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Old October 6, 2010, 02:26 PM   #1
Brian Pfleuger
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The Confessional is Open! What's on YOUR "Shelf of Shame"?

I see this mentioned in a currently running thread. I don't have such a shelf just yet, though I very well may at some point.

I want to hear your shameful stories (Reloading related only, please)
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Old October 6, 2010, 03:29 PM   #2
Ike666
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The other night - after I was much too tired to do so - I loaded 30 rounds of .308 in newly prepped and neck-sized cases. I carefully dippered-and-trickled to get the perfect load weight. Set and lightly crimped and replaced them one at a time back in the loading block. Then when I went and got ready to place them in a carefully labeled box I realized that I had completely forgotten to install starters and the RE-15 was trickling out the bottom of every round.

Moral of the story - quit before you get too fatigued.
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Old October 6, 2010, 05:06 PM   #3
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Loading 10mm Auto that I shot in a Glock M20. Using a Dillion SDB and for whatever reason one made it through without powder. Shooting slowly, thank goodness and squibed one. Instead of doing the right thing and getting out a brass rod and driving the bullet out I came up with the bright idea of loading up a bulletless case with a minimum amount of powder and shooting out the bullet... which I did with my arms stretched around a tree. Seemed to work fine. Next time I cleaned the gun I found the bulge in the barrel. A trip to Glock and and a couple hundred later all was well with a new barrel. Lesson learned the expensive way.
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Old October 6, 2010, 05:13 PM   #4
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I won't bother posting the photos of what I did to a few innocent .30-30 cases before I learned how to load them the right way
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Old October 6, 2010, 05:28 PM   #5
t45
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I have the habit of emptying my powder trickler back into my powder dispenser instead of back in to the container. The problem was that I poured H1000 into my trickler and realized I should have used Bullseye. Yep, you guessed it. I poured H1000 into my powder dispenser that was filled with Bullseye. I never seen any load data for H1000 for 45ACP. :barf:
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Old October 6, 2010, 06:19 PM   #6
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I'm the kind of guy who has pretty limited skills with tools and I'm no kind of craftsman. In working with wood, for example, I can't really build anything. I van follow directions, however, so when working on my cars and cycles, I stick to only the things I know I can handle.

It's knowing my limitations that has served me so well at the load bench. I follow a lot of rules and take a lot of care to build good loads. I suppose because of that, I've been very fortunate in more than 20 years at the bench.

I once made a hundred rounds of .357 Magnum with cast DEWC bullets and ran them way too warm. Not like too much pressure warm, but like too much speed to the point where a dozen of them leaded the hell out of my barrel. This taught me three things -- one was that you can't hot rod some cast bullets without paying a price. Two was that you shouldn't ever make a hundred (or more!) of anything until you know it's proven success. And thirdly, when you put a serious roll crimp over full wadcutter bullets, it's complete hell trying to break them down and un-do what you've done. I ended up cutting the rounds apart to break them down. I saved the primers but lost the brass.

Probably the biggest error I have ever made at the bench was loading too wimpy. I was using a powder that meters really poorly and I started with a load that was just too conservative. With a plated bullet and a too-light load of Green Dot, and a too-long COAL, I stuck one in the bore of my favorite revolver. And it was awful work getting that stuck bullet out of the bore. In retrospect, it was just plain ignorant to be so conservative with a powder that doesn't meter well and even more so when loading a new load in .38 Special and launching it from a .357 Magnum. There was no logical reason to start as crazy light as I did.

So in many years and many thousands of rounds... those have been the biggest errors I can remember.
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Old October 6, 2010, 06:39 PM   #7
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had my share of squibs none in the AR thank god
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Old October 6, 2010, 07:20 PM   #8
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I once forgot to lube the insides of the casenecks on some .221 Rem Fireball brass. I ripped the collet right out of the die with it still stuck in the case. (Doh). I also ripped the rim off of a .223 case today and stuck the case in the die, this one was well lubed. I also once loaded 25 rounds of .45 ACP in cases that I had not deprimed. (Talk about dummy rounds.).
Those are the only 3 mishaps I have had in my almost one year of reloading. I have loaded and shot over 10k rounds so far. Hope to be able to shoot some more tomorrow for my birthday.
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Old October 6, 2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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Didn't produce anything to put on "the shelf", but I read 5 different threads on how to determine the correct COL for Berger bullets touching the lands, tried to reproduce those results +-1/1000 that everyone is getting, and ended up with a bimodal distribution and a 20/1000 spread. Oh well, I need the shooting exercise anyway.
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Old October 6, 2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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1. I have had a couple high primer squibs.
2. Breaking my hornady lnl ap after 12 rounds by failing to follow directions on the first page of the instruction manual "If at any time during operation you feel like you are forcing the press, stop and identfy the problem". doh

3.Last but not least ,Having no idea what a "bimodal distribution and a 20/1000 spread " is.

Last edited by Ed_; October 6, 2010 at 09:32 PM.
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Old October 6, 2010, 11:08 PM   #11
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Early on, I made a very interesting looking bullet when I accidently put a swaged 200gr SWC on the case under the powder measure of my 550b. I was amazed by what an expander funnel will do to soft lead.

Quote:
a bimodal distribution
Is that what we used to call a "goal post" distribution curve?
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Old October 7, 2010, 06:11 AM   #12
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bimodal distribution - think camel with two humps
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Old October 7, 2010, 06:40 AM   #13
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Loading rounds for an M1 Carbine and the last 10 rounds mysteriously didn't have any powder in them. Still not completely sure how it happened as there was still powder left in the hopper, but boy did they sound funny when I shot them.
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Old October 7, 2010, 08:26 AM   #14
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I have the worst shame so far: I loaded a double charge of Blue Dot in my .257 Wby Mag. The result was catastrophic!



This was fully my fault. It could have been prevented. I know what led up to the event--I was distracted during my reloading session with a "honey do" project and when I returned I put another charge in an already charged case. I was also in a hurry and didn't look inside the cases with a flashlight, as I normally do--I would have caught it if I had done that. I also didn't weigh the finished products, which I usually do when there is a chance of a double charge. I WAS LUCKY for this could have been catastrophic for me as well, but I only suffered some minor cuts on my face.

I learned a lot of lessons the hard way that day! More than anything, reloading must be approached with full attention. Don't allow yourself to be distracted and don't get in a hurry. Establish a routine with checks and balances and stick to it.
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Old October 7, 2010, 08:27 AM   #15
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I learned just the other night that you should never drop anything small and dense (like, say, one of the brass nuts that secure a powder hopper to the dispenser ) into a canister of powder. Guess what happens? It sinks straight to the bottom.

The only way I could get it back was to pour the whole canister into a large container and feel for it with my hand.

Don't even ask how it happened.

DD

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Old October 7, 2010, 09:31 AM   #16
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When I first started loading, I wanted to load .357 and .45 Colt. Well, I couldn't find components for either at first, but finally managed to buy 200 brand new .38 special cases and small primers. I figured out that with those brand new .38 special cases, I didn't need to size them at all. Of course, I figured! They were brand new so they were perfect, thus saving a step. Everything went very well and I got to load quite a bit like that.

Finally though I was able to secure a precious bag of 100 brand new Winchester .45 Colt cases and 300 Large pistol primers and a set of dies and at long last I was ready to load up some .45 Colts for my revolvers. Being the old pro that I was, I knew there was no need to run those brand new cases through the sizer die at all, so I proceeded to prime, flare, and charge the first 40 rounds. The problem came when I tried to seat a bullet. The first one dropped right through the mouth and into the powder. Hmmm...that was odd. The second one was barely able to sit in the case mouth so I put it into the seater die and pulled the handle. Again, I was left with a bullet sitting way down inside the case, this time with a crimp on the mouth. I did that on 2 more before I got the excellent idea of giving them a bit of tension by taking a pair of pliers and purposely bending the mouths in just a tiny bit to give some tension. It worked OK I guess. By the time I seated a bullet and crimped them, the mouths were good to go. I had figured out by then that even those new cases needed to be sized, but I was too naive to know that I could put primed cases through the sizer die if I took out the decapper pin. I guess it's a relic of when traditional diameter for .45 Colt was .454 rrather than .452.

Ever since then I put every case through the sizer die. New cases just get the necks sized, but I don't assume that factory brass is perfect anymore. But I sure was in a sweat to think that I had screwed up my only .45 cases that I had found so far.
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Old October 7, 2010, 02:06 PM   #17
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As a Newbie I promised to load a batch of 45 ACP for a friend of a friend. Turns out the cases were steel but I went and did it anyway. Broke my press and had to buy a new one and a new die. Got them loaded but he had a 50% failure rate which was terrible. Also last time I ever promised to load something for somebody and its why I have a magnet on the edge of my parts cabinet to check brass cases with first.


Then I read to many articles by Gun Writers who at the time were like all knowing Gods to me and the end all be all self defense bullet was a 45 cal. 230 gr hardball bullet loaded backwards. Take it from me its a bad idea. They don't feed and anything more than 6' away is going to be a miss anyway. Who needs a one shot SD gun that isn't accurate?


Have to brag on one load. Opened up two 10 gauge shells, dumped the shot, refilled with dry shelled corn and bacon grease. Neighbors dog no longer chased our chickens, gun smelled like bacon and popcorn and was very easy to clean. Also broke my nose, 2 barrels triggered at once by a skinny kid who had never fired a shotgun before was a bit much. Apparently it was great entertainment for my buddy because it took him a long time to stop laughing. Party from a white dog with a newly colored black backside going over the fence and me laying on my back in the driveway wondering who had hit me and how many of them there were.
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Old October 7, 2010, 04:17 PM   #18
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I put the drain in my Hornady powder measure once, drained out a hopper full of XYZ powder and then proceeded straight to refill with the next powder without remembering what I needed to remember.
Almost got it full before I woke up.

One or two squibs along the way, but nothing too bad.
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Old October 7, 2010, 04:21 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alloy
I put the drain in my Hornady powder measure once, drained out a hopper full of XYZ powder and then proceeded straight to refill with the next powder without remembering what I needed to remember.

Crap! Does that count? Cuz I've tried "filling" my RCBS 1500 while the drain was open, 2 or 3 times. This works particularly "well" with something like H380, that runs like water.
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Old October 7, 2010, 04:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Crap! Does that count?
If you just stand there dazed while it's happening it counts. It was an unknown scenario...and I had no response. No training to fall back on.
Flipping the handle a couple of times didn't do it.

Next time I'm ready with a finger.
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Old October 7, 2010, 06:43 PM   #21
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I've been pretty lucky. The only thing on my shelf is a loaded .223 round with a spent primer in it. I still don't know how I did that. Its just a reminder to double check.

One other confession--I left the primer out of one round on my turret. Noticed the powder draining out the bottom just as I seated the bullet.

That's about it in 10yrs of reloading. Good reminders to be careful.
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Old October 7, 2010, 09:12 PM   #22
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squib

I was breaking in a brand new S&W 1911 with some 8 year old reloads of mine. The third round got stuck apparently but the gun cycled. The next round chased out the first and locked the slide. I had to send it back to S&W with an apology (and $240). I pulled a couple of those rounds and the powder had clumped together. This was back when I first started reloading and was using case lube (Dillon) and I probably didn't let it dry or used too much.



I have a couple more boxes from back then that I need to take apart
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Old October 8, 2010, 01:08 AM   #23
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These are some good ones. These threads are always entertaining.

I had loaded about 1200 rounds of 38spl using loading blocks and a powder measure. On the next batch , I seated and crimped the bullets and tossed then into the box with 1200 others just as I realized that I did not remember putting powder in the cases.

Guess what? When you are loading 5 grains powder in all mixed brass , you cannot accurately tell which are charged or not by weight.
My hammer and punch were my range buddies for several trips.
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Old October 8, 2010, 07:57 AM   #24
Don P
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Installing primers backwards and not picking up on it until I'm at the range and they don't go bang.
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Old October 8, 2010, 09:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwknight
My hammer and punch were my range buddies for several trips.
Been there, done that. Found out the hard way that when the little square teflon bushing falls out of a 550b powder measure it doesn't put any powder in the case.

Now I look in each and every case when using the progressive....

But I did find that a primer by itself is capable of driving a 200gr swaged SWC about 20' downrange from a 1991A1. Sometimes...
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