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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any danger of loading a given cartridge down, to the light side? Obviously, too light and the bullet gets stuck in the barrel, or not work the slide. ( I am thinking of light .45 acp loads.) What issues can arise from doing this?
 

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I used to load my 45 acp's down in .1 gr increments till it would not cycle and then go up .1 ...it would drop my brass right by my foot.

fairly accurate as well....

The reason I did it was to take it easy on a prized 45

Besides the obvious "squib" problem...its generally not a good idea to deviate from the published manual data....on either end of the charge weight range

Some say:

•Light charges - Similar to double charges in effect, but this affects rifles as well. It is possible to have a load light enough that the powder lays more or less horizontal in the case. When the primer fires, a jet of flame is sent over all of the powder at once. Instead of a controlled burn, you have a detonation that can kill, even when the bolt is locked into battery correctly. Such a load is reputed to have blown the bolt backwards out of a bolt action rifle, into the skull of the little girl who was shooting it, killing her. Her father had decided he was going to set up some gentle, light 223 loads for her to shoot, without knowledge of what a light charge can do.
 

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Hey Neck, put a buffer in your 1911 and don't worry about hurting it. HELL, every 1911 should have a buffer in it................

The only drawback I see with light loads is the powder choice. Some type powders are NOT meant to be reduced (slower burning powders).

With the 1911 and other semi-autos, light loads might require installing a lighter recoil spring.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
msredneck said:
•Light charges - Similar to double charges in effect, but this affects rifles as well. It is possible to have a load light enough that the powder lays more or less horizontal in the case. When the primer fires, a jet of flame is sent over all of the powder at once. Instead of a controlled burn, you have a detonation that can kill, even when the bolt is locked into battery correctly.
I think this was happening with large cases and small amounts of double based powder, particullarly Winchester double base powder.
 
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Hammer,
I have a 1911Colt Gold Cup with a NM Slide, Barrel and Bushing. This gun is built specifically for SWC loads and is commonly known in the Standard Outdoor Pistol competetion as a "Wad Gun".
I load 3.8 grains of Bullseye to push a 200 grain SWC bullet. I get about 1" groups at 25 yards with this combination and the brass just drops to my right about a foot away from where I'm standing. But understand that this is a heavy slide (sight Rib added to the top of the slide for added weight) pistol made to perform with these light loads.
The only problem I see with the light loads is the complete cycling of the slide to cock the pistol and load another round. Less than 3.2 grains of Bullseye (200 grain SWC bullets) and I do not have reliable cycling of the slide. If you are "Focused on the front sight" like you're supposed to be, you can actually see some of the rounds going down range. 3.4 grains of Bullseye pushing a 185 grain SWC gives me reliable cycling of the slide.
With the SWC bullets, you have to have a widened feed ramp on the barrel and magazines that have been reworked to feed the SWC bullets reliably.
If you plan on using a standard 1911A1 series pistol, you have to have a lighter recoil spring and if you're shooting SWC bullets, you may have to have the feed ramp on the barrel reworked and widened. JBPMidas has a standard 1911A1 style pistol that shoots reliably using 4.0 grains of Bullseye with a 185 grain SWC Hornady bullet.
YES, you can damage your pistol by going way too light. When you get to the point that the pistol will not function reliably, you need to stop and start back up with your powder charge or make changes to your recoil spring. When the pistol doesn't function on every round, that should tell you to STOP and do something different.
 
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