Some of the not so bright Reloading Ideas you have heard of.


May 15, 2006, 08:52 AM
Well, I was at work the other day talking with one of my fellow co-workers. Turns out he had some revolutionary new ideas. This post is very tongue in cheek, please do not under any circumstances EVEN CONSIDER THIS!

1. While reloading some cartridges he thinks it is ok dip the case into the powder and fill it to the brim. The example he gave was IMR 4895 in a .30-06 cartridge. When I asked him why not use a Lee Safety Scale (only 20 dollars after all) his response was that not everyone has 20 dollars. Ok your money, so save 20 dollars and blow up 500 dollar gun.

My thinking, this is dangerous for a few reasons:

First of all burn rates vary the pressure curves for different cartridges.

Second if the cartridge is filled to the brim and a bullet is then seated this creates a compressed charge which in turn causes a major pressure spike. Translation: Gun blows up.

2. For the one or two more obscure cartridges he loads he has to form his own brass. This is one area I will plead ignorance to. I am relatively certain that once again filling the cartridge case to the brim is not a good idea to "swell the brass" to fit the chamber of his rifle. From what I understand a good stout charge (from a reloading manual of course) should swell the brass just fine. Most rifle calibers have a max SAAMI psi of at least 40,000 psi and as high as 60-65,000 psi in some.

My thinking: This individual does not know how to properly form his brass. He should probably just buy the right brass until he learns how to do it correctly. Brass is cheap, guns are not.

Moral of this thread:

Spend the money and buy what you need. In these cases it means a cheap scale, probably the right brass, a reloading manual, perhaps a mini lathe/case trimmer with a book on how to use it with appropriate fire forming tools for brass. This person might also develop the urge to have a life insurance policy for his loved ones.

Does anyone else have similar stories or additional thoughts to add?

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May 15, 2006, 09:46 AM
I agree, get the nessessary equipment. But some powder can be safely compressed, and some loads, you cant get enough powder in the case to be dangerous. Hopefully he has picked that powder, I cant imagin getting max velocity, or performance out of that powder either.

May 15, 2006, 09:51 AM
Your buddy isn't named Clark by any chance is he.

Jim Watson
May 15, 2006, 09:52 AM
There was a guy in this area known to all handloaders as "Scoops." He was semi-illiterate and could not comprehend all those numbers on the powder cans. If it was labeled "rifle powder" he figured it was good for his rifle. And the brass was obviously made to hold the right amount of "rifle powder" so why not fill it up? His loading technique was to scoop the case full of powder and crunch a bullet down on it. He had blown up two .300 Win Mags and was fixing to wreck a third when my friend at the store realized the problem and helped him out. He would never sell him any "rifle powder" except H870 which is too slow to give trouble at case full loads. He sold him 4227 for a .44 Magnum, for which a case full is an overload but not more than a Ruger would stand.

May 15, 2006, 10:27 AM
Part of this goes back to the black powder days when, since black powder is very bulky ,you could just fill up the case. When smokeless came in some were made very bulky so they same thing could be done safely. We have recently reinvented the wheel. Cowboy shooters apparently are not too bright so at least one company has brought out a bulky smokeless powder so again cases can be filled up with the powder !!!

May 15, 2006, 12:19 PM
Things I have heard that scared me:

1. "You can't blow up a Blackhawk with handloads, they're too strong."
2. "I am sure the charge was 8.0 grains, I think it's Unique."
3. "I'm only getting misfires about every ten rounds."

I've heard others that would sound worse if you didn't know the guy was joking.

May 15, 2006, 12:26 PM
His name is not Clark, and he does seem to be literate and somewhat intelligent I guess. I think he is one of those "commandoes" that I would never trust to go shooting with or give him too much detail about what I have/do. I understand that in some cases brass can be filled with a particular powder and then fired but he just sounded downright shocked when I mentioned the words "Powder Scale" and "Weighing the charge". I cannot imagine accuracy being that good with erratic powder charges. In a handgun, 5 grains in one and 5.3 in the next etc. Rifle would be even worse.

May 15, 2006, 01:33 PM
Amazingly enough I had just finished hearing that exact story, 30-06 dipped in 4895 from a buddy here, just a few moments before reading that post.

He's an old timer and long-time shooter, said he used to do that and was surprised at how good the accuracy was. Not as good as exact charges but not as bad as he would have thought.

If you think about it commercial ammo and handloads with progressives are measured by volume, not weight, although we try to be somewhat more precise. If it's not a major overcharge it should work, although it's certainly not the best technique...

May 15, 2006, 02:07 PM
Nah, that doesn't sound like Clark at all.

Clark is actively rying to destroy guns, in a very controlled manner. "A case full of powder" charge isn't going to provide as much data as he is looking for.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2006, 04:15 PM
But some powder can be safely compressed, and some loads, you cant get enough powder in the case to be dangerous.

A good example is Hodgdon's Li'l Gun and the .22 Hornet. I just dip the cases full and tap them to settle the powder. With my M82 Kimber, I get 1/2" groups at 100 yards.

May 15, 2006, 04:53 PM
I've worked with some of Clark's data as a guide and reproduced his results safely.

But it's more fun to point fingers and laugh.


May 15, 2006, 05:14 PM
I've worked with some of Clark's data as a guide and reproduced his results safely

Let me guess you use the double 357 charge in a 9x23 case when loading for your reamed out Tokarev.:evil:

The Bushmaster
May 15, 2006, 05:16 PM
L O L...(Snicker):D

May 15, 2006, 05:18 PM
Amazingly enough I had just finished hearing that exact story, 30-06 dipped in 4895 from a buddy here, just a few moments before reading that post.

I haven't got a 30-06 case handy, but if anyone does, scoop out that much IMR (?)4895 powder and let me know what the weight is. That is scary.....

The Bushmaster
May 15, 2006, 06:23 PM
I use H-4831SC in my .30-06 and I surely wouldn't just scoop out a case load and seat a bullet on top of it. I tend to value my Browning A-bolt and my hands and face. Even if it is ugly.:D

May 15, 2006, 06:31 PM
Let me guess you use the double 357 charge in a 9x23 case when loading for your reamed out Tokarev.
32acp data with Power Pistol Powder.


May 15, 2006, 06:31 PM
Though I weigh em out anyway, a "top of the brim full" .222 and IMR3031 is good medicine. Weighs 22.6 ish gn.

May 15, 2006, 08:43 PM
I know a guy that used to scoop 270's in IMR 4350, and crunch a 150 down on them. His gun was a Remington pump, and I say was becuase it got blown to BITS!!!! He still has pieces of it in his face, neck and chest. Small pieces, but nonetheless it is an idiotic thing to do when good data is a couple flips of the page away.

The funny part, if there is one, is that he shot HUNDREDS and possibly even a thousand or so of the rounds loaded that way before he got bitten. We were both pretty young then, 16 or so, but I knew better and tried to tell him. I wasn't there when it blew, but I saw him shoot hundreds of those rounds (from well behind him LOL).

Standing Wolf
May 15, 2006, 08:52 PM
Gun powder is like pipe tobacco: you've pretty much got to mix a little of this and a little of that to get the exact right flavor.

Sharps Shooter
May 15, 2006, 10:33 PM
qajaq59, I didn't have any sized 30-06 cases handy either, but I tried it with a couple of unsized ones. The R-P case, full to the rim, held 63.5 grains of IMR 4895, while the Winchester case held 65.2 grains of the same powder. I was a bit surprised by difference, but just by just dipping each case in a bowl full of powder I might have compressed the powder in the Winchester case a little bit more. Both cases had been fired in the same gun.
At any rate, my Speer Manual shows a max charge of 49.5 grains of IMR 4895 behind a 150 grain bullet. Heck, it only shows 54.2 grains of IMR 4895 behind a 110 grain bullet as maximum in a 30-06.
I'll bet even if I'd had been using re-sized cases for this experiment, they would have held over 60 grains of IMR 4895. So, we're talking 10 to 15 percent over max. That's scary enough for me.

May 15, 2006, 10:44 PM
Even bulky Trail Boss powder won't half fill a 45 colt case at max load! A double charge comes close enough to overflowing that it is really easy to see though.


May 16, 2006, 12:03 AM
<queue natural selection in 3...2...1...>

May 16, 2006, 03:22 PM
Hearing all these stories makes me think of the Darwin Awards. Different brands of cases will hold different amounts of powder especially in some of the "lighter" fine powders like H110 etc. The finer powders will fill out to fit the case much better.

I saw the finer powder effect firsthand when I was using my Lee Pro 1000 with the riser conversion kit for the doubledisk measure. I loaded with H110 just fine in 44 Magnum. I then switched cavities and starting using American Select in .45 ACP and I weighed the first 4 charges or so. The weight of the powder was varying greatly with each stroke of the powder measure. American Select is a flake kind of powder and apparently does not meter well in an unusual shaped cavity such as the double disk creates.

It kind of scares me to think what might have happened if I do not weigh my charges to check. Most of the time the Pro Powder Measure throws the charges a little light and I have to increase the cavity size; chances are I would have been fine (the gun is a 1911 and is very stout) but it is not worth me finding out.

Joe in KY
May 17, 2006, 12:17 AM
Here is one I haven't seen mentioned yet. Reusing bullets you dig out of a sand bank. There is enough grit embedded in them that you'd have a smooth bore in about three shots. We talked the guy out of it before he did it though.

May 17, 2006, 07:12 PM
I know a guy that used to scoop 270's in IMR 4350, and crunch a 150 down on them.

I just made a load of 4350 that filled the case, but it was with a 90 gr hp. I used 60.4 gr which was just below the top. Thats about ten grains over max with a 150 grainer.:eek:

June 2, 2006, 09:50 PM
I personally know of a couple of handgun cartridge loads that basically consist of filling the case with Blue Dot powder, and then seating a bullet, (a very light bullet), on top.

There are more adventurous souls who load some what more.

Some flake powders, and possibly some extruded powders, burn slower when compressed. That is how people get away with such tricks.

I really don't think such tricks are necessary for fun. Though, I admit, when younger, I pulled many tricks of my own.

Smokey Joe
June 3, 2006, 01:30 AM
Yeah, well, you can say all you want about die wear, and the cheapness of good brass, and being penny wise and pound foolish, and the extra effort required to size 'em, yada, yada, yada.

I'm STILL going to save money by not buying any brass, and sizing and reloading my milsurp and my Wolf steel cases! So there!

Next I'm going to save more money by reloading my Berdan-primed cases. So there again!

June 3, 2006, 07:10 AM
Heck, why buy cases at all? Or primers?
And who needs a reloading press, or dies anyway?

Just take a bolt action rifle...

Drop a bullet in the chamber...

Shake it until the bullet finds the rifling...

Pour in some powder in the chamber and close the bolt...

Light the green fuse that you fished through the firing pin channel when you removed the firing pin.

Viola... 21st century matchlock!

Try it. Darwin will be proud.


Of course this was meant to be satire.
No one would actually be stupid enough to really try this.

June 3, 2006, 10:53 AM
I had a buddy when I was A LOT younger would liked to play around with this kind of thing. One day he took 3 .22's and pulled the bullets and dumped the powder into his barrel after setting the empty barsss in the chamber. He then rammed a bullet in and fired it...blew the extractor right off his rifle.

His Dad found out about it and whomped his ass a good one!:)

Smokey Joe
June 3, 2006, 01:08 PM
I'm gonna save money some more! Instead of my buying a loading manual, you guys on the Internet just tell me what loads to use.

While you're at it, tell me all the stuff I need to buy to start reloading.

Next tell me what to do with the stuff so I don't have to do any of that boring reading.

I'm loading .30 caliber so of course you know exactly what to tell me.

I want an all-around powder for reloading--shotgun, target pistol, magnum rifle--so I don't clutter up my reloading bench. What do you guys reccommend?

Again, to avoid clutter, I want to use my small magnum rifle primers in my .38Spl cases, can I do this?

What are the cheapest bullets I can load for extreme tack-driving accuracy?

I found this thing (vague description follows) in my Grandpa's attic. I think he used it for reloading something. What is it for?

The Bushmaster
June 3, 2006, 01:22 PM
And I'm getting tired of answering those questions too, Joe. This site is full of statements like "Buy a manual and read it. Better yet, buy two manuals and read them". I know. I've said it many times on this site and others.
And I (we) will say it again and again. It's frustrating to have to repeat this and also to answer their questions, but it must be done to keep people from getting hurt. If we don't the government will deem this hobby unsafe and for our "betterment" take this away, too.

I'm on your side, Smokey Joe.

Smokey Joe
June 3, 2006, 02:28 PM
'Preciate the backup! It gets lonely sometimes.

Yeah, I'll continue answering those questions, too, and continue grinding my teeth, but will remain positive and encouraging to new potential reloaders.

2 good reasons:
(1) As shooters and reloaders, we need all the friends we can get.
(2) I subscribe to what I call "Thumper's Rule."

You may recall the scene, in the movie "Bambi," where Thumper observes--out loud--that the newborn Bambi is pretty awkward on his legs. Thumper's mom asks him, "Thumper, what did your father tell you about that just this morning??" And Thumper replies, (imagine little-boy-rabbit voice) "If ya can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." This is Thumper's Rule.

June 4, 2006, 12:55 PM
Smokey Joe

I think the moderators should make a sticky titled NEW RELOADERS MUST READ.

Then tell them to read at least 2 reloading manuals before posting questions.

SiG Lady
June 4, 2006, 01:08 PM
"When I asked him why not use a Lee Safety Scale (only 20 dollars after all) his response was that not everyone has 20 dollars."Cost of scale, $20 or less... average cost of a funeral, $6,000. The choice is obvious.:rolleyes:

June 4, 2006, 02:02 PM
My grandfather told me of the type of BP reloading he and his friends used to do. They would, in his words, take a length of gas pipe and hammer a wood plug in one end. They soaked it in water to swell the wood so it stuck real good, then filed a little slot into the pipe on the top. They would put in 'some black power', pack down some pages from an old catalog, pour in everything from pebbles to carpet tacks, then tamp down some more paper. The pipe was strapped to some kind of stock. Two of them would creep along the hedges until they saw a rabbit sitting there. One would aim while the other touched a match to the filed slot to set off the charge and kill the rabbit (this was in the 1910 time frame). They did this a lot until someone didn't have the plug in well enough or an overcharge. The plug blew out and knocked out all of a friends front teeth. The powder also blasted back into his skin. He had no front teeth and black powder under his skin from then on. I was only 12 at the time I heard this and figured I'd try making a better model of homemade gun using a pipe cap. But my father must have known since he suddenly produced a new model 94C Stevens single shot .410. That was my constant companion during hunting season from then on and I never got around to those BP experiments with a homemade gun -- thankfully.

July 21, 2006, 03:45 PM
Former coworker, a known pathological liar, use to rue what he assumed to be gun novices with tall tales. He claimed to reload his own .454 Casull cartridges:

"You're only supposed to put a maximum of 40 grains of power in, but I put in 60 for that extra kick."

I am no reloading expert but looking at a chart, this sounds kinda dangerous. I would really like to know if this would create enough pressue to blow revolver to pieces. I must note it was never verified that he owned a .454 Casull. God I am glad he is gone.

July 21, 2006, 05:20 PM
The problem is that we are all simpleton fools compared to the wisdom of God, but we like to think we are smarter than our fellow men.

When you encounter a real genius, one who never went to college but cranks out commercially highly valuable patents, ask him some questions about your own experiments. The big wake up call is when someone else can bring the conversation back to first principals and show you your mistakes, when you are bringing up the topics.

What does it all mean?
There is something to gain from focus not how you are smarter than someone else, but how someone else is smarter than you.

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