Just made up a dummy round,Dillon is still set up from last run. I selected a case where the primer showed a large amount of swipe.
This was loaded with a .451 bullet. Taper crimp measures .470.
I pushed the nose on bench as hard as I could and no change in OAL. Even 5 raps with a small mallet didn’t change the OAL.
I am very particular in my loading when it comes to setting the measure. I never leave powder in the measure. Even if I know the measure was previously used for the desired charge I still recheck with the scale.
What is weird is that this all started this summer. I have had the gun for many years and used these loads for many hours ads of loads.
I'd change primer brands first thing. If the pressures are right and the
fit of the firing pin breech face hole is unchanged, it seems like soft brass
extruding when properly work hardened brass primer cup would support the
stress while spanning that unsupported annulus.
You might measure breech face hole diam and firing pin diam, but unless
something has changed, seems unlikely.
What powder and charge? I do not trust Clays in the .45 ACP, it is very spiky on pressure
and will not make major caliber with 230 gr bullets under SAAMI pressures. IME, TG
and BE are excellent, give good velocities and accy win .45 ACP without any signs
of pressure and brass literally lasts forever.
And please sort out half a dozen of the worst cases and see what the primer flash
hole diam is compared to normal.
The gun will function properly, without feedging a new round, with NO recoil spring.
The recoil spring is there to feed the new round, almost nothing to do with locking and unlocking
really. The FP stop lower corner shape has far more influence on that than the spring
weight. Actually, I wonder if too strong a FP spring may allow it to retract more quickly
and not provide the central inertial support long enough to keep the primer cup stable
during peak pressure pulse?
If you have an old, original stock FP spring, I'd try that.
1911 hammers don't bounce and there's enough inertia/force between the hammer strut/spring/hammer/firing pin to keep the pin protruding from the breech face until the slide moves back enough (firing pin stop radius interacting with the base of the hammer face) to push the hammer out of the way. It takes a little more than 1/16" of rearward slide movement before the firing pin is able to retract flush with the breech face. In that same amount of movement, the barrel feet begin to slide off of the slide stop pin and the rear of the barrel begins to tilt downward.
Now, notice two things with Brad's cartridge: The firing pin indent is low, and the extruded part of the primer is centered. If the firing pin is a decent fit in the bore and the tip isn't bent, this means the two events took place separately, or the extrusion happened as the slide began to move. At about the point that my barrels drop the distance of half a firing pin dent, the firing pin is still very much protruding and in fact will leave a little comma swipe coming out of the firing pin indention (probably because the barrel foot slope is too steep on the after market barrels, or the radius is too large on the firing pin stop and the slide isn't pushing the hammer back soon enough). So the firing pin, in proper effect, supports the very center of the primer cup at peak pressure and keeps cup material from flowing back into the firing pin hole.
If cup material is flowing, either the pressure is too high, or the firing pin is pulling out too quickly, as in right after the primer charge goes off, or the cup material is weak. As Bill and I have both already said, the flash holes on lead-free Federal brass can be huge sometimes and over-pressure the primer cup, but you should have seen that before with this load. Did you recently add a box of range-pickup Federal with extra-large flash holes to your rotation?
The barrel feet and firing pin stop have likely remained constant for some time, so that wouldn't explain only 25% of the primers extruding.
The load, presumably, has remained constant. Red Dot doesn't meter for $^#% in my measures, I never worked with Promo so I don't know if you're getting bridging and occasional heavy charges or not. Red Dot is also very spikey like Clays, but should be fine for 200 SWCs. The primers were consistent before....but up to a point. If you use a Dillon, you use primer tubes, which means there could be a bad sleeve of primers in the mix and depending on how you picked them up int the tube or mixed sleeves and tubes, there could be any order of primers from a given 2-3 sleeves in there.
All things considered, I think the most likely scenario is a bad batch of primer cups or lead-free flash holes.
No, Ian, that is incorrect. The firing pin of a 1911 is much shorter than the distance from the
fully forward hammer face and the breech face. It is entirely held against the firing pin by
it's own inertia, for a few critical milliseconds. Too light a FP and too strong a FP spring
will shorten this dwell time, perhaps leaving the primer entirely unsupported over the span
of the breech face FP hole, rather than just the annulus between FP and FP hole at peak
pressure against the primer cup.
Pick up any 1911, lock the breech open an push the FP flush with a finger. Then get a
pencil or punch and see how far below flush it has to be to protrude from the breech
face. It is about 1/16th inch below flush when the pin starts protruding from the breech.
This is why it is called an inertial firing pin.
Yes, I believe the FP supports the primer for a few milliseconds, but only inertially, so
the dwell time is only influenced by FP mass and FP spring strength.
Ok, got out my set of small pin gauges and grabbed some cases.
Selected 5 with distinct primer swipe and 5 with none. Measured each to see the largest pin gauge that would enter the flash hole with primer removed.
Primer swipe cases measured
Non primer swipe cases measured
The .099 is enough larger to make some difference but why did the smaller flash hole cases still show primer swipe?
None of the fired cases seemed to show any case head expansion. All sized down with same effort.
A VERY knowledgable person posted once that he used 5 gr of BE with a 230 RN in cases with both a .120 and .080 flash hole and saw zero velocity difference. And by knowledgeable I mean a guy who worked as an engineer at Ruger for a while.
That will eventually cause misfires as the shards of brass build up in
the firing pin hole channel. I had a Keltec that did this with some
loads. Backed down the load, problem went away. Does it with some
Rem factory, too, not with anything else. All my other 9mms love the 'hotter'
load which is a less than max book load. Small primers, too.
I've ran 20k + of the same primer, never any real issues. Maybe 1-2 duds in 1k, always good consistent performers. Having said all that, it wouldnt hurt to try some others.
It looks like it's slam firing to me. Having played with x39 & berdan primers(seating depth sensitive) quite a bit, it reminds me of a couple things we experienced. To test that would be pretty simple. Size/prime a few cases, put one in the mag & let her slam one home with no bullet. If it didn't go off then try same test but this time squeeze the trigger before you let it slide home. After doing that a few times you should get a good feel if the firing pin is falling just before the slide locks home.
If that's happening what we might be seeing is a wild ejector Mark from the timing issue.
Slam fire? why would that make the primer extrude and then get sheared off?
In watching literally many millions of rounds being sent down range with 1911s of every stripe,
and launching easily the greater part of half a million myself from a number 1911s, if
all calibers are considered, never once saw anything that could be a slam fire.
Not saying it's impossible, but I don't think that if it happened it would look like that,
and AFAIK the shooting process was normal, just primer appearance not. IME, high
primers cause misfires, light hits, fires on second try since the FP seated the primer the
You're right, Bill, firing pin won't touch the hammer and primer at the same time, lacks almost 1/8" by eyeball. Every time a 1911 discussion comes up I learn something new. That would explain why the hammer doesn't bounce back at all when the primer ignites.
If it fires when not quite locked up it can do lots of weird things. It can produce a high pressure look or flattening of the primer, get slightly crooked upon rearward movement transition, & be scared/gouged/shaved in weird ways by slamming into the ejector much faster than it should.
Years of doing off the reservation loading has shown me some really interesting anomalies. I'm not doubting your experience, Bill but, I have mine too.
I didn't say it's the only option, just gave him an idea & test to try.
Again, never said it was impossible, but I have seen pretty much every kind of failure and
reloading error done to a 1911 that hundreds of newbie reloaders firing many thousands of
rounds can generate. I have seen four different double charge blowups, in addition to
my own personal one. Lots of weird and wrong, but if a slam fire is possible, and it may
be, it sure is ultra rare. Seen LOTS of high primers, that is pretty much a standard reloading
error, none ever slammed - but maybe with a particular gun and a particular primer.
The 1911 disconnector will stop the sear from releasing the hammer early, although
any part can break. The trigger never touches the sear, ever. The trigger moves the
disconnector, which moves the sear. When the slide is out of battery, the disconnector
is moved down so it literally misses the sear when the trigger moves it. If disconnetor sticks, it
sticks down so it cannot touch the sear, is forced down clear of the sear by the slide, rises up into
the disconnector groove by light spring pressure. Can't stick up.
Again, not saying it's impossible, just reviewing the internal details of sear, trigger and
disconnector operation on a 1911.
The biggest thing preventing the 'early sear release" theory is that the hammer cannot
physically reach the FP until the breech is entirely closed and locked. The bottom corner
of the slide would prevent the hammer from touching the VERY short rearward
protrusion of the FP (like 0.025") until the slide is all the way forward.
JMB was a pretty smart guy. The more I fool with the 1911 the more I realize how
truly amazing it is as a design.
Bottom line is brass is being forced into the firing pin hole and sheared off as the barrel slides down the breech face. It takes pressure to move metal, and with a normal primer I would think it would take enough to show up in other places, like primer cup radius, head expansion, or sore hands. You have to get over 30KPSI to really flatten or crater a LP primer, and that much pressure will do bad things to a 1911 .45. So, weak cup or too much pressure in the cup.
Maybe someone halfway around the globe double-charged a few primer pellets?