Reloading Failures


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LWYM425
July 14, 2009, 03:56 PM
Hello All,
I'm looking to get into reloading and am in the "weighing the pros and cons" stage.

I was wondering what the top 3 to 5 failures are and corresponding reasons for each. I'm sure that these failures happen seldom if ever if the reloader is cautious and well educated, but I'd still like to know the possible risks.

Just guessing...
:uhoh: Round does not go off when struck by firing pin
:uhoh: Round goes of delayed (Does this really happen????? a friend of a friend of a friend said they pulled the trigger and it took 1 to 2 seconds for the round to go off, :scrutiny: is that possible?)
:uhoh: Cartridge ruptures upon firing causing un controlled explosion
:uhoh: Bullet not seated properly resulting in jamming/damaging the barrel upon firing

For pistol shooting, is it more safe, less safe, or about the same to use reloads in semi-autos vs. revolvers?

Thanks in advance for sharing!!

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Devilfrog
July 14, 2009, 04:08 PM
Maybe I'm just lucky, but after shooting approx. 3,000 of my reloads I have not had any of those failures you've listed. :neener:

rcmodel
July 14, 2009, 04:16 PM
None of the above since I started reloading in 1962.

Just don't drink beer or whiskey, watch TV, or talk on the cell phone while reloading.

Properly done, reloads are just as safe, or even safer then store bought factory loads.

We have the luxury of looking carefully at each component, weighing our powder charges, double checking them again before seating bullets, etc.

Use a good reloading manual, and your brain, and there should be zero defects.

rc

JCisHe
July 14, 2009, 04:28 PM
Rules:

1. Have someone train you who is competent
2. Consult numerous quality manuals regularly
3. Absolutely NO DISTRACTIONS
4. Be confident/educated on PROPERLY using your equipment
5. Have the PROPER equipment
6. Carefully inspect your brass during all processes
7. Seat primers fully and in every case (just below flush/never seat a loaded bullet)
8. Carefully measure every 10th powder charge and inspect cases for uniformity PRIOR to seating bullets.
9. Seat bullets ONLY TO PUBLISHED specifications.
10. Make sure your target HAS A HOLE after and for every time you pull the trigger.

These ten rules mitigate, if not alleviate, any catastrophe that could happen.

Nate1778
July 14, 2009, 04:35 PM
Round goes of delayed (Does this really happen????? a friend of a friend of a friend said they pulled the trigger and it took 1 to 2 seconds for the round to go off, is that possible?)



I actually had this happen to me once, it wasn't reloads but old ammo. Was shooting a 6.5 Beretta Carcano and was trying to use up some old Norma rounds. First couple went BOOM, then I pulled the trigger on the next, Click, and I thought to myself "Huh, a du......BOOM!". Only took a second or two, but it was enough time for me and those around me to notice. Needless to say I was done shooting that ammo. It really did surprise me on the amount of delay.

smith52
July 14, 2009, 05:02 PM
There are many varibles to your questions and all of those thing can be avoided with safe reloading practices. Reloading is as safe as you make it. Richard Lee's Modern Reloading is a good book to start with and as JCisHe stated, some instruction from a competent, experienced reloader is a good idea as well. Good Luck and Enjoy!

doorman
July 14, 2009, 05:09 PM
Also, do not load ammo if you are tired.

The Bushmaster
July 14, 2009, 05:12 PM
23 years reloading various calibers and styles of cartridges and nary a miss fire or failure to fire. ALL went down range in those 23 years.

You read and head a good reloading manual like Lyman's 49th and you probably will not have any problems.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 14, 2009, 05:12 PM
inspect each case for a powder charge and make sure the primer is seated well. OAL is important also.

LWYM425
July 14, 2009, 05:19 PM
I can see that this, like any other skill, can be mastered with proper training and experience... And maybe these failures only happen to the careless, but if that is the case why is it so legally absurd to sell reloads.

Not trying to start a fire storm, but it seems like if those that reload are very confident in each and every round there wouldn't be any huge liabilities. I mean if you've done something for, say, 23 years, and not ONCE had an issue, (talk about your 6 sigma poster child!) why would you think that that one round you lend to a friend will mame and kill every one around him?

I guess I should have posted in the legal forum?

rcmodel
July 14, 2009, 05:28 PM
Well, probably for the same reason it is against the law to make & sell homemade moonshine.

Anywhere there is a buck to be made, foolish and/or greedy people will cut every corner possible to make more money out of it. Even to the point of risking other peoples health or life.

Why not shoot other peoples reloads?
Ever hear of "working up a load" specifically for your gun?

What is fine in my gun might not be fine in your gun.

I would have no qualms about shooting my life-long reloading buddies loads.
But Tom Foolerys reloads he is selling at the gun show?
No way?

I don't know old Tom personally, and I don't have a clue if he is in it for the money, or for making high quality ammo.
But most likely, it's the former not the later.

rc

falldowngoboom
July 14, 2009, 05:33 PM
I'm a total noob to this, but I think it's analogous to why a car isn't considered street legal until it passes certain safety inspections and crash tests. Ammo manufacturers probably follow established safety guidelines and are subject to inspections.

rcmodel
July 14, 2009, 05:39 PM
They also have liability insurance out the kazoo, and pay local, state, and federal taxes on the sales.

They also have an address & telephone number where you can reach them.

And every box of ammo has a lot number that can be traced back to the day the ammo was loaded, who loaded it, and what the components were.

rc

fatelk
July 14, 2009, 07:31 PM
Just adding to the chorus: Don't load while tired or distracted

A very long time ago I loaded up a box of .357 ammo.

About the third or fourth round it sounded and felt different. The cylinder was completely locked up because a bullet was wedged in the forcing cone. I pulled the whole box apart and found half a dozen with no gunpowder.

To this day I am downright paranoid about visually inspecting every round before the bullet goes in.

1SOW
July 15, 2009, 12:27 AM
As a fairly new reloader, I second all of the above.

For me, I have to stress 'patience'. I know what I want in my loads, so there is a tendency for me to try to shortcut instead of working up to the load.

Lastly, I believe the use of a chronometer is essential to testing a load. It gives you information and saves you time and money, you cannot get from "feel".

LogicGS
July 15, 2009, 04:05 AM
As a fairly new reloader, I second all of the above.

For me, I have to stress 'patience'. I know what I want in my loads, so there is a tendency for me to try to shortcut instead of working up to the load.

Lastly, I believe the use of a chronometer is essential to testing a load. It gives you information and saves you time and money, you cannot get from "feel".
I think you mean you need a chronograph, not a chronometer. ;)

Sure, a chronometer is handy, it tells you how long you spent loading those rounds, but if you want to know how fast the bullet is heading down range, you'll need a chronograph.

Just busting your balls, my buddy had a pocket watch he called "his chronometer"

As in:
"Can we make the train Holmes?"
"I don't know Watson, let me check my chronometer."

I always meant to get him a monocle to go along with it, but then I figured that spats would be required, and then a top hat, and on and on and on.

To the OP's concern, I think most folks that run into trouble, do so because they lack a few crucial things:

1) Common Sense (IE, should I start at 125% of the the highest published load I can find, or should I start with one of the lower starting loads? Can I fire a 0.451" dia bullet through a 9mm (0.355") bore? Should I be eating bean dip with my fingers while I load with cast lead bullets? etc)
2) Focus (IE, be the cartridge grasshopper, and pay &#$% attention to what you're doing at all times, don't try to load and watch a football game, or argue with your wife, or entertain your three year old, etc)
3) Respect for the Power You are Dealing With (IE, we're well into "rapid disassembly" territory with most rifle rounds, and like Humpty Dumpty, all the King's Horses and all the King's Men won't be able to put you or your favorite rifle back together again, if you screw around and septuple charge a round.)
4) Paying Attention to Your Surroundings When Testing a New Load (IE, don't load up a cylinder of "Melt The Face off a Deer at 75 yds" loads (that you just worked up) in your S&W M29, and then go stand right next to some stranger on the firing line and touch one off. If nothing else, he'll need new shorts afterwards, and if things happen to go all pear shaped, he may need a new head, and you may need one hell of a lawyer, etc)

I have come to believe that reloading, like auto racing, war, base jumping, sky diving, motorcycles, construction equipment, and farm machinery, was invented to help take on the role that predators play in thinning out the human herd.

We don't get eaten by wolves anymore (or at least not many of us do), so we've actually invented new and spectacular ways for the weak (in this case, in the mind) to be culled.

Moronic reloaders, like brash race car drivers, insipid parachutists, and unobservant backhoe operators, live short and pointless lives that end violently (and if the world is lucky, solitarily, without their having reproduced).

Just keep your wits about you, and you'll be fine.

Blakenzy
July 15, 2009, 05:34 AM
You really should buy The ABC's of Reloading, even if you don't plan on reloading in the near future. It is good for general knowledge of firearms and cartridges.

I would say that the highest risk would be the "double charge", where you inadvertently load powder in a case twice, or more times. Depending on the amount, it may overflow and become apparent before you seat a bullet, or not(if you don't make a habit of inspecting powder levels in cases before seating). On the other end, loading too little powder(or none at all) may end in a bullet stuck in the bore, causing an obstruction, that if not caught before the next shot, may lead to a damaged firearm and self. But these risks are minimized following rules, techniques and formulas described in reloading manuals and books.

The sure advantages of loading your own cartridges by far outweigh the potential hazards. I feel that reloading ammo helps you become a better shooter on many different levels.

Faitmaker
July 15, 2009, 03:49 PM
The sure advantages of loading your own cartridges by far outweigh the potential hazards. I feel that reloading ammo helps you become a better shooter on many different levels.

Yeah, because I can actually *afford* to shoot.

USSR
July 15, 2009, 07:07 PM
I was wondering what the top 3 to 5 failures are and corresponding reasons for each.

The top failure in reloading for rimless bottleneck cartridges is beyond a doubt -- failure of a resized/reloaded case to fit the chamber, caused by failure to set up the resizing die properly.

Don

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