How are you, Shane, haven't talked to you for a while.
The reason I asked the question is as you may remember, a while ago I posted a FTF problem with my Gold Cup. After trying the various suggestions I received in this Forum, such as different OALs, feed ramp polishing and using a factory crimp die as you suggested, I am seeing a big improvement. But from time to time, the cartridge would still plunge head long at right angle into the ramp and got stuck.
Now I am trying to switch to RN bullets as I have always used SWC thinking that may be my gun is particular to bullet types.
However, a friend of mine advised me that the 230 gr RN will significantly increase the recoil even if I reduce the load to maintain the same power factor.
Some how I do not agree with him, but I am not experienced enough to come up with an answer.
Well Sammy, this is not an easy black/white answer, because - as I said above - recoil is a subjective thing. Increased recoil is not necessarily a bad thing, if you can control it and still get good split times between shots.
I belong to the "big and slow" crowd. I will gladly tolerate the minimal (IMO) recoil increase in order to have a heavier bullet leave my barrel.
I agree with your thinking that you want to find a bullet configuration that feeds well in your gun. You may want to consider changing your recoil spring 1 step lighter or heavier and see if you still get FTF. You may also want to use an extra power mag spring. I'm sorry, but I don't recall if you were already. Finding the right spring combinations goes a long way to improving reliability, as much as the right ammo.
The biggest proof is in the shooting. Get a box of 230 gr. and a box of 185 gr. You be the judge - do you really feel a "significant" increase in recoil like your freind says? Also, reducing the load with a 230 gr. bullet will NOT maintain the same power factor. Reducing the load with a LIGHTER bullet may.
I'm sorry I can't be more help. I'm waiting for Brownell's to come out with their "recoilometer". Until that time, shoot what is comfortable to you, with a load that you can consistently and repeatedly hit with.
Here are some figures for you, based on a 2 1/2 pound 45. The powder weights are actual charges that I have used:
200 gr bullet, 175 PF, 875 fps, loaded with 4.0 grs of Clays, has a recoil velocity of 10.9 fps, and recoil energy of 4.6 ft/lbs. The recoil due to bullet is 3.9 foot/pounds, or 84%. With a 255 gr bullet, 175 PF, 686 fps, 3.3 grs. of Clays, recoil velocity is 10.8 fps, recoil energy is 4.5 ft /lbs, and recoil due to bullet is 3.9 foot/pounds, or 86%. The heavier bullet actually has less recoil, loaded to the same PF, plus the added benefit of less muzzle flip. Downside is slowed slide speed and a different feel, both of which can be overcome somewhat with a spring change. To me, muzzle flip is the largest change that you will see when changing bullet weights. Different bullet weights will almost always require a different recoil spring so that the gun returns correctly for you.
I thought I'd throw 2 cents (or a nickle's worth) into the conversation because one of my Bud's and I have been researching this for some time. The short response is that there is no clear consensus among different shooting disciplines.
First, it sounds like you're trying to solve a jamming problem. I had a similar problem (from your description) and tried a variety of reloading solutions (OAL, bullet shape, etc) to no avail. The jamming problems all boiled down to magazine issues. But that's another discussion.
Among competetive IPSC shooters, the tendancy is to find relatively heavy bullets pushed by fairly quick powders. In Rich in VA's detailed example, Clays is a pretty quick powder and 200 grs & up is a heavy bullet.
This should result in a relatively short, relatively high pressure firing pulse. It seems that many people perceive this as resulting in lower recoil than say, a 185 grain bullet pushed with a slower, bigger charge of powder to achieve the same power factor.
As Shane 45 points out, felt recoil is a personal experience. I think I generally stopped being aware of recoil after about the first year of competition. I can probably be counted on to reliably detect a squib or a double load,
but with a timer running I just don't feel recoil the way I do when I'm standing flat-footed at the plinking range, which brings me to the recoil spring discussion.
I have read and heard all the advice about running the heaviest spring that will function in your gun. I think that is generally good advice. But here's a different perspective that came as something of a revelation quite recently.
In IPSC competition the follow-up shot speed and accuracy (double tap) is nearly the holy grail. To improve double tap speed, one must sight in the first shot and then pull the trigger twice, just as quickly as that particular shooter is humanly able to pull the trigger.
To get both shots to land on the same spot, the recoil weight is *reduced* until the vertical spread on the hits is eliminated. This assumes you are good enough on the trigger that you don't yank the gun around pressing it.
Does this mean lower recoil spring weight reduces felt recoil? I'm still studying it, but I don't see how it can. I can testify that my Para P16-40 will nearly print doubles on the double tap with a 9 or 10 pound progressive recoil spring. With a factory spring rate of 16 pounds the splits are 12 to 16 inches on the paper.
Relatively heavy bullets pushed with small charges of fast powder give a short (sharp?) recoil impulse. The gun moves much less with a lower weight recoil sping. On generally heavy full-sized guns this all seems to make some sense. YMMV and keep an eye on your shock buff.
Great stuff, exactly what I meant by picking the recoil spring for YOUR grip, YOUR gun, etc. I am running a 12# spring in my Para right now, but when a new one goes in, it will probably be an 11# due to the lowered PF. I have a great stop-action pic of me shooting my Para weak hand only, slide is fully rearward, gun is still as flat as if it had a comp on it......... And that was with the old PF.... Bottom line is, run what is best for you, and don't worry about what the book says......... Feed it what it likes.
Thank you all for your info !!!
WalterMitty, could you expand on your magazine problem re FTF? I have noticed that particularly the 1st two rounds off a full magazine would cause me FTF because the round starts to nose dive while still half way in the mag. All subsequent rounds would go fairly straight out and have no problem feeding. This can be confirmed with the mag out of the gun and pushing the rounds out by your thumb!! If its normal for the round to dive, why doesn't it happen while the mag is not full? What effect does the mag spring have?
For my similar failures to feed I would see the round nosedive into the ramp quite hard. So hard in fact that the OAL could be reduced over .020". I would see early rounds in the mag have the problem, but it could occur later in the mag as well.
More spring pressure from increased power mag springs only made things worse. I think this has some bearing on what was happening to me.
You can see what is happening by putting a full mag in your gun (observe all safety precautions) pull the slide back and slowly move the slide forward to engage the first round in the mag. The slide engages just the very top edge of the case to begin sliding it forward. Even on rounds that end up feeding well, the nose of the bullet will dip slightly just before it overcomes feed lip friction to begin moving. Under conditions of greater pressure and/or friction, the round rotates too far forward and is pinned on the feed ramp.
You can see the same thing pushing rounds out of a mag by hand. Slowly apply pressure to the top edge of the top round. Just before it starts moving it will dip.
As you get farther down in the mag and spring pressure is reduced, the rounds must overcome less pressure to begin moving so they are less prone to hang and tip.
My conclusion and my solution was that I needed to reduce friction on the feed lips of the magazines to stop the jamming. That turned out to be easier said than done. Simple lube did no good.
Without going on for days, what I ended up with was a practice of treating the inside of my mags liberally with dry graphite (what a mess! go outside!) every time I cleaned them. At first I was so desperate that I covered my ammo with the stuff as well. I have since decided that that isn't necessary.
There are probably more elegant ways to slick up your mags. If you try the dry graphite (available in jumbo economy sizes at your local auto parts stores cheap. Don't buy the itty bitty .3 oz lock lube tube) and it works; you can ponder it and let me know what you come up with. Since some of my rough brass was probably contributing to the problem, the graphite helps me solve a couple of different evils.
The boys at the club shoot millions of SWC's through these guns. Round nose might have been required in the pre-ramp days, but if your modern gun won't feed SWC's you've got another problem, even if my suggestion doesn't help.
Just for reference, before I discovered graphite I tried:
OAL (longer and shorter)
bullet type (different shapes and jacketed)
New Brass (brand new Starline did no good)
Commercial ammo (S&B, PMC, etc)
Premium ammo (Hydrashock) This actually worked pretty good, but a typical 175 round match would have cost about $150.00 in ammo. I concluded that the nickle cases gave the edge in friction reduction at the feed lips.
Different mag springs (stronger & weaker)
New mag catch
Walter: I think you are right on with your observation and deduction. I have also seen what you described and it can only be the mag and its spring.
I have 8 round Wilsons and 10 round MCs they all give me problems unless I load 7 rounds in the 8 and 8 in the 10!! I also have an old military type 7 round mag and it works fine. I am almost of the opinion that there is too much spring force in its fully compressed state. I'll try lubricating the mag and reduce spring tension. Thanks
Just browsing and realized I missed this thread earlier. I found it very interesting since I fought the FTF problem with my Kimber SM for a year before solving the problem. I tried everything I ever heard about, including replacing my magazines multiple times. The solution came after buying Wilson 10 round magazines and finding the problem persisted. The leaflet Wilson packed with the mag indicated that, if the nose-down FTF persisted with their mag, the frame ramp was not deep enough. They specified the depth, but I can't find the spec to verify the measurement. I believe it was approximately .325 inches. I measured mine, at the time, and it was not close. I lowered my ramp and then polished it to a mirror finish and now my SM will feed everything I throw at it. The problem was that the a porrtion of the H&G 68 LSWC nose caught the verticle side of the frame, just below the bottom edge of the ramp.
Hope this is usefull or of interest.
The problems described are usually caused by two things.
First, know that some magazines have flat bottomed followers. To check for this, load one round in your mag, then push the nose down with your finger. If the whole round moves, the magazine is good. If just the nose pivots, then usually the follower is at fault.
I cured this problem in my .45's by using the best magazine you gan get, IMHO. These are Pachmayr 7 round magazines. You can also order round top followers from Brownells for about 3-4 dollars each.
The next probable cause is cartridge OAL. You can cure this by setting up your seating die properly. Put the shellholder or plate in your press, then raise the ram. Next, screw the seating stem up until it has no chance of coming into contact with a loaded round.
Put a factory loaded 230 grain ball round in the shell holder, and raise the ram. Screw in the die until contact is made with the case mouth, then back it out about 1/2 turn. Lock the die at that point.
Next, turn the seating stem down until is comes in firm contact with the loaded round. Lock the stem.
Set up a taper crimp die in the final station is you're using a progressive. Or if not, use the taper crimp die as the last step. Crimp to a measurement of .470 at the case mouth, with a bullet seated. You should be ready to go.
"Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size;
When trouble rises, call on me and I will equalize."
I don't really understand all this physics talk. All I know is that I use 3.9 Clays 230 gr RN and a Kimber custom classic. All stock (no pring change) Then one day a guy in the booth next to me (SHOOTER"S WORLD) gave me a box of 185 gr Winchester Target Ammo (factory). I finished the box and bought another box. It felt so smooth. If I can just duplicate that load I would.
That's why I say that I don't get the "heavier the bullet weight than less muzzle flip."
Can you guys break it down for a simpleton like me.
Heavier bullets will give you a more 'rolling' recoil. A lighter bullet provides a quicker 'impulse'. That's why the 185's felt smoother. Even though the 'Power Factor' in IPSC has dropped to 165, I still shoot 175 plus. Why? Simply because the combination of a light bullet, a 12 lb. recoil spring, a fast burning powder provides a 'sharp' quick recoil, rather than a slow 'rolling' recoil. Keep in mind that you don't try to control recoil, you can't. Think of it in terms of 'sight control'. Track your front sight. Focus on it, not controlling recoil & you'll barely notice so-called recoil. If you let the gun do its work, it will return every time to your original sight picture. (provided your grip & stance are balanced).
When you guys are talking about recoil and different bullets weights vs recoil, I don't know if there is that much LESS recoil between the various bullets, especially 180 vs 200gr in 40S&W, I don't there is less recoil, just a difference in feel.
The 200's feel like they're recoiling less with less muzzle flip, but they give more push in the hand back at you and look like they flip less. The 180's have less push in the hand, but faster and appears like a little more flip. I think it is a matter of what like to see and feel. One has more of one thing and less of another and the other is vice versa.
I almost choked when you talked about 1 sight picture and pulling the trigger twice (double taps). You should have a sight picture for each and every shot before you pull the trigger. If not, then you are not and can not call each and every one of your shots. Each shot gets a sight picture and trigger pull for the shot. I know what everyone is saying, there is no way that actually happens. Well guys, it does. I used to be one of those who used 1 sight picture and pulled the trigger twice and couldn't find where I would sometimes lose one of my shots, that is why, every shot gets a sight picture and trigger pull of its own. As a GM class shooter, that was one of the big keys to making Grandmaster.
Believe it or not, I can shoot Bill drills (6 shots, all A's at 7 yards from the holster) in 1.50-1.60 seconds consistently 9 times out of 10 and call EVERY shot and tell you where it went before looking at the shots. True.
i can't my @#$%& gun out of the holster and shoot the first 2 in 1.5 sec. of course i'm new at this ipsc game. if you have any other tips on how to shoot better and faster, i'd love to hear 'em.
p.s. i'm currently unclassified, but would probably be a "C" shooter from what i've seen from others so far. My best shooting buddy is 16th on the uspsa master list, but he's little help because he can't tell me how to do it. he just does it. he did a rear of slide tap the other day in a match to put the gun into full battery, and says he doesn't even remember doing it. his noggin is on autopilot when he shoots.
About your buddy, believe it or not, but he's right on track and exactly where he should be. I am a Grandmaster IPSC shooter and can tell you from experience and speaking with the best in the world (i.e. Leatham, Jarrett, Barnhart, Enos, Tomasie, Strader), that is what they do also. Get to the point where your subconscious takes over, it knows what it needs to see and do and just does it, you don't have to think about it, it leaves you open to think and see other things.
Lots of dry firing helps. It builds your subconscious, and muscle memory and really develops and fine tunes your gun handling skills (i.e. draws, mag changes, movement, sight acquistion).