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"Failure to load" issue.

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Aprilian
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Post by mikemyers 4/19/2018, 3:01 pm

I had two choices for today, clean my guns, then go to the range, or go to the range first and then clean.  It's a beautiful day, so I headed to the range, knowing I need to clean as soon as I got back (which is now delayed, as I'm typing in this report).

For 40 shots, my Salyer mostly worked fine, but twice it had a "failure to load".  The slide didn't close all the way, as a bullet hadn't loaded properly.  Last time this happened, it meant cleaning, which eliminated the problem.  Today I was trying to shoot at 50 yards (first time ever), so I finished up, and decided to shoot both the Salyer and my M-52 10 rounds each, at 25 yards.  

Salyer first.  After two or three rounds, I had the same loading problem - I released the slide lock, but the gun didn't go all the way into battery.  The round didn't go all the way "in".   So, I removed the magazine, cycled the slide, the bullet came out, and tried again.  Put magazine back in gun, released the slide again, and had the same problem except this time when I cycled the slide the bullet didn't come out.

So, the magazine came out again, and I tried to insert one of those plastic tie straps that we use to demonstrate that the gun is not ready to fire.  It only went maybe half an inch into the barrel.  I tried the same thing from the front end of the barrel, same problem.  I put a brass "Range Rod" it in from the front, and the (live) round easily came out.  The bullet didn't show any funny marks on it, no dents, nothing seemed "wrong".

I was about to pack up and go home, but after thinking it over, I couldn't see anything wrong or damaged.  I loaded and fired two test rounds, one at a time, and they fired normally.  So I fired the rest of my ten rounds, including the round that caused the original problem.  

I didn't want to go home on this as my last experience for the day.  The target was very good (for me), so I shot ten rounds into another bull using my M-52, and did the best I've ever done with that gun.  So, end result, I went home on a very positive note.

For the future, any time I have a loading issue, even if I know there is no problem, I will check the barrel for obstructions.  Better to waste 15 seconds needlessly, than to risk having a major "oops" moment.  I've got the forums to thank for this, and so many other ideas.  I read a lot, and maybe post more than I should, but I learn SO much that isn't so readily available in books, magazines, and videos.
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Post by Tim:H11 4/19/2018, 3:37 pm

Every once in a while I’d have a round not want to go completely into battery. Cleaning the gun helped to some degree. 

Recently I purchased some bullets (200 grain LSWC). I had been casting and tumble lubing my own but found little time to keep up with my own demand. There is a slight dimension change in the design between the bullet I cast and the ones I bought. The ones I bought cycle smoother. I can feel it as I fire the gun. A noticeable difference. Also the bullets I bought came pre sized and lubed. They are less dirty I think than my own tumble lubed bullets. 

So far I haven’t had any malfunctions with the new bullets. I’m not sure if the bullets were in fact my problem but it makes me wonder. And there is the fact that the purchased bullets do cycle smoother. So maybe - you might try a different brand of bullet? What are you using currently?
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Post by james r chapman 4/19/2018, 3:54 pm

When I rebarreled one of my 1911's I kept the old barrel as my cartridge checker. Every round gets dropped into that barrel.

I wonder if you didn't have one that just didn't fit....
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Post by mikemyers 4/19/2018, 3:57 pm

You've got me thinking - the 1911 ammo I've been shooting is purchased from someone at our club who does reloading for lots of people.  It's old brass, loaded over and over.  Maybe for whatever reason, it isn't working as well as it can in my gun?

I need to switch my RCBS Pro 2000 press from 38 to 45.  I already have a box of 500 Magnus #801 bullets, 45, 185 grain, BNWC .452" Diameter.  Terry from Magnus suggested 3.8 to 4 gr Bullseye, and a 1.130" OAL.

I know the gun needs cleaning, but I used to wonder about the bullets - If I take all the time in the world, I think I can do better.  (I know it's a progressive press, but I've been doing one round at a time, until I'm up to speed on it.)

Thanks - I hadn't considered that!
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Post by mikemyers 4/19/2018, 4:03 pm

james r chapman wrote:When I rebarreled one of my 1911's I kept the old barrel as my cartridge checker. Every round gets dropped into that barrel.

I wonder if you didn't have one that just didn't fit....
I do have a Lyman 45 ACP CG L15 Case Gage.  Hard to read the markings, but I think I got that right.
I wasn't smart enough to even consider using it on reloaded ammo I bought.  

Added later - Jim, unless it's because they've been fired, hardly any of the used brass from this morning goes through the case gage without effort.  Thanks!!

"Failure to load" issue. LY7832331
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Post by gregbenner 4/19/2018, 7:14 pm

Over the years, I have occasionally had issues similar to what you describe. I reload, range brass, and usually the problem is my reloads. 
Case gauge can help, but probably depends on the tightness of the chamber on the gun?

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Post by mikemyers 4/19/2018, 7:28 pm

I'm not sure how I would measure that.

I am sure that from now on, I'll shoot only my own reloads, which may have been re-used twice at most.  I still have lots of Winchester White Box ammo - once that's used, I'll have a lot more brass.

Maybe I need to use a color marker to indicate which brass I'm picking up came from my gun.
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Post by davekp 4/20/2018, 6:48 am

Range brass that has been fired in a Glock can be problematic.

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Post by dronning 4/20/2018, 8:54 am

davekp wrote:Range brass that has been fired in a Glock can be problematic.
+1, I mark the brass I want to keep, all other unmarked practice brass if it misses the net it stays where it lands.  I don't pick up range brass anymore.

I use to check all my loaded ammo with a case gauge until I started using a Lee Factory crimp die. 
- Dave
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Post by CR10X 4/20/2018, 3:18 pm

If the bullet remained in the barrel, you probably need a lot more crimp or a lot more powder (if the primer went off)!  Bullet generally just gets started in barrel when just the primer goes off and there is no / very little powder. 

If the cartridge remained in the barrel, you probably need a little more crimp, the round was slightly deformed (usually a dent on the case mouth, etc.).  Or slightly more powder. , different magazine, recoil spring, inspect extractor, etc. etc.  The list goes on an on. The round did not engage the extractor completely upon loading and therefore was not held to be ejected when the slide was racked back.  Or was bumped out of engagement when removing the magazine, manipulating the gun, etc. while attempting to clear the jam. 

CR

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Post by mikemyers 4/20/2018, 6:27 pm

The entire, un-fired bullet, was stuck inside the barrel.  I removed it with the Range Rod, and at the end of the day I fired it - no issues.  

Thinking back on it, the only way that could have happened, is if the first bullet didn't load, I removed the magazine, and let's say my memory is faulty, and the bullet was actually pushed into the barrel.  Then the next bullet had the same issue, and didn't load.  So I removed the "next" bullet, but the first one was still in the barrel.  

Each time I had a problem, when I cycled the slide, I then reached over and put the bullet that didn't load onto my workbench.  On this last time, instead of dropping out from the gun when I cycled the slide, maybe it somehow got into the bore?  None of this sounds plausible to me.


The gun is now cleaned, so the loading issue will no longer exist.  It was very dirty, and the ramp looked black, but for the middle where something must have "scraped" against it?  My prevention of problems in the future solution is to clean the gun much more often.
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Post by james r chapman 4/20/2018, 6:53 pm

Mike, for clarity, the bullet is just the projectile. is it lodged in the barrel?
The cartridge contains the bullet, is the cartridge lodged in the chamber of the barrel.
it's confusing when you say the bullet was stuck in the barrel, then state and the end of the day you fired it...
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Post by spursnguns 4/23/2018, 10:02 am

james r chapman wrote:Mike, for clarity, the bullet is just the projectile. is it lodged in the barrel?
The cartridge contains the bullet, is the cartridge lodged in the chamber of the barrel.
it's confusing when you say the bullet was stuck in the barrel, then state and the end of the day you fired it...

Hello,

+1

Everyone has their pet peeves.  For me....

   A bullet is not a cartridge.
   A clip is not a magazine.

Jim
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Post by mikemyers 4/23/2018, 6:24 pm

Follow-up question.  In my case, the entire bullet somehow got pushed far enough into the barrel that I couldn't see it from behind.  I was able to push it out from the front end with a range rod, and eventually shot it with no problem.

I was looking at the following image.  For that to happen, the entire bullet, case and all, had to be pushed fully into the barrel.  Does this mean that the case of the bullet might have been undersize?

"Failure to load" issue. 300px-Headspace
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Post by CR10X 4/23/2018, 7:15 pm

Doesn't sound like there was any problem with the bullet.  

It sounds like the cartridge was just fully inserted into the chamber of the barrel.  The entire bullet was apparently still seated in the cartridge case and therefore came out when the cartridge was removed.  So therefore the bullet was not "undersize", at least to the extent that that the cartridge crimp was still able to secure the bullet in the cartridge case. 

Which is why you have to look carefully to ensure a cartridge does not remain in the chamber / barrel, even after racking the slide. And why  you have to use a rod to ensure a bullet is not lodged in the barrel when there is a misfire, squib load, or even ejected case with very little recoil.  Basically any time there is an alibi, I ask people to check the chamber and the barrel.  

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Post by mikemyers 4/23/2018, 7:43 pm

Thank you - in my next life, I will get the terminology down correctly.

Yes, bullet and cartridge were both in the barrel bore, still assembled.  I meant to ask if the cartridge was undersize, as if it wasn't, not sure how it got pushed into the bore.  It came out with a very light tap on the Range Rod - didn't take much effort, nothing like what I was expecting.

The last thing you said, about checking after an alibi - I will burn that into my memory.  Hadn't thought about it before.  If I am not aware of a cartridge being ejected as I fire, I would stop and check.  I think I would be aware that something was wrong.

Should anything remotely like this ever happen again, I'll know to check the bore before doing anything else.      Scary - had I not stopped when I did, and had I tried to fire another round, not only would it hit the round already in the bore, but with that being another loaded round, whatever happened would not have been pretty, and I probably wouldn't be here typing this.......


Would "round" be the appropriate term for the assembly, bullet and cartridge?
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Post by CR10X 4/23/2018, 8:53 pm

If a cartridge is fired, then generally the bullet is propelled from the barrel and the case is ejected (under normal circumstances). 

If the bullet is not propelled from the barrel and remains in the barrel, this is a "squib" or "misfire" and the bullet must be removed from the barrel before another cartridge is fired (unless you want to buy a  new barrel / gun).  In general with a squib, the bullet is far enough down the bore that another cartridge may be or may not be able to be chambered. (For example a cartridge without powder or very little powder can produce this condition.)  So just because a round chambers after an unusual event, is no reason not to stop and inspect the bore. 

If a cartridge is chambered and not fired, a complete cartridge will / should be ejected or removed when the slide is operated manually. However, sometimes if the cartridge is too long in overall length and the crimp is too light, the bullet can become stuck in the bore and only the cartridge case will be removed, leaving the bullet in the barrel.  Therefore it is important to also inspect the removed / ejected cartridge to ensure it is still a complete cartridge including the bullet.

In addition, when there are feed jams and the cartridge crimp is not sufficient (not tight enough)  the bullet can be driven deeper into the cartridge case.  This can produce an over pressure condition (like loading too much powder) so cartridges should also be inspected for overall length before attempting to chamber and fire again after a feed jam.  

Double feeds happen all the time.  Generally, nothing happens except a jam. 

Round is the shape I used to be, but is also generally used as a synonym for cartridge.  "Round(s)" is actually used in the range commands as given in the NRA Precision Pistol Rule Book.  (For example: "With five rounds, load.")  

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Post by mikemyers 4/23/2018, 9:44 pm

CR10X wrote:If a cartridge is fired, then generally the bullet is propelled from the barrel and the case is ejected (under normal circumstances). 

If the bullet is not propelled from the barrel and remains in the barrel, this is a "squib" or "misfire" and the bullet must be removed from the barrel before another cartridge is fired (unless you want to buy a  new barrel / gun).  In general with a squib, the bullet is far enough down the bore that another cartridge may be or may not be able to be chambered. (For example a cartridge without powder or very little powder can produce this condition.)  So just because a round chambers after an unusual event, is no reason not to stop and inspect the bore. 

If a cartridge is chambered and not fired, a complete cartridge will / should be ejected or removed when the slide is operated manually. However, sometimes if the cartridge is too long in overall length and the crimp is too light, the bullet can become stuck in the bore and only the cartridge case will be removed, leaving the bullet in the barrel.  Therefore it is important to also inspect the removed / ejected cartridge to ensure it is still a complete cartridge including the bullet.

In addition, when there are feed jams and the cartridge crimp is not sufficient (not tight enough)  the bullet can be driven deeper into the cartridge case.  This can produce an over pressure condition (like loading too much powder) so cartridges should also be inspected for overall length before attempting to chamber and fire again after a feed jam.  

Double feeds happen all the time.  Generally, nothing happens except a jam. 

Round is the shape I used to be, but is also generally used as a synonym for cartridge.  "Round(s)" is actually used in the range commands as given in the NRA Precision Pistol Rule Book.  (For example: "With five rounds, load.")  

CR

Translated into my brain waves:


  1. Unusual event = always check the bore
  2. Inspect ejected cartridge, and make sure bullet is still there, AND that the length isn't shorter



The first one I think I would usually do - will change that to always.
I didn't consider the bullet being driven deeper into the cartridge case.  

Thank you for taking the time to explain all this.  I'm sure I am not the only one benefitting from reading it.  

(...and back to verbiage, if the bullet is the part that flies from the gun, and the brass cartridge stays behind, what is the correct name for a bullet while being mounted in the brass cartridge?  Until now, I used to refer to it as a "bullet".  But from your shooting grammar course, I can see that there must be some better term.....)
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Post by javaduke 4/23/2018, 10:49 pm

It may be just a wild guess, but I think there might be some issue with your extractor. Let's see if I got this right - you cycle the gun, it chambers the live cartridge but doesn't go all the way into the battery. That means the extractor hook does not catch the cartridge rim. Then you drop the mag and lock back the slide - but the live run remains in the chamber. Of course it would do it because the extractor didn't catch the cartridge so it didn't pull it back and out of the barrel when you pulled the slide back. 
If my theory is right, there are several reasons why it could happen. One possible reason is that there's a lot of dirt in the extractor hook. My gun sometimes does it when I don't clean it for a long time. Another reason might be that the extractor is not properly tensioned in the gun. In this case perhaps you should show it to a qualified 1911 bullseye gunsmith, although it is fairly simple DIY job if you know what you are doing Smile
Just my 2c, and I could be completely wrong, like I said, it's just a wild guess.

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Post by javaduke 4/23/2018, 10:53 pm

As for the verbiage - a bullet is a projectile that leaves the barrel and makes a hole in your X ring. A brass case (not cartridge) is extracted and ejected into the brass catcher and can be reloaded to make a new cartridge (aka round) of ammunition.

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Post by mikemyers 4/23/2018, 10:56 pm

javaduke wrote:...... My gun sometimes does it when I don't clean it for a long time. .......
The gun definitely does not like getting dirty - the feed ramp looks awful.  When I clean it, it's back to being fine.   This is shooting someone else's reloaded ammo.  I will see what happens when I start making my own ammo.   That, and I ought to get in the habit of cleaning it every time I shoot it.
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Post by mikemyers 4/23/2018, 11:02 pm

javaduke wrote:As for the verbiage - a bullet is a projectile that leaves the barrel and makes a hole in your X ring. A brass case (not cartridge) is extracted and ejected into the brass catcher and can be reloaded to make a new cartridge (aka round) of ammunition.
Me bad.   For my whole life, I've called the finished rounds "bullets".  Correct name: "cartridges".  I guess I'm slow.  I just looked, and yes, that's what it says on the boxes.  OK, all sorted. 

"Failure to load" issue. 3064385617    ....from now on, I'll use the right words.
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Post by 285wannab 4/24/2018, 8:59 am

I am not understanding how it is possible to have a fully loaded round/cartridge get lodged in the barrel unless you mixed up your ammo.   Did a 9mm or another cal. get mixed in with the 45s?

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Post by Keyholed 4/24/2018, 1:30 pm

Couple things.

(1) The cartridge didn't make its way down the barrel. It simply stuck in the chamber. You didn't see it, because like a lot of people that shoot often enough, you didn't really look. Later on, you convinced yourself you did, but you didn't. It's called "complacency", and if I had a nickel for every ND it's caused, I'd be shooting a Cabot.

(2) The cartridges are likely sticking in the chamber because they're loaded just a smidge too long. If they're loaded way too long, they'd stick all the time, the slide would jam shut, and when you finally pried it open the extractor would pull the case off the stuck bullet. Instead, they're only sort've sticking, some of the time, when the gun gets dirty.

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Post by mikemyers 4/24/2018, 3:40 pm

Keyholed wrote:Couple things.

(1) The cartridge didn't make its way down the barrel. It simply stuck in the chamber. You didn't see it, because like a lot of people that shoot often enough, you didn't really look. Later on, you convinced yourself you did, but you didn't. It's called "complacency", and if I had a nickel for every ND it's caused, I'd be shooting a Cabot.
You are probably correct - sort of.  I didn't see it, but rather than do anything else, I reached for a tool to see if the barrel was clear.  It wasn't.  I checked from both rear and front.  

I didn't convince myself of anything.  Why would I?  The only thing I need to convince myself of, is whether it's safe to shoot, and it obviously wasn't.  

Until you wrote this, I did think at least some of it was in the barrel.  Yes, if it got stuck in the chamber, and the extracted didn't eject it, that makes more sense than what I've been thinking, so thanks!
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