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SWC feeding reliability in 1911

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So I have been playing around with reloads in my 1911 for IDPA matches. I shoot an Ed Brown Kobra that has shot thousands of factory 230gr FMJ without EVER having a feed issue. A lot of people recommended 200gr SWC. I ordered a box of 500 from Bayou of their Hi-Tek coated. I worked up a round of 4.7 gr of Bullseye and it groups like crazy and meets PF for IDPA. However, occasionally I get a FTF on the feed ramp. I had been setting the OAL to 1.250, I loaded a few bumping that down to 1.240 and plan to run those tomorrow. I kept going to the SWC because the grouped so nice. Maybe I need to play with the RN more. Based on a search on this forum it sounds like SWC are very finicky in the 1911. Maybe I can get them to run, but it sounds like I should focus on the RN. I loaded some RN and they shot fine, they just didn't group like the SWC. Here is what I have to play with in the photo below.
Left to right
230gr RG Bayou Hi-Tek (I have a 100 rnd pack)
200gr SWC Bayou Hi-Tek (I have about 300 left)
200gr RN Bayou Hi-Tek (I have a 100 rnd pack)
200gr copper plated FN (the local gun shop sold me a 500 rnd box when I did my class).

image.jpeg

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I also had feeding problems with 200 gn X-treme plated SWCs in my RO if I loaded them at the 1.250" length. I finally ended up in the 1.220" COAL range and haven't had a problem since. Feed and group well. Try a few shorter loads and see if you fix the issue.

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In my Sig 1911 I can only run 1.250" with one brand of 200 swc. I use 1.240" now for anything swc and have no problems. Unfortunatly, the nose profile of supposedly H&G 68 bullets are not the same.

My custom 1911 has a Kart NM barrel that was specifically designed to feed swc, and it is not oal sensitive.

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I've been reloading forever. I struggled with them in an Kimber for years.

Sometimes I'd go 500 rds with no jam. But usually it was in a match and killed the stage.

Going to cast RN stopped that. Plus, 230gr.. feels softer to shoot.

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I'd keep working your 230's until you find a load that groups as good or better than the SWC's. Best of all worlds.

Mix up your combo, try something crazy. 45ACP is very forgiving. I'm sure you can find that sweet spot.

I have found that cast RN 230's like to be seated out to just off the lands in a lot of pistols, only a question of powder type and amount to get a good load after that. Many people say to smoke the bullet or paint it with a sharpie to check for land contact but the very best thing to use is layout fluid.

Edited by Absocold

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You cannot load SWCs to a specific OAL unless are using the exact profile found in the load data. There are MANY 200 GR .45 SWC profiles.

SWCs should be loaded so that 2-3 business cards worth of bullet shoulder is visible above the case mouth. Most folks loading to a book OAL have them loaded long causing the bullet shoulder to jam into the leade or other interesting jams.

A pic of your loaded round is always helpful.

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OK, so I played today, after I shot an IDPA match (using factory ammo for now).

I played with 230gr RN and 200gr RN Hi-Tek coated bullets from Bayou. I found a load that I am very happy with and grouped like the SWC. However, I really like the 200 RN. They grouped very nice and the lighter, snappier recoil felt nice. The 230 grouped nice but recoil felt heavier. I may just avoid the SWC for now and stick with round nose. I loaded 4.6gr and 4.8gr of Bullseye for the 200gr RN. Both very accurate, and both meet PF for IDPA CDP. I may just load 47 to make sure I keep PF for matches.

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Most 1911's can be SWC senitive, if the OAL is over 1.245. Some like 1.25. Usually get a PF of 170-175 with 5.4 grains 231 or 4.1 grains of Clays.

Just remember OAL is the key. IMHO

Thanks,

Mike

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Yeah I've never heard anything good about those SWC in a 1911. Nice round holes in the paper are great but just not worth the extra hassle to me. I've always got my RN loads to the point that if the lead isn't going where it is supposed to it has nothing to do with the recipe I'm using. Seen a lot of guys blow matches with ammo that doesn't feed right and can't say I've ever seen one blow a match because the ammo wasn't as absolutely accurate as it could be.

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As I and others above have said, you have to pay attention to the OAL on SWC bullets, just like you do with truncated Cone or Round Nose. If you seat your SWC so the ogive at the top exactly matches the ogive at that point on a properly seated Round Nose, you'll have no problems.

The 200gr LSWC is the most popular bullet on the planet. Why? They are accurate and bullseye shooters shoot billions of them. Think about that for a second. If it were hard to get them to feed correctly, why would they use them. The last thing any bullseye shooter wants is an alibi, or several. You simply cannot recover from a misfeed during rapid fire. Maybe during timed fire, but I 'm not sure.

My Sig 1911 Tacops is specifically designed for combat hard ball rounds, but I still shoot LSWC in it without a problem.

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I had feeding issues with 200 gr H&G HiTek coated. I dropped my powder .5 gr and problem went away.

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I use the 200 lswc loaded to 1.125" in my Kimber 1911. It is 100% reliable. The key is to make sure there is a small amount of the bullets front shoulder above the case mouth. Otherwise the case mouth will hang up on the feed ramp. And if the oal is too long, the cartridge won't be able to angle up the feed ramp into the chamber.

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In my CZ97, Zero 185gr SWC at 2.263 failed to feed consistently when the gun was new, but dropping it to 2.238 fixed the problem. After break in, the 2.263s I had leftover fed fine, as well.

Just get it as short as you possibly can with the thinnest hair of bullet above the case mouth. ;)


tumblr_noau049pwz1st1xojo1_500.png

Far Left -- lowest I can go before bullet shoulder falls below case mouth.
Middle -- the rule of thumb 1/16th above case mouth
Far right -- max for magazine

Get as close to the far left as you can. ;) OAL result will vary.

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I ran 200gr SWC in my Kimber Gold Match for a couple of years. Had a heck of a time getting them to feed reliably. Polishing and tuning the extractor helped, but the biggest thing was getting the crimp right (yeah, I know, no "real" crimp), and especially removing the sharp edge/point from machining the throat. Kimber barrels have a sharp point, and it was frequently catching and causing a stoppage.

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I loaded some Bayou 200gr LSWC with an OAL of 1.244. The amount of bullet shoulder sticking up is somewhere between the left-hand and center picture from IDescribe's post. Out of 400 fired, only 97% fed properly. I'm not too upset because these are from my first reloads, and I know there will be a fine-tuning process for a while.

I loaded some more with a slightly longer OAL of 1.250, haven't fired those yet. This thread suggests that I would have done better to try a shorter length, like maybe 1.235, or whatever length is "as short as you possibly can with the thinnest hair of bullet above the case mouth", which will look a lot like the round on the left side of the picture. I'll load some to that criterion tonight. I should have a chance to test-fire the 1.250 batch and the 1.235-ish batch next weekend. I'll report back on the results.

I'd like to have a 100% recipe for the 200gr LSWCs, because I still have about 1,000 of them.

I ordered some 230gr round nose bullets from Xtreme and Bayou. With some or all of these bullets, I expect I'll soon be cranking out rounds that work every time, as my S&B factory rounds do.

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Reliability of lswc's is also dependant on the shape and angle of your feed ramp. And sometimes you may need to do some polishing and adjusting of the feed ramp. Also, having the edges of the barrel's mouth chamfered helps feeding reliability. Your Ed Brown probably has a very tight chamber opening and steep feed ramp.

Like I stated earlier, my Kimber is 100% reliable with 200 gr lswc. And I didn't have to do anything to it. But I'm sure Kimber's chamber and mouth are looser than one from Ed Brown.

Edited by Postal Bob

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The OAL of 1.235 was spot on with my Bayou 200gr LSWC bullets to achieve what I think I need. I'll test fire them soon.

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The 1.235 OAL is great so far for the TRP, but not as great for the Range Officer.

I'm going to switch over to 230gr round nose bullets, probably for good; already received 2,000 of them. The remaining LSWC bullets will be used up in Thursday night matches and live fire practice soon enough.

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Most .45's like the 230's loaded around 1.260 - 1.265 but I have a national match barrel that likes them loaded out to 1.268 and I had to throat the barrel more to feed them reliably. Taper crimp to .469 works for all the guns I've tested.

Original specs call for hardball at 850fps +/- 25, but best accuracy is usually around 800-820.

Best accuracy is usually found with Bullseye, W231, WST, VVN320, Titegroup and 700x but there are plenty of others that work. I've found Bullseye to be dirty at lower pressures and seem to have the best luck with W231.

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I have still not measured what my OAL is with SWCs. The shoulder of the SWC is a finger nails width above the case mouth. These feed in my 1911s, two XDs’s(hers and mine), and a Glock 41. Most modern handguns should feed SWC with out issue.

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The OAL of 1.235 was spot on with my Bayou 200gr LSWC bullets to achieve what I think I need. I'll test fire them soon.

This was the sweet spot for me as well. 200 gr Bear Creek SWC, 4.6 grains Titegroup. 1.235 OAL, crimp .469.

I used to load them longer to 1.250 but found I would have hangups every so often. 1.235 seemed to take care of that issue, runs just fine in Kimber TLE and Sig 220.

Edited by ruleyoutoo1911

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I never have any trouble with 185gr and 200gr SWC's. I seat 200's from 1.240 to 1.250. You might want to lightly file the top of the feed ramp with a round file then polish the entire feed ramp.

I have an old blued Dan Wesson PM-1 with tens of k's down the pipe and a custom gun with a Kart barrel.

Edited by parisite

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I'm having swc issues on a ramped barrel. Would that indicate length issue, or would the light file at top of ramp and polish be something to consider?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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