Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Range Fun

With what, you ask? Why, the Kimber 10mm and more real 10mm ammo, what else?
Saturday morning I sat down and took my last batch of once-fired brass and loaded it, a little bit hotter than what I've done before, and Monday morning it was off to the range. Once again, the specs:

Case -- Remington nickel-plated
Bullet -- 155-grain Hornady XTP
Load -- 14.8 gr. Accurate Arms No. 9
Primer -- CCI large pistol

The load was 0.5 grains higher than the minimum in the Accurate Arms data sheet. I think that's about as high as I'd be willing to go with the once-fired; anything higher and I'd rather go with virgin brass just to be safe, at least at this point. And right now it's more about load development than anything else; I usually set up the target at the 7-yard mark and set up the chrony at the 3-yard mark, and this week was no exception. So I started blasting, and the results were quite impressive, as they've been so far with my particular components.
The average velocity was 1371 feet per second, with an extreme spread of 58 fps and a high of 1399 fps and just over half the shots running between 1360 and 1380 fps. So we're running just about on par with the Georgia Arms 155-grain Gold Dot at 1375. And the Kimber ate every one. I must admit, that was a concern of mine initially, that I would be doing something wrong and have problems with jams, especially with the Kimber's tight tolerances. So far my fears have been unfounded, and the load was very comfortable to boot. No doubt it's different with a heavier bullet, but I'd have to say that particular combination would be just about the perfect middle ground between the 9mm Parabellum and the .45acp. And every time I shoot it, I am that much more mystified as to why the .40Short&Weak overtook the 10mm as the accepted middle-bore autopistol cartridge. It works, but still, it's such a shame that the 10mm was relegated to niche status.
Before I go any further, though, the gun will get some stiffer springs and a Shok-Buff -- at least a recoil spring, maybe a mainspring as well, and a flat-bottom firing pin stop. (I've heard those help with cutting down on standard deviation, too.) I'd really rather not be posting here some horrible day about cracks in the frame or that sort of thing...