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Bob e-mailed me yesterday afternoon to say the new FA97 arrived at my local gun shop so today I stopped by to pick it up. I've not taken it out to shoot yet maybe in the morning but I have some photos for ya.







 

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I'm sure the gun will do better than my tired old eyes will allow it to demonstrate. This one was bought for use with iron sights not scope but I might twist Bob's arm to ship me a scope base for it to see just how good it rather than me can shoot at some point. I'm sure that would also help with load development. My close up vision is so poor these days when I shoot iron sights I'm tesint ME more than the gun. ???
 

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Thanks Mark, I might need to take you up on that. But let's wait and get Bob's response as I sent him an e-mail to see if he will sent me one to use with this FA97 and the next one that I'll be letting him ship me as a review gun which I will likely buy after the review at writer's discounted price.

I did take it out today and shot a few groups with it. I first tried some Black Hills CAS loads with a 250 or 255 grain lead bullet that looks to be swaged not cast. Group was nothing to brag about and was VERY high and about 3" left. Since it was so high and left and nothing to brag on I set it aside and forgot that load. It has worked super well in other .45 Colt guns but didn't seem to in this one.

Next up I tried some factory Hornady CAS loads and got a similar result to the Black Hills CAS loads. It too was quite high and well to the left of POA. The group was a bit tighter tho and with some work and by moving the sights it could be made to do OK. Still tho it's not what I was looking for so I set that one aside as well.

Last up was a box of 50 reloads I had set back from some years ago. I wasn't able to locate the load data with the box but figured I could look it up in my loading log book later so I gave them a try. NICE! The first group was at most 2" left of POA but in a respectable group so I made a sight adjustment to the right. I fired another group and found I'd slightly over compensated in moving the sights and it was now about an inch to the right. So one more slight sight adjustment placed the group in the 2" orange dot I was using for a target. I didn't measure it and forgot to bring the target sheets in with me as I was pretty exhausted when I finished today's shooting session so I can't give you a group size or phot of it but I'll do that later. I'm guessing tho it couldn't be much over an inch and I CANNOT see to shoot that good so think the gun had more to do with it than me. I did however use a pair of very weak reading glasses to help clear up the sights and that too I'm sure helps to account for such a nice tight group.

At any rate that load is a winner and all I need to do is figure out what it is and duplicate it. Looking over my log when I came in before taking a nap it looks like I've found it. I found only one load I'd put up in that quantity in WW cases so I'm reasonably sure it is it. If so it's using AA9 powder and I have a note with it that it is the starting load from the Ruger/TC section of the manual. I don't recall exactly but I think it was perhaps about 16.6 grains under a Hornady 250 XTP HP. I'll pull a bullet to see if I can verify that as the load and if so then I can get some more of those bullets and attempt to duplicate the load. Since I only fired 15 of them I still have 35 left and unless I find a better load that's enough to take with me when it goes to the woods with me.
 

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As Nosler doesn't make the XTP (Hornady does, of course), I'm betting you mean the 250 gr Sporting Hollowpoint from Nosler. It is, in fact, the single most accurate bullet I have ever found with the 97-45 - with both a 4-1/4" and 7-1/2" barrel.

I shot this group at 150 yards with it and a 2x Leupold ... i believe the load used Hodgdon's Lil Gun.

 

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No I actually meant the Hornady 250 XTP some times what I'm thinking and what gets typed are not the same. :eek: Matt keeps telling me I should proof read before I hit POST but I still don't. ;D

I pulled the targets and measured them today.

The first one was 3" left of point of aim. It measured a mere 1/2" wide but a full 2.5" high. I'm sure that was just me not keeping the top of that front sight at the same point each time. It's kinda hard for me to see it well enough to do that. CTC was 2.5"

The second group that I over compensated on the windage adjustment was 2" right of POA and measured about 3/4" wide by 2.25" high. I controlled the vertical a bit better but got a bit more careless with my horizontal spread. CTC it measured 2.75" tho so was a tad worse than the first.

The third and last group of the day with that load was centered maybe 1/2" to the right of POA and measured 1.5" high by 1.25" wide. CTC measure was 1.7" which is getting real close to about as good as my eyes can do at that distance with iron sights.

I turn in a few but darn few groups under an inch and a half and a very very rare one under an inch at 25 yards these days. Regardless of gun/load/barrel length my average iron sight groups run at best about 1.5" to 2.25" due to my vision. When I do better I chalk it up more to luck than skill or eye sight. When I do much worse I'm either having a bad day or the gun or load isn't up to par. My days of regularly shooting an inch or less with irons is HISTORY.

I'm sure that had this been scoped the groups would easily have stayed under an inch as there is that much difference between my ability to see iron sights and to shoot with a scope where my vision is not so much a factor.
 

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sounds like you already have a load that is Minute of Deer Accurate, Bill..
I know you are enjoying the weapon... glad you got a load so quick for it...
that is not bad shooting, I realize you used to shoot better, but hey, we used to do a lot of things better when we were a bit younger... at least that is my experience...
my shooting is only as good as my eyesight and the amount of practice I get these days is less than I used to get too.
Still, I am shooting about like your groups with some hot too hot 45 wadcutters, and will use that at the distances that I deem appropriate for my shooting ability.. and I will be just fine with it... let em pass close enough and they will stay with me forever...
I hope you get a chance to put a slug through one or two really soon..
dk
 

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that is not bad shooting, I realize you used to shoot better, but hey, we used to do a lot of things better when we were a bit younger... at least that is my experience...
Ain't that the truth Dan. There are a whole lotta things I can't do now or can't do them as well as years ago. The old body is not doing well on me these days. My dizzy spells are returning big time it seems. In fact right now as I type this I feel almost like I could fall over in the floor at any moment. I mean I feel TERRIBLE and am not even sure I'll make it to the end of the new posts tonight. I had batteries of tests last time this happened and the doctors never found a cause.

Still it doesn't kinda disappoint me to know how I used to shoot and compare what I can do now to that. But as you say it's only one of many things I don't do as well as I used to. At least I can still do it and enjoy it.
 

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Graybeard said:
that is not bad shooting, I realize you used to shoot better, but hey, we used to do a lot of things better when we were a bit younger... at least that is my experience...
Ain't that the truth Dan. There are a whole lotta things I can't do now or can't do them as well as years ago. The old body is not doing well on me these days. My dizzy spells are returning big time it seems. In fact right now as I type this I feel almost like I could fall over in the floor at any moment. I mean I feel TERRIBLE and am not even sure I'll make it to the end of the new posts tonight. I had batteries of tests last time this happened and the doctors never found a cause.

Still it doesn't kinda disappoint me to know how I used to shoot and compare what I can do now to that. But as you say it's only one of many things I don't do as well as I used to. At least I can still do it and enjoy it.



Greybeard, Your condition sounds exactly like my dads.It turned out he needed a pacemaker.You need to go to a different doctor ASAP!
 

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I've already been to about a half dozen of them already. I've had many tens of thousands of dollars worth of testing done on my heart and lungs. I don't need a pace maker.
 
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