Went to range and started shooting my 1st reloads...
My own interpretation of events: My reloads are :cuss:
I must be doing something (or many things) wrong. They fit in the chamber, and go "bang" with decent accuracy, so I must have the case sizing/priming/powder-weighing stuff down, but not much else. Constructive criticism is welcome:
Powder: 8.4g HS-6
Bullet: 185g Rainier FP
Crimp: .469 (FCD set to 1 turn)
Powder: 9.0g HS-6
Bullet: 185g Rainier FP and HP
Crimp .471 (FCD set to quarter turn)
I had so many problems with my reloads that I gave up on them after about 30 (had 120), and plan to pull the rest and start over. :banghead: I need some help diagnosing what to do differently.
The good part: both 1911 and I are in good shape after range trip. The ones that actually fed did fire and perform just fine.
1) I could almost never get a magazine started if the first round was one of my reloads. This is with 3 mags, two CMC and 1 milsurp mag that all worked fine with factory loads (hardball and HP) during same trip. The only way I could shoot them was to top off the mag with a factory round so it chambered and fired first, and I still had a bad jam sometimes later in the mag.
2) If I dropped the slide on mag (1-7 rds in it, didn't make a diff) some reloads went nowhere, the nose just impacted the feed-ramp bottom very hard. The flat portion on the FPs and HPs exited barely above the mag lips. It looked like it just exited the mag horizontally.
3) The rest of the time (esp if I tried to cycle slide by hand after clearing a jam) the opposite happened, and the round would jam in the chamber at about a 30* angle, requiring lots of pulling/cursing to get it unstuck. Seems like the truncated cone angle coincided with the top of the chamber, and feeding just stopped.
4) Oddly, some of the heavily crimped rounds would set back significantly after failing to feed. The ones lightly crimped actually set back less when they did. Both scare the crap out of me as this is "not a good thing"
My questions are:
1) What is my pistol telling me? My 1911 obviously hates this OAL, but which direction should I move in? Rainiers load data from Midway indicates MAXed out OALs (1.275"), for my bullet and powder, but their data for accurate powder shows 1.215" OALs for the same bullet.
2) Should the rounds be setting back after a bad misfeed? That really shook me seeing the bullet 1/4" lower with the case mouth exposed. About 25% of the rounds that jammed had some bullet setback. Most setback was VERY slight, but a couple were severe like the example above.
3) I am thinking I have the crimping operation wrong, maybe seating also. Basically the FCD is touching the shellholder, the adjustment knob goes down until contact, then quarter-turn more. It was 1 full turn more, after contact, on some of the rounds that set back the most, which I find bizarre.
This was real dissapointing. The ones that chambered shot well, but chambering one was next to impossible...
Any help appreciated...
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May 31, 2005, 08:24 AM
I bet if you tried XTP bullets, you'd have no problems.
My fav load of all time in .45 is XTP-HP 200 grains and 7.0 grains of unique.
They will cut out the X-ring all day long.
Since they have a cannelure, they won't set back.
True, they aren't cheap, but I have yet to find a JHP load in .45 that is as accurate, and I can stamp 'em out for less than $9 a box. (In quantity, about $8 a box.)
I load plated for practice, but I don't know 'the secret' to making them as accurate as name brand JHP.
Overcrimping in plated bullets causes setback.
1/2 turn will prolly be OK, unless the feed ramp angle is steep.
May 31, 2005, 09:22 AM
IMHO, the OAL is more of a suggestion than a practical thing.
Clean the barrel, and disassemble the gun. Now, drop in your rounds, and see if they fit. Increase seating depth until they do. Write that down, as it will only work for that brand of bullet.
I've got a Norinco that must be pretty short - it'll work with factory ammo, but when I try to "load to spec," I keep jamming the lands.
May 31, 2005, 10:20 AM
"Oddly, some of the heavily crimped rounds would set back significantly after failing to feed. The ones lightly crimped actually set back less when they did. Both scare the crap out of me as this is "not a good thing" "
Now you have firsthand seen how over crimping can LOWER case tension. It is dead simple, lead has almost no ability to spring back after compression while brass is able to spring back quite a bit. Pull some of the bullets with the heavy crimp and you will see plainly how they have been swaged smaller where the crimp was applied.
Taper crimp is ONLY to remove the bell on the case.
Your OAL is way too long for those bullets, drop it back (and the powder charge) and feeding will improve. I would start at 1.150" and see what happens, if they still hit the feedramp hard go shorter, if they feed well leave it alone. I would go back to about 1.075" if necessary, if you can't get them feeding at that OAL then the barrel ramp and throating is probably not going to support the bullet you are using no matter what you do.
June 1, 2005, 02:59 AM
HSMITH - Thanks for that simple cogent explanation (again). Somehow it didn't make sense at first, but re-reading and empirical evidence (which I won't ignore) suddenly turned the light bulb on. I'll also drop back to 8.4g while I'm at it, which is the lowest listed starting load I have data for using HS-6.
Bogie - All rounds fit nicely into the chamber and drop free. The problem is completely one of ftf and resulting setback. I have no problems with rounds hand-fed in the pipe going into battery. I know this piece has a tight (match) chamber, but the rounds do drop in/out no prob. My rounds are doing worse than what you say, they are never making it to the lands... :(
caz223 - I've wanted to eventually (after learning to reload ammo correctly/safely) duplicate the "flying ashtray" loads I used to shoot years ago using either the XTP or GoldDot in 200 grain. I'll try the XTP first then, thanks for the tip.
I'm going to make a few dummy rounds (no primer or powder) at many different (shorter) OALs, and see what strips from the mag (and feeds repeatedly that way) BEFORE I clean the gun. This way I can easily see the impact points on the throat/ramp in the soot.
I'll "crimp" these just enough to get rid of the belling, and try again.
BTW, now I'm worried that I'm opening up the case mouth too much when belling the case mouth. Its a visible "lip" (although tiny) but thats where the bullet can first set on top of the case without leaning to one side or the other, i.e. sits on there straight. I hope thats correct. I am now re-questioning everything... sheesh.
Thanks for the feedback, mucho appreciated.
June 1, 2005, 09:35 AM
Antarti, I wonder if maybe the 185 gr bullets are not feeding because they are too short, or set in the case too much. I've never used 185 FP, but I have for a long time used 225gr BBTFP (bevel base tapered flat point) and the nose of thise are not really flat, sorta rounded. They have feed reliably in three colts, a Norinco, SW457. I set the OAL about .124 or thereabouts.
Been recently loading some 200 SWC also set about the same and they feed perfectly.
I would suggest loading a few round nose, say 230gr, just to rule out any reloading issues that your gun doesn't like, and secondly try some heavier/longer FP.
June 1, 2005, 12:17 PM
Well I can't help regarding your specific combo, but I can speak to the bell issue.
You want just enough bell to allow the bullet to seat and not scrape the bullet/lead/plating/jacket. I reduce it down to where I can barely feel the bell.
Likewise, the crimp is not what holds the bullet in place on a semi-auto cartridge like 45acp. Neck tension is the only game in town here. I use a FCD as well, but I don't even know if mine's in 1/4 turn. I did as the instructions suggest, die down to shell plate, then turn the knob until it hits cartridge. Then I backed down the shellplate, gave it like 1/8 turn, and ran it back up. Measured the amount of crimp, which was negligible, tested that round to make sure it chambered, and called it a day. It is literally just enough to straighten out the bell. I've taken a dummy that was set up like this and rechambered it 20 times. It shrunk somewhere in the neighborhood of .050. I'll live with that.
June 1, 2005, 01:09 PM
As far as the setback goes, when I first started reloading (all of 6 months ago) I had a problem with the bullets setting back with just pressure from me testing them on the top of my desk.
I tried three different headstamps of fired, cleaned and re-sized brass before trying new Starline brass. The new brass worked fine without sizing, but would allow setback after sizing. I ended up sending the sizing/decapping die back to Lee and they sent me an "undersized" one back free of charge.
May be something to consider.
June 1, 2005, 01:15 PM
What it's telling me is your gun does not like those bullets.
June 2, 2005, 07:30 PM
A 1911 was built around ball ammo. That said, I've had to run my OAL on the short end to get reliable feed with ball ammo. My taper crimp is tight enough to keep me from pushing the bullet into the case when I push as hard as I can. I've shot plated and Lead bullets and never had a problem with feeding lead but a number of problems with plated bullets. And no, you won't get leading at 800 ft/sec.
--Shorten OAL ever so slightly and adjust powder throw accordingly
--Ball is your friend
--Lead is friendlier than plated
--Get and use a chamber gauge. Every single round I've loaded goes through a gauge before heading for the box. It ensures the crimp being right, bell is removed, and the primer is seated properly.
June 3, 2005, 05:16 PM
Have you tried different magazines?
Measure a "good" round vs a "blowing" round.
June 3, 2005, 05:56 PM
Thanks for the extra feedback!
Bogie - Very good call, it looked that way to me except all my factory ammo fed just fine, zero hiccups. My 3 mags are "known good" in this piece with both 230grn ball and 185grn Winchester Silvertips, and all 3 exhibited the same problems feeding my reloads from the mag. Aside from the CMCs, the third was my "go to" mag when I have to diagnose mag problems, its an old used Military 1911 mag. The damned old thing feeds perfect, with more bullet types, in more 1911s than any other mag I've owned. This piece eats 230grn ball (like every 1911/1911 clone I've owned) 100%. I burned up lots of it before/during/after trying my reloads, so nothing has gone bad with pistol/mags during my last range session.
Those 230grn factory loads were plain-jane WWB at 1.260 OAL and the Silvertips were 1.230 OAL (yes, I measured them before reloading mine). I patterned my 185FP ammo to measure identical to the Silvertips thinking "If its the same in all dimensions, it must be ok". Obviously, the rounded ogive of the Silvertip HP feeds well at the same length. The Rainier FPs flat/fat and cone-shaped FP and HP either slams into the frame/barrel junction, or hits it and then bonuces off and gets lodged in a "3-point jam" while hitting the top of the chamber, at the same OAL.
I am sure if i had tried these reloads in a "more forgiving" piece like a Star PD they would have fed just fine (is there anything a PD won't feed?), but this match piece with unramped barrel is apparently a different story.
BRONSON may be completely correct, and this piece may be too finicky for this bullet profile, I'll have to test and see.
That is a MINOR issue compared to the setback though... that has me a'feared! :eek:
There's gonna be a lot of trial & error going on there too before my next attempt.
June 3, 2005, 09:33 PM
Your OAL is fine. Mind you, 185 grain bullets are rather short. Try some cast 230 RN's or FP's. Max OAL: 1.275" Taper crimp only. It aids feeding not just removing the bell.
June 5, 2005, 12:36 PM
Suggest using 230g RN configuration (or Remington 185g JHP's) for a more feed-friendly bullet.
Suggest your use of the LEE Carbide Factory Crimp die is mostly correct; back off the crimping to the 1/4 turn you first tried.
Suggest acquiring a LEE 'U' undersized sizing die (also available from www.egw-guns.com) for sizing used cases.
Suggest an OAL of 1.240--1.255" for 230g RN.
1) Your pistol is, I believe-but-cannot-prove-from-my-chair, saying "too long".
2) Setback is occuring because the slide is ramming your round directly into the ramp. Setback can be catastrophic. Aid avoidance by increasing the case neck tension (another factor for the longer 230g bullets). Testing ammo without firing: push the cartridge bulllet-nose-first into an immovable object with all your body weight; does it get shorter? If so, do something different.
3) My LEE die touches the shellholder. My LEE crimp just removes the bell.