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.40 loads not chambering

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Grassman, Jan 11, 2009.

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  1. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    What could make my .40 cal. loads not chamber properly? I am new to pistol reloading so mistakes could be present. Went shooting today about every 3rd round would not chamber correctly, it wouldn't close the slide all the way, when you pull the trigger it would barely dent the primer. I made the first few loads pretty much the same OAL as factory loads, so length was not a factor. I was also shooting some 9mm loads today also, and they shot perfect every time without fail. Another thought was a gun problem, I'm shooting a S&W 40VE, could there be something wrong with the firearm? These loads looked fine, OAL was the same as factory loads. Any thoughts? Thanks...
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  2. Roadkill

    Roadkill Member

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    Check if you are running the case completely up into the sizer die. Could be you are depriming without completely sizing. I did the same thing with 9mm. Tighten the sizer die down and it fixes it. Just a recommendation, remove barrel and drop the finished bullets into the chamber before taking to range. If they don't drop freely all the way into the chamber then you will have problems.
     
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    What powder and when did you clean that handgun especially the firing pin and spring.

    I have found some powders that can foul the chamber with small particals of unburned powder that will cause an ocassional round to fail to let the slide go to battery by binding in the chamber. The light pin marks on the primers could be primers not seated all the way, gummed up firing pin or weak hammer spring...

    Pull the barrel out of the frame and drop a few rounds into the chamber to see if they all will go all the way in with a resounding "Ding". And that they are flush with the end of the chamber hood.
     
  4. bensdad

    bensdad Member

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    I'm pretty new to reloading also, so take my advice at your own risk. :D

    Handgun rounds headspace on the case mouth. Are you possibly over-crimping? Like Roadkill said, drop a finished round into the chamber. If it doesn't sit in there just like a factory load, something is wrong. It should drop in, stop in the right place, and drop right back out when you turn it upside-down. It should also be impossible to push it down into the barrel/chamber (with a finger) farther than a factory round goes. There should be a positive stop. I hope I'm making sense.

    ETA: Take the gun apart for this. You get a much better sense of how a factory round sits in the barrel if it's completely exposed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  5. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    Roadkill....That's what I thought, I took the gun apart and the round fit nicely, not real tight or loose, fine.

    Bushmaster...This load was 7.5 grns of S.R. 7625 with a 135 grn. bullet. On the ones that wouldn't fire, I noticed the slide was not properly engaged, a little backed out.
     
  6. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    I thought about going and buying some factory loads and see if I still had the same problem.......then I would know.
     
  7. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Yup. I have a Kimber 1911 with a tight chamber that will not quite go to battery when using AA #7. The powder will leave a few grains of unburned powder in the chamber as the empty case is being extracted. This causes the fresh round to bind on this residue and hold the slide back about 1/8 of an inch...

    Loading the same exact round with either W-231 or WSF (or any other clean burning powder) seems to solve this problem. On the other side of the coin. My colt 1911 loves AA #7 and even with the Wilson match barrel works just fine...The Kimber has a 3" barrel and the Colt has a 5" barrel. And that is the only difference I can see.
     
  8. whatnickname

    whatnickname Member

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    40 S&W loads not chambering

    I've run into this myself. You didn't mention the source of your brass. If you are using once fired range brass or once fired brass from some other source, it is possible that some of your brass may have been originally fired in a Glock. You can recognize brass that has been fired in a Glock pistol by the distinctive mark made on the primer by the striker...V-shaped firing pin indention surrounded by a retangular pertrusion. Glocks are very good pistols but the design of the pistol in the 40 S&W chambering doesn't fully support the case head. This sometimes results in the deformation of the brass just in front of the case head; known as the web area of the case. With very hot loads, the deformation can be so severe that the resizing die will be unable to return the case to a dimension that will permit chambering after subsequent reloadings. People attempting to fire reloads in their 40 S&W Glocks have occasionally had the case head blow out completely, with reloaded ammunition, sending sufficient gas pressure and burning gunpowder downward through the magazine well with enough force to completely blow the magazine out of the pistol causing damage. If you research this subject on the web, you will see some folks refering to this problem as a "Ka-boom" or KB for short. BTW...Glock doesn't regard this issue as a problem, as their pistols are intended to be used with good quality, new, factory ammunition. Most manufacturers take the position that the use of re-loaded ammunition voids the factory warranty. I might also add that the "Kaboom" problem occurs very rarely, if at all, with new factory ammunition. Hope this helps.

    GHS
     
  9. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    So it could be something as simple as powder choice? Is SR 7625 a particularly dirty burning powder?
     
  10. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    Wow.. whatnickname...... You really got me worried now, I did not really look at the spent primers when I loaded them. Some was once fired brass and some new.
     
  11. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    SR 7625? Dirty? Don't know, but if you shoot into the wind and a lot of flakes blow back into your face then yes...:D
     
  12. Riss

    Riss Member

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    Grassman not to worry. You noticed he said HOT LOADS IN A GLOCK. It is really only a concern IF using an unsupported chamber AND shooting HOT loads. The 40 S&W case was not made for anything above the pressures listed in the book. If you look it is already above the 45 acp and 9mm. As long as you stay within the range listed in the reloading books you will be ok. A true KB is when the barrel chamber itself blows, leaving the slide half off the frame and the mag stuck in the dirt. USUALLY caused by a double charge. A case blowout happens because of used brass, at higher than specified pressures, in a case that already is running at high pressure and was not designed to do so. Read the load books and watch your max pressure and all will be ok. As for the no chamber issue. Watch your crimp. You only need 3 or 4 thousandths more than the case itself. That and a good resize will do ya. I shoot a KKM barrel in the Glock and have issues with OAL wince the chamber is tight and the barrel throat starts early. Need to seat the bullets a little deeper because of that. But that does not seem to be your problem.
     
  13. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Are you loading the exact same bullets as your factory rounds ? if not that could be a problem, if the OAL is to long the bullets ogive will engage the rifling not allowing the gun to be in full battery. The rounds that do fully chamber could have set back issues. I would recheck your reloads using the barrel as a gauge, drop a re-sized empty case in the chamber this will show how your reloaded round should look when it's head spaced on the case mouth.
    If the OAL is to long the extra space in the case will drop the pressure of the load, most med-slow powders may not burn efficiently at lower pressures.
    7625 should work in .40 S&W, but a 135gr bullet is on the light side.
    Sorry if I repeated some earlier posts but this is very important to understand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  14. Grassman

    Grassman Member

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    jibjab........that could very well be a factor. With all of the suggestions here, I'm going to totally re think my .40 loads....something ain't right.
     
  15. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Buying a case gage would be better and cheaper. The gage will tell you in an instant if the problem is with your reloads. I suggest the LE Wilson gages ($11.50) over the Dillons.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. A gauge will let you know your ammo is in spec, and it is something else. It won't tell you if it is loaded too long and getting into the rifling, causing problems.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Find one of the tight loads, then color it, including the bullet, with a black Magic-Marker.

    Now chamber it and eject it.

    Where the black is gone is your problem.

    A case guage won't help if you are jamming the bullets into the rifling.

    rc
     
  18. Otto

    Otto Member

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    That generally applies to rifles not pistols.
    Wilson's pistol gage certainly measures COL ( max cartridge overall length).
    If the COL is within SAAMI specs you won't be jamming bullets into the rifling.

    http://www.lewilson.com/pistolmaxgage.html

    Perhaps I shouldn't have called it a case gage, it's really a cartridge gage, but I figured most would have known that.
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Not true.

    It all depends on the profile of the bullet, and the leade cut in the barrel of the gun in question.

    Truncated cone, and SWC bullets may very well be within SAAMI COL, or COL case guage spec.

    But they still won't chamber in some guns because the bullet shoulder gets jammed into the rifling, or short leade.

    No single case guage can measure every bullet profile out there.

    All they tell you is that the load will fit in the magazine.

    rc
     
  20. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    How come I have never had these problems in the 23 years I've been reloading ammunition for semi-auto handguns?:evil:

    The only problem in not going to battery has been solved by a cleaner burning powder or loading in the higher powder ranges:D
     
  21. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Grass Guy -
    You're getting some great feedback here. Let me highlight one of the beginner's pitfalls here, especially if you're using bullets made by someone who doesn't publish their own reloading data.

    Yes, most of what you want to know about the bullet is the weight. When you find a listing for a bullet of any weight, you can use that load data on your bullet of the same weight. But sometimes you can get into trouble on the OAL. How? Look at the attached graphics.

    In the middle graphic we have our stock ammo, just for instance... Winchester 140gr "white box". It shoots great in our pistol, and we want to replicate that load using Zero or Berry 140gr FP bullets. We use the Winchester load data and measure the OAL of some "white box" ammo we have.

    Because the new bullet is a flat point or a hollow point, its nose (or "ogive") is partially truncated (or "cut off"). If we load the FP to the same OAL as the RN (as in the RH graphic), the volume UNDER the bullet may increase by a large per centage. An increased volume inside the case with the same powder load will result in LOWER chamber pressures, which in turn will fail to operate your auto pistol as cleanly. (Bigger space + Same powder = Less energy) Follow?

    What you should also be looking at is the seating depth of the load (as in the LH graphic). If you want the gun to operate the same, then the pressure has to be the same. In order for the pressure to remain constant, the powder AND the volume under the bullet have to remain constant.

    If you'll compare the blue cross hatched area under the bullets in the LH and RH graphics you can easily see what I'm talking about. So OAL is nice to know, but it is not the end-all, especially if the bullet you're reloading with is a slightly different shape from the one in your load data.

    Hope this helps.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Just lucky I guess!

    I first ran into it about 40 years ago with 1911 National Match barrels.

    rc
     
  23. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Wrong.
    If SAAMI spec'ed ammo doesn't fit the gun it's because the gun's chamber isn't cut correctly, is fouled or is obstructed. Cartridge gages measure loaded rounds not chambers.

    Bullet manufacturers take in consideration the profile and dimensions of a bullet in respect to SAAMI's COL requirements which is caliber specific.
    This is why any bullet made for .40 cal. whether its truncated, SWC, or FMJ will function fine if it's within SAAMI COL specs.

    Really, how many people loading pistol ammo have their bullets jam in the rifling? If you're having that issue, maybe you should invest in a gage too.
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I won't even attempt to argue with you.

    However, I don't agree with you.

    It is a quite common problem with match chambered barrels and TC & SWC bullets.

    rc
     
  25. RDA 226sig

    RDA 226sig Member

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    Primer Seating

    Grassman, I had a similar problem with my SW9VE. (Assuming that your firing pin is denting primer the round is in battery but the firing pin is not extending deep enough to ignite the primer) Turned out that I was seating the primers too deep. It would be worth checking before you waste too much time chasing ghosts. In my case I dropped the rounds into my CZ and they functioned just fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
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