Leading!


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Jech
July 30, 2010, 12:29 AM
After shooting an IDPA match last week with my SA XD45 Tactical, I'm seeing leading in my chamber O_O

Before the match, the gun was cleaner than the day I bought it...detailed slide disassembly with Hoppe's #9 in the barrel, non-chlorinated brake cleaner on the rest of the parts, relubrication, etc.

The load I was shooting is 4.8gr of Unique burned by Remington #2 1/2 (standard large pistol) primers under 230gr MBC Softball LRN bullets in newish Winchester brass. My COAL is 1.228" and I'm dead certain that this load is headspacing on the mouth of the case *not* the lead.

I was expecting to find some minor leading in the first inch or so of the barrel (which I did) but the chamber leading really caught me by surprise. What could be causing this and how the hell do I clean it without nasty solvents?

Thanks ~ Jech

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Ridgerunner665
July 30, 2010, 12:42 AM
Get it out by wrapping a few strands of a ChoreBoy pad around a tight patch and working it through the barrel (back and forth)

Make sure to use REAL ChoreBoy pads (all copper) and not some of the cheaper copper coated pads...use a magnet to tell which is which.

Thats how I clean lead out of my 45-70 barrel.

Chamber leading??? You mean lead actually "IN" the chamber?

If so, its getting in there during feeding...adjust the OAL and see what happens.

230 LRN...I've never shot lead through a pistol other than a 45 Colt, but shouldn't the OAL length with a 230 grain round nose bullet be 1.26" or so?

Jech
July 30, 2010, 01:34 AM
working it through the barrel

I have no problem removing the small amount of leading in the forcing cone of the barrel. Even after 300 rounds, I would describe it as minor at best...nothing a few minutes with a bore snake won't remove.

Chamber leading??? You mean lead actually "IN" the chamber?

Yes. It's primarily in the *bottom* of the chamber, it looks like speck of lead that have been flattened by subsequent fired cases smashing it into the chamber wall. It doesn't look like smearing or streaking from the nose of the bullet being squished against the chamber wall.

shouldn't the OAL length with a 230 grain round nose bullet be 1.26" or so?

Being new to all of this, I could be very wrong here but it's my understanding that a cartridge's OAL is determined by the shape and profile of the bullet, not the weight of the bullet. My newbie terminology would describe the bullet as having a "shoulder"...if I don't seat it deep enough, the cartridge will headspace on that shoulder not the case mouth. I've tested this by with a a dummy round with the bullet seated much shallower at 1.3". I can clearly hear the "thunk" it headspacing on lead versus the brass "ping" or "tink" of a factory round headspacing on the case mouth properly. Here's a link to the bullet I'm using for a visual reference... http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=59&category=5&secondary=13&keywords=

Also, SA XD pistols are notorious for their factory tight/short chambers, I've had exactly zero FTF/FTE malfunctions with this powder charge/COAL in ~1k rounds fired so I'm really hesitant to call the issue as a COAL problem. But afterall, I've only been at this a few months and know I have a lot to learn :P

Ridgerunner665
July 30, 2010, 01:54 AM
shape and profile ...yes.

Thats why I said 1.26", the common OAL of round nose bullets in 45acp.

I'm familiar with XD 45's...I had 2 of them, sold the Tactical. (not because it wasn't a great pistol, just too big to carry), My wife carries the 45 Compact.

Ridgerunner665
July 30, 2010, 01:59 AM
And a ChoreBoy scrub will likely get that out of your chamber too.

You ain't seen leading till you've pushed 300 grain lead bullets out of a 45-70 at 2,200 fps (bullets that were too soft at that)

bds
July 30, 2010, 02:00 AM
Yes. It's primarily in the *bottom* of the chamber, it looks like speck of lead that have been flattened by subsequent fired cases smashing it into the chamber wall. It doesn't look like smearing or streaking from the nose of the bullet being squished against the chamber wall.
Could you be shaving the side of the bullet possibly during seating/taper crimping of the bullet?

You could try different amount of flaring and taper crimp to test if it makes a difference.

I normally flare the case neck just enough to set the bullet flat to seat the bullet - could barely see by eye, but can certainly feel with fingers. I make sure to set the bullets flat so they don't "tip" and get shaved. If I see any lead shaving, I increase the flare "just a bit" until they seat without shaving.

Once I get the flare and OAL right, I adjust the taper crimp so the case neck flare is just taken in flat. The loaded round should drop into your chamber with a "clink".

FYI, I load MBC 200 gr SWC/RN and 230 gr RN (both 18 BHN) with 5.0 gr of W231/HP38 at 1.25" OAL with virtually no leading (If you use shorter OAL, you may want to reduce your powder charge). It is very accurate and my designated 45 match load. The 200 gr RN should feed/chamber well for your pistol instead of the SWC nose profile.

Jech
July 30, 2010, 09:38 AM
Using Lee carbide 4-piece deluxe dies in a 4-hole classic turret press for this load...

The Winchester brass comes out at .466" from the resizing/decapping die, then .470" from the powder flow-through/expander die. Is 0.004" too much flare? I can't see it already, have to feel it to check if it's there sometimes as it is...it's barely enough to get those bevel-based bullets sitting on the case enough for seating. I have my bullet seater/taper crimp die seated fairly shallow in my turret so the cartridge doesn't actually hit the crimping portion of the die. The FCD is set to barely kiss the case mouth, just enough to remove the bell taking the mouth down to .468" Any less crimp allowing the mouth to stay closer to .470 and I start seeing ejection issues where the rim of the case being ejected is buggering the mouth of the round on top of the magazine.

ljnowell
July 30, 2010, 12:48 PM
You may be causing your leading with post sizing on the crimping die. My 357 post sizer is the perfect size, but my 45acp was way undersized, and would cause those problems. I just opened it up a little, and no more problems.

243winxb
July 30, 2010, 01:14 PM
then .470" from the powder flow-through/expander die. Could the expander be undersize? If your measuring the bell at .470" somethere is wrong. More flare is needed. Your shaving lead on bullet seating i would guess. The Lee seating die taper crimps first then roll crimps in the same die, this can be a problem also.

bds
August 1, 2010, 02:36 AM
.470" from the powder flow-through/expander die.
I measured some of my 200/230 gr reloaded 45ACP rounds and 230 gr factory FMJ ammunition - they all measured 0.470" - I am using Lee carbide dies.

If you are getting 0.470" from the powder flow-through/expander die, then you are not flaring the case neck enough and probably shaving the side of the bullet during seating. It is likely these shavings are what you are seeing at the bottom of the chamber, which may affect your headspacing of the chambered rounds.

The FCD is set to barely kiss the case mouth, just enough to remove the bell taking the mouth down to .468"
I do not use the FCD. When I help setup a press for a new reloader, I do not have them use the FCD. I have them adjust the dies so all the rounds fall into their chambers with a "clink" because FCD will "erase" and mask any mistakes they make with the other dies.

Jech, remove the FCD from your press/turret and recheck your dies making sure that:

1) You are full-length sizing your cases:
- Raise all the dies above the bottom of the turret and lower the ram lever all the way down
- When the shell holder/plate is at the top, lower your decapping/sizing die until it barely "kisses" the top of the shell holder/plate
- Put a spent case in the shell holder/plate and recheck your die adjustment

2) Next, using the full-length sized case you just sized, slowly lower the powder flow-through/expander die until you get a slight flare you can feel with your fingers but barely seen by your eyes.

3) Raise the bullet seating knob in your taper crimp/bullet seating die and slowly lower your taper crimp/bullet seating die body until you start to take in the flare of the case neck. Slowly continue lowering the die body until you feel the flare taken in almost flat with your fingers.

4) Now, make a dummy round.
- You can deprime/resize another case or take the same case you just taper crimped and flare the case neck. Set a bullet on top of the flared case neck and slowly lower the bullet seating knob with each pull of the ram lever until you reach the desired OAL. If you are setting the bullet flat and see lead shaving, increase the flare on the case neck just slightly until you don't see any lead shaving (of course, you won't see any shavings if you are seating a plated or jacketed bullet). The dummy round should measure around 0.470". If not, adjust the taper crimp die body/bullet seat knob. The finished dummy round should freely drop into your chamber with a "clink".

5) Once your dies are properly adjusted so they chamber well/pass the case gauge, you can THEN use the FCD to add that "factory crimp" finish to your case neck.

I hope this helps.

243winxb
August 1, 2010, 11:33 AM
My sized & expanded brass measures about .470" on the body below the bell. The bell/flare measures about .473" on the mouth before taper crimping. My RCBS expander measures .450" My Dillon expander (Oval, out of round) measures .4473" to .4492" Dillon :cuss:

Jech
August 1, 2010, 04:46 PM
I have so many questions now haha! Does anyone live near the Dalles, Oregon? There's a 12-pack of your favorite brew here for you to correct my ways :P

My sized & expanded brass measures about .470" on the body below the bell.

Just measured several cases of varying headstamps right of the resizing/decapping die, the mouth and bodies are consistently .468", does this mean that my resizing die is too small?

bds
August 1, 2010, 04:57 PM
I think you just need to put more flare on the case and taper crimp/seat bullet without the FCD first.

If it all goes well, then use the FCD.

243winxb
August 1, 2010, 05:19 PM
mouth and bodies are consistently .468", does this mean that my resizing die is too small? Your OK. You only need to maybe flare the case mouth more. Shaving of the bullet can happen in the seating die if its inside diameter is to small. The die will remove the bell/flare too soon. Turning the seating stem down more can help. You are already taper crimping in a separate die, so that is good.

Jech
August 2, 2010, 09:31 AM
I tried flaring to a bit more aggressively this time at .480". I gotta say it worries me flaring that much, there are some wonderful scraping and grinding noises coming from the expander die dropping the ram when I apply that much flare but any less and I can't seem to avoid getting some pretty rough shaving.

After a bit of trial and error adjusting the taper on my bullet seater die, I've found that anything tighter than .475 shaves the bullets something fierce. This isn't fully removing the bell, just below the bell but still measuring on the seated bullet shank, I'm seeing .473". If I set it deep enough to fully remove that bell, again I get really bad shaving, especially if I try a longer OAL of 1.26+

I tried varying OALs from 1.225 to 1.265 and nothing gives me a good "clink" except a short 1.228-1.235" OAL. It might me worth mentioning again that the bullets I use are not jacketed or plated, the curve of the ogive is not continuous to the shank of the bullet, there is a distinct shoulder and only by seating to a depth where that shoulder is flush with the case mouth, do I get a good solid "clink".

http://www.missouribullet.com/cw3/assets/product_expanded/softball.jpg

243winxb
August 2, 2010, 09:55 AM
Seat the bullet deeper so the lip is inside the case mouth or flush, than taper crimp. See if they feed ok. What COL will seating flush give you??

243winxb
August 2, 2010, 09:58 AM
there is a distinct shoulder and only by seating to a depth where that shoulder is flush with the case mouth, do I get a good solid "clink".
Shoot some at that COL, see how it goes.

bds
August 2, 2010, 10:36 AM
I tried varying OALs from 1.225 to 1.265 and nothing gives me a good "clink" except a short 1.228-1.235" OAL.
Then that's the OAL you should work with. Different pistol barrel ramp angle/chamber size/magazine feed angle require different OAL (even for round nose profile) to feed/chamber well. I always determine the OAL that feeds/chambers well from the magazine for a particular bullet profile before I do load development with different powders and charges for reliable slide cycling and accuracy of shot groups.

It might be worth mentioning again that the bullets I use are not jacketed or plated, the curve of the ogive is not continuous to the shank of the bullet, there is a distinct shoulder only by seating to a depth where that shoulder is flush with the case mouth, do I get a good solid "clink".
Some reloaders don't even use any flaring for jacketed or plated bullets. I usually use very slight flaring for jacketed/plated bullets and a bit more flaring for lead bullets to minimize shaving of lead from the side of the bullet. That distinct shoulder is common among 230 gr lead round nose bullets. I think with XD, you have narrower range of OAL that will feed/chamber well compared to other 45ACP pistols. FYI, Missouri Bullets 200 gr RN does not have that "distinct shoulder" and web page comment states, "Feeds like butter in SA XD". Perhaps Walkalong and other reloaders can comment which OAL works well in their XD45 for 230 gr RN lead bullet.

Looks like you are making progress, keep on trying!

Jech
August 2, 2010, 09:53 PM
After several hours, multiple mangled bullets and lots of frustration, I've decided that these bullets have to be seated at 1.22-23"; anything more and the nice clink goes away.

I'm sure I'm reinventing the wheel here but here's how I experimented...

I created 7 dummy rounds with COALs ranging from 1.21-.27", each .01" longerr than the previous. Then, I took a sharpie and blacked out the entire bullet as well as the first half of the case. The "painted" dummies were then dropped into the chamber and spun around several times. The goal here was to find out where the thunkers/clinkers were headspacing by observing a point of contact, rubbed free of black ink.

My conclusion was that point of headspacing was always on the bullet until that shoulder was fairly flush with the case mouth, this would be the 1.21, .22 and .23 inch dummies. To back up the ink-indications, only those 3 dummies clinked like my factory Winchester White Box FMJs.

As a side note, increasing my flare from .473" up to .48" in conjunction with backing out my seating die far enough that it isn't applying the taper while the bullet is still moving into the case appears to have cleared up my shaving issue. I'm wondering if that's why my chamber/forcing cone leading was so light and random. Slightly thicker-walled or longer cases whose inner wall started digging into the bullet shank during seating/tapering before the inner case lip had met/passed the shoulder.

Jech
August 2, 2010, 09:58 PM
Missouri Bullets 200 gr RN does not have that "distinct shoulder?

I took a long hard look at that picture...I can't tell if there's a very slight shoulder there before the wax-groove or if the lighting is playing tricks on me and there's actually a small crimp groove.

If anyone has experience with these bullets in their XD45, I would be extremely interested/thankful for some insight into these bullets =D

http://www.missouribullet.com/cw3/assets/product_full/idp4xd.jpg
http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=78&category=5&secondary=13&keywords=

~ Jech

EDIT: After looking through Magma Engineering's bevel base bullet guide, the 45-233-RFBB seems like it would be a superior bullet style...longer with a gentler ogive curve and no shoulder allowing for greater seating variation depending on the firearm. I wonder if Brad over at Missouri Bullet Co has ever produced this style before?

bds
August 3, 2010, 02:39 AM
I created 7 dummy rounds with COALs ranging from 1.21-.27", each .01" longer than the previous. Then, I took a sharpie and blacked out the entire bullet as well as the first half of the case. The "painted" dummies were then dropped into the chamber and spun around several times. The goal here was to find out where the thunkers/clinkers were headspacing by observing a point of contact, rubbed free of black ink.

My conclusion was that point of headspacing was always on the bullet until that shoulder was fairly flush with the case mouth, this would be the 1.21, .22 and .23 inch dummies. To back up the ink-indications, only those 3 dummies clinked like my factory Winchester White Box FMJs.
Nice work!

As a side note, increasing my flare from .473" up to .48" in conjunction with backing out my seating die far enough that it isn't applying the taper while the bullet is still moving into the case appears to have cleared up my shaving issue. I'm wondering if that's why my chamber/forcing cone leading was so light and random. Slightly thicker-walled or longer cases whose inner wall started digging into the bullet shank during seating/tapering before the inner case lip had met/passed the shoulder.
Some aspects of reloading is trial and error. Glad you identified your lead shaving cause.

I took a long hard look at that picture...I can't tell if there's a very slight shoulder there before the wax-groove or if the lighting is playing tricks on me and there's actually a small crimp groove.
There is no shoulder on the bullet, just a crimp groove. The nose profile of the bullet allows you to load to shorter OAL than 230 RN before the diameter of the bullet nose decreases smaller than the case neck.

bds
August 3, 2010, 03:31 AM
After looking through Magma Engineering's bevel base bullet guide, the 45-233-RFBB seems like it would be a superior bullet style...longer with a gentler ogive curve and no shoulder allowing for greater seating variation depending on the firearm.
Not sure if the longer bullet nose profile would help with feeding/chambering in the XD45. I think Brad offers 45-200 RNFP BB as a viable alternative to the 200 SWC for the XD45.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=125280&stc=1&d=1280817044

Jech
August 4, 2010, 02:52 AM
Get it out by wrapping a few strands of a ChoreBoy pad around a tight patch and working it through the barrel (back and forth)

Looking back to my barrel, I picked up a pair of copper scrub pads at the local Bi-Mart for about $3. Before I hit the checkout line though, I took them into the school supplies section and put them to the biggest magnet I could find :)

Other places I've read said they literally cut out a patch of the ChoreBoy mesh and laid it over a nylon bore brush. Did you mean you unravel a strand or two and wrap it around a regular cleaning patch on something like a plunger attachment? I had a helluva time trying to get a 1" by 1" patch I cut to go into the bore >< Once I did though, it worked great.

Rule3
August 5, 2010, 01:24 AM
Forget hassling with the Chore Boy. Get some of these bore brushes.
Hoppes Tornado brushes.

http://www.hoppes.com/products/ca_tornado_brushes.html

Jech
August 5, 2010, 09:32 PM
They're made of stainless steel O_O isn't this just begging for problems?

c919
August 6, 2010, 01:49 AM
^^^ Nope, I use them all the time.

Although they are stainless, the fact that they are curved (ie there is no sharp surface to contact the bore) prevents any damage.

They do work well, but they still don't get all of the crud out of revolver chambers. In barrels, they work great. So for your problem, I'd say they could be a solution. However, if you are like me and shoot a good bit of lead in revolvers, they aren't the be-all-end-all.

Jech
August 6, 2010, 08:13 PM
Had a successful range trip trying out some test loads with what I've learned so far. I made 20x of each powder charge listed, half using R-P brass, the other half was Winchester.

MBC .452 230gr LRN
4.7gr / 5.1gr / 5.7gr - Unique
Remington #2 1/2 LPP
Remington / Winchester brass
1.238" OAL

In between each 10 shot string, I checked my barrel and chamber for signs of leading then boresnaked attempting to keep the build-up to a minimal level between strings.

I found that the 4.7gr tests produced only very light leading on the angled surface of the beginning of the rifling (this is the "forcing cone" right?).

The 5.1gr strings were similar, however, the Winchester-brass loads produced some of same (although lightened) chamber deposits I saw after my IDPA match. I also saw something that seemed freakishly weird...looking down the barrel from the muzzle-end, I saw small leading streaks on the 12, 4 and 8 o'clock lands...every other land :scrutiny:

The 5.7gr strings saw increasing forcing cone leading but still dramatically less than my original post-IDPA observations. It might have stretched a quarter-inch from the cone but not the 1"+ I used to see.

I wasn't really shooting for accuracy, more to test the function and fouling of the OAL/charge but I think I did pretty well. This is the 5.1gr 20-shot string from 25 feet away, shot from a sand bag at a 3" diameter orange target. Obligatory "that one bad pull of the night" included :banghead:
http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy207/raexis/08051095200200.jpg

So, despite my mental aversion to shooting a super-short .45acp cartridge, I think I need to go back to the drawing board and refine the old OAL I had at 1.225" that completely hid the shoulder *and* it's bevel.

Rule3
August 6, 2010, 09:30 PM
They're made of stainless steel O_O isn't this just begging for problems?
No, as mentioned they are looped coils and not sharp edges. I wouldn't go crazy with them, 3-4 passes is usually enough. All my revolvers are stainless steel so hopefully the barrel metal is harder than the brush.

But, there is way more to leading problems as has been stated, so it's best to avoid it in the first place. Most of my leading problems occurred when using to hard a bullet with light loads. So by boosting the load for hard bullets and getting softer bullets for target loads, no need to really brush the heck of things.

bds
August 6, 2010, 11:29 PM
Jech, nice tight group. So the 1.238" OAL rounds fed/chambered well for your XD45?

The Alliant's website (http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/RecipePrint.aspx?gtypeid=1&weight=230&shellid=35&bulletid=63&bdid=184) lists the following load data for the 230 gr lead bullet.

45 Auto 230 gr Speer LRN 1.27" OAL 5.8 gr 849 fps
This load data is for the longer 1.27" OAL and your shorter 1.238" OAL maybe hitting the max charge at 5.7 gr. Since you are getting leading at 5.1-5.7 gr, I not sure what else you can do other than trying out different powders.



230 gr LRN Winchester 231/HP38 1.200" OAL Start 4.3 gr (699 fps) - Max 5.3 gr (834 fps)
Hodgdon website lists the above load data for even shorter 1.20" OAL for W231/HP38. As a reference comparison, MBC 200/230 gr (18 BHN) lead bullets loaded with 5.0 gr of W231/HP38 at 1.25" OAL do not lead (virtually no leading) in 3"-5" stainless Kimber barrels and they are very accurate. If you can't find W231/HP38, you can try Green Dot with a bit more powder (0.2-0.3 gr) to match.

Jech
August 7, 2010, 12:35 AM
So the 1.238" OAL rounds fed/chambered well for your XD45?

They fed and extracted 100% reliably. I've constructed and pulled at least 40 dummies at this point making sure my FCD isn't swaging the bullet, the seating/taper die isn't shaving etc. I think for the MBC 230gr LRN, the OAL just needs to be short so that shoulder is covered. Clink or no clink.

your shorter 1.238" OAL maybe hitting the max charge at 5.7 gr

You're probably right, honestly the 5.7gr was more for fun than anything :evil: I probably shouldn't talk about my brief experiment with +P loads :o

I'd love to try some W231/HP38, the Unique-cloud isn't fun during a match on any day...calm air gives limited visibility and windy conditions put smoke in your eyes >< I've been watching the local joints for W231/HP38 for a while haven't seen it but who knows, Bi-Mart just lifted their limits on ammo/powder/primers for the first time since well before the Obama Rush of '09. I'll definitely look for Green Dot...I've had Clays (not universal) and Titegroup recommended to me. Either way, powder experimentation is in my future. If luck shines, I'll be buying my first set of casting molds soon...a 452-230-TC design captured my eye recently :D

bds
August 7, 2010, 01:03 AM
Also, look for Winchester Super Target (WST) for 45ACP as I have heard/read good reports and it is one of many powders I am planning to try next.

Jech
August 7, 2010, 01:27 AM
Finally dug the picture off my wife's digital camera and tossed it into MSpaint.

The left load is a dummy version of the load I shot last night, you can easily see the shoulder's bevel sticking out. The right load is a bit older when I had my FCD cranked down a little too much and actually lightly crimping instead of of just straightening.

I think if I can find a better powder/charge and combine the proper crimp/bell removal of thew left load but get the depth of the right, I might actually be able to shoot lead free.
http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy207/raexis/45oal.jpg

ljnowell
August 7, 2010, 01:29 AM
I load that same bullet to a OAL of 1.250 most of the time. I havent had any problems with leading out of it, to speak of. I am using AA#2 with them currently.

Jech
August 7, 2010, 01:46 AM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

When I first worked up the load with the significantly shorter OAL in the picture, I started seeing stovepipes and complete failure to lock the slide back at 4.1gr of Unique. Eventually I settled on a 4.8gr load for target practice. Maybe with the longer OAL I need to run another series of functionality tests and see just how low I can go.

With 5.7gr being fairly high end and 4.8gr still giving me forcing cone leading maybe I'm just running them too hot? I'm leaning away from that idea though cause I've never seen leading all the way down the barrel or on the latter half for that matter.

Now there was that one time...the powder gnome must have sneaked into my gun room because somehow inexplicably (I have no idea, honest!), 25 rounds ended up at the range with 7.4gr/Unique in them :what: I knew what full barrel-length leading looked like after that :o

((Insert obligatory note about unsafe load levels / liability exemption / DON'T BE STUPID comments here))

bds
August 7, 2010, 03:07 AM
Jech, wow.

But I must admit (and most other honest reloaders will also) that I have done a lot of "questionable" things in my earlier reloading days.

I remember on one occasion that I forgot to change out the powder in the hopper and used another powder's load data. When the first round went KABOOM (fortunately the pistol did not blow up) and I brought the pistol down from behind my head from the recoil, I was stunned for a few seconds. When I came to my senses, I realized what I had done and said, "Boy, I won't do THAT again."

Since then, I have instituted many safety steps and procedures into my reloading process that I absolutely adhere to. If I have any doubt, I double check or start over. It's always better to be safe than KABOOM.

Have fun reloading and be safe.

BTW, you might want to give MBC 200 gr FP RN a try. The bullet nose profile will allow shorter OAL for reliable feeding in XD45 without the concern over the shoulder. Are you concerned about meeting the power factor for IDPA?

Also, the condition of the brass on the right (especially the case base lip) and the case neck of the brass on the left look questionable. Are they damaged from the dies?

ljnowell
August 7, 2010, 12:28 PM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

When I first worked up the load with the significantly shorter OAL in the picture, I started seeing stovepipes and complete failure to lock the slide back at 4.1gr of Unique. Eventually I settled on a 4.8gr load for target practice. Maybe with the longer OAL I need to run another series of functionality tests and see just how low I can go.

With 5.7gr being fairly high end and 4.8gr still giving me forcing cone leading maybe I'm just running them too hot? I'm leaning away from that idea though cause I've never seen leading all the way down the barrel or on the latter half for that matter.

Now there was that one time...the powder gnome must have sneaked into my gun room because somehow inexplicably (I have no idea, honest!), 25 rounds ended up at the range with 7.4gr/Unique in them I knew what full barrel-length leading looked like after that

With a max of 5.8, and a little leading at the chamber at 4.7, I am going to say you need to up the powder, in small increments. The MBC bullet is a 18bhn. I dont think you are sealing the bullet base well.

Jech
August 7, 2010, 04:05 PM
I brought the pistol down from behind my head from the recoil, I was stunned for a few seconds.

They actually felt slightly softer than some +P ammo I have shot before. Aside from the cases getting a little beat up on extraction, it was some of the cleanest Unique charges I'd shot. But, yeah it definitely gets filed under the "Boy I won't do that one again" title.

Also, the condition of the brass on the right (especially the case base lip) and the case neck of the brass on the left look questionable. Are they damaged from the dies?

No, the dark "half moon" visible on both cases is actually the reflection of the lens of my camera. This was my first attempt at case photography and I was having difficulty getting the darn camera to focus. The brass is fine but dirty cause I've been handling these 2 samples so much lately.

With a max of 5.8, and a little leading at the chamber at 4.7, I am going to say you need to up the powder, in small increments. The MBC bullet is a 18bhn. I dont think you are sealing the bullet base well.

I'm working up a 5.3gr/1.22" OAL load for today's range test, should be as good as it's gonna get.

Jech
August 16, 2010, 02:01 AM
Shot another IDPA match today using the 5.3gr/Unique at 1.22" OAL. Fortunately, the chamber leading seems to have been resolved, however, I saw a higher level of forcing cone leading after 75 rounds with this charge than I did with the 4.7-.8gr load with 150 rounds.

I'm fairly certain I've covered all the variables talked about here and any others I've read about other places. Reliability is excellent with a large range of OALs, accuracy is also just fine...I had more zero-downs today than any prior matches even though it was a peppier round =)

Looks like I need to go pick up a few more powders for future trials, some Titegroup, Clays, etc. I'm almost out of my MBC Softballs, soon I'll be able to cast my own 230gr TC boolits from some recovered range lead, we'll see if those do any better over the W231 I have on order :)

bds
August 16, 2010, 03:24 AM
Not quite happy ending, but more progress being made.

Keep us posted!

Jech
November 9, 2010, 01:26 AM
The W231 showed up, also bought a box of the IDP #4-XD from Brad/MBC but custom ordered them at 12 BHN versus the usual 18. My napkin math says 18k psi / 1422 = ~12.7bhn leading me to a final conclusion that the 230gr Softballs were just too hard for my purposes.

I wasn't sure if Brad would come through with a custom-alloy order that was so small but he sure did!

Now to get down to the dirty details! My range trip consisted of 3 strings of loads with 2 different types of bullets...the custom IDP #4s and the maiden run of my own 230gr truncated cone cast boolits =D

String #1
Winchester brass, previously fired
Remington #2 1/2 large pistol primers
Lee 452-230-TC seated to 1.245", bullet was casted from recovered range lead alloyed with 95/5 "lead free" solder, waterdropped, sized w/Lee push-through kit, tumble-lubed with LLA (was kind of excited about shooting my own boolits finally and didn't take the time to cook up and use pain-lube)
4.6gr of Hodgdon HP-38 -- it was cheaper than W231 by a couple bucks :P

I couldn't get these to headspace properly on the case-mouth without seating the bullet back so far that the mouth slightly protruded past the beginning of the cone. My bore is slugging at .4508-.451 so even the freebore catches the lead if the side sticks out at all from the case. I didn't want to try putting these downrange with a big fat 230gr bullet seated so deep, I couldn't find load data that sounded safe with such a short OAL with the fast powder so I decided to deal with some leading and left them longer at 1.245" and headspacing on the lead shoulder. As expected, they leaded the forcing cone but that was it...nothing past maybe .5" into the barrel. 4.6gr was a comfortable charge, shot accurately and reliably.


String #2
Same assembly parameters as string #1
5.0gr of Hodgdon HP-38

Leaded a bit more, strangely only from about 11 o'clock to 4 o'clock...lower portion of forcing cone was clean, extended about an inch down the barrel, also saw some traces appearing towards the muzzle confirming that I was lazy/in a rush and didn't lube well enough with the LLA. My shots were all within .75" at 30 feet, function was flawless, brass was cleaner than the 4.6gr string, recoil was a nice balance between being controllable and my perception of a "powerful" load (no chronograph yet ><)


String #3
Same assembly paramaters as string #1
5.3gr of Hodgdon HP-38

Expectedly increasing leading following string #2's pattern, shots were one ragged hole, function was flawless, brass was surprisingly clean, recoil was getting stout if not on par with the CCI Blazer Brass I shot for my last IDPA match without being as poppy.


String #4
Winchester brass, previously fired
Remington #2 1/2 large pistol primers
MBC 12 BHN 200gr RNFP -- seated to the crimp groove
4.6gr of Hodgdon HP-38

Noticeably inaccurate...2.25" group of 10 shots at 30 feet versus my usual one ragged hole. Brass was very dirty and ejected ~6"-10" staying on the benchrest. Experienced 5 stovepipe failures, very light recoil. No apparent leading =D


String #5
Same assembly parameters as string #4
5.0gr of Hodgdon HP-38

More accurate than string #4, brass was cleaner and ejected ~18"-2' away, no stovepipes however the slide failed to lock with a depleted mag. Still no noteworthy leading.


String #6
Same assembly parameters as string #4
5.3gr of Hodgdon HP-38

Most accurate of the 3 MBC loads, recoil was comparable to my old "classic load" of a 230gr LRN and 4.9gr/Unique. Brass was consistently 2'-3' away and looked very clean. No reliability issues observed.

Between shooting my own cast boolits and the MBC lead, I cleaned my bore thoroughly but was unable to remove every bit of leading, I was just hoping it wouldn't make the MBC loads deposit lead where they would have normally been clean. To my pleasent discovery, the 12BHN MBC bullets seemed to actually "blow out" the leading from my cast boolits xD

bds
November 9, 2010, 03:02 AM
Jech, nice to hear that you are making progress.

Actually, I am in the same boat. I have been shooting 18 BHN MBC bullets with virtually no leading in my M&P45 but ordered some 12 BHN bullets to test lighter target loads. I did a quick range test on Saturday with 12 BHN 200 gr SWC and got comparable shot group consistency as 18 BHN.

I will be doing more testing of 12 BHN 185 gr/200 gr SWC along with 18 BHN 200/230 gr SWC/RN this week.

jhansman
November 9, 2010, 06:56 PM
Jech-
I use those Missouri bullets in my XD45, with great results and none of the leading issues you describe. I'm not an experience enough reloader to yet know why you would get leading in the chamber, but I can tell you I have settled on the Missouri Bullet Co. product as my lead bullet of choice.

jjohnson
November 9, 2010, 11:24 PM
Boys, you don't need corrosive cleaners or stainless steel.

I've been using Lewis Lead Removers for years, and they'll tear the lead right out of your barrels so you can just clean the little bit that's left. And it does it with a bronze screen, so it won't hurt your bores.

Brownell's sells them. If you buy one, careful - you'll be kicking yourself for not buying one earlier. :cuss:

bds
November 9, 2010, 11:50 PM
jjohnson, my concern over leading in the barrel has more to do with consistency and accuracy of shot groups. I figure less or no leading in the barrel is indicative of proper obturation of bullet base and tighter bullet-to-barrel fit for more consistent chamber/barrel pressure resulting in tighter shot groups.

With 18 BHN MBC bullets, I need to push them at mid to high range load data to minimize leading.

With softer 12 BHN bullets, I am hoping to try lighter target loads using start-mid range load data while minimizing leading.

rogn
November 11, 2010, 09:55 AM
Leading! Just finished running some castbullet trials in a SS carbine with a good deal of leading resulting. Found that swabbing the bore with Kroil and getting it good and wet, letting it sit for 10 minutes and running a good tight flannel patch thru would get 95% of the lead on the first pass with a couple of follow ups getting the remainder. Apparently the Kroil penetrates the interface of lead-barrel steel, floats" the lead free. Then the tight flannel grabs the lead which comes out in flakes or chunks depending on severity. I was pleasantly surprised with this performance. Cant speak of results with carbon steel, but with SS it so easy, cleans out powder fouiling at the same time as the lead.

floydster
November 11, 2010, 10:29 AM
The Hoppes tornado brush's are useless for removing leading, this is what I have found.
Put a wrap of Chore Boy around your brass/copper cleaning brush, couple of swipes back and froth is all you need, do this without any solvent, look at your bore---nice and shiney. I put my Lewis lead remover on the shelf.:)

Jech
November 11, 2010, 08:58 PM
Does anyone know off hand what kind of metal an SA XD's barrel is made of?

Sidemeat
November 12, 2010, 08:10 PM
The Chore Boy trick is THE way to get the leading out. Pull some strands loose, wrap 'em around a cleaning brush (a good use for your worn-out brushes), a few passes and the lead looks like glitter falling out of the barrel. The Lewis Lead Remover works well but costs $30. Buy the Chore boy and spend the money you saved on powder and primers.:D

Quickdraw McGraw
November 12, 2010, 09:51 PM
I don't get much leading but I also agree chore boy is definately the way to go ~ cheap and easy!

bds
November 12, 2010, 11:04 PM
Jech:
Does anyone know off hand what kind of metal an SA XD's barrel is made of?
I believe it is now Melonite treated steel - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=252482

noylj
November 12, 2010, 11:49 PM
Question: revolvers have forcing cones. Autos don't, as far as I know (and someone will tell me if I am wrong)
1) You can't find a better powder for lead bullets than Unique. If you are working for low power target loads, AA2 and 213/HP38 work quite well.
2) I don't know if this has been covered, but take your gun to the reloading bench. Disassemble and use the barrel for a case gage.
Make up two inert (no powder or primer) "dummy" rounds. Use them to verify that sized cases drop freely into the chamber. Expand and bell the case (the case ID should be 0.04500.001" and the case mouth should be flared enough not to contact the bullet during seating). This is one of several reasons to separate seating from crimping.
Seat the bullet to a COL of 1.270 in both "dummy" rounds. At this point, the case mouth should be flared to the point where the round will not chamber in the barrel. Place the crimp die in the press. Run the "dummy" rounds to the top and screw down the crimp die just until it contact the case. Lower the round and turn the crimp die in about 1/4 turn. Run the "dummy" into the die. Now try to chamber the round. Keep turning the crimp die down in very small increments until the "dummy" will drop into the chamber. Remove case mouth flare/bell from both "dummy" rounds.
The COL may be too long for your chamber, so go back to the seating die and seat the bullet deeper until the round chambers all the way. On a 1911, you use the barrel hood to set headspace. Your barrel may not have any way outside of the gun to judge headspace and chambering. If so, reassemble the gun and place one of the "dummy" rounds in the magazine. Does it fit? If not, adjust the COL until the "dummy" fits in the magazine. This should NOT happen, however.
Put the magazine with the two "dummy" rounds in it, pull back the slide and let it go (do not try and help it, just pull all the way back and release). If the first round doesn't feed or completely chamber, you need to adjust the COL again until you get the "dummy" rounds to feed and chamber. A "normal" COL for my guns and a L-RN bullet has been 1.270-1.260".
After the two dummy rounds feed and chamber, go back and crimp the rounds until there is no longer any sign of case mouth flare/belling. Run your finger down the bullet to the case and you should not feel a sharp transition. If you must measure things, shoot for a case mouth OD of 0.473-0.470".
At this point, all your dies should be set. You can save the "dummy" rounds so you can quickly set up the dies the next time you need to.
Remember, reloading manuals reference the MINIMUM recommended COL.

Jech
November 13, 2010, 08:52 PM
Isn't Melonite just the finish applied to the slide? What I was referring to was the bore...terms I've heard before are things like chromed-steel chro-moly, 4064 steel etc.

918v
November 14, 2010, 12:11 AM
Your OAL is too short. Your bullets are jumping into the throat and shaving lead on the way. The reason is the case is slightly off center in the chamber due to the extractor hook tension. This shaved lead is deposited in the chamber. Increase the OAL to 1.250" so that the front driving band is partially in the throat upon chambering. That will assure the bullet is better aligned with the bore and will not shave on the way in.

bds
November 14, 2010, 04:52 PM
Isn't Melonite just the finish applied to the slide? What I was referring to was the bore...terms I've heard before are things like chromed-steel chro-moly, 4064 steel etc.
Jech, Melonite/Tennifer are not finish applied to the metal, but nitriding salt bath treatment process for the metal that hardens the surface and makes it more corrosion resistant. Final finish you see on the metal is coating that's applied over the metal treatment.

On older holstered PD trade-in Glocks, you'll see that the finish has worn off, but the Tennifer treated metal remains beneath the finish.

As far as I know, both slide and barrel are treated now.

Jech
November 18, 2010, 11:03 PM
Your OAL is too short. Your bullets are jumping into the throat and shaving lead on the way. The reason is the case is slightly off center in the chamber due to the extractor hook tension. This shaved lead is deposited in the chamber. Increase the OAL to 1.250" so that the front driving band is partially in the throat upon chambering. That will assure the bullet is better aligned with the bore and will not shave on the way in.

Now that's a new concept I never would have even put together on my own :P When it comes to the chamber leading though, I haven't seen it again since I ran out of the MBC 230gr LRN Softball bullets /shrug. I wonder if this extractor claw tension could explain the asymmetrical leading I was seeing on 11/8 though?

I'm worried now that you say 1.245" is too short cause yesterday I hit the range again using the Lee 452-230-TC bullets...this time seated to 1.162" putting the ogive start flush with the case mouth allowing the round to pass the barrel-case-gauge test. They shot like a dream if I ignore the asymmetrical leading pattern. For the record, I used HP-38 charges varying from 3.8gr to 5.3gr and posted results here on CastBoolits (http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showpost.php?p=1059888&postcount=11).

Now, when I first tested chambering a dummy seated at 1.245", I saw a very distinct ring of lead around the exposed shoulder/side of the bullet just like I used to with the MBC 230gr LRN bullets. This premature headspacing was what prompted me to load those MBCs to 1.228" even though they fed reliably at longer OALs. Eventually I settled on a theory of that shaved ring being forcibly sloughed off when the cartridge was fired then got smashed into the chamber wall by the next round going off.

Would it be advisable then to try an OAL more along the lines of 1.25-1.26" with the TCs even though it won't headspace anywhere near the case mouth?

Jech
November 18, 2010, 11:29 PM
...swabbing the bore with Kroil...running a good tight flannel patch thru would get 95% of the lead on the first pass...apparently the Kroil penetrates the interface of lead-barrel steel, "floats" the lead free.

Another intriguing method I haven't heard of before...I have PB B'laster sitting around that I'll have to give a shot.

Wrapping strands of (magnet tested) kitchen copper scrubbing pad around a tight patch has been a major PITA. Is there really that big of a difference between "name brand" ChoreBoy and other $2.99 generic implementations?

918v
November 19, 2010, 01:12 AM
TC bullets are a different story than RN. In TC bullets, the shank portrudes past the case mouth to a greater degree than the shank of a RN bullet at the same OAL. TC bullets are generally seated to an OAL in the 1.200" range. If you were to seat a TC bullet to an OAL of 1.250", the shank would hit the rifling before the case mouth could bottom out against the chamber. Such a round would not work in a self-loader.

Use your barrel as a gauge. Take it out of the gun and seat the bullet long, say 1.270". Use the crimp die to remove the bell only. Then drop the round into the chamber. Does it drop in freely? Is the case had flush with the end of the barrel hood? If not, then seat the bullet deeper and deeper until it fits.

This method assumes the bullet diameter is smaller than the freebore. If the bullet is the same or larger than the freebore, you will have to seat it extra deep and it will shave lead on the way in. The ideal size for self-loaders is .0005" under.

You should know your chamber dimensions before proceeding further. I had a Wilson CQB whose freebore was .452". As you can imagine, it would not work with commercial cast bullets as they are all typically .452"+. I had to get a Lee die and resize them to .4515". Then they fed beautifully. I used an OAL of 1.250" for both LRN and SWC.

My current 1911's accept .452" bullets without any issues due to their .453" freebore.

DBR
November 19, 2010, 01:17 AM
Another cause of leading if the bullet is too far off the rifling lead (what you are calling the forcing cone) is hot gas escaping by the bullet before it jumps into the rifling. This gas erodes lead off the bullet at the front of the chamber before the bore is sealed.

Jech
November 19, 2010, 09:36 AM
...this time seated to 1.162" putting the ogive start flush with the case mouth allowing the round to pass the barrel-case-gauge test.
My XD has a sub .452" freebore...looks like we're both on the same page now...shorties they will be!

918v
November 19, 2010, 12:02 PM
And you will continue to shave lead. The solution is to resize the bullets, not to seat them shorter.

murf
November 19, 2010, 02:32 PM
agree with 918v. you said the bore was .451. either buy .451 bullets, or resize. you should then be able to set to normal col without leading issue.

murf

Jech
November 19, 2010, 08:49 PM
Wouldn't resizing to .451" contradict one of the fundamental rules of cast bullet shooting? It was my understanding that cast shooters were supposed to load bullets .001" over their slugged bore's diameter to ensure a proper seal.

Jeff H
November 20, 2010, 12:16 AM
Wouldn't resizing to .451" contradict one of the fundamental rules of cast bullet shooting? It was my understanding that cast shooters were supposed to load bullets .001" over their slugged bore's diameter to ensure a proper seal.

+1

I'm not quote following how sizing down will help leading either. I'm open to ideas though.

918v
November 20, 2010, 12:59 AM
Wouldn't resizing to .451" contradict one of the fundamental rules of cast bullet shooting? It was my understanding that cast shooters were supposed to load bullets .001" over their slugged bore's diameter to ensure a proper seal.

Your understanding is correct, however the .001" over figure is not mandatory to achieve a proper seal. First of all, you assume the groove diameter of your barrel is .451" and that may or may not be the case. Many 45 ACP barrels have groove diameters as small as .449". Krieger, for example, cuts a .450" groove diameter in their 45 ACP barrels.

http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Calibers__Prices-c1246-wp3390.htm

You should slug your barrel before assuming.

I bet your groove diameter is smaller than .451". Even if it were .451", shooting a .451" bullet through a .451" barrel makes for a perfect fit, especially since the bullet is under pressure and obturates whatever imperfections it may encounter.

The .001" over figure is meant as a guide.

Jech
November 20, 2010, 02:35 PM
First of all, you assume the groove diameter of your barrel is .451" and that may or may not be the case...You should slug your barrel before assuming.
Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt...It was hidden in my trademark Oversized Wall'o'Text ><
...My bore is slugging at .4508-.451" so even the freebore catches the lead if the side sticks out at all from the case.

-------------------------------
Speaking now strictly in a hypothetical sense and thus ignoring the sacrilege of smithing inside the bore... I wonder if it would be possible to open up the first 1/16" of the freebore by .0015". This would essentially creat a throat likened to what rifle chambers have, allowing these bullets some extra protrusion from the case mouth.

Again, I'm just thinking out loud here...I don't have the money to do that nor do I have access to the equipment myself.

918v
November 20, 2010, 04:22 PM
So shoot .451"

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