1911 reloading question
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:57 AM   #1
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Default 1911 reloading question

I'm hoping someone might be able to answer a few 1911 reloading questions I have.

The gun is a RIA 1911 in .45 Auto, 3.5 inch barrel. It has never had any feeding or other issues with factory ammo.

The load I am using is 200gn SWC lead bullet, 5.6gn of HP-38, COL is 1.26-1.265. I got the load out of my Hornady book and it checked out with Hodgdon's load data as well as my Lee info sheet with a +- .1 grain difference between the sources.

The issue I am having is that the slide is failing to lock forward into battery on some rounds. I know the max COL is 1.275, so I am well under that. I have shot some FMJ ball ammo that measures Federal 1.26+-.1 and been fine and also some Winchester JHP .230gn pdx1 that measures 1.20+-.1 and it works fine.

My question is what should I try in order to get my reloads to function in my gun? Should I try a different load? different powder? My gut feeling is to seat the bullet a bit deeper, say maybe 1.24-1.25 COL and see what that does, but I don't want to try that with out running it by someone who knows more than I.
Thanks for any help.

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Old 08-02-2012, 03:13 AM   #2
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The first thing to check is if the cartridge headspaces properly. Remove the barrel from the gun and drop the ammo, one at a time, into the chamber. They should drop in with the base slightly below the barrel hood (the little projection on top of the chamber. The round should also drop freely from the chamber.

You may not have enough crimp, or with a lead bullet the front driving band may be interfering with the case mouth headspacing properly.

NEVER seat a lead bullet and taper crimp in the same operation. Apply the crimp as a separate operation.

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Old 08-02-2012, 03:30 AM   #3
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Ok Robo, I did what you said and the rounds do in fact stick a little compared to a factory round. What is my solution to the problem? I have read about the Lee factory crimping die and the Buldge Buster, is this something to look into? Thanks for the help BTW.

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Old 08-02-2012, 03:38 AM   #4
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Semi Wad cutters are not always 1911 friendly. My old Ruger P-90 shot them fine. But my 1911 will not. I am guessing that you are using the trununciated cone type. I switched to a round nose flat point. Lee makes some really nice molds that are pretty cheap. I have shot 165, 200 and 255 grain lead round nose flat point bullets out of my 1911. I can also shoot hollow points with no problems whatsoever. Some 1911s can shoot the semi wad cutter. Some can not.

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Old 08-02-2012, 04:13 AM   #5
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The brass could be bulged. Some guns, mostly Glocks, will cause the case to bulge when shooting it. Have you ever heard the term "Glocked Brass"? It is brass with the bulge in it. This is more common in .40 cases but will sometimes happen in .45 as well. Lee makes a "Lee Bulge Buster that you can buy under $20 that works well. I have one and love it. If you have more ammo loaded you can even run live rounds through the Bulge Buster.

My main bullet is a 200 grain SWC when I load .45 no matter what .45 gun I am loading for.

http://leeprecision.com/case-conditioning-tools/lee-bulge-buster-kit/

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Old 08-02-2012, 05:11 AM   #6
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That is my exact loading, too, and has been for many years.

First, try seating the bullet with the most forward drive band just even with the mouth of the brass. Try a few. Different bullets will have longer noses or shorter ones. The COL may be the same, but the body of the bullet doesn't match up the same.

Second, you are not using a glock but there is a possibility that the bullets are swelling the brass out a little. I run my loads through a 'Lee Factory/Taper' crimp. I don't use any role crimp, don't confuse the two. I don't have a glock bulge buster, I suspect one would do the same as a 'Lee Factory/Taper' die.

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Old 08-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
The load I am using is 200gn SWC lead bullet, 5.6gn of HP-38, COL is 1.26-1.265. I got the load out of my Hornady book and it checked out with Hodgdon's load data as well as my Lee info sheet with a +- .1 grain difference between the sources.

The issue I am having is that the slide is failing to lock forward into battery on some rounds. I know the max COL is 1.275, so I am well under that.
IMO, your OAL is to long. I have 4 1911s and none of them will accept a 200gr LSWC longer than 1.250. 1.275 is Max for the 45 ACP Magazine length, it is not the max for each and every bullet. You need to find the correct OAL for your pistol and your choice of bullet, do not use SAAMI Max as a guide, use your pistol and your barrel. Like this.

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Old 08-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
The load I am using is 200gn SWC lead bullet, 5.6gn of HP-38, COL is 1.26-1.265. I got the load out of my Hornady book and it checked out with Hodgdon's load data as well as my Lee info sheet with a +- .1 grain difference between the sources.
I just checked out Hodgdon's data for HP-38/231.

First, you are at MAX with 5.6gr. One should never start out with a new load with a Max charge of powder. This violates the Number one rule of safe handloading, Start Low and Work Up.

Second, Hodgdon's OAL for the 200gr LSWC is 1.225 inches.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #9
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JD1969,

I concur with steve4102 that starting at a max is not a wise practice.

I have been loading 5.6gr of 231/HP38 for many years. When Olin/Winchester dropped 230 and reformulated to 231, I made the change over. At the time the only published data was from Winchester on a pamphlet. This is pre-internet.
I worked up loads for .38/357, 9MM, .38 S&W, .32 S&W, 44 Mag (light/soft load) and .45ACPs, all with the new Olin 231 powder of the time.
Over the years I have found two minor problems with the load. The first was with a batch of very soft bullets, this was a bullet problem. I also bought 148gr wad cutters from the same source and they too were too soft, leaded barrels. The second isn't actually a problem but an observation. 231 burns fast, too fast for my loads to gain much when ran in my Marlin .45ACP Campgun. Out of standard 1911 5 inch barrels, I get an average 846 fps. The same load out of the Marlin with it's 16 1/2 inch barrel is only 870 fps. I think if I was using a powder with a longer burn rate, I would get greater velocity from a barrel that is over 3 times the length.
As you are running yours out of a 3 1/2 inch barrel, this fast burn rate is better.

Be safe. Time for me to be a taxi driver for one of the grand daughters.

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Old 08-02-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve4102 View Post
IMO, your OAL is to long. I have 4 1911s and none of them will accept a 200gr LSWC longer than 1.250. 1.275 is Max for the 45 ACP Magazine length, it is not the max for each and every bullet. You need to find the correct OAL for your pistol and your choice of bullet, do not use SAAMI Max as a guide, use your pistol and your barrel. Like this.

+1, My thoughts as well.
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