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  #1  
Old 06-09-2020, 11:35 PM
champ0608 champ0608 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona
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Default Maintenance for competitive pistols

I'm been a rifle shooter all my life. I really don't know much about pistols.

There's a nice, used, Les Baer hard ball pistol available local at an awesome price. I'm kicking around the idea of buying it and chasing the pistol badge.

My first question is, how often does a competitive pistol shooter worry about things like barrel changes? Other maintenance to keep the gun running?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2020, 01:12 AM
bpm32 bpm32 is offline
 
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Needing to change a barrel in a 1911 is pretty rare. Unlike Service Rifle, most pistol guys are Bullseye shooters first, service pistol second, so hardball guns donít end up seeing a lot of use. Even so, youíre probably looking at at least 30k rounds of jacketed ammo out of a ball gun before you see groups opening up on the long line. It takes years and years for most people to shoot that many rounds out of a ball gun, and by then theyíve usually moved onto the next shiny new pistol.
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2020, 10:46 AM
champ0608 champ0608 is offline
 
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Thanks for the responses. That's a big difference compared to changing my service rifle barrels every season.
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2020, 11:10 AM
CDRT CDRT is offline
 
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The bushing will wear out long before the barrel. I had to change out the one on my .38 Special Clark at about 25,000 rounds. With the new bushing it Ransome Rests an inch and a half at 50 yards, just like when it was new.
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2020, 12:16 PM
champ0608 champ0608 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarterbore View Post
How many rounds do you shoot a season? Can I buy your old wore out barrels Unless you are starting out with rack or possibly field grade barrels and shooting semi auto I donít see how anyone can wear out a barrel in a year. How are you deciding to replace, headspace gauges ME, TE or something else?

For me I donít really consider a new barrel broke in until Iíve got a thousand rounds in - ok thatís perhaps an Exaggeration - but seriously a barrel with a thousand rounds is like new.

Itís your money but like I said let me know where your leftovers are going as I bet they are better than anything I am shooting.
I shoot 4000-5000 rounds a year in high power matches and practice. Usually right around that mark, 600 yard accuracy starts to drop off pretty quickly, when you start with a cut rifle barrel. Button barrels only give about 3000 rounds of 600 yard accuracy.

Most competitive service rifle shooters use the same benchmarks. We shoot a lot of rounds, half of them in rapid fire strings, and barrels get replaced every season.

I do sell the used ones. Usually about 100 bucks. And they still hammer at 200 yards.
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2020, 12:41 PM
champ0608 champ0608 is offline
 
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They absolutely still have life left. I have one with over 12k rounds on it that can still shoot clean scores on the reduced prone target at 200 yards. But I guarantee it won't hold the black at 600 yards.
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2020, 01:59 PM
bpm32 bpm32 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champ0608 View Post
Thanks for the responses. That's a big difference compared to changing my service rifle barrels every season.
Replacing a barrel in a 1911 is fairly involved: you (1) fit the barrel hood to the slide, (2) optional, but use a ranging rod to line up the firing pin hole in the slide by filing the barrel lug recesses, (3) most critical, fit the barrel legs to the slide stop pin, (4) hard fit and lap the barrel into the barrel bushing, and (5) check the headspace and cut that if necessary. I’m not great at this, so it takes me a solid day to fit a barrel. All of the steps are trivial except for (3), which can take forever to get right.

Conversely, Kart has what they call an Xact Fit (or EZ Fit) barrel, where you just have to cut the barrel hood and file on to a couple proprietary pads and maybe do a couple of other small tasks. I’ve put these in a few Springfield Range Officers for people and they held 2” at 50 yards on the Ransom, which is as much as anyone really expects from a Bullseye pistol. The only way it’s inferior to a traditionally fit barrel is that you can’t control alignment of the firing pin hole with the center of the barrel, but that isn’t necessary and most smiths don’t do that anyway.

But again, it’s a lot of shooting to wear out a pistol barrel. 20k rounds/year would be a lot and it would still take a couple years. That’s with jacketed—with lead wadcutters barrel life would be much, much longer. You’d have a situation like CDRT writes above where parts around the barrel start wearing out before the rifling does.
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2020, 02:51 PM
Gewehr43 Gewehr43 is offline
 
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So regarding PISTOL barrel life..... for all intents "don't worry about it."
Unless you are shooting up into the 40,000+ range?

Also how far do you disassemble the pistol to clean?
Do you remove slide etc? Or just exterior access only? Clean after every match? No?
(IE Are you somehow worried about removing the barrel from the slide and then a change in POI, for example???)
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Last edited by Gewehr43; 06-10-2020 at 02:57 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-10-2020, 03:08 PM
bpm32 bpm32 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gewehr43 View Post
So regarding PISTOL barrel life..... for all intents "don't worry about it."
Unless you are shooting up into the 40,000+ range?

Also how far do you disassemble the pistol to clean?
Do you remove slide etc? Or just exterior access only? Clean after every match? No?
(IE Are you somehow worried about removing the barrel from the slide and then a change in POI, for example???)
I actually enjoy cleaning pistols, so Iíll clean typically every 270 rounds. Thatís just a field strip. Detail stripping, maybe a few times a year. For lightly used pistols, like a .22 or .38 revolver that only comes out for major matches, Iíll clean those every time I shoot them.

For cleaning Bullseye guns the slide stop is the first part to come out and the last part to go in. Thatís so you arenít rotating the barrel bushing under tension. David Sams believes that the barrel should be cleaned while in the slide(without removing the bushing). All other smiths that I know of say itís fine to remove a barrel as many times as you want.

Realistically, the bushing does very little for an otherwise well-fit barrel, according to Marvel and Nowlin, who destroyed a bunch of barrels testing this.
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2020, 03:27 PM
Gewehr43 Gewehr43 is offline
 
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ok, so easy-breezy......
(Sorry I wasn't asking about detail strips)

Clean as desired..... otherwise put alittle grease if it gets thin.....maybe some oil in a few spots............ Don't over think it.

I assume with a new barrel there is a curve as it wears and settles in still though but that is, again, in the thousands of rounds?

Otherwise work on your trigger control and shoot!

Yes, not like a rifle barrel and all it's pagan rituals......
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Last edited by Gewehr43; 06-10-2020 at 03:30 PM.
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