Safety concerns


PDA






l3uster
August 8, 2010, 05:01 PM
So though lots of determination and overtime, I have the funds needed to start reloading. But being a good hubby, I talk it over with the wife :D

Her two points against it are 1) Time. Is it worth the x number of hours of my time for the cost savings? I can sidestep this one easily. 2) Safety. She's worried about the chances of me screwing something up during the process (double charge, seating the bullet too deep, etc) and blowing up my gun/hand/face. Legitimate concern, so I want to see what you guys have to say about it.

REALISTICALLY speaking, how "dangerous" can reloading be? I know it comes down to the individual and actually paying attention, but I just need something to put the wife's mind at ease. :cool:

If you enjoyed reading about "Safety concerns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Sunray
August 8, 2010, 05:10 PM
"...how "dangerous" can reloading be?..." Completely safe. So safe the insurance companies don't care.
"...the cost savings..." More about using better ammo than saving money, but you can expect to cut your ammo cost in half. Depending on what bullet you use.
"...something to put the wife's mind at ease..." Reload with her. If she's doing it, she'll see how safe it is.

jcwit
August 8, 2010, 05:15 PM
Realistically speaking if this or any hobby was extremely dangerous the lawyers would be all over it and more than likely in the case of reloading and firearms would have shut it down long ago. Can you hurt yourself? Yes. Can you trip walking across your back yard and break your arm falling? Yup! Life is full of uncertainties, and with a little luck and Gods Grace most of us make it.

rcmodel
August 8, 2010, 05:15 PM
Is it worth the x number of hours of my time for the cost savings?IMO: No.
You could get a second job at McDonalds, buy factory ammo with the money, and come out ahead.

Handloading needs to be a hobby, and one that you enjoy doing just for the Halibut.

If you go into it only to save money, it will become a second job, and one you won't enjoy doing very long.

rc

bds
August 8, 2010, 05:53 PM
When I met my wife, I was already match shooting factory ammunition and just starting out reloading.

After 15+ years later, she now "encourages" me to reload and go to the range to "generate more empty cases to reload" because she states she can see that it is "relaxing" for me. Of course, she doesn't mind shooting my reloads either. :D

I break up the reloading process steps so they are done when it does not conflict with other family activities:

- I sort cases with my daughter who now does a better job faster and she helps me deprime/resize the cases on the single stage press
- The sorted cases get tumbled in the garage for 30 minutes to 1 hour while I do something else so no time is wasted
- I resize/hand prime while watching TV in the living room during week nights so I am not "away" from the family (resizing is done on a small portable reloading bench)
- I usually get up early (around 5 AM) on Saturday mornings to load several thousand rounds on the progressive before breakfast and go to the range as a family if it is a range day
- Don't slack off on other household chores/duties/yard work and she won't have the grounds to complain (make sure HER car is always washed and waxed first ;))

1) Time. Is it worth the x number of hours of my time for the cost savings?
Yes. 9mm can be reloaded for around $6-$8 per 50 rounds and 40/45ACP can be reloaded for around $8-$15 per 50 rounds depending on bullet type (jacketed/plated/lead) IF you are careful in planning your component purchase and buy in bulk (max weight USPS boxes of bullets to save on shipping, 8lb jugs of powder and 5000 case boxes of primers from Powder Valley to save on HazMat fee).

2) Safety. She's worried about the chances of me screwing something up during the process (double charge, seating the bullet too deep, etc) and blowing up my gun/hand/face.
The best way to ease her heart is by demonstrating you are adhering to strict safety principles outlined in various reloading manuals. My wife knows I have my safety checks committed to memory, but you could print out a safety checklist found in all the reloading manuals and post it right in front of your reloading press and absolutely follow them (like the pre-flight checklist for pilots). If she sees that you are serious about learning the proper safety principles of reloading by READING the reloading manuals first and have a clear and organized checklist to follow/adhere to, she'll be more supporting of your hobby.

EddieNFL
August 8, 2010, 06:15 PM
I know far more people injured or killed in auto crashes than from reloading mistakes.

rcmodel
August 8, 2010, 06:19 PM
I knew two people killed by lightening.
I don't know anyone ever killed by reloading, or even injured seriously.

It is possible to blow yourself up if you try hard enough I guess.
But you can do it much better with a can of lawn mower gas or a propane grill!

rc

l3uster
August 8, 2010, 06:24 PM
IMO: No.
You could get a second job at McDonalds, buy factory ammo with the money, and come out ahead.

Handloading needs to be a hobby, and one that you enjoy doing just for the Halibut.

If you go into it only to save money, it will become a second job, and one you won't enjoy doing very long.

rc

Shhh. She thinks it's just for saving money. I know what I'm getting into ;)


...The best way to ease her heart is by demonstrating you are adhering to strict safety principles outlined in various reloading manuals. My wife knows I have my safety checks committed to memory, but you could print out a safety checklist found in all the reloading manuals and post it right in front of your reloading press and absolutely follow them (like the pre-flight checklist for pilots). If she sees that you are serious about learning the proper safety principles of reloading by READING the reloading manuals first and have a clear and organized checklist to follow/adhere to, she'll be more supporting of your hobby.

Good idea!

Thanks so far everyone

Muttt
August 8, 2010, 06:28 PM
Well, somebody has to load the ammo. Who do you trust more? Somebody you don't know and will never meet, or yourself?? I am a new reloader. As long as you pay attention and follow the rules, you should be just fine. Make sure you FOLLOW THE RULES.

qajaq59
August 8, 2010, 06:29 PM
If you know the rules and follow them it is one of the safest hobbies you can find. I've been loading since the 60s and I've never double charged a round or had an accident of any kind while loading or shooting. And I'd bet that there are a whole lot of guys that have loaded just as long, or even longer then me, that haven't had any problems either. Just pay attention to what you're doing and do NOT keep a spare chair in your loading room for company.

THe Dove
August 8, 2010, 06:39 PM
Just tell her to stay away while you are reloading and all will be well......

She don't need to be distracting you amigo when you're cranking out the ammo....

The Dove

Jesse Heywood
August 8, 2010, 09:53 PM
The money saving part is a myth. You will probably spend more on reloading than you currently spend on ammo. But you do get to shoot far more.

Reloading can be safe or dangerous. It all depends on how good you are at following rules and sticking to the details. If you don't like following rules, you shouldn't be reloading. But you probably wouldn't have a wife to discus it with, either. :)

rfwobbly
August 8, 2010, 11:12 PM
l3uster -
Maybe I'm reading too deeply into this, but it sounds as if you're in your first 5 years of marriage. If so, allow me to tell you this...

In my first 5 years of marriage I took up the hobby of bike riding. At first it was only once a week, but in no time at all I was up to 3 times a week, which included all Saturday. And I was gone for longer and longer. Then the kids came and my wife said nothing, but I could tell things were not going right. I was up before the kids on Saturday, and came back in the afternoon too tired to play with them. For like 3 years my wife didn't know where I was or who I was with. All she knew was that I wore out bike tires really fast and came home drenched in sweat. It took a knee injury for me to see things more clearly.

With reloading you'll be around the house. She'll know where you are. When the kids come along you'll be there to help. And when they're older they make great "helpers". That "time with dad" is indispensable. In elementary grades they can help with the math and reading, sort of a home-school for practical application of things they are learning at school. It's really something the whole family can do.

Now my boys are in their 20's and moved out. Both shoot and 1 reloads. Those shared interests keep them coming around. Mostly to "borrow" primers, but what the hey, they come around! :D So think about the longer term effects of your choices. Think about "reloading" as being the part of shooting you can do on a rainy day. Think in terms of family now and future. Your wife will love you for it!

ScratchnDent
August 9, 2010, 04:26 AM
I did bang my head on the edge of the bench once, when I bent over to pick up a piece of brass I'd dropped.

:banghead::p

steve4102
August 9, 2010, 11:01 AM
Save Money? No Way. I have more money invested in reloading components and equipment than I ever imagined. My wife would **** if she knew how much $$ I had tied up in my mancave. But, We get to shoot a hell of a lot more than if I was buying factory ammo. So, what does this mean, not much cept handloading is more about shooting than saving money. If you like to shoot you will enjoy loading your own ammo, if you like to just save money on ammo you will not find it worthwhile for very long.

Safety, get a few good manuals and read them, when you are done read them again. Then let your wife read one or two, she will be able to see first hand how safe handloading can be if the rules are followed.

slowr1der
August 9, 2010, 02:00 PM
If you go into it only to save money, it will become a second job, and one you won't enjoy doing very long.I don't disagree with this. However, I will say that being able to save money and be able to shoot more accurate ammo were the main reasons I started reloading. After I tried it, I realized it's an enjoyable hobby. I had no idea that it would be as fun as it is. So some people may go into it just to save money and then end up enjoying it. Others may not enjoy it in which case you are exactly right.

IMO when it comes down to time, I'm not sure that I think it would be worth it if you don't enjoy it. Sure I reload ammo for $8.50 a box that would cost me $30 a box in factory loads with the same bullet. Plus my reloads are more accurate. However, you have to also figure it takes me several hours to do it on a single stage press. So if If I said I was going to charge my hours to myself at $10 an hour, I probably really wouldn't save much if any and $10 an hour isn't much at all. That being said, it's not something that I think of that way as it's something that's fun to do.

jcwit
August 9, 2010, 02:35 PM
I save loads of money reloading. I use primers I purchased years ago for $10 bucks a thousand, pull down powder than I got for $8 bucks at my door. For handgun, cast my own slugs, using free lead. I find I really don't need the $800 to $1200 latest reloading rig.

Regarding my cost per hour, most of my life I never made much money when I got home after work. I'm now retired, and can easily reload all I'll shoot in one evening that I'll shoot the following afternoon. I usually do not shoot over 500 to 800 in one session.

Hey guy, go for it, its safe, its ecomonical, its enjoyable, what more do you want.

Oyeboten
August 9, 2010, 03:20 PM
Far more people have been killed, seriously injured or emotionally damaged for life by marriage, than by re-loading errors.


( Lol...and true... )


But definitely, if it is somehting you two could do together, that would be ideal..!


As others have pointed out, the greatest advantage to loading your own, is to have Loading combinations taylored to specific Arms and intentions, which are either not available in the Market at all, or which would be very hard to find or expensive, if they were.

Cosmoline
August 9, 2010, 03:49 PM
Is it worth the x number of hours of my time for the cost savings?

If you're shooting a high volume of ammo OR if you're shooting a lot of unusual or unusually expensive rounds, it absolutely saves money. It's also been very helpful in the recent ammo crunch. And with prices for even standard ammo going through the roof, it becomes more and more economical to handload.

Of course you can eat up your savings by buying expensive equipment. I prefer to use a simple hand press which cost me all of $25.

It is as safe as you are.

Tilos
August 9, 2010, 04:21 PM
That gas can, in the garage for the lawn mower, is more dangerous than reloading stuff.

Arkansas Paul
August 9, 2010, 04:54 PM
Is it worth the x number of hours of my time for the cost savings?

Only you can decide that. I never quiet bought the idea that you should count your time spent loading when figuring the cost. It's a hobby. I don't get paid for fishing or playing golf, both of which I do every chance I get. In fact, they cost me money. Same with handloading. If you ever start to look at it that way, it's time to find a new hobby IMO.

As far as being safe, I've never had a mishap. I've double charged a pistol round and realized it as soon as it happened. You don't have to worry about double charging the rifle rounds as much because most powders fill the case enough where this is impossible. At least the ones I'm familiar with. (.308, .30-06, .7mm Rem Mag, .223)
Bottom line, if you follow the manual, you'll be fine. Don't go hotrodding loads above max and you'll do okay.

Otto
August 9, 2010, 05:24 PM
But being a good hubby, I talk it over with the wife :Dhttp://twistedhumor.info/images/stupid-kid-plays-with-fire-tags-electric-shock-metal-knife.jpg

Muttt
August 9, 2010, 07:19 PM
I did bang my head on the edge of the bench once, when I bent over to pick up a piece of brass I'd dropped.

:banghead::p
I did this exact same thing yesterday. Was decapping/sizing and dropped one. Bashed my head on the counter when I stood up.

THe Dove
August 9, 2010, 07:22 PM
Did you cry? I would have.

The Dove

ArchAngelCD
August 9, 2010, 07:30 PM
Most reloaders go through their entire life without a mishap, you can do the same if you pay attention to what you're doing and follow the safety rules.

I have never had a mistake I didn't catch before firing the ammo and if I continue to be careful I'll hopefully continue to have the same safe run...

James2
August 9, 2010, 11:22 PM
I have been loading since 1958. I have never had a mishap that caused any damage to shooter or gun. I think its a great hobby. Did I save any money? Probably not, but I got a heck of a lot of shooting for the buck.

Publius1688
August 9, 2010, 11:58 PM
I crushed my left index finger while de-priming. Almost lost the nail and got blood all over my press. That's as serious as it gets for my reloading injuries.
But seriously:
financial: you probably won't balance out with savings if you really get into reloading. Sure, you'll save boatloads making .45 ACP etc, but you'll spend it by shooting more, and getting interested in new calibers, guns, etc. For example: I'd never even held a .32 S&W Long handgun, but got interested in the cartridge, bought dies, brass, bullets, and had loaded rounds---all before I ever bought a pistol to shoot them.
safety: as others have said, if reloading was patently dangerous, the lawyers would be all over it, and insurance companies wouldn't allow the gear in a residential property. Sure, people hurt themselves (see my finger drama above). People hurt themselves playing tennis, too. If you are dedicated to safety, you will have no problems.
time: you'll spend a lot of time reloading. Heck, I'm in my shop every day, if I'm lucky. But---I'm home. Wifey knows where I am, and we have a futon where she can hang out and read while I'm working. Our daughter likes to 'help' me in the shop, and that's just awesome. Also, if you're reloading, you ain't drinking or getting into trouble. Heck, you're not even watching TV.
intangibles: most people in our society today don't make anything. They work in offices all day, and watch TV all night. They pay strangers to rotate their tires. Reloaders are by definition 'old school'. We use our hands and our wits in a fairly arcane pursuit: personal manufacture of ammunition. In my personal experience, reloading has given me more confidence to tackle other projects, and spurred interest in related fields: metallurgy, ballistics, smithing, etc.

In short, go for it. This is an awesome hobby.

docsleepy
August 10, 2010, 12:51 AM
are you reloading for pistol or for rifle, or both?

One of my concerns is putting pistol powder into a rifle casing (boom). To avoid that, I keep them separated and I deliver them differently. Rifle cartridges are always loaded from the rcbs chargemaster, into which ONLY goes rifle powder. Never pistol powder.

On my rifle casings, it is basically impossible to double charge (they won't hold it)

I load several pistol calibers on a cheap Lee turret. I don't need all the openings (it has 4) but I was able to get a cheap LED penlight to shine down through the empty one so I can SEE the charge on every case easily. that helps.

On 38special, the case is so large, and the charge is so small, that you might miss a generous charge. I made little paperclip depth checkers that made it easy to tell exactly how deep is the charge in the case.

I've been amazed at the accuracy of the Lee accudisk delivery system, at least with Win231 powder....they are right on the money every time for pistol charges at least.

My biggest remaining concern is forgetting to PUT powder in a case. A couple of times I have weighted an entire group to try and be sure I hadn't done that, or pulled several apart when I was concerned. With the rifles, I do them in a batch mode on a single stage press and I can easily check every single case at one time, but on the turret, your mind can wander. If the gun doesn't go BANG, be certain not to pull the trigger the second time until you figure out what went wrong! I saw a video of an AR15 that came apart when someone didn't follow that rule! He probably had a squib round, and a bullet stuck in the barrel. that has never happened to me. Every single round (of thousands) has gone perfectly.

Incidentally, it is pretty easy to test pistol loads and you'll find out that just about ANY powder in the case, and the bullet is going to clear the barrel! So as long as you put ANY in there, you're safe. I never load to reallky MAX levels, so I don't have to worry about being super accurate anyway.


Lee producdts are great, but get a digital scale from RCBS.

ArchAngelCD
August 10, 2010, 06:48 AM
It's almost impossible to double charge a .38 Special round when loading on a Lee turret press with the auto-index rod being used. I just don't understand the fear of double charging unless you're using a progressive press.

If you enjoyed reading about "Safety concerns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!