I finally bought a used .45 USP, AE date code, which had less than 500 rounds through it, judging from the finish wear. I'm enjoying the hell out of it (I've never been this accurate with a .45 before), but I've run into one problem I'd like to throw out for comments/insight/suggestions.
I bought some Silver Bear .45 cal ammo, very cheep, zinc plated cases. I don't know if the cases are aluminum or steel core. Three of the cases (of about 200 fired) have split and lodged in the breech, causing the extractor to skip over the rim of the burst case, so the slide cycled and attempted to load the next round. Each time the gun jammed, I held the slide open, dropped the magazine, and tapped the stuck shell case out of the barrel from the muzzle end, using an aluminum cleaning rod. Two additional cases cracked, but cycled so the gun didn't jam.
My first thought was to blame the super cheep ammo (Silver bear, about 13 cents per round), but each of the cases has cracked on the right side of the case (3 O'clock, just forward of the mark the extractor left on the rim).
I haven't put much other ammo down range in this gun, but what little brass cased ammo I've fed it (~50 rounds, no jams or misfeeds), seems slightly bulged on one side. I'm concerned that the chamber might be out of spec, with too much space on the right side, causing brass shell cases to bulge and super cheep ammo shell cases to burst and get jammed. I'm not worried about the Silver Bear ammo, I won't be ordering any more of it, but the brass bulges worry me.
I'm considering getting into reloading, and if my chamber is out of spec enough to cause accelerated brass wear, I want to fix it, so my brass will last through many reloads. (Yes, I bought an HK, but I'm still psycho cheep enough to worry about how many firings and reloads my brass will endure.)How
If my chamber is within tolerance, do HKs tend to wear brass out faster than other guns, perhaps due to a slightly loose chamber design to facilitate reliable feeding, at the expense of faster brass fatigue?
And finally, does anyone know if the Jarvis after market barrel for the .45 HK USPf has a tighter chamber than factory HK barrels? I really like the HK, so if I need to buy a second barrel with a tighter breech, I will, for target shooting where reliability isn't as vital and increased brass longevity will make me happy.
Thanks for your help,
Try PMC ammo for cheap shoot 'em stuff.
Thanks for the advice. I did finally get a micrometer and measured my spent brass today (.478-.480) which was not a larger diameter than the spent brass the other .45 shooters were producing. It was just the crappy ammo. Since I can't find decent ammo for 13 cents a round, I probably will get into handloading, since the savings compared to factory ammo @ ~20 cents/round begin to really make it worth handloading for me.
Already picked up a couple reloading manuals, so I'd better start lurking in the realoding section.