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tsxshooter 03-27-2009 10:53 PM

HELP with headspace on 45 acp
I need some advice on headspace. I have a 45 acp in 1911 that is Vietnam or WWII era that has been through a gunsmith from Fort Knoks. It has a hair trigger. That is how I got it. I bought it from a police officer that was unloading to clean when it went off, went through the wall and missed his daughter by a few feet. I love the gun because of the less than 2lb trigger. I have shot it for ten years with no problem. I got into reloading last year for my 25-06 and recently decided to load up some 45acp. I was confused about the taper crimp. u-tube vids helped more than any of the 4 reloading DVDs I have. Anyways long story short. I was having problems with the rounds being flush with the hood tang. So I called my daughter and had her bring me her 1911. I found my handloads would only chamber half way in hers but would mine fine. So I increased the taper crimp to my round until it would drop in and fall out no problem in hers. I am testing my handloads, a remmy, a winchester and an unknown hollow piont. They all drop into my daughter's 1911 and are flush with the hood tang. Now when I drop into my chamber they are all 1/8 below the hood tang. the brass is touching the ring inside the chamber and make a nice ring when you drop it in. when I cycle the 1911 without the spring I find the rounds come up out of mag then headspace against the breach face held by the extractor. Everywhere I read they say the 45acp headspaces off the case mouth but yet I find the extractor holding the case head against the breach face so how can this be? My question to the experts is do I have a problem here with more than 1/8 inch more headspace then my daughter's 1911? Is this dangerous. I have shoot it hundreds of times with no problem. I guess I will never need to trim a case. I could make some really tight handloads but they won't fit any other gun....

Any advice would be much appreciated


I will be at Knob Creek on the 18 for the National Machine Gun shoot anyone else going to be there???

robocop10mm 03-28-2009 12:19 AM

First off be VERY careful with the gun. A good gunsmith can tune a trigger to sub-2lb weights but most Government Issue 1911's would be very hard to lighten to that degree w/o creating a situation where the gun can go off w/o touching the trigger. Too light and the sear can release when you take it off safe or can go Full-Auto on you w/o warning.

You likely have a barrel that is worn out. If rounds that head space properly in a newer gun get "swallowed up" by your chamber, It is probably time for a new barrel.

The 1911 and most auto loading pistols use controlled feeding similar to a Mauser rifle or Pre-64 Winchester. As the round is pushed out of the magazine the rim slips in behind the extractor. You should NEVER drop a round in the chamber and close the slide on the gun. That WILL eventually damage the extractor. You are correct that the headspacing is on the case mouth so too much crimp is a bad thing.

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