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Old 12-22-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default Too Careful?

I am new at reloading ( 40 being the only caliber so far) I've processed maybe 750 rounds and shot them.

At the onset (first 50 rounds) at the range i encountered a squib load, and being the newbie I am at reloading and the first time I had encountered a squib I was blind to the fact of what had happened. A round didn't fire and when I ejected it only the brass popped out.... it went over my head what happened. When I stupidly tried to load a live round behind it, it would not load (lucky for me) I then realized what had happened and said a few "thank you's" and rammed the bullet back out of the barrel. I was very attentive from that point on at the range that day.
So "back at the ranch" I was thinking what can I do to help prevent that from happening again. I will be getting a powder cop soon for my press, and even a very small led light to allow me to see better what I am doing. But what I came up with for now is I weigh each loaded round.... I know brass, bullets, and primers don't all weigh the same as I found out before I loaded my first round, out of curiosity by weighing the bullets and brass separately. So what I have done now is I took randomly 10 bullets, 10 empty shells, and 10 primers to make up 10 samples of hardware ( no powder). I took my average weight as a median point and then used my highest and lowest weights as "no go" points. Having a digital scale i zeroed it out at the median weight unloaded round. So the end result is after loading a box of rounds I weigh each one and if the weight falls outside of my no-go values (too high or low powder weight)it gets set aside. For example after the the scale is zeroed to my median hardware weight, when I put a loaded round on it, it might read 3.4 or maybe 7.5 but they both are within my no-go values above or below my desired 5.4 powder charge weight. Of course some are probably still good, but the obvious ones that read 0.0, are obvious squibs. Anyone have any thoughts about this process?



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Old 12-22-2013, 01:28 PM   #2
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I am new at reloading ( 40 being the only caliber so far) I've processed maybe 750 rounds and shot them.

At the onset (first 50 rounds) at the range i encountered a squib load, and being the newbie I am at reloading and the first time I had encountered a squib I was blind to the fact of what had happened. A round didn't fire and when I ejected it only the brass popped out.... it went over my head what happened. When I stupidly tried to load a live round behind it, it would not load (lucky for me) I then realized what had happened and said a few "thank you's" and rammed the bullet back out of the barrel. I was very attentive from that point on at the range that day.
So "back at the ranch" I was thinking what can I do to help prevent that from happening again. I will be getting a powder cop soon for my press, and even a very small led light to allow me to see better what I am doing. But what I came up with for now is I weigh each loaded round.... I know brass, bullets, and primers don't all weigh the same as I found out before I loaded my first round, out of curiosity by weighing the bullets and brass separately. So what I have done now is I took randomly 10 bullets, 10 empty shells, and 10 primers to make up 10 samples of hardware ( no powder). I took my average weight as a median point and then used my highest and lowest weights as "no go" points. Having a digital scale i zeroed it out at the median weight unloaded round. So the end result is after loading a box of rounds I weigh each one and if the weight falls outside of my no-go values (too high or low powder weight)it gets set aside. For example after the the scale is zeroed to my median hardware weight, when I put a loaded round on it, it might read 3.4 or maybe 7.5 but they both are within my no-go values above or below my desired 5.4 powder charge weight. Of course some are probably still good, but the obvious ones that read 0.0, are obvious squibs. Anyone have any thoughts about this process?
Its not a bad idea. The only problem i have with it is that pistol powder charge min and maxs are usualy only a few gains different. And if you where to have a light charge in a case that weigthed alittle more then you back to square one again. I would either go to a stand alone powder meter or fisickly check every round before seating the bullet.

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Old 12-22-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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Duddie i agree with your comment, i plan on getting a powder cop for my press, it will do the physical check.

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Old 12-22-2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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I have a bright light mounted above my bench that shines on the left side of my progressive. I am able to see into the case as I place a bullet into the mouth. I look for powder when I place the bullet. One time I was not paying attention. I got about half way through a run and realized that there was no powder in the case as I got ready to seat the bullet. I stopped what I was doing. I saw that the chain on my powder measure had broken. I grabbed my hammer that is for pulling bullets. I started going back through the ammo I had just made. I had loaded about 5 that were empty. I checked about 5 or 6 more just to be sure. It was a lot better than blowing up a gun.

It would be hard to weigh some of the ammo that I make. I often load a 45 acp with a 255 grain lead bullet that I mold myself. I can see them having a variance of a couple of grains depending on what I am using for alloy. Plus I mix head stamps. So there is another variable. The charge weight for my powder on those heavy bullets is only 3.8 grains.

If I am using my single stage press I charge all the cases and then I look in them and compare them with each other. No way I am going to load an empty case after doing that. To me it is just really important to look into the case before I place a bullet in the mouth.

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Old 12-22-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volunteer0925 View Post
I am new at reloading ( 40 being the only caliber so far) I've processed maybe 750 rounds and shot them.

At the onset (first 50 rounds) at the range i encountered a squib load, and being the newbie I am at reloading and the first time I had encountered a squib I was blind to the fact of what had happened. A round didn't fire and when I ejected it only the brass popped out.... it went over my head what happened. When I stupidly tried to load a live round behind it, it would not load (lucky for me) I then realized what had happened and said a few "thank you's" and rammed the bullet back out of the barrel. I was very attentive from that point on at the range that day.
So "back at the ranch" I was thinking what can I do to help prevent that from happening again. I will be getting a powder cop soon for my press, and even a very small led light to allow me to see better what I am doing. But what I came up with for now is I weigh each loaded round.... I know brass, bullets, and primers don't all weigh the same as I found out before I loaded my first round, out of curiosity by weighing the bullets and brass separately. So what I have done now is I took randomly 10 bullets, 10 empty shells, and 10 primers to make up 10 samples of hardware ( no powder). I took my average weight as a median point and then used my highest and lowest weights as "no go" points. Having a digital scale i zeroed it out at the median weight unloaded round. So the end result is after loading a box of rounds I weigh each one and if the weight falls outside of my no-go values (too high or low powder weight)it gets set aside. For example after the the scale is zeroed to my median hardware weight, when I put a loaded round on it, it might read 3.4 or maybe 7.5 but they both are within my no-go values above or below my desired 5.4 powder charge weight. Of course some are probably still good, but the obvious ones that read 0.0, are obvious squibs. Anyone have any thoughts about this process?
never too careful on loading. bad things happen when your not paranoid enough about handloading.

thats what i do. you only need to weigh one set of components if your loading with charge weights over 20 grains. the max varience ive ever seen is about +-7 grains total.

i use a dillon xl650 with powder monitor that is set to beep at no powder dispensed as its not really possible for a 650 to over charge when im loading pistol cartridges.

ive got a set of about 35 308's i have to pull because i loaded them but forgot to install the powder return bar in the 650 and then later let the powder measure run dry for a bit. i did use the measure and weight thing to sort the bad from the good.

weighing and sorting works great for rifle ammo but is not reliable for pistol as the charge weights often fall well within the margin of error.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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One thing I have found when reloading is to remove all distractions.

Telephone off, radio off, TV off, but I'm still trying to figure out how to turn the wife off.

And the most important cartridge I have at any time is the one I am reloading, so I want to make that right.

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Old 12-23-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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I'm still trying to figure out how to turn the wife off.
So many possible things to say here.

Most guys try to figure out how to turn the wife on.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:28 PM   #8
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never too careful on loading. bad things happen when your not paranoid enough about handloading.

thats what i do. you only need to weigh one set of components if your loading with charge weights over 20 grains. the max varience ive ever seen is about +-7 grains total.

i use a dillon xl650 with powder monitor that is set to beep at no powder dispensed as its not really possible for a 650 to over charge when im loading pistol cartridges.

ive got a set of about 35 308's i have to pull because i loaded them but forgot to install the powder return bar in the 650 and then later let the powder measure run dry for a bit. i did use the measure and weight thing to sort the bad from the good.

weighing and sorting works great for rifle ammo but is not reliable for pistol as the charge weights often fall well within the margin of error.
I also have a dillon XL650 with the poeder check system, as you know it will not check accurcy on loads but will let you know if there is a overcharge or under charge. its a very good tool, and also I do pull the case out about every 15-20 rds to check the weight of the powder. I also have a bright light that shines down on my shellplate. your never to safe when you load.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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Eagle. Yes i do the powder weight check about every 20-30 loads. Im using a Hornady LNL and it seems to throw consistent throws. What i did to help fine tune the throws was once it was dispensing accurate i threw 5 loads and stacked them on the scale to get an accumulated average a number of times and was able to fine tune to a higher level.

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Old 12-23-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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Eagle. Yes i do the powder weight check about every 20-30 loads. Im using a Hornady LNL and it seems to throw consistent throws. What i did to help fine tune the throws was once it was dispensing accurate i threw 5 loads and stacked them on the scale to get an accumulated average a number of times and was able to fine tune to a higher level.
I never did the weigh option, but it sounds like your checking to re-check, which is good.


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