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Old February 7, 2013, 11:31 AM   #1
rivahpirate
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case explosion

Im not sure Im in the right forum, but I got a Lee reloading system and casting equipment for xmas. (nice gift) anyway I bought the dies and sizers for .45 acp. I have a glock 21. yesterday I loaded the reloads. went outside to fire it and when I did I felt a flash near my face and the magazine holder flew off against my hand, magzine fell out..I have a cracked trigger, broken magazine holder, a scorched magazine and one terrified guy who has a messed up brand new glock 21 enough stuff to reload 100's of rounds and scared to death to try again. One thing I did notice after I measured a new 45 fmj again my reload was that is was about a mm longer. also used clays powder. 4.8 grains on a 230 grain bullets with magnum primer(all I can get)
I know I followed directions carefully and read them many times....Has anyone else had this horrifying experience?
one side note...I did cut back on the load because of the magnum primer
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:43 AM   #2
ScottRiqui
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Where did you get your load data???

According to the Hodgdon site, for a 230 gr jacketed .45 ACP bullet and Clays powder, the starting load is 3.7 gr, and the MAX load is 4.0 gr. And that's with a regular primer.
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:47 AM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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If you loaded 4.8gr Hodgdon Clays under a 230gr FMJ, you blew up your gun because you severely over-charged your loads.

As Scott mentioned, 4.0gr is the Hodgdon listed MAX load. You should have been starting at 3.7 and should not have exceeded 4.0gr, and that's WITHOUT a magnum primer.

Where did you get your load data?
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:51 AM   #4
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thanks

I got that info from the hodgen info when I bought the jar of clays....I appreciate the info..I really do....I think the magnum primers are the main problem...not sure...so Im just going to quit everything until some come available...Ive checked every source I know and cannot find any....its amazing how much money people have spent on buying out supplies...I just hope I dont need the ammo before they become available if ever...
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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Reloading is something that you need to follow to the letter. If there was a recipe that stated magnum primers, then that's what I would follow. No recipe calling for magnum primers, there's no way I would load ANYTHING until I had all the proper components.

The old carpenter's rule of "measure twice, cut once" applies especially to reloading.

I have not experienced a kaboom, and I do everything possible to avoid them. I also have no reason to cause an explosion only arms length away, especially when they are my hands and arms!

Sorry I can't offer anything other than advice. I am glad you're OK.
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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Are you saying that's the load on the bottle?
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:57 AM   #7
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
I got that info from the hodgen info when I bought the jar of clays
What do you mean by this? Did you get the load data from the Hodgdon site, or was it printed on the bottle of powder, or from a printed manual?

One other thing to consider - "Clays" and "Universal Clays" are two completely-different powders, and are not interchangeable. Universal Clays also uses a bit more powder than Clays.

Perhaps you bought a bottle of Clays, but were reading a recipe for Universal Clays?
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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It's overloaded, thats correct but not sure we have the whole story. Sounds more like a pop, rack the slide and then the Kaboom. A blow-up load made at .8 grain overcharge seems unlikely to me.
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Old February 7, 2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
It's overloaded, thats correct but not sure we have the whole story. Sounds more like a pop, rack the slide and then the Kaboom. A blow-up load made at .8 grain overcharge seems unlikely to me.
Not necessarily...

QuickLoad thinks that load is about 31,000psi... more than 50% higher than the 45acp's max rating.

That's WITHOUT considering that he used a magnum primer. If I assume an equivalence of 5% more powder, QL thinks he's at 33,000psi.
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Old February 7, 2013, 12:26 PM   #10
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That's why I don't use Clays. There is 3 of them with that name, too easy to get things mixed up.
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Old February 7, 2013, 12:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Not necessarily...

QuickLoad thinks that load is about 31,000psi... more than 50% higher than the 45acp's max rating.

That's WITHOUT considering that he used a magnum primer. If I assume an equivalence of 5% more powder, QL thinks he's at 33,000psi.
Might well be right, I would still take a look down that barrel just in case you might see the backside of a bullet.
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Old February 7, 2013, 03:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
I know I followed directions carefully and read them many times
Did not follow the part that says start low and work up, while checking for high pressure signs.
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Old February 7, 2013, 03:54 PM   #13
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You mentioned the condition of the gun but thankfully failed to fill us in on the condition of your drawers.

The gun is ruined but it could have been worse, losing an eye would be horrible.

Hodgdon says 4.0 max:
230 GR. LRN Hodgdon Clays .452" 1.200" 3.5 716 13,700 CUP 4.0 793 16,800 CUP

Universal Clays 5.4 max:
230 GR. LRN Hodgdon Universal .452" 1.200" 4.5 703 11,400 CUP 5.4 857 16,800 CUP

I looked on the side of my Clays jug and the only .45 ACP load is this:
5.2 Gr 155 gr Cast LSWC Win Case Fed150 Primer 1.230" OAL 1082 fps.
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Old February 7, 2013, 03:57 PM   #14
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Like everyone else, I would want to know precisely what the source of the load data was and precisely what that load data said.

For anyone reading this that does not know, reloading is not something to be experimented with lightly. It's not like cooking where an extra pinch of salt or something won't matter much. Reloading is a precision endeavor.

You need to work from a known good recipe, and if that recipe says "maximum" you should start out 10% under that.

Powders are not interchangeable, nor are primers.

Buy a reloading handbook and follow it.

Steve
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Old February 7, 2013, 04:41 PM   #15
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I think the old rule to check at least three sources of load data and start with the lowest load among the sources is a good one to follow.

I only have a 1 lb jar of Clays rather than a jug, but like Rlc223, mine says 155 grain bullet. A 230 grain bullet would make for a lot more pressure. It also gives a 4.6 grain load for .44 Special with a 165 grain bullet, and the six looks a little bit like an 8. So I think this is just a case of not looking very closely. The details can be critical, as the OP found out.
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Old February 7, 2013, 04:45 PM   #16
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rivahpirate possibly used old data.

Hodgdon 26 edition data manual (1992) has a maximum 4.7 gr of Clays for a 230 gr jacketed bullet @17400 CUP.

A considerable difference from current load data.
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Old February 7, 2013, 04:57 PM   #17
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If you overloaded the round that was your first mistake. Your second mistake was shooting it out of a Glock.
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:08 PM   #18
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Would have to be an old container then, since he got the load off the container. My No. 27 manual (can't find a date on it) says 3.7-4.0 grains, so it didn't take them long to figure out there was a problem.

QuickLOAD, with the 26.0 grain case water overflow capacity I usually measure, gives 4.0 grains and a 230 grain FMJ 20,764 psi, so right up against the 21,000 psi standard load limit for all practical purposes. 4.2 grains goes to 22,528 psi, so this stuff is pretty sensitive to charge weight precision.
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:13 PM   #19
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Neighbor's pistol could have been a glock, not sure!

Besides messed up drawers and a blown up pistol he's darn lucky there wasn't an injury. My next door neighbor just blew up a pistol a few days ago that could have resulted from an over charge? He was lucky no serious injury, a blood blister only on his right hand and a chunk of the slide missing on the right side.. William
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:30 PM   #20
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Unclenick.

I agree it didn't take long for them figure out there was a problem. It got me looking a bit more closely.

26th edition only has two listings for clays.

230 gr jacketed 3.8-4.7 gr

185 gr J.S.P. 3.9-4.9 gr

How does the 185 gr bullet data compare in your 27th edition manual?
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:30 PM   #21
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
Did not follow the part that says start low and work up, while checking for high pressure signs.
To be fair, if he was reading a Universal recipe by mistake, 4.8 grains *would* have been a very conservative starting load.

I think we're all still curious as to exactly where he found his load data.
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:40 PM   #22
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Pongo,

The closest #27 comes is a 185 grain Hornady JSWC, and it lists 4.5 to 4.9 grains for that one. Why the high start load, I don't know. You've got a more typical target bullet start load with your #26 listing for the soft point. Here I've got the match bullet listed and the start load is warm for that.

The fact the data is so similar for the two weights in #26 makes me wonder if it was some kind of misprint?
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Old February 7, 2013, 06:31 PM   #23
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It is unfortunate that you learned a lesson the hard way. As a bit of comfort the gun smith at the shop I frequent says that he has had more repairs from reloaders than anyone else. I am glad you were not injured. Count your blessings that you have all of your fingers, and no shrapnail in your body.

Now that said. It has been stated that there are 2 different Clay's powders on the market. So far as I know they are not interchangable for loads. In fact there are times when one must research things. I concur finding 3 sources for load data to see if there is a signifigant difference in starting to max loads. If I see two sources within half a grain of eachother for a starting load I make sure to consult a third source.

Hodgdon Clays is not to be confused with Hodgdon Clays Universal. Trying to interchange data from one to another is grave mistake that will lead to a catastrophic failure. (Kaboom you gun is now trashed. If you are lucky it will only scare the crap out of you. If not it can lead to injuries and/or death.


Note The Loads listed below are for Jacketed Bullets. Lead would be a lower starting and maximum load. I am using both for the purpouse of showing the diffenece in the two powders for load weights.

I have an older Hodgdon guide it shows a load listed for Clays (Not to be confused with Clays Universal) of 3.7 grains for a starting load with a velocity of 670 FPS and a pressure of 15,900 CUP Max load listed is 4.0 grains with a velocity of 732 FPS with a pressure of 17,000 CUP.

I could not find a load listed for Clays Universal in my Hodgdon Guide. Though Hornady listed a load starting at 5.4 Grains. (No listing of pressure) A max load of 6.4 grains.

If you loaded with Clays (Not Clays Universal) using the Clays Universal load it is a huge over charge.

Post a pic of the powder can label for us if you can please. We are here to try and help you learn so that you can safely reload. There are a few on there that have damaged and/or destroyed guns from a huge number of casues.
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Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; February 7, 2013 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Adding information
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Old February 7, 2013, 09:39 PM   #24
david_r
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It wasn't your primers. Blaming them is going to lead to another blown up gun when you get the "right stuff."

While you are waiting for different components, but a manual and read it.
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Old February 7, 2013, 09:57 PM   #25
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Another sad part of this deal is the fact that the Glock was ruined with a reload so the warranty would be void. What are the chances that the gun itself was defective? I know the odds are long, but wouldn't most shooters at least run a few factory loads through to be sure all is fine to start? To be sure a prudent person would want to then try his reloads after determining the gun feeds and cycles factory ammo.
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