Issue with 45 auto load,Help.


April 21, 2009, 07:09 AM
Ive been loading for just a couple years now,mostly rifle and revolvers.
I started loading a couple months ago for my 1911 45 using wLP and unique powder.Im trying to work up a load to start shooting in IDPA.Ive found a couple of accurate loads but am having an issue that needs correcting.I get about 2 failures to go into battery out of about each hundred rounds I fire.
Im loading 5.5-5.8grs. unique,230 gr.LRN seated at 1.260 taper crimped to
.469(LFC die) seated with seperate die.The LFC does touch going in and comming out.My speer manual recomends not seating less than 1.270 and My Hornady says to seat deeper than the 1.260 Im at.My feed ramp is highly polished and I have o problems with extraction/ejection.Oh I am ussing mixed range brass.The 1911 is new with 18 lb spring. Ive put about 1000 rnds.Through it so far,Im in need of a little directtion here.Should I not use the LFC.,seat longer.ect.Any help would be wellcome.

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Steve H
April 21, 2009, 08:13 AM
Have you tried the same load using a FMJ bullet? I'd try that and see what happens.

April 21, 2009, 08:27 AM
1.270 is almost max O.A.L. which is too long in many instances (mags, chambers). 1.260 is usually OK, but can be too long for some chambers. Try 1.255. That is not too short.

In some chambers the shoulder of SWC's can get into the rifling and stop the round short of chambering.

You can take your barrel out and drop a round into it to check this.

I would also stop using the FCD die unless you think you have some oversized bullets. Don't use too much flair, and just a light crimp. Give those things a try. :)

April 21, 2009, 08:42 AM
I would like to make several suggestions to help you out if I may:
1. If your pistol is new, run at least 200-300 rounds thru it first.
2. My current Speer manual shows your powder load to be correct but max OAL to be 1.275".
3. You're using an 18 lb spring, try a 16 lb spring to see if you get better results.
4. If you are using used range brass, could it just be bad cases, have you chcked your FTF rounds.
5. Check your crimp, all you need is a "kiss of taper crimp" on the 45ACP case.
6. Try FMJ bullets as the other poster suggested and check for improvement.

All in all, it will turn out to be a minor problem. :confused:

April 21, 2009, 09:10 AM
If you are using used range brass, could it just be bad cases, have you checked your FTF rounds? or COAL +1

The Bushmaster
April 21, 2009, 09:24 AM
Failure to go into battery....? Is that partially or just the last 1/4, 1/8 or 1/16" of being completely into battery? Or is it hanging up on the feed ramp?

If it's the former (almost into battery, but no quite. Pull the unfired round back out by hand and inspect the chamber for powder residue or other debris (Unique, though an excellent powder, is not the cleanest burning). If it's the latter...Have you tried hard ball bullets (FMJ)?

I just looked up the minimum powder charge for Unique and 230 grain LRN. Starting is 5.5 grains and maximum is 7.3. I would almost bet you are suffering from a fouled chamber. Up the powder charge a bit and try again. Or try W-231 or WSF...

Just my thoughs....I do ramble at times...

Jim Watson
April 21, 2009, 10:10 AM
1. Most commercial cast roundnose bullets are blunter than hardball and are best if loaded shorter. Mine come out at 1.250".

2. Gauge or chamber check your loads. If they won't go in the chamber - barrel clean and out of the gun - of their own weight, then the loads are oversize or the chamber is undersize. Your CFC die should be taking care of that, I suspect you are loading a bit long and the bearing surface of the bullet is hitting the origin of the rifling.

I gauge ALL my autopistol reloads. The rejects go for practice, but I only take good stuff to matches.

Marlin 45 carbine
April 21, 2009, 10:56 AM
I'm betting dirty chamber or brass that's chewed up on the rim/extractor cut.
actually Unique isn't the best choice for cast slugs, it will do but a faster powder will burn cleaner with cast.
you might try BEye or Red Dot (more bulk and cleaner than BE)
likely something simple IMO.

April 21, 2009, 11:31 AM
Military GI 230 FMJ-RN is seated to 1.266" - 1.271" OAL, and unless your bullet is oddly shaped and much different then a GI bullet, that should fit & work in any gun.

Try it and see.

If you can find one of the offending rounds, color it with a black Magic-Marker and chamber it again. That will quickly tell you what is tight where.


April 21, 2009, 12:47 PM
Thanks every one for the help.
Would it be problematic to reseat now that they have been crimped,Ive about 500 already loaded or should I just shoot them up and start over?
I do plan to try a different powder but I still have 6 lbs of unique left.
I did test these in a clean barrel and they did drop in and out with out a problem.I love unique but it is dirty.would it burn cleaner if I raise the charge?
Thanks again,Bob.

The Bushmaster
April 21, 2009, 12:56 PM
If you must use Unique...Yes. Raise the amount of powder you are now using...Don't know if it will eliminate the problem, but won't hurt. Watch for leading though...

April 21, 2009, 01:12 PM
I love unique but it is dirtyUsed with lead bullets, how can you tell?

The burned bullet lube is way more dirty then any powder made.


April 21, 2009, 01:18 PM
Point made!

April 21, 2009, 01:30 PM
From the way I read the OP, seems to me the COL is too long. Bump it in another 5-10 thou and see what it does. I had the same problem with some LRN that had a shoulder on them (do yours?), pushed them back a little and was off and running.

April 21, 2009, 01:33 PM
Yes they do.

Steve C
April 21, 2009, 02:05 PM
Jim Watson is right on regarding lead bullets and proper OAL. Note the loading manuals give a maximum but it may need to be adjusted shorter depending upon bullet shape.

Nothing wrong with using the Lee FC die and it will fix any case abnormalities that you can get using mixed brass.

If you find your OAL needs to be shortened you can simply reseat the bullet a bit deaper.

While Unique is a bit dirty most of the residue you get when using lead bullets is the bullet lube and increasing your charge or changing powders will not fix that. Get yourself a bore snake and one of those small bottles of CLP and run the bore snake through the barrel between stages, lubricate the slide to keep the slide speed up. I've also found that applying a light coat of Lee's Liquid Alox over the hard commercial lube cleans up the loads much better than changing powders.

April 22, 2009, 07:21 AM
Thanks guys,I did some checking on both the 1911 and my ammo and made some adjustments.I learned one thing,apparently I need my cheaters for more than just reading.I thought I was pretty annul about my cleanning,last night with better light and my cheaters on I found I was getting a build up around my extractor and some other parts I thought were clean.the extractor seems to be adjusted pretty well,I reseated some of my rounds a little deeper just a touch under flush and they do seam to slide in and out better now,I dont usually clean my brass untill they have been fired a few times and I noticed that there was a slight build up of fouling at the extractor pick up point a few lessons learned.I figure if I ask enough questions and keep working at this reloading long enough I might actually become competent at it.LOL.
Ill test the new loads this week end and report back.
Thanks again for the imput.

April 22, 2009, 04:06 PM
As I started reading this thread, first thing that popped into my mind was that the specific bullet was not listed. LRN without the manufacture/model name lends a lot of variables. An H&G LRN is not the same shape as a Lyman LRN, as such, the correct seating depths can be considerably different.

Second thing that popped into my mind is to thoroughly clean the pistol. -Reading further, the OP says there's gunk in the extractor groove. Hmm....?

To where the thread meandered... No, Unique powder will not burn any cleaner if you use more of it. No powder will. Yes, the lube is most likely the added component of sludge that you don't get when shooting jacketed or plated bullets. Unique should be fine for your intended purpose, but a better choice would be Winchester 231. You may even get more accurate major loads with 231. 231 also meters better and burns cleaner.

It does amaze me that here is a new gun, with a 'highly polished' feed ramp.

I did test these in a clean barrel and they did drop in and out with out a problem.

Fact is, you nearly answered your own bloody question! The problem wasn't/isn't with the ammo! You already test fit them in the chamber. The problem was with something else. This is not a failure to feed issue. But as you pointed out, 'a failure to go into full battery'. Someone mentioned a 'weaker recoil spring'. Uh... :banghead:

My current Bullseye 1911 with loads using Bullseye powder, shooting 200gn Lubed SWC's gets detail cleaned every 5,000 rounds. Otherwise, before a match I clean the barrel, slide lugs and lube the lugs and rails. Never need to clean gunk out of the extractor channel. If you're getting sludge build up in your gun, you might think about changing lube. (You didn't mention what lube you're using.)

I've also found that applying a light coat of Lee's Liquid Alox over the hard commercial lube cleans up the loads much better

Be sure to allow this Alox to set before loading.


April 22, 2009, 05:05 PM
There I go ASSuming the OP is as anal about cleaning as I am. ;)

Edit: I should have added a smilie to the post originally.

April 23, 2009, 08:15 AM
Admittidley as stated Im new at reloading and very new at loading for an auto.And if your trying to be helpfull thank you,and if your trying to be snide
(Fact is, you nearly answered your own bloody question! )Well Ill just keep my comment to myself.Had I noticed the sludge prior to my post I would have checked it out first before posting,If I had more experiance I would not be asking for help,Im trying to learn and improve and the only way I know to do this is to ask questions of people with a good working Knowlege and more experiance than I.

April 23, 2009, 11:20 AM
Have you tried some plated bullets? They don't seem to get the gun as messy as lead with the waxy lube on them does. If you shoot a lot in one session, they help keep the pistol cleaner. There is nothing wrong with the new formula Unique, and I use it a lot. Don't give up on the FCD, it will help make sure that all your rounds are going to chamber ok. Its good insurance for range brass that has been fired in other pistols. Good luck.

The Bushmaster
April 23, 2009, 01:04 PM
Iblong...Steve (JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone) is a long time poster here and has very good advice. Yes he sometimes gets a little rough. So do I. For good reason. You won't forget next time and we do get a bit tired of the same questions over and over. Listen to him and it will be doubtful you will go wrong.:)

Didn't I mention W-231? Yes I did...:D

Should get some "browny points" on that one....:evil:

April 23, 2009, 01:55 PM
When I started reloading .45 auto, I'd previously only been loading revolver rounds, and had a bit of a time figuring out what taper crimp was sufficient, but not "too much." That said, I second the recommendation of gauging your loaded rounds, either with the intended barrel, or using something like the Lyman go / no go gauge.

Now when I load .45, I drop test the first 10 rounds or so into a Lyman gauge just to make sure I'm set up right, and then again, if I switch bullet types / seating depths.



April 23, 2009, 06:38 PM
1.270 is almost max O.A.L. which is too long in many instances (mags, chambers). 1.260 is usually OK, but can be too long for some chambers. Try 1.255. That is not too short.

yep, try shortening the oal, i would bet it is your problem. i had to do it to many of my already loads.

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