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Old December 1, 2012, 03:27 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: August 27, 2011
Location: Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico
Posts: 13
.45 ACP not completely chambering

I'm new to reloading, even though I did make 500 or so rounds about 10 years back. I have a Lee progressive press and Lee dies for the .45 ACP. I'm using new brass from Starlite, Federal Premium large pistol primers, Accurate #5 powder, and Hornady 230 grain XTP bullets.

Using loading data from Lee's "Modern Reloading" (second edition), I used 7.8 grains (Lee Auto-Disk #.49 gave me exactly 7.8 grains measured on two scales). I initially set the bullet depth to give me an overall length of 1.260", but they would not load into the magazine of my Para X 1911, so I pressed them a little further to give me an oal of 1.50", the minimum oal listed in the Lee manuel. I checked the diameter and they were right on specs.

So I loaded up 5 rounds and stepped outside to try them out, proud and full of confidence! Right!

First round - Perfect! Second round - Perfect...almost. The third round did not quite chamber all the way, lacking about 1/16" of being all the way into the chamber. I removed the magazine and cycled the slide part-way, and the round went in. I reinserted the magazine and fired off the third round. Again, the fourth round was about 1/16" shy of being fully chambered. I went through the same procedure for that and the fifth round.

After that, I loaded 5 more rounds and double-ensured everything was within spec. Ever heard the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing in exactly the same way and expecting a different outcome? Yup - That''s a good analogy of it! The first round chambered fine, but the next four all needed a little help.

So I'm wondering if perhaps loading them to the minimum "Start Grains" didn't give enough pressure to cycle the slide all the way back, but just far enough to eject the spent round and partially shove the new one part way into the chamber. I can't really imagine that a published charge would not properly cycle the slide, but I guess it could be possible.

Any of you ol' long-timne reloaders care to take a moment to give this neophite some of your sage advice? It would certainly be appreciated, 'cause right now I'm feeling kinda stupid!

"The government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, then hand you a crutch and say, 'See? If it weren't for the government, you wouldn't be able to walk.'" - the late Harry Browne
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