Significant loss of accuracy caused by drity barrel [Archive] - Glock Talk

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cysoto
05-05-2010, 12:46
After quite some time of shooting a Glock 17 in Production, I have currently begun shooting a 1911 in Single Stack division of USPSA. Even though I have always shoot lead bullets through the OEM barrel and cleaned it after every 500 to 800 rounds, I never noticed any loss of accuracy with this pistol.

I also shoot lead bullets through the 1911 and, with a clean barrel, it is capable of shooting 2" groups at 25 yards without any issues. At last weekend's match I noticed that I was unable to match my called shots with the holes on the respective targets. I would take some shots no farther than 20 yards that I was positive that they should have been in the A-zone only to find out that they were falling barely outside of this zone. I knew for a fact that I was calling my shots right because I was taking my time to line up my sights and squeeze the trigger just right but I was dropping points left and right.

I took this pistol to the range yesterday to do some so shooting from the bench at 25 yards only to find out that all of a sudden my groups had gone from 2" to nearly 8". Regardless of how many times I shot this gun I just couldn't make it group at all.

This barrel has approximately 650 of lead bullets through it without having been cleaned and I was amazed to find out that this number of bullets can send the accuracy down the drain so quickly.

I am fairly new to shooting 1911's so I'd like to find out, is this normal for all 1911 pistols?

BBJones
05-05-2010, 12:58
Just curious what 1911 you are using.

Colorado4Wheel
05-05-2010, 13:18
After quite some time of shooting a Glock 17 in Production, I have currently begun shooting a 1911 in Single Stack division of USPSA. Even though I have always shoot lead bullets through the OEM barrel and cleaned it after every 500 to 800 rounds, I never noticed any loss of accuracy with this pistol.

I also shoot lead bullets through the 1911 and, with a clean barrel, it is capable of shooting 2" groups at 25 yards without any issues. At last weekend's match I noticed that I was unable to match my called shots with the holes on the respective targets. I would take some shots no farther than 20 yards that I was positive that they should have been in the A-zone only to find out that they were falling barely outside of this zone. I knew for a fact that I was calling my shots right because I was taking my time to line up my sights and squeeze the trigger just right but I was dropping points left and right.

I took this pistol to the range yesterday to do some so shooting from the bench at 25 yards only to find out that all of a sudden my groups had gone from 2" to nearly 8". Regardless of how many times I shot this gun I just couldn't make it group at all.

This barrel has approximately 650 of lead bullets through it without having been cleaned and I was amazed to find out that this number of bullets can send the accuracy down the drain so quickly.

I am fairly new to shooting 1911's so I'd like to find out, is this normal for all 1911 pistols?


Might want to lap the barrel or shoot a box of jacketed.

MoNsTeR
05-05-2010, 14:31
Accuracy in my limited gun doesn't degrade even after >1000 rounds without cleaning, but I shoot moly bullets. I have a case of BBI 230s if you want to try some.

fredj338
05-05-2010, 14:50
Regardless of manuf or design all barrels are diff. Some will take lead bulelts better than others. My Barsto bbl 1911 will go 100s of lead bullet loads w/o any appreciable leading or loss of accuracy. Slug the bore, check the dia of the bullets used, many things can cause leading & loss of accuracy. I have only seen such a accuracy drop off in a 357mag that I shot about 100rds of dead soft lead bullets @ magnum vel. Looked like a smooth bore before I cleaned it. Who's bullets are you shooting?

Patrick Graham
05-05-2010, 15:01
I'm using a Kimber Custom 1911 in both Limited 10 and Single Stack USPSA, I'm also using the same gun in CDP IDPA. I only shoot lead in this gun.

The short answer to your question of is 650 rounds of lead is enough to degrade the accuracy of a 1911 from 2" to 8" at 25 yards is yes.

The long answer is: 1911 barrels have shallow rifling, that means bullet size and hardness is critical. You have to do everything you can to keep the diameter of the lead bullet as close as to .452" as you can and if your bullets are too hard they won't obdurate in the barrel.

Decades ago, When I first started using lead, I was doing everything wrong like not belling enough and over crimping. I was leading barrels bad and accuracy would go to hell in a hand basket in less than 100 rounds. Since then I've learned a lot

In the last few years I've had several 500 round practice sessions with all my 1911s and none of them ever got leaded enough for the groups to open up much more than an inch or so but I am absolutely anal about correctly casting, correctly sizing and correctly loading the lead bullets I shoot.

Edited to add: Pull some of your loads and check the bullet diameter.

tlafrance
05-05-2010, 19:37
Many years ago, I drug my trusty 1911 out of the safe and took it to a steel match. Laziness prompted the choice, I didn't feel like loading and had 500ish .45 ready to go. I decided to hit the public range first to verify sights. Imagine my surprise when patterned like a 12 gauge instead of it's usual fist sized grouping. I disassembled it, looked down the bore AND SAW NO RIFLING!:wow: How could this be? I grabbed a rod and brush from the bag and commenced scrubbing detail. In 10 min I had quite a bit of rifling showing and my blood pressure was returning to normal. I reassembled, fired again, and was down to coffee can sized groups, good to go. Shot the match, had fun, etc.

The next day I put my foul out kit on the barrel, cleaned the rod 6 times. Day after 4 times, then I scrubbed. Barrel looked new now, no long term damage.

During this time, I kept trying to remember how the heck could have I gotten it that leaded up, I usually shoot jacketed or plated? Then I remembered.......Before stowing it in the depths of the safe so long ago, a friend had brought over a bunch of reloads his grandpa had made about the time Jack was born. They were lead and might have had black powder in them (Unique is pretty close to black right?) for all the smoke and fire they belched. I wanted the brass, he wanted to shoot. IIRC it was between 500-800 rounds fired, plenty enough to clog up the plumbing of my stainless match barrel.

Tom

cysoto
05-05-2010, 20:35
Who's bullets are you shooting?These are from a local supplier called Sundance Bullets. I have been using them for a few months with good results but I think this is the first time that I have really begun to pay attention to how they group after the barrel is fouled up. I honestly don't mind spending time cleaning my guns a day or two before a match but, in the past few weeks I have been too lazy and I have only wiped the outside of the firearm without scrubbing the barrel. LESSON LEARNED!!

Accuracy in my limited gun doesn't degrade even after >1000 rounds without cleaning, but I shoot moly bullets. I have a case of BBI 230s if you want to try some.
Hi Monster,

I got about 2,000 rounds of Berry's bullets that I have been storing for a rainy day. I bought these a few years ago before the price of plated bullets skyrocketed and I just stored them in the basement thinking that I would never come back to them. I guess it is time to load a few hundred of these to see if they work any better in this barrel. But before I load these I will make sure to give the barrel a good scrub!!

chris in va
05-05-2010, 20:41
This barrel has approximately 650 of lead bullets through it without having been cleaned

Wow. I run a brush through my Sig at 200.

GioaJack
05-06-2010, 07:55
What is this 'cleaning' activity you people speak of... I'm not familiar with the term. :dunno:

Jack

Colorado4Wheel
05-06-2010, 08:50
What is this 'cleaning' activity you people speak of... I'm not familiar with the term. :dunno:

Jack

It's that stuff sitting next to the oil for the 550. :wavey:

GioaJack
05-06-2010, 09:35
It's that stuff sitting next to the oil for the 550. :wavey:



I shall brush the cobwebs and dust off of those never used accessories and determine if they may be of some benefit. I doubt it however... sounds too much like work. Even the butler might complain. :whistling:

Jack

cysoto
05-06-2010, 09:53
Even the butler might complain. :whistling:
:laughing:

GioaJack
05-06-2010, 10:11
Hey, Cysoto:

I thought you were going to come down and say hello during our black powder match the Sunday you guys were having your sissy pistol coffee klatch.

Oh, wait, that's right, you had your wife with you. Good thing you didn't come down... after she met me she'd have been throwing rocks at you. Smart thinking. :supergrin:

Jack

Myke_Hart
05-06-2010, 10:14
So are you telling me you guys never clean your competition guns. WOW, I can't wait to compete against you guys. All mine get cleaned after the day is over or if there is time between matches. Gets out my nervousness and keeps me busy. :embarassed:

Hoser
05-06-2010, 10:14
Back when I shot lead at USPSA matches I cleaned the gun after each match or practice. Big pain.

Then I saw the jacketed light. However I was only feeding one shooter.

Clean the barrel to within an inch of its light and then run some JB bore paste in a tight jag in there. It might help polish the bore and keep the leading down to a dull roar. I can bring some JB with me Sunday if you dont have any.

Colorado4Wheel
05-06-2010, 11:00
So are you telling me you guys never clean your competition guns. WOW, I can't wait to compete against you guys. All mine get cleaned after the day is over or if there is time between matches. Gets out my nervousness and keeps me busy. :embarassed:

Jack competes but they use a Sun Dial as the timer. Different group. I clean my guns regularly. Especially before a match.

Cysoto. You can polish the barrel a little, be carefull about how smooth you get the barrel. Too smooth can cause skidding which is another type of leading. I ran a tight patch with some Heavy Rubbing compound in my KKM. Just a couple passes. KKM makes a nice barrel anyway.

cysoto
05-06-2010, 11:02
Hey, Cysoto:

I thought you were going to come down and say hello during our black powder match the Sunday you guys were having your sissy pistol coffee klatch.

Oh, wait, that's right, you had your wife with you. Good thing you didn't come down... after she met me she'd have been throwing rocks at you. Smart thinking. :supergrin:

Jack
Sorry about that Jack; yhey had me on RO duties. And the wife... she already throws rocks at me but she knows I won that bet fair and square so she can't leave me! :tongueout:

Back when I shot lead at USPSA matches I cleaned the gun after each match or practice. Big pain.

Then I saw the jacketed light. However I was only feeding one shooter.

Clean the barrel to within an inch of its light and then run some JB bore paste in a tight jag in there. It might help polish the bore and keep the leading down to a dull roar. I can bring some JB with me Sunday if you dont have any.
Hi Hozer,

Now that you mention it, I have some JP Bore Paste that I bought a while back to break in a barrel. I hadn't thought of using it in this pistol but that is a great idea. I'll go dig it out and run some through this barrel to see if that minimizes the fouling. Thanks!!

fredj338
05-06-2010, 11:21
These are from a local supplier called Sundance Bullets. I have been using them for a few months with good results but I think this is the first time that I have really begun to pay attention to how they group after the barrel is fouled up. I honestly don't mind spending time cleaning my guns a day or two before a match but, in the past few weeks I have been too lazy and I have only wiped the outside of the firearm without scrubbing the barrel. LESSON LEARNED!!
You'll want to mic the bullet dia. It should be 0.452" or larger. Then check the lube. If it's a hard wax type, it may be failing at lower pressures in combination w/ a bullet too small. The next thing to do is check BHN, but bullet fit is more important. I have had good accuracy & little leading w/ both hard & soft lead bullets, but the fit is important, then the lube then the alloy.
A rough bore will always lead regardless of how well the bullet fits. JB could smooth it out a bit as will shooting several 1000 jacketed bullets.

cysoto
05-06-2010, 15:29
This 1911 is a .40 S&W and, at your suggestion, I checked the spec on a dozen bullets (picked at random). All these weighted 179.8 to 180.1 grains and measured right at 0.401". They are using Magma Lube (the blue stuff).

I have only been shooting this pistols for a few months and I had been cleaning the barrel every time I would clean the gun but, now that the weather is much nicer and I can make it to the range a couple of times a week, I had become too lazy to clean it as often as I should.

The weather this past week had been really nice and I visited the range three days in a row and then went to the weekend match. That's how I know that I had shot about 650 to 700 rounds that week but, by the looks of it that is too much lead through that barrel without cleaning it.

I have now finished cleaning the gun and polishing the barrel with some of that JP that Hozer recommended. The barrel looks immaculate and I am dying to go try it out but sadly, it is raining... Oh well, tomorrow's another day!!

Patrick Graham
05-06-2010, 16:06
.......I checked the spec on a dozen bullets (picked at random). All these weighted 179.8 to 180.1 grains and measured right at 0.401".....!

Was that pulled after they were loaded?

Loading them is where they get fubar'ed in diameter.

cysoto
05-06-2010, 16:30
Was that pulled after they were loaded?

Loading them is where they get fubar'ed in diameter.
You are right but, no, the bullets I measured have not been loaded.

These are the same bullets that I have been using for quite some time. I haven't changed any of the components used nor any other variables (OAL, crimp, etc). In the past (and up until this last time) anytime I have done any shooting from the bench I was getting consistent 2" groups at 25yds which I know is not bullseye accuracy but I was happy with the results. I have high hopes that the problem that caused my inaccuracy was just a very dirty barrel.

fredj338
05-06-2010, 17:09
You are right but, no, the bullets I measured have not been loaded.

These are the same bullets that I have been using for quite some time. I haven't changed any of the components used nor any other variables (OAL, crimp, etc). In the past (and up until this last time) anytime I have done any shooting from the bench I was getting consistent 2" groups at 25yds which I know is not bullseye accuracy but I was happy with the results. I have high hopes that the problem that caused my inaccuracy was just a very dirty barrel.
What load are you using? I get little leading pushign 175gr-180grLRNFP @ 950fps in a 4006 or 1st gen USP. I size to .401 & the last bullets were Mgam blue lubed. COuld just be a rough bbl or maybe the powder. Some guys complain about leading pushing TG or BE hard.

cysoto
05-06-2010, 17:30
What load are you using? I get little leading pushign 175gr-180grLRNFP @ 950fps in a 4006 or 1st gen USP. I size to .401 & the last bullets were Mgam blue lubed. COuld just be a rough bbl or maybe the powder. Some guys complain about leading pushing TG or BE hard.
I am using 4.5gr of Solo 1000 behind a 180gr LTC bullet and an OAL of 1.190". I am shooting Major out of this gun so I think these bullets are leaving the muzzle a few fps over 950 (IIRC it's 955 or 956fps).

MoNsTeR
05-06-2010, 20:45
Oh a .40? I have some moly 180s you can try too ;) As you can see my real agenda is to get you to give up those nasty cast bullets! :tongueout:

fredj338
05-07-2010, 00:42
I am using 4.5gr of Solo 1000 behind a 180gr LTC bullet and an OAL of 1.190". I am shooting Major out of this gun so I think these bullets are leaving the muzzle a few fps over 950 (IIRC it's 955 or 956fps).
COuld be the powder. Uberfast powders & lead bullets pushing hard has known to cause leading. As noted, I use WSF, no leading & it easily gets to 950fps w/ some pressure room to spare.

cysoto
05-07-2010, 09:49
Oh a .40? I have some moly 180s you can try too ;) As you can see my real agenda is to get you to give up those nasty cast bullets! :tongueout:
WHAT!!! You don't like my smoke machine?!?! :shocked:

COuld be the powder. Uberfast powders & lead bullets pushing hard has known to cause leading. As noted, I use WSF, no leading & it easily gets to 950fps w/ some pressure room to spare.
Prior to switching to Solo 1000 I was using WSF but, at the same PF, WSF has quite a bit more felt recoil. On the other hand, it is very true that Winchester Super Field is very clean and accurate.