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  #1  
Old 03-31-2016, 3:11 PM
elkaholic elkaholic is offline
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Default Advice on FTE sought

I reload for a Rock Island Arms commander size 1911. I had a successful recipe using one powder. I just tried my first batch of 50 with a new powder and, out of the 50, the last round failed to eject fully clear of the gun 3 times. None of the shells actually stovepiped but they either jammed in the mechanism or, in one case, came to rest on top of the magazine follower when the slide locked back. The new powder I used was Shooters' World Clean Shot. I used the manufacturers recommended load of 5.1 grains of powder with 230 grain FMJ bullets. Since the only things I changed were the powder and the charge, I suspect that is the issue. Any suggestions? Should I try a lighter charge? A heavier charge? Something else? Any advice is welcome.
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2016, 9:05 AM
stilly stilly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkaholic View Post
I reload for a Rock Island Arms commander size 1911. I had a successful recipe using one powder. I just tried my first batch of 50 with a new powder and, out of the 50, the last round failed to eject fully clear of the gun 3 times. None of the shells actually stovepiped but they either jammed in the mechanism or, in one case, came to rest on top of the magazine follower when the slide locked back. The new powder I used was Shooters' World Clean Shot. I used the manufacturers recommended load of 5.1 grains of powder with 230 grain FMJ bullets. Since the only things I changed were the powder and the charge, I suspect that is the issue. Any suggestions? Should I try a lighter charge? A heavier charge? Something else? Any advice is welcome.
I apologize for taking so long to get back to this thread. I read it at work and I could not log in and when I got home I kept forgetting about THIS thread, well, you know, with all of those other threads about how awesome Lee Loadmasters are that I made.

Your rounds are classic borderline LOW CHARGE INDICATORS to me. Load with a bit more powder and those SHOULD go away.

Example- I have some of my charges that will cycle the TRP, but SOMETIMES one will hold on, because the powder did not have enough power to push the slide back enough and hit that shell against the ejector to make it break loose, so it held on and slid forward with the slide and prevented the slide from closing AND also because it is a TRP, got a bite or two in the case mouth.

I do NOT know about YOU or WTFE powder you are using, (I have not heard of that ****) but what is the max charge? You can prolly take it to 5.2 or 5.3 and see most of these symptoms clear up if not all. You do not have to take my word for it though, just put in a shell and rack the gun back slowly and see if it tends to do the same things you just described.

I use 700-X in some of my .45 and it has a top end of 5.2 so I aim for 4.9 and sometimes it will hit me with 4.7 and that will cause a hang or whatever. If you had bullseye or well, actually it does not really matter what all you have, there are a LOT of powders that will top out a bit over 5.0gr. If you got some power pistol, you can dare go up to about 7gr, but you should start around 5.0 and work it up the ladder.

Yeah anyways, put a bit more powder in and see what happens...
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Old 04-05-2016, 7:04 AM
elkaholic elkaholic is offline
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Thanks for the suggestion. Max load for this powder is 5.4 grains so I've got some room to go up. I'll try it and see what happens.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2016, 7:43 AM
rsrocket1 rsrocket1 is offline
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Do you have access to a chrony to see what the bullet speeds are?
I assume 3 times out of 50 shots means the last round failed to eject 3 out of 7 magazines full?

You could try this:
First of all, make sure the problem isn't following one particular magazine.
If you get 100% function with one magazine and not the other, it's probably the magazine that is causing the problem.

Next, try loading the mags with just one cartridge in it, and shoot it from a rest with a "death grip" to see if limp wristing makes the difference between proper ejection and a jam/FTE. Unless you are on the very hairy edge of proper operation, a couple tenths of a grain probably won't make much difference and you certainly don't want a load that becomes unreliable if the bullet velocity drops just a little bit due to cold weather, slightly light powder drops, etc.

To me it sounds more like a magazine follower/ejector/extractor problem than a load problem.
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Old 04-05-2016, 2:35 PM
stilly stilly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
Do you have access to a chrony to see what the bullet speeds are?
I assume 3 times out of 50 shots means the last round failed to eject 3 out of 7 magazines full?

You could try this:
First of all, make sure the problem isn't following one particular magazine.
If you get 100% function with one magazine and not the other, it's probably the magazine that is causing the problem.

Next, try loading the mags with just one cartridge in it, and shoot it from a rest with a "death grip" to see if limp wristing makes the difference between proper ejection and a jam/FTE. Unless you are on the very hairy edge of proper operation, a couple tenths of a grain probably won't make much difference and you certainly don't want a load that becomes unreliable if the bullet velocity drops just a little bit due to cold weather, slightly light powder drops, etc.

To me it sounds more like a magazine follower/ejector/extractor problem than a load problem.
I had thought about that but when I read about the round hanging on. and coming to rest when the slide locked back, I ignored all else and went for the throat. That happened to me one night and I knew exactly what caused it. The fact that there was an empty magazine allowed the case to hang on and not get pushed up by the next round, I was kind of amused at the shell dangling there in the space, being clenched by the extractor so I flicked it once or twice and it did not wanna come loose. Finally I released the slide and just racked it and that sent the shell flying.

BTW, never fire an automatic handgun with no magazine if you are a reloader.
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2016, 6:27 AM
elkaholic elkaholic is offline
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Thanks for the advice.
I tried increasing the load slightly from 5.1+/1 0.1 grains to 5.2-5.3 grains. It didn't work out. I got even more failures to eject along with some signs of excessive pressure in the form of flattened primers and noticeably harsh recoil.
In answer to another question, I do have a chrony but it doesn't work at the indoor range where I shoot due to the lighting.
By the way, this powder meters incredibly well, which I like of course, but the load data also indicates that is particularly sensitive to the charge, which I don't like. The difference in the quoted velocities between the recommended load of 5.1 grains and the max load of 5.4 grains is 100 ft/sec.
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  #7  
Old 04-24-2016, 5:35 PM
rsrocket1 rsrocket1 is offline
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Did you check the magazine?
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