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Old February 26, 2015, 09:36 AM   #26
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I once drove a decapping pin into my finger while resizing some 30-06. I was young and to my credit I've not done it since (knock on wood!).
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Old February 26, 2015, 10:10 AM   #27
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When I first started chamfering and deburring rifle cases with the Lee system chucked in to a drill, I got a little harsh about it, actually sharpening the case mouth .... wrapped a thin scrap of t-shirt around the case to clean/polish it ..... and put my finger firmly on the spinning case mouth ...... and cut a perfect .277"- ish circle out of the pad of my index finger ...... bled quit a bit.
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Old February 26, 2015, 10:28 AM   #28
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I knew my engineer cousin from Sweden had worked at Norma and could calculate internal ballistics. I wanted to take an amateur stab at it.

I sat down with my only load book, Speer 12, a book filled with numbers, to divine the principals of handloading. I was used to data books, books filled with numbers that we use to design things. These days we look at data sheets on line:

I tried coming up with some formulas or families of curves to predict what loads should be. Nothing was working. Then I realized that the book was not a data book, but a random recipe book with powder charges from many different pressures on the same page, presented as if they came from an experiment with the same controls.
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Old February 26, 2015, 11:09 AM   #29
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Not me but a friend reloading at my place because he'd just moved & hadn't unpacked his own stuff.

No, really!

We called him "Captain Chaos" he was like the ball in a pinball machine stuck between 2 bumpers, always insanely hyper.

He "HAS TO" reload 1,000 7.62 cases IMMEDIATELY, NOW, it's an emergency!! This includes new once fired MilSurp brass prep.

He's speeding up primer crimp removal by chucking my chamfer/deburr tool in my drill press & feeding the cases in vertically by hand. Its working so he switches the cut speed up to its maximum to make things mo'betterer.


I hit the kill switch so we could get the web of his thumb off of the spinning tool that had grabbed & ripped it. That was the day I discovered a little, but enthusiastic artery in that body part. Repainting was required.
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Old February 26, 2015, 11:12 AM   #30
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Running the decapping pin into my finger while doing 9 mm.

Breaking my el-cheapo Lee single stage at the base while trying to remove a stuck case while decapping.

Dropped the powder charge before having the case up in the expander die.

Geez, and I wonder why I still am using a single stage........
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Old February 26, 2015, 12:08 PM   #31
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bought 400 30-06 once-fired brass. cleaned, prepped, sized, etc.Loaded to my standard plinking/range load. Failed to check the first few with a case gauge. Discovered to my dismay that 90% of them had the shoulder pushed back too far to fire in my bolt gun. Wound up pulling 400 bullets (thank you RCBS collet puller) saved the bullets and powder, dumped the brass.

Lesson learned.

If you extended the context to woodworking, I'd have an injury or two to relate...
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Old February 26, 2015, 12:32 PM   #32
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Dumb, Stupid, or just UNLUCKY

Have you ever punched out live primers?

Have you ever tried to kill a primer?

Have you ever heard a 50BMG primer go off?

I had purchased a rifle a few years back and it came with 177 TZZ-95 cases that were live-primed, so these primers were exposed to whatever for 20 years since it was not loaded ammo. Others who had purchased cases like these tried to shoot them after adding powder and projectile, only to have squib loads or total mis-fires of the primers. So I decided to remove the primers prior to cleaning the cases in SS Pins.

I manufacture a depriming punch for the 50BMG cartridge and got ready to deprime the cases, but since some had had squib loads I stopped. Since I had all cases in loading blocks open end up, I decided to use a syringe to inject about 100 cc's of water into each case. After waiting a week to ten days, I started depriming. Dump the water out into a bucket, put case into a 50BMG shell holder on top of a Rock Chucker press, insert depriming punch, strike lightly multiple times with a heavy brass hammer. Easy even though crimped primers.

Has anyone figured this out yet? ----- It gets worse.

Anyway, after depriming 100 cases, I took a break and emptied the container catching the ejected primers and replaced it into the press.

Then I proceeded with the final 77 pieces with the first 70 ejecting just like the first 100 primers.

Guess what, number 71 decided to be a bastard and went off, BANG, cloud of dust in the air but punch was still in the case neck so I later determined I had a "hang-fire". Being a hang-fire allowed the primer to enter the container with 70 other primers in it before going BANG and setting off the other primers also, near as I can tell from all the pieces of primers I'm still finding in all areas of my shop.

Anyway, as I was standing at my reloading bench, I received several cuts on my belly from the shrapnel of the container, but survived to try again, only this time after firing the primers in my rifle first. The remaining 6 primers came out with no concerns then, but I did need to clean the rifle again.

What did I learn? Sometimes I think nothing, sometimes I think a lot, but I did learn that 20 year old primers can NOT be KILLED using water even after soaking up to ten days. So hopefully all of you can learn from my mistake.

Oh, and I scared the hell out of my Basset Hound MurphyT who was sleeping behind me in the old recliner.
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Old February 26, 2015, 05:29 PM   #33
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Me again, after reading the post from oldmanFCSA, it reminded me of the
time I was cutting a gasket for my water pump, and what better way to
punch the bolt holes ?......well, with an empty .30-30 case right ?, well it
still had a live primer in it so I thought that I would fire the primer off first
before hitting the case head with my hammer, so I put the case on top of
my vise and hit the primer with a small diameter punch and when that
damned primer went shot right up that punch and hit the end of my
finger HARD !............lesson learned there.
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Old February 26, 2015, 05:44 PM   #34
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See thread "Powderless Cartridges"

I'm probably the guy who left the powder out of the .223s, thinking I was saving some money on powder.
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Old February 26, 2015, 07:59 PM   #35
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The dumbest reloading thing I'd ever done survey.
Like the title says,
What was the dumbest thing you'd ever done with your reloading project ?
Wrong primers
Wrong bullets
Wrong powder
Blah, Blah, Blah.
Loaded up a whole box of .38 Special, without ever having turned the Lee Pro Autodisk powder measure to the ON position. Not one round in the whole box had any powder in it. The first one fired was a squib, of course.
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Old February 26, 2015, 08:21 PM   #36
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Put wet lead back into the pot

Nuff said

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Old February 26, 2015, 08:54 PM   #37
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That happened to me too when I first started casting my own. I thought a live round went in the mixture. Good thing I was wearing safety glasses and a long sleeve sweater.
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Old February 27, 2015, 12:19 AM   #38
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Found 8 cans of Norma N205 at the gun show for $8.00 a can, (400 grams each). Norma stopped making that stuff decades ago, but the cans looked new. So I bought a couple of cans thinking to try it out in the 270 Winchester. Big mistake, so dumb, should have bought it all.
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Old February 27, 2015, 02:17 AM   #39
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I was re-sizing/de-priming some spent .44 mag brass and accidentally de-primed 3 live primers at full speed. Grabbed from the wrong bin. They didn't go off, but scared me pretty good when I realized what I did.

Lesson learned? 1 bin at a time on the bench.
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Old February 27, 2015, 04:45 AM   #40
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I've been looking at this post for a couple days now - trying to think of my worst mistake. Not to be smug, but I've never done anything serious.

Once, I accidentally mixed about 20 SP magnum primers with about 30 standard ones. No big deal. I was loading target level rounds - I just proceeded. The difference was transparent when shooting.

I've pinched the tip of my thumb in the press when going too fast during the case flairing process - nothing serious - just enough to make me slow down.

And I once used my press to do something automotive related (can't even remember what) and damaged the ram - that was stupid. I wrote RCBS (pre interweb days) and told them I was a dummy for using the press "in a manner for which it was not designed" - or something close to that. Please send me a new ram along with the bill and I will return a check. I got a new ram a few days later - no charge.

Nothing else that I can remember. My loading process is very deliberate and regimented. Basically, I've taught myself good safety habits. I don't cut corners. I've managed to stay out of trouble. I wonder how I'll do as senility sets in
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Old February 27, 2015, 05:31 AM   #41
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I keep, under my bench a large number of bullets, in bulk boxes in quantities of 1000+.
Each is sorted by caliber, brand, bullet weight, bullet style, etc.
For instance I have a box of 10k+ of 125 grain bullets in .357 diameter. JHP, zero branded. Always the same brand, lot number, etc.
Anyway, one time when I was checking my scale, I grabbed a bullet from a .40 caliber box and weighed it. The scale checked out fine.
Then I set the bullet on the bench.
Then I nonchalantly tossed it back into the container, and to my horror, it bounced off the cardboard rim of the container, and dropped into an adjacent box.

OK, try if you will ----figure out an easy way to find a 180 grain flat nose .40 caliber bullet in a box of 5000+ 165 grain flat nose .40 caliber bullets.
Now you see the problem.
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Old February 27, 2015, 11:36 AM   #42
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I have a few.

1) loading a dozen or so cases with powder, realizing I had not primed it.

2) reloading several whole rounds without popping out the spent primer

3) shooting 380 without "bench testing" when I had oversized the case and having the bullets flew sideways throuch the target.

4 spilling my powder hopper all over the floor

5) spilling my beer all over my desk

6) dumping primers onto the floor

7) buying 100 lead projectiles for my 30-06 realizing I didn't have any lead data.

8) starting out reloading, trying to make the fastest and most powerful 9mm rounds that rivaled 45 ACP, how stupid.
I kind of like weaponry.
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Old February 27, 2015, 12:31 PM   #43
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I loaded Hornady swaged 240 Lead SWCs in 44 magnum to about 1400 fps and shot them out of a 1894 Marlin microgroove.
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Old February 27, 2015, 12:35 PM   #44
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There was a time in my life I was loading 44mag well past a reasonable and safe limit
I had worked up a load for my Ruger Red Hawks. I will not give the chg weights but lest just say that under a 240gr JRN bullet it was well compressed load requiring a mag primer.
These rounds were like sledge hammers when shooting.
Well one day I brought Ruger ammo and a S&W model 29 to the range. This was not my intention as I was unsure of the strength of the S&W because I did not develop the load for that gun.
That was a nice S&W pistol.
Notice I said “WAS”
Blew the top strap and cylinder all to hell.
I got some nice cuts from flying bits and pieces.
I would say lesson learned but NOOOOOO I caulked it up to a gun failure not over charged ammo and later blew up another model 29 with the same ammo.
Lesson learned
#1 Ruger and S&W are not built the same
#2 Jacked up ammo can and will cause bodily harm
#3 Stick to published load data and save yourself and your guns.
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Old February 27, 2015, 03:27 PM   #45
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OK, try if you will ----figure out an easy way to find a 180 grain flat nose .40 caliber bullet in a box of 5000+ 165 grain flat nose .40 caliber bullets.
Now you see the problem.
Sorry, I don't have an easy way but I can tell you what I would do if I were in your shoes...

The biggest issue with this is if the bullets have very much the same profile, most seating dies will go ahead and seat the heavier bullet perfectly fine and without noticing any difference from all the others you are building... resulting in an overcharged round due to the bullet being 15 grains heavier. So, IMO, that is not a minor annoyance -- that is a hazard. It's not an atomic bomb, but it is far from ideal and to me, unacceptable.

I would immediately cease other operations.
I would disassemble the entire bullet storage area and extract all the containers.

I would start with the obvious ones -- boxes of slugs of radically different construction and I would dig through them until they pass clear with no 180gr .40 in them. Repeat as necessary.

I would do the 165gr .40 box last. I would start carefully from the top and I would hand place all the bullets on a flat surface until one of them stands proud and you can FIND it and clear the issue.

When you consider that your storage methods are half the reason you found yourself here, you'd have to make some changes anyway, so chalk it up to experience and you'll feel better when it's been done.
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Old February 27, 2015, 05:30 PM   #46
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Have any of you heard of the Darwin Awards? If you haven't, it's the award given to people who kill themselves in the most bizarre way thus doing the gene pool a favor. No, I'm not talking about Gene Pool who posts on this blog. Anyway, I've created a new category for the Darwin Awards. It's called, "The Darwin Awards Honorable Mention List". I think a few of you qualify for this. Or maybe, the phrase, "life is tough but it's tougher if you're stupid" is applicable here.

Or, as Red Green says, "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" ("When all else fails, play dead"). Or, as Red Green says, if it ain't broke, you're not trying".

I don't know what the Red Green sayings have to do with stupid reloading stunts but they're kinda neat.

Of course, you do realize I've never done anything wrong when it comes to reloading.
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Old February 27, 2015, 05:41 PM   #47
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about the dumbest thing I did was picked up a freshly cast lead muffin ingot with my glove removed. instantly got 3rd degree burns on 4 out of 5 fingers on my left hand. now I keep the cooled led away from the hot lead ingots
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Old February 27, 2015, 06:15 PM   #48
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Gee's, I wonder if Red Green (Steve Smith) is a reloader...
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Old February 27, 2015, 06:32 PM   #49
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I sat down once with a bag full of about 700 many times fired 9mm Luger cases and a Lee hand trimmer, thinking I would trim all these cases. Of those 700 odd cases, exactly 2 had any metal removed. Never bothered trimming 9mm again.

I also, at one point had 2 powder pans for an RCBS scale, and it never occurred to me that the pans might not weigh exactly the same. Zero the scale with one pan, somehow, in the middle of loading a bunch of ammo, check the powder measure and grab the wrong pan. Wow, that is way off. Second guess everything you have done so far that day.
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Old February 27, 2015, 08:32 PM   #50
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When you are Dead, you don't know it and it only bothers the people around you. Same thing with Stupid.
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