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Thread: "Whoa!" size Mistakes?

  1. #1
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default "Whoa!" size Mistakes?

    When I started running Fishing Boats I came up with a question for the Experienced guys that taught me a lot,

    "So, what are some of the things you did wrong, got away with it or not, but how could I really blow it?" Some of them didn't really like the question but it's a good one to think about.

    So in the Handloading Sphere I gotta wonder, what are some of the "Whoa, can't believe I did that," moments in your past?

    I'll start, with my first time, set up everything, lots to be figuring out, had no mentor but the manuals.....Loaded up twenty and got to the range and launched 'em before coming back to do another batch and in setting up to start realized "I Never Zeroed the Scale!!"

    Amazingly enough, it hadn't been moved and was only a smidgeon off, but Wow, can't believe I did that,

    Maybe this can be a learning thing for the new guys (Myself being one) or for all of us, so,
    C'mon guys tell us the truth... What Could Go Wrong?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  2. #2

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    My most memorable "whoa" moment was a couple of years ago using a Lee progressive press to load some .45 Colt rounds. I had a good rhythm going and things were going great until I dumped a shell with powder but no bullet into my output tray.

    The next cartridge in line had a bullet on it so I seated it and started cleaning up the mess. Then I got to wondering, did I forget to put a bullet on the case that spilled powder all over the place? I didn't think I had. So I looked closely at the case I had just seated a bullet in. It looked funny so I pulled the bullet and sure enough there was another bullet in the case.

    What happened was lube build up captured the missing bullet and held it in the seating die. When I seated the next bullet I actually seated two, the one I placed on the cartridge and the one hiding up in the seating die.

    I hate to think what would have happened if I had fired that double bullet case.

  3. #3
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I destroyed up a very nice Colt Police 38 when I was in my teens. I was loading hot with Unique and charged the tray of brass and someone said dinner is reedy. I guess after eating I was on auto pilot, sat down, and put another charge on top of the first. When the gun blew I thought that was loud but didn't know I blew the cylinder out till it wouldn't cycle for shot 2 and I was trying to see why. This is when I started putting every loaded Bullseye/Unique round on the scale to check the end product for a double.

    I once charged a whole tray of 50 357s with 7.5 grins of Bullseye because I forgot I had been loading 44mag last time I used the measure. I weighed every 5th charge all 7.5 but I was seating bullets when it downed on me 7.5 was my 44 load and this is 357 brass.

    There have been so many things over the years but I am still here with all my parts.
    Check, double check, and recheck your charges and load data . . . never work from memory of the data alone. It's surprisingly easy to put the correct charge in the wrong case or under the wrong bullet.
    Andy
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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    I once loaded 150 rounds of .45 auto with the wrong weight bullet. The powder charge was way over max for the bullet I used by mistake. I think I still have some of those rounds to pull!
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    I have two big "Whoa!" events that come to mind.

    The first was working up Blue Dot loads in both .44 mag and .45 Colt (for my Redhawk, so these were warm). I worked up to 15.5 grains in both calibers (240 grain SWC for the .44; 255 grain SWC for the .45 Colt) and went to the range. I started out with the Redhawk and the first 5 rounds seemed okay, except I noticed at least three of the bullets keyholed on the target. The final round made a very strange hollow sound on ignition, and when I opened the cylinder to look I saw that the case had burst the entire length! All the other cases looked very bulged, and it was at that moment that I noticed that I had loaded the .44 mag loads in the .45 Colt Redhawk! Felt very lucky and very stupid. That burst case is now mounted over my bench as a reminder.

    The second was when loading my standard Blue Dot load for my .357 mag S&W model 28. It was 10.2 grains under a 158 grain SWC. I set up the scale and was happily cranking away, and I had about 50 cases charged with powder when something about the scale looked odd to me. I had mistakenly set the scale for 12.0 grains instead of 10.2. I don't think my model 28 would have been destroyed by those loads, but I still felt very stupid. Thankfully I caught it before I seated any bullets, so it was easy to fix.

    There's no such thing as being too careful with handloading.

    Mike

  6. #6

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    I've been thinking about this one for a while and the only things that come to mind are, once or twice over the years I've done a double charge. That is always self critquing when it comes to loading for rifle cartridges because you immediatelt see what you've done when the powder flows over and out of the mouth of the case. I also misread the the balance beam scale by 10 gr once resulting in a 10 gr over charge. It was also self critiquing. I make mistakes like this when I'm distracted and not concentrating. Moral... when hand loading put everything else aside and concentrate on what your doing.

    -Mark

  7. #7

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    I usually don't talk about this but..... My very first bolt gun was a 700 Remington in 270. I wasn't dry behind the ears yet when I jumped into reloading for that rifle. I loaded my first box of 130 grain Hornady and shot em up with out a hitch! I hurried home all proud of my accomplishments and reloaded those 20 cases. Since I had just loaded that morning the numbers were fresh in my mind....49.6 grains of IMR 4895 was the maximum load in Hornady's book and like all(or most) green horns I had to have maximum. Maximum is what I got. The first round fired out of the new batch resulted in stuff coming rearward through the bolt, a stuck bolt and ruined extractor. Turns out 46.9 was max and not 49.6. I've been ever so careful not to transpose numbers ever since!

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I have learned to keep all of the powders put away except for the one that you are using.

    Last year I had a 8 pound jug of Varget on the bench next to a 5 pounder of RL-15. When I was done loading I grabbed the wrong jug and dumped the half full hopper in and ruined that powder. It was about a $100 mistake but lesson learned.

    Now I have several small pouches of that stuff put aside for starting camp fires.

  9. #9
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Almost

    Another thing I "Almost did" was caught in the write up process,

    I took some black tape and marked my Hornady manual for quickly finding the page of the one rifle caliber I am reloading for, .270wsm. Taped it so I wouldn't have to look, the book would just fall open to this page.

    So I'm writing down in my log book the work up strategy before loading, have it all figured out what I'll do with twenty cases and as I remember it the thing I noticed was that the primer on the page I was looking at,(a last minute glance) was "Not a magnum Primer" but was just Large Rifle,

    Knowing there is only one manual that recommends LR primers for WSM and all the others are saying LRM for primers caused me to double check. I found I had been on the wrong side of the tape mark in the book and was looking at page one for .270 numbers, not .270WSM.

    I had even taped together the three pages of .270 to avoid that mix-up but as I remember it, I was loading the 110gr bullet which is on page one and when I turned to the tape mark and began on the left side of it the first page in front of me said .270 and 110gr VMax, etc. looked Very Similar to the first page of .270wsm

    They numbers weren't way off probably wouldn't have blown up anything, but it was enough to be glad I noticed that prior to loading as opposed to at the range.

    So, for me, it's "Watch what you're reading, and double check Everything."
    Am Big on the No Distractions also.

    Thanks guys for these stories,
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I have learned to keep all of the powders put away except for the one that you are using.

    Last year I had a 8 pound jug of Varget on the bench next to a 5 pounder of RL-15. When I was done loading I grabbed the wrong jug and dumped the half full hopper in and ruined that powder. It was about a $100 mistake but lesson learned.

    Now I have several small pouches of that stuff put aside for starting camp fires.
    In case you want to do any wildcats, you've at least got a good source of fire forming powder

    I came real close to doing the same thing, but not with an 8 lb jug.

  11. #11

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    Oh yeah! I have a couple of pounds of mixed powder that I would sell cheap! It happened the same way. 296 and 4198 aren't that different are they? Yikes!

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    This happened to me recently and blame it on being distracted with a few things on my mind at the same time.
    Was resizing brass and then chambering it to determine the correct setting for the resizing die for that rifle. I resized the brass, chambered it, and it would not chamber. Set the die down some more, still wouldnt rechamber. Did this 6-7 times till I was past the point of full length resizing. So I stopped, pulled back and thought about it for a few minutes.
    Then it finally dawned on me that even though I was setting the die down lower each adjustment I failed to run the case into the die.
    Tennessee

  13. #13
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    Default Whoa Size Mistakes?

    My first wife...yuck

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    Default Would you believe?

    Sometimes you don't even know what to expect.

    Would you believe?.

    Let me preface this, by saying I'm known to be a down to earth guy, not given to crackpot theories or foolishness.

    To keep this simple, I'll just say that I spilled some powder, quite a lot of it, maybe a cup or so. The most of it was on the floor, so not wanting to lose about half a pound of powder, I decided to salvage it.

    I just swept it up off the garage floor in a dust pan. There wasn't much dirt, but there was some debris, flecks of something or other, so I sifted it through the screen of a Sink Strainer, I had just bought. I hadda sift if a few times but I got most of the stuff out, and it looked pretty clean except for what was obviously some Dawg Hairs. (My wife's dawg sleeps and plays in the garage.)

    I decided to use this contaminated powder anyway, and when I got around to it, and fired my first shots, I noticed "Pressure Signs". I'm not real good at Pressure Signs like Montana Rifleman, but there they were, "Pressure Signs".

    I deduced the obvious, that the dawg hair had somehow changed the burning characteristics of the particular powder in that particular cartridge, and load.

    I hadda REDUCE my powder charge from the normal, and then my sight-in was wrong so the bullets were going high and to the left of where they did before.

    I recognize that some of you people might find this account a bit fantastic.

    At the beginning, I asked, "Would you believe?", and if you DON'T believe it, well, I'm not at all surprised. It's about the most incredible story I ever made up.

    Be as Safe, as you can be. You just never know.
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  15. #15
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Dang it Smitty I was all worked up thinking you found a use for all this dog hair I have.
    Andy
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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I want you to know that this happened to me in front of a big crowd of people and after loading many millions of rounds of ammo. It can happen at any time to anybody.


    I loaded 15 rounds of 6 PC ammo at a major bench rest match, My relay was called back to the line, I went back up and was surpriced when I discovered that I had not put any powder in the cases. Let me tell you that I wish I had a video of me going for a cleaning rod to get the stuck bullet out of the bore and loading 15 more with powder. Yes it can happen, don't let it happen to you.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  17. #17

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    Smitty,

    That ending was disappointing but the rest of it was pretty good though... especially the part about reading pressure signs.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    My first wife...yuck
    my second girlfriend after my wife died ..this was the worst my mistake ever made dateing ..

    my second one was reloading a few rounds for the upcomeing hunting season along with haveing my grandkid in the room with me .. i forget the put a powder into the shell caseing once time..for the grandkid had gotten into something there in the room and i thought i had put powder into the round before seating the bullet into the cartridge mouth .. now i lock the door to the reloading room when reloading when the grandkids are around.

    so i bundle the rounds and put them into the rifle case .so i was off to the hunt and i load the first round into the rifle to check the zero of the rifle after the flight up there and to make sure the rifle was still zero at the point of aim ..i all i heard was click on the round.. i threw the lever down and ejectioned the shell out look down the barrel and there was the bullet stuck in the barrel after a few mins of taping the rifle cleaning rod down the barrel ..i broken open one of the shells i bought when i found they had no powder in them.. so i checked all the shells and found no powder the worst part for me was the fact i did in front of a group of people that i was going on a guided elk hunt with in the back country .never did get to live that one down ..so it was a stop at the local wally word for rifle ammo and the ammo was packed up for the trip to back to the house.

  19. #19

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    this was more of just beening stupid and lazy at the time.. i shoot what is called in the international world of 10 meter air rifle is called 10 meter brenchrest .. it shot just like a regular brench rest match but at 10 meters range ..

    the rules are basic fixed in the area of the game

    177 cal rifles

    international match grade

    fixed power scope-x-4.x power that has high as you can go ..

    to fixed at what type of front rest can be use to the rear bag.. but it does comes down to the ammo where a shooter can get the edge to win the match ..

    so a lot of the shooters in the game wiegh and size the pellets just like the hardcore shooter in the brenchrest game wiegh everything from the primer to the shell caseing to the bullet wieght itself to get a edge in the game..

    belive this or not but pellets in the basic same sized are not all the same wieght so if your rifle shoots great with 4.48 sized pellet and you shoot 4.50 sized pellet in 177 cal there is going to be a diff grouping of the pellet on the target .. so a mirco gram here or there off can really discrease or increase the rifle grouping scores .so everything is weighted and packaged into the 100.rd match boxs with the wieght label onto them with a tape and black magic maker ..and keep in the right piles and take to the matchs and shot with a little fine turning of the scope to match the grouping of the shoots dureing pratice with the diff sized pellets .

    so here comes my mistake of whoa sized .. iam have gone to a local match and i thought i grabed the wieghted match tin that i thought was the right wieght for the rifle and all the first matchs i could not keep a tight grouping ..then it came to me like a light blub to check the ammo box.and sure enough it was the ammo for the rifle..so now before i go shoot a match i allways check the bag to make sure the ammo is the right for the rifle ..it cost me the local match to advance to the state level of the match

  20. #20
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    Many years ago when I was shooting a lot of Bullseye Pistol and loading 200 grain SWc's in my 45 ACP wadcutter gun, I loaded a batch using 4.8 grains of Bullseye powder. My balance beam scale showed 4.8 on the front beam but failing to re-zero it after a previous use still had the back beam set on the first notch out which was five more grains to balance. Back then I used a small pistol measure that used numbered brass "donuts" and the one I used for 4.8 grains of Bullseye powder was number three. I kept these little brass bushings in a small drawer in a parts cabinet that set on my bench. Well in a hurry to make ammo for tomorrow's match I grabbed number 8 which looks like a 3 when its dirty with powder residue. Number eight will throw 9.8 grains of Bullseye. So I loaded 300 rounds of 200 grain Wadcutter with 9.8 grains of Bullseye. A maximum load of Bullseye is about 5.6 grains and would give a 200 grain bullet about 980 fps.

    Out for a quick practice that Saturday evening, I fired shot number one and thought it sounded funny and the magazine fell out of my gun, broken. Hmmm. Pressing hard for the Darwin award I loaded another magazine of five, stuffed it into the pistol and dropped the slide. The wooden grips exploded in my hand and the magazine hit the ground at my feet with a thud, in several pieces. The slide cycled but did not lock up. I put the gun on the bench and used pliers to pull the grip screw and bushing from my right hand. Most of the grip splinters I could pull out with my fingers. The barrel was now about 470 caliber at the chamber and there were some other minor problems. The trigger stirrup was wrapped around the grip frame from the inside out and cut a deep gash in my hand as it wrapped.

    The gun was made for me by Al Dinan of Connecticut. I learned to check and double check my powder dipper after that. That was 1972. I borrowed a gun from my shooting coach the next morning. With some gauze and adhesive tape on my hand I shot the 2700 the that day and broke 2600 for the first time in my life. Just like my old coach used to say, don't let the little things distract you. He said; "You came to shoot, shoot!!"

    The Corpsman put 16 stitches in my hand on Monday. He said it looked like I grabbed a chainsaw when it was running. I told him I accidentally picked up my fork from the wrong end.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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