Most embarrassing or potentially disastrous reloading mistakes that you have made

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 8x68, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. 8x68

    8x68 AH Fanatic

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    I have 2 that I can think of at the moment.

    #1
    Many years ago when I was new to the reloading game I proudly loaded up some 30 cal 150gr Spire Points. Had them all measured perfectly everything was good........well not exactly. Here comes the flaw
    I took the rifle and ammo to the range. Got everything set up, targets were up, bench rest bags set...proudly took out my new Marlin 336C 30/30 lever action started to load the rounds into the tube mag.......do you see the problem? After a I stared in disbelief for several seconds with heavy sighs and drooped head I took down my targets, put my benchrest bags away, put the ammo back into the ammo box and went home. Spent the next couple of hours using a kinetic bullet puller unloading the rounds with naughty words abounding.
    Yes I know I could have fired it single shot but wanted to use proper bullet for that rifle.

    #2
    As just posted on another thread in this forum. Forgot to put powder in a 450 Rigby round. The benefit was I video'd the event.

    For those new to the shooting game: Hangfires or Misfires....KEEP RIFLE EITHER SHOULDERED IF SHOOTING OFFHAND, OR FROM STICKS, OR KEEP RIFLE POINTED DOWN RANGE IF SHOOTING FROM THE BENCH. WAIT 15-30 seconds BEFORE opening the bolt. The other benefit was that I also noticed a naughty flinch.
     
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  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    First of all I can not believe that I am relating this tale. However, someone may learn from my stupidity.

    Note the brass piece in this photo. It conveniently attaches to your rod to pack your load into your muzzle loader. It is threaded and can unscrew itself as you draw it up the rifling of the barrel.

    31007239-529x353.jpg


    Thankfully, Thompsons over proofs their barrels and I did not kill myself.

    Full magnum load of Pyrodex with a sabot loaded with several hundred grains of brass floating in the barrel about three inches in front of the sabot.

    I have never been kicked like that by any rifle (including the 450 Rigby)
    I had no idea what happened. I recall seeing the dust fly about 30 yards in front of the bench.
    It soon dawned on me what I had done when I looked at the rod.

    It served as a reloading lesson for the ages.

    OUCH!
     
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  3. 8x68

    8x68 AH Fanatic

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    You is one lucky boy! You coulda got blowed up real good!
     

  4. greyfox

    greyfox AH Fanatic

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    Years ago (don't all the good ones start that way....) I was one of those guys with 20+ powders, 5 different primers, different cases, bullets, etc.....

    I was working up loads with IMR 4320 but read the book (days before internet..) and charged for IMR 4350. this resulted in a 10 grain overcharge which locked my bolt. I managed to eject the fired case and shot it again!!! Same thing, so I stopped and went home and discovered my mistake.

    No I only use ONE Powder, ONE primer, and one case!!
     
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  5. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    @8x68 you a nascar fan? She was running real good till she blowed up!
     
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  6. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Back when I thought a bullet of any given caliber and weight was the same as another I same cal/weight, I used my Nosler manual when loading a 180 TSX for .300RUM..........

    Bolt had to be hammered open, brass looked just shy of exploded ordinance. This event wa scary.

    I also shoved some .308 bullets into a 7x57 case once. Knew something was wrong when the rounds for some reason wouldn't feed. That one was fortunately just embarrassing.
     

  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Yes sir. I was very lucky.
     

  8. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I posted about pressure in my 6.5x55. After much hand wringing I took the bolt down and cleaned it. When putting it back together I didn't screw it properly so the pin did not protrude when fired. I went to the range and tried to use it. When the gun only went "click" I opened the breach. The real problem was that I was seating the bullets out too far. When I opened the breach I pulled the cartridge apart spilling out the powder but leaving the bullet jammed into the lands. Tail between my legs I packed up my chrono, cartridges and all. I now build loads using published COL first and I make sure I put stuff back together properly!

    Recently a friend, and very experienced loader, allowed me to shoot his vintage pre-war Colt 45 revolver. I fired several shots and my boys were laughing because ol' dad didn't hit the target. after three shots (!!) My friend took the pistol back. When he checked the gun he found bullets were wedged up in the barrel! Since then we have talked about what went wrong but he is not sure. I am just glad the thing didn't go off like a grenade.
     

  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Given this story, do you really want to reload? :eek:
     
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  10. 8x68

    8x68 AH Fanatic

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    Been there done that except in my case I read the wrong line because I'm too stubborn to wear my glasses. Mixed up H4350 and IMR 4350. Not a huge deal but could have been.
     
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  11. 8x68

    8x68 AH Fanatic

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    No not really...just remember the line from somewhere. I guess another relevant line would be from Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid..."I think you used a little too much powder there Butch! " (after they blew up the train car that contained the safe they were trying to rob).
     

  12. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Both very scary reminders to go slow. I figure as long as I don't leave stuff in my barrel it's all good ;):)
     

  13. Excessexpress

    Excessexpress AH Senior Member

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    Got a rigby case stuck in a die, eventually pulled the rim off it before whacking it out with a dowel and mallet

    It happens to all of us eventually, but the embarrassing part was that it was the first case I'd tried to size since doing the same thing.

    You'd think in once it was stuck I'd have gone straight for the dowel, but no I had to destroy the rim first......
     

  14. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    This one is pretty close to subject.

    So there I was at the range about 10 or 12 years ago with a new to me pre-war guild drilling with a 7x57r rifle barrel (clearly marked and so advertised by a not to be named dealer from Mississippi.) I set up on the 25 yard line and let fly to see if we would be on paper. We were, but a straight wall, fire formed case magically emerged upon opening the action. To say I was surprised is something of an under statement, so naturally, I shot it again - maybe wishing for a different outcome!?! Fortunately, nothing gave way. Shipped it back to the gentleman from Mississippi, who had the usual "have every firearm checked out by a competent gunsmith ....." get out of jail free language on his site, and after several calls and a very legal looking letter, was refunded my rather meaningful investment (still in the military then - so a very meaningful investment). Someone had obviously re-chambered the rifle for a much larger rimmed 7mm. For those of you familiar with drillings, you are aware that the chamber area is typically very thin to begin with (reinforcing shotgun barrels make it possible). I suspect the metal remaining at the newly formed shoulder of this barrel had to have been paper thin. It certainly would never pass a German proof. Am still mildly amazed that it didn't go off like a grenade in geographic juxtaposition to my left hand.

    I now religiously always do a chamber cast on older acquisitions.
     
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  15. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Shot one of the sky screens on my Ohler 35P chronograph........:whistle:

    I was at our local shooting club, and had arrived when the range was just being called "cold". Anyone who has an Ohler knows despite them being great chronos, they are a pain to set up.....at least compared to my Magnetospeed. Anyway, it was a crowded range, and I was hurrying to set up the chrono. I thought I was OK looking through the rifle scope, but.........a Barnes (.338) 225 grain TTSX from a 338 Win Mag clipped the leading edge of one, and sent it flying downrange. One of the tripods tipped over and made a big crash. I looked down the line, and everyone was looking at me. After a few snickers and giggles, and with my face being 3 shades of red, and older gentleman next to me said, "Ain't technology a bitch?" As mad as I was, I started chuckling and a few others did as well. Needless to say it was a lesson learned. It's never good to get in a hurry.......
     
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  16. 8x68

    8x68 AH Fanatic

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    Done that too. Nicked the first rod on my Shooting Chrony with a .223 round. Got a nice big "chomp" on the rod. Still works, just a bit bent.
     

  17. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    After spending over a year testing loads and shooting for practice with zero problems I loaded up new brass which I trimmed/chamfered/flashhole deburred/ weighted to 1-2 grains. Then I hand primed as I do all rifle brass, sorting out any that did not feel the same using the SAME LOT/Carton of win LRM primers. Weighted each powder charge and carefully seated the A-Frame bullets.
    Took the ammo to the range to fiftieth time check zero with 3 rounds in each of 3 rifles. All was good.

    I had been in contact with my outfitter/PH all along and told them as well as showed them the targets just how well the rifles were shooting as well as having drop charts etc all ready.

    Fly to SA and go to check sight the rifles. Pull out the 30-06 and it goes click. I am feeling 2" tall after all my bragging on my loads etc. Try it again and click. Look at it and there is a good firing pin mark. SO I get another round and same result. Now I am looking for a hole to get in and pull the dirt over me! The PH politely asks if I want to try his factory ammo? WHERE the hell is that hole?? I would just go home if it were not so far!

    Grabbed another round and Bang, same with the next. My daughter fired her rifle and all was well. Mind you this is all ammo I made. Got my 338win mag and bang 2 times with 2 shots.
    The PH is breathing easier but I am not! ALL the ammo with us has primers from the same carton. I did not handle the primers.
    I worried about this for the 1st three days. Never had any trouble and we shot over 50 rounds hunting.

    Brought those 2 rounds home and took them apart. Nothing wrong inside. They had powder. Just 2 bad primers out of a whole carton BUT it had to be the 1st two I attempted to shoot in Africa. Funny now but not when it happened.
    Wanted to rip win a new one but just let it go.

    My other big screw up was having 2 different powders out while loading up test loads with different powders. They were new 8 pound jugs. Sure enough I dumped the wrong powder into one of them. I sure hope the roses liked that expensive mistake. Worse thing was it was when you could hardy find any powder and the price was sky high.
     

  18. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    It is kind of embarrassing to admit but I can relate to a number of these stories.

    I was fire forming some 357 Herrett loads in my Thompson Center when I didn't see a bullet hit the backstop and very little recoil. Sure enough it was stuck in the barrel....No powder in the load. Another time I headed out to the range to check out some new loads in a friends 7mm Rem mag. The first round chambered a little bit weird so I went to pull the case out of the chamber. All the powder spilled into the action when the bullet was left stuck in the rifling in the barrel....I had seated the bullet out too far.

    Another time I loaded up 200 rounds of 44 mag ammo for a friend and headed out to check out the loads. The first three pulls of the trigger just went click but all the primers were dented quite well. Come to find out all of the rounds that he had given me were packaged by someone who had sold them to my friend saying that they were sized and primed....I never checked them out figuring that he knew what he had bought since he had brought me primed cases before. These cases were just fired and then sized without removing the primer. I now check every round that I reload for someone else.

    Then there is the story that I have told before. A Highway Patrolman purchased a brand new Colt Python revolver in .357 Rem mag along with a Lee hand loading set, some powder, primers, and bullets. After firing the first box of 50 rounds that he had purchased with the revolver he proceeded to hand load some new rounds. He took the bullets that he had purchased and measured how far into the case that they would seat. He then reprimed the cases and filled them with powder to the depth of the bullets and then headed to the range. It is a testament to the strength of that Colt Python that it didn't blow up with the first pull of the trigger. It lasted through 5 or so rounds before the grand explosion of the cylinder and top strap of that revolver coming apart. I was standing about 50 feet away and felt the concussion of that shot. He is one lucky man in that it didn't remove his hand much less any of his fingers. When we pulled those bullets apart we found 25 grains of H110 powder under a 158 grain jacket bullet when the manual states around 22 grains for that bullet. Talk about over pressure loads.
     

  19. Jfet

    Jfet AH Elite

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    My uncle hand loaded in a barn where he also stored all of his muzzleloader equipment. I was 10 when my cousin called to tell my dad that his brother was in the hospital. My uncle had mistakenly loaded smokeless powder into his muzzle loader. At the end of the day deer hunting he fired his muzzle loader to unload it and it blew up. Once it was determined that he was going to live there were several days where we were not sure whether he was going to keep his arm. The next summer when I went to go visit I noticed that my uncle had a very large scar on his right forearm and that there were two buildings in his backyard, one for hand loading and one for blackpowder.:whistle:
     
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  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Not a handloading issue per se, but one of the worst moments of my life and I still nearly break out in a sweat just thinking about it. I was shooting a semi auto PSL (Dragunov) in 7.62x54 at the range and had a double. Never really figured out exactly what happened but there ended up being some brass stuck in the chamber area and rounds would not fully seat. So took it home and apart. My boy had come in the garage to watch what I was doing and in the process of fiddling around trying to get a round to seat, mind you the gun is apart but the trigger and hammer are still operable! So with the cover off, basically an AK action, I had a LIVE round in the chamber that was fully seated as I had finally got the errant chunks of brass cleaned out. For some reason and I may never know why, it occurred to me that if I let the hammer drop, I would be able to see if all was OK. Well, all was OK but for I still have a live round in the chamber! BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know that feeling when you know you just did something you may regret forever?? I had that feeling. I literally threw the gun down and ran outside to make sure I didn't kill someone. The 150 FMJ bullet left the gun, went thru both hull sides of a boat I had just finished building, thru the garage door, bounced off the hood of my F250 in the driveway, right into my WIFES TAURUS wagon, thru the closed passenger side window, thru the back seat and finally expended itself in the cargo area!!! Now that's penetration!! I was so horrified I nearly cried. Across the street the neighbors were entertaining and they were OUTSIDE when the round went off. I looked at them, and didn't hear any screaming or see any blood, then my wife came outside. Well when all were accounted for, I nearly lost it. I was so afraid I might have killed someone. I shook for the rest of the day and was depressed for a week. I hope to never be so careless again. It only takes a split second of inattention and focus to have a disaster. The gun has not ever had another issue. Guess I fixed whatever it was.
     

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