Had a problem today...

Had a problem today...

This is a discussion on Had a problem today... within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Well today was the first time I shoot any of my reloads. I reloaded .40S&W shoot GOOD!!! no problems there... But when it came to ...

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Thread: Had a problem today...

  1. #1
    Member Array johnnyrigger's Avatar
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    Had a problem today...

    Well today was the first time I shoot any of my reloads. I reloaded .40S&W shoot GOOD!!! no problems there... But when it came to my .45ACP nothing but problems.... FFT, FTE, & Some times would not go all the way in to Battery. I loaded it with 5.0 GRN of Unique with 200RN FMJ with WLP Primers. my OAL is 1.275. any Ideas of what i was doing wrong?
    Last edited by johnnyrigger; February 24th, 2008 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Forgot some info..


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    I don't run Unique in the 45 Auto but shorten your OAL. 1.275 is very long. Most 45 Auto is loaded to 1.2-1.24. Only ball ammo is loaded to 1.275" usually.

    What data source are you using? Bullet?
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    First, to address the chambering problems:
    1. Your quoted OAL is right at the maximum. You might try seating a few thousandths below max and see if that helps.
    2. Check your case lengths. Max case length is 0.898 and trim to length is 0.893 (Sierra #5 manual).
    3. What I think is most likely is that you aren't crimping quite enough and getting all of the bell out of the case mouth. This cartridge headspaces on the case mouth so you don't want to crimp too much but you have to get rid of the bell put in for seating the bullet. Specified case neck diameter with bullet loaded is 0.473.
    4. Get yourself a case gauge and save finding chambering problems at the range.
    5. Get a Lee Factory Crimp Die. I've had great luck with them helping to solve these types of problems.

    As for your functioning problems when you are able to fire the cartridge--
    I think your charge weight may be light for the bullet used. Are you using plated bullets or jacketed bullets? If these are jacketed bullets, the data I'm finding puts you below starting loads. Sierra's #5 manual for a 200 gr. FPJ bullet using Unique gives the starting load as 5.2 grains with a max of 7.4 grains. Alliant's web site shows only max loads with a recommendation to reduce by 10% for starting loads. Their max load for Unique with a 200 grain JHP bullet is 7.1 grains. Reducing this by 10% would give a starting load of 6.4 grains. I believe you're just not generating enough oomph to get your gun to function correctly.

    Hope this helps out.

    Hoss
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  4. #4
    Member Array johnnyrigger's Avatar
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    Tubby,
    data I am using is the one that the sales man told me to use. he also printed me out the same load data off some web site.

    Hoss,
    All my case measurements are right. as for the powder load im not sure. But i am using plated bullets. also ill make a post tomorrow with the MFG. of my bullets.

    How clean do the rounds have to be? Would it be safe to tumble live rounds?

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I'm betting the above guys are right about OAL being a little long. Also that you need to check your crimp and see if you're getting enough. Try to solve things one step at a time in small batches of 10 or so. If OAL and crimp solve eveything except FTE then work on charge weight next.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyrigger View Post
    Tubby,
    data I am using is the one that the sales man told me to use. he also printed me out the same load data off some web site.
    This concerns me. Check each load against a respected manual, preferrably two. Never take someone's word for granted about load data. Veryify it.

    I'd like to know where he got the data and what site he used. That right there sent red flags up. I personally would never ever do that without the usual disclaimer, even if I know damn well it's a starting load and is very safe.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyrigger View Post
    How clean do the rounds have to be? Would it be safe to tumble live rounds?
    While I'm sure some (or maybe all) will disagree with me, I don't recommend tumbling loaded rounds. While I don't think there is much of a danger of a primer being struck hard enough inside a tumbler to set off a round, some powders use a coating to control burn rate. It has always been my thought that tumbling could damage/remove this coating and thus change the burn rate of the powder. Did you tumble the cases prior to loading? If so, and assuming you are using carbide dies (no lube required), they should not require cleaning after loading.

    If you've had no problems with the gun with factory ammo, I still think the failure to feed/load, especially a partial load with the slide not going to full battery, has to be a dimension problem somewhere. As stated before, it could simply be OAL. Your pistol could have a short throat and thus need a tad shorter OAL to function. Should it prove out that OAL isn't the problem, I've already given my best suggestions -- use a Lee factory crimp die and get a loaded round case gauge. Also, look for slight bulges at the base of the case. Some pistols don't fully support the case and can result in a slight bulge at the base that can sometimes prove problematic in removing.

    I still think your FTE problems are related to powder charge. You don't mention the make/model of pistol but some of the compact carry guns, especially if they are +P rated, have extremely stout recoil springs. If it's a full size 1911 frame, then you have to deal with the mass of the full length slide. Ranier says to use lead bullet data with their plated bullets. The only 200 grain lead bullet load using Unique that Alliant lists is a target load, which they say should not be reduced. That load is 5.1 grains. Using too light a load can create two problems. First, simply not generating enough recoil to operate the action. Second, unless using very soft lead bullets, you may not be generating enough pressure to fully obturate the bullet thus allowing some pressure/gas to blow past the bullet further reducing the recoil generated/needed to cycle the action.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    I'd like to know where he got the data and what site he used. That right there sent red flags up. I personally would never ever do that without the usual disclaimer, even if I know damn well it's a starting load and is very safe.
    Tubby -- I'm with you. I've checked several sources and cannot confirm a 5.0 grain load from any of them. The problems with too light a charge seem minor right up to the point of a stuck bullet and then kaboom. The first place I always start is the powder manufacturer's data. I feel that they have most likely done the most extensive testing with their own powders. Next, I'll go to the bullet manufacturer if they provide load data, like Sierra. But no matter where you get the date, check and re-check with a variety of sources.

    Good luck.
    Hoss
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Holy canolies!

    You need to get your reloading data from a reloading manual. What you are doing is not safe.

    Alliant Powder does not list any data with Unique and a 200 RN FMJ bullet - I am not aware of any 200 RN FMJs at all....unless you are talking about Rainier and you are using plated bullets. One way or another you need to get some real data - word of mouth does not count for anything. If you try using data for a different bullet type you may run into pressure problems due to the difference in case volume with different bullet designs (not to mention different OALs). What kind of velocities are you getting with this load?

    All that said, I suspect you are using Rainier plated bullets (data is ~same~ as lead) and that your charge is light and your OAL is too long to run the gun properly. I'd find some real data and start over - 1.250 is a reasonable OAL for most loads FWIW.

    All just my opinion, and worth what you paid for it.

    Austin

  9. #9
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    At risk of repeating the others ... for me yes - combo of troubles first of which I think is charge weight and second that very ''generous'' OAL.
    Chris - P95
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    Let me second that on not tumbling loaded rounds. I had some .270 rounds in our pickup for a few years and when I decided to shoot them for the brass, the first round went off like a blue pill load. Cratered primers and all the other signs of way too much pressure. These were factory loads by the way. I pulled the rest of them and the powder was of a dustier consistancy about 1/2 rods the rest dust. It probably made the powder burn rate much faster. I think the tumbler will do the same thing.
    Life member NRA since 1983
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  11. #11
    Member Array johnnyrigger's Avatar
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    ok Well I just got home form work and looked at what kind of bullets I have and they are X-Treme Bullets 45-200gr RN copper plated that company is out of Carson City, NY. the web site that guy went to was called the reloadingbench.com. Why I Asked about tumbling live rounds is that my rounds are not the cleanest rounds. my gun is a Colt Combat Commander. As far as making rounds in small batches.... I made 300 of the now problem .45's. and tonight i will start to disassemble all these rounds.
    Last edited by johnnyrigger; February 25th, 2008 at 09:57 PM. Reason: wording

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    It's fun to crank out rounds but when working up loads, only run 5 rounds at each charge level and when you find pressure signs, stop and dismantle the remaining rounds. Back off to safe pressure levels.

    Reloadbench.com is a good site. As always, check Internet data against a loading manual. Never take a load quoted in person or on the Internet for granted. Always, always check.

    I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds in my short time reloading and still always check against a manual.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  13. #13
    New Member Array shooterwolf's Avatar
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    Bump your powder up to 5.4 grns. unique and try 1.250 oal. This is a nice light load but should cycle your slide.

    Shooterwolf.

  14. #14
    Member Array johnnyrigger's Avatar
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    Guys,

    Srry for not getting back to ya'll sooner but I had to get my right shoulder operated on due to a long hard day of Hand to Hand Combat training. All is fixed now but I still have limited mobility and a lot of pain.

    I was looking at the MFR website for load data and they are telling me to use lead loads. So I took out my books (The Complete Reloading manuel for the .45 ACP, Lyman 48, Speer Manual #14) The closes I can get is 200GR. LSW (TGT) COL 1.190 with Unique 5.1Gr.

    Dose this sound right? And how much different does it make if I Have RN bullets?

    Thanks for all the support, and the length of time for my response\ questions.
    I really appreciate it.

    Johnny

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Lyman #48 (p. 356) states a 200gr SWC (452460) takes 5-7.5gr of Unique with an OAL of 1.161". I would use this data, maybe run it out to 1.18" if it will feed in your gun. Make up a dummy round at 1.18" and feed it from the mag. If it feeds, go to 1.16" by .05" increments and see if it feeds. I usually load the longest that it will feed, then sneak it down another .05" just to make sure. Then work up a load at that OAL.

    The nose profile isn't much of a concern as bearing surface. The plated bullet will cause less pressure than lead, so you should be good to go.

    To recap: Make a few dummies at 1.16, 1.165, 1.17, 1.175, 1.18, and see which ones feed. Then use that data, from the page I cited and work up.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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