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Inconsistent COAL

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SingleActionAndrew
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Inconsistent COAL Empty Inconsistent COAL

Post by mutley 2/5/2023, 8:05 pm

I'm getting a fair amount of variance in my COAL when loading 45 ACP, Zero 185gr SWC, using my Hornady LnL with Redding dies.  Sampling some of my loaded ammo it tends to vary in a range 1.210 - 1.230.  In turn, I'm also getting a good amount of failures to eject (like 1 or more out of every 25) and I think its related to the inconsistent COAL.  Of course, I'm pretty new to pistol reloading so not sure if that really is a big variance.    

Any thoughts on what may be causing the inconsistency?  Bullets vary in length but no where to that degree.  I'm not making changes on the dies from cartridge to cartridge.  I can't seat much deeper without dropping the shoulder below the case rim and I've got the crimp die turned down about as far as it can go. 

Not sure what else to try so turning to the wisdom here Smile

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Post by Dcforman 2/5/2023, 8:08 pm

What seating insert are you using? Seat and crimp in separate stages?

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Post by chiz1180 2/5/2023, 8:10 pm

Are you seating from the nose of the bullet or the shoulder?

Powder charge and gun configuration are also factors for ejection failure.
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Post by mutley 2/5/2023, 8:12 pm

Dcforman wrote:What seating insert are you using? Seat and crimp in separate stages?

Dave

Good question.  Separate stages.  Redding offers a seating die, that has no crimp at all (versus just backing out the combo die a bit for the same effect).  I have that plus their dedicated crimping die.

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Post by Dcforman 2/5/2023, 8:15 pm

Spunds good. And the seating insert? Really need to use one that seats on the shoulder of the bullet.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 2/5/2023, 8:17 pm

Redding doesn't to my knowledge make an appropriate seating die for the 45 SWC.

A combination of the Dillon 45 seat die and this insert https://uniquetek.com/product/T1561?mobileback=Search%5E%2Fsearch will seat the projectile off the shoulder rather than the cone. The shoulder is where I'm taught to measure the cartridge length at least for measuring load consistency.  Common seating depth measured from the shoulder in 45 auto is around .910-.920 but triple check your sources.
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Post by mutley 2/5/2023, 8:19 pm

chiz1180 wrote:Are you seating from the nose of the bullet or the shoulder?

Powder charge and gun configuration are also factors for ejection failure.

Yeah... I thought about adding all the pertinents in from the start but didn't want everyone getting turned off by a wall of words with too much info  Laughing

Gun: Colt Gold Cup (new model... less than 1k rounds)
Brass:  1x fired Winchester brass (fired from this gun)
Bullet: Zero 185 gr SWC
Powder: Vih N310 4.1 grains
Dies: Redding 45 ACP dies for progressive press (dedicated seating and crimp dies)
Press: Hornady LnL with Hornady Powder Measurer and PTX expander
Seating bullet off the nose with Redding micrometer insert.

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Post by DA/SA 2/5/2023, 8:22 pm

Is your seating die perhaps for round nose bullets rather than LSWC?
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Post by mutley 2/5/2023, 8:23 pm

I'm definitely not seating off the shoulder.  I've seen those shoulder seating dies mentioned before but didn't realize they were that crucial.  I think I'll order one and give it a try.

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Post by mutley 2/5/2023, 8:25 pm

Here is the seating die stem I'm using.  Sounds like its the culprit.  

https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item/0007609075/bullet-seating-micrometer-number-15-standard

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Post by DA/SA 2/5/2023, 8:41 pm

Guaranteed to be shaped for round nose bullets.

Track down a shoulder seating stem for LSWC's and you'll be in business!
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Post by John Dervis 2/5/2023, 9:42 pm

If you haven’t done this yet, check the seating stem to see if it’s gummed up with lube. I need to clean mine out from time to time. If I let it go too long the bullets will start to seat deeper. This happens worse when seating on the nose of the bullet vs the shoulder. 

Good luck.
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Post by SteveT 2/5/2023, 10:51 pm

All of the above, especially a SWC seater and clean out the seating die. A few hundred rounds and I'll start seeing shorter rounds. Much sooner if I shave off a little lead seating a bullet or two. 

The cases that do eject, do they just dribble out or do they shoot out with some force?

1.22" seems a little long for the 185SWC, but it's not too far off and it's been a while since I loaded that bullet. I load the 185 HPSWC to 1.222". I am pretty sure the SWC is 0.1" or more shorter. You want the shoulder of the bullet to be above the case mouth, but it doesn't have to be out by much. 1/32-1/16" is good.

I don't think 0.02" variation would be causing FTE unless you are right on the borderline for your spring. Do you know what spring is in the gun? Is there a dot mounted on you slide? if so, which one? an Aimpoint 9000 with 18-20lb spring might need a little more oomph. Shortening the round a little will also increase the power of the load.

1k rounds should be enough to break in the gun and 4.1gr of N310 should be ok to cycle most guns unless you've got a heavy dot and recoil spring.
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Post by mutley 2/6/2023, 7:12 am

SteveT wrote:All of the above, especially a SWC seater and clean out the seating die. A few hundred rounds and I'll start seeing shorter rounds. Much sooner if I shave off a little lead seating a bullet or two. 

The cases that do eject, do they just dribble out or do they shoot out with some force?

1.22" seems a little long for the 185SWC, but it's not too far off and it's been a while since I loaded that bullet. I load the 185 HPSWC to 1.222". I am pretty sure the SWC is 0.1" or more shorter. You want the shoulder of the bullet to be above the case mouth, but it doesn't have to be out by much. 1/32-1/16" is good.

I don't think 0.02" variation would be causing FTE unless you are right on the borderline for your spring. Do you know what spring is in the gun? Is there a dot mounted on you slide? if so, which one? an Aimpoint 9000 with 18-20lb spring might need a little more oomph. Shortening the round a little will also increase the power of the load.

1k rounds should be enough to break in the gun and 4.1gr of N310 should be ok to cycle most guns unless you've got a heavy dot and recoil spring.

I checked the seating stem and it's pretty clean.  I did already order the new stem that seats off the shoulder and the Dillon die.  We'll see what that does.

As to your other questions... 1) The cases that do eject do so with what I think is adequate force.  They get tossed a good 4-6 feet away.  2) no dot on it, just iron sights 3) I'm not sure what weight the recoil spring is.  That's a good question... I'll call Colt today and ask.


Last edited by mutley on 2/6/2023, 7:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mutley 2/6/2023, 7:16 am

Do you guys find that you need to adjust your crimp for different bullets within the same caliber?  I'll be mostly loading the Zero 185 gr SWC and JHPs for 45 ACP.  I find that the JHPs require a very light crimp.  Conversely, the SWC I've been cranking the crimp to the max... but perhaps that won't be necessary when I convert to the seating stem that seats off the shoulder and I can use the same die for both.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 2/6/2023, 8:20 am

I use a separate crimp and seating die for SWC vs JHP since both have different settings. For JHP you shouldn't need to crimp more than 0.469-0.470".
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Post by shanneba 2/7/2023, 6:30 am

I believe the current Gold Cups ship with a 16 lb spring.
Gold Cups used to ship with 2 springs, a 16 lb for ball ammo and I think a 14 lb for target loads.

Your load of 4.1 VV N310 and a 185 gr seems to be close to the USMC load.

I loaded the USMC load, 4.1 gr VV N310 with a Nosler Jacketed 185 gr HP and fired a few in my recent Colt Gold Cup.
I also had a few failures to eject. I went to 4.3 gr of VV N310 but have not tested those yet.
I also ordered a lighter recoil spring and will try the 4.1 gr again when I get it.

From this article- USMC Match .45 Load | An NRA Shooting Sports Journal (ssusa.org)


"The Marines’ 1911 recoil spring rates range from 12 to 14 pounds depending on the individual gun and shooter."

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Post by mutley 2/7/2023, 7:47 am

Yep, I started with the USMC load.  And you are correct about the Gold Cups shipping wit a 16lb spring.  I call Colt yesterday and confirmed.  I'll report the results back here after I try loads using the new dies.  I may go with a 14lb spring too.

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Post by mutley 2/19/2023, 4:25 pm

Thought I'd provide an update.  I got the UniqueTek seating stem and Dillon die body, loaded up 50 rds of 45 acp and none failed to eject.  Plunk test was noticeably improved as well.

Thanks for the suggestion, I think it solved my problem!

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