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Failure to fire .45 ACP

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by buzzg, May 15, 2011.

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  1. buzzg

    buzzg Member

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    A friend has a Rock Island Armory 1911 that failed to fire with some new reloads. Factory ammo functions fine. Some of the reloads functioned OK. The visible symptom was no primer indentation from the firing pin. I suspect cases trimmed too short, but I was not able to examine/compare. Any thoughts?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  2. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    What primers are being used?
     
  3. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    No need to trim 45ACP cases.... Drop them in the chamber to see how deep they go in to eliminate as a cause, but they would have to go way in to not fire.
     
  4. buzzg

    buzzg Member

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    I don't know what primers were being used. That's a good question. As for trimming, I'm not sure that he trimmed them or not, but most of his brass is "range pickup" so he could have gotten some wierd stuff. I'm trying to get him to compare them with factory brass.

    Thanks
     
  5. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    .45 acp headspaces on the case mouth, as of course you know, so if the case length is okay, perhaps they are excessively crimped? :confused:
     
  6. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    My guess is just an excessively hard primer. I've had these before in other calibers.

    Did you rechamber and fire the round?
     
  7. buzzg

    buzzg Member

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    He does shoot cast lead and may have over crimped. Yes, he tried rechambering and got the same result. The possibility of over crimping equates to a "short" case. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some of the rounds. I'm sort of in the dark as I haven't actually seen anything, just heard the lament.

    Thanks
     
  8. jglcolosprgs

    jglcolosprgs Member

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    45acp = headspace on case mouth = taper crimp

    If he is roll crimping that could be the problem. They might be seating too far forward.

    The primers have no firing pin hit mark?? Primers seated deep enough? That would be my second guess.

    Thirdly make sure the firing pin channel / pin / etc isn't gunked up with dirt grease, whatever.
     
  9. samurai

    samurai Member

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    Primers may not be "seated" enough. Check and see if they are sticking out a little.
     
  10. Toforo

    Toforo Member

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    if the primers weren't seated deep ENOUGH (not-flush/protruding - sticking OUT) there'd probably be a mark on them from the firing pin.... not to mention an increased danger of accidental firing while chambering....

    If there are NO marks on the primers, I'd think they might be set TOO deep (REcessed - well below flush)

    from the op....
    Any chance the primers got "fouled" by excessive oil/grease - excessive handling during reloading??

    ...try the "unfire-able" bullets from the RIA in another .45 to double check/isolate whether it's in fact a cartidge/primer issue or a gun issue...

    Note: according to my girlfriend, I've been "WRONG ALL DAY" so just in she's right YET AGAIN - reconsider my opinion, lol.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  11. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Never see that in all my years reloading;)
     
  12. Toforo

    Toforo Member

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    Neither have I - I just remember reading about it in the reloading manuals.

    My tendency has been to not set them deep ENOUGH, lol and I have to go back and lift the press handle harder, lol.

    But hey, it's not "our" primers that don't have "marks on the primers" - its the OP's.
     
  13. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Failure of a reload to fire is most commonly caused by the primer not being fully seated to the bottom of the primer pocket. Usually done by new loaders who are afraid of "crushing the primer" and don't apply enough pressure in the seating process to feel the primer bottom out.

    No firing pin mark, the problem is with the gun and the firing pins been broke or interfered with.

    To get a failure to fire from over crimping, seating the primer too deep, or overly hard primers you would obviously see the over zealous ammo crimp, be shooting a firearm that has malfunctioned or has out of spec parts or adjustments. have bought non commercial primers or hard primmer military surplus ammo intended for sub machine guns.
     
  14. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    If the round was fully chambered, gun fully in battery, and if the round ejected (i.e. the extractor was in the groove), and there was no mark on the primer, at all, there's something wrong with the gun. Period. You can't make ammo bad enough to cause that.

    I bet your firing pin spring is broken. You can check that without even disassembling the gun.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  15. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Good point GLOOB,
    If the weapon has a firing pin safety, that is released by the grip safety(Kimber) It is possible to not depress it far enough to let the hammer strike the firing pin.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'd have to go with the FP safety plunger not releasing.

    The inertia firing pin on a 1911 can protrude about 1/4" out of the breach face if it needs too to reach the primer.
    Excess headspace, short cases, deep primer seating, or a roll crimp is not going to make any difference at all.

    If it didn't even dent the primer, it is the FP drop safety plunger not releasing the firing pin for whatever reason.
    Or, a broken firing pin.

    One or the other is all that can possibly cause no dents in primers at all on a 1911.

    rc
     
  17. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    I didn't want to say this until I knew if the rounds would shoot the second time through...but I agree.
     
  18. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    There is no firing pin safety on a Rock Island Armory 1911.
     
  19. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    The clues, Watson, the clues!

    Erm...

     
  20. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Give it the pencil test...
     
  21. Cop Bob

    Cop Bob Member

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    Maybe some 45 GAP cases in the mix?

    Heck just about every thing else has been thrown out there.. I had to scratch HARD to come up with something original.. and Possibly, maybe... er ahhh, dangifIknow possible...

    A 45 firing pin will travel a ways if allowed too... Primers to shallow? nope, answered.. Broken spring... Ahh check it.. but I don't think so.. Contaminated primers? not with no marks on em... Heavy Roll Crimp... could be something there! Dirty slide interfering with pin travel, I dunno, I hope that it's not THAT dirty,, or maybe some rust or damage to the firing pin channel,,, pin a tad short? I'm just thinking out load here guys... hard to diagnose with out seeing the whole picture....

    Pencil test, not a bad place to start.. run a pencil up the (EMPTY) barrel, make sure the eraser is flat and square, and eraser facing the closed breach.. (firing pin) point the pistol up, where it will cause the pencil eraser to make contact with and rest against the breach face. Lower the pistol to level, pull the trigger, see if it spits the pencil out... the distance that it throws the pencil will give you an indication of how hard the pin is hitting...

    My money is on the reloads... something amiss here..
     
  22. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Nope. You left out one of the most common problems. And it's the one that results in the gun sometimes working, and sometimes getting nada. That's what I already guessed: a broken firing pin spring. Once the spring coils in on itself far enough, it will leave the firing pin hanging in the breeze. Sometimes it'll fire, and sometimes the FP will come to rest below the anvil when the hammer falls.

    To check it: Unload pistol. Cock hammer. Press on back of firing pin.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
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