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Thread: choice of bullet weight for 1911 in ipsic

  1. #1
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    choice of bullet weight for 1911 in ipsic

    This is a newbie question and probably sounds dumb to the experienced.
    I have just started IPSIC . I am shooting with a 230 grain lead round nose bullet( hand load ) and am wondering what folks normally shoot with, would I get less recoil with a 185 or 200 grain bullet yes I can tailor the load down but wonder if I am wasting my time doing so with the 230 grain . I am finding that after the first round it takes some time refocusing to aim the second shot and of course speed is of the essence. My fellow shooters just tell me to purchase a 9mm and move on. Well I am in love with the 45ACp 1911 and that just is not going to happen .
    I would appreciate your feedback.

  2. #2
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    27th April 2009
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    Shoot the lightest bullet that will do the job reliably. The 185 or 200 should reach Major without too much trouble. I would also use a plated bullet such as Berry's. A plated bullet is slightly harder than a cast bullet (while considerably softer than a jacketed bullet) and won't lead the bore.

    You cannot safely reach Major with a 9x19mm pistol and IPSC rules forbid it. Remind the Luger boys that they're relegated to Minor category for a reason.

  3. #3
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    Actually, you can shoot 9mm Major, but only in Open Divison. The USPSA guys do it a lot and it is not forbidden by IPSC.

    But you are shooting a .45 so Major is easy and OK for any Division except Production.

    I always shot 200 gr SWCs at .45 Major. You can try different bullet weights to see what FEELS best after you have adjusted velocity for the same power factor;
    185 at 919+ fps, 200 at 850+ fps, 230 at 739+ fps. I would go for a + of 25 fps or PF 5 for a safety margin when chronographed.
    Last edited by Jim Watson; 13th August 2016 at 06:18.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Actually, you can shoot 9mm Major, but only in Open Divison. The USPSA guys do it a lot and it is not forbidden by IPSC.
    As I understand it, 9mm pistols used for Major Class are not your everyday guns but specially built for the purpose of handling the sky-high pressures needed to reach Major... pressures that are unsafe in normal factory 9mm pistols. When Major can be achieved with 9x21mm or .38 Super without the excessive pressures, it makes no sense to me to push 9x19mm that far. But, the fact that some do means there are shooters who think it's worth doing.

  5. #5
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    Not relevant to the OP with his .45 for which I prefer a 200 grain bullet but recommend trying everything.

    But while we are at it, it seems that the push for 9mm major (in IPSC and USPSA Open only) is driven by competitors with $4000 guns trying to save a nickel on brass.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Not relevant to the OP with his .45 for which I prefer a 200 grain bullet but recommend trying everything.
    He should also try 185 grain bullets and use the one that gives him the best results. Very little difference in cost so go with what works. I hope the OP lets us know what he ultimately decides upon.

    But while we are at it, it seems that the push for 9mm major (in IPSC and USPSA Open only) is driven by competitors with $4000 guns trying to save a nickel on brass.
    I take it that you also think it's silly. I'm much too frugal to spend that kind of money to push a 9mm beyond reasonable limits. However, it's their money and I'm sure they care little about my opinion.

    We have people who shoot factory ammo on our range and never pick up their brass. In two trips only days apart I picked up over 1,000 cases in .380, 9mm, 40 S&W and .45ACP. At least 80% of it was once fired. I primarily shoot 9mm, 40 S&W and .45ACP. I have more brass now than I'll ever need.

  7. #7
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    Rule of thumb is to shoot the heaviest bullet that will make power factor.
    I shoot 230gr round nose loaded on top of 4.6gr of Titegroup at 1.250 overall length and it makes major power factor (725 FPS).

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