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When & why was the Major PF lowered?


Cy Soto
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I have been shooting USPSA for a few years and I have heard from many shooters that, at one point, the floor for Major power factor was 175.

Would you folks happen to remember why was it decided to drop it to 165 PF and when was this new PF adopted?

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For IPSC it was 1999 at the General Assembly in Cebu during the World Shoot. (LINK), it was reduced due to damage on the steel targets and also the sound levels were beating up the RO's. In USPSA I think it was sometime before 2002, but I can't find it in the minutes.

The oldest rule book I have is 2001 and that was at 165. When I started in 1998 it was 175 (and there were only Open and Limited divisions :goof: ) Limit your search to 98-2001. I remember the event since that was everybody stopped shooting 200gr .40 and went to 180's.

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Weren't there also pressure issues or something running at that PF with 38 Super guns? Hence the development of the 9x25 Dillon?

Assuming that is true, of course now that we're down to 165 people are back to pushing the envelope in the exact same way with 9 Major. But, technology has progressed...

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When I started in 85, major used to be 165, back then almost everybody shot a 45, there was no open or limited, everybody shot heads up, It didn't matter if you shot a 45 compgun or a revolver.

Sometime after the supers (or the 38 stupid as we called it back then)started showing up, major got raised to 175,

45's could do that with no problem,the early super's, not so much

They ran unsupported barrels, and kept going to lighter bullets, blowing guns up and you'd get super face

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Weren't there also pressure issues or something running at that PF with 38 Super guns? Hence the development of the 9x25 Dillon?

Assuming that is true, of course now that we're down to 165 people are back to pushing the envelope in the exact same way with 9 Major. But, technology has progressed.

Pressure issues with 38 super were not really a concern with 175pf, and no that isn't why the 9x25 was developed.

You have to go back to the early 90's when 9-major was legal at the time. There were some legitimate pressure concerns around that round and thus 9x19 major was banned. In fact, there was talk about only allowing 40cal and above to go major (much like limited is today). But that particular restriction didn't carry because a 38 super with a supported barrel was perfectly safe.

Now when the 9x19 major was banned, that ushered in the 9x21......or 9mm JLE as some called it (JLE - just long enough). This was the preferred round for the P9's of the day.

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Weren't there also pressure issues or something running at that PF with 38 Super guns? Hence the development of the 9x25 Dillon?

Assuming that is true, of course now that we're down to 165 people are back to pushing the envelope in the exact same way with 9 Major. But, technology has progressed.

Pressure issues with 38 super were not really a concern with 175pf, and no that isn't why the 9x25 was developed.

You have to go back to the early 90's when 9-major was legal at the time. There were some legitimate pressure concerns around that round and thus 9x19 major was banned. In fact, there was talk about only allowing 40cal and above to go major (much like limited is today). But that particular restriction didn't carry because a 38 super with a supported barrel was perfectly safe.

Now when the 9x19 major was banned, that ushered in the 9x21......or 9mm JLE as some called it (JLE - just long enough). This was the preferred round for the P9's of the day.

It must have been 9x19 that I was thinking of. Good stuff, thanks for the info.

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I'm pretty certain 9x19 was never banned, BUT, the cartridge overall length had to be 1.260 to be legal for major which pretty much precluded using light(er) bullets. Paul Miller out of western Colorado shot 9x19 exclusively with 160 gr. cast bullets in the early-mid 90's.

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There were actually two things:

There was a "prohibition" on using Super loaded to major PF (175), unless the barrel was fully supported, and the bullets weighed at least 150 grains (143 for lead bullets).

And there was a "prohibition" on using 9mm loaded to PF-175, unless the cartridge OAL was at least 1.250"

It was worded like a ban, but as you say, it was effectively just weight/OAL requirements.

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9x19 Major loaded over 1.250" was legal. Very very few people shot that, making it effectively 'banned', but not actually.

When I started in 91 or 92, .38 Super open guns were around, mostly single-stacks. A few .45 comp guns hanging on, but most had new top ends built, and then soon new STI lower ends built. 9x21s in P9 format moved away from being the hot ticket with the rise of STI & Para.

9x25, despite what Wikipedia says, was not so much an attempt to make 175 as an attempt to make the flattest possible gun. They were running 88 and 90 gr .380 bullets at close to 2000 fps, but groups were terrible. Before 28-round STI mags took over, making every single stage designer in the country design 32-round stages to "make everybody do a reload" (worst justification ever), round count on the stages was not that big a deal and 25 or 26 of 9x25 was plenty.

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Just a little context. The power factors went from 1986- 170 USPSA (175 for International) to 1990-175 back down to 165 with te 2000 rulebook. I was told when I first started it was 180, but I cannot find a rulebook with that PF. That would have been in the early 1980's. The drop to 165 solved some issues with high pressure loads in the 9x21/38 super. Also, there was a lot of factory 40 S&W that would not make major at 175. This was the era when many shooters were using 200 to 220 grain bullets in 40s.

Jay

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