1911 problem


Well-Known Member
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.
There are many thick books dedicated only to the subject of gunsmithing the 1911. It takes hundreds of technically descriptive pages to explain the total workings of one. It is the most complex, yet elegantly simple and efficient devices I've ever seen.


Well-Known Member
I'm wondering if the barrel isn't linking into lock up quite right, or unlocking a touch too early.
it's definitely scraping the primer somewhere.
I'd try to find what it's scraping on.


Well-Known Member
you know nobel sport was making primers for Winchester for a little while, shot shell primers for sure anyway.
they still use their [Winchesters] recipe under their own banner now.


Active Member
The inertia firing pin in 1911's can leave some funny looking primers on firing if the primer cup isn't 'balanced' as to thickness hardness material, etc. Pin weight, spring tension, even mainspring are part of the balance. I would eliminate the primer brand first if it were me.

Before I even owned a 1911 .45 I shot my Dad's. The club had got some DCM .45 military ammo for our qualifications and the batch brought a lot of raised eyebrows! (before Botox) It was steel cased! It was headstamped "E C 43". It shot OK. Some tried to reload the steel case and couldn't. The primers were small...... Now I don't mean small pistol.... I mean .005" or so smaller than large pistol! Not only that..... they appeared to be copper or copper plated steel??. At any rate, the 1911's left them looking different on fired cases...... Most had the dent lessened; some almost looked unfired with the dent pushed back flush! Then some crated to some extent like Brad's. Not all of the 1911's reacted.... but most did! I think pressures were fine just the inertia pin went goofy over those particular primers. For this reason I'd be careful with the 1911 and the fired primer appearance unless other American brands also displayed the problem.



Resident Half Fast Machinist
Those were EVANSVILLE Cartridge Company, we made 95% of the .45 cartridges used in WWII. I have some snake loads from them. Paper folded over #9(?) shot to look like a regular ball round. Supposedly issued to troops in Pacific, load by hand in chamber for first shot, load clip of ball as usual. Paper would shred and empty case would eject. No loading from magazine!
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Well-Known Member
I shot a lot of steel cased .45 ACP in a friend's Colt 1917 Army when I was a teen. It was $1 per 100,
so we loved shooting that old girl...although it was corrosive. Yes, I remember the copper colored
primers in the zinc washed cases. The undamaged bullets, dug from his sand berm were set on their
bases on a board and we use them as targets at about 20-25 yds sitting with .22 rifles. The .22 bullet would
split the jacket, expand and weld to the lead core, the whole mess stayed intact. Somewhere I have a couple
I have some Evansville brass .45 ACP WW2 in original box, too. Decided not to shoot it, just keep for it's
sentimental value. Must have been a big arsenal.

I can assure you that Brad's primer appearance is not normal. The only 1911 brass that I have seen like
that in more than 30 years of picking up 45 ACP brass at matches, was .38 Super, a good bit of it not mine, I have
never seen even one like it in .45 ACP. A good number of them in .38 Super looked like that when people were
first pushing for Major Caliber and hadn't yet figured out how to safely do it.
Something is off kilter, seeming to be high pressure, but that assumes normal primer cup hardness
and thickness, which may or may not be true.

Back to changing brand of primers as the leading candidate as "next reasonable step".

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Well-Known Member
Glad to know. That was what I thought, but good to have another tidbit for the
"analysis files" when weird stuff happens. Always trying to learn.



Staff member
I have decided that 4.8 gr of Red Dot is all the hotter I want to go. I actually have loaded 4.2 gr with some good results.
You will be happy to know my last trip out was with 4.8 gr of Titegroup and the 200 swc.


Well-Known Member
How did it work for you? That one has satisfied me for decades. H&G 68 or commercial
clone and 4.8 TG.

I THINK I get slightly more accurate results with 4.2 TG and 452460, but the difference
is small enough to be not totally convinced. Seems true with one or two guns, but
not by a lot. Rem brass has definitely given me better results. No clue why, but
it is repeatable for me, ocmpared to Win, Fed, and Starline.

Alliant online reloading guide says 4.5gr Red Dot is max for 200 Speer LSWC.
Says 831 fps from a 5" bbl.

Hodgdon online data says 5.4gr TG is max with 200 LSWC, says 877 fps from 4.8 gr
and 957 fps from 5.4gr. I haven't chronoed it in a long time, but 875-900 is what
I remember getting, so that fits with Hodgdon pretty well.
Back when Major Caliber was 180,000, I loaded 5.0 gr for ~925 fps average. After USPAS
dropped it to 170,000, I went to 4.8 gr which was probably actually 175-180K, so safe
for 170K limit. Now it is 165K, to satisfy the .40 S&W folks. 180 gr at 917fps makes it,
or 165 gr at 1,000 fps. I stayed at 4.8 TG/200 LSWC (H&G 68 commercial cast about
80% of the time).

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