The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 21, 2020, 06:25 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: March 13, 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 814
.380 Auto hangups

What is the most common reason for a handload to fail to lockup (for lack of a better word at this point.)

I have a Browning 1911-380 which I love. Factory rounds pose no problem, even "generics."

But with 3.2 gr of Titegroup, a 90gr Hornady XTP and CCI 500 primer, I routinely get 2 of 7 rounds that will not lock up and I have to push the slide, or, they will not eject and jam.

Should I be paying attention to case length (altho they have only been reloaded twice) ? Bullet seating depth?

What am I missing here?
cdoc42 is offline  
Old May 21, 2020, 09:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: June 21, 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 188
I seem to recall my Browning 1911-380 having pretty tight chamber specs. Some ammo would pass the "plunk" test, while others seemed to be loaded too long. The bullet would make contact with the barrel rifling.

Check your loaded bullets for the plunk test. You might need to shorten the OAL. Be mindful of reducing your charge weight while doing so, to avoid an over-pressure situation.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
indie_rocker is offline  
Old May 21, 2020, 09:18 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: March 21, 2018
Location: AZ
Posts: 159
"Battery" is the term you are looking for. There are several reasons for the slide not going into battery; COAL too long, over crimp bulge, "bell" not removed, case too long is at the bottom of the list. Weak/old slide return spring.
pwc is offline  
Old May 21, 2020, 10:34 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 12,261
I would suspect bullet shape slowing the slide too much while stripping a cartridge from the magazine, COAL too long (bullet contacting lands), or a crimp issue (not enough or too much).

A long shot possibility is just a mechanical issue between the cases and the extractor.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old May 21, 2020, 11:04 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: March 13, 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 814
Thanks to all - I will look into these situations and make corrections!
cdoc42 is offline  
Old May 23, 2020, 09:27 AM   #6
Join Date: May 3, 2020
Posts: 53
I had the same problem with a pocket gun (Kahr P380) even with factory ammo. For me the fix was two fold. Switching to ball ammo, or very ball shaped JHP and keeping it really clean. I found the shape of XTP and flat nose rounds hang up on the steep feed ramp. This also happens on a sig P238 but only when it's quite dirty. In the case of these two guns , one has a super heavy spring and is lightweight, the other is just the opposite. So not so much about the return spring I don't think.
BondoBob is offline  
Old May 23, 2020, 10:50 AM   #7
Join Date: September 10, 2017
Location: No. Idaho
Posts: 38
380's are one of the most finicky handguns I've loaded for. Everything has to be just right.

Because most 380's are very small getting a solid grip can be a problem and this can contribute to the gun not going into battery. On my Kahr CW380 using the longer mag that gives me a place for my pinky to assist with the grip helps with not limp-wristing the gun. Using only 2 fingers to hold a pistol can lead to the slide not cycling properly.

Usable loads can vary by less than a grain and this makes load development much more critical. And as mentioned before, using the proper bullet and OAL will affect reliability.
U.S.A.F., aircrew (ret.)
NRA Life Member
marchboom is offline  
Old May 23, 2020, 11:58 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: November 17, 1999
Location: NW Wi
Posts: 1,069
While not loading for 380 extensively, the biggest problems i had was bullets pulling forward in the chambering process and not loading hot enough. And as Marchbloom said, not gripping tight enough. Needed full power rounds in the little Glock. Got around the powder dispensing by having a match grade measure with small volume.
zeke is online now  
Old May 23, 2020, 02:04 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: June 11, 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,364
From personal experience I have to say the biggest reason is ammo to barrel fit.

Many times now this is a result of tight chambers and no leade into the barrel as these new guns keep getting tighter and tighter.

I have a 45acp with the exact same problem there is no leade. I have to seat down until the ogive of the bullet is almost entering the case and this gun will absolutely not cycle and chamber a SWC on it own. It will hang every time.

If needed I can PM you a link to another forum on this discussion that has pictures that shows what to look for. But again this is for those where everything else is in order with the ammo and all seems to be in spec.
kmw1954 is offline  
Old May 23, 2020, 02:20 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: April 3, 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,154
Another issue besides what has been stated already could be the load itself. It may not be enough to cycle the action so you could try loading it a little hotter than your usual load without maxing out. Try an extra .2 or .4 grains of powder until the issue is resolved.
ms6852 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:55 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.05472 seconds with 9 queries