old September 5, 2013, 03:34 AM   #6
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Best to have the slide assy of blue steel. IMO stainless is never as strong. Around the year 2003 or so Sako/Tikki stainless actions/barrels were blowing up.
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Old September 5, 2013, 03:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Best to have the slide assy of blue steel. IMO stainless is never as strong. Around the year 2003 or so Sako/Tikki stainless actions/barrels were blowing up.
Seriously? C'mon You're talking a huge difference in pressure between a rifle cartridge and pistol. Stainless is perfectly fine in either application. A defect in manufacturing was more likely at fault.
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Old September 5, 2013, 05:43 AM   #8
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“Stainless is perfectly fine in either application.”

This is about pushing the envelop beyond the norm. If it were as simple as having the maker approved such a load for a 45ACP pistol this thread and those like it would not exist. It depends on the individual’s comfort level.

I find steel is very difficult to analyze if possible at all. Reputation of the maker is all I have. Pushing the envelop, a defect, major or minor, may show that otherwise would not be known. I’d rather it be with blue steel than stainless.
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Old September 5, 2013, 05:53 AM   #9
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.45 +P is HARDLY pushing beyond the norm. especially from a known and reputable manufacturer.

I understand the point you are making because I do agree about carbon being better but in this case it's totally fine.

If his gun fails or breaks with as few as a box of +Ps odds are it was gonna happen regardless.
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Last edited by Venom1956; September 5, 2013 at 05:58 AM.
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Old September 5, 2013, 06:39 AM   #10
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So those owners of the stainless S&W 500s should be worried, right?
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Old September 5, 2013, 08:31 AM   #11
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I wouldn't go pushing 500 rounds of the stuff through your gun every weekend but if you just intend to shoot a magazine to see if it will cycle and get chrono data then you should be fine.
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Old September 5, 2013, 12:38 PM   #12
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Let’s look at SAAMI chamber pressure specifications using their Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) in units of psi/100:

.45 acp standard, 210
.45 acp +P, 230
10mm, 375
9mm Luger standard, 350
9mm +P, 385

http://www.saami.org/specifications_...ssure_CfPR.pdf

As you can see, even the .45 acp +P round is a relatively low pressure round in comparison to other calibers in which the 1911 is chambered. You can shoot the ammo you bought with no qualms. Now, if you literally shoot thousands of +P rounds, you may start to see some accelerated wear but that’s true of any gun.

Finally, Buffalo Bore ammo is warmer than most other ammo, but not because their ammo generates greater pressure. It’s because they use powder/primers designed to sustain the pressure longer in the chamber and barrel and thereby increase velocity.
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Old September 5, 2013, 01:18 PM   #13
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Easy there gentlemen

My Colt 1911 was produced in 1984 - they didn't offer a stainless 1911 at that time (not sure if Colt ever did, for that matter); otherwise, that's what I would have bought. My piece is carbon steel.

I appreciate the input, perspective, and information. It's helpful for sure. I'll load up a mag and shoot 'em. Probably this coming Monday. I'll come home with chrono data if anybody is curious.
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Old September 5, 2013, 02:09 PM   #14
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I find pressure, in various applications, in itself to be a worthless figure.

Example would be an air compressor. An inexpensive small high pressure motorized pump from sources like Radio Shack are only useful for filling a bicycle tire or ball. Compare that to a more commercial type compressor that actually has less pressure with substantial air volume, pneumatic tools, tires, air brushing and a host of other meaningful jobs can be done.

Another example is electrical pressure, voltage. Zapping devices have tens of thousands of volts yet does not kill because the current is ultra low. A couple of hundred volts with some current like 500mA will kill.

A more meaningful figure, I believe, would be power such as ME (muzzle energy).

http://www.korabrno.cz/bal-info.html

As mentioned previously it all depends on your comfort level. According to the link provided a 45ACP +P load can approach that of a 357 Magnum. Not a comforting figure IMO.
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Old September 5, 2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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^^^^^ What??

Pressure IS the figure that you need to worry about with a particular round when considering if it is safe or not. Muzzle energy has nothing to do with that at all.
Muzzle energy is calculated=

1- Divide the bullet weight by 100. For example, the average weight of a 9mm full metal jacket bullet is usually either 115 grains or 124 grains. When divided by 100, the result is 1.15 and 1.24, respectively.

2- Divide the velocity by 100. Again, using an average 9mm full metal jacket bullet at 115 grains, a common velocity is 1,145 feet per second. Divided by 100 to get 11.45.

3- Multiply the adjusted weight by the adjusted velocity, then by the adjusted velocity again, then by 2.22. Using the figures from the example, the equation is 1.15 x 11.45 x 11.45 x 2.22 = 334.7046825. Rounded off, the muzzle energy ends up as 334.7 foot-pounds.

Muzzle energy has absolutely nothing to do with how safe a round would be to fire from a firearm.
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Old September 5, 2013, 04:09 PM   #16
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I ran a case of BB thru a Kimber, about 7 or 8 years ago. noticably snappier recoil. It was the only case of ammo that the shop had in stock. Again it was 8 years ago. Back then it wasn't much more than .20/round.
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Old September 5, 2013, 07:39 PM   #17
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“Pressure IS the figure that you need to worry about with a particular round when considering if it is safe or not.”

When comparing cartridges/ammo/caliber people are looking for ME not pressure. Since when do reloaders have the ability to measure pressure with a firearm? Pressure is a design specification using a transducer for measurement, a rather sophisticated metrology outside the scope of a reloader.

Compressed air is measured with a commonly available pressure gauge.

Electrical pressure (voltage) is measured with a commonly available DMM (digital multi meter).

Since some like to calculate things, how about explaining why the felt recoil impulse of a lead bullet differs from jacketed (gliding metal) with numbers? IMO the felt recoil impulse does effect the cycling of a pistol.
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Old September 5, 2013, 07:48 PM   #18
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Pressure is ultimately what determines if a chamber is going to hold up to a particular cartridge. Two bullets can have the same ME, one with a broad, flat lower pressure curve and one with a narrow pressure spike, the latter of which might not be contained by the chamber. Fast powders like Bullseye tend to spike the pressure for a short period of time and are usually reserved for light target loads with small amounts of powder, whereas slower powders like Unique burn slower and apply their pressure over a longer period of time, resulting in somewhat greater muzzle velocity and ME (depending on how much powder is used, of course).
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Old September 5, 2013, 11:46 PM   #19
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Ya know I shot a double charge (not my reload) in my series 80 LW Commander 20+ years ago with no damage,....Ok the Wilson magazine came apart and parts were lost forever. I shoot it regularly and is my favorite 1911 gun. I think +Ps would be fine to carry and shoot occasionally.
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Old September 5, 2013, 11:52 PM   #20
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I bet that brought you to attention!

And you probably only shoot your own reloads now ;-P
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Old September 6, 2013, 07:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
When comparing cartridges/ammo/caliber people are looking for ME not pressure. Since when do reloaders have the ability to measure pressure with a firearm? Pressure is a design specification using a transducer for measurement, a rather sophisticated metrology outside the scope of a reloader.
But it is excess pressure which makes a gun unsafe or wear faster, not either velocity or energy per se. Velocity and energy are, at most, indirect measures of pressure and fairly poor at that, especially if different powders and primers are used. No, reloaders can't measure pressure directly, but that's why they use reloading manuals. Just filling a case up with powder without checking a manual until you drive a bullet at a particular velocity is unsafe. Why? Because you might very well create dangerous pressures doing so.

Besides, the OP isn't talking reloading. He's only asking if +P ammo is okay to shoot. Comparing the pressure of a .45 +P to pressures of other calibers in the same gun design is just a way to illustrate the safety of the .45 +P.
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Old September 6, 2013, 08:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
I recently bought a box of 20 of Bullalo Bore 185g JHP +P. The box (which I don't have with me at the moment) states some 1150 FPS and 540 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.
That load is not as stout as my old 45ACP pin load, it's only making a 212 power factor.

Quote:
Do I want to shoot these in my Colt Series 80 1911? My gun was made in 1984. I have the strongest Wolf recoil spring in it - 22Lbs, I think. It's also got a recoil spring bushing. So I think I'm good there. But I'm still concerned.
Shooting them in your Colt should not be a problem, however you have way to heavy of a recoil spring in your gun.


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Old September 6, 2013, 03:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
however you have way to heavy of a recoil spring in your gun.
You know Hunter Customs, I would think so too. But even my lightest load - 200g LSWC, 5.0g W231 - cycles fine. It doesn't exactly send the brass flying, but it cycles.

I bought the Wolff kit. You know. . . the one that has the full spectrum of springs in it. I'm using the heaviest one. ?? I'm not an expert (and would appreciate any insights), but my thought process is that you want the heaviest spring that still cycles your ammo without stovepipes, FTE's, etc. The 22Lb jobbiedoo does that.
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Old September 6, 2013, 03:56 PM   #24
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“Just filling a case up with powder without checking a manual until you drive a bullet at a particular velocity is unsafe.”

No one here is suggesting/implying going beyond published data nor do I find it the norm. The ME of the OP’s ammo doesn’t exceed the values of the link I previously provided of commercial ammo.

So why is the quantitative calculated value termed “pressure” relevant?

There’s a problem of synthesizing/calculating a value when an actual measurement was already done. Once upon a time an electronics firm I worked at hired a well-educated scientific professor type as a technician. As employers they probably thought they got a bargain. My supervisor hired him with the idea of making improvements in areas that were long standing and, for the lack of a better word, traditional. At the time everything was hunky-dory, no real customer complaints other than some nit picking comments. The latter is IMO indicative of a customer whom intends to not continue buying the product for reasons other than the nit picking.

A current sensing device about the size of a 1-pound Ralphs cheese with a hole/tunnel for a cable/wire used on, I believe, airlines was a notable product effected by this improvement/change. The test fixture for this current sensor used many loops of wire to mimic the higher current ranges of the sensor. As mentioned earlier there were no customer complaints and there were no abnormalities noted by any of the technicians. The professor measured each wire of the loops and deemed the fixture to be incorrect because the output of the test fixture did not correlate with the calculated sum of the measured individual loops. The company lacks the current meter that would measure all the loops at once like a single wire most likely because of costs, although at some point in time the company must have used such a meter. Approval of the change was granted by the manager of the test department, engineering and, I believe, QC.

Some info of test fixtures. Fixtures are passive devices with no calibration interval. The various meters connecting to the fixture are the instruments requiring periodic calibration. A test fixture is usually in the form of a box that has the purpose of facilitating connections of the various instruments and the UUT (unit under test). Basically, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

This change effected all in stock products of the current sensor and also all units returned by the customer for periodic check/recalibration. Months go by if not close to a year. The customer complains, the company rents the proper current meter that would measure the looped wire at once, all current sensors are reworked and heads roll. The head of engineering along with some of its staff, test manager and the test supervisor are chopped. The irony, IMO, is the professor continued on until retirement.

Uh, as you probably guessed this didn’t really change anything but it looks good on paper.
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Old September 6, 2013, 04:08 PM   #25
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Nick, not only do I only shoot my reloads, but I never offer my reloads to anyone else.
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