Anybody loading 40cal for an Infinity - question on OAL - Pistolsmith

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Old 10-09-2006, 06:44 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 12
Anybody loading 40cal for an Infinity - question on OAL

I got my new Sight Tracker 4 weeks ago and have been experiencing a minor issues that I could use some help on - the overall bullet length. SVI had said that OAL should be 1.180 to 1.200. With that OAL I get an ocassional first round hanging up as it is sliding into the chamber (about 70% of the way in). I have noticed that if I pull the slide back the round is still secured under the extractor claw. At what point does/should the extractor release it's grip on the round?? Usually a small push to the slide will do it. If I pull the round from the chamber I usually find the lip of the case ever so slightly pulled back. Nothing huge - barely noticible (just food for thought here).

Sometimes the gun will just miss going into full battery by a 1/4 inch or so and the slide will lock up. A slight push won't do it and I have to give the slide a nice shove. Once it goes into battery I still can't pull the slide back to look at the round and I have to fire thru the round.

I called Brendan at SVI and he said that the rounds are too short - he set's his rounds at 1.210 to 1.230. That is significantly larger than what the Speer reloading manual states and significantly longer than what the Winchester factory ammo measured in at. I'm trying to figure out why the huge disparity and to find out what some of you who load 40 for the Infinity have experienced. BTW - I just loaded 70 rounds of the tall boys and they easily fit into the magazine, easily fit ito the chamber and easily fit into the case guage (they are a bit long).

Another little bit of info - I used some WInchester factory ammo (OAL 1.125) and it fired OK - had two incidents like above in 100 rounds. The Speer manual says COL should be 1.120 - I loaded some rounds at 1.131 and I had more than a few of the FTF's/going into battery. Tried 1.180 and it was better but still had the issues - 4 out every 100. Tried 1.191 and it was 2 for 75. Next up is 1.21's

The other issue is slide lock. When I first got the gun it would go into slide lock (with 1 round left in the magazine). I sent the gun back to the factory because the mag's were dropping out of the magwell (that problem is fixed) and, to deal with the 1 round in the mag when it went into slide lock (that was fixed also). Now it doesn't go into slide lock after the last round. Any light that can be shed on these two issues would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:24 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 520
Many pistols designed for competition, which SVI Sight Trackers are, use a longer throat in the chamber. Double-stack mags also tend to be a bit longer than single-stacks.

I "long-load" my Sight Tracker; about 1.230 OAL. I got into this habit when I started loading for my Paras, as the magazines allowed the longer load and doing so helped feeding. :wink:

Mine is a .40 caliber w/ 6" barrel, but I long-load the .45s as well. They work nicely in the Para and the revolver doesn't care WHAT length they are. 8)
Old 10-10-2006, 09:03 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 119
Due to the geometry of the feeding area, getting reliable slidelock on an empty mag can be a tricky proposition in these guns. A lot of folks have good luck with Gram's followers.

Brazos has a good article explaining the issue in detail:
Old 10-11-2006, 06:38 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 12
I thought I'd give an update on the situation. I made 75 rounds with the OAL set at 1.21 and they fired thru without a hiccup (with the previous loads I would have had at least 2 FTF's). Now that the length is right I'll need to fiddle with the load to make sure I have enough powder for major. I'm currently loading WSF at 5.5gr which gave me a little bit of room for weather conditions. I'll take it up slowly - try 5.6gr and see what that does.

Next (and hopefully final) step is to get the gun to go into slidelock after the last round. Don't mind counting but if that fails it would be nice to see the slide locking up as a gentle reminder that i'm out of ammo. Some of you have recommended Gramm's - can someone shed some light as to why their followers are better?

Thanks again for the help!!
Old 10-11-2006, 08:11 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 520
I'm burning up the N 350 I bought for the race gun in my .40 only because I have it and, since I'm using 3N38 now, I don't need the 350. Prior to that, I used Red Dot.

I suspect my next .40 powder will be Clays, which many of the Limited shooters in my area are very happy with. They are also shooting 180 grain bullets.
Old 11-14-2006, 11:56 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2
Sti and SVi use a frame with the measure for .45. So the OAL thet you must have as reference is the .45. My ammo has OAL 1.181" and my gun works fine but some shooters go on 1.22".
Old 11-16-2006, 07:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 130
I shoot a BHP .40 and have liked TiteGroup a good bit - very low SD even when lightly loaded.

As long as the round will fit the magazine and chamber I do not know of a downside to loading long, except - with some powders the empty space in the cartridge may promote erratic combustion and increase your SD, decreasing your accuracy.

Through the years I have had better mechanical reliability with cartridges loaded longer than spec rather than to minimum spec.
Old 12-03-2006, 12:00 PM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 16
Originally Posted by duffy1
Next (and hopefully final) step is to get the gun to go into slidelock after the last round. Don't mind counting but if that fails it would be nice to see the slide locking up as a gentle reminder that i'm out of ammo. Some of you have recommended Gramm's - can someone shed some light as to why their followers are better?

Thanks again for the help!!
What color of follower are in your magazine tubes? If they are the red ones, those aren't supposed to lock the magazine back because they are made to miss the slide stop. You may have to install some standard followers if you want the slide stop to function correctly.

I run the red SV (competition) followers with ISMI springs in my tubes. I also ground down the slide stop on my gun making sure it doesn't work because an inadvertant activation of a slide stop during competition is a bad thing.

Are Grams followers better? Some say yes. Are they good? Hell yes. I run his followers and springs in my 38 Super tubes and they are strong, strong. Beven just makes quality products. He also knows a couple of things about (read: a lot!) about tuning SV and STI magazine tubes.

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