View Full Version : Is this common?

May 7, 2012, 07:08 PM
I've taken my Springfield Armory Range Officer .45 ACP out twice now and put a total of 450 rounds through it. I picked up the brass and as I was going through it and sorting it out I noticed what I think is unusual markings on the cases. I sorted all the Winchester brass with silver primers out as those were reloads and were shot by friends who were at the range with me that day. This is new Winchester white box ammo with brass primers so I'm sure that this was fired from my pistol.

Here is a pic of three mags worth of brass out of the bunch. All have similar markings. It kind of looks like a powder burn down one side of the case. Is this usual, an improper seal at the case mouth, stiff new brass not expanding enough??? Any ideas? This is a brand new pistol so it's definitely under warranty.


4V50 Gary
May 7, 2012, 07:24 PM
I think it may be unlocking micro-seconds after the discharge.

May 7, 2012, 07:34 PM
Simple test - load it with +P ammo. If it stops it's weak ammo in hard brass, if it explodes in your hand it's unlocking too early. On second thought, have the guy who sold you the gun do the test.

May 7, 2012, 07:39 PM
The RO was bought new from Cabela's a couple weeks ago....

I will get some +P ammo and give it a try. Would this possibly go away with more rounds through it?

May 7, 2012, 07:44 PM
I get the same markings on the .380 brass that comes out of my Beretta 84. No other problems or symptoms, so I'm writing it off as "normal".

James K
May 7, 2012, 10:21 PM
Too light loads and/or hard brass. It is not a big concern, IMHO.


Jim Watson
May 7, 2012, 10:23 PM
Looks a lot like the brass that came out of my STI yesterday.
Not a problem, just a little scorch mark.

May 8, 2012, 02:31 AM
If you're shooting ball ammunition, try an 18 lb. recoil spring; this will hold the pistol closed just a little bit longer to give the brass time to obturate and seal the chamber.

Don P
May 8, 2012, 07:20 AM
Do yourself a favor and do nothing but shoot the gun. You DO NOT NEED NEW SPRINGS or any other parts replaced. I see a lot of brass like this at the range including my own. Shoot the gun and enjoy.
Remember kitchen table gunsmiths will get you into trouble and often create more problems for you than you started with

May 8, 2012, 07:24 AM
^^^ Listen to Don. He's telling you straight.

Leave the thing alone and enjoy it. It's not unlocking too early and a spring wouldn't change that anyway.

May 8, 2012, 01:32 PM
First off I want to thank everyone for their input. I used Winchester white box ammo from Wally-World, both FMJ and JHP. The FMJ is labled as target ammo and the JHP is labled for personal defense. The JHP was definitely hotter but not hugely so. If anything needs to be done to this gun it will be done at and by Springfield Armory, not by me. That does not seem to be the case though as by most everyone's account this is not uncommon.

I will get several more different types of ammo from different makers and try them out. I will definitely update this post when I get other ammo and test it out. Thanks again to all for sharing your input.

May 8, 2012, 04:05 PM
Good advice from all above.

However, (and I don't mean to hijack a thread), I must point out that on this board, some of those giving advice are most assuredly NOT kitchen table gunsmiths.

Practice is essential, and should be first and foremost; however, the capable pistol shooter will, at one time or another, want to optimize the performance of their arm. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to do that--as long as it is done competently, either by yourself or by a gunsmith.

Cordially, and with respect,

Your friendly neighborhood Powderman
(former military armorer, Colt certified armorer, Glock armorer, LE atmorer--and who, was at one time, a practicing gunsmith specializing in refinishing, refurbishing and customizing Smith and Wesson revolvers and that fine 1911 pistol.)

May 8, 2012, 07:19 PM
I've had it out twice now and put a total of 450 rounds through it. It was for function testing with the following round counts: 200 FMJ, 100 JHP, and 150 RNL. I had three mags fail to lock the slide back when empty, definitely not the gun, and one ejection issue with the Ultramax RNL which is remanufactured ammo. I believe that issue was ammo related. I will probably be hitting the range this weekend for more testing with a bigger assortment of ammo.

Here is the pistol:


May 8, 2012, 08:38 PM
Your gun is fine. Your chamber is possibly very possibly oversized combined with some brass that is not fully expanding. When handloading you will see this on light target loads. When the powder charge is increased it usually goes away. A little more time in a tumbler will remove it. Don't worry about it. I think Springfield has decided to use looser chamber dimensions instead of tight chambers because the looser ones will feed out of spec ammo.

May 10, 2012, 02:54 PM
drail, that brass has not yet been tumbled, you see it as it was picked up off the ground. I don't know about a loose chamber as the Range Officer is supposed to have a match grade barrel along with forged frame and slide. SA describes it as more or less a competition gun without all the bells and whistles that drive the price up.

I will probably be picking up a wider selection of ammo tomorrow and hitting the range this weekend. I will post the results when I have them.

May 11, 2012, 08:24 PM
I would agree the coloring is the ammo. Usually a timing problem is a firing pin swipe on the primer.

Double Naught Spy
May 11, 2012, 11:11 PM
I think it may be unlocking micro-seconds after the discharge.

You can actually verify if the above statement is correct by trapping the slide when the gun is fired. In one of the SD classes I had, we were taught about grabbing the gun forward of the trigger and holding it tightly such that once the gun was fired (and hopefully it wasn't pointed at you), that the trapped slide would result in no spent case ejection and no recocking of the gun.

It takes a firm grip to do this and if you do it bare handed and didn't have the slide fully trapped, the front recoiling across your palm or fingers isn't pleasant. You can reduce that risk by wearing a decent set of leather gloves. Also, even if you fully trap the slide barehanded, there can be a little sting to the palm and fingers, but nothing significant.

So if you fully trap the slide and fire the gun, you can then manually cycle the action and inspect your spent case. If it still looks the same, then the issue isn't unlocking quickly. If the brass looks good, then apparently it is unlocking quickly.

May 12, 2012, 08:48 PM
Double Naught Spy, so you just grab the slide with the weak hand and hold it from cycling? I am certain these cases were fired in this gun as it was new ammo with brass primers and all the reloads had silver primers. I have not been out to either the store for more ammo or the range to test it yet.

I did spend the last two days replacing the old kitchen sink with a new "porcelain on cast iron" sink and brushed nickel faucet set. Happy Mother's Day honey, now I need to get me something in forged steel, brushed nickel or satin stainless..... :D

Double Naught Spy
May 13, 2012, 02:11 PM
In short, yes. You can use either hand or secure the slide with both hands and let somebody else pull the trigger when the gun is pointed in a safe direction. Don't load more than one round into the gun. Make sure no part of you is in front of the muzzle.

Missing from my previous post was the word 'sight.' If you don't trap the slide fully and you are holding the gun bare handed the slide moves within your grasp, the front sight passing through your grip will be painful. You don't want it recoiling across your palm or fingers.

May 13, 2012, 05:32 PM
Springfield sent a spent case & target that was shot with my gun. The spent case was in an envelope inside the gun case. If they did, compare the Springfield case with yours.

May 13, 2012, 06:01 PM
I saw cases just like that for years shooting competition where the use of light loads was permitted. It doesn't hurt anything. If I bump my charge up just a little to Major power level the blowby goes away. I wouldn't spend much time sweating cases showing blowby like yours. Blowby stains on cases do not mean the gun's timing is off. It simply means the case is not expanding fully and sealing the breech off. There's either not enough pressure or the cases are resistant to swelling up or the chamber is oversize. It's just a little more dirt in the gun. You're going to clean that thing anyway. What you're seeing is normal for some ammo. Now if factory loaded ball rounds loaded to full power (230 @ 850) show that much blowby then something is out of spec - either the chamber or the brass. And as far as Springfield calling their barrel "match grade" it's meaningless. They don't make match grade barrels. They do make very good barrels though. I have seen plenty of their standard barrels (two piece) fitted to guns that would shoot a one hole group out of a Ransom Rest. My wife has one.

May 16, 2012, 11:44 AM
My kimber does the same thing with blazer ammo. Doesnt do it with the hotter lawman and s&b ammo.

May 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
Hi. My gold cup 45 does the some thing. Your good to go.

May 18, 2012, 09:09 PM
I haven't chronographed the white box ammo, but I would bet it is low pressure. I chronographed the Federal maroon box cheap stuff 40S&W at 770fps, compared to 980fps for the Winchester bonded HP, both were 180gr. Try some other ammos, like HP or try Fiochi which is hot compared to other cheap FMJ.

Don P
May 22, 2012, 08:17 AM
All I will add to the discussion is, looking for problem that does not exist therefore no fix is available. :rolleyes: