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Pat's Notes from the Field: ProMatch 45ACP

I entered into the world of Practical Shooting over 25 years ago with a WWII vintage Ithaca 1911A1 that I purchased two weeks before my first match. That old gun served me very well at that first USPSA event, and did so for many years and through hundreds of competitions from IPSC/USPSA to Bowling Pin Shoots to Steel Challenge. Sadly (foolishly) I sold off that gun for something shinier, but the 45ACP cartridge has remained a loyal and trusted friend.

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Today, I still spend time behind guns chambered in 45ACP, but instead of me pulling the handle on a loading press, I put my trust in Freedom Munitions to load it for me. And for a good reason...ProMatch! This is what I "worked" to create toiling away at my loading press. It is reliable, clean burning, accurate and makes USPSA Power Factor with perhaps a little too much room to spare!

clean-inside

It takes some experimentation to come up with a load recipe that produces all the attributes of a good load...AND leaves very little residue behind. The photo above shows the interior of some fired cases.

group-24

I am really a sucker for accuracy and this load does a pretty good job of making me smile. This above 24-shot (three 8 round magazines) group from my well-used Les Baer P2 was a byproduct of my attempt to see how many I could shoot till I felt too many "leaked out" of the one hole group. This kind of composite group shooting really gives me confidence at a match, or when bragging rights are on the line.

bullet-base

Freedom Munitions makes most of their own brass cases as well as all of their Pro-Match pistol caliber bullets. In this case (pun intended) is it a X-Treme 230 grain XAP bullet. Yes, that bullet base is concave: a feature that improves accuracy and helps to promote a good gas seal through "obturation."

crimp

A proper crimp is important for many reasons. It prevents bullet "set-back" during the rough ride up the feed ramp in self-loading pistols, and promotes better combustion of the powder as well as a more uniform bullet-to-case tension both of which contribute to greater accuracy downrange. The crimp line on the pulled bullet in the photo shows that the Freedom Munitions loading machine is set "just right."

group-7

Did I say that I am a real fan of repeatable accuracy? Why yes, I did! The above photo goes beyond the NRA standard of 5 five-shot groups. I was shooting pretty well and shot "two extra." Average for all 35 shots??? 1.78" at 25 yards. Keep in mind that I am a man, not a machine and if I were to take the best 5 of the seven the average would drop to a very respectable 1.54". Yup, I really love accuracy.

pro-match-reflection

I just added this photo because...reflections! So upon reflection, Freedom Munitions ProMatch 45ACP is reliable, clean burning, accurate, and the 10 rounds I put over my Oehler P35 chronograph gave me an average of 785 feet per second with a Standard Deviation of 18. This works out to a 180 power factor. Yes, that is a little fast for those seeking to ride the ragged edge over minimum Power Factor, but ProMatch is loaded to make Major over a spectrum of handguns and besides, we are talking about the venerable John Moses Browning's beloved cartridge here, so grip it and rip it!

Patrick E Kelley

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