Looking for answers

This is a discussion on Looking for answers within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Let me say first off, I'm not new to reloading. I've reloaded .38, .357 Mag, .41 Mag, .223, 30-06 since the seventies. In all, I've ...

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Thread: Looking for answers

  1. #1
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    Question Looking for answers

    Let me say first off, I'm not new to reloading. I've reloaded .38, .357 Mag, .41 Mag, .223, 30-06 since the seventies. In all, I've had one misfire, a bad primer. I will say I've just started with .45 auto recently, and here's what I've done.

    I have a Glock 30, which I've fired reloaded 185 grn Nosler HPs with 5.3 grns of H-38 in the Glock barrel. No problems. I'm not looking for full-bore loads, rather something lighter.

    I just installed a Storm Lake barrel so I can shoot lead bullets.
    I loaded 10 200 grn SWCs with 5.3 grns of H-38 and about 20 rds with 4.8 grns. Both loads fall into the middle of the powder load for that powder/bullet combo.

    It was a disaster. You name it, I had it: fired cases failed to extract, the slide closed on a still-chambered empty casing (click, huh?), stovepipes, failed to feed, not going completely into full battery (a lot), etc. Very discouraging to say the least. R-P 230 grain factory loads ran through like a champ. The Nosler reloads didn't fae much better.

    None of the rounds exceeded COL (under max COL in all), the SWCs had about 1/16 or less of an inch shoulder showing. Cases had been flared just enough to start the bullet, no roll crimp, tapered-crimped.

    I did notice that the SWC cartridges did NOT drop into the barel chamber as deeply as a jacketed bullet, either factory or reloaded.

    Obviously something is wrong with my setup for .45. It may just be a SWC problem for the Glock; I've heard they aren't keen on them. Since I only bought 100 for testing, there's no money lost and I can get 200 grn lead rd nose.

    I'm open to all suggestions. I was really looking forward to putting lead through the SL barrel.
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    Member Array BaserRonin's Avatar
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    I solved 100% of my chambering problems with a lee factory crimp die. Since then I have bought a Lee Factory Crimp die for every caliber I load. Highly recommended. From your description, I would start with that.

    Without my notes (I'm at work) I can't speak about your loading specs.
    Due to it's content the posting above should not have been read by anyone.

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    Sounds like that may have to happen. I'm using RCBS taper crimp dies. I plan on getting a G22 and a 9mm barrel, but I need to get this issue fixed before I invest in another reloading set.
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    Member Array pollardjd's Avatar
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    Three thoughts:

    1. .45 ACP is one of the more forgiving cartridges, so something must be out of whack for you to have trouble like that. Don't give up on lead-bullet reloads. You can make this work.

    2. I concur with the comment on using the Lee Factory Crimp Die as your final sizer. It not only crimps but does a final resize on the whole case.

    3. Get a case gage for .45 ACP. I got one from Dillon, but you can get them from most mail order houses. It will tell if your reloads are within spec, too long, etc. Your description of the cartridges going different depths into the chamber leads me to believe that the cartridges may be out of gage...

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    Member Array BaserRonin's Avatar
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    This might be obvious, but have you verified the diameter of your bullets? If the diameter is above .452 it might be bulging the case enough to cause chambering and other issues. Maybe? I have purchased lead labeled .451 that was slightly oversized before...

    just a thought.
    Due to it's content the posting above should not have been read by anyone.

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    I don't know. They're definitely not too long. My el cheapo digital micrometer doesn't read thousandths, but where max length is 1.225, mine read 1.21, so they're somewhere between 1.210-1.219. But I'll double check and get a better micrometer.

    I don't know they can be crimped any tighter, the bullet is tightly crimped already.
    ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaserRonin View Post
    This might be obvious, but have you verified the diameter of your bullets? If the diameter is above .452 it might be bulging the case enough to cause chambering and other issues. Maybe? I have purchased lead labeled .451 that was slightly oversized before...

    just a thought.
    I'll recheck them as soon as I get a new battery for my micrometer. The Noslers did the same thing to some extent. Heck, I'll check tehm too.
    Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Here's what to do: load empty cases into your mag and cycle them through the gun. If they cycle flawlessly, the barrel geometry is OK;

    Get a box of 230 fmj factory ammo and cycle that through the gun by hand. If they cycle properly, cool beans. Your reloads with various bullets are causing OAL issues. If they don't and the gun won't go into battery, the chamber may be a little close on it's tolerance and a gunsmith can remedy that with a chamber reamer.

    Just keep in mind that different bullet configurations will seat differently with your loading dies. he thing I always watch for with the 45acp is how far the shoulder of the bullet extends out of the case. If you are having battery problems, the first thing I do is take a sharpie and mark around the shoulder of the loaded round and then chamber it. if it has problems going into battery, you will see the sharpie marked area rubbed away immediately, letting you know where you are contacting on the round. A lot of times, simply reseating the bullet deeper will remedy this.

    Try that, I think it should solve your problems.....
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    I will (I'll try anything at his point, but my cartridges are under COL if anything). All the 185 and 200 grn bullets COL are less than the factory 230.

    I've put a loaded round in the barrel and wiggled it. It's only slightly less sloppy than the Glock barrel, which is expected to be looser.
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    Member Array j21blackjack's Avatar
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    When I switched to SWC from LRN in my 1911, I had severe problems with proper cycling. I now actually have to seat the SWC's about a milimeter below the case mouth. They cycle wonderfully now. I was a little nervous about seating below the case mouth, but my 1911 sure seems to love them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j21blackjack View Post
    When I switched to SWC from LRN in my 1911, I had severe problems with proper cycling. I now actually have to seat the SWC's about a milimeter below the case mouth. They cycle wonderfully now. I was a little nervous about seating below the case mouth, but my 1911 sure seems to love them.
    I'm willing to try that, althought it seems contrary to what I've read. The one shell with the SWC seated flush gave me the biggest problem. The rest had less than 1/16" protruding. Somehow I'm going to get this figured out.

    Thanks all.
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    Member Array j21blackjack's Avatar
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    I made the decision to try it after I measured the length of some factory WWB JHP's. I originally just loaded them to a fingernail's width of the shoulder above the case mouth. This obviously failed miserably. I then seated the SWC's to the same length as my JHP's, this set them a little below the case mouth. Took them to the range and everything worked great, had no FTF or FTE.

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    A few thoughts:
    1. Make sure you have bullets designed for the 45 ACP and not for a 45 Colt. This is a typical SWC for the Colt:

    This is a typical SWC for the ACP:


    Notice the difference in the angle and width of the nose portion. In addition, a Colt bullet usually has a crimping groove where a ACP bullet does not.

    2. Confirm the diameter of the bullets. As someone else mentioned, 45 cal. lead pistol bullets can be sized to different diameters.

    3. Take a round that won't drop into your new barrel completely and see if it will drop in the Glock barrel. If it drops into the Glock barrel, I'd start thinking there were some out-of-spec problems with the new barrel.

    4. To echo others, get a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Nothing better.
    Regardless of whatever else you do, use extreme caution about seating to a depth greater than COL as listed in your load data. The further you seat a bullet, the more you reduce the size of the combustion chamber and the more you increase pressures. I've seen guns blown up by seating too deeply.

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    Hoss, Your ACP SWCs look just like mine (from Meister). I'm ordering a Lee die today, so we'll see what happens.

    I dropped a factory 230 grn Rem round into the SL barrel and it seemed to seat fine (shot well also).

    Next time I load some rounds, I'm going to reset the bullet seat and run them through the Lee die.
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    I do NOT crimp .45 ACP as the headspacing is done on the rim of the brass. Crimping the bullet in place on .45ACP could lead to fouling problems or even damage to the pistol.

    Mic out the bullet and make sure that it is the correct diameter. In some cases I have seen the bullet actually buldge the brass enough to cause issues. Check the completed round to see if this is the case. Also hopefully you don't flair out the brass to accept the bullet if you do then try a chamfering tool instead.

    Hope your issue is resolved and you get your butt back to the range to have fun

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