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Old November 4, 2014, 01:21 PM   #76
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I'm glad you are ok and hope your hand heals fast. Thank you so much for posting this up. In reloading I think its far to easy to become complacent. I do however like how IMR powder has different colored lables. The pic of those two LB Jars of powder look SO similar I can see how easy it was for you to get mixed up!
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Old November 4, 2014, 01:40 PM   #77
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Some years ago I was using a new loading press, and wasn't paying enough attention.

I ended up dumping almost 10 grains of WW 231 into a .45 ACP, with a 230-gr. lead bullet on top.

I got lucky as all hell.

The case head blew out, the magazine was blown out and trashed, but that's it. I had minor powder burns on my hands and some powder and lead flakes embedded in the outer skin layer of my face and hand.

The gun, a Springfield M1911-A1 Milspec, was completely unharmed.

That was my first reloading screw up in the close to 25 years I had been reloading, but it made me re-examine EVERYTHING I was doing.
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Old November 4, 2014, 09:04 PM   #78
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~ 14 years ago I bought a pound of Longshot and a pound of LILGUN.

The canisters had the same shape.

The gun I blew up cost $65 on line. Now would probably be worth $350.

The money does not matter. It is that disappointed in myself feeling that hurts.
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Old November 4, 2014, 09:19 PM   #79
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I stopped reloading a while back for personal reasons.

I usually marked my powder measure with whatever I had in it. If I found the thing without a tag, and I wasn't absolutely certain, that powder went down the toilet.

One ball powder looks far too much like another.
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Old November 4, 2014, 09:29 PM   #80
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Stuff like this makes me wonder if I, still very much a child, have any business in this reloading stuff. I only load for 7.5 Swiss and I have so far only used H4350.

Anyway, hope you heal up quickly. No fun almost losing a finger, no doubt.

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Old November 4, 2014, 10:02 PM   #81
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Thanks for sharing as a strong reminder to us all! Hope you heal quickly and completely.
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Old November 4, 2014, 11:04 PM   #82
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Although I can't share your pain I can learn from your situation. Thanks for showing what can happen when things go wrong.
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Old November 4, 2014, 11:23 PM   #83
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Thanks for sharing your story. This loading is serious business. My biggest risk is getting interrupted during a loading session. Being feeble minded and old, it takes a bit to get back on track. I have made mistakes--we all do. I created a squib load in a 38 special. My dear daughter-in-law shot that squib through my son's brand new S&W revolver. Luckily, the bullet lodged in the forcing cone rather than the barrel. That prevented the cylinder from turning, thus stopping her from shooting another round. That was a waker upper for me.

Hope you get healed up soon and go back at it, Dkyser.
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Old November 5, 2014, 01:14 AM   #84
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Best wishes and a speedy recovery

Sharing your misfortune is a reminder that it doesn't hurt to review one's own procedures.

Like most, I've always had a habit of reloading only one bottle at the bench at a time, and having the label visible at all times. Still one cannot be too careful.

In my specific case, I use two powders for pistol use, Longshot and Titegroup. They look very much alike, with Longshot grains being slightly bigger. Even the charge weights are similar for the same volume e.g. 0.57cc gives 6.6 and 6.7 grains respectively. If you accidentally use, let's say, HP-38, it'll give you 6.2 grains, which will at least make you wonder what's going on. No such protection here.

This leaves your only real protection that you pick the right powder before it goes into the hopper. This is where I had to place my focus to insure no mix-ups occur.

Again, thanks for sharing.

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File Type: jpg Titegroup versus Longshot small.jpg (209.4 KB, 557 views)
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Old November 5, 2014, 05:58 PM   #85
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Update, they have to put my fracture on hold for now, hand getting very stiff. The blast has created scare tissue through my hand and fingers so now I have to constantly make a tight fist which hurts like heck.
this wiil keep the fractured finger from mending, but they say they can deal with that later, getting the fingers ad hand to work properly is the number 1 goal right now.
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Old November 5, 2014, 06:30 PM   #86
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something like this isn't proof that you are an idiot, it's proof that people make mistakes. Being an idiot only makes a person more prone to making mistakes.

Working with things that go boom is always, without fail, hazardous and risky. My wife worked with a woman whose brother made fireworks. Big ones.

His family was out of town, he went to his basement, and was fooling around when he set one off. All alone there, he had his hands literally shredded, serious wounds to face and chest, and he was in no condition to fend for himself. He managed to get up the stairs and get a call in to 911.

Of course, the problems with LE and ATF officials were hardly his biggest concern. He's missing most of both hands now, and on SS disability payments. He was a fine marine mechanic and now can't even cook a burger.

a terrible situation I can think of offhand is the farmer who was caught in the belts of his baler, I believe it was. He knew better, don't reach into machinery that is running. he was trapped for quite some time, and by the time he was found, his arms were destroyed clear up to the shoulders, and he had friction burns all over the rest of himself. Two artificial limbs now, and thank god, he was actually able to return to working.

Then there is the moron I knew who rode a conveyur belt up to a second floor warehouse, on his knees, feet down. He let his feet get caught at the top and he was swallowed to mid thigh before someone got the thing turned off. Being an idiot is hard on people. Amazingly enough, they got him rebuilt. an amazing testimony to how flexible the body's soft tissues can be in face of overwhelming force. That conveyor's bed had a gap of barely two inches. He had barely enough clearance that he avoided having some of the bones broken from the compression.
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Old November 6, 2014, 12:05 PM   #87
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Glad this incident didn't end in still worse damage.

On my most recent bench build, I covered the bench surface and the wall behind it with white board (white finish Masonite). When I'm working on a load, I can actually write it on the bench or the wall with dry-erase marker. A glance then reminds me what I am working with. I can label powder and bullets on the bench itself.

I've always looked at powders and can generally tell them by grain appearance, but some are just too close for that to be reliable. I would study them as one layer of protection, just the same. You should be wearing your glasses at the bench anyway, so you should be able to see them clearly even if you need optical assistance. I think that's the reasoning behind the colors in Red Dot, Green Dot, and Blue dot. They make an added layer of identification so you didn't mistake them for other, similar appearing products (of whatever make). The coating color on Varget makes it pretty easy to identify, too. Nonetheless, it behooves one to look carefully.

Based on the above, it occurs to me you can buy a color stickers from office supply stores. It might not be a bad idea to use them front and back on powder canisters by burn rate or purpose, as you prefer. Run the rainbow from red to violet to go from fast pistol powders to slow, for overbore rifle cartridges.
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Old November 6, 2014, 04:31 PM   #88
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I thought the red/green/blue dot was brilliant and I wish it was done on a wider basis. Nosler brought out the ballistic tip from the very start with each caliber's oplymer tip died a different color so there would be literally no excuse for loading the wrong bullet except through sheer recklessness.
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Old November 6, 2014, 08:40 PM   #89
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Look alike cans

I won't tell you the details, but have made two reloading mistakes that could have been very dangerous. I realized one as I was cleaning up and got "lucky" that the second one didn't end in disaster.

I wonder if the powder makers have ever thought of labels or can colors that were so different from each other that mistakes would be less likely.

Live Well, Be Safe
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Old November 6, 2014, 09:02 PM   #90
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Very sorry for your injury and very glad it wasn't worse.

The only mistake I've made in 2 years of reloading is creating a squib load. I knew what it was when it fired and didn't send one behind it. Mistakes happen to the best of us.

My routine for loading is leaving all powders in the cabinet until time to dispense. When ready I read the data I'm going to use, write it down to include the powder, charge weight, and bullet used in my log, and then go for the powder canister. I read the label out loud on the canister as I take it to the bench, leave it on the bench facing me and beside the powder measurer while loading, and once I'm finished I read the label out loud again as I put it up. I'm not saying this is fool proof but it makes it harder to make this mistake.

Please don't view this as a lecture, that's not what's intended. I just hope that those new to reloading read this thread and throw severe caution to the wind while reloading. This could have ended much much worse. Once again, glad you're ok and I wish you a speedy and solid recovery.
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Old November 6, 2014, 10:38 PM   #91
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Wishing you a speedy recovery. It's not Hodgdon's fault BUT their powder bottles and labels all look alike. Why not specific labels or colors. Just adds a level of safety. You have to concentrate and closely read the powder labels and do a double check before loading it in a measure. Easy to pick up a bottle of H110 when you meant to get H335 as they look the same on the shelf and a double check at the bench is definitely required. Even Alliant's containers now are look-a-likes. Accurate still uses different color labels. Many safety solutions are overdone today but something as simple as colored labels isn't too much to ask even though you'd still need to read and double check you have the right powder at the bench. Even one color for pistol powders and another for rifle powders would be an improvement. Thanks for the safety warning and a reminder for us all to double check powder labels.
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Old November 7, 2014, 12:52 AM   #92
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I wonder if the powder makers have ever thought of labels or can colors that were so different from each other that mistakes would be less likely.

Fact is that some companies made that effort. IMR used to do so, their cans were all color coded. 4831 was orange, 4350 was burgundy, 3031 red, maybe? Every can had its own distinct color.

Accurate used colored labels. #2 was gold, #5 was blue, #2230 was red, so on.

Hodgdon used some color coding on the labels, HS6 was green. Hercules used to color code some, but now the bottles are all black with just label coloring.

Check out some really old labels. This hodgdon lable was used for everything, just printed with different names. Same label as is on an old BP can I have. The next is the generic label that dupont used 50 or so years ago.

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Old November 7, 2014, 11:22 PM   #93
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IMR always color coded and Hodgdon and Hercules used to as well.
Years ago I used to walk in my favorite store and ask for IMR in the brown can. If I said 4350, the sales person to a long time to find..
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Old November 8, 2014, 12:47 AM   #94
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I appreciate the thoughts on color coding and different container shapes, but there is really no better method of identifying the powder we put in the hopper than reading the label. Taking charge of our benches and having a process for our reloading is the first step in safety and minimizing the risk we take. The OP testified to the consequences of what a mistake can be.

dkyser, I hope your PT goes well for you. I can relate to the pains of rehab. I mangled some fingers on my left hand back in the Eighties with a table saw and dado head. Didn't lose them or functionality but these thirty some years later, I am reminded on a daily basis of my mishap. I hope yours is a better outcome. Thanks again for sharing.
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Old November 8, 2014, 01:07 PM   #95
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Sorry for your trouble.
Hope for a speedy recovery.
Valuable teachable moment.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old November 8, 2014, 04:06 PM   #96
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thanks you dkyser for sharing your misfortune. it has already made good discussions on how to avoid accidents.

I hope you get well fast.

I really like the idea from Pathdoc here about getting a small whiteboard close by and writing the important numbers on it. One thing I do now is I write the number of grains I need on a piece of masking tape and stick it on my digital scale next to the screen, so I would not mixed up any numbers...34.7 and 37.4 is not the same thing....
but I will definitively buy a small whiteboard soon....

somebody else mentioned reading out loud the powder used.... I like that idea to

I already practice the 1 powder only and 1 bullet only on my bench

One thing I also do at the range is, once the rifle is on the bench I like to remove the bolt and look inside the bore, just in case I had forgotten something inside...

OK everyone be safe. and a fast recovery to dkyser

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Old November 8, 2014, 05:47 PM   #97
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Speedy recovery to you! Appreciate you stepping up and letting people know and learn from your mistake.
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Old November 9, 2014, 12:13 AM   #98
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I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for having the courage and taking the time to tell about your accident and the aftermath!

I also want to wish you have as a FULL and SPEEDY recovery as is humanly possible!

I second another member's reference to a dry erase board ....... I have one but it's on a wall in my load room (but fixed) and does not constitute the bench surface. In my defense of my practices, I have envisioned having my "board" on a swinging arm that is mounted from the wall behind my bench and will be swung out to a location of my chosing that best serves the purpose at hand.

I have certainly done some self examination of my loading proceedures as I read this thread! I do things that could put me and those close by my firing of my guns at risk!

I am resolved to correct those deficiencies at once! I am guilty of more than one powder and even more than one type of primer in my area at the same time.

I may have loaded for nearly FOURTY years ....... but that does not mean I am immune to error ........ rather, it makes me susceptable to complacency!

Complacency is a very fast and short track to disaster!

I am struck by the maturity of the members here reading and posting comments as NONE of them have preached to or attempted to put down member dkyser for his mistake. His coming forward took a lot of courage and in fact is quite self-less. As his self-less act is offered to warn others who might be reading and most hopefully learning from his mistake so as to not create their own loss.

I am a member of a great many "gun" forums ....... and I can't say that on any of those others, would a member be treated with this much respect and caring!

Good on this forum! Good on Firing Line!

Best regards to all and safe shooting!

Three 44s

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Old November 9, 2014, 09:37 AM   #99
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Ok, you made me go back and examine everything that I do at the reloading bench. Double checking that everything is ok. And I thought it was.....

When loading up some 7mm Rem Mag range fodder, the measurement seemed a little small for the OAL. Looking at the manual, and my notes, I discovered that I did my math wrong. I wanted my bullets to be 10 thousandths of an inch off of my rifling, not 10 hundredths!!!

I have now added a calculator to the loading bench.

Needless to say, said bullets were pulled, and corrected!!!
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Old November 9, 2014, 03:39 PM   #100
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Holy smoke. I am glad you still have your hand and fingers for the most part. I hope you recover 100%. I bet that stings like crazy.
A horrible lesson for you, a great lesson for us reading. Reloading is a great hobby, but it isn't golf.

Don't give up.

It reminds me why I triple check everything before pulling the press handle, it makes me feel no trepidation when pulling the trigger.
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