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45ACP OAL with RNFP, getting jams in the M1911


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I am loading Badman 200gr RNFP bullets to an OAL of 1.151 (it's what he recommends for 45 ACP).  They're getting jammed at the top rear edge of the chamber (an occasional one will make it into the chamber).  I'm using Red Dot.  With 4.4gr I was getting power factors of 164-166.  With 4.0gr, power factors of 151-154.  No difference with the jamming (i.e., jammed whether at/around the minimum PF, or with what should be a very sufficient PF). While I recognize there could be a number of other factors at play, my focus with this post is to ask whether others are loading these bullets at a longer than recommended OAL with consistent success (I've seen a post or two from Frank Norfleet who loads RNFP to 1.161 but I'm not sure whose bullets he's using).  The explanation from my bullet manufacturer is that "if using them in the ACP application, they have to be loaded shorter or the ogive will prevent the bullet from fully seating completely within the chamber."  The problem I'm experiencing is not with seating in the chamber, my problem is getting them into the chamber after racking and firing the first round.  Seeing the position they are in when jammed (not laying on the ramp, but angled a little more steeply upward), it just seems like they're too short.  A RN bullet with a longer OAL loads fine, but the RNFP is what Cody C. recommends for his 1873 45 ACP conversion.  So I need to get the RNFP working in the M1911.  If I can do that, the 1873 should take them just fine.  As mentioned above, there may be other causes but I'm starting with this one first.

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A lot of us shoot 200 grain RNFP bullets and they will work well in a 1911.  I make mine around 1.200 OAL and they work fine.  In your case there are several things that you can chek to see if it is a problem.  

Linp Wrist?  Crimp, plunk, operating (recoil) spring, slide lube,  magazine, magazine spring, and a hundred or so other things.  Check the simple things first.

There is an answer

Blackfoot

 

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Typical 3 point jam. 

Sounds like the feed ramp needs to be angled and smoothed to feed your ammo, or the barrel link shaped properly.   If you have never done this on a 1911, it would probably be best to let a pistol gunsmith do this work.

If you want and can do this work yourself, here's a very detailed description of the problem and the repair.

https://www.m1911.org/technic21.htm

You will also find in this article the Tripp 1911 magazine recommended to help prevent a 3 point jam, too.  A ton of top WB shooters use the Tripp mags.

good luck, GJ

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Another thing that has cleaned up feeding lead bullets in my 1911s is to relieve any sharp edge at the lower section of the entry to the chamber.  The side of the bullet nose seems to catch on any sharp edge there on the barrel.  Only a very small amount of metal needs to be stoned/polished off on that edge.  If you examine the jam you get, and the bullet is touching that part of the rear of chamber, even marking the bullet with a small gouge, then you will need to "ease over" that part of the transition from feed ramp to chamber.

good luck, GJ

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/20/2022 at 8:34 AM, Schoen said:

I am loading Badman 200gr RNFP bullets to an OAL of 1.151 (it's what he recommends for 45 ACP).  They're getting jammed at the top rear edge of the chamber (an occasional one will make it into the chamber).  I'm using Red Dot.  With 4.4gr I was getting power factors of 164-166.  With 4.0gr, power factors of 151-154.  No difference with the jamming (i.e., jammed whether at/around the minimum PF, or with what should be a very sufficient PF). While I recognize there could be a number of other factors at play, my focus with this post is to ask whether others are loading these bullets at a longer than recommended OAL with consistent success (I've seen a post or two from Frank Norfleet who loads RNFP to 1.161 but I'm not sure whose bullets he's using).  The explanation from my bullet manufacturer is that "if using them in the ACP application, they have to be loaded shorter or the ogive will prevent the ammunition from fully seating completely within the chamber."  The problem I'm experiencing is not with seating in the chamber, my problem is getting them into the chamber after racking and firing the first round.  Seeing the position they are in when jammed (not laying on the ramp, but angled a little more steeply upward), it just seems like they're too short.  A RN bullet with a longer OAL loads fine, but the RNFP is what Cody C. recommends for his 1873 45 ACP conversion.  So I need to get the RNFP working in the M1911.  If I can do that, the 1873 should take them just fine.  As mentioned above, there may be other causes but I'm starting with this one first.

Have you tried loading 'em shorter as manufacturer suggested? Having somewhat similar problem right now. Just wanna make sure before I take my 1911 to the gunsmith as Garrison Joe adviced...

Edited by Jtanner
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Well, it takes very little time to try two or three OAL lengths to find out what length will feed, if any.

But, having been using 1911s since the 70s,  there are only a few FEED jams caused by "too short" a cartridge.  OAL more often gets involved when too long a nose jams into rifling and fails to CHAMBER.  And common feed ramp and chamber throat problems have been mentioned already.  So check for those.

If the bullet caster has a recommendation for cartridge OAL in the 1911, I would be SURE to try that first.  But when you are working with two different feed mechanisms and trying to get a RNFP slug to feed up the ramp of a 1911 AND out the carrier block in a highly modified '73 lever gun, you can expect to have feeding differences. 

If there were an easy way to find what OAL might run in both, I would give you my suggestion.  But, it probably will take close VISUAL inspection to find the causes of jams in either one of the two action types, and possibly some feeding work on one or both of the guns to get one cartridge length to feed well in both.

I can tell you from experience, that most 1911s that have been prepared to feed a 185 grain hollowpoint slug 100% of the time, can almost always feed a 200 grain RNFP lead bullet.  And that some of the 1911s made without proper care setting up the feed ramp, barrel and chamber will NOT always feed either short hollowpoint or lead bullet loads.

 

But, if you can't find the optimal length at which to load RNFP on your own, then yes, it probably is time for an experienced 1911 gunsmith to take a look at the PISTOL.  Getting the '73 rifle to feed properly with a RNFP should be MUCH easier.  It's a straight-line push into the 73 chamber! But, make sure you take examples of the ammo load that you think is what you want to shoot, along with the 1911. 

10 hours ago, Jtanner said:

Just wanna make sure before I take my 1911 to the gunsmith

It's hard for a newish 1911 shooter to be sure of anything about failures during feeding in the 1911, because that can occur from several causes.  A good 1911 gunsmith has seen them all before, and knows the fix, too.

If you need more help, then state that you have already confirmed 100% feeding of commercial 185 grain hollow-point ammo, which is typically loaded kinda short.  Take pictures of the feed jam that occurs with your RNFP lead bullets, and simple pictures of your ammo that you have made up. Without those, any one will be purely guessing until they actually have your gun in their hands.

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe
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