.45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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One of the things that I ended up getting from an apparently recently deceased reloader was a bunch of 200gr cast bullets. Looks like he had all this stuff since the 1970's. These 200-grain, 0.452" cast bullets are some bastardized sort of semi-wadcutter. Not the ol' reloader's fault, but the design of the bullet does look a bit odd to me.

Anyway, I figured, let's load up a few and see how they feed. Now, with standard ball round-nose bullets (230gr, in my case), I load to 1.270", as measured by my dial caliper. This works very well in every .45 ACP firearm in which I've tried them. The 200gr LRNFP's are shorter, and they feed well, also.

However, these "LSWC's" have to be seated pretty deeply in the case to feed. If you don't, they don't let the gun go fully into battery. I initially thought I needed a longer OAL, because the first 7 that I loaded up, needed a little bit of help to chamber. Basically, I had to nudge the slide forward with mild pressure, then they'd chamber. So, I seated them further out. Worse results; they bound up harder, sometimes seriously cockeyed. So, since that didn't work, let's go the opposite way and seat them deeper, to where the case mouth is maybe half a millimeter before the "LSWC" "ogive" begins.

BINGO. They feed nicely now.

I've already put the Liquid Alox on them and am letting them dry. We'll have pretty good weather, especially for wintertime, so they should be done drying by tomorrow evening after work. This will tide me over until I can get to casting some more 200gr LRNFP's, 'cause I ran out. That new Lee Pro 6000 setup goes through components *fast*! :-)
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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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Not really, no. More like getting jammed up due to the feed ramp. Not sure why a revolver would have trouble chambering anything unless the bullets were sticking out too far to allow the cylinder to close. I can see that happening.

And yep, Glocks will chamber just about anything. So, apparently, will the Ruger SR-series of Glock clones.
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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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I had the exact same problem with my .45 ACP LSWC hand-loads. I completely locked up the action of my 1911 with (thankfully) a dummy test round, and had to beat the gun back out of battery with a dowel rod down the muzzle.


I’m using up all those bullets in my .45 colt instead. Super finicky about COL - as you said exact. I’m sticking with LRN from now on.

I generally have more issues with rimless handloads than rimmed revolver designs. For some reason, 9mm doesn’t give me as much guff as .45 ACP and .32 ACP. Who knows?


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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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When I re-barreled this thing I got an unfinished one and needed to finish cut the chamber and set the throat leade. As it is for jacket bullets it is throated differently than for lead. My Gold Cup has a standard factory barrel and as such did neither well, so it was re-throated for lead. Feeds and shoots them much better.

A little longer throat in the auto barrel also helps with leading.

In Jerry Kuhnhausen’s Colt .45 Automatic, Shop Manual, he shows several magazine feed lip styles which change the release timing and can affect the chambering on 1911 type guns. There are a bunch of things which affect feeding, chambering extract and eject, as I learned messing with that little gun. Several decades in, still a work in progress.
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The Ruger cylinder is of smooth forward the chamber, but does have a somewhat tight throat and most lead SWC won't easily chamber at the manual suggested OAL. This is Speer 200 g. LSWC, and their manual puts it at 1.190”. At that length the cylinder will not rotate so I have to set them at 1.175 to 1.180.
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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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In papajim2jordan's second photo, we see three rounds, a LRN, followed by two LSWC's. The leftmost LSWC is exactly how I have to see my "LSWC" bullets as well in order to feed reliably. If they're out more like the rightmost LSWC, then they need a little help chambering fully.

Hmm...didn't know that about the Ruger .45 ACP cylinders. That's good info to know. I'd expect a hybrid .45 Colt/ACP cylinder to feed any .45 ACP round, though. My Security-Six will take anything, from full wadcutters to Keith-type bullets that stick pretty far out there. It'll also take rounds with bullets of up to 0.3605", as measured by a micrometer. The chambers are a bit generous in this Ruger compared to, say, a S&W or Taurus K-frame. I was a little surprised myself that that revelation. Fortunately, the barrel seems to be tight enough, because the revolver shoots with quite good precision.
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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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When demonstrating that an idea or concept or set of instructions is understood, we often repeat in our own word what we were told. When my wife tells me something of importance and I reiterate, the next words out of her mouth are usually, “that’s not even close to what I just said!”.


I may be misunderstanding, so a have grain of salt (or four) at the ready. The cylinders themselves are cartridge specific, and each convertible revolver comes with two. Kind of like swapping upper receivers, Victorian style.

The empty cylinder pics hopefully show the forward part of the ACP chamber where the case mouth headspaces. Left Colt, right, ACP.

Of the four, the two right cylinders are ACP and the left are .45 Colt. The front two cyls. loaded with ACP, rear, , the Colt.
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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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OK, so you do have separate cylinders for each chambering. In that case, what you're demonstrating makes sense. My guess is that Ruger does this so that you can get the spent cartridges out more easily without moon clips. Of course, moon clips make it easier.

It also explains why you might be having a little bit of an issue with the LSWC's. It's possible, but somewhat surprising, that this would be the case. Perhaps the slightest bit of honing out of the leade--just an eensy bit--would fix that.
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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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In the .45 ACP cylinders, the go-gauge is a tight but smooth drag all the way around in each chamber. Well used brass seems to have the most issue with chambering LSWC, not sure if that is due to that cartridge case shrinking with use and having more exposed lead at a given OAL than with new or what.


It has been suggested to me that much of the issues I have with .45 are due to loading them on my somewhat modified GM, but that’s half the fun.

Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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CowboyT wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 7:13 am OK, so you do have separate cylinders for each chambering. In that case, what you're demonstrating makes sense. My guess is that Ruger does this so that you can get the spent cartridges out more easily without moon clips. Of course, moon clips make it easier.
Pretty sure this is an SA revolver. So one casing ejected at a time. Moon clips wouldn't work.

Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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wooglin wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 8:51 am
CowboyT wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 7:13 am OK, so you do have separate cylinders for each chambering. In that case, what you're demonstrating makes sense. My guess is that Ruger does this so that you can get the spent cartridges out more easily without moon clips. Of course, moon clips make it easier.
Pretty sure this is an SA revolver. So one casing ejected at a time. Moon clips wouldn't work.
Oh, you're right. Oops. Forgot for a moment this was a Blackhawk.
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Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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Had asked a local dealer about them, wasn't sure if I wanted teh 4-5/8 or the 5 1/2 barrel. He called some weeks later and said I could come and look at what he had. Got there and he had both, asked which I would like? Well... A three day wait in the town where I lived and bought them. The day I picked them up was the day of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Found the reciepts and was shocked to see how much the price has risen.

https://www.lipseys.com/itemfinder?mfg= ... e=Revolver

Re: .45 ACP feeding - Over All Length (OAL) matters, especially with non round-nose ("standard ball") bullets!

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OK, just tried these LSWC loads in the Ruger SR-45 after work today. They fed beautifully. So, these are going to get shot in that particular pistol. This ought to be fun. Note that OAL needs to be pretty short.

I suspect, though have not yet confirmed, that they should do equally well in the Glock 21.
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