Not going into battery surprise...


Corner Pocket
February 6, 2013, 04:04 PM
Folks, I'm loving my new Beretta Cougar .45 pistola and it happily gobbles up my 230 gr Cast TL loads. They shoot with very nice accuracy. I'm really pleased with that load and will continue to crank out a bunch of them...

I've also put together some 200 gr Cast TL loads. These have an OAL of 1.185 and are powered with 5.6 gr Unique. With these, I get frequent rounds that fail to go fully into battery. (Stopping maybe 1/4" shy of being fully into battery.) This morning I had four out of 25 rounds shot that did that. I can easily push with my thumbs on the end of the slide and it will go ahead and seat as desired. Here's the perplexing thing -- Last night after I loaded these rounds, I removed the barrel from my 8045F and dropped each round into the barrel. They all went in to the proper depth, and by then turning the barrel upside down, they all fell right out. Thus I am surprised to see a few of them act as I've described. Any ideas are welcomed!

Corner Pocket

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February 6, 2013, 04:44 PM
Maybe its in a spot where, the recoil isn't quite enough to rock the slide all the way back everytime?

February 6, 2013, 05:37 PM
Ive had the same issue in my 1911. are you using the truncated cone bullets? I really like their accuracy. I seat them to 1.188" and I run across this issue with maybe one out of 100. perplexed, I took out two boxes and they all passed the plunk test without problem. Im using 4.9 grains of HP38/win231 and they do have a pretty good recoil. I gave my friend a box to shoot today at the range and he said they have the same recoil as any 230gr factory hardball he has shot. Ive never bought ammo for my 45 so I was curious to that.

err... I just reread your post and you said the 200 grainers were the problem. Ill just leave my ramblings and maybe someone can chime in for the two of us. :D

February 6, 2013, 08:13 PM
Do you seat them with any of the shoulder sticking out of the case? If so, did you size the bullets or simply TL then load them? My TL452-230-TC's drop a little over .452 and unless I size them, they won't go fully into battery when seated to 1.19". I've since loaded to 1.17" so there is no vertical portion of the bullet sticking out of the case. Since I load way under max, the extra 20 mils doesn't pose a pressure problem.

You can look at this post ( to see how deep I seat them.

February 6, 2013, 08:35 PM
The Lee TC .45 ACP bullet missed the mark on proper top of chamber wall contact to pop it over out of the mag and straight into the chamber.

Other company's (Lyman/ H&G/ SECO) FP / TC bullet molds copy the 230 grain FMJ-RN military bullet ogive contact point for chamber contact and proper feed angle out of the magazine.

Lee's mold designer seems to have missed the real old memo on that.

I gave up on the Lee 230 CN bullet because it wouldn't feed right in to 1911's that otherwise will feed reloading bench sweepings with any other RN/RN-FP/ JHP//TC/SWC bullet design.


February 6, 2013, 09:46 PM
yeah probably the shape of the bullet.
now you have an excuse to buy a .45 acp revolver and moon clips.

February 6, 2013, 09:50 PM
Or, a better bullet mold.


February 6, 2013, 09:57 PM
RSrocket- I have the shoulder of the bullet about .025" above the case mouth. Mine usually drop right at .4515. maybe one out of five hundred for whatever reason are small and drop right on in the case almost. I will have to try seating them a little deeper, I just have been loading them .005" under the just barely pass plunk test.

RC- I havent had any feeding problems recently with the exception of the occasional one that wont go into full battery. Im not quite 100% following the first part of your post, are you saying that after the round hits the feed ramp and guides into the chamber that the bullet hits the top of the chamber in an incorrect location causing malfunctions? In my first hundred rounds(which were seated longer, turned out many didnt pass the plunk test) I had two jams where the round ended up vertical between the barrel and slide with bullet pointing downwards. If I remember right, both times it was on the last round out of the mec-gear mag. I attributed it to the mag at the time. im now 600 rounds deep and the mag has failed me, the slide lock catch has worn and it only locks back 100% of the way half the time, once today it went back in to battery on an empty chamber! good thing I have another higher quality mag.

corner pocket- sorry I derailed your thread.

Corner Pocket
February 6, 2013, 10:10 PM
Many thanks for these replies!

rsrocket1, you asked, "Do you seat them with any of the shoulder sticking out of the case? If so, did you size the bullets or simply TL then load them?"

I don't size them. However, I like your idea of seating a little deeper. (I'll back off the powder charge a little and try a few rounds seated at 1.17".) Thanks for that suggestion, as it may be precisely what I need...

Corner Pocket

February 6, 2013, 10:23 PM
I haven't sized any of cast bullets since about 1976.
0.452" is right where a standard lead bullet for a standard .45 should be. 0.453" is sometimes better for accuracy.
I load longer than that--you should play with COL a bit. Try 1.200".
It can also be a magazine issue. Feeding is dependent on the bullet shape and how soon the magazine releases the round. The old military mags kept the round in the magazine almost the complete distance of the magazine--and only worked well with 230gn FMJ-RN.
Most new magazines release the round much sooner--many, at about the half-way along the magazine.
Almost all feeding issues that aren't caused by a bulged case relate to COL or magazine.

February 7, 2013, 12:16 AM
are you saying that after the round hits the feed ramp and guides into the chamber that the bullet hits the top of the chamber in an incorrect location causing malfunctions?Thats exactly what I am saying.

The bullet ogive must be correct for it to come out of the mag at a nearly 45 degree angle and hit the top of the chamber, and be redirected downward into a straight line into the chamber.

It is critical that a TC or SWC bullet ogive hit in the same place in the top of the chamber the 230 grain FMJ-RN hits to pop it up out of the mag at the right inset.

And IMO, the Lee 200 & 230 FP bullets don't.


Lost Sheep
February 7, 2013, 03:10 AM
rcmodel, 3006mv and rsrocket1 are on target, I think

The shape of the bullet is catching (probably on the feed ramp) as the bullet leaves the magazine, rides up the ramp, enters the chamber and goes (or doesn't) go into the chamber. As it does this, the angle of the cartridge changes, allowing different parts of the bullet's front to hit things it does not hit during a plunk test.

When you do the plunk test, you are able to drop the cartridge straight in, so any odd-shaped bullet nose or ogive will much less of an issue.

You might be able to cure the problem by seating the bullet a little deeper (with proper precautions to avoid the elevated pressure such a tactic produces) or switching to a differently shaped bullet. (My friend's XD will not feed semi-wadcutters nearly 100% of the time, so he traded all his SWC for my round-noses).

Good luck.

Lost Sheep

p.s. remember, seat deeper with EXTREME caution. The pressure increase is not proportional to the volume decrease. It is super-proportional.

February 7, 2013, 11:15 AM
I agree that the problem with failure to feed is usually caused by the ogive, but the OP is talking about getting that last 1/10" of the slide to close, not a feed problem. That problem is often caused by the bullet failing to enter the throat of the barrel.

Corner Pocket: You can determine what part of the cartridge is causing the hang-up by "painting" the lead bullet and case with a magic marker and seeing which part rubs off. I have a feeling it is the shoulder that is sticking above the case. That was my problem.

rc: maybe the Lee TC missed the mark with most proper 1911's but I guess my el Cheapo Thompson AO is (thankfully) the exception to the rule because the Lee TC's feed perfectly in that gun. It's a vintage 1980's pistol that cost all of a couple hundred dollars new and was a total bust with anything other than round nose bullets using both the original mags and the "SWC" modern mags (4 each of various manufacturers).

February 7, 2013, 11:20 AM
Or, a better bullet mold.

Si, Senor.

The 1911 is often very picky with non RN shapes.

This why I only cast them on request anymore, and they get loaded especial for each piece they go to.

Feed issues all over the place !

Corner Pocket
February 9, 2013, 07:00 AM
Gents, I really appreciate these replies. I've dug around out there and found a few hundred pieces of 200 gr bullets that have a different ogive than the ones that have been problematic. I'll load up a few test rounds and give 'em a shot. Thanks again! :D

Corner Pocket

February 9, 2013, 08:02 PM
I'd go with unburned powder combined with a light crimp and a tight chamber. Is 5.6gr of unique a hot load? Incomplete combustion? That would explain a valid plunk on the bench and slightly out of battery at the range.


February 9, 2013, 11:24 PM
My dozen plus 1911's all feed SWC's fine. My mould was custom made by a local Machinist that started a cast bullet company back in '70's. I also have a Lyman SWC mould bullets are 100%. Just had to tweak the dies till all were happy and not had to readjust in 20 years. That said, have a couple of magazines that have difficulty feeding them that will feed any RN or HP.

Corner Pocket
February 14, 2013, 11:34 AM
Looks like my Beretta 8045 just doesn't like those Lee Cast TL 200 gr bullets. My test loads of another 200 gr Cast bullet all worked just fine at the range earlier this morning. Thus, the problem is solved -- I'll just switch to these bullets that work, and enjoy them. :D Thanks again for all the replies!

Corner Pocket

February 14, 2013, 12:40 PM
That's a good workaround, find a good home for the mold if you don't plan on using it anymore, maybe give to and a new caster/loader and show him/her the ropes.
post a pick of your Beretta Cougar with groups on a target, I always liked the look of that weapon. I like single stacks, the only double stack .45 acp I have is a DE Baby Eagle, compact. that thing likes all bullets I have tried. ( I don't however use lead in that one, only jacketed or plated).

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