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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello gentlemen,

New to the forum. First colt I've ever owned. I'm a revolver shooter and thought I would advance slightly through the decades to get a semi auto -designed in 1911 of course ;). I plan to shoot this colt fairly regularly and am prepared to reload. I have read in this and other forums that 185 gr SWC or 200 gr SWC loads on ~4.0 gr of unique is a good target load for the firearm. However, I have read here and there that shooters have modified their spring weights etc. to fire hardball and have fired many thousands without issue.

1. I am curious as to whether anyone has had experience firing full power loads or hardball 230gr through their pre 70 series.
2. What modifications did you make to the firearm to do this? ie. increase recoil spring weight or shock buff, larger firing pin stops, increased weight mainspring (23 lbs I believe).
3. What round counts have you been able to achieve with your full power setups.

I think many people will recommend sticking with target loads but if you have experience with full power loads and making them work for a significant round count let me know. Gathering data here. If you have a strong opinion either way please explain.

Thanks
 

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Ignorance redacted.
 

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There is no need to shoot anything but standard ammunition in your Gold Cup, and there is absolutely no reason to over-spring the gun.
A standard weight recoil spring will suffice for most loads.

Extra power recoil springs make the pistol work harder and while in theory reduce rearward travel, they increase forward travel which can cause the hammer to slip off of the sear in a target pistol.
 

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The pistol was designed to be the most accurate .45 ACP production pistol Colt could build, and the slide was lightened to make it absolutely reliable with the 185 grain target load. No reason at all to fire full power loads in it. There have been reports of cracked slides from firing full power loads, but I cannot confirm this. With the 70 Series GCNM Colt went back to the standard slide.

The slide was fitted to the receiver, and the last four digits of the serial number are under the back sight.
 

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4.0 grains of Unique with a 185 grain SWC is a really really really light load. I wouldn't be afraid to bump the powder charge up some but there isn't really any great reason to shoot full strength ammo through it. I'm sure you could change out springs and the gun would last thousands of rounds but why put the extra wear and tear on the 50 year old gun made to shoot target loads? If you want to shoot full strength ammo spend $500 to $1,000 on something more appropriate.

You can tow a boat with a Corvette but that doesn't mean it's a good idea...
 

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Welcome to the COLT Forum from the Cradle Of Liberty...Pennsylvania !!


Enjoy Our Community Sir...
and you can enjoy your new Colt with light loads as mentioned above...or just plain old ball (FMJ) loads. Both will do the job on the range or on the street.
 

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This question has been asked a lot on many Forums. Your GCNM was designed as a TARGET pistol with features like a lightened slide for that purpose. Why abuse it by shooting hot or full power loads? If you want to shoot hardball buy a Government Model.
Robert, didn't the GCNM's of that era come with 2 recoil springs, one lighter for target loads? And if so, full power loads with the target spring could do damage. I know my early 60's National Match pistols have lighter springs in them.
 

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While it is possible to shoot standard loads in the pistol, it doesn't seem reasonable that Colt would advertise a new pistol not capable of firing standard ammunition. It would also fire .45 +P, but why?

"Here it is! The .45 caliber target pistol that serious shooters have demanded"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Old post, but I installed a 17 lb recoil spring in my Gold Cup National Match and have been shooting 230gr standard pressure loads with no problems. About 1000 rounds so far and no issues whatsoever. Super soft on the felt recoil and prints tight groups.
 
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