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I've been using Winchester 230-grain hollowpoints in my S&W 1911 for a couple of years. It's my duty load (security work). Lately, I've noticed something odd - perhaps alarming? When I go to work, I chamber a round and carry cocked and locked. After the shift, I unload the weapon, and re-insert the previously chambered round into the magazine. This results in numerous chamberings of the same cartridge. I noticed that there is a difference in the overall length of the cartridge from the others - the bullet seems to have seated lower than the other cartridges. There is a distinct mark on the brass revealing the outline of the bullet's base. If this is due to the repeated chamberings, am I risking a high-pressure load, since the bullet appears compressed? Is this an ammo issue or is there something about the Smith and Wesson 1911 that batters the head of the cartridge and hammers the bullet downward? This isn't happening with just one box of Winchester 230-grain hollowpoints. I'm wondering if Winchester needs to secure the bullet better?
 

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It's a known issue with almost all brands. Repeatedly slamming the slide on one or two rounds will shorten them up. It's not the fault of the ammo, it's the use of the same two rounds over and over again.

Best solution? Load the gun and leave it loaded until you shoot it.
 

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If this is due to the repeated chamberings, am I risking a high-pressure load, since the bullet appears compressed? Is this an ammo issue or is there something about the Smith and Wesson 1911 that batters the head of the cartridge and hammers the bullet downward? This isn't happening with just one box of Winchester 230-grain hollowpoints.
It is a common observation for ANY gun and ANY brand of ammo if you repeatedly load/unload with just the top two rounds. Yes you are risking a high pressure round although it is not usually a big deal unless the round is severely compressed.

This is not a defect it is just a fact of life with autopistols.

If your agency requires you to unload then you should replace the top two rounds after just a few cycles. Otherwise, as you were already told, leaving the gun loaded is the simplest solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, guys! Strangely, this is the first time I've been loading & unloading a duty gun almost daily. I'll just leave it loaded until it's time for practice or cleaning. :)
 

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My daily carry gun has this routine. At the range, I shoot the mag of Carry Ammo that is in it, then shoot my practice ammo until its time to go. I strip and clean the gun before I leave the range, then reload the gun with carry ammo, and say a silent prayer that it will stay in the gun until my next practice session.

When I get home, and get undressed, the carry gun goes under the pillow, still in the holster, in the morning, when I get dressed, it goes back on the belt and off we go.

If I had to store the gun locked up over night because of kids or other reasons, I would use a small safe and store that gun loaded in the safe.

Think about it, loading and unloading are the processes where your hands are all over the gun, you have to take the safety off, you have to work the slide, the action gets cocked in the process, etc, and if you have a mistake, it could go badly. If you simply put the holster and gun into the safe, and then simply extract the holstered gun in the morning and slip it on, then you reduce the chances of an OH S___!! by a large factor. Likewise, running the ammo in and out of the gun is not good, and it produces no real benefit in safety, and arguably, creates a far greater chance for a ND.
 

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Does anyone have experience with a cannalured round? Does this keep the bullet from retreating into the case?

I remember some nickle plated brass in a premium load with that feature. I don't remember specs just that it was a .45 ACP.

Geoff
Who uses the loaded mostly method with semi-autos, and the mostly unloaded method with revolvers.
 

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I worked for a certain bloodsucking part of the gubmint and we were not allowed to bring or take weapons off the property.
We carried 4 inch 38 Smith and Wesson or Taurus revolvers with lead round nose ammo.

The process was you were given your weapon and you held it over a metal pipe that goes into a sand trap and open the cylinder. Then the officer in charge would drop the ammo in and you would close the cylinder and holster your weapon.
At the end of the shift the process was repeated in reverse.

You could grab the bullet and spin it in the case freely and move it in and out quite a bit. When we would get a shipment of new ammo we would pull the bullet out with our fingers and dump the powder and load it with wax in place of the bullet and make a shooting range on the roof to kill time on those long boring nights.
 

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I do not feel like I would trust a cannelure or mouth waterproofing to prevent setback.

I did one test and after 10 load/unload cycles a high quality sealed round had measurable setback and loss of seal.

NB: this does not mean you can do 9 and get away with it... a couple probably won't hurt but why take chances?
 
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