45 acp reload problems


September 8, 2011, 01:34 PM
I recently bought a Randall 1911 and have started reloading for it. I have reloaded 230 gr jacketed and 200 gr flat nose Berry's plated. I set the OAL at 1.260 for the 230 gr and 1.200 for the flat nose. My problem is the flat nose when letting the slide go forward shoves the bullet back into the case by about 30 to 40 thousandths of an inch. The round nose will move back less than 10 thousandths. I was having some feed problems with the factory magazine and have tried a triple k, a sig 1911, and a Wilson 47d. and have some problem with all of them on pushing the bullet back into the brass with the stock one being the worse of the bunch. Also have noticed when allowing the slide to move forward slowly the nose of the bullet dips down before the rear clears the feed lips. The main concern is if the bullet is set back into the case when it is being chambered will it cause problems when firing it? Also have read 1911 Tuner's sticky on problems and would love to see pictures or have him write a book about these pistols.

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September 8, 2011, 02:57 PM
Neck tension- Check your expander diameter, should be .450" or smaller. Measure the brass over the bullet area before and after seating. On seating, the bullet will expand the case if the case is sized correctly & the expander is the correct size. It should get larger by .002" after seating a bullet.

September 8, 2011, 03:00 PM
Measure the brass over the bullet area before and after seating. It should get larger by .002" after seating a bullet.

Pretty thin brass, 0.001 inch.

maybe at least 0.004?
That would at least give the brass 0.002 inches of thickness.

September 8, 2011, 03:01 PM
Which brand seat/crimp die are you using?

September 8, 2011, 03:04 PM
I crimp my 45ACP rounds to .469" - .470" measured at the case mouth.

September 8, 2011, 03:14 PM
Pretty thin brass, 0.001 inch.

maybe at least 0.004?
That would at least give the brass 0.002 inches of thickness.

The brass should be .010" thick.....The bullet will expand the sized brass by .002" is what he is saying:)

If your using RP brass, that may be some of your set back problem. I find RP to give the least resistance while seating a bullet.

Can you further seat a bullet by hand, while pushing it into your reloading bench?

September 8, 2011, 07:35 PM
put some more crimp on them puppies and avoid the known-to-be thin brass (Aguilla, RP, etc...).

The 47D mags should help some as I believe the feed angle is steeper with them.

1.26" COAL is leaving you plenty of room, so unless you're pushing max loads, .030" of setback isn't going to put you over the top.

September 8, 2011, 09:30 PM
I am using Lee dies and the brass od is about .472 at the mouth when i seat the bullet. After seating it is .470. I guess the bullet is hitting the feed ram to hard and pushing it back into the case. The flat points are 1.20 to start with and 1.165 to 1.75 after chambering one time. I have pulled to bullet partially out and reseated to 1.20 but was concerned they may cause problems being shorter than they are supposed to be. They are loaded with 6.5 gr unique.

September 8, 2011, 09:50 PM
Did you check one of your reloads to see if you could push the bullet in by hand? (push on the casehead, with the bullet against the edge of your bench)

Could have a pistol issue too..

dave from mesa
September 8, 2011, 10:04 PM
Agree with JDGray.

September 8, 2011, 11:45 PM
I think it is a pistol related problem because sometimes the flat points do not feed but are jammed against the feed ramp with shell still in the feed lips and tip of bullet near the where the transition is from frame to barrel. I do have a new 16 lb recoil spring in it but i don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. Dave In Mesa, we spend the winters in Apache Junction on Meridian road.

September 9, 2011, 06:50 AM
The main concern is if the bullet is set back into the case when it is being chambered, will it cause problems when firing it? Pressure will go up. If your running a maximum powder charge, there could be a problem. http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_45acp-1.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/?action=view&current=45acp-1.jpg) Click photo for a larger view. Why do most set back problems seem to be with a plated bullet? Has anyone else noticed this?

September 9, 2011, 07:06 AM
Load 6.0gr of Unique. Alliant data lists 6.5gr as Maximum for a 230 gr bullet. Run the factory spring if the 16lb is not standard. This will change the slide speed.

September 9, 2011, 08:49 AM
You might also check your brass. I've found some that the bullet seated waaaaay to easily, and was very easy to push in with the thumb test. R-P is one that comes to mind. When I load 45ACP for matches, I seperate out the brass by headstamp. For range/practice I dont bother.

September 9, 2011, 09:32 AM
I'm not familiar with the Randall brand, but according to this article:


They were trend setters and made good quality stuff (though only from '83-85).

According to Kuhnhausen shop manuals, the origianl gov't spec. 1911s were designed to shoot one thing and one thing only.... 230 gr. ball. And that these need to be modified (feed ramp, barrel throat and magazines to reliably feed JHP, FN and SWC.

Most of what you buy today (Kimber, Colt, STI, etc...) are actually built to factory specs and do not ridgidly follow the 1911a1 blueprints (for good reasons)....

You could try polishing your feed ramp, but be very careful, as this is probably the #1 way guys screw up their 1911s. You want to remove tooling marks and smoothe the surface, NOT remove material and change the ramp angle. I'd suggest nothing courser than 400 grit emery paper (and light going with that) then switching to fine CRATEX polishers or felt bobs with rouge.

Also important to feeding, is the throat of the chamber, as FN and JHPs tend to hit the barrel to the left, outside the factory ramp. You could read up on this and try it yourself, but it sounds like you have a really nice pistol, and it may be best to leave it to a competant pistol smith who specializes in 1911s.

I find studying and tinkering with 1911s to be a lot of fun. But even though I've put a lot of time into learing the 1911 and have invested in some decent tools, I'm very careful about what I take on.

dave from mesa
September 9, 2011, 10:15 AM
Off Topic
We are near Signal Butte and University. If you want to get together and go shooting at Rio this winter let me know.

On Topic
Still think it might be a feed ramp problem. Does this happen with factory rounds??

Berry's MFG
September 9, 2011, 10:36 AM
We've become spoiled to the fact that most of todays semi-auto's feed and function most everything. I can remember back when the 1911 was really the only platform we shot and had to have the feed ramp worked on, port lowered just so we could shoot other than a 230gr RN.

September 9, 2011, 12:06 PM
Thanks for all the replies and ideas. I am not able to push the bullet into the case by hand or pushing the bullet into the bench. The crimp makes the mouth of the case about 2 thou smaller so that should be good. It also leaves a ring around the bullet where it is crimped. I am using 6.5 gr unique with the 200 gr Berry's plated and 6.0 with the 230 gr jacketed so I am well below max loads. Alliant shows over 9 for 230 gr GDHP and that seems like a bunch. I think since the pistol was produced in the mid 80's it may just be designed for 230 gr round nose.
Dave in Mesa, we stay at Meridian RV resort in the winter and it is near Southern and Meridian roads so we are pretty close to where you are. May just have to take you up on going to Rio. We go out around Florence a lot to shoot.

dave from mesa
September 9, 2011, 12:37 PM
We go out around Florence a lot to shoot

You have place in the desert? Been trying to find a place that is still open.

September 9, 2011, 03:33 PM
I agree that these are interesting to tinker with and are great to shoot. This pistol does also push the bullet back slightly on factory round nose but have,t tried any factory HP or FN. I probably will buy another 1911 that is a newer model to do my tinkering with and not mess this one up. Just be happy shooting round nose out of it.

September 9, 2011, 03:48 PM
A couple of things have been mentioned in this thread that point in the right direction.

The first is slide velocity/speed. A lot of folks run an 18 lb. spring in their 1911's. Nothing wrong with that--but if you run a faster (heavier) spring, use a heavier magazine spring to get the bullet up there faster. I run Wolff +5% springs in all my magazines (Chip McCormick). They work fine.

The second problem is what I believe is the predominant symptom: your rounds are nosediving into the feed ramp.

This can be fixed by different followers. You'll want one that will not dip if you push the front of the follower downward. The whole follower should go into the magazine, under pressure when you push on it at any point.

One trick that I have learned over the years is to seat ALL bullets for the .45 ACP to the same OAL as a round of loaded ball ammunition.

September 9, 2011, 03:50 PM
Alliant shows over 9 for 230 gr GDHP and that seems like a bunch. 9gr of Unique? Online data at Alliant website is showing 6.0gr Maximum.

September 9, 2011, 06:47 PM
243winxb, oops looking at the wrong cartridge 6 is correct for 230 GDHP.
Powderman, you are correct about the shells nosediving. If I move the slide slow enough that I can tell what is happening the bullet is dropping down before it clears feed lips. One of my mags is a Wilson 47d,another is a Sig 1911, one a Triple k and the factory Randall. They all let the nose drop but the factory mag is the worst one. I will purchase a CMC mag and try it. Where do you get the extra tension mag springs and is it a good idea to get a different type of follower.

September 9, 2011, 07:49 PM
I get 99% of my gun-related items--parts and tools--from Brownell's Good prices and excellent service!

I have used this follower with good results...


Hondo 60
September 9, 2011, 08:59 PM
I have two questions for the OP.

Does factory ammo get set back as well as reloads?
Have looked closely at the crimp you're applying?

If factory ammo does NOT get set back, then it almost assuredly is too loose of a crimp.
That'd be the first thing I'd try.

Good Luck!

September 9, 2011, 10:00 PM
Hondo: yes it does push the factory loaded shell back also. I havent tried any flat nose factory shells but the 230 gr round nose get pushed back also. They move about 10 thousandths like my reload round nose. The flat nose reloads are the ones that move about 30 to 40 thousandths. I am pretty sure this pistol doesnt like flat nose. Also the round nose don't have a setback problem with the Wilson and Sig magazines. I am going to try some heavier mag springs and see if they will stop the bullet from nosediving. Thanks again for all the ideas and suggestions. This is a great forum to learn from some many different folks. I do think I will buy another 1911 to experiment with as I really enjoy tinkering with and shooting this thing.

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