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Old November 26, 2002, 07:58 AM   #1
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.45acp handloading with Hornady 230gr XTP

My favorite load for .45acp is using Winchester 571 8.5grains with a CCI Large Pistol primer and Hornady's 230grain XTP JHP bullet.

My question I think has to do with a bullet seating problem that occurs approx. twice (or less) per hundred bullets made. I use Dillon's 650xl press (a great press!) and Dillon pistol dies. Occasionally the above mentioned load produces a bullet that will not chamber. On close examination of the case, it looks a bit deformed, like the bullet was out of round or something. The case is widened around the bullet and then tapers quite a bit behind the base of the seated bullet. This effect is usually more pronounced on one side of the completed cartridge than the other making the bullet impossible to seat. (I have a Colt 1991 A3 a 1911 variant).

Any idea on what the cause of this could be or is this just a normal "production anomaly"?

The brass I use is a mixture of Winchester, PMC, Remington mostly and then some odd ball stuff I picked up at the range.
Old November 27, 2002, 06:01 AM   #2
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Power Pistol, LEE Carbide Factory Crimp die.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old November 27, 2002, 02:37 PM   #3
john kilgore
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You answered your own question. It's the cases.
They're not all created equal !!
Identify the case head stamps that are giving the problem.
My guess is that they will either be Military or the "odd" forigen manufactured brass. Sort the brass by head stamp and trade out or throw out the out-of-spec brass. I find that Federal and Winchester .45acp brass is the most consistent, with Rem-UMC head stamp subject to some really thick ones-(And thin ones too!).
"There is no such thing as a second place winner in a gunfight" Bill Jordan
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Old November 30, 2002, 03:03 AM   #4
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Like John said, check and segregate your cases. Handloading is more of a science than an "art". I would suggest purchasing several manuals from the various component vendors. Read and follow all that is presented. I have loaded thousands of rounds with no mishap.

We handloaders, as a rule, don't have access to the varied test
equipment that component and ammunition manufacturer's have.

Make no mistake regarding handloading;
it only takes ONE double charge, a momentary lack of attention,
scratching one's ass, etc. and TSHTF!

This is not a diatribe; rather a a hint towards safety. I am cautious
AND safe regarding handloading. It CAN cost less than factory ammunition and often does; however it allows one to match ammunition to a particular firearm; that is the beauty of it.

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Old December 2, 2002, 10:20 AM   #5
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Well, if it were the cases alone that would explain it. I was able to dissassemble two cases that wouldn't chamber and remanufacture them so that they would. I think it may be cause by the bullet seating and/or the cases used.

I added one check to my loaded .45acp and that is a chamber check. I removed the barrel from my colt and used it to check each new round before I put it in a box. I found two that wouldn't chamber and remanufactured them. They worked fine after that.

The cause I think may be the seating die itself or the amount of "belling" the case gets from the charging die.

Still not sure the cause but the chamber check seems to shake out the few cases with a problem.
Old December 3, 2002, 04:44 AM   #6
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First time I had this problem was with my first ever run at 45 ACP, also with Hornaday 230 gr HP-XTP.

(Not a long time reloader, but have done several runs of 357sig and 9mm pistol, plus some revolver and rifle. I usually use the most economical ball I can find for pistol, but for the first batch I took whatever the store had, which was the Hornaday 230gr HP-XTP.)

Although I do a barrel drop-in check on the first several rounds when positioning the crimp die, when I got to the range I found several rounds failed to go into battery (SA 1911-A1) because of bulged cases.

Subsequent runs, with Rainier 230gr plated round nose and less agressive crimp diminished but did not entirely eliminate the problem.

I tend to use a very light flare with the second die (to keep working of the metal to a minimum) and a rather agressive crimp with the third die (for firm bullet seating). However the light flare increases difficulty of seating the bullet straight in the case. Since I do not check and trim case length for pistol, there will be some longer cases which the more agressive crimp setting will cause to bulge.

Therefore I am increasing the bell and lightening up on the crimp.

The Lee factory crimp die would (reportedly) push all these bad guys back into shape. However I use a single stage rock chucker and just do not want to send those things through for a fourth pass.

A 100% drop-in/fall-out check using (disassembled) pistol barrel does not add much time when done as a batch at the end of the run. The misfits I set aside for non-match use. (I am by no stretch a serious IPSC contender, but those fail-to-feeds are sure a bummer and embarrasement.)
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is not the responsiblity of government. You must. - XAVIER ONASIS
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Old December 3, 2002, 08:03 AM   #7
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Since I've got to pick up each bullet and put it in a box, I found that checking the bullet for proper chambering didn't take any longer.

Oh well?
Old December 3, 2002, 03:18 PM   #8
Desert Dog
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When I have that problem, I just run the offending round back through the sizer die with the decapping pin removed...

Yes, in fact I do have a 454... in more ways than one.

"No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority" - Thomas Jefferson
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