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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was my first reloading foray. I loaded 10 rounds of .45 ACP for my 1911 commander pistol. The specs. are:

Bullet - 230 grain hard cast LRN from BSL Bulletworks
Case - Winchester once fired brass
Powder - Power Pistol from Alliant (started at 5.9 grains per Ben Ammonette from Alliant...he actually said 6.0 to start but I lowered by .1)
COL - 1.26

This was loaded with the Lee Classic Hand loader. The results after I worked up the nerve to shoot them were interesting. I don't have a chronograph so I have to go by feel mostly. The recoil was certainly more stout than factory loads so I thought I was home free but of course that wasn't the case. The first 3 rounds cycled great but then they stopped loading correctly. I would have to drop the mag then hand cycle the round out and then it would load and fire again and I had to do this for the last
7 rounds. I carefully looked at each round and found a gouge in the lead bullet like it was catching on the ramp. It was however very accurate when they did fire....at 10 yards the group was 2 inches. I think that either the round was under powered or the COL was wrong. Anybody have any other ideas? :?:
 

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If recoil was more stout than factory, unpowered is not a likely cause, but 5.9gn is a starting load, so "maybe."
If the rounds wouldn't feed, then COL is a likely problem.
Just as an aside, I always load at least two dummy inert (no powder or primer) rounds to set-up the dies and establish seating depth and crimp.
With the barrel in hand, drop the inert rounds in the barrel. They should drop in easily and make a "plunk" sound. The case head should be flush or just below the barrel hood.
To establish seating depth, I start with the bullet seated long and remove the case mouth flare. Then I adjust seating depth to get the head space as mentioned above.
Then, with both inert rounds loaded to the same seating depth, I re-assemble the gun. I load the inert rounds in the magazine to verify they fit and then hand cycle the rounds through the gun. If they don't feed right, I decrease the COL a little until they do hand cycle.
Then I load no more than 10-20 rounds and visit the range to verify that the gun will feed and chamber without issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am going to get a chronograph soon. I can see that's really the only sure fire way to judge the power of a round. I know Power Pistol is geared for for higher pressure rounds like 9mm, 40 S&W and 10mm.
I am going to say most of my problem is going to be COL. I did try them in the barrel and they didn't go plunk. I hesitate to go much shorter on minimum case length because I know the shorter you go the more pressure you have.
I can't believe I forgot to add that my barrel was really leaded badly at the front. The bullet was sized to .452.
 

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You don't go shorter on case length (the cases are already too short). You go shorter on Cartridge Overall Length (COL). Markup a round with a black Magic Marker over the bullet ogive and the first 1/2" of the case from the case mouth. Drop in barrel and rotate back-and-forth. Scratches will show where interference is. If bullet, then you need a slightly shorter COL. If case, then you need more taper crimp.
After a change in COL, go back to starting load.
 
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