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Thread: 45ACP Seating Depth Issue

  1. #1

    45ACP Seating Depth Issue

    Hey fellas. Can you help me out with a seating issue?

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    It drops from a Lee mould at .452" at 220 grains. I note that the Lyman manual calls for an OAL of 1.272". I cannot get these to cycle through my Springfield Trophy match at that length; the gun will not go into battery. I found that if I seat the bullet deeper, and apply a heavy crimp, the gun will pass the 'plunk test' if the OAL is down around 1.212". Is that too deep? will that cause dangerous pressure spikes? I have only loaded dummy rounds as I try to get this boolit to work.

    Am I having a senior's moment? As far as I know, that boolit is right in the ball park and should easily load to book specs. Am I doing something wrong? any help is appreciated, this is driving me crazy....

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    That depth is fine as long as you aren't loading for max pressure +p loads with a twitchy powder. I dont load that particular bullet, but I use a lot of 200rf and lee 230tc which both require short oal and a lot more bullet in the case than you are getting. Sneak up on max powder loads and feed her what she likes.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    No I don't think it's a senior moment. I seat a "new" bullet to pass the plunk test first. Then a magazine test, and finally a feed test.
    Then head to the range for a firing test.
    An O.A.L. is a guide that works for whoever's data you are using.
    That's the way I work a seating depth for semi-auto's. Seat the bullet in 1/4 turn increments until it passes the plunk test and go from there. 1/4 turns of the seating screw.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    New to the "plunk test". What is this test? Thank you.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Springfields are notorious for having short leade into the barrel throat. It is designed for jacketed ammunition and works just fine for that. Most shooters shy away from boolits because of the glutton of misinformation regarding their use. I'm sure others will be along shortly to say the same thing, but it may be a good idea to send it in for barrel throating.

    OAL needs to be the first step in load development. If you are going to increase seating depth, you are also reducing the available powder space and the resulting increase in pressure will reduce the safe maximum load. I interpret this to mean reducing your flexibility of finding a load that the pistol likes.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keyman View Post
    New to the "plunk test". What is this test? Thank you.
    this is a good explanation:

    https://www.shootingtimes.com/editor...unk-test/99389

  7. #7
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    OAL is just what worked for them, with their bullet, and was safe in their guns ( or pressure barrel ). Different bullets have different OAL, just go with what feeds best in your gun. You don’t give your load, but if it’s not over pressure to begin with, you should be fine.

    Keyman:

    The “plunk test” consists of dropping a loaded round into your barrel to see if it fits properly. It should bottom out in the chamber with a “plunk” sound, hence the name. It should fall out easily, too. The round should be even with or slightly below the barrel hood. Hope that helps.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


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    The Lyman OAL of 1.272 is for the Lyman 225 gr 452374. The Lee bullet you are using has a different nose profile. The Lee bullet is intended to seat deeper. The 1.212" OAL you've found is pretty close to the correct OAL for the Lee bullet. As to a potential psi problem it should pose any problems if you are using the Lyman data for the 225 gr Lyman bullet. I would suggest the 5 gr load of Bullseye. That's what i use with 195 - 230 gr cast bullets in my 45 ACPs. That includes numerous of the 220 gr Lee bullets you have but mostly the Lee 452-200-SWC, the 453-230-TC and the Lyman 452374.

    I've also found with modern commercial "Match Chambers" that bullets sized .451 and the loaded round given a taper crimp makes for 100% reliable chambering. I get no leading with .451 bullets in any of my 45 ACPs as I use a correct alloy and a proper lube. The use of the Lee 45 ACP FCD on rounds loaded with .452 sized cast also makes them 100% reliable feeders.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub hunter49's Avatar
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    What did your barrel slug at and what are you sizing to?
    The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. - "Thomas Jefferson"

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Ah, The 228-1R Conundrum.

    I also concur the seating depth is correct. If it runs have fun with it.

  11. #11
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    You could always send the barrel and have it throated then you can use .452" boolits seated to whatever depth you choose, as long as they will cycle through the magazine. If you want to use published load data at the COA they list, throat the barrel to fit the load and take advantage of the much more reliable feeding and cycling that a longer COA gives you in the 1911 platform.

    For the record, SAAMI specs call for a .453" lead boolit, how many of today's 1911s will even go into battery with that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    The use of the Lee 45 ACP FCD on rounds loaded with .452 sized cast also makes them 100% reliable feeders.
    Provided the boolit diameter ahead of the case mouth will not interfere with the throat as the FCD does not address this area, it only addresses what's down inside the case. They still have to plunk, to function.
    Last edited by DougGuy; 07-29-2021 at 09:26 PM.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throats honed? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Click here to send me a PM You can also find me on Facebook Click Here.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keyman View Post
    New to the "plunk test". What is this test? Thank you.
    Great info, and I thank you for answers.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with my Rock Island 1911. I sent it to DougGuy and had the barrel done and now it will feed anything I put in it. He does good work and you will not regret having it done.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    You will have everyone from those with very little experience to those that have thousands of dollar of equipment to those who owns more firearms than the US Army and shoots more ammo than the whole US Military give answers. But, it only becomes an issue if one chooses it to be an issue.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy 1006's Avatar
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    It is almost impossible to over pressure a 45ACP by reducing the COL. I only say “almost” to account for the supernatural phenomena of poltergeist living in the powder, or anything else I may have missed.

  16. #16
    Well thanks a lot fellas! I really appreciate the info.

    I am only loading patty-cake target loads with about 5.something HP38. If it gives me book velocities I am happy. Part of my confusion came from that new fangled Ruger Redhawk I got that does both 45ACP and 45 Colt. The revolver doesn't give a hoot about bullets or case dimensions - and it will accept anything I make.

    I thought I was going bonkers - thanks again guys! Shoot straight, and good luck in the hunting draws!

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Plunk smunk....Throat your barrel and it will feed anything that will fit in the magazine as slick as snot on a glass door knob. Talk to DougGuy about it.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master fastdadio's Avatar
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    I was having a problem where my loads that cycled fine in my Auto Ordnance 1911 were too tight in my Colt Commander and would often be tight enough to hold the slide out of battery. I triple checked my last loads thinking it was the ammoes. What plunked fine in the AA was too tight for the Colt. I sent my barrel off to Doug Guy for a throat job. He did a wonderful job, but it didn't cure the problem. More reading on these pages led me to the discovery that My RCBS die was a roll crimp type die. Why, I'm not really sure. I bought a Lee taper crimp die, tried that, and Badda Boom! Bob's yer uncle! That same load with the same brass and Lee 230 lrn I've been loading for years now cycles 100% in both pistols. So my conclusion is that some pistols simply have chambers on the tight side and auto pistol cartridges should be taper crimped.
    Deplorable infidel

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by fastdadio View Post
    I was having a problem where my loads that cycled fine in my Auto Ordnance 1911 were too tight in my Colt Commander and would often be tight enough to hold the slide out of battery. I triple checked my last loads thinking it was the ammoes. What plunked fine in the AA was too tight for the Colt. I sent my barrel off to Doug Guy for a throat job. He did a wonderful job, but it didn't cure the problem. More reading on these pages led me to the discovery that My RCBS die was a roll crimp type die. Why, I'm not really sure. I bought a Lee taper crimp die, tried that, and Badda Boom! Bob's yer uncle! That same load with the same brass and Lee 230 lrn I've been loading for years now cycles 100% in both pistols. So my conclusion is that some pistols simply have chambers on the tight side and auto pistol cartridges should be taper crimped.
    Exactly why "throating" isn't always a cure.....
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  20. #20
    Boolit Master fastdadio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Exactly why "throating" isn't always a cure.....
    I never felt that the throat job that Doug did was wasted money though, he did a nice job on it. That barrel had a very abrupt square step up from chamber to rifling and I would have done it anyway.
    Deplorable infidel

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