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Old October 03, 2018, 22:12   #1
fuel fire desire
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Federal HST +P....lots of various odd malfunctions

I am very disappointed in the results of testing this through a variety .45's. Though I don't believe it to be the ammunition's fault on its own, but rather the guns' inability to handle it.


Federal HST .45 ACP 230 gr +P, 950 fps.




I ran (or attempted to) 150 rounds through three of my .45's that are in my carry rotation. A XDS, a Sig Compact Carry Nitron (4"), and a FNX45.






The first round in the FNX locked the slide to the rear. The slide stop was NOT engaging, it had simply frozen in its rearmost position. The slide was not in contact with the next round in the mag, or anywhere near the mag itself (about 1/4" behind the rim). The previous cartridge had ejected normally, and the next round in the mag was in a normal position in the feed lips. It just froze to the rear. I dropped the mag, pulled the slide back (it was already all the way back, so basically just applying pressure), and released it as normal. I cycled the slide manually and could not recreate it. The mag was inserted, slide racked, and fired another round. Same malfunction.... Slide frozen to rear, slide stop not engaged, no mechanical interference to be found. Firm forward pressure on the slide broke it free, and it went into battery. I stripped the gun, and found no foreign debris, damage, or any other reason the slide could be sticking. I still could not recreate the malfunction by manually operating the slide, even aggressively. I loaded the remainder of the mag, and shot through it all without issue until the last round. The slide locked back as normal....but the mag would not drop free, and the slide stop was frozen in the locked position. The mag could not come out even with me pulling on it with decent force. The magazine release was overly stiff, and would not spring back to center. Looking closer at the open slide, the follower had jumped over top of the slide stop tab and bound everything up.




(normal)



At this point I gave up on my FNX. It was obvious it wasn't liking the stuff AT ALL. This pistol has NEVER (not ONCE) malfunctioned on me in the 1500 rounds of standard pressure Ive put through it so far. I also have never seen a malfunction like either of these in ANY pistol Ive ever owned or shot before. If one of these pistols would have eaten this +P like candy, I figured it would have been this FNX.


One magazine into the 1911, I had a bolt-over-base malfunction on the last round. Again, the first BOB malfunction Ive ever seen in this pistol, and the first malfunction Ive seen in this pistol in years (since it was new/ break in). I ran another handful of mags through it with no problem. There was slight evidence of firing pin drag on the primers though. Again, something new for this pistol.






The XDS....the one pistol I figured would be intolerant of this deep dish hollow point +P......ate it up like candy. In all 3 magazine sizes (5, 6, and 7 round variants) it cycled flawlessly in around 100 rounds. Recoil was on the verge of being unpleasant, though I consider myself to be very recoil tolerant. Im sure in less seasoned hands it would be perceived as excessive. It reminded me of a .357 through a J-frame. Follow up shots definitely suffer, though are still acceptable in speed and accuracy for my personal standards. Again, primer drag is evident (also new for this pistol), and primer flow is about as much as Id want to see on a .45.


Top: standard pressure Golden saber 230 gr,
Bottom: HST +P out of the 1911
Right: HST +P out of the XDS....with plenty of drag and flow evident








In the end, Im rather disappointed in how this ammo performed in 3 entirely different platforms. Though, I believe it has nothing to do with it being HST, but rather +P. No pistol seemed to really like it, sans the XDS (except for the primer drag and flow). Slide velocities on all three pistols are way above normal causing malfunctions, and in the case of the FNX, battering the thing to death (which surprised the hell out of me, being the biggest and heaviest slide). It broke my trust in the FNX, and probably won't carry it again until I get a good string of 200-300 flawless shots out of it with standard pressure carry ammo.


I guess I should yield to what the internet consensus has been on .45, that +P isn't needed, and standard pressure 230 gr is the gold standard of .45 acp. I have since ordered another sample of standard pressure HST, and hope everything works out well with it. I am entirely sold on the terminal performance of the bullet in gel testing, and would REALLY like for it to replace my past favorite (golden sabers).
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Old October 03, 2018, 23:20   #2
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Just an internet opinion, but anytime I have handloaded .45 to +P specs I also installed a slightly higher power recoil spring. For an example...on my Colt 1911's, I ran up to and including a 24 pound spring. In your situation I don't believe the recoil system of the two guns that had problems match the ammo. That's shouldn't be an indictment against the ammo. IMO.

Evidently that ammo is higher pressure as advertised. Good to know.
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Old October 04, 2018, 10:31   #3
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Just an internet opinion, but anytime I have handloaded .45 to +P specs I also installed a slightly higher power recoil spring. For an example...on my Colt 1911's, I ran up to and including a 24 pound spring. In your situation I don't believe the recoil system of the two guns that had problems match the ammo. That's shouldn't be an indictment against the ammo. IMO.

Evidently that ammo is higher pressure as advertised. Good to know.
I wholeheartedly believe the issues Im having are a result of slide velocities being way above the standard norm for these two pistols having issues. While replacing the main and slide return spring on the 1911 would be fairly straight forward, the FNX will be a bit more of a challenge. Its not the most popular/ common platform out there, and being hammer fired its timing is a balance between the main and recoil spring. It would require quite a bit of trial and error to retime my individual pistol.

On top of that, my FNX already barely dribbles brass out of the ejection port using 230 gr 825 fps bulk FMJ. An increase in spring rates would most likely render the gun "full house only". I already have a 10mm 1911 thats like that, and since I don't have a press, it gets expensive to feed it. Ill just leave the FNX as-is and simply use standard pressure in it in the future. I still have that sample of standard pressure HST coming, and since I didn't have any actual feeding issues (no bullet or case shape issues) I'd bet and hope all goes well with them.


I did wind up saving half a box of the +P for carry use in my XDS though. Chronograph tests (not of my own) show that the +P HST leaves the 3.3" barrel of the XDS with the same velocity as a standard pressure 230 gr out of a 5". About 850 fps. So essentially Id be getting full size terminal performance out of a pocket rocket (at the cost of some nasty recoil).
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Old October 04, 2018, 21:56   #4
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Just an opinion here. I write it so I can understand it and not talking down to you. In my experience I treat every gun as its own machine and try to get it to run like a machine operator wants, it's got to run good to get its job done.

It starts with cleaning and lubrication so I know it can function. If all the parts are functional like good mags then the next step is what to feed it. Not every bullet works in every gun of the same caliber. Every gun has its own differences and even the way you hold it can make it not run.

The ogive of the bullet may be your problem. Sometime the length of the round has to be just so for the round to cycle so it puts the ogive out where it can move the slide stop. I have a officers size 45acp that won't shoot ball because you can't hang onto it right to get it to function. I bought it cheap because the guy couldn't get it to run. The slide would lock back when firing because the ogive of the bullet hit the slide lock. The gun is a lightweight and twist in your hands and allows the bullet to flop against the slide stop.

I cured the problem by going to an ogive that can't touch the slide stop. Plus the ogive can block the slidestop from the follower in the mag allowing the mag follower to jump the slide stop and jam the gun. On a 1911 it becomes difficult to get the mag out.

Again this is just my opinion and to check out the difference I would try other ammo with a different ogive.

Good luck and let us know how this goes.
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Old October 04, 2018, 22:15   #5
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My 5" 10mm 1911 had slide lock issues like you describe. Removing a bit of material did the trick (among a host of other things for it to tolerate full house 10mm with reliability).

The issue with the FNX is not that. The slide lock(s) were both in their down most 'parked' position. There was something funky happening under the slide, some kind of binding on an unseen part. A bit of forward force broke it free, much like the trigger break on a glock. More crisp than spongy/ sticky.

All 3 pistols were immaculately clean, and well lubricated. I believe they simply were being battered by high slide velocity. Which is a surprise to me, considering this +P is 'only' roughly 100 fps faster than standard pressure. BIG difference in recoil though.


Im more of a 10mm guy, and pushing the limits of .45 is something thats new for me. I guess Im glad I tried the +P first before jumping right into the .45 Super like I had been contemplating. The FNX's inability to function with such a 'modest' step up in velocity was a shock to me, since my 10mm glocks (very similar construction) can function on lethargic steel case .40 S&W (barrel swap) up to full house Buffalo Bore with no changes being made. A 500 fps deviation from one another....albeit at 180 gr instead of 230 gr like the .45 acp.
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Old October 05, 2018, 00:58   #6
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Your pistol looks a little dry to me. I realize these are carry pieces and you dont want oil all over your shirt, but Im thinking if you oil them they will work first time everytime. I use LSA.
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Old October 05, 2018, 11:48   #7
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Quote:
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Your pistol looks a little dry to me. I realize these are carry pieces and you dont want oil all over your shirt, but Im thinking if you oil them they will work first time everytime. I use LSA.
Or use grease, and the lube will stay put. I use Magnalube on all of my firearms.
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Old October 05, 2018, 14:41   #8
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Your pistol looks a little dry to me. I realize these are carry pieces and you dont want oil all over your shirt, but Im thinking if you oil them they will work first time everytime. I use LSA.
You can tell its dry from a picture of the ejection port?



Those two pics were taken after a cleaning to recreate what was going on with the follower for this thread. The slide is actually damp wet with oil from its final wipe down. Each frame tab gets its own drop of CLP, and each frame rail gets a running bead down its length. As does the bearing surfaces of the barrel/ slide. Weeping excess is wiped off after reassembly and function testing.


As tight as that 1911 is, it gets a glaze of tetra in the rail and slip 2000 elsewhere.

Trust me, none of those are dry.
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Old October 05, 2018, 16:13   #9
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I believe you have pretty much correctly analyzed your own problem with this ammo. You have changed the timing of the pistols with higher pressure loads and need to go back to standard loads or increase the recoil spring rating to compensate.

You may need to install heavier mag springs if you want to shoot +P and it may be a good idea to install a heavier firing pin spring to boot.



btw; CLP isn't a very good lube in my estimation. I tried it on the 1911, but found it doesn't work as slick as I like. Have no experience with Tetra or Slip 2000.
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Old October 05, 2018, 17:17   #10
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45 HST is a phenomenal round for what it is designed to do, the +p is really no big deal at 60fps more...not needed
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Old October 06, 2018, 13:54   #11
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btw; CLP isn't a very good lube in my estimation. I tried it on the 1911, but found it doesn't work as slick as I like. Have no experience with Tetra or Slip 2000.
CLP doesn't work for my tight fit 1911's in my experience. IMO, it works great for "sloppy guns" (glocks, AK's, etc), but for close tolerance stuff I like how fine Slip 2000 is (it likes to 'soak' into the pores of the metal) and Tetra (a fine grease) likes to stay put, even when being forced around by gas or mechanical means. It really smooths out rough feeling actions too. I typically use Tetra in revolver clockwork, precision fit 1911 rails, and inside bolt/ bolt carrier assemblies (sans AR's).

Tetra really likes to hold carbon though. But Im not sure any other grease out there wouldn't do the same. It adds an extra degreasing step to the cleaning process, but thats no big deal if you have a sonic cleaner.
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Old October 06, 2018, 14:32   #12
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CLP doesn't work for my tight fit 1911's in my experience. IMO, it works great for "sloppy guns" (glocks, AK's, etc), but for close tolerance stuff I like how fine Slip 2000 is (it likes to 'soak' into the pores of the metal) and Tetra (a fine grease) likes to stay put, even when being forced around by gas or mechanical means. It really smooths out rough feeling actions too. I typically use Tetra in revolver clockwork, precision fit 1911 rails, and inside bolt/ bolt carrier assemblies (sans AR's).

Tetra really likes to hold carbon though. But Im not sure any other grease out there wouldn't do the same. It adds an extra degreasing step to the cleaning process, but thats no big deal if you have a sonic cleaner.
I like Remoil. I got a bunch of it for free and it has always worked well in my 1911s, doesn't seem to foul or hold dirt.

To the OP, I reload and shoot mainly 1911s. I run a heavier recoil spring in my daily carry and load it with schp 230 grain +P without issues. From what you describe it seems like what you are shooting is loaded pretty hot.
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Old October 09, 2018, 19:24   #13
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Did I read correctly that you use different lube on the same pistol. I mixed lubes one time and the pistol would lock up in mid slide stroke. Hardest thing to diagnose. Figured it out by completely stripping and cleaning it. Only used one brand of lube for reassembly and no more problem. And one of my lubes was Slip 2000.
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Old October 11, 2018, 19:42   #14
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Did I read correctly that you use different lube on the same pistol. I mixed lubes one time and the pistol would lock up in mid slide stroke. Hardest thing to diagnose. Figured it out by completely stripping and cleaning it. Only used one brand of lube for reassembly and no more problem. And one of my lubes was Slip 2000.
The rails on the 1911 get tetra. The barrel locking lugs and bushing get slip.


The slide would start to feel a touch gritty after a while with a light oil on the rails (probably from nitron on nitron contact), but tetra seems to stay put much better. Thats the only pistol I do that with, no other one I own has a frame/ slide fit as tight as that particular 1911 (or has any nitron on nitron bearing surfaces).
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Old October 12, 2018, 15:08   #15
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I finally got my shipment of standard pressure HST a couple days ago, and just got done with throwing it all down range.

All fired through all three pistols without any malfunctions. Significantly less recoil than the +P, but still more pop than the Golden Sabers, which made the XDS much more manageable. The copper jackets were all dirty though, which surprised me for a premium ammunition. The +P looked like they were all polished. This batch looks like the cases were kept immaculate, but the bullets were rolled around on the floor of an auto shop.






Im still seeing some primer drag on the XDS and Commander (was never evident with FMJ or Golden Sabers), but there is nowhere near the primer flow like there was with the +P.

Commander brass







XDS brass




After another 150 rounds through each of the three, Id say theyre all good to go with the factory spring sets. I also put another couple hundred FMJ through the FNX to see if I could recreate any of the issues I had with it before. 100% flawless operation. So I guess Im going to load em up and put them all back into carry rotation with HST.
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