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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi new to the forum. I just purchased a new Ultra Carry in 9mm and it jams and does all kinds of crazy stuff with my reloads. I have tried two brands of factory ammo and it shoots that fine, no problems. These reloads have been through a factory sizeing die (Lee), and fit perfectly in a wilson case gauge. These reloads also shoot fine in my Kimber Micro 9, XD, and other 9mm handguns. I have read that some of these guns (short barrel 9mm 1911's) are picky as to what they like and dont like.
Anyone with experience in this matter that could shed some light on this is appreciated. I will of course use factory ammo for Self Defense, but this reloaded ammo is in every apsect, factory ammo, by specs. It would be nice to practice with reloads.
Reloads are 147 gr Hornady XTP 1.100 COL using multiple powders.
thanks
 

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Never ran the 147 grain XTP in my hand loads so couldn’t help you there. But you might want to use 124 grain plated or Coated lead handloads for the break in period (500 rounds) My pro carry loves them and after 300 rounds would eat any hollow point I feed it. Run a lot of round ball through it before feeding it the hollow points.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never ran the 147 grain XTP in my hand loads so couldn’t help you there. But you might want to use 124 grain plated or Coated lead handloads for the break in period (500 rounds) My pro carry loves them and after 300 rounds would eat any hollow point I feed it. Run a lot of round ball through it before feeding it the hollow points.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have purchased some Berry's plated bullets I am going to try. Everything is hard to find now, factory ammo and reloading components both!
Thank you
 

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I have purchased some Berry's plated bullets I am going to try. Everything is hard to find now, factory ammo and reloading components both!
Thank you
Metal framed higher end guns like your Kimber have fitted parts with tight tolerances.
They sometimes need to be worked a bit for everything to run smoothly.
This is why Kimber recommends shooting it to "break it in".
Reloads are iffy, especially in new 1911 type guns, especially hollowpoints.
I have an Ultra Carry II in .45 that eats everything.
Try some factory FMJ ammo. after a few rounds it should eat HPs fine.
 

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9mm and it jams and does all kinds of crazy stuff with my reloads
can you identify whether there is just ONE specific phase of feeding, loading into chamber, firing, extraction, that is recurring? If failure a predictable phase or does it change?

My own reloads gave issues enough over the years I had to start evaluating just 'which part of the firing/rechambering cycle is most likely culprit. If your reloads are all IN SPEC please identify where the jam occurs. IE: chamberring, firing, extracting, rechamberring. Does the slide move properly? Please advise.
 

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. . . fit perfectly in a wilson case gauge.
Don't waste your time with a case gauge. Use the actual barrel as your case gauge.

If the barrel doesn't pass the test detailed below your reloads may need more crimp or the barrel may need to be finish reamed. The chamber may be at minimum dimensions or the leade (free bore) may be too short. It isn't unusual for manufacturers to fail to run a finishing reamer through the barrel.

Let's see if we can diagnose the problem by running one simple test.

The "plunk test"
  1. Remove the barrel

  2. Hold the barrel vertically with the chamber up and the muzzle down

  3. Drop a loaded round into the chamber. Listen for the distinctive sound of the the brass case mouth impacting the steel chamber ledge - the plunk

  4. Rotate the cartridge while forcefully pushing it as far forward as it will go. It should rotate easily. If it does not, your bullets are not seated deeply enough or the barrel leade is too short or the chamber is too tight. Run this test using a number of your cartridges.
 

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Noticed you stated you used a Lee sizing die. Do you also use a Lee Factory Crimp die? It not only crimps but resizes the od of the case after its loaded. I use them on all my auto loading rounds.


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Steve has given expert, detailed advice, I would follow it to the letter.

My stainless ultra carry has ran perfectly since day one but I didn't try any hollow point reloads.
 
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Describe what you're calling jams. Failure to feed? Eject? Go into battery? What? Jam is something I put on an English muffin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't waste your time with a case gauge. Use the actual barrel as your case gauge.

If the barrel doesn't pass the test detailed below your reloads may need more crimp or the barrel may need to be finish reamed. The chamber may be at minimum dimensions or the leade (free bore) may be too short. It isn't unusual for manufacturers to fail to run a finishing reamer through the barrel.

Let's see if we can diagnose the problem by running one simple test.

The "plunk test"
  1. Remove the barrel

  2. Hold the barrel vertically with the chamber up and the muzzle down

  3. Drop a loaded round into the chamber. Listen for the distinctive sound of the the brass case mouth impacting the steel chamber ledge - the plunk

  4. Rotate the cartridge while forcefully pushing it as far forward as it will go. It should rotate easily. If it does not, your bullets are not seated deeply enough or the barrel leade is too short or the chamber is too tight. Run this test using a number of your cartridges.
Don't waste your time with a case gauge. Use the actual barrel as your case gauge.

If the barrel doesn't pass the test detailed below your reloads may need more crimp or the barrel may need to be finish reamed. The chamber may be at minimum dimensions or the leade (free bore) may be too short. It isn't unusual for manufacturers to fail to run a finishing reamer through the barrel.

Let's see if we can diagnose the problem by running one simple test.

The "plunk test"
  1. Remove the barrel

  2. Hold the barrel vertically with the chamber up and the muzzle down

  3. Drop a loaded round into the chamber. Listen for the distinctive sound of the the brass case mouth impacting the steel chamber ledge - the plunk

  4. Rotate the cartridge while forcefully pushing it as far forward as it will go. It should rotate easily. If it does not, your bullets are not seated deeply enough or the barrel leade is too short or the chamber is too tight. Run this test using a number of your cartridges.
Steve,
Using your criteria, several of my reloads do "stick" when pushed into the barrel. They wont spin after slight pressure is applied and may need help getting them back out of the barrel. I have seated the bullets way below the 1.1 COL max specs. I also ran the reloads through the Lee factory crimp die which in theory should resize the case to spec and alleviate any chambering issue. But there is an issue. The factory loads I have tried do in fact what they should based on the test. They drop in, spin, and fall out of the chamber with no issue. Obviously, there is a problem with my reloads but in 30 years of reloading I have never encontered this. I own other Kimber's, and yes I read the manual. I am aware of the break in procedure. (Thanks for not bashing me!) I am in no way placing blame on Kimber. I wanted a tight gun and Kimber's shoot great because of that reason.
Factory ammo in unavailable in my area at the moment. If you do find a box it is rationed to 1-2 per customer and at outrageous prices. Most dealers wont sell a box without a gun purchase.
Thank you for your assistance and willingness to help a fellow out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
can you identify whether there is just ONE specific phase of feeding, loading into chamber, firing, extraction, that is recurring? If failure a predictable phase or does it change?

My own reloads gave issues enough over the years I had to start evaluating just 'which part of the firing/rechambering cycle is most likely culprit. If your reloads are all IN SPEC please identify where the jam occurs. IE: chamberring, firing, extracting, rechamberring. Does the slide move properly? Please advise.
Jake,
I have encountered:
1.The slide not fully closing
2. When that happens I have to physically force the slide open.
3. some rounds fire but dont eject
4. some rounds fire but the spent case gets stuck in the slide
5. 1 out of 3 fires ok
6. obviously i have issues with my reloads but cant find out why at the moment
7. I am aware of the Kimber break in procedure and factory rounds seem to cycle fine. Just cant find factory ammo at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Noticed you stated you used a Lee sizing die. Do you also use a Lee Factory Crimp die? It not only crimps but resizes the od of the case after its loaded. I use them on all my auto loading rounds.


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I did use the factory crimp die on all rounds.
 

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They wont spin after slight pressure is applied and may need help getting them back out of the barrel. I have seated the bullets way below the 1.1 COL max specs.
One last thing to try. Repeat the test using just a resized case.

If it passes the test, the problem is the bullets are engaging the rifling which prevents the cartridge from fully seating in the chamber.

If you don't want to or can't seat the bullets deeper, the fix is to lengthen the barrel's leade (freebore). That is best done by a 'smith with the correct reamer. At that point your choices include contacting Kimber to have them do it or send the barrel to Greg Derr to have him correct the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One last thing to try. Repeat the test using just a resized case.

If it passes the test, the problem is the bullets are engaging the rifling which prevents the cartridge from fully seating in the chamber.

If you don't want to or can't seat the bullets deeper, the fix is to lengthen the barrel's leade (freebore). That is best done by a 'smith with the correct reamer. At that point your choices include contacting Kimber to have them do it or send the barrel to Greg Derr to have him correct the barrel.
Will do
Thank you sir
 

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6. obviously i have issues with my reloads but cant find out why at the moment
I've had similar mysteries occur over the years. With careful attention to detail they have been identified & overcome. Your casual observations begin to offer suggestions for further focus.

Were it my beloved new pistol, I'd start immediately measuring my reloads with OAL caliper and establish 3 groups; those nominally within .001" of spec, those a .001" step over & those similarly under. Either felt marker color code a small handful of each, or break them into groups of 5 equals. All assuming passing the plunk test properly. Chart those failing by any metric that isn't functioning properly. About 15 specific reloads of each will show the trend. When you can load with 5 with a certainty of either success or failure, you will have the culprit in hand.

While noisome at first, establishing an observational protocol will serve well in years and arms to come, in ways that prove advantageous to solving other mysteries.

If they all pass plunk test yet fail to function, that too is important information. I've had the 'too short lands' issue be solved by COL length adjustment of as little as .002", yet it's hard to believe. The shape of the ogive is very important, even in revolvers can give issues as well.

In general I avoid HP designs as there is no range advantage for my typical use, and they have often been irrationally perplexing.

Hope to see more solutions at hand. These types of issues enrichen the reloading/ballistic studies hobby IMHO. On a few occasions, too much flair or too little crimp was the issue I ignored too long.
 

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In regard to handloading for auto-pistols, one thing I've learned that you don't see addressed often is the seating and crimping operation. Ideally, seating should be done in one separate operation, then crimping as a final step. Why? Because you cannot get an accurate taper crimp while the bullet is still moving down in the case during seating. Dillon Precision clearly outlines this in their manual, and after some testing myself with the same ammo on another press that seats/crimps in one operation, the flaw was obvious. Not so critical in revolvers, but still an issue when roll crimping too.

The other detail is to mic the loaded round O.D. after bullet seating, measuring at the mid-point of the seated bullet. In .45ACP, it should mic .469", and Wilson Combat has that stated in their book "The Combat .45ACP". A "too fat" load will not chamber properly, and will prevent the slide from going completely into battery. Ask me how I "discovered" that one.

Just two of the myriad of things to consider when handloading for pistols.
 
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