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Bad reloads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by njl, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    I was just shooting with a friend, and when he unloaded his carry ammo before shooting, I asked what he was carrying. They were commercial .45acp 230gr JHP reloads from a local company. I picked up a few, and I could tell they were badly overcrimped and seemed to have more bearing surface showing than seems to work in my Glock barrels. I field stripped my 30s and showed him that they won't drop all the way into the chamber. He gave me one to take home for further analysis, and here's the stats:

    1.247" OAL
    0.465" crimp
    5.2gr powder (not sure what it is, but I've seen it before...looks like tiny flakes of mica...maybe 231?)
    229.6gr bullet
    0.451" bullet diameter
    0.443" bullet diameter where the case mouth/crimp dug into it
    0.637" long bullet
    0.011" case wall thickness at the mouth

    I suspect the bullets are Montana Gold, but I don't have any of their 230gr bullets for comparison. The HP cavity is very small and shallow. I really don't think these were meant to be a defense load bullet.

    This is the second example of ammo I've seen from this local reloader that was, IMO, grossly overcrimped.

    This is after a few hits in the impact puller. I thought it showed the overcrimp well. Left click, view original, and zoom in...the overcrimp is shocking:


    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  2. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    Very badly over crimped,Fail. SJ 40

  3. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    I happened to still have the scrap of paper next to the computer from the previous example of their work that I examined. This one was 9mm loaded with a Bayou 115gr bullet.

    Bullet diameter: 0.356"
    Crimp: 0.369"
    crimp ring formed by overcrimping: 0.346
    brass neck thickness: 0.011"

    Neither of their customers who gave me the samples noticed any issues using the ammo...but I sure wouldn't pay for stuff like that. The .45 I'm really surprised hasn't locked up his 1911 not quite in battery.
  4. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Agreed, too much crimp and there is no way they would fit in my SA 1911 with all of that bearing surface proud of the case mouth (judging by the crimp mark). He'd be better off carrying walmart ball ammo. Also, I think you are correct about the hollow point. They look like Zero or MG or similar, not defensive hollowpoints.
  5. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    They're definitely not Zero. I have those. They happen to be the same length as Zero 230gr JHP, but Zero has a much wider/deeper cavity. I've fired Zero 230gr JHP into water, and they actually do open up a bit. They also lose their jacket.

    To me, the color says MG...and the HP cavity reminds me of the MG 9mm 124gr JHP I have.
  6. Steel Head

    Steel Head Tactical Cat

    Jan 1, 2010
    A cat box in WA
    Could use a bit more crimp!
  7. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Look like MG jhp, not a good choice for sd loads IMO, not designed for expansion. Certainly too much crimp, I see this quite a bit in low grade comm ammo.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  8. CarryTexas


    Aug 8, 2002
    Why would anyone use someone else's reloads for SD ammo? Use your own fine, but for me I use new factory SD ammo. Federal HST.
  9. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    People never cease to amaze me. Buy a $1200 rifle & put a $100 scope on it. Carry a gun, don't actually get any training, practice with it or feed it good defensive loads because one is cheap? Personally, my life is worth a lot more than 50rds of premium jhp:shocked: If you need a gun you will need it badly. There is more to carrying a gun than, well carrying a gun. I have never seen the point of cutting corners on the gun, training or the ammo.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  10. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Amazing. That is probably a Montana Gold bullet from just looking at the color. The crimp is enormous. I would be so ashamed to have that ammo much less have loaded it and sold it to someone.
  11. kaech


    Jan 26, 2012
    CG wisconsin
    That's one nasty reloaded .45
  12. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    Surprisingly, they run fine in his Colt Officer's model.

    I think non-reloaders take commercially produced ammo for granted, whether its produced by Winchester or Bubba's Bait and Tackle, and assume if it's commercially produced, it must be fine.

    As a reloader, the first thing I thought when I saw this ammo was, "that much bearing surface showing can't least it didn't when I tried it at home with .45", which prompted a closer look, at which point I noticed the crimp seemed well beyond removal of flare.

    I wanted to contact the company, but I can't find an email address for them, and I don't feel like calling them or walking in and getting into an argument with them about their lack of attention to detail or QC. It's not worth my time.
  13. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    My guess is that the bullets popped right out, nice and easy, with the puller. I've pulled down a few hundred "estate sale" and yard sale reloads that I've acquired for components. I've seen literally hundreds like in the photo. The ones crimped badly like that had severely compromised neck tension and slipped right out of the case with a few taps of the kinetic puller.

    I think a lot of the over-crimping has to do with the common misconception of using a "firm taper crimp" to "give a strong hold on the bullet."
  14. Schrag4


    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I don't have a lot of experience reloading yet, but wouldn't the person pulling the handle get a whole lot more resistance than is normal with that much crimp? I suppose if they had been way over-crimping from the very beginning then they'd think it's normal...