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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just started back into reloading after 20 years. I loaded up some ammo for my PT 145 Pro, using Winchester casings, CCI 300 primers, Speer 230 gr. FMJ, and 5gr Bullseye. I've got a Lee single stage press and hand primed all of my casings...I didn't have the money at the time for a scale, but with the Lee 4-die set that I got it had a 5gr scoop included. Everything went great for the first 50 rds, but then throughout the last 50 rds I had 3 Failure to Feeds, with the round lodging in between the face of the bolt and the chamber, with the ammo sometimes facing up and down. When I cleared the jam and put in some factory loads thing went well. Prior to going to the range I had a friend, that's been reloading for years, check the length, and case size, and compare it to a factory load, he said everything looked great. The only thing I could think of is that 5gr was too hot for my 3.5" barrel and maybe I should have used 4.5gr, or the dipper is a little off. Also this was the prescribe load that came with the dies. I would appreciate any comments and suggestions that you have. Also, if you have a favorite load for your PT145 that I could use for IDPA/IPSC shoots and are willing to share it I'd be really interested. Thanks for your help. :???:
 

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Don't reload any type of round without an accurate scale ! I doesn't make a difference if its a beam or an electronic. Don't reload without a scale! You can also purchase a case guage and a caliper. Please do not continue until you have the correct equipment assembled to do a safe job.
 

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I think I would be looking at my primer and bullet seating. I think you meant 5.0grs. rather than .5grns. And I agree with sbb, get a scale of some kind. Round could be a little hot, but I don't think that much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sbb, Smokewagon thanks for the replies, you're right I did mean 5gr, I just changed that in the OP . I realize that I need to get another scale with the next paycheck. My friend did use a caliper and the OAL was 1.190. With this load it should have given me 905 FPS, but I don't have a fancy machine to check that. I was using the data from the Lee Deluxe Pistol Die Set. I used a RCBS hand priming tool and all of the primers were seated properly, so now I guess it boils down to powder charge and type of primer. Smokewagon, when you said primer and bullet seating, did you mean type of primer and depth of bullet in the casing? What type of primer, if not CCI, would you recommend? Thanks again for your help, this is a great forum.
 

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Firstly, as Smokewagon and sbb have stated, get a scale. Lee makes a rather inexspensive one that works OK for the money. Here are a coupe of links.
http://www.rrarms.com/catalog.php?prod=90681
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=712103

Now, with that said, I don’t think your powder charge is the issue. Lee dippers are inherently light in their measurement. Lee, according to their own literature, does this intentionally so people don’t overcharge a load.

I had a similar situation with some 9mm loads I had put together;. 115gr LRN in front of 4.7gr of Bullseye. The OAL was fine, the powder was scaled, the cartridges were properly sized and the primer was properly seated. Two or three rounds out of every 15 were FTF jamming between the magazine and the feed ramp. What cured my problem was putting a moderate crimp on the cartridge. Once done, I had no further FTF problems. It seemed that the lip of the case was protruding just enough to cause the loaded shell to catch on the feed ramp and jam. Just a thought but you might try a light to moderate crimp on your cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks rainman, that might solve the problem as I didn't use the 4th die (Crimp and Post Size Case). I've never had a 4 die set and my "friend" told me it wasn't necessary with a .45, but what you described is exactly what was happening to me, I'll give that a try and report back.
 

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Sleeper said:
Thanks rainman, that might solve the problem as I didn't use the 4th die (Crimp and Post Size Case). I've never had a 4 die set and my "friend" told me it wasn't necessary with a .45, but what you described is exactly what was happening to me, I'll give that a try and report back.
Ironically, the Lee factory crimp and sizing die is my favorite reloading tool. I can’t imagine shooting a round that hadn’t been run through this die first. Depending on the cartridge dictates what type of crimp is applied. I believe that auto loader rounds get a roll crimp on the Lee dies. Anyway, I was told that 9mm didn’t get a crimp either but after running them through the factory crimp die my problems with FTF's went away.
 

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Sounds a little to me like your loads are actually under loaded. 5.0 gr of Bullseye is about a starting load, not a full load.

I had the same problem when i started loading a 45. I was using Winchester 231 and was loading about 4.4 gr. Kept getting the stove pipes. Moved up to 4.7 gr and it improved, but still got stovepipes now and then. Then i moved up to 5.0 and no more stove pipes.

Get yourself a scale and measure out a few loads of say 5.2gr then a few of 5.4gr and see if maybe that doesn't cure the stovepipe problem. Check with the Bullseye chart and see what they recommend for the weight of bullet you are using and don't go over max load. A couple of 1/10's can make the difference.

Is your problem actually a failure to feed, or a failure to eject? Were those live shells that were jamming up or were they fired brass turned sideways jamming it? If it was the fired brass it is probably under loading and not giving enough kick to properly eject the shell.

If it is the loaded round then you may have the same problem i did with my 1911. Give a small to medium crimp to the load. Check to be sure that it is crimping properly and there are no marks on the lead bullet from the dies. If problem continues you may need to have a smith do a polish job on the ramp and area, that is what finally cured mine.
 

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James41 said:
Sounds a little to me like your loads are actually under loaded. 5.0 gr of Bullseye is about a starting load, not a full load.

I had the same problem when i started loading a 45. I was using Winchester 231 and was loading about 4.4 gr. Kept getting the stove pipes. Moved up to 4.7 gr and it improved, but still got stovepipes now and then. Then i moved up to 5.0 and no more stove pipes.

Get yourself a scale and measure out a few loads of say 5.2gr then a few of 5.4gr and see if maybe that doesn't cure the stovepipe problem. Check with the Bullseye chart and see what they recommend for the weight of bullet you are using and don't go over max load. A couple of 1/10's can make the difference.

Is your problem actually a failure to feed, or a failure to eject? Were those live shells that were jamming up or were they fired brass turned sideways jamming it? If it was the fired brass it is probably under loading and not giving enough kick to properly eject the shell.
I would agree that an undercharged case could cause a FTE by not developing sufficant force to eject the casing but, as I understand Sleepers problem, this is a FTF. I load 230gr LFN in my .45 with only 4.0gr of Bullseye and haven't had an FTF problem yet.
 

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Another thought too, if those jams were with the loaded rounds it could be a magazine problem. But then again you said factory rounds had no problem didn't you... Sounds like what happened with with my 1911, for a while factory loads worked in it too, but then i started getting the same thing with them. A good polish of the ramp and the chamber area by a smith did the trick for me there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Last night I ran the remaining 50rds, that I had not used from the original batch, through the crimping die and marked them, then I reloaded another 50rds with the exact same data as the first and ran those through all 4 dies in the set. This morning I went to the range, mixed up the rounds, loaded all my magazines and began to shoot, slow fire and rapid fire, double and triple taps...all of the rounds functioned flawlessly, no FTF's, FTE's, just as smooth as can be. My conclusion is that it was the lack of the crimp that caused the problems. BTW before I shoot any of my weapons after purchase, I do a fluff & buff and polish the ramp so I can see my face in it. I checked the Lee #5 dipper and it's running 4.6gr and that's where I'm going to keep my loads as the POI is in the 8-10 rings at 21 ft. Alliant Powder said their max load in Bullseye for my caliber and 230gr FMJ is 5gr. Thanks again to everyone for your input.
 

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Congratulations of getting things working properly. Yep a good crimp can make a big difference cause like Murphy says, "if something can go wrong it will." And a case that is just a tad flared is one that is looking for a place to hang up on.
 
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