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Thread: Bowling Pin shoot. 45, 357 or 10mm?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Bowling Pin shoot. 45, 357 or 10mm?

    Bowling pin shoot coming up at our local range. Thought about going. Never done one before so I'm not sure what to use. biggest/hottest things I have are the 45acp, 357, or a 10mm.
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    1911 type 45's ruled the sport, at least back when I competed in the 80's. You want to run hot loads that you can control, preferably with a big hollow point to grip the pin rather than glance. 8 shot mags are better. I never ran one but a 10 mm might be effective here. My only concern would be that recoil might slow you down a little as you transit from pin to pin. Correct sight picture and correct sight alignment are essential. It is fun though.
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    Boolit Master


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    Personally, I've always preferred .45 ACP. A 230 gr. TC boolit loaded to 'hardball' level will clear pins cleanly...assuming a solid hit, of course...and is still controllable in rapid fire without a comp or ported barrel. I shoot the same load in both my 1911s and my S&W wheelgun with equally good results on pins. Going to 'hot' loads, on the other hand, will increase recovery time between shots without gaining significant 'knock-down' improvement.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    1911 in 45 ACP caliber, with 453423 boolit, 6.0gr Unique, throat the barrel out nice and long so it plunks these, they will take pins off the table with mucho authority.
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  5. #5
    Boolit Master bluelund79's Avatar
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    Awesome feedback! I'm doing one this weekend in WI with my Dad at his gun club. Guess I'll knock the dust off of my 10rd WC mags, thanks for the reminder!

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    thanks for the info. Pretty much what I have for the 45 is 200 swc, and 230 round nose. but I may be able to get some heavier boolits before the competition.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    In 45 acp I used the 225 grn wadcutters ( from a saeco mould maybe) at a medium to slightly upper end velocity of 800 fps or so. These worked very well for me and carried pins off the table with a second hit only being needed occasionally. I also used a 200 grn semi wadcutter at around 900 fps with great results. This load was basically my major power load for ISPC also. In 45 colt I used a 255 lee round nose flat point around 750 fps and this load looked like an invisible hand dropping the pin off the back of the table. In 357 my wife used a 200 grn round nose at around 850-900 fps this load did almost as good as the 45s for her. While I had a 10mm I never used it for bowling pins but think the slightly smaller bullet dia and added velocity might be a hindrance. The best loads seemed to leave the bullets in the pins dumping all the energy into the pin. Light bullet high velocity loads tended to pass thru putting energy into the back stop. Ive seen guys use hardball effectively on pins. Basically you want a load that feeds and functions flawlessly, correcting jams and fighting slow you down. An accurate load. On the wadcutters for the 45 acp they were cast somewhat on the soft side for me so some expansion might help. Run heavy for caliber and a mid range velocity.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    The best I ever did back years ago was with my 9mm HiPower loaded with 124gr Hornady TC fmj loaded pretty hot. I aimed at the triangle logo on each pin and cleared the table with five shots. I won that match.
    Bottom line is that you use a load that hits where you want it to as quick as you can think it. These days Id probably use my 10mm with mid range loads.
    I 100% agree that the bullets need to stay in the pin to help carry it off the table.
    Last edited by Rick R; 10-02-2017 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Extra thought

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Pretty much what I have for the 45 is 200 swc, and 230 round nose.
    You're not lost, if those are the only 2 .45 ACP projectiles you have. I think I would opt for the 200gr. LSWC, loaded to make 900 f/s or more, assuming you can maintain control from shot to shot. I think the flat meplat and sharp shoulder will keep the projectile from exiting the pin, so all its momentum ends up sending it off the table.

    I like the Lyman 454423 projectile, but if you don't cast your own, availability may be an issue. The 230 gr. cast Truncated Cone may be your best choice, since it is more commonly available. Try to figure out which load delivers the most momentum (rather than kinetic energy) to the pin, and remains controllable. THAT'S your winning load!

    I even went so far as to try 255gr. LSWCs in my .45 ACP over a small charge of Unique, with surprisingly good results. I'm not sure the load I used broke 700 f/s at the muzzle with the big SWC, but the pins certainly left the table in a hurry, when hit with it. Probably the best projectile I've used on pins with a .45 ACP is the 215 gr. SAECO #058 SWCBB. Flat nosed, sharp shouldered, wonderfully accurate, and just enough heavier than the 200gr. LSWCs to make the most of he momentum developed. I quit using it when my source dried up, but I've found another and intend to use it with reckless abandon.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Man oldhenry's Avatar
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    I had my best results with my 8 3/8" S&W 25-5 with the Lyman #452424 bullet that is supposed to weigh 255 gr. (mine weigh more) over 8.5 gr. Unique. The heavy bullet with the flat meplat does the trick. I was able to get by with the 8.5 gr. of Unique because the 8 3/8" bbl. tamed the recoil.

    The real secret is to clear the table with 5 shots. Don't get ahead of yourself.

    I practiced with 2/3 size paper pins glued to a piece of cardboard @ 12 yds. & made myself travel @ a speed that made hits. The day of the match those real pins @ the regular distance looked huge. I won that match & after my 2nd string a fellow followed me back to my truck & asked "what kind of gun is that"?. When I told him it was a .45 Colt he ask "why are you shooting a .45 Colt"?. My answer was "because they don't make a .46 Colt".

    My suggestion is to use your 1911 with something like the Lyman #452423 (if your gun will feed it reliably) with a charge that is a compromise between controllability & power........with controllability being the most important. The weight of that boolit & the flat meplat will do the job.

    Good luck,
    Henry

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    You don't mention what 10mm you have. That makes a difference in my mind.

    I would take a single stack 45 ACP 1911 over a single stack 10mm 1911. Even though all the single stack 1911's I own are actually 10mm. They ruled the sport back in the day.

    But if your 10mm is something in a higher capacity, like a RIA double stack 1911A2 or a GLock 15, I would take the magazine capacity over the single stack 45. The 10mm doesn't recoil enough more to make a difference, and 17+ 1 (RIA) or 15+1(glock) will give you an big advantage.

    If you go 10mm I would strongly suggest 180 grain bullets or lighter. The 180 has the same sectional density as the 230 grain 45 acp. A 155 10mm might be even better as it will deliver lots more energy but probably stay in the pin. Be worth some testing if you have time.
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    Boolit Man arclight's Avatar
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    A middle-of-the-road 158gr SWC will clear pins with the 357. One advantage is that there is probably a whole lot less competition in the revolver category. Assuming a mix of non-pros, you can win revolver by making every shot count in single-action. Unless you're very well-practiced at DA shooting, this is a losing bet with only 5-7 rounds.

    Arclight

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    .45 acp with Super Vels.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Only advice I have is practice. A national competitor put it best when asked how he did it. Put 12ga shotgun shells up and kept practicing until he could clear them. The target area is just that small cause you need a solid hit to get the pin off the table, no matter what caliber you use. If you knock it over you lose. It is surprisingly difficult to knock a pin off if it tips over. They tend to spin

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    If your shooting on the second chance style tables with the 4" Kevlar fronts then when a pin falls behind it you have very little to shoot at above the 2" Kevlar protecting the front of the table. Solid hits on the pin are needed and some knowledge of the pins anatomy helps also. While a solid hard wood there are 2 holes in the body of the pin and the plastic coating on them is very tough. A hit in the main part of the body may pass thru these holes limiting energy transfers. An upper body hit hits solid wood.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    I honestly don't know anything about how the shoot is set up. this will be my first time at it. I'll know in a week.

    I'm going to use what I have on hand with components, work up a warmer load with the 200 SWC out of my 1911. Have some universal and BE86 on hand for slower powders. pretty much only use bullseye under those swc's now.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Those will do fine. My pin and ipsic loads used ww231 at around 5.0 grns for the 200 grn swc ( this is from memory check it in a couple manuals before loading). The big thing is to get started and see what is what then you have the knowledge to build from there. Have a great time chat with other competitors enjoy yourself and don't try to compete against anybody but yourself. I watched one new guy that went 4 matches before clearing a table of pins.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Everybody shoots pins with a 1911. I shot with a 357, only one other person shot revolver class at the matches I went to in the late 80's early 90's. I had a Dan Wesson 15, the other competitor used a S&W 25 in 45acp.

  19. #19
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    for me, my ruger sp101 357 with 158's and a medium load of w231 was as good, and better for me with aiming, than my rem 1911 with 230's.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I shot a 1911 in 45 acp for the smi auto class, A re worked 1917 in 45 colt for revolver class, and a ruger 5" bull barreled 22 in 22 rimfire. All were iron sights. I did experiment with my 1911 38 super but had problems getting pins of the table reliably. Never tried the 1911 delta elite in 10mm. My wife used a 4" ruger security six in 357 mag and a ruger 5" 22 in rimfire class.

    I saw a lot of different guns used over the years we competed. but 1911s in 45 were the predominant auto. But I did see Smiths, H&K, Sigs, and other makers there. In revolver class Colt and Smith and Wesson were both predominant in calibers from 357 mag to 45 colt. 45 colt with a 255 grn bullets were very effective. The S&W 625 or a rebuilt 1917 were popular and a few used ruger black hawks in this caliber. 29s were popular with heavy 44 spl or light Magnum, the rem midrange load was popular also.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check