Difficulty chambering longer cartridges in my 45 Colt
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Thread: Difficulty chambering longer cartridges in my 45 Colt



  1. #1
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    Difficulty chambering longer cartridges in my 45 Colt

    My 1894 has always been great at cycling ammunition, but I was always shooting 250 gr with a COL of 1.575 or so. Now I have some Beartooth 325's which have two crimp grooves. I want to use the inner groove which gives me a COL of 1.640 but the Marlin balks at chambering unless I give the lever a little snap on closing. There is no jam with these, just the bullet hits the edge of the chamber a little too low. When I cycle a 1.575 cartridge it enters the chamber almost centered but with the 1.640 the carrier hasn't risen enough before the bolt has pushed it into the edge of the chamber.. This seems to be a timing issue but haven't found a cure for this specifically in the gun stickies. I am not about to tear into this gun until I know specifically what to do, as it works so fine with what I plan to shoot 95% of the time anyway, but it would be the icing on the cake to shoot the heavies without using the other crimp groove which brings the COL down but also makes most load data out there incorrect.

    A picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1895 45-70 GS, 1894 45 Colt
    Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. Henry 22LR Frontier
    Rossi M-92 454 Casull


    "When I hold you in my arms
    and I feel my finger on your trigger
    I know nobody can do me no harm"..

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    Max OAL is right at 1.61. Make it easy on your self and use the other groove. Some guns will tolerate a bit more, but you'll find that with a 45 colt, 444 marlin etc. You must find the OAL that is right for that gun. Its that simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
    Max OAL is right at 1.61. Make it easy on your self and use the other groove. Some guns will tolerate a bit more, but you'll find that with a 45 colt, 444 marlin etc. You must find the OAL that is right for that gun. Its that simple.
    Thanks Dr. A, that is what I was thinking as well but thought I'd ask those here in the know first. So with that it brings up another question. With these double cannelure bullets, where the published data, in the 45 Colts case, is meant for a COL in the 1.65 neighborhood, what is the best rule of thumb to calculate the charge appropriate to the reduced case capacity due to the deeper seating bullets? If the case capacity for powder is reduced say 10% can you simply find the normal published starting load for the longer COL and reduce it by 10%? I am using Lil'Gun and there isn't a lot of data out there for 45 Colt to begin with..
    1895 45-70 GS, 1894 45 Colt
    Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. Henry 22LR Frontier
    Rossi M-92 454 Casull


    "When I hold you in my arms
    and I feel my finger on your trigger
    I know nobody can do me no harm"..

    JM, RIP..

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    Reduce only non-H110 powders by 10%. DOn't do that with H-110. Try backing off a grain and half at most with that powder. I would call Beartooth and ask about appropriate loads given your situation. Marshall will know right where to go, and report back to us!
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  6. #5
    GAR
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    Trim the cartridge stop back some and it should help cure the problem.
    Had the same basic problem with mine and that fixed it right up.

    Tom
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    Gun Wizard
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    Have you measured a before and after cartridge to see if there is any set back occurring when loading? I would do that first and if there isn't any set back then your COL can be made to work. Then take some 400-600 crocus cloth and lightly polish the lower half of the chamber entrance to knock off a little of the sharp edge these barrels have. When I say lightly, I do mean lightly. Just a few twists of the cloth on your finger tip is all that is needed. If you look closely you'll probable see a little shaving of lead as it is now. I had problems getting heavy SWC to feed real smooth until I did this and it has no effect on the sealing of the gasses when firing, especially with the 45 Colt which has a generous chamber anyways. Look at it as kind of like polishing a none existing feed ramp as found on pistols.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    Trim the cartridge stop back some and it should help cure the problem.
    Had the same basic problem with mine and that fixed it right up.

    Tom
    Tom, I was reading about this in the repair stickies and was thinking this might be it, but now I am not so sure. Doesn't the cartridge stop effect how far back the round gets set onto the carrier? From what I can tell that stop is giving ample room and the cartridge freely travels up. What then happens is the breech bolt starts coming forward, pushing the round off the stop and right into the edge of the chamber before the carrier has made it all the way up, stopping solidly. I can then reopen the lever which allows the round to ride back down freely. If I give the lever a slight snap at the start it will flip the front of the round up off the carrier just enough to where the cartridge will clear the chamber rim before the bolt coming forward can push it into the rim and then it slips right into the chamber. I have been doing this with some 300 gr lasercast loaded to the inner (longest COL) cannelure which also doesn't clear.

    Have you measured a before and after cartridge to see if there is any set back occurring when loading? I would do that first and if there isn't any set back then your COL can be made to work. Then take some 400-600 crocus cloth and lightly polish the lower half of the chamber entrance to knock off a little of the sharp edge these barrels have. When I say lightly, I do mean lightly. Just a few twists of the cloth on your finger tip is all that is needed. If you look closely you'll probable see a little shaving of lead as it is now. I had problems getting heavy SWC to feed real smooth until I did this and it has no effect on the sealing of the gasses when firing, especially with the 45 Colt which has a generous chamber anyways. Look at it as kind of like polishing a none existing feed ramp as found on pistols.
    So far I haven't taken my gun to the range and all I have tried here at the house is a dummy round. If by set back you mean is there movement of the bullet in the case I'd have to say no.. As for polishing the chamber edge, this rounds flat point is clearly being shoved right into the outside chamber edge well before the carrier has reached the top. This gun feeds SWC's flawlessly if the COL is short enough to where the carrier can raise to its full elevation before the bolt comes forward (1.575 is what I have tried). There is no lead being stripped on the longer 1.640 COL because the flat point is hitting the edge of the chamber a good 1/8 to 3/16" low so it is just the bullets flat nose is running hard into the outside edge of the chamber. In other words, this round isn't even starting into the chamber at all (see picture).

    One further note that may or may nor have anything to do with this problem. This gun was a 44 mag when it was new and I had the barrels swapped by WWG in Anchorage. As far as I know all that was done was the barrel and head space checked and returned to me. I don't see how this could be effecting the timing like this but I am no expert.

    Thanks guys!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1895 45-70 GS, 1894 45 Colt
    Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. Henry 22LR Frontier
    Rossi M-92 454 Casull


    "When I hold you in my arms
    and I feel my finger on your trigger
    I know nobody can do me no harm"..

    JM, RIP..

  9. #8
    Deadeye
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    This must be a gun-specific issue, as my`94 has no difficulty (and no different feel) in chambering either of these:

    2s9pov7.jpg

    BearTooth 340FPGC at 1.66" and/or the commercial MagTech 250L-Flat at 1.58"
    Last edited by mehavey; 05-27-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    This must be a gun-specific issue, as my`94 has no difficulty (and no different feel) in chambering either of these:

    2s9pov7.jpg

    BearTooth 340FPGC at 1.66" and/or the commercial MagTech 250L-Flat at 1.58"
    The angle that your round is entering the chamber sure is different than what mine does. I don't know if that makes such a difference with the 45 Colt anyhow because of the extra generous chamber diameter they could probably chamber at more of an angle than many of the other pistol caliber Marlins. It seems that if my carrier could have just a tiny bit more time to reach its full elevation before the bolt shoves the cartridge into the chamber edge it would make all the difference. I am not going to give up, just going to gather data for the time being. The main thing I use this gun for is light loads and Trail Boss anyway and I do have an 1895 for anything that would need serious thumping. There are just a few times a year when the 45 colt may need to step up to the plate and fill in because I leave my 1895 at our cabin all summer so it isn't always available to me.
    Thanks for your post and photos!
    1895 45-70 GS, 1894 45 Colt
    Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. Henry 22LR Frontier
    Rossi M-92 454 Casull


    "When I hold you in my arms
    and I feel my finger on your trigger
    I know nobody can do me no harm"..

    JM, RIP..

  11. #10
    Wrangler
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    Check out John Linebaugh's site on loading for the .45... A wealth of information!
    eaglesnest likes this.
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