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Off the shelf target .45

19730 Views 21 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Topshelf
Hi all-

First post here, but some of you may know me from shotgunworld.

I am looking to get into league shooting at my club's 50 foot indoor range. My current conceal gun would not be suitable for this purpose, so I am looking to buy a new .45 to fill this purpose. I want something off the shelf... I don't want to have to build a gun to suit my needs. I don't want to have to tinker, have the trigger done, etc... I want something that will be decent and reliable right out of the box. If my expectation here is unrealistic, please say so!

Based on what I can get the best prices on, I'm leaning towards a Kimber- perhaps a Stainless Gold Match II. I am however, more than willing to accept input from others - I am relatively inexperienced at this, and willing to read and learn! Would another choice from the Kimber family be better? Some other manufacturer?

I have a few caveats to add...
1) The club requires lead ammo at less than 1000fps. I need somethign that will cycle reliably and be relatively accurate with these slower (and lead) rounds.

2) Priced in the $1500 or less market, which based on my reading means that I have lots of options, just no Les Baer or Nighthawk Customs in my immediate future! :)

3) No wheelguns. I don't like the look all that much, and I really don't want to deal with the half moon clips.

4) No Glocks... don't like em... it's just my thing, your mileage may differ.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Take a look at the "loaded" Springfields.... best bang for the buck. The "loaded" series come in Government, Officers, Long Slide, Stainless, Blued, Parkerized..... But they all have decent sights and a decent trigger.

CDNN, as a matter of fact, has one on sale now for $800, I believe.

Another option, should you come across a good used one, is a Colt Gold Cup.

Edited to add:

A 230 grain round nose hardcast & copper plated (keeps the barrel cleaner) at about 850 fps is just what the doctor ordered. I don't know if you're a handloader or not, but if you are, look at Rainier Ballistics bullets. I load 'em with 6.3/6.4 grains of Longshot, and they chrono 850 - 860 fps out of a 5" Government Colt.
Thanks wwb - I'll look into those. I wasn't aware of "loaded" Springfields... most of the ones I have seen have been pretty cheap.

Regarding ammo - no jacketed or plated ammo allowed on the range. No hollowpoints allowed either. Straight lead only. I'm pretty much limited to wadcutter, semi wadcutter, and round nose. It stinks, but it's the club rules, and I intend to abide by them <grumble>.
Re: re: Off the shelf target .45

drsfmd said:
.....Regarding ammo - no jacketed or plated ammo allowed on the range. No hollowpoints allowed either. Straight lead only.....
Pretty strange..... the big selling point on the plated lead bullets(aside from cleaner barrels) is that it cuts down on airborne microscopic lead particles - especially important on indoor ranges - but they still behave exactly like lead.

Go to


and see if you can convey some of this information to the powers that be.... everybody will thank you once they've tried these things.


check here


and see what they have to say under the "Berry Bullets" entry concerning indoor ranges and plated bullets.
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I also recommend that you look at Springfield's Loaded Target.

Think about a conversion kit or a Ruger 22/45 for .22 cal practice. I seem to remember a long time ago and in a land far away (WF&G) didn't allow centerfire during rimfire practice times.

For rumor's sake, a wheel gun guy I know said his father's Kimber wouldn't shoot when it gets dirty.

keep your stick on the ice,

mexican bob
Mexican Bob- no idea how you figured out I shoot at WF&G, but I'm impressed... do I know you?

The centerfires aren't allowed on the line during the rimfire league, but there is a seperate centerfire pistol league.

wwb- we have good downrange ventilation, but an older backstop. It's a decent setup, but the plated and jacketed ammo is tough on the backstop. I suppose the club will eventually need to upgrade to something a bit more modern, but for now, it'll have to do.

I just guessed.
We may have seen each other somtime a few years back.
I used to shoot in the winter night league.
Still shoot 5 stand there when I'm on vaca.

Typical gun lovin', *******, Texans!
Does it make you feel manly to shoot poor innocent skeet? WE SHARE THIS EARTH WITH SKEET! Kill Kill Kill is all you gun nuts like to do.
No doubt you will butcher these noble creatures and hang their sad heads on the wall...then BBQ their tender, succulent flesh.
Skeets have rights too!

PETS….People for the Ethical Treatment of Skeets
TRAP? What about TRAP???!!!
Don’t get me started!

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It is a small world... I shoot that skeet league, and chair the 5-stand. Next time you are up here be sure to point yourself out!
Whether you are stuck on .45acp or also consider .45lc - I cannot think of a commercial non +P load that fires either at or above 1000 fps. A quick scan of ammo sites tells me you can fire the .45lc on factory fodder - but I haven't found anybody standard loading a .45 acp RNL round. Am I wrong or is there one?

RIA is also a company to look at for a decent weapon.
Ultramax sells a bulk lead bullet load in the 45 ACP. I use them quite a bit as they are the cheapest factory (actually remanufactured) rounds I can readily find. They are the most accurate round in my XD-40 and one of the better ones in my 45 ACP Springfield XD-45. I haven't run any through my "new" to me Kimber or Springfield 1911s yet, the Kimber has been shooting FMJs and the Springfield is wearing a .22LR conversion slide. I buy mine at Dick's Sporting Goods when I am around one but you can also find them at MidwayUSA. Midway also has a fair bit of other brands and one might find another manufacturer of that type of load.
Yes. The loaded Springfield is the way to go.
If you reload, the "classic" load is 4.0grs of Bullseye and a 200gr. LSWC. You may need to put in a lighter recoil spring - a 14 or a 12.
If you do not reload contact NSK Sales - a quality reloading operation in Maryland (www.nsksales.com). Call Neil and tell him what you want. Reasonable and reliable match ammo.
OK- I managed to track down a "loaded" Springfield at another shop and went to see it yesterday... I was rather underwhelmed with it for the price (just shy of a Kimber). I did however make another find that I might be interested in - a used Series 70 Colt Gold Cup National Match. It's clean, but would need new grips. I need to make up my mind pretty quickly, as the price is too good for it to last long... so if anyone wants to weigh in, please do so quickly! :)
Gosh, how much does the shop want for the Springfield?
My Custom Loaded Target cost $665 + tax.

Maybe my memory's failed but;
Used Gold Cups go for a lot more than that down here.
I believe new Kimbers fetch around a thousand anytime they have adjustable sights.

Good luck in your search.
A Gold Cup with a spur hammer is way cool.

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Re: re: Off the shelf target .45

drsfmd said:
..... a used Series 70 Colt Gold Cup National Match. It's clean, but would need new grips......
Don't let that concern you - 1911 grips are a dime a dozen.
I work in a shop, so I get the Kimber at cost (can't divulge that number, but it's not hugely more than the other options).

The Springfield was in a different shop - they wanted $799 for it, but it had been tweaked by the custom shop.

The Colt is available to me in the $700 range. I'm not concerned about the grips - they would need to be changed, but I have plenty of spares kicking around the shop and I'm sure I could find something suitable...
The pistol recommendations are right on - either a Springfield or a used Gold Cup. I have both guns and would not part with either. They both shoot better than I can hold. The Gold Cup was accurized some years ago by the late George Madore and will still put ten shoots into the X-ring at 50 yds. (I can't. It will.)
As for ammo try calling NSK Sales (www.nsksales.com) Talk to Neal. He loads high quality target ammo that is tailored for Bullseye shooters. Much of the readily available "target" ammo is still way too warm for Bullseye competition.
Good luck.
drsfmd, I shoot a Kimber TLE and would buy another, if that tells you anything. I'm curious about the ammunition that the club requires though. Your post said "<1000 fps (and lead)." I'm not certain if your requirement is cycle a round with a velocity of <1000 fps and also cycle a lead round of whatever velocity or if the mandate is "lead and <1000?"

If that's the case I'm surprised that an indoor range would specify lead, rather than one of the "green" rounds specifically developed for indoor ranges.

Whatever manufacturer you choose, they will make a recommendation on a recoil spring weight that will cycle most reliably with the ammunition velocity you most commonly shoot. You may find that you will be changing that spring back and forth depending on what you're shooting and where, but hey...it only takes about 30 seconds.

BTW, did you make your purchase?
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Ok... a long overdue update!

Believe it or not, I found a lightly used Les Baer that met all of my criteria! I'll take possession in a few days.

My club ammo requirements are less than 1000fps AND an all lead bullet. As I said before, we have an older backstop - higher speeds and jacketed ammo are rough on the backstop. It's a range that was built for use with .22's... it was never intended for use with centerfire when it was built.
If youre not hung up on a 1911 here's a great match pistol in your price range. A SigSauer P220 Match SAO. (http://www.sigsauer.com/Products/ShowCa ... ductid=158).

It takes a few weeks as they are a special order item from Sig Sauer USA.
Mmmmm...SAO SIGs...

Only problem with 'em is that the safety makes manipulating the slide stop rather tricky. Otherwise, they're SIGs...but with better triggers. What more could you ask for?
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