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Old June 4, 2012, 02:26 PM   #1
TheKlawMan
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Rookie Reloading Mistake

Not to hijack a new reloader's thread or to bring up an old one of mine, some may recall the wild swings I was getting when I started reloading 12 gauge with an MEC Sizemaster (pretty much a beefed up MEC 600 Jr.) Powder drops often varied by a half a grain and sometimes a whole grain. I think I found the problem when the snake bit me.

Some shot had found its way into my powder. How I don't exactly know, but it was there. I wonder if the insert on the top of the charge bar needs replacing? Anyway, I am proof of Murphy's Law.

So if you are getting wide variations in powder drops by weight, you might want to look for shot in your powder.
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Old June 4, 2012, 02:41 PM   #2
BigJimP
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are you talking about inside the hull ( like shot bypassed the wad ...and dropped inside hull ) ....

or are you talking about inside the bottle on top of the loader...

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How or when did this show up / how did you find it ....did you cut open a shell or what ??
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Old June 4, 2012, 02:48 PM   #3
TheKlawMan
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Jim, I am talking about what drops into the hull before a wad is rammed and shot is dropped. It was spotted in the pan of my scale. Come to think of it, it was spotted after I replaced dimming low wattage shop fluorescent bulbs with higher wattage bulbs.
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Old June 4, 2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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I would remove the "storage bottles from your press" ..../ get a small screen and run the powder thru it ....and see if you've cross contaminated the bottle ( say, you had a hull full of shot ...that you wanted to dump back into the bottle ...and you dumped it into the wrong bottle ) ??? --- maybe after you crushed a hull in station 2 or something ....

I'd do the same thing for the shot bottle ...and make sure there is no powder in it ....
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On the sizemaster ...you operate the charge bar - with your hand...so I suppose its possible - that you didn't quite go all the way left ...and you got some shot in the powder drop...or vice versa...

( I always have to think about those single stage operations / because shot bottle is on the left and powder is on the right ) ...which is the reverse of the progressive presses I've used for a long time...

but you need to check the travel adjustments on the charge bar...and make sure you have the right washers installed, etc....so you don't cross contaminate...( its not a good thing !! )....
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Old June 4, 2012, 03:30 PM   #5
TheKlawMan
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I think it was a comedy of errors and I was the clown. When I first reloaded, I bought a couple of bottles of Clays. This one day in my stupidity, I topped off my Promo by accident with what was left of the Clays. Realizing what I had done, I removed the powder bottle and dumped the stuff on the top into the Clays. Of course I didn't get it all but most of it. Than I dumped what was left in the bottle into the Promo jug holding perhaps one pound of poweder with the idea of diluting any contamination by Clays. I think somewhere in there I managed to get a bunch of shot into that bottle and the pound of promo was contaminated with shot.

If I had the right size seive it would have been easier to filter, but I just picked through each poweder drop by hand until I rarely found a piece of shot. Now I am using a pretty new 7/8 charge bar and a fresh bottle of Promo and no shot is mixed in with the powder drop. I will check it with the 1-1/8 and the 1 ounce charge bars that have some wear.

Meanwhile, I am giving my loading area a thorough cleaning, today. Whatever went wrong, it is likely that poor lighting and a cramped reloading area contributed. I have already received one bene of picking it up. I found the little thingy that hooks on the end of the fuzzy stick and is used for oiling the barrel after a good fuzzing.
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Old June 4, 2012, 03:51 PM   #6
BigJimP
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....little thingy ...on end of a fuzzy stick .....geez man ...( there may be a few technical words you've left out ..) ....

Intentionally cross-contaminating powder... ...really ....???
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To make a cheap sieve ....get a plastic funnel ...and cut it off, so it has about a 5" opening ...and go to a hardwear store, get some fine mesh window screen ... and staple it to the outside of the funnel...and you have a cheap sieve or strainer...that will take the shot out of the powder bottle. If you don't want to use a funnel ...you can do the same thing with a large tin can ...( for tomatoes or something ) ....

Maybe you should consider --- straining your powder cannister of shot ...before every reloading session / just kind of like taking a minute to "screw your brain in " ...so to speak ....( which I mean respectfully, my friend ..) ....

or maybe invest in a decent reloader...like a MEC Grabber model ...( we know you're frugal ....but just saying .../ maybe the Sizemaster...has seen its best days in the rear view mirror...
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Old June 4, 2012, 04:14 PM   #7
TheKlawMan
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it is a little thingy but don't pick on me. Stiill, realizing that you may not be familiar with the finer aspects of "fuzzing barrels" and are thirsty for "fuzzing" knowledge, the label calls it an "oiling mop".

Quote:
Intentionally cross-contaminating powder... ...really ....???
Now you are picking on me just becaue you can't wear flip flops year around. I said:

Quote:
This one day in my stupidity, I topped off my Promo by accident with what was left of the Clays.
As stupid as I am, the cross-mixing was not intentional.

It sounds like you have a lot of practice using a strainer. Those seeds can be a bummer. Just kidding. If shot starts to show up in my fresh powder jug I will do as suggested. The trick will be finding something that lets the powder drop but catches the shot.

As for screwing in my brain, screwing it in isn't the problem as long as it doesn't back off. I think it need some lock-tite.

Last edited by TheKlawMan; June 4, 2012 at 04:24 PM.
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Old June 4, 2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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Separating shot from powder can be bothersome; but, sometimes it has to be done.

I can't help you with mixed powder. One of the basics of reloading is to have only one type of powder out at any one time (and hindsight is 20/20). Think of these incidents as learning experiences.

Like Big Jim, I've been reloading so long that I've forgotten most of my original reloading errors. One of these days, I'll tell you what happens when you police-up small quantities of spilled powder and temporarily put it in an ash tray.
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Old June 4, 2012, 05:12 PM   #9
BigJimP
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Ok, now I'm laughing ... ... ( you guys are killing me...)....

.....and by the way, I hate flip flops ...and sandals or any other shoe that has something between my toes.../ but yes, its rainy and in the mid 50's up here most of the week ....so its off to the indoor handgun range for me tomorrow vs any Skeet this week ...darn-it !!
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Old June 4, 2012, 07:07 PM   #10
TheKlawMan
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The God of fire will visit wrath on the Northerner amongst the White Walkers. Don't watch Games of Throne, Jim. It scares the sensitive types.
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Old June 4, 2012, 07:31 PM   #11
zippy13
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Quote:
...so its off to the indoor handgun range for me tomorrow vs any Skeet this week ...darn-it !!
With all the rain and Microsoft millions in your area, I'm surprised you don't have indoor Skeet.
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Old June 4, 2012, 08:03 PM   #12
olddrum1
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I keep a plastic drink cup next to the reloader to empty powder into and if I am leaving for a short period I will write the powder type on the cup and flip it over the powder tube. Something like a plastic Quik Trip or Casey's cup.
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Old June 4, 2012, 09:20 PM   #13
TheKlawMan
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Quote:
I keep a plastic drink cup next to the reloader to empty powder into and if I am leaving for a short period I will write the powder type on the cup and flip it over the powder tube. Something like a plastic Quik Trip or Casey's cup.
Thnis was something that isn't likely to repeat in the foreseeable future, as I only keep one type of powder. I just had this small remnant of Clays that I probably should have shot up or dumped. I will go through it and clean out any shot that may be left and load what I can with it, but then its history. If I get fancy enough to someday use more than one powder, or get into hunting and start to use a different powder for that, I will remember that episode and segregate the jugs so it will be difficult to confuse them.
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