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Are Colt barrel chambers exceptionally tight?

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When I took the Colt out to the range the first time, the slide did not return to battery most of the time. I assumed this was just in need of break-in.

But last night I noticed something.

While the gun was disassembled, I dropped a live round into the chamber, and it did not fall in all the way. About 1/8" of the cartridge stood proud of the rear of the barrel. This was a handload I had laying around, made on my Dillon 650.

I started dropping rounds from my ammo cans into the barrel, and sure enough, most of them don't drop in. For comparison, I dropped rounds into my Springfield barrel and every single one drops all the way in with no resistance.

After dropping 1200 rounds by hand into the barrel chamber, I found 98 that slip smoothly into the Colt barrel chamber. The other 1102 rounds drop nicely into the Springfield but stop short of falling into the Colt chamber.

I verified that my resizing die is set correctly.

The only factory ammo I have sitting around is some Remington Golden SAber, and that stuff all drops into the Colt just fine.

So what's going on? Obviously the Colt chamber is a little tighter than the Springfield... but if the Colt cannot eat my reloads then that kills the deal and I will have to dump it.

NOTE: The rounds that do not fit are not measurably thicker than the ones that do, or the factory stuff... meaning, my calipers put all the rounds within one thousandth of an inch of each other, and the caliper does not go any finer than that. But obviously they are thick enough for the Colt chamber to not like them.

Scott
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Do you use a Lee Factory Crimp Die? I had probs when I first started until I go a LFCD. Tracy
 

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I load all my ammo on a Dillon, and have never had a round fail to drop all the way into the chamber, as long as I didn't seat a cocked bullet, failed to crimp, or other mistake. If the bullets are .450"-.452", and properly loaded in Dillon dies, they should drop right in to any quality barrel.
 

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Had similiar issue with my Dillon .45 reloading Set-Up using a combo Redding Seating-Crimping Die.

Added a Lee Factory Crimp Die to the tool head for a final factory-spec crimp and it solved my problem. I hear most reloaders swear by (not at) the Lee Factory Crimp die and most recommend against using combo seating-crimping dies.

YMMV
 

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A couple of things...
First I load with a 650, and I find I have poor results with some brass, mostly cheap imported range pick ups. I have best results with Winchester.

Second, be sure you are crimping ALOT. Check with a micrometer if you have one. You don't want the mouth to be the largest part of the round. Also, get a loaded round gage from Dillon. They are cheap and a good check of your loads. (Helpful to find a problem BEFORE you load 5,000 rounds.)

Third, No I haven't found Colt's chambers to be particularly tight. If I get a load that balks in my match Briley bbl, it will usually drop right in my dad's Gold Cup.
 

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scottauld said:
....
The only factory ammo I have sitting around is some Remington Golden SAber, and that stuff all drops into the Colt just fine.
Sounds like fat bullet problems to me, but you never know. Was the barrel clean or dirty when you were checking? It should be clean.

As noted above, get a Dillon Chamber Check guage and see if your reloads are in speck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
drshame said:
Had similiar issue with my Dillon .45 reloading Set-Up using a combo Redding Seating-Crimping Die.

Added a Lee Factory Crimp Die to the tool head for a final factory-spec crimp and it solved my problem. I hear most reloaders swear by (not at) the Lee Factory Crimp die and most recommend against using combo seating-crimping dies.

YMMV
To clarify: the bullet seater on the Dillon is one die, and the crimp is a seperate die.

It is not a combo seating-crimping die.

It's just not a LEE die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Todd C said:
A couple of things...
First I load with a 650, and I find I have poor results with some brass, mostly cheap imported range pick ups. I have best results with Winchester.

Second, be sure you are crimping ALOT. Check with a micrometer if you have one. You don't want the mouth to be the largest part of the round. Also, get a loaded round gage from Dillon. They are cheap and a good check of your loads. (Helpful to find a problem BEFORE you load 5,000 rounds.)

Third, No I haven't found Colt's chambers to be particularly tight. If I get a load that balks in my match Briley bbl, it will usually drop right in my dad's Gold Cup.
Thank you sir. Very helpful. :)
 

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Not to get off-topic, but I remember a lot of trash-talking about Lee's products in gun rags a few years back. Their factory crimp die was especially villified as something that merely damaged and deformed bullets. Funny thing, but while my old Lee Turret Press isn't as fancy as some of these huge reloading stations, it has always served well and always cranked out good loads. In years since I came to realize it was nothing more than gun rag authors eating out of whatever hand fed them at the time. Lee couldn't compete with the likes of Dillon and RCBS for advertising, so they got to be trashed all the time. Sort of like Colt at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good point, Dana. My Lee turret press served me well for years, without any problems. It was just slow. When I saw a chance to trade for a Dillon I grabbed it and now make ammo eight times faster.

I don't think my ammo problem is with the brand of crimp die, but there may not be enough crimp in the ammo, which I can fix by turning the die. I will make some adjustments to the crimp die, load up a few rounds, and see what fits.

My original suspicion was with the sizing die. I thought that the case was not being pushed all the way up into the resizing/decapping die. But it is, and the bullets I made yesterday still don't fit in the Colt. Today I will experiment with the crimp.

Scott

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
It was the crimp, not the Colt

I realize that some would think this belongs in the reloading forum, but I have been talking to you folks in the Colt forum about my failure to feed problems for three weeks now so I wanted you all to see the (I think) solution.

My Dillon-loaded 45 ACP rounds always worked fine in my Springfield. But my Colt just failed to go into battery all the darn time. I tried a lot of fixes for it, all gun related, until ToddC on this forum (link)mentioned that sometimes you have to put a LOT of crimp on the case.

I had never tried that because, well, conventional wisdom says "just remove the bell, don't crimp like you are making a revolver round."

I took my box of rounds that don't feed and dropped them one by one into the Colt barrel (removed from the gun). Sure enough, most of them stood 1/8" proud of the rear of the barrel, and would not go in. I did this with all 1200 rounds in my amm can, and only 98 of them fit into the Colt barrel properly. ALL of them dropped right into the Springer barrel.

Discussions with Doug Tousignant on the subject had me thinking about the resizing die, for a time, with no results. Then my mind went back to something else Doug had said quite some time ago: mark up a bullet with dyken blue.

So I did. Actually I used dry-erase marker, and covered the whole case and all of the ogive with green marker, and then shoved that sucker into the barrel, tight.

Then I drove it back out of the barrel from the front, with an aluminum cleaning rod, and here is what I saw:



Clearly, the mouth is scraping the chamber. NOT ENOUGH CRIMP.

I have been thinking that I was removing all of the bell, but wasn't.

So I turned my Dillon crimp die (not a combo seating/crimp die, this is a dedicated crimp die) down about a half turn, placed this same bullet in my 650, and pulled the handle.

After that crimp, I tried it in the barrel again and it dropped right in.

I repeated this with 20 cartridges that I know didn't fit the Colt barrel, and after crimping those, all of them fall right in.

Today, at the range, we will see whether this heals the failures to feed problem on my poor Colt. Hopefully this episode will be behind me, and I look forward to a Colt that will EAT.;f

Scott ;c

PS - please don't suggest using a Lee Factory Crimp Die if you did not read this whole post. As I said, I am not - I repeat: NOT - using a combo seating/crimp die, I am already using a dedicated crimping die. Thank you.

Thanks also to everyone on here who has put up with all my questions on Colt feeding problems that has ultimately turned out to be an ammo problem. Springfield's loose chamber had tricked me into thinking my ammo was spec, when, clearly, it was large at the mouth.
 

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...and I just moved it here. Please don't start a new thread on the exact same subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kid Ray said:
Scott, just curious, what was the case mouth diameter before and after the die adjustment? My Colts like it at .469.

---
Ray
Before die adjustment: .472 right at the mouth, but very hard to detect because the wider area was very small (see the magic marker ring)

After die adjustment: .470, and they drop right in.

Best,
Scott
 
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