1911: An Accuracy Effort
This post is a direct result of becoming really enthused over Glockman10mm's new 1911 acquisition. Reading his thread put me in the mood to shoot 1911s. I had a couple of boxes of 230 grain FMJ ball equivalent handloads handy so trotted out the Colt Gold Cup for a trip to the range this morning. A friend wanted to tag along to try out a Springfield Armory 1911A1 in 9mm that he acquired 6 years ago but never gotten around to shooting. Very nice shooting gun, it was too. This was only the second time I'd ever encountered a 9mm 1911. I find that I really enjoy shooting 1911 guns chambered for 9mm which is a combination that is underrated and ought to receive more consideration.
We mostly shot at my spinner target but later in the morning I couldn't resist shooting the Gold Cup for group. I suppose it isn't in style to strive for accuracy these days but I really enjoy making a deliberate effort to see just how tight a group may be made with a good gun. It's been a long time since the Gold Cup was used with 230 grain ball so, since it has a standard 16 lb. recoil spring installed, it was put to work on paper.
This pistol was likely manufactured in 1979 but I bought it new in 1982 or 1982. The Series 70 Gold Cup was a pretty good piece of kit in its day and represented good value. I've not done a thing to this one but shoot it, keep it clean and lubed, and change out the recoil spring a time or two. I love a good trigger and it really has an outstanding trigger. I did once put it through its paces with a full-length guide rod that was given to me by a gunsmith only to find that I didn't like full-length guide rods. It didn't help the reliability of this particular pistol, didn't make it one whit more accurate for me, and made take-down a chore. So it was yanked out and it went away.
The pistol can shoot better than I can. It is capable of making any mediocre shooter look good. Load was 6.7 grains of Unique under a generic gun show vendor-supplied bulk 230 grain jacketed round nose.
Best three of several efforts made from 10 yards.
An odd but decent group (for me) made from 25 yards
A beautiful Gold Cup and pretty fancy shooting makes for a great range outing, in deed.
Looks like some beautiful shooting. Not to derail the thread, but how did the SA 9mm shoot? I recently got to shoot a 9mm Star B, and it has me wanitng a 9mm 1911 style pistol.
Very nice 1911 you have there. I am jealous :embarassed:
I was pretty enthused about the Springfield 1911A1 9mm. It has a lot of potential. The pistol shot to point of aim for me at 10 yards. Wish I'd kept a target or two. The best effort with it found all rounds evenly distributed, if not clustered, within the 8-ring on the targets shown above except for one stinker in the 6-ring at 10 o'clock near the edge of the black.
The sights are a bit primitive on the pistol, being much the same as a WWII military contract 1911. Well actually closer to a WWI 1911 since the front sight is a tiny half-moon blade. The rear sight is a small square notch though rather than the U-notch typical of WWI 1911s. I had to shoot it wearing my reading glasses in order to see that front blade sharply.
The trigger left something to be desired but could be easily improved. Of course shooting it after shooting the Gold Cup tends to skewer one's opinion of the trigger's capabilities. The trigger was noticeably heavier and had a hint of creep. It could be cleaned up to give a nice pull. The trigger was usable as it was and it would be no reason to pass on purchase of such a pistol.
About 3 years ago I got to spend an entertaining afternoon shooting with my brother-in-law and a couple of brothers who are friends of his. One of them had a Colt Series 70 9mm that I fell in love with. It was the first such pistol I'd ever encountered. The Colt may have had a bit better trigger than this Springfield Armory had today and perhaps the sights were a bit easier to see. On the other hand my eyes may have been better 3 years ago. This Springfield Armory 9mm 1911 would be a great alternative for a person interested in such a pistol but not interested in paying as much as the Colt guns bring.
The Springfield Armory 1911A1 9mm fed and functioned like a champ. My friend had a 100 jacketed truncated cone reloads that had been prepared by his son. He'd oiled it (quite a lot actually) before leaving for the range. Recoil is very mild. Really cushy pistol to shoot. The ejected cases exhibited smoking down the sides which made me think that they were loaded pretty mild. I think I'm remembering that it held 8 rounds. I'm not wedded to the notion that a 9mm must be hi-cap to be an effective concealed carry piece and I'd tote a 9mm 1911, except for the fact that they also come in .45 ACP. The 9mm 1911 would be a great range gun, field companion for bunny rabbits, varmints, snakes, and plinking sessions. It would be great fun for handloading.
Looking great...Know you tried the full-length guide rod, but have you tried a Dyer Group Gripper? It's cheap at about $30 and basically has a new linkage that replaces the link pin and when it locks up, it tightens up the lock so there is no movement, allowing better accuracy from the barrel. I've seen guns shooting out of the black go down to a 9/10 ring improvement with one of these. I use one myself and also use Wilson springs and Shock Buffs to keep frame damage to a minimum. They're just silicone buffers that slip on the guide rod piece and take the shock out of the recoil a bit. Nice grouping-I prefer a gun that can make tiny groups like this to having a sloppy, all over the black gun. Sometimes accuracy is more important than magazine capacity...you only need one well placed .45 bullet. Happy Shooting
Exellent shooting Bryon! That sure is a purty gun too. A Gold Cup huh? I don't know much about them, but I sure would like to get one in the future. What type of enhancements for accuracy does that model have over the standard model?
Most of the time when I go to the range for self defense training I end up shooting a ragged hole drill, just too much fun when you have a nice 1911.
Nice shooting. Im with glockman, what kind of mods have you done.
It does not look too moded from what I can see, but I am curious as well. OD will be able to answer this the question of the add on's for the gold cup. I do know that they have a National Match barrel and an adjustable trigger, but so does my rail gun. There is also a variance of a Gold Cup Trophy as well.
This is an example of what I have often said. If I had one shot in which my life depended on it, it would be a 1911 or a revolver with sweet action. I don't care what anyone says, they are just down right accurate for me.
Very nice Bryan, very nice indeed!
I know Bryan can answer just as well as I can, and he will know more about the GC too.
Originally Posted by C hawk Glock
Triggers are actually wider, they won't fit in a standard Government Model, they were also steel and had their own little spring to guard against trigger bounce. As you mentioned, they have the NM barrels. Early GCs had lighting cut on the underside of the slide to reduce weight and came with two recoil springs, a 14# (IIRC) for mid-range loads and a 16# for standard 230 hardball. The half cock hammer hooks are different, the sear engages in the middle of the hammer in one place, instead of the whole face of the hammer hooks, to help eliminate sear wear. The GCs get more hand fitting and finishing, they came with the Colt-Elliason rear sights, I don't believe they come with those anymore though, and the Partridge front sight. They were the first factory Colt's to have the lowered and flared ejection port, they were also the first to have the angled cocking serrations. The early ones used their own chamfered recoil spring cap and a different style recoil spring guide, but I think Bryan's is to new to have those. I'm sure I'm forgetting something.
Thank you! That was quite a bit of info!!
Originally Posted by OD*
Thank you and you're welcome.
Now Bryan can come and correct everything I got wrong! :wink:
Can't do it better than you OD*. Very pleased for you to cover it and you were more thorough than the Colt factory manual.
"The early ones used their own chamfered recoil spring cap and a different style recoil spring guide, but I think Bryan's is to new to have those."
Yep OD*, you're right.
"Early GCs had lighting cut on the underside of the slide to reduce weight..."
Thankfully, this one isn't an early Gold Cup. Within the past few years I've read of those lightened slides giving trouble cracking. While the internet tends to magnify a report all out of proportion, there could be a grain of truth to it. Someone running a large quantity of ball ammo through one of the early Gold Cups might wind up with a crack.
The gun is dead stock, unmod'ed. You know me. I can hardly stand to have a Tyler T_Grip hanging on my favorite revolver. I'm sure not going to mess with the basic goodness of a 1911.
From the owner's manual. Parenthesis added mine.
"The Colt Gold Cup National Match MK IV/Series 70 represents the ultimate in 45 caliber target pistols. Its development is the result of Colt's long and close association with serious target shooters who demand the satisfaction of extremely accurate range firing. The basic design is that of the Government Model 45 which has seen such valiant service with our armed forces for many years. In adapting this truly superior service firearm for competitive shooting, every effort has been made to incorporate those features which should make the difference at the firing line. Here are some of those features:
• The 5" barrel is held secure relative to the line of sight during bullet exit.
• A patented barrel and bushing provide an extremely close fit between muzzle and slide. (collet bushing with a reverse tapered barrel, wider at muzzle)
• An adjustable trigger stop limits finger movement after sear release so that aim is not disturbed.
■ Grooves on the wide trigger and front of receiver give greater firing control. (Front of grip frame is grooved as is flat main spring housing).
• The adjustable square notch Colt Elliason rear sight features positive windage and elevation adjustment.
• The magazine has seven rounds capacity.
• The slide has a flat grooved top rib, angled serrations for a positive grip and an improved ejection port for controlled ejection. (top of slide is also flat finished on either side of grooved top rib to cut glare)
■ Like Colt's other current semi-automatic pistols, a number of manual and automatic safety devices are included."
The collet bushing was a great idea that didn't truly work out. While it was great for an accuracy improvement I think Colt had some trouble with the design because the fingers of the collet occasionally break off. They later scrapped the collet bushing feature. Mine has worked perfectly but the gun has been kept scrupulously clean and lubricated. I'm not concerned about the collet bushing. If it breaks I'll get another. I don't use this pistol for concealed carry at all.
The Gold Cup is pretty tight. It chokes and harks if fired over long sessions with dirty ammunition. That's for certain. It'll run through a bulls-eye match just fine and will never bobble in a range session with decent ammo. I once was given a large quantity of early Wolf steel-cased 230 grain FMJ ammunition. My son and I gleefully headed to the range for an afternoon's fun. Less than 200 rounds of this Wolf stuff gave the Gold Cup major heartburn. By comparison, the old 1918 vintage Colt 1911 I have chewed through the remainder of the 500 rounds of Wolf ammo without complaint.
I bought this gun with a view of playing at Bulls-Eye competition but have only actually used it in competition a few occasions over the years. It's lots of fun to shoot though, even if only busting tin cans.
I still have the original recoil spring for this one and it is really limp. Had it with me when I went by the local gunsmith a while back. He claimed by looking at it that it was a 9 lb spring. Great for powder puff loads of 3.5 grains of Bulls-Eye and 185-200 grain lead SWCs. The pistol would beat itself to death in short order if fired with 230 grain ball with that spring installed.
A few years back I went up to Tennessee to visit my son who was in college and brought the Gold Cup along. Went out to shoot and forgot that the light spring was in it. A very few rounds gave such a horrible pounding feeling so we had to cease fire and rustle up a 16 lb. spring locally.