Blown Guns at SASS Matches

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SavvyJack posted this 16 January 2019

Folks are starting to list a few, seems to be quite a few Lightly Loaded Squibs, Henry Chain Fires and a few double charges.

https://www.sassnet.com/forums/index.php?/topic/283467-blown-guns-during-sass-matches/

What are your experiences?

Mine...I have a few squibs when I first started CAS but never refired........got fed up and started shooting them as God intended!!

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Ed Harris posted this 16 January 2019

Frank Marshall, Giorgio and I all figured out that when loading the fast-burning pistol and shotgun powders, the correct charge is one in which an accidental double charge will not blow up the gun, but may indeed lead the barrel, blow the primer and otherwise give you a good scare, getting your attention, but one in which your eyeballs, well protected by glasses, and all of your fingers remain intact.

Case in point, doubling the infamous 13 grains of Red Dot in the .30-'06 with 160-grain GC drops the primer and requires application of a dead blow lead hammer to open the bolt, but did not blow-up a sound Remington 03A3. 

Ditto for the famous 16 grains of #2400.....fired in the same rifle!!............. Headspace remained OK, and shot better afterwards because both lugs then bore evenly. Much easier than lapping the lugs, but absolutely not recommended practice!

Ditto for 12 grains of Unique in an 1884 Trapdoor with #457193.  DID bulge the chamber, turned a nice shooter into a wall hanger which is hanging now on a restaurant wall in Upperville, VA.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP!!!

NEVER load at the range when people are liable to ask you stupid questions and distract you from your task!

One I cannot take credit for personally in loading the ammo, but one in which I fired the Ransom-Rested .45 is 4.2 grains of 700X with the H&G#68.  Double charged shot dropped 4" low out of the 2" group at 50 yards and gave about 1200 fps.  Blew out the magazine bottom, spring and follower, but Joe White's Clark wadcutter gun was undamaged and he took it to Camp Perry.  REALLY glad it was held in Ransom Rest, because blowing the grips off when you are holding onto the gun is most unpleasant.  Took a guy to the ER who did that same summer.  Cured me of using progressive loaders observing other's snafus.

I love the RCBS Little Dandy.  I love strong rifles and RUGER reevolvers. I got rid of my black powder era ones.

I treat my Colts gently and charge one block of 50 cases at a time and visually inspect every one of the little boogers with a penlight and compare against its Brothers.

OK, you'all have heard MY confessions, let's hear yours.

 

 

 

 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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SavvyJack posted this 16 January 2019

Ed, the makes sense since most SASS shooters load very light. I think most post that I read are cause by lightly loaded double charges that bulge barrels and pop out botls and levers while under loaded loads squib the barrel and a second fire blows out the side and lever guts.

Sounds like a pattern?

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SavvyJack posted this 16 January 2019

I read quite a few Henry discharges while the loading lever is prematurely released causing a chain fire.

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RicinYakima posted this 16 January 2019

One: primed and belled cases go neck down and primer up in a loading block.

Two: pick up case and turn upright, drop powder into case, look to see it is there.

Three: IMMEDIATELY put bullet into case and seat bullet.

I have had two un-powdered cases in 52 years of reloading and no double charges. The other key that if anyone comes into the room, that case gets turned upside down back into the empty block. No radio, no TV, no visitors while powdering and seating bullets. FWIW

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750k2 posted this 17 January 2019

I like how you lapp your lugs

Knock on wood I've never doubled but had some squibs with 820 and low bullet pull.

But then I have never done anything but load on a single stage and one round at a time.

Prep and prime all my brass then charge and seat before I charge another - always took

more time but works for me but I don't shoot high volume sporting events.

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SavvyJack posted this 17 January 2019

some good photos are being posted over there. Some Colts, clones and an 1886 Winchester

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M3 Mitch posted this 17 January 2019

I use the same routine as Ric, I seat a bullet IMMEDIATELY after dropping powder.  Knock on wood, I have loaded good ammo with my old Dillon 450, here again the way the machine works, I drop powder, cycle the primer gizmo, push the lever back up to bring the loading stage down, seat the primer, pull out the finished round, turning the case holder rotor, bullet goes into the charged case, an empty fired case goes into station #1, lever goes down again, repeating the process.  My own idea about using the Dillon is that I am not really trying to load 450 rounds per hour, more like 150-200, and while I may have a radio going in the background, yeah, I am paying 99% of my attention to loading.  Knock on wood, have had no double charges and no empty rounds with no powder either.  You also have to look up and around periodically, make sure the powder measure is not about to run empty, etc.  To me, the only downside for the Dillon is that it takes quite a while to change from one round to another, particularly if you are changing primer size.  For that reason my other various turret presses still have plenty of "job security".  Probably my favorite "short run" press is the old Lee Turret, it easily changes from one caliber to another.

IMHO, people who get in trouble with a progressive are either trying to go too fast, and/or not really paying attention.  Same dog that bites them with motorcycles and cars. 

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SavvyJack posted this 17 January 2019

I have decided to load up 5 each 44-40, with 12gr of Unique IN MY 1 1/4" dia TEST BARREL. This will replicate an assumed lightly loaded (6gr) double charge into a heavy 12gr load!. This is also the max used in Lyman's 49th for the 44 Magnum with a 200gr bullet. I am going to shoot these in my strain gauge test barrel and see what kind of results I get. Check back Saturday around noon. If ya don't hear from me by then./......

Ya'll stand back!!

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 17 January 2019

These errors mostly happen when people get distracted loading and are caused from double loads or missing powder followed by another round without clearing the barrel. We had very strict rules when loading at the PD and only a handful were allowed do the loading. Before there were powder checker dies, we rigged mirrors on progressive machines to help with powder issues. 

I'm with Ric and his suggestions. Have followed them in my 42 years of loading. No double charges and can't think of a powderless one. That goes for personal and PD loaded rounds. 

However when I was 18 and started loading (first day) with a Lee Loader, I loaded 6 so light (overly cautious beginner) my first time just to check them, they all stuck in the barrel! No real damage, but I thought I was a really bad shot. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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jchiggins posted this 17 January 2019

About 8 years ago I saw some commercially reloaded 9mm ammunition for sale at a local sporting goods store.  The price was right so I bought a box of 250 rounds.  The ammo comprised different brands of brass, but otherwise looked "normal".  My son & I were at the range one day and i was shooting that ammo in my Beretta M9.  Everything was fine until one round blew the right grip panel off. Surprised me, to say the least!  Being a mental giant, I checked out the gun, put it back together and continued shooting.  After a while another one went off and blew the grip panel off.  Decided those rounds must have been double charged.  No injury to me or the M9, but I will never again buy reloaded ammunition, no matter the source.  Plus, I won't push my luck either.  My son took the remaining ammo and ran it through his Thompson SMG w/o incident.

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MarkinEllensburg posted this 17 January 2019

I once blew apart the grips on a 1911 and the magazine out. The remaining two or three cartridges were firmly wedged in the bottom of the mag. It was with a cast 230gr. RN and 700x powder. Still not sure of the exact cause. The round didn't chamber all the way into battery and I as taught tapped the back of the slide. I still have the ruptured case and it is in a prominent place on my loading bench as a reminder as to the serious business at hand.I can attest to how unpleasant it is to have such occur. I had little splinters on my hand and  powder burns on my face. The pistol on the other hand for a while sported a set of Pachymayrs but was just fine. Sadly years later it was stolen from my truck while at a secure hazmat loading facility; turned out that they didn't really have very good security.

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BigMan54 posted this 17 January 2019

I used to have a nice pair of Cavalry twill pants that were ripped along with my leg when the Lady Shooter next to me at a SASS EOT Team Match had a .357 Clone blow up in her hand.

This was back in 1989, her Husband had loaded the ammo on a brand new dillon. I saw a lot of guns blown up in my first 10 yrs of Cowboy Action Shooting. 

Way too many people learning to reload on dillons with no experience/ no instruction. Just a recipe from someone and off they go, reloading as fast as they can. NOT EVEN a RELOADING MANUAL.  Saw a man blow up a rifle on his first reloaded round. He THOUGHT the dillon came factory adjusted for his load !!!

I even lost one of my own clones. To someone who's revolver busted, do to a "Shade Tree Mechanic" type of action job. I loaned him a Uberti .45 Colt, I gave him a box of ammo to shoot in My gun.He thought my loads were too heavy, After AGREEING to Shoot ONLY my Ammo in My GUN. My ammo was .45Colt with a 230grTC over 6.0grs of WW231. 

His was 5.0 grs of Red Dot over a 200gr RNFP. Way too light, and that blasted sliding aluminum bar on dillons crappy powder measure, probably stuck. Gave a charge and a half, or double.

Saw it more then once. Eventually one of the reasons I gave it up. People moving to .38's, even .32's lighter loads. Changing the rules from a .38spl std 855fp "Police" load as a minimum. To NO minimum. Rule book thrown out the door.

Wasn't fun after 22 years. I reached a point of thinking, next time I'll just bring my Buntline and reach out and tap the pistol targets. Wouldn't have to waste powder & lead that way.

Load faster & lighter with less attention. 

Great Sport ruined by greed & idiots. 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Lee posted this 17 January 2019

Ricin Yakima has it right. I do it the way he does it on a single stage.

 

One more thing I do is make sure primers are flush or below. If using a progressive press use a lockout die.

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longhunter posted this 17 January 2019

When I was shooting SASS and NCOWS I loaded a full case of Black Powder in all my guns.

44-40, 44Colt and Shotgun.  It is the correct powder for the Cowboy era! Never a problem.

Jon

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret. 608 797 0056

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SavvyJack posted this 17 January 2019

Yeap, looks like those pistol powders in large volume cowboy cartridges are eating people's lunches!!

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2coldhere posted this 17 January 2019

I knew a guy that lodged all five bullets in a pistol barrel.  Then heard the story about how with three people to line up a drill, they drilled them out without damaging the rifling.

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BigMan54 posted this 17 January 2019

Unfortunately, shooting 4-5 Matches a month for 3 shooters precludes loading single stage. My Daughter started loading ALL our shotgun ammo from 1994 until 2010. She was 10yrs old when She started loading on a Hornady Apex progressive shotshell loader. We never had a single blooper.

The Hornady Progressive I used for Pistol, .44spl & pistol/rifle .38spl (for the kids) has the bullet seat die in the front. I taped a micromini Mag light to the front that showed me the case before I put in a bullet. (Still there, still use it) I single staged .44WCF for my own rifle loads. We never had a single problem. I really miss those days.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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John Alexander posted this 17 January 2019

 I always examined charged cases with a strong flashlight and have never had a double charge as far as I know nor a no-charge. But as the eyes got old, I found myself doing a lot of squinting and reexamining cases to see the difference between 5 and 10 grains in bottlenecked cases.

Changed to; charge ten or twenty cases (easy to reach in 50 hole block) -- seat bullet by hand -- weigh complete round -- finish seating in press. By using both hands and of course a modern strain gage based balance it is easy to weigh twenty rounds in 1.5 minutes which is less time than I was spending squinting and resquinting. You can, of course weigh the completed round but I hate pulling bullets and leaving the gas check in the neck.  Works fine as long as the charge is substantially larger than the variation in case weight.

John

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 17 January 2019

when a boy is 2 to 7, he is momma's little golden boy ... from 8 to 11, he discovers cowboys and wants to be just his dad hero ... when he is 12 he discovers girls are not just soft boys, and decided he needs to be a rootin-tootin independent hero .....

..and so it was that at the very peak of my 12 year old adventurism i reloaded my first and last 22 long rifle ... one of the pretty gold ones from winchester ...  although the rat i visualized vaporizing when i pulled the trigger didn't come apart, my beloved marlin 81 repeater farm boy's dream weapon did ...  

....  the repeater stopped peating and the extractor turned ex ... no tractor there any more ....  the WALNUT stock split ... 

.... my older brother created a new stock in his shop class, and i found i could pick out spent cases with my finger ( hey, 50 years later i did the same function with a $1600 Time bench gun ) ....

..... i came out a little bit smarter and a whole lot more cautious .... 

probably came in handy in 40 years of lathes and mills ... still got 10 fingers and various male accouterments ...  and never blew up another gun ... tho a few squibs that i shot out with a pinch of black powder ...

....  never did figure out those soft boys though ...

ken

 

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Brodie posted this 18 January 2019

This is why they came up with Trail Boss.  It fills up those large capacity cases and doesn't rock the shooter back on his heels, or raise the sights off the target. 

B.E.Brickey

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