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Old August 20, 2013, 07:48 PM   #1
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.45acp velocity for bullseye

Has anyone found that a minimum velocity is needed to maintain accuracy out to 50 yards?

What I'm wondering is it possible to have a good light load for 25 yards that falls apart at the longer distance.
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Old August 20, 2013, 09:31 PM   #2
James K
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The problem with light loads in an auto pistol is not accuracy, it is functioning the gun. Unless the gun is set up for light loads, it will function only at a certain level of ammunition power.

Any round that has enough power to reach 25 yards with accuracy is not going to "fall apart" at 50 yards; it is going to be quite lethal, if that is where this is heading.

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Old August 21, 2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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not "lethal" but accurate.

I have seen this in archery and rifle shooting where an accurate combination at short range is not as good at longer range where it "runs out of steam"

I have found the bottom limit for functioning, Now I'm going to start loading for accuracy.
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Old August 21, 2013, 09:07 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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I am not a bullseye shooter, but from reading...

Major make factory match is cataloged as a 185 gr SWC at 750 fps.
The old Winchester Super Match was a 210 at 710 but they changed to the Remington & Federal formula about the time I was old enough to buy a gun.

Asym uses a Nosler JHP in target loads, a 185 at 775, Atlanta Arms the same 185 at 800 fps.

Some, not all, of the old time shooters had different loads for 25 yard rapid fire and 50 yard slow fire. Perhaps trading a little accuracy for lower recoil.
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Old August 21, 2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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A while back, in the late 70s the American Rifleman had an article about this.

They came up with a rather light round for Bullseye, (50 & 25 yards) of 3.8 gr of bullseye and a cast 230 gr lead bullet. Saying its accurate and works even at 50 yards.

I tried this load and it worked great in my Bullseye shooting. I still use it today. Not much bullseye shooting around here, but I use it for everything else.

I haven't hit any steel with it that didn't fall. Its easy on the shooter and gun.

I have found no functioning problems with it either. Works in my stock USGI 1911a1 and my Series 70 Gold Cup that I set up for hardball when I was shooting for the Guard.

I don't remember the velocity, but it wasn't what we call a hot round. But it works.
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Old August 21, 2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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Some years ago, a high master Bullseye shooter told me that you needed 750fps to stabilize a 200 grain lswc at 50 yrds.
He shot really well so I believed him.
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Old August 21, 2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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I've found 3.8 of clays is needed to function the gun with a Mathdot on the slide.

I'm going to find my 25 yard accuracy first then chrono it for fun.
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Old August 23, 2013, 02:12 PM   #8
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50 yard loads

around 750 -775 FPS will give you what you want with a HG68 style 200 lead bullet...somewhere around 3.8-3.9 of bullseye..

alot of folk ran the 185 gr HG #130 bullet at 25 yards...

knew several National champs from Ga. that used the Nosler 185 Gr HP for their 50yard loads..Very accurate bullet. Most used VV310 with 4.2 gr.

an old friend, the late Allan Fulford used 5.0 gr of AA110 with the Nosler bullet if memory serves and he was Darn good.
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Old August 23, 2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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according to the hodgetons book, my minimum functioning load is around 770 so I'm good there.

went out to test for 25 yard accuracy last night, but forgot the bullets. dammmit.
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Old August 26, 2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by James K
The problem with light loads in an auto pistol is not accuracy, it is functioning the gun. Unless the gun is set up for light loads, it will function only at a certain level of ammunition power.
That's why believe this should be approached from the other direction. Richard sounds as if he has the capacity to reload. I do not reload but I did have some loads tailored for my Ruger 345.

As I recall, we started with determining the correct overall length to which to load then made loads with 200 grain bullets starting at 3.2 grains of Titegroup.

By the time we were up to 3.5 we had generally good function and at 3.7 we had faultless function with an astonishing degree of comfort. While the mechanical accuracy of the load was fine, what has really distinguished it was the extraordinarily gentle recoil. This allowed me to print consistent 2 inch groups at 20 yards. Short of a 22 pistol, I have never done better.

Last edited by zukiphile; August 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:20 AM   #11
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Back when I shot Bullseye, I had been told by shooters much better than me, that somewhere around 750fps is the goal. I never did check my reloads over a chronograph. I load 4.0 grains of Titegroup and call it good.
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Old September 2, 2013, 08:24 PM   #12
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Varies by pistol

I have 4 different .45 autos that I shoot target with. I do all of the accuracy testing at 50 yards. I have shot semi-waddcuters for years and I almost always do better with 200s than 185s. I have a good load for my two Springfields but it is just okay in my Dan Wesson Pointman 7. The Springfield will shoot 5-shot groups just under 2" but the same load in the Dan Wesson will stretch over 3". But another load will do around 2.25" out of the Dan Wesson but around 4" with the Springfield at 50. What I am saying is there is no one answer. I have tested extensively with Bullseye, Titegroup, WST, WSF, HS6, N310, AA#2, AA#5, WW 231, Clays and some I am sure I forgot.

The most accurate for me was 3.7 WST with a 200 SWC that is around 624 FPS. Remember you are shooting these with one hand so you want to make enough surplus energy that even if you get sloppy and your grip loosens some, the gun still cycles as I use a standard 16 pound spring. I have taken them down into the 550 range but I have had some stoppages there with a limp grip. The best 185 load I found is in the 742 FPS range. Just in the last month I decided to try some EIC matches and in them you have to shoot "hardball." Okay so I bought some Winchester Super-X 230 FMJ and thought I am good to go. These things were all over the paper at 50 yards. I couldn't find any 230 bullets to load so I pulled a couple of hundred of the Winchester and loaded them with different powders until I tried Clays. That load grouped at least 3X smaller than the factory ammo with the velocity at 708 FPS where the factory Winchester was in the 830 range. Since then I found some Sierra 230 FMJ Tournament Masters and they are very accurate but still did the best with Clays. All of the powders I tested shoot okay but some clearly are better than others in certain applications. However I cannot over emphasize the need to get a load for your gun because I have yet to find a perfect load that does everything well in all guns. Hope this helps.

Last edited by saleen322; September 3, 2013 at 09:00 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old September 3, 2013, 08:10 AM   #13
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My bullseye load has been 3.8 gr of Bullseye powder under a 200 gr cast SWC or a 185 gr jacketed SWC.
Both require a 13 # recoil spring for reliable function. Both are superbly accurate at 50 yards (1 5/8" from Ransome rest)
From my discussions with other bullseye shooters, the 3.8 gr + 200 swc is pretty much the go-to load for the 1911 bullseye shooters.

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