Possible length problem with my .45 acp load?


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almostfree
May 30, 2010, 01:19 PM
Let me preface this by saying that this may not be a reloading problem and may be a topic for the gunsmithing section. I have been reloading for about a year and a half and so far have only loaded .45 acp on my Dillon 550. Using the speer reloading manual, I am loading 230 grain FMJs with an overall length of 1.26. This load had worked great in a variety of 1911s.

Today at the range, my Dan Wesson Commander bobtail would not chamber any of my reloads. This is the first time have attempted to fire my reloads through it. The round would only make it about halfway in before it hung up and became hard to extract. I just set my press back up in my garage about a month ago after getting back from Alaska, so I figured that I had done something wrong. When I got home, I was able to successfully chamber the same rounds in my Colt 1991 (new production).

So now I can't figure if it is a reloading problem or a pistol problem. I know the Dan Wesson's are supposed to have tight tolerances, but I haven't had any problems with it feeding factory ammo, and it did fine with Speer Gold Dots today. I also tried shortening the overall length and seeing how it chamber in the DW. It helped a bit, but it still hangs up, whereas those same loads drop in and out easily from the Colt. Any ideas?

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USAFRetired
May 30, 2010, 01:34 PM
Have you miked the loaded cases at several places down the lenght of the case?
Does factory ammo camber correctly?
If so it sounds like a sizing issue (lower case bulge)

rcmodel
May 30, 2010, 01:43 PM
Yep. Ammo sizing or crimp problem.

Color one of the rounds that hangs up all over with a black magic marker.
Now try to chamber it again using the barrel out of the gun as a case guage.

Where the black scuffs off is the problem.
Once you determine that, you can probably address it with a die setting change.

rc

almostfree
May 30, 2010, 01:44 PM
It measures 0.470" within a few thousandths up and down the case length. The DW is actually doing better at chambering these now for some reason, but I just found on that would not. It wears off the magic marker about a third of the way down (from the top) of the case. Same round chambers just fine in my Colt.

I went and found a few that would not chamber and put a little more crimp on them and it seems to fix the problem. I wonder why it caused a problem in the DW and not the Colt? Thanks for the help!

bullseye308
May 30, 2010, 02:49 PM
Maybe the Dan Wesson Commander has a tighter chamber?

rcmodel
May 30, 2010, 03:57 PM
Colt, except for the Gold Cup Match pistol, still uses GI spec chamber dimensions, which are fairly loose.

Dan Wesson, and a bunch of other makers now use tight match chambers on even the guns that are supposed to be made for combat / SD.

It don't make a lick of sense, but that right there is your problem with the DW.

rc

sophijo
May 30, 2010, 11:04 PM
Try a Lee Factory Crimp die..-$20. I back the taper crimp head out and use a separate taper crimp die to take out the "bell" at the case mouth. That should be .469/.470. After that run your cartridge through the Lee Factory Crimp die and it will size the completed cartridge. If you have your original dies set-up right it won't do much but will catch occasional anomolies.

billybob44
May 30, 2010, 11:17 PM
Try a Lee Factory Crimp die..-$20. I back the taper crimp head out and use a separate taper crimp die to take out the "bell" at the case mouth. That should be .469/.470. After that run your cartridge through the Lee Factory Crimp die and it will size the completed cartridge. If you have your original dies set-up right it won't do much but will catch occasional anomolies.
+1 on that. I use the Lee FCD on all my 9MM and .45acp. loads. A case guage will also find the large loads out of a batch.

USAFRetired
May 30, 2010, 11:43 PM
I picked up the Lee Bulge Buster for $15. It uses your Lee Factory Crimp die (in the caliber of choice), and pushes the case all the way through.

I run all 3rd party recycled brass through it for my 45 and have found about 15% have a "big bottom".

It's quick & painless (unless you leave your finger in the way)

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