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Troubleshooting FTE

bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
I ran up some couple of hundred 9mm rounds a few months ago.

Assorted brass
TulAmmo small pistol primers
3.5 gr PB
115 gr berry's bullet (plated)

FTE on every round tested in my workhorse SIG p226.
Actually, failure to cycle would be more accurate.
The loading above left me with an accurate, but very dirty 9mm round that had to be cycled by hand after every shot.

So I bumped things up to 3.7 gr PB
Now, I'm getting either a total failure to eject, extract or anything upon firing, or a stove piped case which has to be manually cleared. Or- rarely, a perfectly executed feed/fire/extract/eject/feed cycle.

Just to make sure it is my reload, I fired 90 or so rounds of Winchester White Box which functioned flawlessly. (But in my defense, my handloads grouped better)

On a lark, I loaded up a magazine to try to run through my SIG 938. With the more acute angles, I expected the same results or worse.


It was absolutely flawless. Not a hiccup. Far better groups than I've shot with it previously.

So now I'm even more stumped.





My 226 workhorse could probably use a new spring or three. But why would it continue to cycle "budget" ammo and reject those that I lovingly made for it??

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I looked online at the PB data for 115 bullets (sgdhp), 3.3gr 26,900 psi starting to max 3.7gr 32,500. both with CCI 500 primers.

    I suspect your primers are weaker, your powder could be old or stored wrong at some time in it's life. Are your cases free of oil residue on the inside? Try a different powder and primer. You have check your charge and zeroed your scale?

    A wheel gun or single shot will function at reduced loads where the bullet barely leaves the barrel, autoloader not so much.

    added that is where I got the PB data 3.3 to 3.7 under 9mm luger imr pb 115gr. maybe I'm missing something.
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,107 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    One quick way to see if the ammo will function is load one round in a pistol that normally locks the slide back after the last round fire that one round iF the slide locks back each time trying this method
    at least 5 times you should be good to go . However if the slide DOES NOT lock back then the ammo or you the shooter is to blame. if ammo it is too weak for the weight of the slide and strength of the recoil spring . If it is shooter it is because the shooter is limp wristing the pistol "not holding the grip firm enough".
    edit Sounds like the load. I bet anything one of two things
    The slide weight is heavier on The model 226 than the 938 or the strength of the recoil spring is stronger on the model 226 than the 938. . I am tall and skinny found out years ago. I need a hotter load
    to get 100% function out of pistol than someone like BPOST/BRUCE who is neither Tall Nor SKINNY When I first started shooting 2700 matches It seemed I only had malfunctions on 45 Rapid fire the first strings of slow fire in Centerfire stage with same 45acp pistol NEVER . first round of the day ejected 6 foot behind me buy the end of the day empty case fell on my right shoe [:(]
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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,377 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hodgdon shows a higher maximum load of PB with a jacketed (Gold Dot) 115 gr 9mm than what Charlie says. A fast powder like that will very often call for a top load for reliable function.
    Look it up there.
    http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol
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    bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,657 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    sounds like a too weak load. Hold the pistol VERY firmly locking your wrists and elbows to see if that makes it work. If it does you need more powder.
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    bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    We are all using the same site for the reloading data.

    Which brings up another question of why they have a beefier max load for the same weight hollow point v round nose?

    Powder? I don't think that's the problem. Stored inside in climate controlled conditions since I bought it 6 months ago. It also seems to work in a .45 acp application. (But didn't function at the low end of the published range. So I increased to middle which increased reliability.)

    But the .45 is using a Winchester large pistol primer. So maybe the primer? Or maybe the powder is degraded somewhat? Smells great though.

    Karl, not limp wristing. And I'm positive it will fail your five shot test with the sig 226 and will pass with the sig 938.

    Would not the maximum published load be greater than the load found in Winchester white box though?
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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I liked the Winchester White box loads in 45ACP, it was a full military load IMHO. I don't own, shoot or load for 9mm ever as a rule.

    Powder spends years in storage to stabilize before they sell it to us. The six months in your control is a wee drop in the life of that powder.

    I would try some different brand of primers. Perhaps the quality control in storage/transport/manufacture of the rusky (Tula?) stuff is causing the issue.
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    MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,996 ******
    edited November -1
    just to note; 'plated' bullets should be loaded as 'cast' bullets, they don't offer the resistance of jacketed bullets so pressures (and recoil) will be lower.
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    jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Dirty burn. Not cycling action. Comes closer to it with a heavier load.

    Sounds like a classic under powered load to me.

    Remember, the max load is using a certain case, primer, and brand of bullet with a given powder charge. Between different primers, probably different brass, and a different bullet, that's likely your issue.

    If it were me I'd bump it up another .1-.2 gr and see. If it gets function going and doesn't show any other signs of pressure, you're good. But I won't say YOU should do that, as that would be exceeding the published load data.

    I'd also weigh some bullets and see if they are really 115 gr. If they are actually 107 or 110 or something, that's likely not helping.
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    bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    My takeaways.

    -Plated should be loaded as cast due to their softer nature.
    I'm not putting any lube on them, and don't know how I would if I wanted to.

    -I'm seeing others (on other boards) who are up to 4.2 loading 9mm plated bullets.
    That seems a bit further out of published ranges than I feel comfortable with.

    - I thought of the bullet weight. 114.5 instead of the advertised 115. Figured that was within tolerances.

    -It makes sense to me that I'm still underpowered. I'll take what seems to be everyone's advice and move slowly and carefully up the scale.

    What would be the earliest sign of over pressure I should look for?
    A split case seems obvious. Anything I should look for prior to that?
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    MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,996 ******
    edited November -1
    I just check my Lyman cast bullet book. It lists the starting load at 3.7 gns of PB for 995 fps and a max load of 4.5 gns and 1130 fps with the 115 gn bullet. the 'lube' on cast bullets is to prevent leading the same as the 'plating' on your bullets. you are under powered
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    bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by MIKE WISKEY
    I just check my Lyman cast bullet book. It lists the starting load at 3.7 gns of PB for 995 fps and a max load of 4.5 gns and 1130 fps with the 115 gn bullet. the 'lube' on cast bullets is to prevent leading the same as the 'plating' on your bullets. you are under powered


    Thanks MW!
    Looks like I finally worked my way up to the "low end".

    I'm way under based on that data!
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    dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    MY PB load for any 115gr is 4.2grs Runs my Beretta, Sigs, or HP best [;)]
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