The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 15, 2011, 12:17 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 9, 2011
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 455
Error free loading??

Anyone here with significant reloading experience error free?

I just went from a single stage to a turret and it's got me worried that I subjected my process to higher chance of introducing a reloading error.
praetorian97 is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 12:35 AM   #2
I be he
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Posts: 20
If you reload long enough, you may have a problem. With that being said, i also use a turret and after each powder charge for pistol rounds they come out to my tray where i will eye ball them all before i begin to seat bullets. The only thing i do different for rifle rounds, is after each powder charge it will get weighed.
I be he is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 12:38 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2009
Location: Minnesota CZ fan
Posts: 902
If you're not error free you have a deadly problem. No outside interference and concentrate on each step. Don't let your mind wander etc. Between shotgun, pistol and rifle have not had one round with a problem in over 35 years. If you think you made a mistake take the round apart and do it over.
LarryFlew is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 12:40 AM   #4
Idaho Spud
Senior Member
Join Date: April 7, 2010
Posts: 326
Anyone with "significant" reloading experience who claims to be error free speaks with forked tongue. I consider myself a careful person and I've made some over the years.

The secret is to catch the mistakes before you shoot 'em. In 35 years I don't believe I've ever shot an overload; shot a few bloopers (shotshells mostly), though. Never stacked bullets in a barrel or blown a gun up, though.

Four months ago I went from single stage/turret to a LnL progressive. More chance for "errors" now, so must be more vigilant about powder charges. I visually check every case before seating projectiles. I'm not as fast as most but so far no "errors" that've got by me and into a firearm.
Idaho Spud is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 07:24 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: NEPA
Posts: 874
How are you using that turret press? Are you loading a single round at a time.

Most people use their turrret presses operating in batch. Size 50 rounds, Prime 50, powder and seat 50. The turret just saves you time because you do not have to reajust the dies each time after you set them up.
PA-Joe is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 07:39 AM   #6
Join Date: December 8, 2009
Location: Mo
Posts: 44
Error Free? Only Machines are Almost Error Free but

I have changed over myself to a Lee Classic about 4 months ago. After a couple of errors with thinking about something else on the powder load sequence and stuck rounds, at a busy range, I am VERY attentive to the powder loading and primer seating. I check OALs every 10 rounds too.

It's going to happen I just suggest doing your reloading during a quiet time in your household. I find this very helpful and I haven't had a blooper since but I am human.

For my CCW rounds I am very attentive to EVERY round. Each process is checked and rechecked. I realize there are factory loads but I have loads that are best for handguns and I use these vice factory loads.

Retired - Army and Civil Service w/CBT ENGRS
NRA Life Menber (1969)
OleEd is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 07:51 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1,613
Speed is not always your Friend

Look at each cases powder charge before seating a bullet. On my old Dillon RL450, i sit so i can looking into the 45acp case. Had 1 30-06, no powder in 40+ years.
243winxb is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 09:28 AM   #8
chris in va
Senior Member
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 13,534
I use a Hand Press and still have to occasionally kinetic pull the rounds that were deemed too warm or balky at the range.

I simply wouldn't trust myself with a powder measure or anything else that takes control away from me. It's a slower process but I can make absolutely sure each round gets filled with the proper charge and the bullet is seated where it should.

I *will* fess up to a double charge I caught a few months ago. 45ACP case, looked a bit full. The bullet wouldn't have seated anyway but still disturbing. I try to stick with powders that fill up the case better to keep this from happening.
chris in va is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 11:05 AM   #9
Junior member
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
One reason I prefer a single stage, especially for small-charge pistol loads, is so that I can look at 50 at once in a loading block - I have never had an issue that way. I have had a few short loads in shotshells, from a progressive press, that were bloopers - no harm ,no foul - but I do not chance it with pistol. I use the single stage for rifle as I weigh and trickle each charge (don't have an EBR, so I don't go through hundreds at a time unless you count .22)
oneounceload is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 11:12 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 1,525
It is all about catching errors. Everyone makes mistakes.

IllinoisCoyoteHunter is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 11:21 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: July 29, 2008
Posts: 949
I've been loading since 1972. I load probably more than most folks considering I do it for a lot of the State trappers and a shooting family. I've never had a major boo-boo. A long time ago I had an elderly gentleman get me started in reloading and his teaching were real simple. You must be mentally ready to load- no problems or issues on your mind. There must be only one project on the bench and only the components you are going to use can be on the bench. You set everything up. Then you check everything to make sure you have the correct components and everything is ready to go. Load one round and recheck everything. Load 9 more rounds and recheck again. Now you're ready to do the job.
If you think your loading procedures are sound, I don't see where a turret press will cause any issues assuming you are going to resize everything and then move on to the next stage of processing the brass/cartridge.
Loader9 is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 11:38 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 1,525
On my progressive I set everything up (dies, powder charge, etc.) Once it is set up, I run one round through all the stages, checking the powder charge again and after seating the bullet I check the COL. If all is good, I run one more round through and check everything again. If all is well, I run with it.

The important thing is to take your time. I load most of my rounds on a Hornady AP and never find myself in a hurry. I load 100 rounds in about 20 minutes. Could I load them faster? Absolutely. But, I like to visually check and make sure there is powder in each case before seating a bullet.

Also, after seating a bullet and before the completed round is ejected from the press, I visually inspect it. Just a quick glance is all you need to see if something is awry.

Good luck!

IllinoisCoyoteHunter is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 12:46 PM   #13
Civil War Life
Senior Member
Join Date: January 15, 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 166
I am still new to reloading and I am very careful. I use a turret press, but I do one operation at a time. I deprime using a universal depriming die, then I run them through my case vibrator cleaner to clean them. I don't go for super shiny, just clean. As I take them out of the media, I inspect every case for media inside or stuck in the primer pocket. Next, I clean the primer pockets. Then resize them. If I missed any media in the primer pocket it will be poked out by the decapping pin. Once resized, I trim and deburr them. At this point they go into reloading trays. Once I am ready to load them, I use a powder dispenser to throw a powder charge which I weigh on a digital scale. I check every fifth round with a bean scale. Once the powder is weighed, I put it into the case and the case goes immediately into the bullet seating die. I don't trust myself to eyeball a tray full of cases. When the powder goes in, the bullet goes in. The loaded cases go back into a tray and the final step is to crimp them if I am using a crimp. Pistol cases are a little different. After resizing, they go through a case flaring die and back to a tray before I measure powder charges and seat bullets. I know a lot of folks put all the powder charges in before they seat the bullets and I am sure that works well for them. I just don't like the thought of having all those cases sitting there open with powder in them. I am probably this way because I started out loading 38 special and it would be easy to accidentally pick up a case with a charge in it and put in a double charge. I don't load as many rounds as some so the extra time I spend is fine with me. I enjoy reloading and don't mind being at the bench. Hope I didn't leave any steps out.
Civil War Life is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 01:25 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,873
I'm pretty careful ....and stick to some pretty tight process controls...only one powder on the bench at one time, one size primer, etc ...

On metallic ....I have not had an issue on a cartridge ( with a bad powder drop ) in well over 5 yrs ---and probably 12,000 rds a year ...or more...

But my good luck /error free sucess on metallic - I think, is because I use a Progressive Press - with a "powder check" die adjusted properly and installed in use all the time ! Using presses that require manually indexing, checking cases in a shell block, etc ....add potential human error ---and looking isn't always "seeing" .../ but most any process will fail - if you screw up. A simple thing like leaving a different powder keg on a bench ...when you switch calibers a big no, no ...../and any press can be defeated if you don't stay focused.
I've had some crimp issues, etc on shotshells ...but not many ...over many, many years....( and I use a progressive press there too ).
but staying diligent is important ...!
BigJimP is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 03:01 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 1,525
I would agree with Jim. Progressive presses that do not index automatically can be a problem if you are really concentrating on the task at hand.

IllinoisCoyoteHunter is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 06:56 PM   #16
Hog Buster
Senior Member
Join Date: October 26, 2009
Location: Pointe Coupee, Louisana
Posts: 772
I guess that I’m error free. Only problem I’ve ever encountered was from dud primers. I’ve been reloading for over 50 years and still have all my fingers, both eyes, no shrapnel and so no kabooms. I learned long ago that reloading mistakes are not forgiving so you better get it right the first time, there may not be a second.

Most reloading dangers arise from powder charges, so a small flashlight to peer into charged cases is an essential tool as far as I’m concerned. Doubly so when using one of the faster powders and loading pistol ammo.

While many endeavors allow for a mistake or two, reloading doesn’t.
Those who beat their guns into plows, will plow for those who don't.-Thomas Jefferson
Hog Buster is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 08:39 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: If you have to ask...
Posts: 2,860
It is all about catching errors. Everyone makes mistakes.-ICH

Thank you! Just wanted folks to see that again, ICH. I catch errors and component issues on a regular basis. When things are going too smoothly I get nervous.
Life Member NRA, TSRA
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call Lonesome Dove
My favorite recipes start out with a handful of used wheelweights.
TXGunNut is offline  
Old August 15, 2011, 09:53 PM   #18
old roper
Senior Member
Join Date: June 11, 2007
Posts: 1,487
I keep all my reloading pretty simple and I think error free.

90% of my reloading for rifle cases is done with arbor dies and arbor press. My single stage press is used for FL sizing with body die and I have acouple small base sizers and some custom shoulder bumping dies that use bushing.

I load at the range so developing a load is pretty easy or just to loads some for practice. I seat all my primers by hand depending on caliber I normally get over 5 reloads out of one case.

If I go to the range with 15 cases thats alot of shooting for me on one rifle. I enjoy reloading even turning neck and I like the way I reload
old roper is offline  
Old August 17, 2011, 09:35 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
not me

Although my commercial ammo had an utterly unblemished performance record, my personal ammo has on rare occassion shown the errors of my attempt......
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old August 17, 2011, 09:46 AM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: May 9, 2011
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 455
I actually opened up a box of Commercial 40 cal to find one round missing. The box was even sealed.

praetorian97 is offline  
Old August 17, 2011, 01:02 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,873
Commercial handgun ammo - is hit and miss .../ I've seen inverted primers, cracks in cases, etc on new - and sealed - ammo...and my groups reduced at least 30% when I went to reloads. I know my accuracy - and my QC - is better than most commercial ammo.

A shooter opened a couple of 12ga shotshell boxes at my range yesterday ...( new Rem gun club shells ) and two shells were twisted like corkscrews ...and they got thru Rem's QC process..../ it had to have happened in process vs shipping.
BigJimP is offline  
Old August 19, 2011, 11:17 PM   #22
Miata Mike
Senior Member
Join Date: May 22, 2010
Location: North East WI
Posts: 418
I was dumpster diving for brass at the range today, and found a .45acp case that someone had a very bad day with. Blew a considerable hole in the bottom web of the brass. Kind of what I would think/guess an unsupported Glock type chamber Kaboom might look like.

I screwed up by leaving it on "display" at the range instead of bringing it home to take a photo of it.
Miata Mike is offline  
Old August 20, 2011, 07:37 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: May 29, 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 500
This year I have acquired the Lee Classic Turret and the related priming and powder tools. I have made an intensive effort to use it as an auto indexing turret, rather than as a single stage.
You still have to have all the checks and controls, some are just different. For instance, it was very hard to stop weighing each powder charge, but extensive testing of the Pro Auto Disk showed that, with the two powders I plan to use, it throws a very consistent charge. Instead of dropping powder in 50 cases and inspecting them all at one time in the block, I let the turret cycle. I have found that with a good light (a Luxo Lamp) I can set the lamp and myself so that I can look in the case and just barely see the powder. If I cannot see the powder, it has dropped short, if I see too much powder then it has dropped long. If either happens I dump that charge back in the hopper and drop another. Probably as good a system as trying to compare the charges in 50 cases. I usually weigh the first five charges, then every fifth charge, then if still consistent, every tenth charge. My production has increased substantially with just as safe procedures.
dickttx is offline  
Old August 20, 2011, 09:22 PM   #24
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 8,238
"...who claims to be error free speaks with forked tongue..." And that's being polite. Reloading mistakes are usually caused by not paying attention to what you're doing or with distractions.
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old August 21, 2011, 04:21 AM   #25
Mike / Tx
Senior Member
Join Date: April 8, 2000
Posts: 1,898
Well I am fast approaching 48, and have been loading my own ammo since I was 8 with my pop looking over my shoulder.

For most of this time I simply used a single stage Wells press that pop had mounted to a simple 2x6 frame, but after getting into shotgunning, and then handguns as I got older, I had to up the production rate to keep up with demand. It was nothing to shoot half a case of shotshells in an afternoon, then load them back up the next morning, same with the revolver and pistol rounds.

During all this time, yep I have had a few issues with fubared rounds, but have only had one load with no powder, and still to this day don't know how that happened, but the fact remains it did, and it made me a better loader.

Now squashing fingers, cases, and bullets or primers going in sideways, yep been there done that. Those are the times when I simply shut it down and walk away until I'm in a better frame of mind. There is no excuse for it, other than a lack of attention, and when loading ammo this cannot be a part of the equation.
Mike / Tx 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 07:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12353 seconds with 7 queries