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Old February 28, 2009, 02:31 PM   #26
WESHOOT2
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IM<E Blue Dot is for certain 10mm loads ONLY.

Unique is a better choice in reduced-load rifle chamberings.
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Old February 28, 2009, 08:22 PM   #27
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ryalred,

Can you PM me with the Blue Dot charge weight and bullet weight? I'm curious whether a double chrage would calculate out to more than a proof load for your Weatherby. I can do the calc and let you know.

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Old February 28, 2009, 08:29 PM   #28
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One thing I do when reloading is check each finished load on the digital scales to make sure I didn't double load, this also works if you missed a primer..
Some body tell me if this wrong...


AR
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Old March 1, 2009, 01:32 AM   #29
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Send that pic and story in to Hodgon to help market Trailboss. I hear they used to have a gallery of one eyed, nine (or less) fingered cowboy shooters; they can add that one to it. It will make a nice change from them thar lever action and single action shootin' iron pieces.
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Old March 1, 2009, 08:10 AM   #30
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I had a problem the other way, squib load. Bullet stuck in the barrel. It was easy to fix and there was no damage.
I have started weighing my loaded rounds. Since case weight varies, I made up a chart with a range of normal weights. This will show a squib or double charge. Due to the case weight problem, it will not show a light charge or a heavy charge. Not perfect but better than nothing. Works best with a digital scale.
The other thing I did was to mount a reading light near the press. With this positioned to light the charged cases, I can easily see the powder level before the bullet is placed.
The last problem is keeping my mind focused on all steps of the job when reloading. If I notice that my mind is drifting a little, I'll take a break. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there that has noticed those little losses in attention when reloading. What are your tricks to keep focused?
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:22 AM   #31
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I tend to agree with Unclenick that this is an unusual failure, though my (admittedly speculative) reconstruction would be a bit different:

It looks to me like on ignition and combustion, the case backed into the bolt face (as it should), transmitting the above-normal force, which was in turn transmitted to the locking lug recesses by the bolt, at which point the receiver front ring failed. Once that happened, the three legs of the receiver (no longer connected by the front ring) split wide. Luckily for you, this vented the pressure, and the bolt handle (acting as a third lug) prevented the bolt from drilling aft into your face.

Any chance this was a cast receiver?
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:36 AM   #32
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Welcome to the forum.

That's a good question. The bolt face recess rim blowing off is typical of gas jet damage caused by caseheads letting go, but in all of Hatcher's experiments with Springfields and some other military bolt guns, that would blow out the bottom and damage the magazine floor plate and splinter the stock, but the action would otherwise tend to survive if the metal heat treatment was correct. "Burned" steel could come apart like that, and they could tell if the heat treatment was bad by the grain size or by striking the remains with a hammer. Today a metallurgical lab could tell you more specifically. I don't know that receiver's gas relief scheme, specifically, but I'd be looking for defective receiver steel or heat treatment if I were investigating.
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:52 AM   #33
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Wow. I missed this when I first posted.

The only firearms I have seen that have been similarly damaged have been from people accidentally substituting a handgun powder for rifle powder.

My old gunsmith had a Remington semi-auto that the owner had run about 40 grains of Red Dot through. First shot opened it up like that. That one was easy to trace becuse every one of the 20 rounds in that box was loaded with Red Dot.
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:55 AM   #34
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Well, they suspect a double-charge of a reduced load made with Blue Dot. Not exactly a fast pistol powder, but quicker than a rifle powder. We still don't know what the load was supposed to be?
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:57 AM   #35
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I became suspicious that my Redding powder measure was throwing inconsistent weights, so in the process of reloading a batch of 50 I set each primed case on a small portable digital scale I bought and hit the "tare" button; then charged the case and reweighed it. Sure enough, the powder measure was varying by a number of tenths of a grain, sometimes a lot more than that, which required that I dump the charge back in the measure and try again. If the right weight didn't get thrown after a few tries, I readjusted the micrometer on the Redding and went ahead. Since the load was supposed to be 7.5 grains of Unique (to keep the recoil down a little for a new shooter), a few 10ths variance seemed to me to be excessive. I reloaded the whole 50 of them that way, and sought to find a more dependable way to weigh the powder without weighing each case twice. It would be immediately obvious if I had screwed up and double-charged a case. While this process isn't much of a bother for small quantities, doing it this way for a large number of cartridges would get tedious I think. But there's no way a double charged round can wind up in the gun.

I admire ryalred's candor and his efforts to help us avoid such errors. That's a great example of looking out for others and reflects how we all should go about in the world. Obviously he sees his ministry is to everyone.
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Old June 18, 2009, 10:57 AM   #36
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Hey ryalred:

You need to go out and buy a lottery ticket immediately! You are one lucky dude... That nothing serious happened to you when your rifle exploded, is a miracle. That is without a doubt, the most damge I have ever seen to a gun before. Glad you didn't get hurt worse than you did.
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Old June 18, 2009, 11:40 AM   #37
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Uncle Billy,

Just FYI, Unique is known far and wide as the hardest powder to meter consistently from a powder measure. Lee says flat out that their Perfect measure won't work with it. The big flakes bridge across the entry to the powder metering chamber and stop it from filling completely. Some people add a vibrator to the powder measure to help break that up, though I haven't tried it personally. You have to be careful you don't vibrate so much you pack the metering chamber too tightly for the measure to operate. Only ball powders seem able to meter within .1 grains consistently.


Skydiver3346,

That ship may have sailed already. The OP is from late February.

Nick
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Old June 18, 2009, 11:49 AM   #38
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Ryalred, please do post the intended charge weight, as well as the bullet you used.

I've done lots of reduced loads in .30-06 and some with .375 H&H, but I've typically used 2400, IMR4227 or IMR4895, and I've only done it with cast bullets. That's not to say I wouldn't try it with Blue Dot--I just haven't had any on hand for quite awhile.

Like you, I eyeball the powder level in each and every case before I seat the bullet, but I think it's much easier for me to notice a discrepancy in powder level with the .30-06 and it's wider case mouth and narrower case body.

Anyhow, good to hear you're okay!
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:04 PM   #39
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Your admission and warning is admireable.

Weighting charged cases is okay, I suppose. But it's less likely to catch smaller but still significant charge variations, especially in pistol cases.

Visually checking the powder colume in a tray of charged cases before seating begins will easily show doubled or skipped charges and also effectively shows smaller variations as well.

In some 46+ years, I've NEVER seated any bullet without an eyeball check of the powder, under a bright light, first. Never had a squib or over-charge either, but would have a few times without the visual check!
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:12 PM   #40
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Holy crap! I guess that's why I don't trust myself to reload!
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Old June 18, 2009, 12:49 PM   #41
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This example is very eye opening. Glad you had it in you to post this mistake. Thank you.

Jim
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Old June 18, 2009, 01:16 PM   #42
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Quote:
Visually checking the powder colume in a tray of charged cases before seating begins will easily show doubled or skipped charges and also effectively shows smaller variations as well.

In some 46+ years, I've NEVER seated any bullet without an eyeball check of the powder, under a bright light, first. Never had a squib or over-charge either, but would have a few times without the visual check!
I think you may have missed where he said that he did in fact do this using a flashlight, although his batteries were dying.

I think this particular caliber is tougher for eyeballing the powder level because of the cavernous case and little tiny .25 caliber case mouth.

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Old June 18, 2009, 02:03 PM   #43
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Glad you are OK.

This is the reason that after I charge a case, I seat the bullet....no exceptions.
I either have a finished round or an empty casing.

It doesn't slow me down at all, ya have to do the operation anyway, might as well do it after charging the case and it will save you the time of weighing each round after you are finished.

Man, you really were lucky on that one, if that bolt handle would have sheered off, ( I saw it happen once many years ago) you would have been injured big time.
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Old June 18, 2009, 02:43 PM   #44
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"Well, they suspect a double-charge of a reduced load made with Blue Dot. Not exactly a fast pistol powder, but quicker than a rifle powder. We still don't know what the load was supposed to be?"

Reduced charges of powders like Unique, Red Dot, and Blue Dot in a rifle case of that volume would probably be a MAXIMUM of 12 or 13 grains.

So, 24 to 26 grains of Blue Dot would very likely cause a horrendous problem like that we're seeing.

I've shot a LOT of 10-grains of Red Dot behind a 130-gr. lead bullet out of my .30-06 and .300 Savage over the years.

But, I always did so on a single stage press and did every cartridge one at a time.
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Old June 18, 2009, 03:24 PM   #45
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I'd almost suspect a low charge to air detonation from the looks of the rifle ( pieces )

I doubt I'd try to do reduced loads with a double based powder with that much case capacity...

you are very lucky... I'm "exprimenting" with lots of powders, loads & calibers right now, & honestly the light charges scare me more than the heavies... I only hope if I should expirience such as yourself, that I'm as lucky as you were...
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Old June 18, 2009, 05:29 PM   #46
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Ouch! Glad you are ok. Tim
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Old June 18, 2009, 07:32 PM   #47
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"I think you may have missed where he said that he did in fact do this using a flashlight, although his batteries were dying."

I think you may have missed I said under a bright light. If he'd light enough to see, he would have seen. ???
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Old June 18, 2009, 07:37 PM   #48
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This is why distractions need to be eliminated when reloading.
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Old June 18, 2009, 08:10 PM   #49
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There is no mention of recovery of any part of the case in the OP's report. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see evidence that the case failed, most likely just in front of the web, but to me that leaves open the possibility that the case may have been a victim of the reciever ring failure, versus a cause of the failure itself.

Once the front ring failed, the bolt face no longer supported the head of the case. As the barrel and bolt separated from one another, one would expect the case to fail just above the web, and this may have allowed enough hot gas to vent to cause the failiure (a secondary failure) of the portion of the bolt face rim.
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Old June 19, 2009, 07:52 AM   #50
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Thanks Nick, for the comment on Unique. I'm glad to find out that my powder measure isn't the trouble. Guess I'll just keep doing the tare-charge-weigh-repeat as necessary process.

Dipper's routine of seating the bullet right after charging the case seems like a smart idea. That way there are no cases around that may or may not have powder in them- as he said, they are clearly either loaded or empty.
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