Powder marks on 45 acp shell casings


sierra04

New member
I have a question. I have a Para USA GI Expert, and i just shot a few round of winchester 185 gr FMJ target/ range rounds, and all of the spent shell casings had powder marks on the side. May this be a problem with my handgun, or is it the ammo. I have read about this problem with hk handguns, but people suggest it is the ammo.

Thanks
 

Hoganbeg

Member
Powder marks on the empty case means blow-by; hot gasses escaping past the mouth of the cartridge. Typically the cartridge expands slightly under pressure, sealing the chamber & preventing this That's why they need to be re-sized for reloading. This can happen with low powder charges not developing enough pressure, worn or damaged chambers which go out of spec, out of spec ammo, and (I think) cartridge cases which have been reloaded too many times. In any case I suggest its time to have a gunsmith look at it. Any gun smiths out there who'd care to enlighten us?

P.S. I think it could also be caused from a weak recoil spring causing it to unlock too soon. Where's our gunsmith? I'd really like to know about this.
 

TooCalm

New member
If you have a micrometer measure the spent shell case. If it isn't round the gun chamber could be bad. My best guess would be the pressure is too low. Try some different ammo.
 

jtg452

Member
I have a question. I have a Para USA GI Expert, and i just shot a few round of winchester 185 gr FMJ target/ range rounds, and all of the spent shell casings had powder marks on the side. May this be a problem with my handgun, or is it the ammo. I have read about this problem with hk handguns, but people suggest it is the ammo.

Thanks

You do NOT need a gunsmith.

Sounds like an ammunition issue to me. Fiddling with springs is NOT going to change when the bullet pulls free of the case and enters the barrel.

It's just blow by. The round isn't getting full expansion of the brass meaning the case isn't conforming fully to the chamber walls before the bullet is entering the barrel. It happens with light bullets and/or low velocities and 185gr target loads combine both.

If it was a reload, I'd suggest trying a heavier crimp and, if that fails, going to a heavier bullet or increasing the powder charge. Considering how light the load you are shooting is (185gr is LIGHT for a .45), I'd suggest trying a 230gr round to see if it continues.

Or

You can just keep shooting what you are shooting. All that is going to happen is you gun will be dirtier than usual.
 

OM44

New member
Don't sweat it. Just keep shooting.

ALL brass gets dirty when fired.

Dirty brass is why someone invented the case tumbler.
 

sierra04

New member
Thanks for all of the help. I am going to try the same ammo with my friends HK and see if it the ammo, i am also going to try different brands.

Thanks Again
 

stingray2100

New member
ok so what ammo are you using?

sound to me like it is just your ammo, change the brand and see if it does the same thing.
 

nraynes

New member
Yeah different ammo should make all the difference. I reload all of my rounds and 185 is extremely (though not the worst I've seen.) light round.
 

Purple

New member
I agree. A heavier load will tell you whether you have a chamber issue or not. If a heavier load doesn't solve your problem, mark a round with a felt tip pen on one side. Load the into the chamber with the mark up and fire the gun. The powder streaking on the spent case should tell you where to look for problems in relation to your chamber.
 

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