.38 special mishap
I did it. I did something I vowed to never do while reloading. I made a mistake.
Last weekend I was shooting some plated .38 spl 148g HBWC over 3.6 grains of HP-38. A combination I have loaded and shot over a thousand rounds of without issue. When I squeezed the trigger there was a slightly louder report. The recoil was slightly different than usual. The case head started to separate, extraction from the wheel was difficult because there was a noticeable bulge in case about .1875 up from the head, and the primer was smashed flat. My first thought was double charge, but then I noticed……
The target had two holes in it. One exactly where I was aiming, the other about 6 inches low. I was shooting at a distance of 30’. The top hole was a perfect wad cutter puncture. The other hole looked like a tumbling projectile hole only smaller than a .38 spl.
Here is my theory.
For this batch of reloads I used some range brass that somebody had given to me with an old C&H progressive press I had purchased about 6 months ago. In one of the bags of 38 spl brass there were some de-primed .32 brass. I found 2 .32s in the bag of 500 .38s. I think there was a 3rd stuck in the bottom of the .38 case that I did not catch.
I realize I was very lucky. The gun is O.K. and I can still count to 10 without taking my shoes off.