Auto Rim Cartridges sticking in 325PD Cylinder


March 8, 2012, 12:39 AM
I shoot a .45 Auto Rim bowling pin load made up of new (virgin) Starline brass, Winchester WLP primers, Lasercast 255 grain hard cast semi-wadcutters and Blue Dot powder. Powder charges are not maximum and come straight from Laser Cast's reloading tables for a .45 AR bowling pin load.

The loads are very accurate and work just fine in my S&W Classic series Model 25-14 (nickel plated, 3" barrel, square grip, all steel construction BBQ gun). Cases almost fall out of the cylinder.

However, when I fire the same loads from the same batch through my 325 PD (2-1/2" barrel, alloy frame, titanium cylinder), the cases stick, even the unfired ones, adjacent to the discharged case to the extent that I have to punch them out with a wooden dowel and a hard hammering action. I can take the same unfired loads that wouldn't extract and they load, fire and extract with no problem in my 25-14. I have cleaned the 325PD thoroughly and it still happens.

Any ideas?

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March 8, 2012, 02:30 AM
Seems sticky extraction has been an issue with titanium cylinders sometimes. Never heard it so bad that the unfired cases stick, though. That's kinda spooky, as it suggests to me the cylinder walls are expanding/contracting pretty significantly.

Have you tried putting empty cases fired from your 325PD into your 25? Could be the chambers aren't perfectly round. I've seen this one before, and swapping fired cases is how we discovered it. It happened to be a .45acp revolver as well (a 625).

Either way, I'd call S&W on this one, as they really ought to swap the cylinder, methinks. If the replacement is better, but still a bit sticky, you could fit a steel cylinder to it, while keeping the Ti cylinder in case you ever sell the gun.

BTW, I have read some have better extraction results using plated or jacketed bullets with titanium cylinders.

March 8, 2012, 03:20 AM
This could be silly, but since you said it's virgin brass, you did resize it, right?

March 8, 2012, 08:00 AM
yep. Resize before loading virgin brass

March 8, 2012, 01:58 PM
Yes, of course I ran them through a RCBS carbide sizing die prior to using. Also, the cases fired in the 325PD would not fit in the 25-14 cylinder; whereas, fired cases originally fired in the 25-14 revolver would re-chamber. The load I am using is 8.4 grains of Blue Dot in Starline Cases, with Laser Cast 255 grain cast SWC bullets and WLP primers. I am roll crimping the bullets in the AR cases as well (ACP cases are taper crimped with a dedicated die).

The Laser Cast manual lists 8.9 grains of Blue Dot as a maximum for bowling pin loads, so I should be OK. I am also wondering if the Ti cylinder in the 325PD is expanding too much and shrinking back too tightly around the cases. I e-mailed S&W last night to ask. Also have problem with Cor-Bon +P and Buffalo Bore heavy loads. Standard pressure loads seem to work OK in the 325PD, including some light AR target loads with 185 grain cast SWC bullets. Plus P not so well.

The Model 25-14 eats anything I put in it, including some shotshells I loaded in AR cases using plastic Speer .45 Colt shot shell capsules and #9 shot, seated carefully and locked-in with a taper crimp die. Haven't cracked any capsules yet.

March 8, 2012, 02:27 PM
Carefully measure the diameter of fired cases taken from your 325PD and your 25. Measure several places around the circumference. If your measurements show the 325 cases to be out of round, I'd say you need a new cylinder (on S&W's dime), as the chambers aren't perfectly round.

March 8, 2012, 06:26 PM
The Lee Factory Crimp Die also re-sizes with another carbide resizer. This can remove flared/bulged lead from the loading process. This fixed a myriad of crazy .45 ACP/AR problems with my Dillon 550B made 625JM ammo. It taper crimps rather than roll crimps. I experimented with both and found tighter SD with the taper crimp than the roll crimp, while the latter was a few fps higher in average mv. It was once fired Starline brass that was never length sized. It could just be a sliver of lead and minimal ID Ti chambers.


March 8, 2012, 06:47 PM
As recommended, call S&W. This shouldn't happen. The problem with the unfired cases is the key.

March 8, 2012, 06:56 PM
cylinders prob not finished properly

March 8, 2012, 07:05 PM
I also think you have a problem with the cylinder on your 325 and would call S&W for help.

March 10, 2012, 12:11 PM
I miked the Auto Rim cases fired in the titanium cylinder 325PD and the case head diameters averaged around 0.477/0.478 inches; where as the Auto Rim case head diameters that were fired in the steel cylinder 25-14 averaged 0.473 inches.

I am wondering whether the Ti cylinder is too elastic and is allowing the cases to expand under pressure and the cylinder walls are shrinking down too tightly to form an interference fit.

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