1911 reloading question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by JD1969, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. JD1969

    JD1969 New Member

    748
    0
    0
    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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2012
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    2
    0
    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.
     

  3. JD1969

    JD1969 New Member

    748
    0
    0
    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.
     
  4. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    4,996
    58
    48
    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.
     
  5. KeysKelly

    KeysKelly New Member

    278
    0
    0
    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/
     
  6. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    173
    0
    0
    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.
     
  7. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

    238
    0
    0
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

    238
    0
    0
    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.
     
  9. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    173
    0
    0
    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.
     
  10. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    4,910
    2
    38
    +1, My thoughts as well.
     
  11. JD1969

    JD1969 New Member

    748
    0
    0
    I understand what you are saying on the max load thing. In my Hornady book it shows loads for up to I think 6.1gn (I'm at work now and don't have it handy) also my Lee info showed 5.6 to a somewhat middle ground load. So why is there so much difference in info and who do I go by? I could see there being a couple grain difference between sources, but these are pretty big swings. If it means anything, when I shot them the loads did not have as much felt recoil as many of the factory rounds I shoot (I understand bullet weight and other factors come into play here). Trust me, I am all for being safe, I only loaded 50 rounds as my first batch, so if I have to toss these, it's not a big deal.
     
  12. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    173
    0
    0
    JD1969,

    I personally don't think that 5.6 grs of 231/HP38 is a MAX loading. Yes they are stiff, but no stiffer than many factory rounds. Maybe I should look at some of the new loading data, naw, what has worked for 35 or more years and works now, doesn't need to be changed now.

    Try a couple and if you have no pressure signs and they do what you want, don't scrap the rounds you have.
    Or, load up some with graduatingly heavier charges and test them.

    Don't forget that there is component variations from lot to lot. Changing brands and types of primers does make it difficult to compare primers. Some lots of bullets may be larger/softer/heavier or the reverse, so take that into consideration too.

    It's a 45ACP, the wimpest loading is better than those little bullet rounds, so yours don't have to set the air on fire. Just be safe.
     
  13. KG7IL

    KG7IL Well-Known Member

    3,155
    39
    48
    Given your results on the "drop the cartridge into the barrel to check head space" test,
    I would back up and try a decapped, sized and empty cartridge, do not bell the mouth.

    Since the case is slightly tapered, it is possible that incomplete sizing could cause the "tight" problem.
    If a decapped, sized, but empty cartridge doesn't pass muster with the adjacent head space illustration, check that the sizer die is installed and adjusted per the mfg recommendation.

    I would also use a micrometer and check the sized dimensions.


    If the sized cases are doing fine, then tackle the belling and taper crimp. Don't over bell, a bullet should just kinda hang in there on a horizontal hold, but not really enter the case, just held by the mouth.

    An over belled mouth can allow additional metal to be oversized, contributing to a taper crimp missing or springing back slightly, especially if the taper crimp is not adjusted sufficiently.

    Assumptions: Dies, Chamber and other non component dimensions are correct.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  14. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    173
    0
    0
    KG7IL,

    Your description of the .45 ACP is confusing.
    I'm an old fart and don't do meters, so the numbers look strange, almost as strange as the drawing. But I did some calculations and the numbers a close enough.
    However, not trusting my rememberer, I check several sources and none of them show the .45 ACP as having a tapered case. The 9MM and .30 Carbine, yes, but not the .45 ACP.

    What is your source for the .45 being a tapered caseing?

    Hatcher's Notebook, NRA Handloader's Guide and four other loading books do not display any taper to the caseing.

    I don't want to be pickie, just am I missing something?
     
  15. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

    238
    0
    0
    Reduce your OAL till the round fits into the barrel. Make sure your crimp is .469-.471.
     
  16. KG7IL

    KG7IL Well-Known Member

    3,155
    39
    48
    OldPapps.
    The Diameter is slightly less at the case mouth than near the base.
    Nominally a straight wall, actually the max provide for a slight taper.

    Sorry about any confusion. (I added a US dimensioned illustration to the orginal post).

    My source is a micrometer verifiying specifications from mulitple sources.
     
  17. JD1969

    JD1969 New Member

    748
    0
    0
    Wanted to post a follow up. I seated the bullet deeper, 1.22 and they fired fine, no issues. Thanks for the help everyone.;
     
  18. beaglesam

    beaglesam Active Member

    1,940
    10
    38
    Starting load weight is 4.4 gr.
     
  19. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    2
    0
    The .45 ACP appears to be a straight case, when it has a roughly 1% taper. John Moses Browning designed it that way so it must be good.
     
  20. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    173
    0
    0
    I went to SAAMI ( http://www.saami.org/ ) and looked.

    This old fart learned something new. Not much taper there, but it is!

    Thanks of enlightening me.