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Old March 1, 2011, 12:48 PM   #1
maillemaker
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An update on my extraction problems (45ACP)

OK, some of you may recall my "bullet size" post from earlier:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=441209

I purchased the Lee FCD and ran all my ammo through it, and went to the range last weekend.

I fired about 150 rounds, and I had 3 failures to extract. I believe I understand the problem now, and I do believe there is a problem with the Lee 230 grain rumble-groove RN bullet profile. I'm hesitant to make this pronouncement since I am so new at reloading, but I think I can safely say I have nailed down the problem that my Ruger P90 is having with these bullets.

Here is a link to all the pictures of the jams:

http://imgur.com/a/U0Uq4#0CenH

2 of the failures to extract were caused by the extracted case rim catching on and stopping on the case mouth of the top cartridge in the magazine. 1 of the failures to extract were caused by the extracted case rim catching on the "bulge" on the case body. But even on the round that stopped on "the bulge", there was a ding in the case mouth and a skid mark on the case.

I am fairly certain at this point that the extracted cases are sometimes catching on the case mouth. Most of the time when a jam happens it is because the case stops on the case mouth of the next round in the magazine, but sometimes it catches on the case mouth just enough to slow down and then it skids to a stop on the case wall.

I believe the problem stems from the fact that the Lee 230 grain LRN bullet mold (TL452-230-2R) has a pronounced step at the base of the bullet ogive. On my bullets, that step is .016" tall, all the way around. The base of the bullet ogive is .419, while the shoulder is .452, which makes the shoulder as it is. When you add brass thickness on top of that, about .01, you are looking at a step of .026 or so.

Another way to look at this is that I am crimping my case mouth to about .469. The Lyman handbook lists the 45 ACP case mouth as .473. The base of the bullet ogive is .419, which again is a step of .025-.027 inches.

Now if you look at the Lee Truncated Cone mold, or the Round Nose with traditional lube grooves ( TL-452-230-TC and 452-228-1R), you will see that these bullet noses terminate with an outer diameter the same as the bullet shoulder - .452. In fact, I think my next step is to try the Truncated Cone mold (it is available with tumble lube grooves) and see if it feeds well in my P90. My P90 shoots hollowpoints with no problem so I expect it to shoot Truncated Cone no problem.

Failing this, I'm considering a custom mold where the bullet ogive base is .452.

What do you all think?

Steve
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Old March 3, 2011, 05:30 AM   #2
maillemaker
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Nothing?
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Old March 3, 2011, 06:07 AM   #3
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I agree that the step on your 230s makes the bullets look a little odd and the step more pronounced than usual. To what depth do you load them? My 230s are loaded to 1.265" OAL and run through my P345 and a friend's Series 80 1911 without a problem. These are bullets from a local manufacturer. As you can see I load each with a bit of the shoulder of the bullet sticking out of the case. The ones on the right are 185s, both long and short nose. Perhaps if you have enough OAL clearance to not seat the bullet step flush with the case mouth they would feed more smoothly.


Last edited by spacecoast; March 3, 2011 at 06:44 AM.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply.

I will have to measure my OAL, but I'm pretty sure I have room not to seat it as deeply and leave the shoulder standing proud.

Currently I have been seating the shoulder flush with the case mouth as I did not want the cartridge to try and headspace on the bullet shoulder.

Lee suggested crimping the case mouth over the shoulder. When I pointed out that I'm already crimping at .469 (Lyman lists case mouth diamter is .473), and crimping it over the bullet shoulder might cause headspace problems, they said that many semi-automatics headspace on the extractor and that it would be OK. I'm skeptical.

He also suggested not seating as deeply and using the top lube groove as a cannilure and to crimp the case mouth into that. Again I'm worried about headspacing.

I don't know why they make these bullets with a shoulder at all. Lee said they did it because otherwise the ogive of the bullet might engage the rifling during chambering, but isn't this what the bullet shoulder is going to do anyway?

Steve
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Old March 3, 2011, 08:30 AM   #5
Don P
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I am using lead rn bullets like pictured. I am currently seating them to 1.220 and am not having cycling issues.
Hodgdon's site suggests a OAL of 1.200.
I have found that because it works flawless in "this gun" does not mean it will work flawless in "that gun".
You can load up a few rounds varying the OAL to find what works in the gun having problems. Once you find the OAL that works then you can play with charge weights to find the most accurate charge weight
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Old March 3, 2011, 09:06 AM   #6
spacecoast
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Quote:
Lee suggested crimping the case mouth over the shoulder
Quote:
He also suggested not seating as deeply and using the top lube groove as a cannilure and to crimp the case mouth into that. Again I'm worried about headspacing.
Hmmm, that almost sounds like what you would do with a revolver cartridge roll crimp, not the typical taper crimp on a semi-auto round. None of my semi-auto bullets have a cannelure as I recall, and I apply only a mild taper crimp with my Lee FCD. I've never seen any problems with the bullets moving around in the case. I confess that I've never measured the case diameter of the finished product, but have dropped a few into the barrel to make sure they sit at the correct depth. I was under the impression that most/all .45 ACP cartridges head space on the case mouth, not on the extractor.

I also find it really strange that the magazine holds the following round high enough to contact the case being extracted. Could the feed lips be bent and holding the front of the top round too high? The extractor sure puts an ugly rip in the brass, I've only seen that happen with .380 ACP, most of which seems to get torn up a lot.

Last edited by spacecoast; March 3, 2011 at 09:17 AM.
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Old March 3, 2011, 10:11 AM   #7
maillemaker
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Quote:
Hmmm, that almost sounds like what you would do with a revolver cartridge roll crimp, not the typical taper crimp on a semi-auto round. None of my semi-auto bullets have a cannelure as I recall, and I apply only a mild taper crimp with my Lee FCD. I've never seen any problems with the bullets moving around in the case. I confess that I've never measured the case diameter of the finished product, but have dropped a few into the barrel to make sure they sit at the correct depth. I was under the impression that most/all .45 ACP cartridges head space on the case mouth, not on the extractor.
Here was there exact reply:

"I can see from the pictures that you sent there is a pronounced edge at the case mouth. Increasing the crimp will not increase the pressure to a dangerous level unless you are right on the edge of maximum already. The pressure required to push the bullet out of a crimp is measured in hundreds of pound per square inch (psi), the peak pressure developed in a 45 ACP is somewhere north of 10,000 psi.
Despite what you read, many semi-automatics actually headspace on the extractor. The extractor is the hook that pulls the empty cartridge case out of the barrel after the cartridge is fired. This hook is usually stout enough to keep the cartridge pinned against the breech block. Try loading a few cartridges with the case mouth crimped into the top lube groove; This will make for a more gradual ramped edge for the case rim of the case being extracted to ride up and over the top cartridge in the magazine.
"


Quote:
I also find it really strange that the magazine holds the following round high enough to contact the case being extracted. Could the feed lips be bent and holding the front of the top round too high? The extractor sure puts an ugly rip in the brass, I've only seen that happen with .380 ACP, most of which seems to get torn up a lot.
Another user here had also suggested modifying the magazine feed lips to try and tuck the bullet down somewhat. I only want to do this as a last resort since the firearm cycles factory ammunition with no problems. This is clearly an ammunition problem and not a firearm problem.

Basically, the bullets in the magazine are held down by the slide, until the slide is blown back and the opening in the slide passes over the magazine - then the top bullet snaps upward until it bears against the feed lips. Of course, the spent case is being pulled back at the same time. I guess what is happening here is that as the slide comes back and the nose of the bullet in the magazine is no longer trapped by the slide, it is popping up against the feed lips fast enough for the extracted case round to hit it.

Maybe if I didn't seat the bullet so deeply the longer bullet nose would keep the cartridge "pushed down" a bit longer.

The extractor is tearing the rim because the extracted case is jamming against the incoming cartridge and the case rim isn't strong enough to stop the slide and extractor from going back.

Steve
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:07 AM   #8
grubbylabs
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Maillemaker I have a T/C Mold from lee that you can try if you want. But to be honest I am much happier with a mold I got from Tom at Accurate molds. It is the 230-D It is a RFP mold and the mold quality is great.
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:12 AM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecoast
I was under the impression that most/all .45 ACP cartridges head space on the case mouth, not on the extractor.

Almost all (maybe all?) centerfire handgun rounds are supposed to headspace on the mouth.... and virtually none of them do.

Every case I've seen so far has been too short to headspace on the mouth, sometimes by as much as .010, and they only shrink with repeated use.

Virtually all centerfire handgun rounds in virtually all guns do in fact headspace on the extractor.
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Old March 4, 2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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peetzakilla,
Quote:
Virtually all centerfire handgun rounds in virtually all guns do in fact headspace on the extractor.
Just because you can get a pistol cartridge to chamber and fire does not it's right.

Every manuel I've read support the fact most pistol cartridges do head space on the case of the mouth. I would think the ammo makers and bullet makers and even John M. Browning him self would know where a cartridge is suppose to head space.
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Old March 4, 2011, 07:03 PM   #11
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I think you’re on the right track Steve. Cast the truncated cones out of the hardest alloy you have. Quench 'em too. (Dump them out of the mold into a bucket of cold water) You want them as hard as woodpecker lips so the empty won’t dig in. Still you might have to resort to “Plan B”........ Gene
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Last edited by Hog Buster; March 4, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
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Old March 4, 2011, 08:21 PM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R
Just because you can get a pistol cartridge to chamber and fire does not it's right.

Every manuel I've read support the fact most pistol cartridges do head space on the case of the mouth. I would think the ammo makers and bullet makers and even John M. Browning him self would know where a cartridge is suppose to head space.

You will note that I plainly stated in my last post that virtually all (semi-auto)centerfire handgun rounds are supposed to headspace on the case mouth.

I'm not talking about "supposed to", I'm talking about what is.

It's technically not "right" but it's reality. There's a small "window" of case length that will be actually allow headspacing on the mouth. Too long and the gun won't go into battery, too short and the extractor takes over and holds the round in place. Obviously, most guns don't have the first problem. The second problem is a lot more common and a lot less obvious.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; March 4, 2011 at 08:26 PM.
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:58 AM   #13
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Thanks for the follow up and the pictures of the problems.

I'm surprised the rim is digging into the following round so severly. Once again the pictures are very good for showing us the problem you are having. I have no idea if seating deeper or less deep would solve the problem. I have no idea if more crimp would help or not. I would GUESS that changing the seating and more crimp would not be the way to go but that is JUST a guess and I'm afraid it does you no good at all.

Now for something completely different. Does anyone else at the range have a P90 and would be willing to try your loads?

Once again thanks for information and even if we don't respond in a timely manner (well I didn't anyway) I would be interested in how this plays out.
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Old March 5, 2011, 03:07 AM   #14
chris in va
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I had the same problem with the TL 230's and switched to the regular groove version. No problems since.

Now my CZ does this with *any* 9mm unless I taper crimp everything. Even factory FMJ ammo. The head catches on the rim like in the picture.
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Old March 5, 2011, 11:23 AM   #15
maillemaker
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Quote:
Now for something completely different. Does anyone else at the range have a P90 and would be willing to try your loads?
I don't know anyone else with a P90.

My guess is that the primary issue here is the step is just too big - .027" is just too big a jump from bullet nose to the outside of the brass.

It looks to me like Lee's truncated nose bullet makes the bullet nose base go right to the shoulder diameter - just like a FMJ bullet would do - effectively no shoulder. I ordered a mold for it yesterday and I'm going to try it out.

It's a shame as I've already cast and lubed about 1000 of the 230 grain LRN bullets, but at least they all melt down easily.

Steve
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