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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RicinYakima posted this 18 January 2019

Right Brodie, what it was made to do.

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SavvyJack posted this 18 January 2019

I have been waiting for someone to post that!!! 

 

Exactly!

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Green Frog posted this 19 January 2019

When I am doing any non-progressive reloading I have found I'm most comfortable using the method Ed described.  I like to batch load, so I deprime and size a bunch, then hand prime about 50 to a batch, then I bell them all and place them in a loading block.  Next I use my chosen powder measure of the day and charge the whole batch in the block.  I religiously take the next step friend Ed described, using strong light I look into each case to see that the level of powder is the same in every one.  Then I pick them up one at a time, insert a bullet, then seat and crimp.  Of course I use a variation on this when I'm breech seating for Schuetzen... I skip the belling step and after the cases are all charged I seat my over powder wad, mainly to keep the powder from falling out in transit.  excited

The point is, the reloader needs to pick a strategy that works for him and stick to it!  No distractions must ever be allowed to creep in and every step must be done in order and consistently.  There is no one, safe, perfect strategy, each of us must develop and follow the one that works best for him.  I even had a well meaning, fairly new shooter see me in my case charging step and helpfully tell me how dangerous it was to do it that way.  Fortunately, another grey beard shushed him before I got distracted (and upset) and I was able to continue my loading. cool

 

Froggie

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RicinYakima posted this 19 January 2019

"The point is, the reloader needs to pick a strategy that works for him and stick to it!  No distractions must ever be allowed to creep in and every step must be done in order and consistently.  There is no one, safe, perfect strategy, each of us must develop and follow the one that works best for him."

Wise words, Frogperson, wise words.

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BigMan54 posted this 19 January 2019

I single stage load all .32 cal & the rare Hot load for Handgun. And all Rifle.  Much the same way Frogperson does. The 9mm to .45Colt get finished on the Progressive. 

Except I expand case mouths before priming. Cause if the case mouth is gonna split, it's gonna do it when the case mouth is expanded. Why chance wasting a primer. I size/decap, expand & then prime. Then the cases go to the Progressive for powder, bullet & crimp.

All loads on the Progressive are light, but still listed in the LYMAN CAST BULLET HANDBOOK #4.

That little flashlight makes the difference. And my Safety Glasses have good strong bifocals. 

Garage Doors are closed & locked, a Do Not Disturb Sign is Posted. The music is loud enough to block out most noises. 

Even on the Progressive I load in lots of 50 or 100. And loading in small batches helps me load carefully and not crank like a maniac.

And that Clone that blew up on me. Nobody that was at the match in NV with TZ bothered to tell me that TZ had blown up his Rifle at that match.

Only time I ever had  problem in 60+yrs of loading. Except for the occasional Bloopers My DAD liked to "slip" into his boys Trap shell pouches on non-match wknds.

Something I never did to My Kids. 

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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SavvyJack posted this 19 January 2019

 I ran a test today. For those that use light loads of Unique...if a double charge is missed....

Today I tested 12gr of Unique in my 44-40 MGM 1 1/4" diameter 20" "testing" barrel.

200gr Magma 
5 Shots, 2 1/2" Group @ 100 yards
1,635fps 21,786 psi, That could be upwords to 25,000cup, which is mid 44 Magnum pressures with a 200gr bullet.

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Eutectic posted this 25 January 2019

I caught several mistakes using a loading block to charge cases. This worried me that I might miss one (or a whole line) sometime.

Now I use two loading blocks: Cases mouth down in one block, lets you check all the primers. Powder measure is solidly mounted, (it works better) charge case move it to the other block repeat as needed. I set the bullets on the case mouths and look as I do this, then feed them into the progressive for seating, crimping and final Lee Factory crimp die with no crimp insert.

Takes longer but the peace of mind is worth it!

Steve

 

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BigMan54 posted this 25 January 2019

I still use the old Flambeau Twin-60 case blocks. After charging cases I step outside and check in the strong light. At night I use a flashlight.

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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Brodie posted this 31 January 2019

The only time I have used a loading block was several years ago when I was fire forming 22/250 cases into

6.5Creedmore.  I only had one powder measure and I would load the cases put them in the loading block and after they were all done fill them to the bottom of the neck with cream of wheat, then a TP plug was stuck in the neck and tamped down.  All but one fire formed successfully the first time.  The caliber was new, and it was during the Obama component shortage when you couldn't get any thing.  I still use the cases, but right now I have no idea where that plastic block is.

B.E.Brickey

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R. Dupraz posted this 31 January 2019

 

1.  A Dillon electronic scale

2.  Hornady single station press

3..  A dowel of appropriate size to fit mouth of case and marked with a line at the mouth of the case when charged

4.  Hornady AP progressive press with a powder cop die in the station following the powder measure

    Mind set that the Hornady is actually five single station presses put together and operating it as such

    Not pumping the handle with reckless abandon.

5.  Uninterrupted attention to detail

6.  When it is, check everything before and after the interruption or attention lapse and restart

 

ARE MY FREINDS 

   

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Dale53 posted this 31 January 2019

When I got active in local PPC matches, the Star Reloader was the most poplular progressive press out there although their were others that were quite useful. Police departments often had a designated reloader for the department. During a PPC match, it was not uncommon, with lots of people shooting on the line to hear the normal "pop, pop, pop" then a BANG! You absolutely KNEW that "Bang!" was a double charge. The common 2.7 grs. of Bullseye with wadcutters was used a LOT! The quick reload required on some stages were a round nosed bullet with another light load of powder. A double charge would not blow up a K-frame revolver but did get your attention. However, enough new shooters with NO reloading experience got into the game. They, of course, HAD to have a progressive loader. Put a progressive loader in the hands of CLUELESS shooters, and suddenly guns began blowing up. The NRA commisioned H.P. White to try to find out what was causing the blow ups. They DID find out (a double charge PLUS deep seating of the bullets) raised the pressures to somewhere north of 60,000 psi and destroyed revolvers, right and left.

The lessons learned were remembered when IPSC got popular. However, IPSC shooting also had their share of blow ups but not nearly so much as the PPC problems, as I remember.

The same thing happened AGAIN, when SASS became popular. New shooter/reloaders with NO CLUE about proper reloading procedures. The interesting thing was that, by that time no one seemed to remember the NRA reporting on PPC. So, all of the speculation began all over again. Progressive presses were blamed for the problems instead of the real cause - the operators.

Full confession:

I have had one SUSPECTED double charge in my .32 H&R Mag Smith Model 631. I was rabbit hunting with a friend (shotguns), and the friend shot a rabbit (around the edges). The rabbit came near me and sat down. I pulled my 631, and put a S&W Long topped with a 98 gr. RCBS SWC through the slats, settling the issue. However, I knew by the report and increase in recoil that I had loaded a double charge. Since the original load was reasonable, and in the "magnum revolver", no damage was done. However, I took it to heart and rigged up a better light so I could see down in the case when loading. I also made certain that I "looked" at each loaded case just after the powder dropped.

I also re-examined my loading procedures and realized that the most dangerous time is when starting up the press after an interruption (biggest problem was failure to drop a charge at this point). Distraction was limited and followed. In other words a "new protocol" was developed the minimize the dangers.

During my IPSC years, occasionally my two young sons, who also were taught to run the Dillon, would discover a round without powder (once or twice). That was corrected. Neither I, nor my sons, lost a single point during the five years we shot IPSC and ran matches. I probably shot in fifteen or twenty matches a year. Counting practice, I shot 75,000 rounds in five year period of .45 ACP alone (full charges). My two sons, together probably shot about half as much.

A couple of years ago, my youngest son was visiting, and we, together decided to load some .38 Specials for he and his wife. Remember me mentioning distraction, well, when starting up the press after a break, I, while loading and talking to my son, failed to put in a charge in a case.

So, progressive presses are NOT the problem, but "lack of experience", distraction and/or improper "protocol" CAN be a problem. That is correctible.

The worst "accident" that I have had in 69 years of shooting, bullet casting, and reloading, was with Military factory 30'06 in a O3A3. The ammo had been given to me by a friend who neglected to tell me he had had serious problems with the ammo. I believe it was the third shot fired. The case split from the primer hole to the outside of the case dumping the whole charge through the action. Particles of brass blasted my face and would have absolutely blinded me had I not been wearing safety glasses. It looked like I had been shot in the face. It drew blood but I was able to pick the brass from my face (with help) and did not require hospitalization. So, everything is relative. 

P.S. This FACTORY ammo was very old (but looked to be in very good condition) corrosive ammo. After my problem (and another friend had been gifted some of this ammo with the same results) we did a little research. We learned that that ancient ammo had a bad past. Either of us could have lost our vision. I did have a talk with the original gifter and we still remain friends to this day. I chalked up his failing to youthful ignorance.

Keep safe, friends!

Dale53

 

FWIW

Dale53

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Ed Harris posted this 31 January 2019

Here is some info on double charges in .38 Special

 

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

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RicinYakima posted this 31 January 2019

Yep, just like shaving the heads on your flathead V8 Ford.

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SavvyJack posted this 31 January 2019

Ed that seems consistent with what I have seen. I do believe 95%, if not more, of old west gun blow ups are from double charges or  an under charged load causing the bullet getting stuck in the barrel followed by another shot causing a high pressure blowup/out.

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jchiggins posted this 01 February 2019

Yep, just like shaving the heads on your flathead V8 Ford.

I haven't worried about that since 1960.  Flatheads were my specialty.  Man, we're getting old. 

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RicinYakima posted this 01 February 2019

Stupid OHV Olds and Chevies are just a passing fad.

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BigMan54 posted this 01 February 2019

I just read through the complete thread on the sasswire. I was struck by a comment made by one "contributer". He stated these blow ups were caused by  bad reloads.

I don't believe there is such a "bad reload". I believe that there are the products of Bad Reloaders. 

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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Dale53 posted this 01 February 2019

Ed;

In spite of my heavy interest in this problem, I had never seen that article by Hercules. I mentioned that I had read the American Rifleman's article after the H.P. White tests but that illustrated article of yours, above, REALLY illustrates the problem. It is the best I have seen,

Thank you, for sharing this with us! This again reminds me why we are so fortunate to have you and your personal experience and expertise amongst us!

Dale53

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M3 Mitch posted this 02 February 2019

You know, and I am just saying what works for me, take it or leave it - I don't even own a loading block.  I must have 100K rounds of brass all told, and empty brass, if it's not in a bulk container of some sort, is in MTM boxes, open end down.  I have seen guys with hand-held measures going around a loading block.  Most people who do this don't have double charge or no charge problems.  I'll just say that this procedure does not appeal to me and I think that, for me, it would be error prone. Anyway, again, regardless if I am using a 310 tong tool or my 450 Dillon - powder gets dropped, and a bullet is placed into that open case.  This works for me, I drop exactly one measure of powder, then I plug up the hole with a bullet so another one can't get in.  If someone tries to interrupt me, I ignore them till the bullet is seated, if the powder has been dropped.  If I am not on the Dillon, or a turret press, the primed, belled brass is head up and mouth down in an MTM box right up to the instant I drop powder.  Knock on wood, I have not had any double charge or no powder events. 

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M3 Mitch posted this 02 February 2019

Agreeing with Dale, that article that Ed dug up is great.  Note, also, how even a relatively minor deep seating of the bullet almost doubles pressure on a normal load of 2.7 grains of Bullseye.  Deep seating could occur if you let bullet lube gum up your seating die.  Should not happen, but if it does happen, clean things out, use less lube, drill a bleed hole, do something, just be sure to break down any ammo where the bullet is seated over deep. 

Worth noting that automatic pistols need adequate case neck tension or the feeding cycle can push the bullet deeper into the case, and you can't see it unless your intuition prompts you to eject that round and look at it.  Worthwhile to test your auto loads by pushing them against a bench or similar, and push good and hard, try to push the bullet back into the case, if you are not a circus strongman, you should not be able to push it into the case.  There is probably a more scientific way to go about this but I don't know it, would be grateful to anyone who posts up a better way.

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Chargar posted this 02 February 2019

I have been loading since 1959 and have never blown up a gun. About 1990, I took a flyer and bought a new fangled progressive press and loaded about 1K 38 Special rounds. When I fired one of them, the recoil told me something was amiss. No doubt the pressure was up there. The revolver was a 1931 Colt Officers Model and no damage was done. 

I sold the press down river and continue to peer into each case before the bullet is seated. No problems before or since. There was a lesson here for me and perhaps for others. 

 

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