Factory ammo vs. Handloads


March 28, 2013, 12:38 PM
I have recently had some pretty glaring issues with factory ammo since I started reloading. I am talking about .45acp for a 1911.

I am wondering if it is a C.O.L. issue with my particular gun. When I shoot my short 180 gr. lead ammo it runs beautifully. Also when I shoot my 185gr. XTP ammo I ge tthe same. However when I shoot 230 FMJ Magtech, Win., etc. I get problems.

First problem is sending the first into battery by depressing the slide release. It gets hung up. The second problem is on the last round in the magazine it gets hung up and won't go to full battery.

Maybe it's a barrle issue or feed ramp issue. Maybe I need to haev a gunsmith polish it or something. But I have heard of some guns not liking ball ammo and prefered flat point or hallow point ammo, but never a 1911. The dang thing was designed around the 230 ball ammo.

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March 28, 2013, 12:50 PM
Do you run your reloads through a factory crimp/resizer die? I check my loads with a match grade gauge. Prior to using the factory crimp die to resize the round post cartridge creation, the case size would vary due to the reload process....and I would run into issues where the round would need help to go all the way to battery sometimes. ...but take my answer with a grain of salt...Im new to reloading and thats just what Ive found out recently. The factory crimp/resizer die corrects that and resizes the entire case to match grade spec so they all chamber perfectly.

March 28, 2013, 12:51 PM
Or could be a magazine issue.

March 28, 2013, 12:57 PM
I know that is usually the first suggestion with 1911's, but I am using Wilson Tac mags. They are supposed to be the best. Maybe i'll try my mil surp Colt mags, maybe they'll run better at 1/6th the cost.

March 28, 2013, 01:51 PM
What OAL are you loading the 230gr FMJ at?

March 28, 2013, 01:57 PM
The FMJ's are factory ammo. I didn't load them, they are factory box ammo. Someone just told me to not use the slide release as it will sometimes cause battery issues. I thought that is what it is for? It works great with the flat nose ammo, and if I "slingshot" the first round of FMJ it works fine. Just when I hit the slide button it hangs up. I guess that extra half inch of travel gives it just enough force to overcome what ever is rubbing the nose.

March 28, 2013, 02:08 PM
When was the last time you changed the RS?

March 28, 2013, 03:03 PM
Never changed it or the firing pin spring. The gun is about 6 years old, with about 1200 rounds on it. Maybe I'll buy a few different weights and see if a different weight spring, or a new "spec" spring will solve the problem.


March 28, 2013, 07:20 PM
This and a few other aspects of factory ammo is what inspired me to start reloading several decades ago. A G17 I bought new back in the 1980's would not reliably cycle any factory I tried to run through it. After I got the dies for it and started loading for it, I never had another problem. Can't be because factory is manufactured to one size fits all , yet not even two exact model firearms have the same dimensional characteristics. Normally this doesn't present a functional issue, but when we're talking about AL actions, it can be a totally different story.


March 28, 2013, 07:23 PM
Time to change the recoil spring. Wolff makes some great ones for the 1911.

March 28, 2013, 07:59 PM
Last round feed problems are almost always due to a weak mag spring. I would not touch the ramp, they are very rarely a problem unless they were cut at the wrong angle. I would look at the breechface and the extractor hook first and replace the recoil and FP spring.

Sauer Grapes
March 28, 2013, 09:35 PM
Drail makes a good point.
Take the extractor out and clean it and the tunnel. I think new mag springs are also in order.
The gun has been working all this time, I doubt anything has changed with the feed ramp.

March 29, 2013, 12:43 AM
Check your feed ramp for lead build up. It is common problem on guns that have not had the ramp polished and have shot short for caliber lead. Second, if you read the manual you will find that the 1911 was never intended to work by dumping the slide. It was always designed to be "slingshoted". I learned this from an old marine gunny that had probably thrown away more rounds that either of us has ever fired.

March 30, 2013, 12:27 AM
New recoil spring works great. I bought a Wolff variable spring instead of the same factory spring. I did go with the factory 18# rating though. It is a lot longer than the spring that was in there. So either my spring is old and compressed, or Kimber uses a really short tight coil spring. Either way, I am happy. Got a new mainspring hammer spring too. Will put that on later. Thanks again everyone.

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