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Old 02-05-2017, 10:11 PM   #1
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Reloads will not chamber

My neighbor just purchased a Kimber full size 1911that shoots any factory ammo ok. He reloaded some Hornady 147 jhp that shoot fine, but later loaded some 124 fmj that will not chamber. He was using the same dies press every thing the same. He said he even removed the barrel and none of them will go all the way in the barrel. Any ideas on what he may try next.
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:57 PM   #2
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Assuming a proper OAL, then it's likely that the profile of the bullet is such that it engages the rifling before the round is fully chambered. Maybe it needs to be seated a little deeper.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:08 AM   #3
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9mm is normally not very finicky, but I agree with R.I. – sounds like the bullet, and you mentioned everything was the same. Well, the seating die generally needs fine tuning from one type of bullet to the next. Nevertheless, here are a couple more things to check. Take one of the brass after sizing and see if it fits in the chamber, without the bullet. If that works, then you know it's not the die. Is he expanding first before seating the bullets? If that's the case, then a factory-style crimper might be necessary. I use and recommend the Lee style. Those "combination" seating / crimp dies are, well, problematic, and could cause the problem you describe. Also, for pistol rounds, I highly recommend those steel case gauges that simulate the chamber so you can check rounds for fit outside the weapon. That's a must, if like me you also use reloads for your self-defence carry rounds.

Last edited by Bobtuba; 02-06-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:47 AM   #4
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is he trimming the shells?
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Shootinit View Post
is he trimming the shells?
Also a consideration, but generally, unless loaded VERY hot, once-fired 9mm is still going to be in spec. I check all my cases for maximum length after sizing, and I rarely find one that is too long, and usually that is .40 and not 9mm.
My suspicion is that the bullet seating die was not adjusted between the 147s and the 124s and the different shapes caused the 124s to be out of spec.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:01 PM   #6
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Did he expand the case in step 2 and neglect to taper crimp after seating the bullet? That would definitely cause chambering problems.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:08 PM   #7
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Trimming the shells? In 9x19? The cases don't grow.
Per Ramshot:
It is important to note that the SAAMI “COL” values are for the firearms and ammunition manufacturers industry and must be seen as a guideline only.
The individual reloader is free to adjust this dimension to suit their particular firearm-component-weapon combination.
This parameter is determined by various dimensions such as
1) magazine length (space),
2) freebore-lead dimensions of the barrel,
3) ogive or profile of the projectile and
4) position of cannelure or crimp groove.
• Always begin loading at the minimum ‘Start Load.’"

Your COL (OAL) is determined by your barrel (chamber and throat dimensions) and your gun (feed ramp) and your magazine (COL that fits magazine and when the magazine lips release the round for feeding) and the PARTICULAR bullet you are using. What worked in a pressure barrel or the lab's gun or in my gun has very little to do with what will work best in your gun.
Take the barrel out of the gun. Create two inert dummy rounds (no powder or primer) at max COL and remove enough case mouth flare for rounds to chamber (you can achieve this by using a sized case—expand-and-flare it, and remove the flare just until the case "plunks" in the barrel).
Drop the inert rounds in and decrease the COL until they chamber completely. This will be your "max" effective COL. I prefer to have the case head flush with the barrel hood. After this, place the inert rounds in the magazine and be sure they fit the magazine and feed and chamber.
You can also do this for any chambering problems you have. Remove the barrel and drop rounds in until you find one that won't chamber. Take that round and "paint" the bullet and case black with Magic Marker or other marker. Drop round in barrel (or gage) and rotate it back-and-forth.
Remove and inspect the round:
1) scratches on bullet--COL is too long
2) scratches on edge of the case mouth--insufficient crimp
3) scratches just below the case mouth--too much crimp, you're crushing the case
4) scratches on case at base of bullet--bullet seated crooked due to insufficient case expansion (not case mouth flare) or improper seating stem fit
5) scratches on case just above extractor groove--case bulge not removed during sizing. May need a bulge buster.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:27 PM   #8
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I agree with the bullet needing to be seated deeper. Sounds like it's into the rifling in the barrel. Does it drop into a gage? If so it's the bullet.

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