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Anyone reload for Glock 45acp?


Brian1911

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I just got a 21sf and am finding that it may not like some of my reloads and it has come to my attention I may need to shorten my COL. Currently I am at 1.265-1.260.

I was thinking that I should try 1.255 and back my charge off by .2 grains. I ask this because among a couple other adjustments that may have caused malfunctions I had to tap the rear of my slide about 4 times in my last match to get a round up the feed ramp. Largely I feel this was based on a bullet seating error that caused a slight bulge in the case wall because I pulled out the gauge and sure enough had several that wouldnt pass it and a few that even wouldnt drop in the glock barrel. :rolleyes:

So if anyone wants to suggest a COL that they know their glock loves that would be great. My 1911's loved 1.265 for 20k rounds or more now but I think having a +/- at that length isnt forgiving in my glock so I may need to shorten it up a bit so my +/- loads arent longer then 1.260.

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I am using 230 grn FMJ RN.

I dropped my charge from 4.2 to 4.0 and will shorten my rounds to 1.255. All SD ammo is much shorter and I am thinking with this glock it may not like longer rounds like my 1911's. I havent really had any issues with it before this last new batch so I am sure it may be something else but still I would like to not be so close to max COL. At least this way when some rounds are a bit longer they will still be ok instead of getting close to 1.27 which seems quite long. Any rounds that come up a bit shorter should still be fine since they wont be much shorter then 1.250 which is still a safe length for pressures.

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I just got a 21sf and am finding that it may not like some of my reloads and it has come to my attention I may need to shorten my COL. Currently I am at 1.265-1.260.

I was thinking that I should try 1.255 and back my charge off by .2 grains. I ask this because among a couple other adjustments that may have caused malfunctions I had to tap the rear of my slide about 4 times in my last match to get a round up the feed ramp. Largely I feel this was based on a bullet seating error that caused a slight bulge in the case wall because I pulled out the gauge and sure enough had several that wouldnt pass it and a few that even wouldnt drop in the glock barrel. :rolleyes:

So if anyone wants to suggest a COL that they know their glock loves that would be great. My 1911's loved 1.265 for 20k rounds or more now but I think having a +/- at that length isnt forgiving in my glock so I may need to shorten it up a bit so my +/- loads arent longer then 1.260.

Why do you think that a slight bulge in the case wall would prevent a bullet from going up the feed ramp? Where are you getting your brass and what sort of resizing die are you using? Can you spot what part of the round is causing the problem in the ones that wouldn't drop in the barrel? Any chance it's brass that is slightly bulged near the base before you reload them? One thing to try would be to just resize a bunch and see if they'll drop in the chamber/gauge. Then load those rounds and see if they'll still fit the gauge. R,

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I am not saying that the rounds which would not feed up the ramp were from a case sizing issue I am thinking I have a few different things going on here. I believe the rounds which would not feed were do to a COL issue and perhaps partly due to a crimp problem. The malfunctions that wouldnt cycle the slide enough to eject a round I think were due to crimp or a resizing problem. I believe those rounds were sticky in the barrel and slowed the slide down enough when trying to be extracted to cause that type of malfunction.

My dies are all Dillon on a 650xl. And I did resize the brass and it would gauge just fine so I think some was error on my part in seating the bullet crooked. Beyond that I think I need to fine tune my settings for my glock differently then what worked for my 1911's. I did notice that my COL at 1.265 was fine but a few rounds measured a bit longer and this may cause a different issue. I dropped those into my 1911 barrel and thumb pressed them in then found marks on the bullet so it had to have been hitting the rifling. I think 1.60 COL would keep me away from the max COL enough but these are well away from 1.20 which I would consider the min COL.

Brass is all range pick up stuff and lately that has been at my USPSA matches so chances are most reload and who knows how many times that brass got loaded. I used to go to an outdoor range by my home where newbies would shoot 100 rounds of winchester white box and leave so I had all kinds of once fired. Problem is the range shut down and now I may need to start buying brass online.

The part of the round that was causing the issue is right at the base of the bullet so it was about mid way on the brass. If I press the round in the gauge you can see the shiny ring around the brass right where it was causing the issue. I am sure this had to be a bullet seating problem that pushed the brass to one side as the bullet was seating. I never had this issue before now so I am thinking its a combination of other things that allowed me to find this mistake. Perhaps all the things I spoke of put together and a new gun make a the perfect recipe for malfunctions.

I am going to go to an indoor range today just to try out a small batch of my new rounds and see what happens.

My new specs are going to be:

COL- 1.260

crimp- .470

charge- 4.0 gns Bullseye

Edited by Brian1911
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If I had to take a guess - granted that without seeing the actual rounds it's difficult to exercise my psychic powers to diagnose ammo problems over the Internet :D - it sounds to me like a possible overcrimping issue. A lot of people think they need to make their rounds look like a Coke bottle to "get them to feed smoothly." What this does, of course, is cause the casing right under the crimp to actually expand outward and you can get failures to fully chamber. Your crimp should exist simply to straighten out the mouth flare from the belling station, and should actually deform the bullet as little as possible.

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Well I shot 300+ rounds yesterday and no failures. I must just had a few bad ones in my bag that day because even the 30 or so that didnt pass the gauge fired off fine.

My charge this time was too light though so I need to take it back up a bit to about 4.3 and it should be perfect. I was able to feel the slide movement and spring load up because it was so slow. They all cycled but with a stock spring weight it needs more juice. Not only that at the lighter charge all the brass was coming at my face.

One other question I have is about my recoil spring. I have the Wolff solid guide rod and Wolff 1911 style round coil spring which is the stock 17lb weight. What I want to know is if it should return the slide to battery with the trigger held to the rear and slide pointed straight up. I read about this as being a test but think it may be BS. Mine never did this even with stock springs and new but with a little shake of the gun it will return however if I ride the slide nice and slow it wont go into battery fully with out some intervention. I notice this most with dummy rounds because if I rack the slide and ride it too much the slide wont go into battery.

I have only 1500 rounds on this gun and spring so I figure at 3k I will just change it to be safe but wanted some opinions, thanks.

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First change I would make is to put the factory spring back in. Second change is to use a slower powder as Bullseye and Clays can spike quickly and I would not recommned more than .1 gr change at a time.The max book listing for Clays is 4.2 gr though people on this forum list higher so YMMV with Bullseye.

In theory, the test should be to hold the muzzle up slowly return the slide to battery then pull the trigger and the slide should stay in battery. The concern is that the striker spring will over come the recoil spring and pull the slide out of battery.

The theory for crimp is to measure the case thickness and double it then add the bullet diameter then subtract .002 and this crimp should be enough to hold the bullet. I like to add pressing the bullet down on the bench with my thumb and it should not move.

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Good points guys.

As for the spring I love the Wolff set up and dont want to change that. The gun feels great with it especially with the added weight forward in the gun plus no worries of inspecting my guide rod for damage like with the plastic one. For my powder had some other brand been suggested to me from the start I would have used it but this is all I ever used and it works great for me. When I say I will move my charge back to 4.3 this doesnt mean I have never tried it and am skipping ahead too quickly. I have loaded all the way from 4.0 to 5.0 with this bullet type and any where along there was safe with no signs of over pressure. 5.0 was a bit stout and not needed so I ran 4.8 for a while then down to 4.5, 4.2, 4.0 and found what is best. 4.3 seems like it will be spot on for feel and accuracy.

For crimp I like the bench test as well but crimp is not what is holding the bullet. The 1st station that resizes slightly under spec is where your bullet tension comes from. I even seated a bullet in the case then skipped crimping it to test this. I put the round in a bullet puller from Dillon and it took 3 solid hits to remove the bullet that had no crimp applied. Inspecting the bullet I found that the good old .469 that most 1911 guys use was too much and leaving a nice mushroom affect in the FMJ body. I discovered this 20k rounds later once I finally bought a bullet puller, lol. Now I found .40 to be the best balance between passing the case gauge and not leaving too much a mark on the FMJ.

What I am going to do for my spring is just keep a round count on it and replace once I think it is time or if I find I am having spring related malfunctions. Seems there are many schools of thought on when to replace a spring but since I use Wolff springs I will treat them like my 1911 and change out at 3-5k no matter what. Not so worried about saving a few cents by pushing the limits on getting more use out of a $7 spring.

Edited by Brian1911
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In theory, the test should be to hold the muzzle up slowly return the slide to battery then pull the trigger and the slide should stay in battery. The concern is that the striker spring will over come the recoil spring and pull the slide out of battery.

I've never seen or even heard of anyone doing it that way. The check I've always seen is to cycle the slide with the trigger held to the rear.

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I would not recommned more than .1 gr change at a time.

I go in .2 grain increments because, in my experience, there's so little difference in velocity with .1 grain changes it's really not worth doing.

Not only that but there is a .1 variance in charge from the powder drop anyway. It was just weird for me to be able to feel the slide movement and spring compression at 4.0grns and I didnt like it. It was like I was waiting for the slide to return before taking the next shot, lol. At 4.5 grns the load felt good and was accurate. I was able to dbl tap just fine but it seemed like night and day compared to the 4.0 charge so I figured 4.3 should be just right for me. One other thing to note is that at 4.0grns all the brass was in my face which was no fun.

As for the spring test I am thinking it is sort of BS. I put my used springs back in after talking to a very experienced glock shooter. I just ran 300 problem free rounds in it so why change out the spring especially when I have 1500 rounds on it. Being that I use Wolff round coil springs I will just keep tabs on it and change out when I get to 3-5k or if I notice the gun acting different. I hear of people running their springs for 10k+ rounds but that seems nuts to me and I am not really sure what amount of money is being saved when the part is $7. I guess this is one of those mysteries that will always be debated sort of like keeping mags loaded all the time.

This is why I love reloading and being able to tune ammo like this. Mostly I like to save the money but I actually enjoy reloading. Problem is that my 650 cranks them out too fast and I get done in a hurry, lol.

Edited by Brian1911
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I would not recommned more than .1 gr change at a time.

I go in .2 grain increments because, in my experience, there's so little difference in velocity with .1 grain changes it's really not worth doing.

If I do this my slide wont return unless I jiggle my wrist a bit but on larger frame glocks with these heavy slides I read it is not uncommon. This makes me question this test.

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4 grains of bullseye is not anywhere near enough powder to get reliable function with a stock 45 acp glock pistol shooting 230 grain jacketed ammo.

Its not feeding because the slide is not going far enough to the rear.

according to their website, 5.7 grains should be max at 840 fps and 5.1 grains should be the start load for 230 FMJ at 1.260.

i load my 230 roundnose(cast or jacketed) to 1.250" with 4.1 grains WST for cast or coated bullets or 4.0 grains CLAYs for jacketed or plated.

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4 grains of bullseye is not anywhere near enough powder to get reliable function with a stock 45 acp glock pistol shooting 230 grain jacketed ammo.

Its not feeding because the slide is not going far enough to the rear.

according to their website, 5.7 grains should be max at 840 fps and 5.1 grains should be the start load for 230 FMJ at 1.260.

i load my 230 roundnose(cast or jacketed) to 1.250" with 4.1 grains WST for cast or coated bullets or 4.0 grains CLAYs for jacketed or plated.

I know what that load data says but have you shot 5.0 of BE powder? It is pretty darn strong so I think the fact the web site says this is wrong and perhaps its because its not for FMJ but for TMJ. I am not sure if there is a difference but I can tell you 5.0 of BE is darn strong and .7 grains more would scare me. Perhaps I will just leave it at 4.5 grns then now that I have been thinking about this more. I tested several hundred at that charge and all were great with just enough ejection to keep the brass over my shoulder and out of my face.

Now as for my malfunctions that did not feed or extract a spent case it is possible those had light charges in them. I was tinkering with the powder settings while loading to get it fine tuned and maybe a few were just shy of 4 grns. I am not real sure but I know I found a couple that were pretty weak which was easy to narrow down to a powder charge issue.

I am nearly where I want to be with my press settings so I am happy to finally start cranking out some good ammo. My first batch was clearly out of spec in a few different areas causing these headaches. Now all that is left is to get my powder back up to where I want it.

thanks for the info

Edited by Brian1911
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  • 6 months later...

Just top follow up on this:

I found that at 4.8grns BE powder and a COL of 1.260 got my 21sf to function flawlessly for the past 2k rounds. I found that at even at 4.5 grns BE with a variance throw in powder of .1-.2 I would still get malfunctions. Most happened when a 10 round (CA mag) was topped off and 1 in the pipe during reloads. The pressure on the slide from the full mag would not allow the slide to cycle hard enough to sometimes eject or grab the next round. I think anything lighter then 4.8 would make the gun run right on the edge and if grip wasnt perfect or there was a variance in powder throw it would make the gun choke.

Anyway for anyone reloading for this gun and with BE powder 4.8 grns seems to be spot on for function and feel.

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  • 1 month later...

I have reloaded .45 ACP at 1.260 basically forever. I changed over from Clays to Titegroup for several reasons, and 4.5 grains is a good balance, and monotonously reliable. I agree with most everything I've read in this thread. For crimp, I just adjust the crimp die in increments until the bell on the case is taken out just enough to go in the case gauge. You can't push the bullet (I load the Rainier 230 gr. plated) in with your thumb, and tests I've done chambering rounds by dropping the slide from full pullback don't move it, either. I'm currently using Dillon dies, but am in the process of changing the crimp die to the Lee Factory Crimp Die.

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