EMP 40 accuracy

Discussion in 'Springfield Armory EMP' started by RichT, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    Hi guys, back again. Sent my EMP 40 cal. back to Springfield for a look over, due to really erratic groups. I am a fairly good shot, usually turning in 1 to 2" groups at 10 yds. with my other guns. This includes 3 Glocks, a Citadel 45, TZ75, and Smith M&P 40, as well as a Ruger SP 101 357. With the Citadel, I can usually put 4 of 5 touching.

    When I first got the EMP, the best I could do was a 3 and 1/2" group at 10 yds. from a rest. Backing off to 25 yds. opened up to 6 to 7" groups. I tried several different kinds of ammo, from Winchester white box, up to Speer Gold Dot, and Hornady Critical Defense. Best group of all was with DRT 105 grain.

    So, sent the gun back to SA. They adjusted the extractor, the trigger, and lowered the front sight. Sent back a target from range testing supposedly at 25 yds. with Winchester 180 grain. The group was a little over 3". but really high. They said they adjusted the front sight for POI but didn't test it afterwards. It now shoots about 2" low, and 1 &1/2" left. But that isn't my concern. The best I could do at 10 yds. was a group slightly over 3". Backing off to 55', (about 18 yds, and the limit at my indoor range) groups again went back out to maybe 4+". I tried this with 4 different brands of ammo.

    I realize it's not a competition gun, or a target/match pistol, but I feel like for a $1000+ gun, it should shoot as well as my others that cost half as much. My Glock 26 will do a 2" group at 10 yds. offhand.

    Anybody else have this problem with the EMP? Should I call SA again, and complain, or just accept it the way it is? I'm really disappointed in the gun regarding accuracy. I love it in all other respects. Feels great in my hand, comfortable, looks awesome, but I am very zealous about accuracy, and since I had intended it for concealed carry, I want it to hit what I aim at.

    Any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance for any comments.
    PS, I shot a buddy's Kimber Eclipse Ultra 3" 45 and put 4 of 5 in the bull at 15 yds, with a group that could be covered by a half dollar, so I don't think it's me,,lol.
     
  2. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Stick your finger in the muzzle and try to jiggle the barrel. If the barrel jiggles at full lock-up, the gun will never shoot tight groups. First thing to try, because it's a matter of 15 minutes, is a longer link. If that doesn't do it, a really good gunsmith will be able to silver-solder a pair of pads in the slide to tighten things up.

    Or you can send it to the SA Custom Shop and ask them to hard fit a barrel. If you are really going to defend your life with this gun, this is the most sane alternative.

    Going to a longer link will resolve to one of two conditions: Tighter lockup, or failure of the slide to return to full battery. You could also try going to a slide release with a 0.200" pin, but this is not necessarily a benign thing with a short barreled gun, it may interfere with link-down. I am assuming you are an experienced enough shooter to know if the gun "feels wrong" when you make any of these changes.

    Short barreled guns are much more difficult to work with, but they can be made to shoot precisely.
     

  3. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    EMT accuracy

    Pokute,
    Thanks for the advice. Can you define "jiggle"? I realize the barrel shouldn't move around at lock up, but how much movement is acceptable? Are we talking absolutely solid, i.e. no movement, or is say a .001 or .002" okay?

    It is supposed to be a match grade barrel, thus I assumed it would be hard fit at the factory?? If that is the problem, I feel SA should fix it, given the price of the gun and their advertising regarding that it is a precision firearm designed from the ground up.

    Have a friend who has a precision pistol rest, so gonna try it again next weekend, eliminating me as the variable. If it won't do 4" at 25 yds. from a solid rest, it's back to SA for repair.
     
  4. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Jiggle is any movement at all. It's called lockup for a reason. If it can jiggle, it can probably rotate too. Especially in a compact pistol.

    "Match Grade Barrel" is a meaningless term. There was a time when SA made two styles of 5" barrel, one was made from two pieces, the other from one piece. The one piece barrel started getting called the "Match Grade" barrel, and the misnomer has stuck even though they only make one barrel now. They stopped making the two piece barrel because everybody hated the idea.

    Barrel makers sell barrels marked "Match Grade" so that folks doing a hard fit can buy a barrel that kinda sorta says thats what it is.

    As for the pistol rest thing... That's a ticklish business. A real expert can make a Ransom Rest do what it's made to do, and can interpret the results. But in most cases, including this one, a forearm rest will tell the tale just as well, and without the possibility of introducing some bizarre characteristic of the rest in combination with the pistol being tested.

    SA might do something, or they might tell you that the existing barrel is within spec. You might get further by presenting your case in terms like "I'm considering sending the gun to the Custom Shop to get a hand fitted barrel - What do you think". That way you might get your gun evaluated by the Custom Shop manager, instead of by somebody on the loading dock.
     
  5. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    EMP accuracy

    Pokute,
    Thanks, for the lesson and the advice. I will definitely give SA a call if I find the gun won't meet my requirements.
     
  6. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    A *real* gunsmith would silver-solder two pads in the end of the slide (at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock) and use those to adjust the barrel lockup. A *real* gunsmith doing a hard fit would do the same by profiling pads between the barrel lugs (10 o'clock and 2 o'clock) at the back, and would mate the barrel and slide at the front to just clear. Alan Tanaka explained to me how he does it, and I have no doubt that his method is both the best and most difficult. I don't have the skills for that, so would do what I could with the slide release pin and link, and *possibly* increase the upper lug engagement (if I were feeling particularly adventurous).
     
  7. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    EMP accuracy

    Pokute,
    Thanks for the insight. I checked again, and the barrel does have "some" vertical movement at lock up. I can push the barrel "up and down" approx. .004" to .005". Doesn't seem to be any "side to side" play. I like your idea of calling SA and asking them about getting the barrel hard fit by the custom shop, and then asking them why I should have to pay for that, in a $1000+ gun. We'll see what they say. Given that they tout the precision of the gun so explicitly, it would seem that it should operate at least as well, if not better than my $500 Citadel 45, or a $600 Glock.
     
  8. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    So, are your open groups strung out vertically?

    I'm not inclined to say anything about the Glock (aside from having shot a number of them, and finding them ridiculous, I know nothing about them), but a properly tuned Citadel (and plenty come from the factory that way) can be very accurate and reliable. I've put my Citadel build on hold (Busy training for the IHMSA World Championship - Where I will probably make a truly miserable score - But I gotta try.), but I have finished the accuracy portion of the build, and it is as accurate as anything. And it's a bull-barreled compact. Dead solid lockup and links down without a hitch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  9. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    Pokute, sorry it's taken so long to get back to you, but been busy. Did send the gun back to SA, they said it shoots to specs, so kind of at a loss as to what to do. I see your idea of changing the barrel link, as that would place the barrel further back in the slide and lock up tighter. So, since I'm not into gunsmithing, where would I acquire a longer link? I'm an ex aircraft mechanic, and good with tools, so changing the link is no problem, if I can find the right size. Where would I start looking? Thanks for the help.
     
  10. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    You want to buy a #4 link HERE. Reuse the pin from the factory link to install it. If the new link is too long, the gun will not go fully into battery when dropping the slide. It's a cheap and relatively painless thing to try.

    BTW, the idea with the longer link is not to get the barrel further back, but further up. Of course, it can wind up further back too. The bull barrel will not "spring", so it just won't go into battery if the link is too long.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  11. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    Pokute, thanks, I'll get one on order. Will the link fit the EMP since it's a smaller frame than a standard 1911? i.e. is the link on the EMP barrel a standard length?
     
  12. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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  13. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    Pokute, thanks for the info and the tech drawing. I do have mics and tooling to check the dimensions. Big help, just hope it works. Let you know soon as I have it in. Ps, just ordered a SA Range Officer Champion in 45 ACP, and a RIA officer model tactical in 45. Want to see how the Rock Island shoots. Have read they are a good platform for build up. If I decide to rebarrel it for accuracy, what do you think of the Kart barrels? Was reading up on them last night, and sound like they would be a good start for not that much money. Is there a better alternative? Any advice is appreciated.
     
  14. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I got my RIA Officer's to shoot like a demon with a longer link and a more powerful recoil spring. To get it to be reliable I had to recut the hammer and sear. RIA hammers and sears ship with only about 50% engagement, which produces the sensation of "breaking in", unfortunately once it's "broken in", it's on it's way to failing. If you want me to recut yours for you, PM me, I bought the expensive jigs.

    Unfortunately, swapping parts on an RIA is not a simple task. RIA guns are often out of spec, making it better to fit the factory parts. Fitting a new barrel would not be worth it. The factory barrel shoots very well, it just needs a bit of polish to improve feeding.

    Always read the appropriate section in the Kuhnhausen Book before taking files, stones, or dremels to your 1911!