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Thread: 45 ACP failure to feed troubleshooting - compound issues.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    45 ACP failure to feed troubleshooting - compound issues.

    Finally got around to troubleshooting. My reloaded range brass was resulting in a failure to feed 1 or 2 rounds a magazine in all my 1911's. No problems with factory ammo or reloads with brass that I know only I have fired (this is mixed too). For plinking, I typically use Berry's 230gr round nose. The misfeeds look like the round went in 1/4 to 3/4 of the way and stopped, sometimes straight, sometimes canted. If I pull the slide all the way back and let it fly forward, they almost always chamber.

    So I set the last lot of empties aside to look at later, and well last night was later. After some reading over the last few weeks, I bought a hornady 45acp gauge and a Lee narrow base sizing die.
    After sizing 100 rounds with a hornady die, I checked case length. All within a couple thous. no problem there. But, sure enough about half or more stuck in the gauge at the base. After running them all through the Lee narrow base die, they all slipped in and out of the gauge just fine. I suspected as much after reading that some modern pistols (Glocks seem to be cited most frequently) have looser chambers that can cause cases to expand further towards the base.

    So, loaded up 100 over 7.6gr HS-6. Hornady combo seater and crimp unchanged from the last batch. WOW, almost all failed to gauge. After 1/4 turn more on the crimp, all but 9 rounds gauged. I pulled those to investigate more, paying close attention to how much I flared the case to make sure the bullet seated straight. I seated and crimped in separate operations this time. All but two rounds gauged now. I pulled and carefully tried to reload 3 more times...with new bullets and no dice. The fail the gauge by about 1/8 inch. After trying a few times, these two cases have scuffs where the bullet is bulging the case slightly. Scratching my head, I looked at the head stamps. In the lot, there are half a dozen or more different brass (all large primer), these 2 are the only ones though stamped "A-MERC". Digging in my empties, I found a couple more and sure enough the case thickness at the mouth is more than any others - one was a whopping 6 thous. more than the new-never-fired winchester I compared it against.

    For what it's worth though, these last 2 rounds still chamber easily in all my barrels. So I think my main problem was needing the undersized die when using mixed-source range brass, and everything else was compounding. I'll also be seating and crimping in separate operations from here on out. I think the trick with Berry's bullets is to run in the crimp die until one just gauges, then gauge every round setting aside any cases that need a bit more.

    Lastly, I found 5 more A-MERC cases in my bag and tried to load them. They all failed to gauge no matter what I did. In hindsight now, googling "A-MERC head stamp" tells you all you need!
    Last edited by ssgross; 10-29-2023 at 06:52 PM.

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    Contributing Member Sapper740's Avatar
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    I use a Hornady gauge too and have found that handloaded cartridges that drop into the gauge perfectly will still sometimes fail to chamber completely. I believe it is a bullet design/feed ramp problem as I've even gone so far as to remove the barrel from the pistol and use that as the gauge to check my handgun ammo before a competition. I never have problem with Round Nose bullets feeding but do upon occasion with some of the more extreme HP designs.

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    Contributing Member Timothy-R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    Lastly, I found 5 more A-MERC cases in my bag and tried to load them. They all failed to gauge no matter what I did. In hindsight now, googling "A-MERC head stamp" tells you all you need!
    Thanks I’ll make a note in my reloading memo book about the A-Merc brass. BTW I use a Lyman gage and have had good luck with it screening rounds for my modern Springfield and old Remington Rand 1911’s.

    Not related to chambering issues but still on headstamps I now toss my IMI 45 brass. Even with chamfering the primer pocket I find the pocket is so tight that I smash 3-4 primers per dozen, and the rest require a lot of force to set. I will note my experience is with CCI large pistol primers only for .45. Zero issues for other headstamps with CCI.
    Last edited by Timothy-R; 10-29-2023 at 09:54 PM.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper740 View Post
    I never have problem with Round Nose bullets feeding but do upon occasion with some of the more extreme HP designs.
    I had a WW1 1911 I sold a few years back. It would jam every few rounds on any hollow point, but no problems at all plain ball. You are correct it is a feed ramp issue. Never had a problem with any other 1911s.

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    Advisory Panel Parashooter's Avatar
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    Probably a "chamber mouth" issue, though breech-face and extractor are also suspects. See this article for some solid suggestions - Tuning the M1911 for Reliability | An Official Journal Of The NRA.

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    Legacy Member oldfoneguy's Avatar
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    Wow I thought it was me.
    I was prepping a lot of "prepared" mixed headstamp carbine brass yesterday that I bought from a friend of a friend and had a piece of brass that got stuck on the case prep machine primer pocket reamer. Ruined the case wiggling it off with pliers. I checked the headstamp and low and behold it was A-MERC a brand I've never heard of. Going foward I culled 3 more from the batch now checking headstamps as I went. Afterwards I did the obligatory internet search and was glad I pulled the rest. First time I've ever had this issue and am now wiser for it.

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    Legacy Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    If you have primer-pocket tools that "tweak the depth and diameter of the pocket, these will sort out "inconsistencies. The BEST device for removing chamfering-away any 'factory" primer crimp is the Dillon 600 primer pocket swaging tool that can be set up for large and small primer sized. the tip of the actual working "tool" bulldozes the annular factory crimp back out of the way and leaves a smooth "lead-in" chamfer. MUCH neater than hacking the crimp away with a pocket knife; very consistent and safer, too.

    Getting the feed ramp seriously polished , NOT "ground away" will make a positive difference.

    Is the return spring "factory" spec for 230gn Ball or something a bit lighter.

    How far does the gun toss the empties? And are they in a neat pile or scattered to the four winds?

    A combination of "issues" with all of the above will get very untidy, very quickly.

    Limp loads ans a "limp" return spring make a terrible combination. Reduced loads will cause the slide to recoil less than "vigorously. Then, the "limp" spring may not have enough "grunt" to haul the slide forward, strip a round from the mag and then finagle it up the breech-face and over the "feed-ramps", simultaneously, and still have enough energy to drive the barrel up on its link and to engage with the locking surfaces in the slide.

    The Kuhnhausen 1911 books are wealth of fine bed-time reading and essential for a deeper understanding of the 1911 in its various permutations. Final caveat. If you intend to tinker, play with ONLY ONE "variable" at a time. Maybe start with the ammo; do up some batches with the same components, except changing the propellant load in small, carefully-labeled batches; same case, primer, bullet, seating depth, crimp, etc. This is the "budget" option, especially if you have neither the tools or the experience to be "fiddling" with much more than spring swapping. Speaking of which, several "aftermarket" sources offer sets of "colour-coded" return springs, each colour identifying a different spring pressure.

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