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Why Won't My .45 ACP RN Loads Fit??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gary H, Sep 17, 2003.

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  1. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    I am loading Laser-Cast 230gr. RN into new, trimmed (.888") IMI brass. Oregon Trail's own load book call for an OAL of 1.260". Unfortunately, the base of the cartridge will not fully insert into a maximum cartridge gauge. I've used this gauge since discovering that my Valtro will not go into battery with out of spec ammunition. Anyway, the base extends .032" beyond the gauge. The cartridge won't even fit before going through my Lee Factory Crimp Die.. turned 1/2 turn beyond touching. The bullet is undistorted.. ie. the loaded bullet looks as it did before loading. The unloaded brass fits just fine. The bullet contour is round nose, but as with other RN there is a ridge which extends beyond the brass. It is clear that this ridge is what is causing the problem. Speer suggest an OAL of 1.270". Oregon Trail's load book warns on each page that one should "never reduce the stated overall lengths." Ehhhh.. Emailed Oregon Trail... What next??

    I just used my knife to cut away the slight ridge that extends beyond the top of the brass. The round nose contour ends and then the bullet diameter increases by .004" to .452". The full .452" extends about 0.030" beyond the end of the brass. It then reduces to .448" and the round nose contour begins. I simply cut the bullet down to .448" .. all the way to the brass and the max. cartridge gauge was happy. I figure that I could load 1000 rounds in about four days of trimming.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2003
  2. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    Change bullets?
     
  3. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    If the bullet ogive surface (the "curved part") touches the rifling, you generally need to seat the bullet deeper.

    I've had this happen in both my Dan Wesson Patriot and my CZ 9mm's.

    For the DW1911, if I seat West Coast 200gr RN at 1.265" or longer, then chamber a round and eject it, the bullet will have some slight indentions from the rifling in the barrel. 1.270" or longer and it'll get stuck or not go into battery.

    You can determine the OAL at which the bullets will function in your gun by:

    1. Remove the barrel from the gun. Yes, take it out.

    2. Load a dummy round with the same crimp and everything at the length that doesn't work.

    3. Drop the dummy round into the chamber of the now-freestanding barrel. It should drop in cleanly, and not stick when you turn the barrel over. While inserted, you should be able to mash it into the chamber with your thumb and still rotate it around freely, and it should still fall out freely. If you cannot do this, reduce the OAL by .005" and repeat. Then knock off another .005" for margin.

    4. Finally, if this is near a max load, you'll have to start 10% down with powder and work up again, since you've reduced the OAL from the published load.

    5. Shoot a few hundred through your to make sure it runs right.

    -z
     
  4. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    I had the same problem.

    The .45acp headspaces on the cartridge mouth.

    that lead ridge messes everything up.

    Run those loads back through the seating die until that ridge
    doesn't show.

    I had to redo 250 rounds when I first started reloading .45
     
  5. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    Zak Smith:

    The bullet is not overly long. The problem is as jsalcedo states. Of course, running the bullet in to eliminate the ridge also raises the pressure. Perhaps Sven has it right. It seems that a manufacturer should be able to get their specs right. I'll wait for their response. Maybe I have made some mistake here, but I can't imagine what.

    Sven:

    I have some West Coast 230 RN and was going to compare the lead to the plated. My previous problems with plated was in .38 Special load.
     
  6. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Gary,

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, but I'm not talking about the bullet being "overly long". I am talking about exactly what you describe, and I don't think it's specific to lead bullets.

    The RN bullets I've got on hand have a .452" diameter base which comprises an approx .280" high cylinder. On top of this cylinder is the round/conical nose of the bullet.

    If you imagine this bullet seated in a case, and then inserting that into the chamber, the chamber is wider than about .472" to accomodate the case with some margin. Then is constricts a little down for headspace. And the rifling's lands will constrict even more. If any part of the bullet contacts either the headspace ring or the rifling lands, the cartridge will either fail to go into battery, or if it does, it will get "stuck" to some extent making manually racking the slide extremely difficult.

    Some bullet profiles offend more than other in this regard. For example, a Speer Gold Dot 124gr in 9mm has an ogive that starts pretty early relative to its base, so even in short-"land" barrel such as the CZ, it can be seated out to 1.155". On the other hand, a 115gr Hornady XTP has a straight base for much longer, and thus must be seated to a much shorter OAL to get it to function in the same gun.

    You can reduce the OAL of a load with the understanding that it increases pressure. Thus, you must reduce the powder charge appropriately and then work-up as usual. In .45ACP, for mild-power loads (e.g. 165PF), decreasing the OAL by 0.030" isn't going to make a noticable difference.

    -z
     
  7. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    Sorry Zak.. didn't mean to cut you short.

    I don't think that I have ever used the exact bullet used in the loading manual... until now.. I'll accept a slightly different velocity, but not even fitting into the chamber is a bit much.
     
  8. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

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    COMEBACK

    Suggest OAL of 1.240-1.250"; please respond with powder and charge weight so I can suggest appropriate reduction.

    In fact, supply every detail you have patience for.....................
     
  9. stans

    stans Member

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    The longer OAL is probably fine for most factory and military spec barrels and they comprise the majority of 1911 barrels in the world. But, you have a match grade barrel that has a tighter chamber, tighter throat and the rifling may start closer to the chamber. So, a slightly shorter OAL is needed to keep the bullet from wedging in the throat. Depending on just how tight the chamber happens to be, you may need to resort to the Lee Factory Crimp die to get the whole cartridge down in diameter.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    I echo Zak's ideas.
     
  11. Bronson7

    Bronson7 Member

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    Gary, what's your crimp diameter?
    Bronson7
     
  12. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    Thing is, chambers differ. Loads that work fine in my Briley and my wife's Kimber won't chamber in her Ruger. Unless the load is near max, don't worry about reducing the OAL a smidge to get reliable chambering.
     
  13. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    IMI Match
    Laser Cast 230 RN
    4.1gr Titegroup
    OAL: 1.260
    RCBS Carbide Dies
    Lee Factory Die..tightened 1/2 turn (.464)
     
  14. Bronson7

    Bronson7 Member

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    Gary, Just thinking out loud......... that seems to me to be way too much crimp. Could you be distorting your brass or the bullet just at the edge of the case mouth? With that much crimp, something has to move somewhere and I'm wondering if that small area of exposed "flatness" on your bullet is bulging out. Just some thoughts. Hope it helps.
    Bronson7
     
  15. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    As another data-point, with the West Coast bullets, I crimp them down to .462" with no bad effects so far.

    -z
     
  16. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    Except that it will not fit into the max gauge..even before the final crimp. A bullet will pass through the max gauge prior to loading, so I must be distorting the bullet due to not enough belle.

    I increased the belle slightly and reduced the crimp and I need an OAL of 1.214 to get the resultant cartridge to fit in the Max Gauge...barely.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2003
  17. mr. e

    mr. e Member

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    This sounds like a similar problem I had when I first started loading. It happened with lead bullets and sometimes with copper jacketed ones. The way I've solved the problem is to not try to seat the bullet and crimp the round at the same time. I first back off the crimping die and seat the bullet to the proper depth. Then I back off the seating die and crimp the case until it passes the gauge.

    I found that when I try to crimp and seat with lead in the same operation, I deform the bullet and it bulges out over the front of the case. When I try to do the same thing with copper, the case gets deformed. Either way, the resulting round gets stuck about the same place in the gauge, just before the base of the case seats in the gauge.
     
  18. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    mr. e:

    I'm seating and crimping in separate steps..always have..made lots of other mistakes..
     
  19. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    From the Source:

    I am posting a well thought out reply by Bruce Gray, the author of Oregon Trail's Load Book. A friend of mine told me that he was a wealth of knowledge. He certainly is kind to reply in such detail:

    "Dear Gary,

    Thanks for your excellent question. I'm sorry your Valtro didn't seem to work with our .230's. Read on, please.

    Do not shorten the OAL below that listed in the manual! This bullet is designed to be seated with a small amount of shoulder protruding from the case mouth, against which the case is to be taper cripmed. The OAL's in our book are all absolutely correct. The manual has no data errors of this sort, so you can trust it.

    Please permit me a shot at an explaination: Dillon's and other cartridge gauges are apparently made to minimum SAAMI chamber specs, which only makes sense of course. However, in the case of cartridges like .45 ACP there are cartridge specifications for both jacketed and cast / lead bullets. Cast bullet specs typically run .001" to .0015" larger than jacketed bullets for a given caliber, in accordance with long-established norms. OTB Co. follows these norms. Thus, case gauges won't usually give a true indication for cast bullet loads; as with yours, the shoulders always hang up.

    However, this specific situation isn't necessarily an indication of a problem with safe and reliable function in a given pistol!

    American commercial reamer makers and gun manufacturers include a rifling leade diameter large enough to accomodate cast bullets in older calibers where such specifications are established, I.E.: .45 ACP. Domestically-made pistols in calibers like .40 S&W for which no SAAMI cast bullet specs exist still will generally chamber cast bullet loads when loaded to factory-equivalent OAL's. For example, out .40 / 10mm bullets measure at around .4013", and will chamber in most all .40 pistols when loaded correctly using our OAL data.

    On the other hand, European gun makers have a well-known mania for tight chambers. Why? They do not have our tradition of handloading nor of using cast bullets, and some such as HK and Tanfoglio form chambers directly in the barrel making process, yielding tighter leades. European pistols in .45 ACP are often chambered with very tight rifling leade diameters. In any event, the problem you are experiencing is caused by that small diameter rifling leade present in your Valtro pistol. It's probably adequate for most jacketed ammo, but just won't accept ours or any other cast bullet measuring over .451".

    These are nice guns, and this is fortunately an easy fix for any good pistolsmith with a standard SAAMI-spec chambering reamer, a depth mic and five minutes of time. Such reaming will not affect accuracy if done correctly, and assuming your pistol's headspace is also correct to begin with. As a side benefit, chamber pressures will be reduced slightly, which can't hurt a thing! I strongly recommend you get this done.

    As a side note, why are you finding it necessary to trim new brass? If your chamber is so short as to not accept new PMC brass, you have another issue that a pistolsmith should fix for you. I have fired about one million rounds of .45 ACP earlier in my 30 years as a top practical pistol and NRA Action competitor. I have never trimmed a single case of it. Besides, unlike in precision rifle shooting, such case preparation is meaningless in pistols; a few thousandths one way or another will have no measurable impact on accuracy so long as taper crimps values are not excessive to begin with.

    I hope this information helps you, and invite you to get back to me with anything else I can assist you with. If you cannot find a local gunsmith you trust to ream your Valtro barrel, I will gladly do it for you as a favor any time after my return on the 28th. Thanks!

    Bruce Gray
    Grayguns Co."
     
  20. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

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    NO RELATION

    Do what Mr. Gray says (or run those 1.214" with less Titegroup; suggest 4.8g W231).
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Sounds like Gary agrees with us, the ogive is most likely contacting the rifling of the barrel. I still agree with Zak and WeShoot2, seat the bullet deeper and drop the load a bit.
     
  22. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    I would most certainly see what Mr. Jardine thinks about it while shooting loads seated deeper and lowered powder charges in the meantime.........
     
  23. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

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    I had the same difficulty chambering with National Bullet Co. and other 230gr LRN makes (most of the single lube groove 230gr LRN's seem to be almost identical in profile other than the lube brand used). I reduced powder charge (Titegroup) and seated till the shoulder was even with the case mouth. Even at that point, the case wall diameter and the bullet diameter caused rough chambering and malfunctions in my Glock 30. I switched to a Lee factory crimp die instead of the taper crimp, and the resizing that it performs proved enough to provide adequate chambering in my pistol.
     
  24. Intune

    Intune Member

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    Could it be the crimp? I just loaded 50 rnds in .45acp using Hornady 185 gr jack swc with an oal of 1.26 and they will not chamber fully. When I compare them side by side with a factory fmj roundnose (that is a hair longer btw) I can see that my crimp is less. How much more should I crimp? Is it measurable by using calipers? I am using a Dillon SDB. I am going to do a little test when I get home. I bet my properly sized uncrimped empty brass will not fit fully into my Colt. There is no way my shorter swc won't chamber but the longer fmj will unless the crimp (casemouth) in coming into play. I'm the rookie here so be gentle. :D
     
  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    A taper crimp (the proper crimp for a .45 acp) should not turn in toward the bullet, but merely remove the flare from the belling process.
     
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