reloading puzzle

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  • ras_oscar

    Active Member
    Apr 23, 2014
    1,469
    Since I can no longer find my preferred projectile, I went to the range yesterday to test a ladder loaded with a projectile that is available. I loaded 5 cartridges each at 4 loads from the starting charge to just below never exceed charge. All 5 loads cycled correctly EXCEPT at 2 different charges, one of the 5 failed to fire. Each of the non functional cartridges were neither the first nor the last cartridge in the magazine. The 2 non functional cartridges had no evidence of any strike on the primer whatsoever. At each FTF I reloaded the cartridge into the magazine, chambered it and attempted to fire with the same result. The only commonality was that they both had a slight deformation of the copper jacket at the case mouth, suggesting the bullets were over crimped. However, when I returned to the loading bench, both cartridges slipped easily in and out of the case gage. Particulars below:

    Firearm: Springfield XD 45

    45 ACP
    Berry's 200 grain bullet
    800x
    6.3 GR (1 FTF)
    6.5 gr
    6.7 gr (1 FTF)
    7.0 gr

    COL 1.250
     

    KingClown

    SOmething Witty
    Jul 29, 2020
    519
    Deep Blue MD
    Id use a bullet puller and disassemble them to check the components. Should like a gun issue with no evidence of a strike on the primer though. That or some reallt hard primer cups
     

    85MikeTPI

    Active Member
    Jul 19, 2014
    2,118
    Ceciltucky
    Just for giggles, set the unfired rounds on a flat table and see if there's anything that would keep the bolt face from coming in direct contact with the shell headstamp and primer
     

    ras_oscar

    Active Member
    Apr 23, 2014
    1,469
    When I set them on a cutting board they sit flat with no space between the headstamp and the board. When I run a straight edge over the base I see no daylight over the primer.

    And, after I finished with the ladder, i continued through another box of 50 rounds without a single FTF.
     

    Clovis

    Active Member
    Aug 1, 2011
    1,262
    Centreville
    I guess the obvious is a headspace issue not allowing the action to fully close. Perhaps the bullets were not sized exactly right by the factory and are a bit too wide causing the case to be too wide at the the mouth. Have you got another .45 to try the 2 problems in?
     

    ras_oscar

    Active Member
    Apr 23, 2014
    1,469
    I guess the obvious is a headspace issue not allowing the action to fully close. Perhaps the bullets were not sized exactly right by the factory and are a bit too wide causing the case to be too wide at the the mouth. Have you got another .45 to try the 2 problems in?
    I have a wheel gun. Would that help?
     

    brianns

    Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 29, 2015
    879
    Montgomery County
    I guess the obvious is a headspace issue not allowing the action to fully close. Perhaps the bullets were not sized exactly right by the factory and are a bit too wide causing the case to be too wide at the the mouth. Have you got another .45 to try the 2 problems in?
    Also check at the base or head. The cases can be too wide near the base too. Cases do 'headspace' on the mouth but the reloading process still can leave the case heads too swelled from previous firing or initial forming and not sufficiently pressed into the die.
     

    Rockzilla

    Active Member
    Feb 6, 2010
    3,927
    55.751244 / 37.618423
    Id use a bullet puller and disassemble them to check the components. Should like a gun issue with no evidence of a strike on the primer though. That or some reallt hard primer cups
    thinking that also, if they are the same brand, etc. maybe not.

    Berry's = Plated, shaved case mouth not expanded enough (why just those cases),
    taper crimp differing for those rounds (too much). "mic" the case mouth when
    bullets are seated (amount of crimp) same headstamps on ones that didn't fire?
    get a "square" lay across case head. Dies..
    Gun Related - firing pin, etc.

    just all shots in the dark

    -Rock
     

    Melnic

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 27, 2012
    13,257
    HoCo
    I wonder if your chamber is a bit on the big side allowing the cartridge to slip in further and not headspace properly?
    Instead of using the case gauge, Pull the barrel and check the cartridges in the chamber of the gun your using and look at how far it goes in after pushing firmly with thumb compared to other (maybe even factory) rounds.

    I have a CZ that is on the opposite end and is TIGHT and bullets that chamber in every other 9mm are fine, this one won't.
     

    KingClown

    SOmething Witty
    Jul 29, 2020
    519
    Deep Blue MD
    thinking that also, if they are the same brand, etc. maybe not.

    Berry's = Plated, shaved case mouth not expanded enough (why just those cases),
    taper crimp differing for those rounds (too much). "mic" the case mouth when
    bullets are seated (amount of crimp) same headstamps on ones that didn't fire?
    get a "square" lay across case head. Dies..
    Gun Related - firing pin, etc.

    just all shots in the dark

    -Rock
    I had a batch of Large Rifle primers that most were duds. Though some did fire. They all had marks from the firing pin on the primer though.
    If your seeing no marks from the firing pin someithing is keep the pin back. Even with head spacing I would think you would see atleast a light strike. That would have to be an insane varience that you could probably see with the naked eye.
    Maybe there was something in the firing pin gumming it up that worked itself out.
    How clean do you keep your pew pews
     

    lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    9,401
    I wonder if your chamber is a bit on the big side allowing the cartridge to slip in further and not headspace properly?
    Instead of using the case gauge, Pull the barrel and check the cartridges in the chamber of the gun your using and look at how far it goes in after pushing firmly with thumb compared to other (maybe even factory) rounds.

    I have a CZ that is on the opposite end and is TIGHT and bullets that chamber in every other 9mm are fine, this one won't.
    This was my thought. OP mentioned that the couple of rounds looked like they might have been a bit over crimped. Even if they sit right in a head space gauge, that doesn't mean they will sit right in the barrel if the barrel chamber and case gauge dimensions are fractionally off.

    If the round is over crimped that can allow the cartridge to slip too far forward and the firing pin not contact the primer.

    My other thought was they aren't dimensionally right, and it prevented the breach from closing entirely and the firing pin wasn't projecting forward because of that (safety/interference). Not sure how the XD is setup, but like my glocks if the breach isn't quite closed, the striker safety isn't moved out of the way enough and the striker will hit it, preventing it from projecting forward and striking the primer. Ask me how I know...

    That's my only other thought is it went "click", but not bang because of a striker/FP safety that wasn't moved out of the way because the breach wasn't 100% closed because the round was dimensionally slightly off. Depending on the type of taper crimp going on, you can crush the round enough to bulge it. Lee FCD won't do this, though you can still over crimp the round and it won't properly head space in the chamber (though you have to REALLY crush it and you'll probably damage the die before you could over crimp the round). It is in part because the Lee FCD resizes the entire case as part of the crimping (taper or roll) process. It is actually the only way I can reload for my Colt OP, because the chambers are tight on it. So if I am running .358" lead or coated lead, the cases really need to be resized back down that .001" to .357 diameter after seating or else I basically have to shove the cases into the chambers rather than them dropping in.
     
    Last edited:

    PaFrank

    Junior Member
    Apr 2, 2020
    49
    since you mentioned that there was no indication on the primer that it was hit, and assuming you have ruled out any issues with the gun, I would say that it is a headspace issue. meaning the case was too long and the gun was not in battery, or much less likely, too short and the firing pin did not reach the primer.
    you also didn't mention what kind of crimp you are using. The "built-in" crimp as in an RCBS die set? or a separate die.
    When I used the crimp feature built into most dies sets, I have had problems, although it wass so long ago I can't recall specifics.
    These days, I use a taper crimp die. I also have a spare 45 barrel on the bench and I will check a round for fit every 10 rounds or so
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,076
    Glen Burnie
    I have a few questions based on the first post, along with a couple of general observations.

    1. Are you sure the failure to feed was caused by the charge weight?
    2. Why were you ladder testing? What was the goal of the ladder test?
    3. Are you seating and crimping in a single step, or separate steps? (I'll touch back on this)
    4. When you say "failure to feed," what do you mean? Did it start into the chamber but not go fully into battery, or did it hang up somewhere else in some other way?
    5. You describe the bullet as "Berry's 200 gr plated bullet." Which one? Berry's makes 7 different 200 gr bullets for 45 ACP:

    -- flat point
    -- hollow base flat point
    -- hybrid hollow point
    -- round nose
    -- round shoulder (flat point)
    -- wad cutter
    -- target hollow point (flat point)

    Each one of those bullets will feed a bit differently, especially in some 1911s, which can be a little picky.

    I don't think it's your charge weight - it sounds to me like maybe you didn't quite have enough flare on your case mouth and possibly you shaved a bit of copper plating creating a bit of a bulge, or it's possible you have a bit of a bulge from a slightly misaligned bullet as it was seated, but I'm not quite sure what you meant when you said, "failure to feed" - that can be a few different things based on the circumstance.
     

    Uncle Duke

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 2, 2013
    9,683
    Not Far Enough from the City
    You mentioned COL.

    What is the length of the crimped cases themselves?

    Remember that 45acp headspaces on the case mouth. That case mouth is functionally your forward stop. If deformed in some way, or if you somehow have cases trimmed out of spec, your case could be functionally too short. These cases require a taper crimp. Not sure, but it almost sounds as if you're describing a crimp heavy enough to resemble a roll crimp, and not a taper crimp. Your taper crimp, properly adjusted should not deform the plating on your bullet. Pics may help.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,076
    Glen Burnie
    You mentioned COL.

    What is the length of the crimped cases themselves?

    Remember that 45acp headspaces on the case mouth. That case mouth is functionally your forward stop. If deformed in some way, or if you somehow have cases trimmed out of spec, your case could be functionally too short. These cases require a taper crimp. Not sure, but it almost sounds as if you're describing a crimp heavy enough to resemble a roll crimp, and not a taper crimp. Your taper crimp, properly adjusted should not deform the plating on your bullet. Pics may help.
    Based on numerous things I've read, it's a waste of time to trim straight walled or auto pistol brass - it will wear out before it stretches enough to be an issue.
     

    Clovis

    Active Member
    Aug 1, 2011
    1,262
    Centreville
    OP personally if I had a revolver in 45acp I would try that especially if it used moon clips as the chambers are sometimes a little "loose" in my limited experience. As the other rounds fired in the auto with no reported problems the 2 in a revolver should be safe.
    As far as FTF I read that as failure to fire not failure to feed as was suggested.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,076
    Glen Burnie
    I'd largely agree with that.

    One thing seems pretty likely....OP'S got a case related issue somehow.
    OP personally if I had a revolver in 45acp I would try that especially if it used moon clips as the chambers are sometimes a little "loose" in my limited experience. As the other rounds fired in the auto with no reported problems the 2 in a revolver should be safe.
    As far as FTF I read that as failure to fire not failure to feed as was suggested.
    FTF by definition, at least to my understanding, is failure to feed, not failure to fire. That's the nomenclature I've always seen and used.

    If I had seen it, I could probably have diagnosed it, but it's hard to diagnose when there are no images and you can't really see what's going on.

    It sounded to me like the cartridge wasn't going into battery - I'm still not quite sure what the actual issue was.
     

    Clovis

    Active Member
    Aug 1, 2011
    1,262
    Centreville
    FTF by definition, at least to my understanding, is failure to feed, not failure to fire. That's the nomenclature I've always seen and used.

    If I had seen it, I could probably have diagnosed it, but it's hard to diagnose when there are no images and you can't really see what's going on.

    It sounded to me like the cartridge wasn't going into battery - I'm still not quite sure what the actual issue was.
    I don't disagree but the OP was describing the round being chambered and no mark on the primer so it "fed" but the situation wasn't making the pistol "happy". At least that was my impression and no slight was meant towards you sir.
     

    ras_oscar

    Active Member
    Apr 23, 2014
    1,469
    Sorry, my terminology was incorrect. Fed fine, failure to fire. (Click, no bang)

    I'm using the Lee standard 4 die set for 45 ACP

    Bullet was round point, 200 GR

    As per a post above, I took the 2 errant cartridges and put them into the cylinder of my Ruger Blackhawk. They set just a little proud, enough so the cylinder won't turn, loading gate won't close. and i had to remove the cylinder to get the cartridges back out. Thanks for all your help. I'll disassemble these cartridges and run them through the sizing die again. There must be a bulge near the base. It's strange that the case gage didn't show that. Now to find some way of discharging these primers safely.
     

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