View Full Version : 1911 Blowing Primers

February 4, 2002, 09:56 PM
I have a bit of a problem with my Pachmayr custom
1911 that I hope someone can help me with. I am
fairly new to 1911's so bear with me. Out of 20
rounds I fired the other day four of them had the primer separate from the case. These were fairly
mild loads of 5.5 grs. Unique under a 230gr. fmj.
The recoil comfirmed that these were not over
preasure rounds. When I had the firing pin out
to tune the extractor it seemed a little on the
blunt side but don't have anything to compare it
to. Also the firing pin hits on the primers
seemed to be deeper than I remember on any of
my other pistols. I can't help but wonder if
maybe the firing pin spring could be worn out to
the point where it is not coming back fast enough.
This is not the first time it has happened and
I haven't had a problem with these reloads in my
other .45s. Any help would be much appreciated.

James K
February 5, 2002, 12:20 AM
Hi, jeffg,

Check the headspace on that pistol. If it is bad, then check the barrel/slide lugs for wear or out of spec.


February 7, 2002, 09:23 PM
Jim, Thanks, I kind of figured it was something
to do with the headspace. Now how do I go about
checking it on a 1911. The lock up seems very
tight in this pistol but I'm not sure what to look
for. Jeff

James K
February 7, 2002, 10:45 PM
You have to find a smith with .45 headspace gauges. You can also check crudely by removing the barrel and dropping a round in the chamber. The base of the case should be even with the end edge of the barrel hood.


February 8, 2002, 06:41 AM

I'm definitely not questioning the quality of you handloads, but why not try a couple boxes of factory loads and see if the problem persists. That way you can narrow it down to being either ammo related or gun related. Just a thought.-TR

February 8, 2002, 10:07 AM
I also would consider the possibility that something was amiss with the loads. It could be that the primer pockets were reamed a bit too agressivly, and they're oversized...

Joe Portale
February 8, 2002, 10:36 AM
I'm with Johnwill and TangoRomeo, start with your brass and ammo first. I have seen plenty of recycled brass where the primer hole is oversized. Mainly this was old military brass that had the primer crimp turned out. Also, there is just as much danger with very light loads causing excessive pressure as with too great a load. These rules generally apply to rifles, but they make sense for pistol as well. If there is not enough powder in the case, it gives the gases created on ignition too much time to form inside the case before the bullet is down the barrel enough to compensate. The pressurized gas is looking for somewhere to go, and that would be the path of least resistance. If the primer hole is slightly oversized, that is the direction it will take.

Although 5.5 grains of Unique shouldn't do this, every gun and shooter is different. I definitly would try a box of factory ammo.

February 8, 2002, 09:45 PM
OK guys first I want to thank all of you for your
imput. I had all ready checked the headspace
using a loaded round as you suggested Jim. Tonight I measured it. A resized case sits flush
with the edge of the barrel hood as does my
friends reloads. My reloads sit .025" below the
barrel hood. What surprised me was a factory 230 gr. Hydra-shok sit .020" below. Now this tells me
even though you can't see there is to much crimp
I must have the crimping die set to low. I am
loading on a Square Deal B. I guess I'm not sure exactly how I should be setting the crimping
die on my press. Like I said before I must have
at least 2000 reloads through my Sig 220 with the
press set up the same and it's never been a
problem. Thanks again guys. Jeff

February 12, 2002, 02:05 AM
...Some cases are thin at the rim. If they have been loaded many times or shot through a pistol with possibly marginal headspace, this may cause this type of problem. Try some PMC or Winchester just for grins and let us know what you find... http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/bandit.gif