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Author Topic: A bit of an ammunition story  (Read 780 times)

Sirrus Rider

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A bit of an ammunition story
« on: November 17, 2018, 11:39:45 AM »
So far I've put nothing but ball through my R-51 and ball is ball right?  Not so I've found out. (see pic of rounds side-by-side) My very first outing I used South African surplus (DNL headstamp) and I was getting flattened and cratered primers as well as bulged cases indicating the case was not being supported and pressures were too high.. Not to mention a fair amount of nose diving. Consulted Remington and they told me not to use the South African surplus, but they never explained why.

On my next outing I picked up  Winchester white box after reading that several people on the Facebook R-51 forums had good results with it. Fired about 200 rounds over several outings and overall it worked well. Lost the flattened primer and buldged case problem, but I'm still getting the round nose dive and at least one failure to extract leading to a nose to tail jamb. Failures on Winchester ammunition are around 4% or on this last outing of 150 rounds that's exactly 6. Most of these failures were nose diving into the tab at the front of the magazine.(see pic).

Pulled out my micrometer and started measuring overall length of rounds.  Everything I've shot through the gun so far has been 115 grains and you would think that they would be very consistent in length.  Much to my surprise I found the DNL was looong in its overall length 29.26mm and Remington's own FMJ specifically the military/LEO overrun ammo runs 28.17 mm which is considerably shorter. I also measured some 1993 vintage black Talon 28.28mm, and federal Hydra shock which is 28.12 mm.

After running through all my Winchester ammunition I contacted Remington and they are suggesting using different ammunition. Specifically they are telling me to use ammunition from Barnes.  From what I have seen Barnes only manufactures defensive type ammunition which I can safely infer is considerably shorter than either of the three ball rounds.  The inference given by Remington which is telling me that this gun (maybe just my particular gun)is sensitive to round overall length. Quite possibly rounds with longer overall length are prone to cause the nose diving and get hung up on the tab on the front of the magazine.

To answer my rhetorical question of ball is ball right?; the round on the left is South African in the round on the right is Remington military/LEO overrun and it's a fair guess that the Winchester likely sits in between.

R51Fan2017

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2018, 12:24:25 PM »
Hello there Sirrus Rider! Welcome! Remington telling you to only use their ammo is purely marketing. They want your business. That being said, I have successfully run Whitebox, Federal Hydra-Shok, PPU, UMC, and others without any problems. However, as you noted, the lip on the front of the magazine is causing some of your problems. I would get a pair of needlenose pliers and bend it straight and then run the same ammo through it and see what happens. Is there any particular round in sequence that it jams on (i.e. the 6th round)? We'll get ya up and running right!  ;)
"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."

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Sirrus Rider

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2018, 01:58:11 PM »
Hello there Sirrus Rider! Welcome! Remington telling you to only use their ammo is purely marketing. They want your business. That being said, I have successfully run Whitebox, Federal Hydra-Shok, PPU, UMC, and others without any problems. However, as you noted, the lip on the front of the magazine is causing some of your problems. I would get a pair of needlenose pliers and bend it straight and then run the same ammo through it and see what happens. Is there any particular round in sequence that it jams on (i.e. the 6th round)? We'll get ya up and running right!  ;)

That's the problem I cannot predict when it will dive. I've run through my four magazines and I'm fairly convinced that my fourth magazine is my best mag, but even it has hung up a time or two. That's the craziness of this pistol as it will go through a full magazines  without a hitch and then on the next filling of a given magazine the rounds get juggled from recoil just so and then I get a nosedive.  I haven't tried my Remington overrun ammunition yet; however, I am predicting that it will run better than the Winchester white box due to it being shorter. . (I'm really not partial to Remington ammunition.  I'm really partial to cheap ammunition that makes the gun go bang so most of my ammo is ball and I really don't care who made it.)  As for Remington tech-support's suggestion I can't see running Barnes ammunition as a long-term solution or even for testing. If the gun can't shoot the simplest of ammunition (ball ammunition) consistently than how's it going to handle the complex bullet shapes of defensive ammo?

Zenshot

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 12:26:42 AM »
My reloads are about the same length as the DNL that you measured. I found the problem to be the mag springs are not strong enough to push the nose of the bullet up as the bullet drags across the indentation on the front of the mag. 
I have recently installed some mag springs made by Ghost Inc for a Glock 43. They are the +15% strength version spring.  It has 14 coils so I had to clip off one coil to make it work in the R51 mag.  So far it is working.  Havenít had any rounds hang up with about 100 rounds tested.  Will see how it does long term.
-David

R51Fan2017

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2018, 02:42:47 AM »
I would try bending the mag lip on the front out straight and see if that doesn't fix it. The hangups I had on my replacement mags were caused by it, and once I bent it out, problem solved.
"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."

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lklawson

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 12:59:02 AM »
So far I've put nothing but ball through my R-51 and ball is ball right?  Not so I've found out. (see pic of rounds side-by-side) My very first outing I used South African surplus (DNL headstamp) and I was getting flattened and cratered primers as well as bulged cases indicating the case was not being supported and pressures were too high.. Not to mention a fair amount of nose diving. Consulted Remington and they told me not to use the South African surplus, but they never explained why.
My experience is that the chamber of the R51 has a very short Leade/Freebore.  ...probably SAAMI minimum.  Some rounds that chamber just fine in every other 9mm gun I have will fail the plunk in my R51.  I bought an eBay barrel for the R51 and it is the same way as well.

Before shooting any ammo in your R51, plunk test it.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

Sirrus Rider

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 10:44:05 AM »
My reloads are about the same length as the DNL that you measured. I found the problem to be the mag springs are not strong enough to push the nose of the bullet up as the bullet drags across the indentation on the front of the mag. 
I have recently installed some mag springs made by Ghost Inc for a Glock 43. They are the +15% strength version spring.  It has 14 coils so I had to clip off one coil to make it work in the R51 mag.  So far it is working.  Havenít had any rounds hang up with about 100 rounds tested.  Will see how it does long term.

Just came back from the range and I may have solved the problem!  :D The secret at least for my gun is OAL. Shot the Remington Military/LEO ammo with the OAL of 28.17 mm and the gun ran flawlessly for 50 rounds (all I had brought with me) using all four of my unmodified, box stock magazines .   :o I suspect that this is the magic number that any round that is equal to 28.17 mm or less will run fine..  At this point I feel comfortable carrying that gun  as long as whatever ammo I'm carrying is equal to the Remington/LEO in OAL.

Zenshot

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 11:18:05 AM »
Is your LE ammo hollow point or round nose?  Hollow points always are more likely to hang up on my magazines.
-David

Sirrus Rider

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 12:51:33 PM »
Is your LE ammo hollow point or round nose?  Hollow points always are more likely to hang up on my magazines.

Hey David,

Straight round nose ball. Defensive ammo (jacketed hollowpoint, critical defense, etc.) is the next stage of testing for me

R51Fan2017

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 01:02:26 PM »

Hey David,

Straight round nose ball. Defensive ammo (jacketed hollowpoint, critical defense, etc.) is the next stage of testing for me

Just a suggestion Sirrus, I was able to successfully run Federal Hydra-Shok and Hornady Critical Defense in mine without any problems. However, I bent the tabs up on my mags, so that may have helped as well. I never tried it with a stock mag.

Sean
"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."

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Sirrus Rider

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 02:28:46 PM »

Hey David,

Straight round nose ball. Defensive ammo (jacketed hollowpoint, critical defense, etc.) is the next stage of testing for me

Just a suggestion Sirrus, I was able to successfully run Federal Hydra-Shok and Hornady Critical Defense in mine without any problems. However, I bent the tabs up on my mags, so that may have helped as well. I never tried it with a stock mag.

Sean

Hi Sean,

one very simple test that I performed last night was I cycled the gun manually with snap caps (short overall length similar to the Remington ball ammo) which gave me the inkling that when I fired the Remington ball this afternoon it was going to be successful. I just ran the same test with some federal Hydro shocks (yeah I know it's kind of risky running live rounds through the action) and it cycled through all seven rounds no problems. Black Talons were a little more inconclusive. I had the slide hang up on round 6. Re-ran the test (without my kitchen timer brapping at me warning that my mac and cheese is about to burn)  with Black Talon and it passed.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 02:38:01 PM by Sirrus Rider »

R51Fan2017

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2018, 10:30:20 PM »
Hi Sean,

one very simple test that I performed last night was I cycled the gun manually with snap caps (short overall length similar to the Remington ball ammo) which gave me the inkling that when I fired the Remington ball this afternoon it was going to be successful. I just ran the same test with some federal Hydro shocks (yeah I know it's kind of risky running live rounds through the action) and it cycled through all seven rounds no problems. Black Talons were a little more inconclusive. I had the slide hang up on round 6. Re-ran the test (without my kitchen timer brapping at me warning that my mac and cheese is about to burn)  with Black Talon and it passed.

Well, that is good news! Hopefully those results will continue with a live fire test. Like you said, it isn't recommended, but it will let you get a good look at what is happening down below. Just for the record, have you polished the tip of the lip of the mag lip yet, or is it still bone stock (no mods)?
"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."

                  - Larry Elder

Sirrus Rider

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 01:20:00 AM »
Hi Sean,

one very simple test that I performed last night was I cycled the gun manually with snap caps (short overall length similar to the Remington ball ammo) which gave me the inkling that when I fired the Remington ball this afternoon it was going to be successful. I just ran the same test with some federal Hydro shocks (yeah I know it's kind of risky running live rounds through the action) and it cycled through all seven rounds no problems. Black Talons were a little more inconclusive. I had the slide hang up on round 6. Re-ran the test (without my kitchen timer brapping at me warning that my mac and cheese is about to burn)  with Black Talon and it passed.

Well, that is good news! Hopefully those results will continue with a live fire test. Like you said, it isn't recommended, but it will let you get a good look at what is happening down below. Just for the record, have you polished the tip of the lip of the mag lip yet, or is it still bone stock (no mods)?

Still bone stock.. Kinda sad, A defensive pistol should swallow anything not just rounds of X length..

lklawson

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Re: A bit of an ammunition story
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 06:35:31 AM »
Hi Sean,

one very simple test that I performed last night was I cycled the gun manually with snap caps (short overall length similar to the Remington ball ammo) which gave me the inkling that when I fired the Remington ball this afternoon it was going to be successful. I just ran the same test with some federal Hydro shocks (yeah I know it's kind of risky running live rounds through the action) and it cycled through all seven rounds no problems. Black Talons were a little more inconclusive. I had the slide hang up on round 6. Re-ran the test (without my kitchen timer brapping at me warning that my mac and cheese is about to burn)  with Black Talon and it passed.

Well, that is good news! Hopefully those results will continue with a live fire test. Like you said, it isn't recommended, but it will let you get a good look at what is happening down below. Just for the record, have you polished the tip of the lip of the mag lip yet, or is it still bone stock (no mods)?

Still bone stock.. Kinda sad, A defensive pistol should swallow anything not just rounds of X length..
A short leade/freebore generally promotes accuracy.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

 

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