Rookie Mistake! Not enough powder?


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pcwirepro
March 28, 2010, 11:37 PM
Somehow I got my powders confused today and ended up using 700X instead of the intended Clays. I loaded 100 rounds of Berrys 124 gr. HP with 3.1 gr. of 700X and seated then all to 1.075. I don't know if I should try shooting one or just tear them down one-by-one to load them correctly. This time with my head removed from that dark place it was in during the first run.
Closest thing I can find to what I built by mistake today was on the Hodgdon Data Center: 125 GR. SIE FMJ, 3.0 gr 700-X set to 1.090"

Any thoughts?

Thank You

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ljnowell
March 29, 2010, 12:03 AM
Are 100% postive that you used 700x? What about the charge weight? I would pull a few and check at the least.

Checking IMR online data they show:
125 GR. SIE FMJ IMR 700-X .355" 1.090" 3.0 845 21,600 PSI 3.6 1007 31,000 PSI
125 GR. LCN IMR 700-X .356" 1.125" 2.9 899 23,700 PSI 3.4 1003 31,600 PSI

You are just above min and way below max. OAL is a little on the short side, but I think you will be OK with that load, IMO.

ETA: They are your fingers and I dont work in the powder and reloading industry. I am just your garden variety jerk who thinks he knows it all, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Walkalong
March 29, 2010, 07:28 AM
You will be fine, if in fact that is what is in the loaded rounds. You must find a way to be 100% sure what powder and weight you are loading with what bullet before starting. Using the wrong powder can be seriously bad news. Catch it before you start.

JimKirk
March 29, 2010, 07:37 AM
That is the reason that you pull out the manual and the powder that you are going to use and move the others off the bench where you are loading. It is too easy to reach and get the wrong can if several are sitting there. Make the manual reading-powder getting a contentious step, read the manual, decide the load, retrieve the powder and check the manual again when adjusting the powder measure.

If you are new to reloading as you say... turn off the TV, radio, put the dog in another room ....no distractions... you need to concentrate on what you are doing!

Even after forty years of reloading.. I still make the contentious step ...

Good luck and pay attention!

Jimmy K

DANNY243
March 29, 2010, 08:30 AM
My rule is: One powder on the table at a time. Then tripple check data, weight and powder before I get started. Using the wrong powder can be deadly (e.g. pistol/shotgun powder mistaken for rifle powder). Safety Always.

Jim Watson
March 29, 2010, 09:08 AM
Yup.
Your load is safe, although you arrived at it in a risky fashion.

I have one and only one powder can on the bench at a time. The powder I am using is next to the press, and nothing else nearby.

pcwirepro
March 29, 2010, 10:10 AM
I definitely used the 700X. The other (2) powders were on a higher shelf. 3.1 gr of 700X.

Thanks again

ny32182
March 29, 2010, 11:13 AM
I also only have one powder in my work area at a time, and one more thing I do:

I copy the book data I am going to use into a spreadsheet (double/triple check that I have copied it correctly the first time) and then reference that when I am going to change a load. This simplifies the actual viewing of the data since I only have one powder/bullet combination in any given area of my spreadsheet. The loadbooks I use have each powder as a line item, and it is relatively easy to follow the wrong line over since they have all the powders listed close together.

Got to be careful. That is for sure. I think the worst outcome would be if you pulled the trigger on a rifle round loaded with pistol powder... very bad things would likely ensue.

twofifty
March 29, 2010, 01:02 PM
3.1gr of 700-X is not a lot of velocity.
Those rounds will probably not reach 900fps so expect to be way below the USPSA's Minor power factor.

pcwirepro
March 29, 2010, 01:20 PM
3.1gr of 700-X is not a lot of velocity.
Those rounds will probably not reach 900fps so expect to be way below the USPSA's Minor power factor.

Power Factor?
I just want them to go down range without blowing off my hand or damaging my little 9mm.

Mal H
March 29, 2010, 01:42 PM
Purely out of curiosity, how did everyone here know that pcwirepro was talking about a 9mm load? Until his latest post, it wasn't mentioned anywhere. What if he had been loading 38 S&W?

You know what they say about "assume" - it makes an ass out of me and Uma Thurman (I think that's how it goes ... ;) )

Walkalong
March 29, 2010, 02:05 PM
Excellent point. We surely did Ass U Me it was 9MM.

pcwirepro
March 29, 2010, 03:37 PM
Purely out of curiosity, how did everyone here know that pcwirepro was talking about a 9mm load? Until his latest post, it wasn't mentioned anywhere. What if he had been loading 38 S&W?

You know what they say about "assume" - it makes an ass out of me and Uma Thurman (I think that's how it goes ... ;) )

Hmmm. That does it. I'm ill-qualified to reload. Guess I'll go back to knitting.

Thanks all for your input. I'll see how they fly this afternoon and report back.

oneounceload
March 29, 2010, 04:31 PM
In reading the first post he mentioned Berry's 124 hp - typically a 9mm load - Berry's doesn't make a 124 hp in 38

Walkalong
March 29, 2010, 05:16 PM
Berry's 124 hp - typically a 9mm load - Berry's doesn't make a 124 hp in 38Yes, but we did not check for sure. He may have "mistyped" and meant 125, which they do make in a .38.

pcwirepro
March 29, 2010, 05:26 PM
Aside from getting a projectile lodged in the barrel, are there other risks from too light of a load?

ljnowell
March 29, 2010, 05:35 PM
Purely out of curiosity, how did everyone here know that pcwirepro was talking about a 9mm load? Until his latest post, it wasn't mentioned anywhere. What if he had been loading 38 S&W?

You know what they say about "assume" - it makes an ass out of me and Uma Thurman (I think that's how it goes ... )

Because before I posted I went to the hodgen/imr site and looked up the data that he had listed. That and the overall length.

I think though, I was the only person to add:
ETA: They are your fingers and I dont work in the powder and reloading industry. I am just your garden variety jerk who thinks he knows it all, so take my advice with a grain of salt

Walkalong
March 29, 2010, 06:15 PM
Aside from getting a projectile lodged in the barrel, are there other risks from too light of a load?
Shooting a round behind it.

If you notice, and knock it out with a brass rod first, it's no big deal.

achildofthesky
March 29, 2010, 11:25 PM
Better to pull them if you aren't sure of the powder or load rather than the possibility of earning the nickname lefty, fingers, knuckles or squib...

pcwirepro
March 30, 2010, 09:48 AM
Better to pull them if you aren't sure of the powder or load rather than the possibility of earning the nickname lefty, fingers, knuckles or squib...

I definitely used the 700X. The other (2) powders were on a higher shelf. 3.1 gr of 700X.

twofifty
March 30, 2010, 01:35 PM
This is for a 9, right?

pcwirepro, you asked about Power Factor....

Power Factor (PF) is a term used in the IPSC-USPSA games (IDPA too?) to express the [mass x velocity] of the ammo used in competition. For example, the ammo that IPSC Production division shooters use must, according to the rules, meet a minimum power factor (PF) of 125.

The thinking behind this is that it is felt that the lower power rounds are easier to shoot, so the rules keep folk from loading true puff loads (like your unintended 3.1gr of 700-X). (no offence intended)

To determine your load's PF, a small sample is shot in your gun over a chronometer. The average velocity is multiplied by your declared bullet weight. The end result is divided by 1000. (short explanation)

So then, a 124gr bullet at 1015fps will make a PF of 125.8, which barely meets the minimum PF ceiling of 125.0. However the match officials may not accept your declared bullet weight, and so they will pull and weigh one of your bullets. Say it turns out those Berry's actually weigh 123gr (not unusual), then your ammo's PF is 123gr x 1015fps/1000 = PF of 124.8 Since this does not meet min. PF, you would shoot the match for no score.

Most folk load their 9mm to a PF of 130 to 135, to account for bullet weight variability, changes in altitude, humidity, air temperature, etc.

I have experimented with load levels, and found that my handgun recovers from recoil more quickly at a PF of 130-132 than it does at a lower power level. So I load to those levels and have plenty of elbow room to meet PF.

pcwirepro
March 31, 2010, 11:07 PM
I'm back. I haven't had a chance to shoot any of these puff rounds but I did chamber a few only to discover that my PF9 doesn't like them. I tried to manually cycle a few through the pistol but theyre making contact with the barrel at about .088 back from the tip of the bullet. It looks like it has a little too much dimension for this pistol. They are all seated to 1.075 as stated above. I seated a few lower and it looks like 1.053 is close and 1.02 drops right in. would reseating all of these create too much pressure?

Thank You,

Mal H
March 31, 2010, 11:39 PM
1.02" is quite a bit shorter than your original depth, and it will raise the max pressure. But since you weren't anywhere near max load with that powder and bullet in a 9mm, it shouldn't be a problem.

I had to do something similar with a 155gr bullet in a .45 ACP. They had to be seated quite low when compared to "normal" bullets for that caliber in order to work in my particular barrel. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to make things work. Just be aware of what load you're using, where it is on the pressure scale, and adjust accordingly.

pcwirepro
March 31, 2010, 11:44 PM
Thanks Mal.
This reloading stuff is like splitting atoms. How did the Mountain Men do it all those years ago?

mboylan
April 1, 2010, 12:56 AM
Black powder is easy. Measure by volume. They only had 4 grades of power to worry about and all had low pressure. If we load a .30-06 case with TiteGroup we turn our rifles into hand grenades, action and all, seriously.

Mal H
April 1, 2010, 07:31 AM
This reloading stuff is like splitting atoms. How did the Mountain Men do it all those years ago?Well, actually I don't think Mountain Men did it first. I believe it was Otto Hahn in the late 1930's. ;)

pcwirepro
April 4, 2010, 10:31 AM
Happy Easter all,

I made it to the range yesterday and I'm happy to say that the accidental load provided a pleasant side effect. The 9mm I was building these for is a Kel-Tec PF9. For those of you not familiar with the firearm, it's a very light, short, slim polymer piece suited only for concealed carry. The piece is no joy to shoot, it stings your trigger finger on every pull. Anywho... the undercharged loads fired/cycled flawlessly with the added benefit of reduced recoil. I can't speak to the pressure or velocity as I lack the equipment to establish these numbers but they seemed fine for practice rounds. That said, I don't think I'll be using the Berry's 9mm HP with that long straight-sided profile again. Seating them short enough to chamber was a little spooky.

Thanks for all your input.

docsleepy
April 4, 2010, 08:03 PM
Since I use a Lee breechloader, my dies aren't on a turret and fit nicely in a multi-compartment plastic box intended for fishing lures. Have one for each caliber.

On the front, I tape a 3x5 card and write down my exact steps for reloading that caliber, and exact charge data, bullet seating data, etc. Then I just do it the same way every time.

Keeps dumb people like me from making really dumb mistakes when I finally get around to reloading a caliber I haven't done in a while.

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