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Thread: .45 ACP reloading problems

  1. #1
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Default .45 ACP reloading problems

    Hey guys,

    I reload several calibers, mainly 10mm. I started reloading .45acp awhile ago, and just got through with my first two boxes. Bought some new bullets and loaded up another 150 rounds. These, unlike the first 100 rounds I had loaded, won't cycle

    At first I thought it was the gun, however it will sit there and digest my other reloads and factory ammo all day.


    The reloaded case sticks in the chamber, leading to incomplete/not-in-full-battery and FTE. Anyone have any idea what it might be? I thought it might be be over-expanding the case, but I backed it out and matched it to a fired case, still would not cycle.


    Anyone have any ideas? I'm fairly sure this is a stupid question with a obvious answer, but it's driving me and my tiny brain crazy.

    Any/all help is appreciated guys!

    Thanks,

    Jon
    Still-Learning Alaskan Salmon Slayer

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    You don't say what type bullet these are or seating depth so I can only venture a guess. You may have the bullet sticking out to far and the bullet is jamming into the rifling before the action is closed. Mark the bullet on a loaded round with a felt tip marke. Slowly feed and extract the round and check to see if you have rifling marks on the bullet.

  3. #3

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    I'm not as well versed in the reloading field as most of these guys but if I was in your position I would check three things. I would make sure I'm using the correct diameter bullets, check to make sure the rounds are headspacing correctly, and then I would make sure I'm not crimping the bullet while seating it and causing the case to distort.

  4. #4

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    On the .45 a.c.p. you don't want to roll crimp at all. You do need to make sure the loaded round will drop into the chamber.

    With .452 cast bullets this can be a problem if the seating die isn't adjusted correctly. Also, some chambers are minimum dimension, others have tolerances that are more forgiving.

    Some brands of seating dies will apply enough taper crimp for this, and if not Lee makes a die just for this purpose.

    You can check your loaded rounds with a gauge available from Midway and other places.

  5. #5

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    Good point Bob. Since the 45 acp headspaces off the case mouth in an auto loader you will want to use a taper crimp. I use a redding taper crimp for all of my 45 acp rounds. I've found if I taper crimp my 45 acp rounds to spec they do not headspace correctly and the brass sticks in the chamber. I taper crimp the mouth just enough to close the gap between the case mouth and bullet. That has worked well in my XD.

  6. #6
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    I'm using 200 gr. jacketed HP's. I don't think it is headspacing, as the first round in the mag will seat fully, but will FTE. Wouldn't headspacing prevent it from entering battery all the way?

    They are seated to the same depth (actual dimensions escape me at the moment) as the Remington factory ammunition. I'm using a Hornady die set. As I said the previous 100 rounds worked fine and I haven't really changed much except for the belling depth (forgot to lock the die ) and bullet change from 230 to 200 gr.



    Jon
    Still-Learning Alaskan Salmon Slayer

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    Does the brass need to be trimmed?

  8. #8

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm using 200 gr. jacketed HP's. I don't think it is headspacing, as the first round in the mag will seat fully, but will FTE. Wouldn't headspacing prevent it from entering battery all the way?
    Sorry I thought you mentioned it mentioned somewhere it wouldnt enter battery all the way. That's what I get for posting at 4 in the morning.

  9. #9
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    Sorry I thought you mentioned it mentioned somewhere it wouldnt enter battery all the way. That's what I get for posting at 4 in the morning.

    It's fickle. The first round in the magazine will enter battery (Thus, why I don't think it's headspacing?) the rest will not. In fact, if a factory round is in the chamber and a reload is in the mag. it will prevent the factory load from ejecting.

    I measured everything. Bullets are the same diameter, cases are the same length/width, etc. all well below max. specs, I can see what appears to be small dents from the bullet touching the rifling, reseated a few even deeper. Problem still persists when bullets are well shorter than the previous HP's that I shot.


    I'm going to have to spend some time brushing up on my reloading reading so I can figure this out...it's driving me crazy.



    Thanks for the help guys

    Jon



    EDIT: Also, I'm using an RCBS die set, not hornady. My mistake
    Last edited by akhunter3; 11-15-2008 at 13:39. Reason: die set
    Still-Learning Alaskan Salmon Slayer

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Just thinking out loud.....

    Have you tried a different magazine?

    When you switched from 230gr bullets to 200gr bullets, did you change the powder charge? Perhaps the new reloads are too light to fully cycle the action?

    What kind of brass are you using? Are you running something weird, like A-MERC brass?

    How does the extractor look?

  11. #11
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    Default Dan may be on to something

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    Just thinking out loud.....

    Have you tried a different magazine?

    When you switched from 230gr bullets to 200gr bullets, did you change the powder charge? Perhaps the new reloads are too light to fully cycle the action?

    What kind of brass are you using? Are you running something weird, like A-MERC brass?

    How does the extractor look?
    I have two instances of similar behaviour.

    My Coonan (1911 clone chambered for .357) will often fail to eject when shooting my revolver's practice loads (which are 'WAY below 357 power levels) in the .357 cases.

    I had some lightly loaded .45ACP loads that would fail to properly cycle the action on my Colt Gold Cup unless I held the pistol tightly. If I held it limply, stovepipe jams and failures to extract, or extraction and failure to strip a new cartridge from the magazine were the norm. All attributable to less-than-full-length travel on the slide cycling.

    Lighter bullet, even with the same powder charge could result in less energy to cycle the action properly.

    Solution/Diagnosis Hold the pistol tight with both hands or in a vise or rest and compare results to holding the pistol loosely. Use a lighter recoil spring. Use heavier powder charge.

    Good call, Dan.

    Another thought; are your cartridges fully rearward in the magazine? If they sit forward, the might catch the lip of the feed ramp as they attempt to leave the magazine. Solution: rap the magazine sharply against your leg, hand or hard-cushioned block to settle the cartridges to the rear of the magazine.

    I have heard that 90% (or something like that) of all feeding problems are due to the magazine, not the gun. I discounted that notion because the same (presumably) magazine feeds/fed other rounds OK. Unless the lips got bent or something else changed, there would be no reason to suspect the mag, but if you have another to try, check it. Stranger things have happened.

    Have you disassembled the gun and tried fitting the cartridges in the chamber/barrel? Try this: Take the barrel out of the gun and then slip each cartridge casing into the chamber at each stage of the loading process. Start with the just-fired cases before sizing and go from there. After each single operation, try it again and observe any changes in fit, headspace, ease of insertion etc.
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 11-15-2008 at 17:37. Reason: add a thought

  12. #12
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Talking Figured it out!!

    Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU!!! to everyone who took the time to help me figure this out

    Turned out to be a kind of bizzarre headspacing problem. Too long and they would keep it from closing into battery, and then when I originally shortened them, I did so too much and it caused just enough of a bulge in the case to stick in the chamber. No longer a big fan of plated HP's.


    Thanks again to all. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to help out a inexperienced person like myself


    Jon
    Still-Learning Alaskan Salmon Slayer

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