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Old August 5, 2011, 01:20 PM   #1
CPTMurdoc30
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This could have ended badly.

Ok I was getting things ready for an F-Class match this Saturday. I had to install a sling swivel on my rifle and load up 100 rounds of ammo.

My load was

308 win
Lapua Brass
43gr Hodgdon Varget
CCI BR-4 Primers
175gr SMK

Loaded to a .018" jump should have measured with my OAL gauge to 2.172"

So I get out the powder, primers, cases, and the Tool head for my dillon. It is set up as sort of a turret more than a progressive.

I start reloading setting my scale up on the bench and setting the Uniflow to throw 41gr of varget then trickle the rest in. I then sized and primed a case. I backed the seater plug out and worked my way down to the measurement I figured in my head. I did the math wrong and used .18 for my jump NOT .018". I get to loading. The whole time thinking man that load looks a little short. But the phone range it was hot out side the dog needed let in the house. I was then loading 1 at a time. Sizing then adding powder then loading the bullet. After the phone call I figured I would make the process faster and load in batches of 10. Now I never ever do this normally not sure why I did it that night. I guess because I was sweating hard I was tired from 10 hours of removing and installing computers at work that day. I only got 5 hours of sleep the night before, and it was already 11 pm. So I was distracted, tired, hot, sweaty, I changed my process in the middle of loading. I get 25 loaded and then stop and think about it as the phone rings again. I then figure out what I did wrong. The seating depth is off. I call myself a few colorful names and decide to pack it in for the night.

The next evening rolls around another 10 hour day of work then home to cook and get the wife off to work (RN working night shift). I try it again . I am not pulling bullets and dumping the powder back in to the case and seating to the proper depth of 2.172" on my OAL gauge. Then I have one that spills a little bit of powder out of it. So I throw it on the scale. The scale now is set on 43gr Or so I think. The scale PEGS out (Ohaus 1010) I adjust the scale and OMG it weighs 48grs. After about having a heart attack I just decide to pack it in again.

Now last night I go and just decided to pull them all down put the powder back in the can and start over today or tonight.

I am an experienced reloader loading for 23 years. I made simple little mistakes and it could have cost me my gun my life and injured someone next to me on the line this weekend at Quantico. I screwed up big time. Plus my bench was a mess. I guess the moral of the story is take your time do it right and don't get distracted.

I would have hatted to see what a 5gr over charge and a bullet seated .1" too deep would have done if I would have touched it off.
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Old August 5, 2011, 02:48 PM   #2
mdripley
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Glad you caught your mistake before you fired those rounds. I myself will not reload anymore after a long days work. I make sure that I am well rested.
Hope your next batch turn out great.
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Old August 5, 2011, 02:50 PM   #3
mehavey
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Quote:
...decided to pull them all down put the powder back in the can and start over....
Good things come in threes....
Did you put t all back in the right container?











post: God protects fools, drunks, little children, my Academy roommate... and reloaders.
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Old August 5, 2011, 02:55 PM   #4
TATER
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Just reading about the disruptions around you makes me stop and regroup….
I am the type of person that has to clean and organize the area before I start
reloading. And, even then, If I can't get my head right I don't get the powder
out of the cabinet… The only way I can describe it is (sensory over load). I will
research loads, make notes and maybe set stuff up for later. I will admit that
Its probably a touch of OCD.
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Old August 5, 2011, 02:55 PM   #5
CPTMurdoc30
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Yes. I only ever have 1 can of powder out at a time. That is it. Never seen a need to have more than one.
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Old August 5, 2011, 02:58 PM   #6
CPTMurdoc30
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Tater OCD while reloading is a good thing in my eyes.

There are many times where I do all the prep over days even weeks. Then when I get the time all I need to do is add powder and a bullet.
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Old August 5, 2011, 03:06 PM   #7
Saltydog235
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Glad everything was caught before it caused any issues. I never reload when I'm tired or in a situation that I'll be destracted. I learned long ago that as a reloader once I set a routine, that was the fastest, safest method for me to do it and not to vary how I do it whether its 10 rounds or 100 or more.
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Old August 5, 2011, 03:13 PM   #8
oneoldsap
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If you hadn't caught it , you would have screwed up for sure . Nothing is screwed up until it is a finished product ! Distractions are not a good thing when reloading . When I get interupted I just stop , and start over again , it never hurts to pull a few random charges and recheck before seating bullets !
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Old August 5, 2011, 04:06 PM   #9
serf 'rett
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I am an experienced reloader loading for 23 years
I'm a thinikin' that it was the "experienced reloader" part which caused you to catch the shorts and over charges. It’s always best to read your kind of story, than the aftermath, "Let's see if we can figure out what went wrong," stories.
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Old August 5, 2011, 09:32 PM   #10
CPTMurdoc30
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I tell you I scared the living daylights out of myself with this.
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Old August 6, 2011, 01:57 AM   #11
FrankenMauser
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I tell you I scared the living daylights out of myself with this.
That's the best part of the story.

We all, occasionally, need a good reminder of why we have so many safety checks in our process. (Or a reason to implement them, for the people that think they're infallible.)


Other reloaders in my family are constantly saying that my reloads are likely (we've never tested them) to be more consistent, more accurate, more predictable, and less likely to cause a catastrophic failure, than their own. ...But it doesn't instill confidence in me. Instead, it makes me become even more anal retentive, and apply even more safety checks in my process. It may happen, some day; but I plan to postpone that absolution, indefinitely...
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Old August 6, 2011, 10:02 AM   #12
TXGunNut
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Good call, OP. I've learned not to load under pressure or with distractions. If it's the night before a match, it's been a long day (or week) and I don't have any ammo loaded I'd either blow off the match and sleep in or show up and help run the match. Even if nothing goes wrong on the loading bench I've never shot well after loading under those conditions. Sometimes you just need a break.
TATER's right, if something doesn't feel right I don't load. I'll clean & sort brass, straighten up the cabinets, clean & check equipment, sack up the trash, whatever. If I figure out what's bothering me I'll fix it and go on. If not, I'll try again another day.
I'm glad you caught your mistakes, thanks for posting so newer reloaders will learn from them and us experienced loaders will be reminded to heed those little voices that try to keep us out of trouble.
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Old August 6, 2011, 01:56 PM   #13
SRH78
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Anytime you feel tired, stressed, or distracted, it is better to wait and load another time. This goes for other things as well. I once made that mistake. I had a lot going on including my grandfather in the hospital with heart problems and the wife acting crazy and I don't recall what else. Regardless, as I got the tablesaw out, that little voice in my head told me it was a bad idea but I didn't listen. I figured it would be alright because I am always careful. Well, always except for just one moment that one time. It was a painfull mistake that I will live with the rest of my life.

CPTMurdoc30, I am very glad you caught your mistake the easy way instead of the hard way. For everyone else, I hope this serves as a reminder and makes everyone more careful.
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