View Full Version : Load density and detonation

August 2, 2008, 05:22 PM
In the reloading forum,the question of low load density detonation came up.
It was suggested that,while much discussed,it may be urban legend.
As a matter of safety,can you provide definitive information on this topic?

August 2, 2008, 11:35 PM
It has happened, it is not urban legend, Problem with definite information, it can't be duplicated under controlled condition. Another problem, once it happens there is no way to prove it wasn't a bad hand load. Bad hand load !!!!!!, Using 3 grains of Bullseye under a 148 gr HBWC, even a double charge would not blow a solid gun. If you research American Rifleman you should find loads of research from about 15 to 20 years ago. It happened to me. I was using the above mentioned loads in a S&W Model 19. The systematic way I load my target loads makes it virtually impossible for a double or triple charge. I doucumented every thing and forwared it to the Americabn Rifleman for their files.

August 3, 2008, 08:19 AM
Without some way of replicating the results, it remains an "urban myth", but this is supposed to have happened often enough that it's been called the "2.7 grain Bullseye surprise", because that is what the normal target load was that was supposed to give this effect. The problem is, that's a load that is SO light that it would be easy to miss a double or maybe even a triple overcharge, and, so many of these loads have been made and fired over the years, that if there is something specific about that load, it should happen with more regularity than it seems to.

August 3, 2008, 11:16 AM
Here's some reading for you.

In all of my years shooting I've only seen one detonation and it was a reduced load in a O3A3. The powder used was IMR4831. When the rifle exploded, there was next to nothing left of the gun. The shooter only suffered minor cuts and a few pieces of shrapnel. While I load quite a few reduced loads, I'm extremely careful in the powder choice and most all rifle loads are with SR4759 because it is so bulky and it's quick. If loading a 3006 with a 147 gr bullet, I use 19.0 grs of it and I have close to 70% loading density. I don't drill flash holes like some folks do and I haven't used magnum primers either. If you ever decide to try reduced loads, make sure that the brass you use is separate from your other brass and also count the loadings on that brass. I only load mine three times and then it's garbage. As the firing pin strikes the primer, it hammers the brass at the shoulder area and the cases get shorter with every firing. If you were to use the same cases for full house loads you would have brass that is too short and have created a headspace issue and damage is likely to the weapon and you.