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.45 ACP Coated Bullets

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Post by BE Mike 6/10/2023, 6:40 am

Over the years, I've shot many thousands of "naked" lead bullets in .45 ACP reloads, both swaged and cast. The last few years, as I shoot mostly indoors now, I've switched to coated SWC 200 gr. bullets. I did it primarily because of the reduced smoke. A buddy and I have been meeting and shooting on average, once a week. I admit that since using the coated bullets in my 1911, I haven't really been as diligent about using a bore brush in my bore, as I used to when shooting "naked" lead bullets. Very recently we both experienced a similar malfunction in our 1911 pistols (not accurized). We were getting jams when the bullets wouldn't chamber. When cleaning my Springfield Armory Trophy Match 1911, I noticed a tiny build up in the chamber. I cleaned the chamber  thoroughly with a brass brush. After that cleaning, the pistol functioned without any trouble. My buddy said that he had a round that wouldn't chamber. I took it home and put it in a EGW chamber checker and it plunked right in! I'm thinking that he may have a similar build up in his chamber that isn't easily seen. We don't have access to a bore scope. My question is, Has anyone had a similar malfunction with coated bullets that caused chambering troubles?
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Post by RodJ 6/10/2023, 3:02 pm

So far a few thousand hitek coated bullets through an kart and no problems.  One thing I like is the barrel shows no leading whatsoever, but I’ve not really inspected the chamber closely. What’s your load?

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Post by Allgoodhits 6/10/2023, 4:55 pm

I have loaded and fired many thousands of Bayou and Brazos Hitek coated bullets in .45 acp, .38 spl, 9mm and .38 Super. They are among the cleanest burning/shooting bullets I have ever used, including jacketed. My load experience is target loads using WST, WSF, Clays, VV N310 and VV N320. A friend uses W244 in his .38 spl loads and they are incredibly clean and accurate too.
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Post by BE Mike 6/11/2023, 6:15 am

RodJ wrote:So far a few thousand hitek coated bullets through an kart and no problems.  One thing I like is the barrel shows no leading whatsoever, but I’ve not really inspected the chamber closely. What’s your load?
I'm using 4.6 grains of Alliant Bullseye (too hot for bullseye pistol matches). As you say, the barrel shows no leading and that has made me less likely to scrub the barrel with a brass brush. I admit that I may be way off in my thinking that the problem is the coating. It is the only common factor I notice with my buddy's pistol and mine. I've shot the same load using Star 185 gr. SWCHP bullets and didn't get any noticeable leading in this same barrel or chamber. I've used Precision, Acme and SNS coated bullets.
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Post by troystaten 6/11/2023, 12:33 pm

All I use for the 45 are Bayou and Brazo's Hi-tek coated bullets and have not had any issues. Most of the filth in the gun is from using Bullseye powder.

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Post by RodJ 6/12/2023, 1:49 pm

Smarter people might have better ideas, but I’m wonder if the reloads are off the same press and set up.  I cleaned my barrel last night and nothing stood out. Hundreds of Summers hitek 175’s and Brazos 200 and 180 hiteks through it.  Carbon but not a lot.  I’ve been using 4.0 gr WST.  

Mysterious that two of you are having the same problem, hence my question as to whether there are other commonalities. I have terrible feeding issues and jams if my shoulder is more than ~0.925-ish from the case head.

F you still have some “nekked” bullets, curious if they start doing it as well.

Good luck!

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Post by troystaten 6/12/2023, 6:26 pm

I do know that the chamber of my bullseye pistol was reamed a bit long, not sure how much because I did not commission the work. The barrel of mine is a Kart Barrel and was originally installed by Dave Sayler.  I seat my bullets so just a fingernail length of the bearing surface of the bullet is past the case.

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Post by RodJ 6/13/2023, 7:05 am

My RO has a Kart barrel, as well, and also installed by Dave Salyer. It does not tolerate any excess cartridge length. My reloads would function for a while. The loads always fast functioned flawlessly in an unmodified Colt GC and a Phillipine 1911 GI.

However, once the RO Kart got some carbon buildup, the coefficient of jam-sity (“K sub j”, for anyone who took chemistry) increased from less than 1 out of 50, to 1 out of 10. I even sent it back to Dave and he worked the chamber some. When it continued he said it must be my loads are too long. Low and behold, voila!

Without cleaning your barrel, load up some with the shoulder at .920 or less and see if that helps.

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Post by BE Mike 6/13/2023, 7:24 am

To clarify; the tiny build-up in the chamber was about half way down the chamber. It wasn't one of those cases where the slide wouldn't go home, just barely. After a real good scrubbing of the chamber, the problem hasn't arisen. However, I've only shot about a hundred rounds through the cleaned barrel. The problem might not be the coated bullets (although the commonality between the two guns), but some little piece of lead or something else that somehow got "welded" in the chamber.
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Post by LenV 6/13/2023, 8:33 am

That is a very fat finger. I'm sure looking at the picture that is too long..45 ACP Coated Bullets 20181014
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Post by RodJ 6/13/2023, 2:58 pm

Agree. Too long. They look like my original loads. About 1/4th of what you are showing there is where you need to be.  Better yet measure base to shoulder and keep at .920 or less. That measurement won’t change regardless of the brass length.

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 6/13/2023, 6:24 pm

BE Mike wrote:To clarify; the tiny build-up in the chamber was about half way down the chamber. It wasn't one of those cases where the slide wouldn't go home, just barely. After a real good scrubbing of the chamber, the problem hasn't arisen. However, I've only shot about a hundred rounds through the cleaned barrel. The problem might not be the coated bullets (although the commonality between the two guns), but some little piece of lead or something else that somehow got "welded" in the chamber.
.45 ACP Coated Bullets MyRN07Z
I have noticed the same thing in my new KKM barrel. 
With light loads that wouldn't chamber do to longer length loads with Zero 185gr LSWHP bullets and H&G 68 style bullets. I did increase the powder charge slightly and the feeding problems went away but the leading was still there. After seating the bullets deeper the feeding and leading problems stopped with the lighter loads. The lead was always mid chamber in the top of the chamber where the bullet nose would contact the chamber when feeding.
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Post by BE Mike 6/14/2023, 7:36 am

LenV wrote:That is a very fat finger. I'm sure looking at the picture that is too long..45 ACP Coated Bullets 20181014
Thanks. These are being shot out of a standard Springfield Armory Match Target, not an accurized pistol where the barrel and ramp have been modified to accept empty cases. They have always fed until the build up in the chamber and when scrubbed clean they started feeding fine. That being said, I'll load up a box with a shorter COAL and see what happens.
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Post by DA/SA 6/14/2023, 8:11 am

Those are definitely shorter.

COAL means nothing with LSWC's.

Measure the two from the bullet shoulder to the case head and you will see the difference.
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Post by BE Mike 6/14/2023, 9:03 am

DA/SA wrote:Those are definitely shorter.

COAL means nothing with LSWC's.

Measure the two from the bullet shoulder to the case head and you will see the difference.
Agreed. I was just mentioning the COAL since seating with less shoulder exposed, necessarily results in a reduced COAL.
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Post by RodJ 6/14/2023, 11:03 am

You don’t have a stock RO. You said that you have an aftermarket Kart bbl by Dave Salyer, no?  My RO was fine with longer case head to shoulder length with the original SA NM barrel and in my unmodified gold cup. But the Kart barrel needs the .920 dimension.  COAL is not the measurement.  Look at the shoulder and measure that distance.  Straight from the horse’s mouth (Salyer) to my ear that my cartridges need to be at .920 or less. And i told him there were no issues into other gun(s). Then I listened and never a single issue since. Your call but at least three people including one with the same set up have said the same thing. If that doesn’t work, okay. But it’s the obvious potential problem.

Reason for strike through edit: I was a jerk, partly because i misread the information - my fault. But still, not the person I hope to be. Leaving the text readable as a personal scar to remind myself, don’t be that guy.


Last edited by RodJ on 6/16/2023, 7:18 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by BE Mike 6/14/2023, 1:23 pm

RodJ wrote:You don’t have a stock RO. You said that you have an aftermarket Kart bbl by Dave Salyer, no?  My RO was fine with longer case head to shoulder length with the original SA NM barrel and in my unmodified gold cup. But the Kart barrel needs the .920 dimension.  COAL is not the measurement.  Look at the shoulder and measure that distance.  Straight from the horse’s mouth (Salyer) to my ear that my cartridges need to be at .920 or less. And i told him there were no issues into other gun(s). Then I listened and never a single issue since. Your call but at least three people including one with the same set up have said the same thing. If that doesn’t work, okay. But it’s the obvious potential problem.
If you are referring to me, my pistol is a Springfield Armory Match Target with stock barrel. I loaded up some rounds today that are seated much deeper. We'll see how they function tomorrow.
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Post by RodJ 6/14/2023, 3:51 pm

I’m very sorry, Mike, it was another person who posted a Kart barrel. And my apologies for my tone. That was off base. Since I last posted, I wondered if there’s some weird difference in lubricity that adds to other minor factors.

Good luck with the shorter loads. Hope that’s it.

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Post by Texasref 6/15/2023, 4:21 am

troystaten wrote:All I use for the 45 are Bayou and Brazo's Hi-tek coated bullets and have not had any issues. Most of the filth in the gun is from using Bullseye powder.

Shot coated bullets for years, 45 and 9.
I can honestly say I don't find the need to clean the bore. The outside of the barrel gets sprayed down and wiped off. Whatever gets inside the barrel gets inside.
I'll bet if you shoot 200 rounds and run a dry patch though the bore, it won't be cruddy at all.

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Post by BE Mike 6/16/2023, 5:48 am

Thanks to all for the tips. I reloaded a box of .45 ACP with the coated 200 gr. SWC bullets. I seated them deep, as recommended. Looks like that did the trick. I had no problems with any of the 50. The Springfield Armory Trophy Match and eight mags all worked as they should.
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Post by RodJ 6/16/2023, 7:32 am

I’m super glad to hear this. May your gun eat short cartridges like my father ate M&Ms! (Old Gaelic blessing)

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Post by BE Mike 6/16/2023, 2:23 pm

I do have to admit that these old dim eyes never realized just how far out I was seating the shoulder of my reloads until I saw the photo that I posted.
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Post by troystaten 6/16/2023, 6:25 pm

It's amazing how much you can see when you enlarge a photo 10 times life size Smile  Glad the solution worked.

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Post by Amanda4461 6/28/2023, 7:51 pm

I noticed the reference to a Chamber Checker. I noticed that many of my coated lead swc handloads would pass the chamber checker, but would fail a Plunk Test using the cleaned barrel from my Gold Cups. Didn’t matter if it was the .45 or the 9mm. I use SNS Coated 147 grain flat points for steel challenge. Otherwise, Oregon Trail or Berry’s uncoated swc in various weights. 
I am starting to believe that some of my coated bullets are experiencing dimensional difficulties, so will pay more attention going forward. 
I rarely have a Nosler or HAP JHP fail the plunk test. Seems like my chambers are tighter than my chamber checker🤔
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Post by Texasref 7/8/2023, 6:59 am

I'm going to be in the minority I'm sure but...

I size all my coated bullets whether 45's for BE or 9mm (Which I don't shoot. Wife's pistol).
For my 45 they are sized to .451". 
Secondly grab a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Not expensive and solves a lot of issues.

The above may help, It did for me.

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