kimber+ reloads= problem


May 30, 2010, 09:18 PM
brand new to reloading. just reloaded first batch today. Reloading with a brand new Hornady progressive AP with Lee carbide dies.the batch of 45acp fired well in a Rock Island 45 and a Springfield Champion no miss-feeds or cycling problems with them. The Kimber is another matter the rounds would not seat in the pistol propperly, looks as though the lee die stopped sizing about an 1/8 of an inch before the groove at the bottom of the brass. the deprime and sizing die was set up propperly ,to where it contacted the shell plate (can not lower it any more. I might be looking at a worn out die, any suggestions would help.:confused:

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May 30, 2010, 09:24 PM
Welcome to THR lilquiz

Normal for the sizer to stop around about there on the case. That isn't the problem.

Your Kimber may have a shorter throat or tighter chamber than the other pistols. Here is a link to a thread ( showing how to determine the max O.A.L. with a given bullet for your pistols barrel.

If the reloads are not too long for the Kimber, then recheck the crimp to make sure it is removing the bell and is not crimped too much causing a bulge below it.

You can use a magic marker on the case, try to chamber it, and see where it gets rubbed off. That is where the problem lies if there is a problem with case dimensions.

I assume this Kimber runs fine with factory ammo.

May 30, 2010, 09:27 PM
I would look at your OAL. I think you have a "match" chamber that is a little shorter, and causing problems. Thats just a guess though.

May 30, 2010, 09:38 PM
Yes factory ammo cycles fine the C.O.L. was 1.26 ,which I aquired from measuring a factory bullet. So the next step you are telling me is to remove the barrel and mark the case with a marker. push the bullet in by hand , remove and observe if there is any case drag due to case diameter or if it is a seating depth issue. Thanks for the open arms welcome:)

May 30, 2010, 10:14 PM
Use the barrel to make sure the loaded round chambers and isn't held back from the bullet hitting the rifling.

Hand cycle, or better yet fire, the gun with the marked cases to see where the scrubbing shows.

May 30, 2010, 10:29 PM
The reloads you were using are set to 1.260"? All bullets are not created equal, and must be adjusted accordingly. 1.260" may only work using the same bullet as the manufacturer that you measured the oal on. I run my 230gr Zeros fmj, out that far, but other profile bullets will touch the rifling seated out near max. My first experiance with Semi Wadcutters had a real learning curve, they need to be seated deep compared to round nose, as I soon realized, with many out of battery conditions caused by the bullets hitting the lands.

May 30, 2010, 10:36 PM
I have loaded for a number of .45's through the years and recently ran into the same thing that you've got.

I'd been loading for my SA M1911 Black/Stainless Match gun and was using 3.7gr of Clays and the Lee iteration of the H&G SWC. It was accurate and very reliable feeding.

I then won a SA XD45 and tried the same load in it. To get it to function, I had to seat the bullets exactly flush and add additional crimp to allow the rounds to fully chamber. I also had to up the powder charge to 4.3gr to get the XD to properly cycle.

Try seating the bullets flush with the case mount (edge of SWC foward driving band) and crimp a tad more.

Worked for me.....
Besides that, that XD will shoot that load into a tad over 1.5" at 25yds. A real ringer !!!

May 31, 2010, 07:17 AM
I might be looking at a worn out die, any suggestions would help.

Doubtful. I have some very high mileage carbide dies.

Good advice above.

May 31, 2010, 07:29 AM
EGW offers custom made, carbide sizing dies that are 0.001" smaller in diameter than typical dies. These dies also flair lower than some other sizing dies and size the case further down, which may prevent feed failures from cases bulged near the base as is typical of brass fired in Glock and other loose chambered guns.

May 31, 2010, 08:24 AM
thanks for all the responses. a little more research tells me I need to adjust the dies a little more. The problem may lie in too much exspansion or seating/crimp die not set up properly. Wish my luck...I have you gentlemen and a couple of Zanex for back-up, I will prevail!!!!!

May 31, 2010, 08:34 AM
Too much bending is bad for the brass:D Just enough expanding to get a bullet to sit level, and just enough crimp to straighten the brass back out(.470") Less is best;)

Good luck! You'll get it!

The Bushmaster
May 31, 2010, 10:49 AM
Lilquiz. Does this happen with all of your reloads for this Kimber? Or just a few here and there.

I reload for a Kimber and found that certain powders burn dirty or not completely and foul the chamber with residue causing the cartridge (not bullet) to jam about 1/8th inch from going into battery. If just a few are jamming check your powder. If all or most are having this problem check that the bullet is not contacting the leeds or the bell has been removed by a gentle crimping.

May 31, 2010, 11:48 PM
yes none of the reloads will fit in the kimber. reset the dies to what everyone suggests ,same results . ordering a lee factory crimp die tomorrow. after marking the case with a sharpie marker and chambering it several times, found that it is hanging just below where the bottom of the bullet ends. I take it , this is the additional crimp ppl have been talking of

June 1, 2010, 01:09 AM
Try another 1/4 turn in on your sizing die so the shell holder cams into the die and makes the press stretch just a bit. It'll overthrow just a tiny bit and cam over the other side of the stroke. This added umph drives the case in a tiny bit more and is often helpful in better chambering. Makes a big difference in rifle cases.

As stated by others, Kimber chambers are known to be tight. Most gunsmiths won't look at them until you've fired 1000 rounds.

June 1, 2010, 05:35 AM
What bullets are you loading?, Brass? You say bottom of the bullet, is there a bulge in the case where the bullet stops? The taper crimp is at the case mouth, not visible unless its very heavy. Do you have a problem near the case head?

June 1, 2010, 06:16 AM
I have no problems at the top of the case and the sizing die is adjusted to where it contacts the shell plate. everything is within tolerance after sizing the brass. the expander puts just enough to allow the bullet to set (does not resess at all). after the bullet is set and crimped I think it was .47 to .469 at the crimp. the middle of the case where the bullet ends is where it is hanging and it measured .473 I think, was hard to get a reading. I am useing flat nose , hard cast lead ,230 grain bullets.

The Bushmaster
June 1, 2010, 10:26 AM
And what is their diameter?

Iron Sight
June 1, 2010, 10:30 AM
Especially if you are using cast lead bullets, check the diameter of the bullets. You may have some that need to be resized. Lee sells resizers for around $10-15.

June 1, 2010, 03:25 PM
And don't forget not all .45 brass is created equal. You might be a hair too big in diameter there from good thick necked brass.


June 1, 2010, 04:50 PM
If you haven't already ordered your taper crimp die, I would suggest changing your order. I had exactly the same problem with my 1911 and it turned out to be the Lee crimping die. You'll notice Lee advertizes it as a "modified taper crimp". Well, mine really didn't work. I switched to a real taper crimp made by Hornady and that solved all my problems. I crimp it to a final diameter of .471" and I get flawless feeding.

By the way, never adjust your carbide sizing die so that the shellholder presses against it. That can shatter the carbide insert! You only adjust that way for steel dies.

June 1, 2010, 05:45 PM
Yep, besides, sizing another few thousandths down the case won't solve the problem.

June 1, 2010, 10:19 PM
the diameter says they are .452, have not confirmed it. so the lee die does not do the job. should I get the honady die instead? when you talk of resizing is it before you push it into the case or after with a final resizing die

June 1, 2010, 10:48 PM
I switched to a set of RCBS carbide dies with the same results. I am ordering a FCD from Lee. Does hornady make one as well?

June 1, 2010, 11:01 PM
I am going to have to remember to tell my Kimber to stop feeding my reloads using ordinary dies. thinks it's bullet proof right now. :)

June 1, 2010, 11:03 PM
is your Kimber being fed FMJ round nose or hard cast lead?

June 2, 2010, 07:30 AM
Lead, plated, moly, jacketed, it eats them all, as does my Wilson barrel in a Colt.

The Bushmaster
June 2, 2010, 09:40 AM
I have to agree with Walkalong. With an added comment. The .45 ACP is such a simple round to reload and so many people try to complicate it to the point of impossibility. As far as there being a wide variety of .45 ACP case thicknesses. None are out of tolerance for ANY .45 ACP.

Measure your reloaded rounds. Maximum at the very edge of the case mouth should not exceed .473, nor be less then .468. Just forward of the extraction grove it should be .470 +/- .001. Length of the case really does not matter unless you have a custom cut chamber. The above measurements can vary somewhat, but not much. You might take an inside measurement of your chamber just out of curiosity...

Go back and re-read reloading procedures. I just have a feeling that you are over looking something in your operation. I, too, have a Kimber and a Colt with Wilson barrel and have no feeding problems with either and the Wilson barrel is known for its tight chamber.

June 2, 2010, 09:49 PM
ok . found and purchased a Lee FCD, it helped but still did not chamber. However the 230 FMJ round nose I bought today as well , were reloaded and chambered successfully. So my buddie will have to plink those. thanks for all the help gentlemen

Iron Sight
June 2, 2010, 11:33 PM
Your Bullets may be to big around/diameter

You use this tool on you bullets before inserting and crimping them in the brass case.

Lee Bullet Lubricating and sizing kit.

Made a bunch of lead 230 grain bullets work for me. The box they came in said .452..................But they were bigger than that.

Read the reviews shown with the link I have attached!!

June 3, 2010, 05:46 AM
Thanks Ironsight, I will concentrate on the actual bullet size of the lead bullets. It has to be there, due to the fact the FMJ bullets worked. Down side is ,I will have to do that to about 1500 bullets. This will be done just to address my buddies tight little Kimber. With the research done....I conclude that Kimbers are Pre-madonnas:rolleyes:

June 3, 2010, 07:55 AM
I am useing flat nose , hard cast lead ,230 grain bullets Measure on the bullet right in front of the case mouth with your vernier caliper Seat the bullets deeper till you get a .450" reading.

June 3, 2010, 03:37 PM
Kimbers are Pre-madonnas
Naw....Just yours:p

Dont blame Kimber, unless the chamber is out of spec, which they would fix if it were, under warranty. Probably just fat bullits, or assembly error.

Glad the FMJs are workin well!!

June 6, 2010, 02:27 PM
Chubby bullets is the culprit. Purchased some hornady lead round nose, problem solved.Before next bulk purchase calipers will be used on site.

June 6, 2010, 03:52 PM
Do not buy a FCD to resize the bullet in the case.

June 6, 2010, 06:52 PM
Chubby bullets is the culpritOver eaters eh. You could always use a Lee kit ( to size them to .452. It's a cheap fix that will save the bullets.

June 6, 2010, 07:57 PM
Lee .452" dies resize to .4525". I'd get the .451" die.

June 6, 2010, 08:02 PM
A flat nose bullet has a shorter Ogive, its not so much the diameter. In other words, the full diameter (.452") of the bullet is longer if you measure from the base of the bullet up to where the diameter gets smaller. Seating a bullet of this type extra deep sometimes works, depends on how the firearm is chambered. Or maybe they do need to go on a diet. :D

June 6, 2010, 09:00 PM
decisions decisions...dunno if worth the trouble to resize them they work well in two out of three pistols. I will just have to use differant bullets for the Kimber. It has been a learning experiance.Plans to do 45 lc next, no choice have not seen those bullets on the local gun store shelf in a year.

June 6, 2010, 09:39 PM
Or buy a standard 45 ACP chamber reamer and open up the throat to .453" like it's supposed to be.

June 6, 2010, 10:32 PM
Yep. A smith could do that cheap enough. Kimber might do it for you under warranty. Can't hurt to ask. It may turn out to be too tight by their standards. Springfield had to open up my EMP chamber a hair, and it is still just at SAMMI minimum.

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