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Old December 29, 2018, 08:28 PM   #1
Nickel Plated
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Beretta 85 bullet setback issue.

So I have a single stack Beretta 85FS Cheetah I bought new about 6 months ago. I use it as my EDC. I keep it stocked with Hornady American Gunner 90gr XTP rounds. It seems to be a concensus that pretty much any loading with the XTP bullet is your best choice for a defensive .380. And the American Gunners are easy to find locally around here.

However, I noticed that when I chamber a round or a round is chambered during firing it pushes the bullet further down into the case.

This is a good image of the cartridge. Notice how the bullet has a slight bit of a straight portion sticking out of the case mouth before the taper begins. After one chambering, it will push it in so the taper begins right at the case mouth. A second chambering of the same round will push the taper slightly below the case mouth. Haven't tried chambering the same round more then twice. The gun chembers and fires fresh, never-cycled ammo just fine, so one setback doesn't seem to hurt anything much. But I make sure to set aside rounds that have already been setback once, and just fire them off at the range by dropping them in the chamber and slowly letting the slide close on them.

Am I being too paranoid or should I try a different brand that uses XTP bullets and hopefully a stronger crimp?
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Old December 29, 2018, 08:41 PM   #2
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Don't chamber more than once.
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Old December 29, 2018, 08:42 PM   #3
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Wow sir - Bad news! Good thing you caught it. I can't say how much the pressure is increased by that much setback - but it's too much for comfort. I wouldn't even think about using those rounds any more. I also have a Beretta 85 but haven't had a chance to shoot it. One thing you could do, is run those rounds thru a taper crimp die (if you have a set of .380 dies) to put a stronger crimp on them. But, that said, I wouldn't even use them for range practice as is. That Beretta is too nice to blow up!!!
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Old December 29, 2018, 10:30 PM   #4
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OOC: Does this setback occur w/ other bullets/brands ?
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Old December 29, 2018, 10:58 PM   #5
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I have seen it happen the most bottle neck cartridges like the .357 sig.
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Old December 30, 2018, 10:04 AM   #6
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It's reasons like this that make me shake my head in disbelief when a reloader tells someone to only crimp enough to remove the bell in the case mouth. No. In semi automatic pistol rounds, you must have a good crimp. Well, that is if you like your pistol, and your fingers.
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Old December 30, 2018, 11:30 AM   #7
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If you have removed the bell to SAAMI case mouth specs using a semi-auto
seating die, you have also tapered crimped to that dimension as well.

Have you ever run the seater down more -- and seen what happens ?

FWIW: proper brass expanded w/ proper expander using proper diameter bullets
should provide proper case tension as primary retainer forces for semi-autos.


Last edited by mehavey; December 30, 2018 at 11:37 AM.
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Old January 1, 2019, 11:25 AM   #8
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Other than this I shot some Winchester Whitebox 95grn FMJs. Those were fine.

Right now I'm thinkin of just ordering some other brands that use the XTP bullet and trying them out. I plan to just start ordering ammo online in bulk so local availability is not too big of a deal.

The Beretta is a very "snappy" gun in general everything is stiff and snaps into place hard. Including the slide. When you let it close under spring tension, it really hammers those rounds into the chamber. My Glock 17 is definitely a lot gentler with it's food.
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Old January 1, 2019, 12:40 PM   #9
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This cartridge head spaces on the case mouth rather than on the rim. It will frequently set the bullet back upon the slide pushing the cartridge into the chamber. Tolerances in all dimensions can allow the bullet to "seat" a bit into the lands in some guns. This isn't a "defect" or a major problem if you don't remove that round and then use it again. Most people with training in use of defensive handguns will not reuse rounds that have been chambered and not fired for this reason. Adding more crimp will often times make this problem worse, not better. When the taper crimp is "tightened up", it allows the round to go even further into the chamber and the bullet ogive hits the lands with even more force. Pressures are not generally a problem since this is a known factor in cartridge and pressure development. Also, the primer going off moves the bullet forward before the powder achieves complete ignition anyway and it's already hitting the lands. I have played around with reusing bullets like this and to date I haven't had any fail to feed and fire because of it. Summary: you're probably reading too much into this. If you don't believe it, try some and see what happens (or doesn't happen).
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Old January 1, 2019, 01:48 PM   #10
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I would just try another brand with the bullet your looking for to see if they are effected the same way. I have noticed this slightly with my Beretta 84F, I don't see it as a problem because I don't unload and reload my gun. Load it and leave it until I go shooting and hope I will never need it for self defense.
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Old May 10, 2019, 10:17 PM   #11
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Just a little update for anyone who cares. I picked up some of the Fiocchi Extrema 90gr XTP and Underwood 90gr +P XTP loads. Haven't tried shooting them yet but both seem good to go with no visible setback even after 4 rechamberings of the same round. I'm not too crazy about shooting +P in such a nice gun with such a delicate looking slide, so will most likely just stick with the Fiocchis, or standard pressure underwoods if I see any.

And the nickel plated cases match my pistol nicely. LOL
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Old May 10, 2019, 10:34 PM   #12
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I'd just run them through a taper crimp die and call it good.
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Old May 12, 2019, 08:33 AM   #13
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I have an 84F, and haven’t noticed any setback.
The Underwood +P XTP load is my carry round, and I have shot about 150rds through my 84F. It has proven to be one of the most accurate rounds I’ve shot in my Beretta.
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Old May 12, 2019, 10:16 AM   #14
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I'd just run them through a taper crimp die and call it good.
Based on this, I'd say you are a reloader. The OP isn't, or at least made no mention of it, he is talking about factory loaded ammo.

Nickel Plated,
Did you shoot up all the rounds in that box? Or do you have some left (with, or without setback)?? Do you still have the box? (with the lot# on it?)

If so, hang on to them. Buy another box of the same stuff, and see if does the same thing. Check lot#s. Either you got a bad batch, or the company is making "inferior" ammo. One single box doesn't tell you which it is.
And, either way, the company needs to know it happened.

IF it happens again, get some pics, save all unexpended rounds nd packaging, and contact the maker. Describe what happened, send them pics, if possible.

Unlike most people today, I still hold the opinion that bullet setback, from a few chamberings should not happen as a regular thing. In the distant past, it didn't. Not as a regular thing. I've read decades of written articles about reloading and in about all of them that mention it, written before the last 20 years or so, setback is always spoken of as something that could happen, with repeated chamberings, a thing to be watched for, but not a given. And when they said "repeated" they meant more than one or two chamberings.

Today, it seems it is almost expected, and the buying public is told "just don't chamber the round more than once"...

Possibly sound advice for the user, absolutely good advice for the ammo maker!

Different guns apply different force to the bullet during the feeding cycle, one design might be "setback prone" and another not so much. This is not a new thing, ammo makers have known this for a long, long time. They used to make ammo built to be durable, as well as accurate and functional. Today, that seldom seems to be the case. Today it seems accurate, functional and durable enough to work once is good enough.

Contact the maker, they can't fix a problem they don't know about.
Good Luck, and let us know how it goes.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old May 12, 2019, 10:31 AM   #15
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An admin note:
This thread started in December 2018. After reading the first post, go to post #11 for the latest update. Trying to fix the original problem is no longer necessary.
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