.45 ACP Headspacing problems

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by voicesinmyhead182, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. voicesinmyhead182

    voicesinmyhead182 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    I recently starting reloading .45 ACP rounds and haven't been able to get them to headspace properly with my .45, I've tried to crimp them but even when the round is obviously over-crimped they still sit slightly above the rim of the barrel. I've been using once-fired federal brass and Berry's 200gr Hollow Point bullets. Any tips as to what I'm doing wrong?
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,291
    Location:
    Las Vegas NV
    So you fill a mag, insert and release the slide and your slide does not close completely? A 45acp case does sit above the chamber slightly when properly headspaced. If they are not headspacing correctly as you say the casings are excessive in length, something I've never witnessed with 45.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  3. voicesinmyhead182

    voicesinmyhead182 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    No, I've removed my barrel and have been doing a plunk test comparing them to some factory .45 rounds, the factory rounds sit slightly below the rim and the reloads sit slightly above the rim. I also measured my cases at about a .890 just slightly below the maximum case length listed in my manual.
  4. X Ring

    X Ring Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Ohio
    What type and weight bullet are you using? And is the OAL correct for the bullet?
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,928
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    voicesinmyhead182:

    Exactly which crimp are you using? A roll crimp is wrong... It should be a taper crimp. Even a taper crimp over done will expand the mouth of the case so that it will not fit in the chamber. The crimping is done by pushing the case wall in and down. Get too much crimp and the case may bulge somewhere in its length.

    Are you perhaps using a non-45ACP bullet? Are you seating it to the correct overall length.If seated wrong the nose of the bullet will run into the rifling in the barrel before the case is fully seated. There are case gages available (try Dillon Precision) that allow you to check all the dimension by inserting the cartridge into them. While the barrel will work it may leave some indecision in the results whereas the cartridge case gage will not.

    The reloading manuals have the critical dimensions (diameters and lengths) that the cartridge must have after reloading to be correct. Get some calipers and compare the sizes you have with the specs. That should lead you to what the problem is.

    LDBennett
  6. carver

    carver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    18,030
    Location:
    DAV, Deep in the Pineywoods of East Texas, just we
    I have 2 questions.

    1. Do you have at least one good reloading manual?

    2. Have you read it?
  7. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,759
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I think you are looking in the wrong direction.

    If the brass is within specs then it is NOT the brass.

    Your OAL is to long, meaning your bullet is not seated deep enough.

    Seat it deeper until it fits in YOUR firearm correctly.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    USA
    Some 45 acp's need a .451" bullet to fit the chamber correctly. The fix is, seat the bullet deeper/shorter COL.
  9. voicesinmyhead182

    voicesinmyhead182 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    I think this might be my problem, I've been using the die included with my RCBS set, which I assumed was a taper crimp because it was for a .45, but I recently heard these are actually for roll crimps. I'm going to try to ordering a new crimping die and see if that solves the problem.
  10. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,759
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Before you go get a new die, you might want to check your OAL. Even if you are crimping with a Roll crimp you should NOT have the round sitting proud in the barrel. In fact a roll crimp would most likely cause just he opposite as the case mouth would not make contact with the chamber.

    What bullet are you loading and what is your OAL?
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,928
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    voicesinmyhead182:

    If the dies with the RCBS die set are marked 45ACP (not just 45) they have a taper crimp die as part of the set if they are newer than 30 or 40 years old (I have no info on what crimp was in die sets of old only that for the last 25 years 45ACP dies include only a taper crimp system).

    if the dies are for 45ACP then you have another problem. What bullets are you using (are they specifically for 45ACP?) and what is the cartridge overall length (is it within the manual specs)? Are the diameters of the loaded case correct per the manual specs?

    It probably is not a good idea to just order another crimp die without knowing what the problem really is. If you insist on buying another crimp die then let it be the LEE Factory Crimp Die as it resizes the cartridge after the crimp is done and might just fix any mistakes you are making during the rest of the reloading cycle. But that really just masks the problem.

    LDBennett
  12. voicesinmyhead182

    voicesinmyhead182 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    I'm using Berry's 200gr Hollow Point bullets, and my OAL is 1.198, my manual suggests a 1.20 OAL and the factory rounds I've been comparing to are 1.258
  13. PanhandlePop

    PanhandlePop Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    286
    I suspect Steve4102 is onto your problem. First, work with dummy rounds and shorten the OAL until you get a good "plunk." It can take very, very little adjustment to make a world of difference. Once you get a good fit, work your loads up from the start load (or a little below if you are shorter than specified in your manual).

    Good Luck.
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,928
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    voicesinmyhead182

    If all the diameters are right then it is the bullet bumping into the rifling in the barrel. That means you need to more deeply seat the bullets. I see the Berrys Bullet is truncated rather than round nosed. That could make the bullet bottom into the rifling before the case hit the headspacing ledge in the chamber.

    My Lyman manual has a listing for 200 gr Jacketed HP with an OAL of 1.178 inches.

    The shape of the bullet makes a big difference. As a test take a fired case (not sized). Stick the chosen bullet in it with a piece of paper to tighten the fit up a bit but still allow the bullet to slide into the case if pushed. Manually seat the bullet extra long and insert it into the barrel's chamber. Push it all the way in. Now remove it and measure the cartridge OAL. That will be the maximum and you should NEVER exceed that with those bullets and in fact use a OAL at least 10 to 20 thousandths shorter. But use the starting load for powder and work the load up as the deeper seated bullet (if significantly deeper seated) will raise the pressures.

    You have yet to tell us all the diameters are less than the manual's spec. It still could be that you over crimped and bulged the cases.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  15. voicesinmyhead182

    voicesinmyhead182 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for the help, I got them to sit properly around a length of 1.175-1.180, I just wasn't sure how safe it would be to go below the OAL listed in my manual for that bullet.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Headspacing, Belt or neck? Jun 15, 2010
The Ammo & Reloading Forum headspacing gage on my .308 Sep 10, 2007
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 30 Carbine extraction problems Oct 6, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum .45 ACP problems Aug 20, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Help Reloading 308 ammo!!!! Die Problems!! Jul 16, 2014

Share This Page