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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all,

I just picked up my new EMP 4 Lightweight Champion. :p
WOW!! What a sweet little pistol (actually, not a little as I had envisioned). Beautifully built, and tri colored! Feels fantastic in my hand too!
I have read about some these pistols having problems going into battery, and I can see it happening for a few dozen rounds. The barrel and slide to frame lockup is soooo tight on this pistol. It should end up being a real tack driver. I've got a couple of tricked out 1911's that are tight, but nowhere near as tight as this EMP. And they are tack drivers. I should get it out to the range this coming Friday. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I took her out a week ago this past Friday. Shooting mostly at 30', I was able to keep 20 rd inside a raged 2 1/2" to 3" hole. Amazing, really. Did it several times. Elevation was high, needed a 6 o'clock hold on a 6" shoot-n-see type target. I don't really care for that position/hold. I'm a center of mass hold kind of guy. That tends to keep me on target more often when the size or shape of the target varies. Anyway, I don't usually correct for POI at this point. I keep the same aiming point and see how it groups. And that is VERY well!
I let another guy shoot it and he used a 3" target. His 6 o'clock hold resulted in high shots also. He needed to double his offset. As is the case with the last three new pistols I have, I shot just a bit to the right of center. Two to three inches is all. I will drift the rear sight a bit and it will be fine. Funny thing is, in the many other pistols that I have (those w/fixed rear sights) I have never had to adjust hold or drift the sights. Oh well.
I shot three different factory loads (I usually only shoot factory in new pistols to eliminate my handloads, IF anything fails), Blazer Brass 115 fmj, Aguila 115 fmj and Aguila 124 fmj. All shot perfectly. Other than POA/POI issue mentioned.
I did try two handloads. And I did have a pretty serious jam-up. Very serious actually. One of my favorite loads which shoots real well in several pistols, locked up the EMP. It is a Zero brand 115 jhp bullet. The first went in a bit tight, I had to lightly push the slide into battery. It fired and the next round locked 'er up tight! I had to use a plastic tipped mallet (yikes!!!) and it took several really hard whacks....double yikes!!!
I smacked the slide backwards, then forwards and back, forth several times. I was not getting anywhere. Not a pleasant experience when others are waiting for you. I finally freed it up and examined the gun. First, no real indication that it had been beat to all get out trying to free it up. No marks at all.
Took the thing apart and couldn't see anything wrong. However, the lowest part of the left side of the barrel ramp has a very, very small "peen", a shiny flat where a sharp edge used to be. Like the right side.
So back together it goes, and I put another 30 factory rd thru it. All is okay. I tried (with some apprehension) a second, different handload. A lead SWC. It fired very well and very accurately. I think that the jhp reloads may not have been crimped fully. But like I said, those same rounds shot well out of other guns just last week. Maybe the EMP has an extra tight chamber. I will continue to check operation, try some other HP bullets and see what happens. I'm not too terribly worried about the barrel ramp (but I will absolutely monitor for any more progression), since it hasn't affected the operation so far.
That's it for now. I will update the report as I get some more shooting in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
More shooting with the new EMP 4

Well, I've had a chance to get out a few more times. I found jamming to still be a problem with several different rounds of my hand loaded ammo in the EMP. I found the problem cases to have a very slight bulge just about 3/16" up from the rim. This would indicate a die problem. Not full length sizing? None of my pistol dies size all the way down to the base of any case. And, all of these same rounds fire from any of my many other 9mm pistols. I rechecked my die setup. No problem found. Consider this, the same die setup produces many rounds that will feed in the EMP. :confused: Glock bulge?? Possibly, but...
I ran all of the suspect ammo (not suspect really, they failed a drop test into the barrel with the barrel out of the pistol) thru a Lee FCD. Now, they all "drop" freely into the chamber. Back at the range, I had considerably fewer jams, but still, too many to be comfortable with. Springfield, like most (all?) other manufacturers says not to use hand loads. I'm pretty sure that they will not be too sympathetic of my problem. I really want to like/love this sweet little 1911. But, it is hard to warm up to any gun that will malfunction one to several times per magazine. :(
I may need to find a local smith to have him look at this. Maybe ream a few thousandths out of the chamber. IDK:confused:
 

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I wouldn't ream anything yet... let's look at a few things first. I find many, many 9mm cases bulged slightly at the base similar to yours. Some are "Glocked" but another notorious offender is the SW Shield 9mm. And there are a LOT of Shields out there being shot. There are others with minimal support on the chamber which causes the bulge but I am rambling....

I have dealt with this type of thing on other guns and recently on several (about 8-10 out of 200) reloads I fired through my EMP4 9mm. Being a "match bull barrel", the EMP4 will be tighter than many other brands. While a slightly bulged case may load in my Taurus PT92 (loose as a goose!) it will jam up my EMP4, my Ruger SR9C, and Browning Hi-Power.

I found that almost all Amerc cases bulge easily and are trash so I immediately toss them when I find them in my pile. I also try to look for obvious bulges and toss them as well. Have you checked to see if this is always the same brand of case? Maybe these are cases that were loaded to +P or higher pressures causing the bulge.

After cleaning and resizing, I drop every case into a Wilson case gauge to check. If they are not "drop in" and "drop out" I toss the case. I have sometimes used cases that needed a little "nudge" to get fully into the case gauge but now with the tight EMP4 barrel I will not be doing that anymore!

Once the case is loaded and taper crimped, I check with the Wilson gauge again. Any that are not "drop in / out" get the bullets pulled and tossed. I have had a little success with the Lee Factory crimp die which full length sizes while crimping but it is not for heavily bulged cases which I do not trust for reloading anyways. Here is a good vid for this:
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBu0tRZ9jOQ"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBu0tRZ9jOQ[/ame]

Let us know your thoughts and findings and good luck!
 

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Well, I've had a chance to get out a few more times. I found jamming to still be a problem with several different rounds of my hand loaded ammo in the EMP. I found the problem cases to have a very slight bulge just about 3/16" up from the rim. This would indicate a die problem. Not full length sizing? None of my pistol dies size all the way down to the base of any case. And, all of these same rounds fire from any of my many other 9mm pistols. I rechecked my die setup. No problem found. Consider this, the same die setup produces many rounds that will feed in the EMP. :confused: Glock bulge?? Possibly, but...
I ran all of the suspect ammo (not suspect really, they failed a drop test into the barrel with the barrel out of the pistol) thru a Lee FCD. Now, they all "drop" freely into the chamber. Back at the range, I had considerably fewer jams, but still, too many to be comfortable with. Springfield, like most (all?) other manufacturers says not to use hand loads. I'm pretty sure that they will not be too sympathetic of my problem. I really want to like/love this sweet little 1911. But, it is hard to warm up to any gun that will malfunction one to several times per magazine. :(
I may need to find a local smith to have him look at this. Maybe ream a few thousandths out of the chamber. IDK:confused:
If the pistol is reliable with factory ammo and has trouble with reloads, I'd hold off on reaming the chamber. I'd focus on identifying the difference between the handloads and the factory ammo; head diameter, taper and all other dimensions.

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't change a reliable (with factory ammo) gun to feed handloads; I'd change the handloads until they were identical to factory ammo, and fed in the gun.

Good luck-sounds frustrating!:(


Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got it out again. This time a guy at my club, who has been considering a new EMP 4, got to shoot it. Using all factory ammo, we had no problems at all. He loved it! He is planning on getting one now.

As far as my problems with handloads, I still had feed issues with a the few handloads that I tried (one mag). These were all run thru a LFC die. Three didn't want to "go".
So, just the other day, I lubed up a bunch (400 pcs) of brass and ran them thru an old steel, RCBS 9mm die. They are all sized to the base, 100%. And all pass the barrel plunk test. So out to the range again...I need to go. Also, I ordered one of Lee's .001" undersized, carbide dies from EGW. It shows promise in that the few undersized cases I ran also drop into the barrel freely but they appear to be only 95% FL sized. No need to lube either! But I must say, it was a bit of fun going back to the "old way" of slowly, one stage at a time, loading the little lubed 9mm cases. But too, I am looking to get back to modern, progressive loading with the EGW die. We'll see...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Had it out again today. Put 100 different hand loaded rounds thru it...100% trouble free!!:D
Some were sized on an old, all steel RCBS die, and some on a new EGW reduced sizing die. All worked perfectly. I even found some recipes that were very accurate!
I have also been experimenting with bootlegged case lube. Followed the MANY videos online and have had great luck. I will now lube all my 9mm cases and run them thru the reduced size die.
 

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Got my new EMP4 to the range today. I fed it straight round nose 115gr. For the first 150 rounds. Then I loaded her up with HST JHP for another 100. My little EMP ate everything she was fed. Not a single burp. I then loaded several mags with a combo of white box 115gr alternating with HST's and some of the new coated round nose. I rapid fired, double tapped. Everything I could think of in an attempt to make it FTF or FTE. She just would not misbehave. Until I loaded her with Hornady Critical Defense. I have been loading these in my 9mm Shield and G30 and 21. They have never been a problem. I had read the EMP did not like the Hornady CD's. Well it's true they don't. At least mine does not. They would not load. After three attempts with three different rounds I stopped trying. My EMP will be fed a steady diet of HST's. This is my favorite gun so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got my new EMP4 to the range today. I fed it straight round nose 115gr. For the first 150 rounds. Then I loaded her up with HST JHP for another 100. My little EMP ate everything she was fed. Not a single burp. I then loaded several mags with a combo of white box 115gr alternating with HST's and some of the new coated round nose. I rapid fired, double tapped. Everything I could think of in an attempt to make it FTF or FTE. She just would not misbehave. Until I loaded her with Hornady Critical Defense. I have been loading these in my 9mm Shield and G30 and 21. They have never been a problem. I had read the EMP did not like the Hornady CD's. Well it's true they don't. At least mine does not. They would not load. After three attempts with three different rounds I stopped trying. My EMP will be fed a steady diet of HST's. This is my favorite gun so far.
Yeah, I have heard about the Hornady CD ammo problems. Luckily for me, my EMP (and any other 1911) is strictly for range and competition shooting. I prefer my carry guns have no external safeties. So, my EMP will never see SD ammo.
They are cool little shooters though!
 
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