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Need Some Advice On Ammo Selection

900 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dfariswheel
Just bought my 1st Colt semi-auto; ( Gold Cup Trophy). What is the best ammo to use for reliable feeding & minimal wear as far general target loads? I had heard that autoloaders need jacketed bullets to feed reliably; but also heard that fmj can cause excessive barrel wear over time. is this true & if so, is it something that the average shooter would never have to worry about; something that would take a lifetime of shooting to wear to that extent? i would appreciate any advice from the veteran shooters. i have always been a traditional wheel-gun guy, & this is going to be a new experience for me!! haven't bought any ammo yet; the gun should be in tomorrow.
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95% of what I shoot through my GCNM is lead with no feeding problems, but I doubt that you would ever appreciably wear your barrel using jacketed ammunition.

My preference is the 185 and 200 grain lead bullet, with the 185 grain jacketed SWC next.
I have a 1962 Colt National Match Gold Cup that I have shot for 30+ years. I have used 185gr. SWC jacketed bullets and 200gr. lead SWC bullets, both with excellent results. Like you, I did not want to abuse the gun or myself with factory equivalent reloads. Years ago, an ex-bullseye shooter recommended a load of 4grs. of 700x behind a jacketed 185gr. SWC bullet. In my gun, it was capable of shooting a 1" group at 50 feet with one hand. Each gun is different, and that is part of the fun of shooting and reloading in finding that 'special' load that works in your gun. Have fun and good luck!
MY 1962 NATIONAL MATCH 45ACP COLT pistol has 55,000 rounds through it as we speak. Five thousand plus are jacketed bullets, 45,000 are lead bullets. when I finally wear it out with all those jacketed bullets I'll throw the entire POS in the trash and go buy a new one. THAT would be my advise for you too, and you will be many decades older than you are now. In that entire 55,ooo+ rounds of lead bullets the vast majority were 200grSWC bullets and the rest were 230gr LRN. The jacketed bullets were all 185, 200, and 230GR JHP bullets. The total malfunctions in that entire run of ammunition, testing hundreds of loads produced exactly ZERO ZILCH NADA NUTTIN malfunctions, and the overwhelming majority were fired from two military magazines I already owned when i bought the COLT NM 45.


AND so it goes....
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I agree with all of the others here in lead bullets, the Colt 1911 platform is the best there is with lead or cast bullets. But to answer your question, think about it. In my experience JHP's while they will work in most semi-autos could require a little attention to the action to slick the feed ramp up a little. On the other hand Full metal jacket ball type ammo there should not be any reason to hang up. (That being said, There's anyways a exception to the rule) Just go out and enjoy your new Colt and then send us a range report. Dennis
Great thread full of good information gentlemen. :)

I've been reluctant to shoot my 1965 because of the lightening cuts in the slide. Now, I'm taking her to the range on my next trip.

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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I am not worried about wear in my barrel, just curious if it has been proven through previous testing, maybe by manufacturers. I doubt that i will ever shoot any one gun enough in my lifetime to have that issue. I am glad to hear that i should not have any feeding issues with whatever ammo i decide to put through it. can anyone give me a tip on the adjustable trigger on the Gold Cup?? how is the factory pull on it??
The adjustable Colt Gold Cup trigger is actually nothing more than a trigger stop to eliminate over-travel of the trigger after the hammer is released.
It's already adjusted at the factory to just about the perfect setting.
Too many people just can't resist trying to make it even better and get into trouble with failing to fire at all or damaging the hammer and sear by setting it too close.

Until you're an expert with the gun, just leave the set screw right where it is.

The trigger pull feel of the Gold Cup is excellent, and by the time you're expert enough to notice any difference you'll be ready to have the trigger tuned by a pistolsmith expert.

As above, the best actual target ammo is "Mid-Range" target ammo.
This is 185 grain lead, semi-wadcutter ammo loaded to the mid-range of the loading charts.
The mid-range loads are almost always more accurate then the hot loads or the very light loads.
If you check loading data for any bullet load, they usually list one as the most accurate.
This is what pistol shooters developed back in the 50's for the best possible accuracy with the lightest possible recoil for use in formal NRA Matches.

Pick one of those for whatever powder you want to use, or buy Mid-Range Target load ammo, which many ammo makers still make.
You'll need to install the lighter Gold Cup recoil spring for these light loads.
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