Load Development, Part One

The ammo shortage recently had me checking my storage bins, drawers and shelves out in the garage.

I came across some 155 grain moly-coated LSWCs for 45 ACP that I had bought real cheap back at some competition, back when ammo was cheap and these “undesirables” even cheaper.

I say “undesirable” because there are only a few loads available for them and, to the best of my knowledge, none of the Bullseye shooters I know fire anything this light.


But now that ammo and reloading supplies are next to impossible to find, and since I bought them so long ago that I can’t remember what I paid, they’re not so “undesirable” anymore. They’re basically free, there are some loads in the references, they might work at the short line and, if push comes to shove, at least I’ll be shooting when others have exhausted their supplies.

Oh, did I mention that the bullets are moly-coated? That adds another wrinkle.

I know the need to, when switching from lead bullets to moly-coated or vice-versa, clean the barrel __and to expect some changes in the impact point over the first few rounds. My hope is that, at 25 yards, those “changes” won’t be much bigger than the 10 ring which, on an average day, is my hold. And then later, when switching back to lead for the 45 Slow Fire, I can expect “fouling issues” for a couple of rounds.

But how severe will that be?

I shoot Sharpshooter-scores in 45 even though my card says “Expert”. Getting those scores up into my class means I have to push lots of lead downrange and if these bullets allow me to keep pulling the trigger while others are forced to stay home for lack of supplies, dealing with these hardships just might be a good idea.

But there’s more.

Another issue is the possible change of recoil spring needed by a change in ammo. Accuracy is #1 in Bullseye but the gun also has to function. If the short line load has a substantially different amount of recoil than what I shoot at the long line, then the recoil spring will likely have to be changed as well between long and short lines.

That means that between the NMC Slow and Timed Fire targets I could be very busy. I could be changing springs, cleaning the barrel and adjusting the dot for the new initial impact point with the new load. And then after firing those ten shots and thereby “fouling” the barrel with the moly-coating, I may then need to make another small adjustment on the dot before Rapid Fire.

Hmm, that’s a lot.

That’s a lot of steps to remember, not a lot of time for them, and then I also need to get my head back into my shot plan for Rapid Fire.

Yep, that’s a lot.

Will I need to change the recoil spring or will the recoil be close enough to my long line load that the same recoil spring will function?

Will I need to move the dot before and then again after those ten Timed Fire “fouling” shots or, with my hold, will it be “close enough”?

And the bullets are free. Did I mention that?

(To be continued.)


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