The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

View Poll Results: Have you ever done damage to or destroyed a firearm as a result of reloading?
Yes! 30 16.57%
No! 151 83.43%
Voters: 181. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 13, 2004, 05:44 AM   #26
Junior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2004
Location: Rossville, GA
Posts: 6
Had been reloading about 3 yrs. Got stupid on reloading .38 specials using Bullseye powder. My young nephew came over and started asking me a bunch of questions. Instead of stopping I continued to reload. Ended up double charging one. That was 14 years ago. I still have the remains of the S&W Model 36 cylinder sitting beside my 550B to remind me every time I touch it.
Stepbyrd is offline  
Old September 13, 2004, 07:25 AM   #27
Junior member
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Posts: 97

My first load, I loaded a 10mm using Power Pistol. I loaded a little more than the min. so somewhere around 6.7 gr. Well, I did the grandfather of dumb mistakes, I did a double charge. I was wondering why there was so much powder in the brass but since it was my first time, I didn't give it a second thought. I went to the range, pulled the trigger and it sounded like a cannon went off. Everyone in the range turned and looked at me. After the 3rd shot, I knew something was wrong. An older gentleman that I know pulled me into the hallway and said, "What the hell are you shooting in that hand cannon. You did something wrong, don't shoot it again" When I got home, I looked at my set up and realized that I double charged.

I hope to never do that again! Now, there's no music on nor is the T.V. on while I'm loading. I load in complete silence.
Bandit01 is offline  
Old September 13, 2004, 09:44 AM   #28
Senior Member
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: bluefield
Posts: 735

what 10mm were you shooting it was a strong gun for sure thanks,keith
It's not just a gun it's the symbol of freedom
kidcoltoutlaw is offline  
Old September 13, 2004, 12:09 PM   #29
lee n. field
Senior Member
Join Date: October 12, 2002
Location: The same state as Mordor.
Posts: 4,858
I rarely use factory ammo and never shoot reloads that were done by anyone but ME.
"Don't touch that. You don't know where it's been."

I see reloads on sale at auctions, gunshows, etc. sometimes. I would never want to shoot those. The world is full of yahoos.

I visually inspect every block of 50, and spot check weight on 2 or 3 out of the block, before I seat and crimp. I'm not terribly interested in top end power. I've never damaged a gun with a reload.

Where's Clark. . . .?

Last edited by lee n. field; September 14, 2004 at 09:08 AM.
lee n. field is offline  
Old September 13, 2004, 12:38 PM   #30
Senior Member
Join Date: June 28, 1999
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 559
I've been reloading since the 70's and have not had a problem of any kind.

As a matter of fact I've been re loading so long that I remember my mother had to drive me to a local gun shop to pick up some gun powder since I didn't have my drivers license yet. The guy behind the counter never looked twice when I asked for a pound can of 4895 and some large rifle primers.

Safe Shooting,

NRA & NAHC Life Member
Rob62 is offline  
Old September 13, 2004, 12:50 PM   #31
Senior Member
Join Date: July 22, 2004
Location: Dallas, TX (area)
Posts: 128
I haven't, and I hope to always be able to say that. Of course, I'll be reloading my first batch of ammo in my life this week and that's one thing that I'm a little worried about. I know that it's safe to do as long as you take the proper precautions, but that doesn't change the fact that stories like these stick in the back of my mind. But then again, as long as they are there, they will be constant reminders for me to be safe.
beardking is offline  
Old September 16, 2004, 03:12 PM   #32
Paul Fitz Jones
Senior Member
Join Date: June 12, 2002
Location: Sacramento California
Posts: 266
Damaged weapons

I have loaded millions of rounds individually and commercially and when ever I had any doubts about a batch of ammo I would set it aside, pull the bullets or in .38 or .357 caliber I had converted 4 rifles to .357 for my family members on our ranch to plink with. The gunsmith objected to the loss of collectible value in my 1892 winchesters and single shot Martini but we enjoy them.

Because of my contact with thousands of shooters and hundreds of gun shops I have stories of damaged weapons and injuries but too lengthy to post here.
Paul Fitz Jones Retired and Loving It
Industry Manufacturer
Police Firearms Instructor
Paul Fitz Jones is offline  
Old September 17, 2004, 01:03 PM   #33
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2004
Location: People's Republic of Massachusetts
Posts: 440
I have not personally, but I did see a nice S&W M625 that was blown up that the owner brought to a nationally known gunsmith's shop. The gun owner came in to show him right after it happened. It was during a bowling pin match.

It blew the cylinder apart at the chamber, and took the two next to it along with it. It bent the topstrap up a surprising amount and cracked it where it met the front of the frame above the barrel. The only parts they decided to salvage were the red dot sight and the grips.

He was not seriously hurt, but did get a few cuts on his fingers which they patched up at the shop. It was decided that the problem was an accidental double charge. He was loading a very light charge (even below minimum) of a fast burning powder over a 180gr LSWC. No way of knowing for sure, but it is believed that he at least double charged the load.
Results of the 1998 Massachusetts gun laws:

It is important to keep in mind the ISP reports show that firearm related homicides decreased 56% from 1994 to 1998.

From 1998 to 2002, firearm related homicides increased 48%. During the same time, firearm related accidental deaths have increased 200%.

Will work for ammo.
Hawgleg44 is offline  
Old September 17, 2004, 06:37 PM   #34
Join Date: August 17, 2004
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Posts: 20
Commercial reload blow up

I was shopping for some of the Korean 30/06 surplus when a dealer/friend recomended I buy some reloads he had from Talon. My first trip to the range with this stuff was with a Remington 74 semi-auto. Murphy's law and a short distraction and I committed a shooter"s big no-no. After pulling the trigger nothing happened, and that's where I was shortly distracted, Then I worked the bolt mannually and looked at the brass. It looked O.K. so proceeded to fire the next round thinking I had a failure to eject. You would not believe what a round stuck in the barrel will do. The receiver was bulged out and cracked at the barrel theads, the magazine blew out the bottom and rounds in the mag lost their bullet and spilled out the powder, which ignited and set the wood bench on fire. Fortunately my hands were on the rabbit ear bag and trigger but I did get a frag in my left index that is still there today. Mainly because of the intervention of my friend the dealer, Talon paid for a new rifle. I pulled the bullet from 12 unfired rounds from the 250 round box I purchased and found the powder charges varried wildly and two of the twelve had no charge.
tarheel101 is offline  
Old September 18, 2004, 02:41 PM   #35
Join Date: May 21, 2004
Location: Pahrump, NV
Posts: 48
Been loading on a 550B for a year now, and am up to loading 5 calibers on it and one on a single stage Lee press. No doubles or squibs, just a few that wouldn't chamber.
NRA Patron Life Member
Valkman is offline  
Old September 19, 2004, 09:25 AM   #36
Desert Dog
Senior Member
Join Date: September 22, 1999
Location: Deep East Texas
Posts: 474
Nope I have never damaged a gun. I have loaded some hefty loads though, on purpose. I have flowed the primer on .45 Colt before, using H110 (kids do not try this at home).

I had an aquaintance though that proved the strength of a Ruger 77 action. He was loading for pistol, finished, got distracted, and started loading for his rifle, 30-06 I think, and FORGOT TO SWITCH OUT THE POWDER. Needless to say, he loaded a 30-06 weight charge of W231 in several cases...

He only got one round off, and according to witnesses, it literally sounded like an explosion. The rifle held together though.

The gun at inspection, had a "lump" in the barrel where the chamber is, and the bolt locking lugs were tweaked. That was about it. I bet his shoulder hurt though.

Believe it or not, the gun was sent back to Ruger, explaining what happened to it, AND RUGER REPLACED IT. Wow, that is customer service...
Yes, in fact I do have a 454... in more ways than one.

"No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority" - Thomas Jefferson
Desert Dog is offline  
Old September 27, 2004, 02:31 PM   #37
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 38
one time i forgot to prime a 223 cartridge...fortunatly i found it before i put it in the gun, it was leaking varget.

atek3 is offline  
Old October 8, 2004, 03:46 AM   #38
Senior Member
Join Date: October 8, 2004
Location: Tagum City, Southern Philippines
Posts: 120
I bought a reloader (RL550), primarily to help out my buddy, who needed the cash, and also so I could make a few bucks loading for others.

Anyway, like others here, I (fooloshly) decided to let someone else load some rounds for me. I set it up, showed him what to do, and left him to it. Checked up once in a while, all seemed to be ok. Then I noticed there seemed to be a lot of powder spilled on the machine. Seems the primer bar had jammed, and some rounds had no primers.

He hadn't noticed.

So I did the rest, left him to cut the grass, wash the car, etc...

Next day, during a competition, I was shooting and my gun jammed and I felt something hit my left cheek. I felt blood. Being a hero, I cleared the jam, put in a new mag and finished the stage.

Then the RO saw the blood, and we investigated. The mag was damaged, and my ammo was subsequently (and sensibly) deemed to be dangerous.

I was excluded from the competition.

Next day, at the range, I tried some of the ammo. bang, bang, boom! Blew the bottom out of the mag, and another hole appeared in my face, right next to the previous one.

I unloaded the rest of the rounds and started over, myself.

I can only assume that some of them were double loads, which is easy for that particular load (.45ACP, 4.3gr N310) as there's plenty of room for more.

Now I just do it myself.
xmastree is offline  
Old October 9, 2004, 02:14 AM   #39
Senior Member
Join Date: September 12, 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 389
I've been loading since the late 60's and I've never blown up or damaged a firearm reloading. The worst I had happen was some primer cratering when I was working up a load.
2400 is offline  
Old January 28, 2005, 12:21 AM   #40
Junior Member
Join Date: January 12, 2005
Posts: 4

My mind was out in ga ga land when I was reloading some 38 rounds.Anyway not thinking about what I was doing I double charged blue dot on top of a 158 grain slug. I had my 357 daringer out, touch off a round and "boom" not "bang". The moral of this story is pay attention to what you are doing.

weed is offline  
Old January 29, 2005, 06:28 PM   #41
Senior Member
Join Date: July 17, 2004
Location: KCMO
Posts: 520
I've been reloading since 1976, and I've had ONE squib load, which I was fortunate to be able to recognize and clear the barrel before I fired another round. Praise the Lord! These stories give me the heebie jeebies...
larryf1952 is offline  
Old January 30, 2005, 06:57 AM   #42
Senior Member
Join Date: January 29, 2005
Location: Up Nort
Posts: 412
Wild Cat Blew up

I have a 256 Wild Cat Magnum that my grandpa built. It is a M1 30 Carbine that he necked down to 25 caliber. The gun is sporterized with a nice Weaver scope and a Bishop stock.

My grandpa died when I was 6 weeks old, so I never knew him but he left the gun to my mother and she gave it to me.

Anyway, what happened was that the powder measurer loosened up and my rounds started to get hotter and hotter without my knowing it. I went out shooting and I found the hot rounds. The case gave out right by the head, blowing the bolt open very hard and breaking the stock. The extractor flew off of the bolt and penetrated through the steel barn I was standing next to.

My dad and I were standing there just sick :barf: of what we had done to this beautiful gun.

I pulled apart the loads and found that some were 3 gr. overcharged using H110.

To this day, I am thankful that I or my dad were not hurt with this mishap, and I can tell you that we both pay a little closer attention to what we are doing.

My dad found some parts that my grandpa had for the gun and was able to fix the bolt and repaired the stock to where it is hardly noticable. This all happened 10 years ago and I haven't shot it since.

Be careful, take care and pride in what you load.

jsflagstad is offline  
Old January 30, 2005, 04:31 PM   #43
Senior Member
Join Date: December 21, 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 777
Never damaged a gun with MY loads. I did blow my new G22 with a friends loads. On the 7th rounds the magazine blew out, extractor went somewhere (into orbit maybe?). No injuries. Never found out the powder or charge but I've never used reloads from another person since.
tlm225 is offline  
Old February 2, 2005, 12:42 PM   #44
Ackley Improved User
Join Date: January 31, 2005
Posts: 56
Don't MIX or MIX-UP powders!

I've never blown a gun, but I've blown a few primers. Whan the latter happened, I knew it was a distinct possibility. I believe the easiest (and most common) loading mistake is to MIX-UP the powders - that is, substitute a fast burning powder when a slow-burning powder should have been used. I try to stick to slow burning powders - expecially when I'm developing a new load and pushing 65,000 psi. I also guide my loading by chronographing every load and checking expected performance with the NECO internal ballistics program. Hence, I know at what pressure I'm operating by knowing the velocity and NECO program predictions. Also, check your primer pockets by "feeling" the primer go into the case as you use a hand-held case primer tool. When the pockets are getting loose after a few loadings, you know you're at or above 65,000 psi and it's time to STOP - you don't want to freeze a case in the chamber and watch the trophy of a lifetime walk over the hill. It is also improtant, to weigh every charge yourself, and approach every HOT load from "below" with incremental increases in powder at 0.5 grain intervals. Finally, ONLY SHOOT FIRST-RATE GUNS, preferably modern bolt action rifles.
Ackley Improved User is offline  
Old February 4, 2005, 05:30 PM   #45
Senior Member
Join Date: November 16, 2004
Location: NE Indiana
Posts: 460
Damaged Gun From Reloading

No, not me ...BUT. I loaned a 30-06 1903A1 Springfield to a relative. It was returned with the bolt in two pieces (the handle was beaten off the bolt body). I was assured noting but factory loads were shot (but he was a reloader) but somehow the bolt froze in place and a hammer had been used with considerable force to open the gun. If that had happened to me I would have gone the gunsmith, new bolt, headspace route before returning it but I guess I'm different.

I was shooting my Marlin 39A one time with a lot of noise around. (357 banging away right next to me). After 200-250 rounds the rifle became very inaccurate (Water splashed 20 feet short of the target). When I lowered the rifle the barrel was split and broken a couple of inches ahead of the rear sight. Who says 22LR has NO power. Marlin replaced the barrel and magazine tube at no charge (excellent service). They sent the rear half of the barrel back with the refurbished rifle. There was a perfect imprint of a 22 bullet showing where apparently a low or no powder shell had caused the slug to stop.

I had one police department reload go "puff" on the range. A slug was stuck in the barrel (discovered before firing another shot). I've had a couple of factory loads that wouldn't fire. When torn down everything seemed okay so I don't know what was wrong with them. Primers seemed to be indented just like all the others but they just wouldn't fire.
beenthere is offline  
Old February 4, 2005, 11:34 PM   #46
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2005
Location: the great state of Texas
Posts: 854
Many years ago I was reloading some 38s using 9mm bullets. I made some dummy loads just to make sure the the completed round was going to chamber before I made many rounds. Well somehow a dummy round got mixed up with the live rounds. I know what you are thinking! No I did not shoot a round with a bullet stuck in the barrel. But the dummy round did cause a bullet to get stuck in the barrel. This is where I was the dummy! I tried to knock the stuck bullet out with a drill bit I found in the back of my truck. The drill bit broke while I was beating it with a hammer. The drill bit put one hell of a scratch in the barrel of a real nice old colt pistol. That really sucked! That was 20 years ago and now I know better.

I've loaded I don't know how many thousands of rounds with never a problem. Still to this day I will not load dummy loads! ether it's a go or nogo.
impact is offline  
Old February 4, 2005, 11:59 PM   #47
Senior Member
Join Date: June 16, 2004
Location: Cooper City,Fl
Posts: 369
not myself personally (dont reload...yet) but at the local indoor range in the glass cabinet sits the cylinder or a .44 ruger superhawk....split into 4 or 5 pieces. when i asked about it the desk guy said a man was reloading and purposely loaded it to 2x the normal limits....he said the man wasnt hurt but was banned for life from the range...glad i wasnt there that day.
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve to encourage rather than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

-Thomas Jefferson

Newbieville Moderator
Nimitz87 is offline  
Old February 5, 2005, 12:45 AM   #48
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,150
Had a case rupture in a SIG 229 .40 and it blew the extractor out of the gun. No other damage. Sent gun back to factory where they replaced the extractor. I wanted them to check out the gun for damage. Was using new Win cases. Case ruptured where bulges sometimes occur near the small unsupported part of the case. Thought it might have fired out of battery, but the SIG folks convinced me that it would not be possible. I chalked it up to a defective case. Couldn't have been a double charge, I was using Win. Action Pistol, which fills up most of the case. Have had squib loads. I carry a wooden rod and a small hammer to the range to tap out the bullet. I try to be careful. Imagine a TRB drill that fires a new round with the bullet lodged in the barrel.

All my squib loads, (primer only) have always lodged the bullet in the throat preventing the chambering of a new round. If things don't sound right, and the gun won't cycle (or even if it does) then CHECK before shooting again. Save the TRB drill for controlled circumstances using dummy rounds. Load up several mags and put a dummy round in one so you don't know when it's coming. CAUTION: with hearing protection, you might not be able to hear the potentially dangerous Poof of the squib or the harmless click of the complete dud round.
Nnobby45 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10550 seconds with 8 queries