I have a Dan Wesson 1911 style pistol that has performed flawlessly for the past year. Yesterday, while at the range, I had no problem with some factory loads, about 50 in all, but my reloaded ammo, which has never given me a problem, did not fare so well.
Out of an 8 round mag, at least once, and most of the time two to three times, the hammer would fall but not fire. I looked at the primer and there was a vey light indention. When I manually re-cock and fire, sometimes it would fire, but many times I have to re-cock several times.
A friend fired my relaods in his HK with no problems, and I have not had this problem with any other .45 I have. But I also have no problems with factory loads thus far with my Dan Wesson.
Any ideas or recommendations as to whats the problem?
Reloads are with a mixture of brass headstamps, using Winchester primers, and of course no "battery" issues as the slide closes completely.
A couple of thoughts...Since you mention varying brands of brass there might be a problem with the crimp. Have you checked the over all length of the reloaded brass? Have you trimmed to length those that were to long? Since the .45 ACP round headspaces on the case mouth, to much crimp could cause some rounds to actually move forward into the chamber by the force of the firing pin. This would take up most of the inertia of the pin striking the primer and not igniting.
There could be some built up residue in the firing pin hole in the slide which could bind the firing pin.
Check your mainspring and hammer strut for any damage. A bent or cracked hammer strut could cause a weak strike as well as a worn mainspring.
That's all I can come up with at this time (need coffee). But it sounds like the mixed brass is the problem since you state there is no problem with the factory loads.
Just had another coffee..Seating primers. After tumbling check the primer pockets for any residue and remove it with a pocket cleaner. You will have a variance in depth in the primer pocket depending on the make of the brass. Also depending how many times the brass has been reloaded you can have stretched primer pockets (out of round). Military brass will have a crimped primer pocket. This has to be removed before reloading. If you are using a progressive reloader make sure you are using the same pressure/stroke during the seating process. The above mentioned could also be a cause of weak strikes easpicially if the primers are not seated correctly.