View Full Version : +P in a Colt 1911?

October 6, 2006, 07:33 PM
I picked up a couple of boxes of Hornady TAP FPD 230 gr. JHP,
didn't realize they were "+P". Anybody think it would be unsafe to
shoot them in a Series 70 Government Model Colt?
The gun was built in '71, is pretty much stock, and has maybe 6000
rounds through it.
What do you guys think? :confused:


October 7, 2006, 01:27 PM
I had to look it up and it's only 950 fps. I'd shoot a few boxes through my Kimber and Colts and have shot other brands of +P, like the Georgia Arms 230 gr. +P. It just wears the guns out a little faster.


October 7, 2006, 02:00 PM
I wouldn't worry - though I'd take a close look at the collet style bushing and I might consider a buffer.

I'd also look at the history of the recoil spring over 6000 shots it might have been replaced a few times or maybe not - I'd consider replacing the recoil and the firing pin spring and maybe even the mainspring if that has ever been lightened for trigger feel or otherwise.

Of course if it were really a 1911 rather than a 1911A1 then I wouldn't shoot +P but I'd bet almost all the +P on the market is shot regularly in stock pistols that have the recoil spring they were shipped with regardless of shot count.

October 7, 2006, 02:30 PM
I think the collet bushing was only in the Goldcup, back then. Increasing the recoil spring to 18 lb or even 20 lb would be a good idea. This will increase the breech lockup dwell time a little. An even better way to do it would be to install a square bottom firing pin retainer, like those EGW makes. That increases lockup dwell, and reduces percieved recoil, too.

The reason to increase the lockup dwell is that the weak spot for the standard 1911 is the unsupported bottom side of the casehead. When the gun is driven to recoil quickly, it can begin extraction before barrel pressure is fully down, and this results in a bulge in the side of the case at that unsupported spot. Increasing the lockup dwell minimizes that. You may, however, find the brass is too bulged for reloading anyway.


October 8, 2006, 09:14 AM
I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as you don't consider it as your standard ammo of choice. Don't change anything in the gun, that in itself desn't pass the common sense test. Just return the ammo or sell it off if you are uncomfortable shooting it. I have never heard anyone having to alter their .45 ACP pistol to shoot +P. Shoot the ammo, just don't consider it as plinking ammo.
Just remember when and if you alter that gun IMHO it better be for a darn good reason

Hunter Customs
October 8, 2006, 09:55 AM
I agree with U.S.SFC RET, any steel frame Colt 1911A1 in good working condition will handle +P ammo without changing anything in the gun.
The standard weight recoil spring will be just fine, +P ammo is not that high of pressure ammo like some high velocity ammo in different calibers.
As for the collet bushing they will break no matter what type of ammo is used in the gun, that's why Colt quit using them.
Bob Hunter

October 8, 2006, 06:26 PM
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I figured it would be safe to shoot
but I thought I't tap the vast experience of TFL and see if anybody
disagreed with me.
I also checked the MV, and @ 950 fps that didn't seem too far out
there. As for the collet barrel bushing, that thing in long gone,
replaced with a drop-in Ed Brown solid bushing that has proven to
be very reliable.
Again, thanks for the responses.


October 9, 2006, 12:53 PM
I have a MKIV GM Series 80, and shoots Federal +Ps out of it normally, and not have a single problem. It functions even better then regular loads, It burns cleaner then most ammo too.