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Thread: Question about avoiding setback

  1. #1
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Question about avoiding setback

    I've seen discussion on setback and the dangers of it and advice to not chamber a particular round more than X amount of times, etc. etc.

    I was wondering, though, could you not just, with the mag removed and the slide locked back, just drop a round by hand directly into the chamber and then drop the slide on it? I don't see how this could necessarily be "dangerous" or harmful to the round, but on the other hand, I don't think I've ever seen this done, or even ever heard of anyone doing this.

    Wouldn't this effectively prevent setback since the round would not be pushed into the feed ramp before entering the chamber? It would also make things simpler as far as having a topped off magazine - no need to insert mag, rack slide, remove mag, top off mag, reinsert slide...

    So, is the reason I haven't seen or heard of this "obvious" work-around to prevent setback because it's not a good idea?

  2. #2
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Guess I should have googled it before asking. Looks like it's generally a BAD idea. Correct? Can damage the extractor unless it's specifically designed to "jump the rim".

    Thanks for answering my question, stealthyeliminator.

    You're welcome, stealthyeliminator.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 08-08-2013 at 04:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    The problem of doing what you describe is that often the extractor does not get a firm grip on the "rim". The force of the slide moving forward makes sure it engages fully.

    It's not an issue of the odds of the extractor gripping or not gripping the "rim" - it's the playing of the odds that it did not that one time when you really needed it to have done so.

    Some folks try to avoid setback, when they unload the magazine, load the cartridge that was chambered to now be the bottom one in the stack. It works till you forget how many times you have moved a cartridge from the chamber to the bottom of the magazine stack. Reducing the administrative handlimg/unloading of your handgun reduces the pressure to keep track of this sort of thing. There is generally no need to remove the magazine and the cartridge in the chamber every time you take the handgun off - just as there is generally no need to remove the handgun from the holster every time you disarm.

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Thank you for the advice!

    I will probably just stick to my original plan of shooting a round after it's been chambered a couple of times. They're expensive, sure, but not that expensive. Safety first

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    You can also avoid bullet set-back by carrying premium defensive ammunition having crimped cases.

    For example, I know a fella who likes Speer Gold Dots in his 1911, but carries a Corbon DPX in the chamber. Corbon crimps the case just behind the base of the bullet, so the bullet can't set back. He's chambered and unchambered the cartridge any number of times without set-back.

    He does the same thing with a smaller caliber auto, too--9mm or .380, I forget.

    You just have to watch for rounding the rim. Rechamber the same round often enough, and you start rounding off the rim. Too much and it may fail to extract at a critical moment.
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    I wonder what the typical setback rate is, how many mil per chambering. Conversely, what are people doing to chamber a round so frequently that setback becomes an issue, whatever the setback mil rate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    I wonder what the typical setback rate is, how many mil per chambering. Conversely, what are people doing to chamber a round so frequently that setback becomes an issue, whatever the setback mil rate?
    If you unload to wipe down every couple evenings, or to shift to another gun, or whatever, you can get a lot of chambering and rechambering going on.

    I had a 9mm (lost in a tragic boating accident ) that would have visible set-back of uncrimped premium defensive ammo after only three or four chamberings. At a $1.25 each, it didn't take long before I dropped the first round into the chamber and let the extractor ride over the rim. (I checked the extractor design to see if that was gonna be a problem, and satisfied myself that it wouldn't).

    I imagine the rate of set back is influenced by the where the individual bullet and case fall within the tolerances, and how steep the feedramp is.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    A lot depends on the manufacturer the bullet type and firearm. I have some 180 JHP in 45acp that are just horrible for set back 2 or 3 times in and out you can see the bullet set back. Others it can take many times before it happens.

    Just something to be aware of and watch for.
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    Question about avoiding setback

    I'm carrying Hornady Z Max right now and have a steep feed ramp I have notice a little set back but I just rotate them down in the magazine or shoot them and replace them. I typically unload and reload Friday morning when I clean it. I might have to pick up a box of Corbon haven't ever had them.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    You can also avoid bullet set-back by carrying premium defensive ammunition having crimped cases.

    ....
    If I carry anything less than 165 grain, crimped or not, I'm seeing setback by the 5th round and enough to cause a jam by the 6th. Going up to 185 gr or 200 gr makes the issue of setback less likely. 230 gr ensures no problems.

    You folks with bottom feeders would never understand.

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  11. #11
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    I have Hornady Critical Defense rounds. According to Hornady website they are cannelured and crimped to prevent setback. Not sure how I missed that when I was reading about those rounds before. I guess I shouldn't worry so much *shrug*

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    If I carry anything less than 165 grain, crimped or not, I'm seeing setback by the 5th round and enough to cause a jam by the 6th. Going up to 185 gr or 200 gr makes the issue of setback less likely. 230 gr ensures no problems.

    You folks with bottom feeders would never understand.

    stay safe.
    LOL!!

    Wheelgun handcannons don't count. And, if its causing a jam by the sixth round, it ain't set back, its "jumping front outa the casing, past the chamber mouth" and causing a jam! A real man could just thumb-cock it and shear off the nose of even a jacketed bullet.

    Last edited by Citizen; 08-08-2013 at 11:53 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    I have Hornady Critical Defense rounds. According to Hornady website they are cannelured and crimped to prevent setback. Not sure how I missed that when I was reading about those rounds before. I guess I shouldn't worry so much *shrug*
    Never hurts to bring it up. It doesn't get much exposure.

    Since it was last discussed on the forum, I bet we've had a few hundred new folks join up, and a thousand new lurkers.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  14. #14
    Regular Member 509rifas's Avatar
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    this is god to know, I've ben carrying the same defensive ammo for a while now... good thing tomorrow is payday.
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    Being a revolver guy first, I wasn't familiar with the bullet setback issue either when I went to semi-autos for carry. I noticed it visually (and it was bad), with the 1911 Kimber I used to carry.

    Now I carry a Springfield XDs in 45. and I don't see ANY setback issues w/ any of the four types of ammo I use.

    I have two small boys at home and at the end of the day (bedtime) I always drop the round from the pipe but leave the magazine loaded so when it's on the nightstand at 2:00 in the morning and I'm asleep, nobody with little hands comes over and gets hold of it in the "ready to do business" mode.

    Anyway, I'll put a magazine or two through the gun a month for practice anyhow so the rounds chambered over and over get used up.

    I've been told by others who reload for their semi-autos (I don't....yet......just for my revolvers), thet setback isn't as much an issue (unless it's severe), with 380, 9mm or 45acp but it may be with 40 cal. due to the higher pressures of that round........BUT......I'M NOT AN EXPERT IN THIS AREA........just what I've heard, that's all.

    And I've never been to keen on wanting to blow up any of my firearms, tho some have said they thought that's what I was try'in to do with some of my hot 44mag loads!

    Just my $.02

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3FULLMAGS+1 View Post
    Being a revolver guy first, I wasn't familiar with the bullet setback issue either when I went to semi-autos for carry. I noticed it visually (and it was bad), with the 1911 Kimber I used to carry.

    Now I carry a Springfield XDs in 45. and I don't see ANY setback issues w/ any of the four types of ammo I use.

    I have two small boys at home and at the end of the day (bedtime) I always drop the round from the pipe but leave the magazine loaded so when it's on the nightstand at 2:00 in the morning and I'm asleep, nobody with little hands comes over and gets hold of it in the "ready to do business" mode.

    Anyway, I'll put a magazine or two through the gun a month for practice anyhow so the rounds chambered over and over get used up.

    I've been told by others who reload for their semi-autos (I don't....yet......just for my revolvers), thet setback isn't as much an issue (unless it's severe), with 380, 9mm or 45acp but it may be with 40 cal. due to the higher pressures of that round........BUT......I'M NOT AN EXPERT IN THIS AREA........just what I've heard, that's all.

    And I've never been to keen on wanting to blow up any of my firearms, tho some have said they thought that's what I was try'in to do with some of my hot 44mag loads!

    Just my $.02
    Depends on whether they're just passing along their own conclusions or repeating data from reloading tables and so forth.

    The information I have came from (Combat Handguns?) magazine back in 2007 or 2008. I don't recall exactly, but the author of the article wrote to the effect that given the interior volume of the cartridge case, a small set-back can cause initial pressure levels to spike dangerously in the instant before the bullet's inertia is overcome and it starts to move forward.

    Given that barrels are proof-tested to much higher than operating pressures, I would think you'd need a good bit of unusal pressure to actually burst the barrel. But, is that 1/4 of bullet normal depth? Half? I dunno. Don't wanta find out neither. So, I'll play it safe. If I can see the set back is anything more than a tiny, tiny bit, I'm not shooting that cartridge.

    What if there is also a factory loading error and that exact case has more than the correct amount of powder? I've encountered factory misloads before, by a respected major manufacturer, although not in premium defensive ammo.
    Last edited by Citizen; 08-09-2013 at 01:59 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Ammo used and the type of pistol are indeed factors. That being said, it is never a good idea. I rotate the lead round in all of my pistols, use only Federal HSTs, and have only high quality guns. But why take a chance when it's easily avoidable. Never, ever take a chance with target ammo and avoid it in 1911s, period.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Ammo used and the type of pistol are indeed factors. That being said, it is never a good idea. I rotate the lead round in all of my pistols, use only Federal HSTs, and have only high quality guns. But why take a chance when it's easily avoidable. Never, ever take a chance with target ammo and avoid it in 1911s, period.

    So, we're supposed to shoot only premium ammo in 1911s even for target practice? I didn't realize 1911s were so uppity.

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    So, we're supposed to shoot only premium ammo in 1911s even for target practice? I didn't realize 1911s were so uppity.

    Ahem, I was referring to taking a chance by multiple recycling of cheap target rounds. You can shoot Russian crap ok in most 1911s, but don't cycle it more than once or you will get setback. Remember what the round in a 1911 spaces on. When it comes to PD ammo, rotating the first round after recycling a couple of times is just good sense. Besides, if I had your money, I would only shoot the most expensive PD rounds for practice too, out of my custom made, $6000 1911s...
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Remember what the round in a 1911 spaces on.
    Assuming you mean "headspaces on", I'm trying desperately to understand what that has to do with setback...
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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    Assuming you mean "headspaces on", I'm trying desperately to understand what that has to do with setback...
    I wasn't clear. Not headspacing, assuming proper cartridge length, but bullet spacing in case or crimpline. Notoriously weak in .45ACP, hence easy to push in too far.
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