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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the range today and learned a couple things. First, if testing new loads, take some factory ammo. So here is what happened and the issues I need help solving.

The first issue is the sights in a Sig P238. I had created test loads with Titegroup, HP-38, Accurate #5, 700x and CFE powders to see if the gun liked one better than the other. All new Starline brass and all with Xtreme 100gr plated bullets. The loads were all starting loads which per the manuals were very similar in projected muzzle velocity. FYI - this gun does not like Titegroup at all and does not care too much for HP-38, the other 3 produced better groupings with CFE taking a slight edge. Of course I had assumed I would benefit from buying the large container of Titegroup.

Back to the problem at hand. This gun has fixed sights, but every round is hitting 1.5" low and 3.5-4.0 inches right. I would normally go with the lowest common denominator and say it was operator error except when I aimed at the top left corner of the black, first round was so close to absolute dead center it would take a micrometer to determine if it was not. Lucky shot but 4 more shots aimed at that same location resulted in a decent grouping center mass. So, how can I adjust these sights? They are tension set, so I presume there is a tool that can be used to press the rear aperture right, or the front post left (someone correct me if I got that wrong).
1. Is there such a tool and if so is it frame specific or perhaps small and large frame?
2. Which is the preferred adjustment, move rear, move front, or move both?
3. Is this a DIY thing or do I need to just head to my local gunsmith and let him figure it out?

I will accept my sight picture and stance may account for the low shots, and I accept that this is a pocket pistol so accuracy is not it's strong suite, but 4 inches right of center at 23feet is just downright unacceptable.

The second issue was with my Springfield Range Officer Champion (45 acp). Again, several test loads worked up and this gun normally shoots well. Today, first shot fails to eject (is that what everyone calls a "stovepipe" - when the spent case is caught by the slide and sticking out the side of the chamber while the new round cannot enter the breach)? No matter what that is called, it happened on the first round. So - drop the mag, pull the slide rearward until the spent case falls out, tip the muzzle towards the sky so the second round that is half way into the breach falls out, verify clear, put the mag back in, chamber a round, repeat the problem, then repeat the clearing process. Third round will not chamber well, I had to drop the mag, pull the slide most of the way to the rear and let it slam home. Put mag back in, fired 3rd round, this time no stovepipe but the 4th round did not chamber completely. So, I empty the mag, grab a different load worked up - same results so I am sure it is not the recipe I used.

Background - I am confident I cleaned the gun after last use, I generally clean as soon as I get home but on rare occasion will put them up with the intent to clean the following weekend so it is possible it was dirty. This is also the first ammo I have worked up using a brand new set of Redding Dies (the pro series TiCarbides) and I use a Lyman M-Die (also first time use). I know every manufacturer turns out a less than perfect set of dies from time to time, but the statistical odds are against that being the problem since I bought a set of 9mm Reddings and the 45ACP and have already sent the 9MM to Redding to check (every 3rd round bangs the side of the sizing die - something that does not happen with 380 Hornady dies, the 357 Redding dies, the 41Mag Dillon dies, or the 45ACP (also Redding) so I assumed it was the sizing die mouth opening was of - Redding customer service was great, they checked and verified the dimensions, cleaned them and said to try a new shell plate which I have gotten, but I just have not gotten around to making any 9mm since the die came back).

The point of all that is that I don't think it is the Redding sizer - if it is the die, then I have to say Ernie Ghan got it right - Fate truly IS the Hunter. At the range, I had three test loads worked up (15 of each), all with Xtreme 200gr bullets, one with Accurate #5, second Titegroup, and third CFE. This was mixed brass, all with CCI primers. Based on your experiences:

1. Is it possible the crimp (perhaps not enough) would cause this problem?
2. Is it possible the chamber on this particular pistol is just "too tight"?
3. These are new starting loads, could my problem just be not enough power to cycle the gun? It is fairly new, less than 400 rounds through it if that makes any difference. (This is where I learned to take a handful of factory or "known to work rounds", it may have answered these questions).

Considering Redding CS was so helpful and nothing was wrong with the last set of dies, I am hesitant to call and ship in another set until i have ruled out other possibilities. I have a set of Lee 45ACP dies (the 4 die set) which I think includes a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Should I just run these through the Lee FCD and try again? I have two other 45's, I could try with them but few things in life are more disappointing than going to the range to hear everyone else's gun run like Olympic Champions while yours is acting like a sick puppy throwing up on the wife's new rug.

On the bright side, I had my Baby Eagle 9MM there and 2 boxes of factory ammo. Wouldn't you know it, by the time I pulled it out, I swear I was the only one left on the range, but Usain Bolt would have been proud of how well that gun ran.
 

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My opinion only and this in on the .45 ACP, I am guessing that the Springfield Range Officer Champion is a 1911. I used to have a Range Officer and it was. Your loads, if they were at the minimum loads, are too weak. The 1911 has a pretty massive piece of steel to push back when it fires. Try loading at MID-RANGE and you problem should be solved with that one. I have 8 1911's and none of them will function with light loads.

If I remember the P238, both the front and the back sights are able to be drifted right or left. I had a similar problem with mine and I was able to drift the rear sight using a brass punch and a hammer but it took some powerful hammering to move it.
 

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I had to drift the rear sight slightly on my P938. What I did:
(For reference, make a line with a sharp pencil on the side you are drifting towards - you won’t need much). Clamp the slide to a heavy duty table with a few layers of cloth between the table and slide. Put several layers of masking tape on the end of a pin punch and tap the punch with a hammer.

Or you can buy a sight adjustment tool.

For the P938, Sig sells sights of different heights for elevation. I assume they sell them for the 238 as well.

4” in 8 yards is a lot. Is one of the sights visibly off-center?
 

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As far as the rear sight(and I don't know the gun in question) if it doesn't have a set screw holding it in place this is what I did. I have a Glock 19 and before I switched to adjustable sight in the rear I moved the rear sight by using a dowel and a hammer and tapped( harder than a tap but you know what I mean) the sight over. If it's shooting right, rear sight goes left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My opinion only and this in on the .45 ACP, I am guessing that the Springfield Range Officer Champion is a 1911. I used to have a Range Officer and it was. Your loads, if they were at the minimum loads, are too weak. The 1911 has a pretty massive piece of steel to push back when it fires. Try loading at MID-RANGE and you problem should be solved with that one. I have 8 1911's and none of them will function with light loads.

If I remember the P238, both the front and the back sights are able to be drifted right or left. I had a similar problem with mine and I was able to drift the rear sight using a brass punch and a hammer but it took some powerful hammering to move it.

Yes, the RO is a 1911. I was really hoping at least one persons would opine as you did, it was one of my considerations and the most simple solution - even though I now have to pull 35 bullets - and I like the Redding dies, and the gun.
 

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I had to drift the rear sight slightly on my P938. What I did:
(For reference, make a line with a sharp pencil on the side you are drifting towards - you won’t need much). Clamp the slide to a heavy duty table with a few layers of cloth between the table and slide. Put several layers of masking tape on the end of a pin punch and tap the punch with a hammer.

Or you can buy a sight adjustment tool.

For the P938, Sig sells sights of different heights for elevation. I assume they sell them for the 238 as well.

4” in 8 yards is a lot. Is one of the sights visibly off-center?
I checked visually, and it really is not much but the front does appear very slightly off center.

I did a quick check on "sight adjustment tool" - as long as I stay away from the one made by Sig these seem reasonable enough. $50 just to move a sight seems a bit harsh but then the aggravation and time involved would be far greater than the $ I would save trying to do it with a punch and hammer. Plus it looks like I can take that tool to the range. Do they have to be mounted to the bench? One model had holes presumably for mounting, others look more like "hand tools".

As far as the rear sight(and I don't know the gun in question) if it doesn't have a set screw holding it in place this is what I did. I have a Glock 19 and before I switched to adjustable sight in the rear I moved the rear sight by using a dowel and a hammer and tapped( harder than a tap but you know what I mean) the sight over. If it's shooting right, rear sight goes left.
So, rear sight run away, and front runs towards the shot placement? I.e. if shooting to the right I need to drift the rear to the left (away) or the front to the right (towards)?
 
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So, rear sight run away, and front runs towards the shot placement? I.e. if shooting to the right I need to drift the rear to the left (away) or the front to the right (towards)?
If the gun is shooting left of point of aim, move the rear sight in the direction (left) you want the bullet to go, the front sight is opposite. As for your gun shooting low, go to a heavier bullet like maybe a 124 grain. The slight increase in recoil will raise your point of impact.
 

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I checked visually, and it really is not much but the front does appear very slightly off center.

I did a quick check on "sight adjustment tool" - as long as I stay away from the one made by Sig these seem reasonable enough. $50 just to move a sight seems a bit harsh but then the aggravation and time involved would be far greater than the $ I would save trying to do it with a punch and hammer. Plus it looks like I can take that tool to the range. Do they have to be mounted to the bench? One model had holes presumably for mounting, others look more like "hand tools".
In the owner’s manual, it says .020” of sight adjustment will move POI approximately 3” at 25 yds. So a big 1/32” should get you close.

Some of the sight adjustment tools are bench mounted, some portable. Having never used one, I can’t give much advice beyond reading reviews.

So, rear sight run away, and front runs towards the shot placement? I.e. if shooting to the right I need to drift the rear to the left (away) or the front to the right (towards)?
Yep, that’s right. Basically if you drift the rear sight to the right, you’ll need to point the muzzle to the right in order to recenter the front blade in the rear groove. If you move the front blade to the right, you’d have to move the muzzle left in order to recenter.

https://www.sigsauer.com/wp-content...938OperatorManual_1202508-01_Rev03_proof2.pdf
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whole new problem appeared when I got home and I wanted to give kudos to Springfield's customer service. I could not find that little plastic half-round take down tool, and despite reading the instructions twice, checking YouTube, and everywhere else on the alternative takedown method, I could not get it apart without the tool.

None to be found on E-bay or Amazon so I pretty much figured the only place left was the maker or one Asian country known for it's black market and the wife told me if I get on a plane to not come back so, I e-mailed Springfield. I left a message in the general mail box that I could not find a take down tool on-line, how much does it cost, and BTW, I don't recall if I registered but if I did it would be under my office address which I left in the message. CS sent a reply that a couple of the parts were on the way to my address.

I know these little plastic do-hickeys are probably cheaper than the envelope and stamp to send them out but still, it is nice to know a company has customer service reps willing to just respond immediately to solve a problem.
 
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I have to agree with George that your loads just don't have enough power to reliably function the pistol. Odds are that there is nothing wrong with your dies or your pistol. I would suggest that instead of testing several different powders at one range trip you select a powder that the component manufactures have found works better than others and work up you test loads with that powder. Most component makers will state which powder seemed to work better in their testing. Make up some test loads with that one powder starting somewhere in the mid range and bumping say 0.2 grains loading 5 to 10 rounds each as you approach the max loading. Shoot your test loads using as good a rest as you can. Doing this with my new Sig 226 and Alliant Pistol Power and 126 grain Hornady FMJ the gun showed a definite preference for a loading close to max. If you don't like any of those loads then try another powder and repeat the testing.
 

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What is a little plastic half-round take down tool?

You talking about one of these:


It's called a Barrel Bushing Wrench - $3.95 on Amazon, $.99 and up on eBay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What is a little plastic half-round take down tool?

You talking about one of these:


It's called a Barrel Bushing Wrench - $3.95 on Amazon, $.99 and up on eBay.
No, the Champion has a guide-rod that is one piece and there is no barrel busing. The takedown took literally looks like a thick walled plastic tube about 1.5 inches in length that has been split open lengthwise. Pull the slide back to expose the guided, snap the do-hickey over the guided to hold the double springs compressed. Then remove the take-down pin and press the slide forward to disassemble. The guide-rod can now be wiggled out and the barrel released forward and out of the slide. The RO Champion is rather compact, so without that little do-hickey, it is virtually impossible to disassemble - though there are instructions and videos showing it can be done. I think I lack the patience and dexterity.
 

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WOW, never heard of such a thing. If you get one, can you post a picture of it and how it is being used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When it arrives I will post pics.
 
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