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EngineerEli

What weight bullet for a 5.4" sight tracker?

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Hey guys,

So I had my SVI re-barreled last winter and I upgraded my 5" sight tracker gun with a 5.4" sight tracker barrel. Slide is still 5", frame is still a butler cut for the 5" slide. I had just kept using my 180 gr bayou load after the change and it has worked out pretty well for me, but I am wondering if a lighter bullet would benefit me at all. I know a lot of people that go up to a 6" barrel tend to choose a load with a 165gr bullet, but what do you do with a 5.4? And does it make a difference that mine is a 5" slide and a hybrid (bull) barrel, as opposed to most 6" guns that have bushing barrels?

Thanks for your thoughts,

Eli

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I think the bullet weight you choose is more down to your preference verses actual gun function. Lighter bullets pushed at major power factor velocities will have more of a sharp or harsh felt recoil. Heavier bullets will give you more of a thump or push type of felt recoil. Pick a type of felt recoil you prefer and run with it.

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I shoot a 5.4" with a 5" slide like you do. I don't notice much a difference between 180's and 200s. I haven't tried 165's and probably won't.

The biggest thing that made a difference in my 5.4 sight tracker was using a 10 lb recoil spring. I had a 12-13 in it before.

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The biggest thing that made a difference in my 5.4 sight tracker was using a 10 lb recoil spring. I had a 12-13 in it before.

Really??? A 10 lb. I have one in my bag and I use an alumibuff, but that's not too light? How does it change the feel/recoil?

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Not that I don't believe you JaeOne, but has anyone else ran a similar gun with a 10 lb recoil spring with good results? (And not too much frame battering?)

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I have a 5.4" Sight-tracker built by Calhoun Customs. I also use a 10 lb spring. My slide weight is 11.8 ounces.

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Oh nice, My slide is 11.75 oz with rear sight and firing pin/spring/block. Going to have to give it a try....

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I love it with the 10. Trust me. I really think you will, too. Use a wolff or sprinco spring. ISMI 10 is actually like an 8-9 in my experience.

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I put in the factory spring from sti eagle, they say is a wolf 10 lb. Can't wait to try it out this weekend! The eagle got changed out for a 9, which may have still been a hair high...

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Springs are so cheap I would just start with new so you know whatcha got.

I also use an ISMI 17 main. I am not sure what that equates to in Wolff.

Edited by JaeOne3345

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So I shot a match Sunday (~200 total rounds) with the 10 lb spring and it feels REALLY good! I am still a little concerned about battering and potentially cracking my slide.... It is a factory designed and manufactured SVI slide, but does have a lot of rounds on it, if that effects anything.

I attached a few photos of my slide and the aluminum shock buff in the gun. Can you guys tell me if you see anything that would concern you, or suggest I should at least go up to an 11lb spring to ensure longevity of the gun?

post-33893-0-18911900-1410881330_thumb.j

post-33893-0-16897200-1410881342_thumb.j

post-33893-0-79594000-1410881352_thumb.j

post-33893-0-81745100-1410881362_thumb.j

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No, it's gonna happen since the aluminum is softer than the steel.

I am not sure shock buff marks are a good determining factor in whether a slide is slamming too hard. Sometimes slides shred buffs because the tunnel area is left sharp, and just acts like a knife.

The 10 feels so good to me I am willing to take a reduction in lifespan of the slide, if it even happens.

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I wanted to chime in here, even though I have a 6 as I think our barrel and slide weights are similar- I have been using and loving the 165s but I tried 200s again this weekend with a healthy dose of Titegroup and they felt good. I also raised the point of contact between my hammer and my firing pin stop to get a bit more rearward slide speed. The TG and loading over PF gave me enough slide velocity with the gun set up the way it is now. I'll experiment more with 200s after Nationals. They had always felt slow to me, but with springs, added radius, and a bit more powder it might be just right.

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Thought I would post a quick update. I shot the IL Sectional last Saturday. (and then the WIIL Bragging Rights match on Sunday) Because the 10# was making me a little nervous shooting major, I ordered and installed an 11# standard spring and a fresh aluminum shock buff. The gun ran great, I didn't though... I defiantly liked the feel of the 10# better, but the difference was minimal and I like the piece of mind the 11# gives me. I went pretty far out of my comfort zone buying my SVI and I would definitely prefer not to have to replace the slide in a few thousand rounds for just a slight incremental improvement in recoil feel. I think the 11# will probably be in there for a while, unless any other considerations arise.

I think all that is really holding me back at this point is me. (Currently ~68% B class) Gear is pretty good to go!

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