Seasoned reloader with egg on his face


February 18, 2011, 06:31 PM
Hello again guys. Remember my recent post asking why I'm experiencing problems with 9mm 115 gr. XTPs using Longshot? Today I was searching for answers by every means possible when I discoverd what my problem was. All I can say is that I'm lucky I only have egg on my face and not pieces of the gun. I made a mistake that is going to haunt me for a long time. While my Son and I were shopping for bullets for the new 9er he bought we grabbed a box of 115 gr. Gold Dots and a box of 115 grain XTPs. Undeniably my fault, I grabbed a box of 147 grain XTPs and managed to not notice. I'm getting up there in years, but have been hand loading with great care and rspect for so many years that mistakes like this didn't seem possible. It goes without saying that no matter how much experience we have, it is always necessary to physically read every lable and double check each step of the process. I'm ashamed of myself because I'm so adament about paying attention to detail, yet I managed to make this potential deadly mistake. Maximum powder charge for the 147 grain XTP using Longshot is 4.7 grains, I loaded 5.8, well over a 20% error, and was complaining that I was only getting 1050 fps. This bullet weight has a maximum velocity of 1003 fps with any of the powders on Hogdon's listed data. Suprisingly this 5.8 grain load didn't go KB, but sure did exibit some maximum pressures just short of complete case separation.
So thanks to all that offered their help in my original post, but the problem was all pilot error, usually is.

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February 18, 2011, 06:37 PM
Glad you discovered the root issue and that it ended well! :)

This is a great reminder for us all!!

Be careful out there and mind your "p's and q's"!

TX expat
February 18, 2011, 06:42 PM
Wow... Glad you, nor anyone else, was hurt over the error! Thanks for posting about it, it should serve as a great example of how even experience isn't a substitute for attention to detail.

February 18, 2011, 06:53 PM
Yes it happens to the "best of Us." A close friend purchased some 223 Remington ammo at a Gun Show and his Son fired several rounds of it. The fired cases showed swelling at the back end and the primer pockets would just about fit 50MG primers.
We pulled five rounds and weighed the bullets and powder. All powder charges were right at 27 grains of what looked like H322 Hogden powder (compaison looked the same) and all the bullets were 55gr full metal jacketed. Looking up the reloading charts on all powders, I am guessing the charge was meant to be 22 grs. of powder and who ever reloaded the cases was five grains off on his powder scale. We pulled all the remaining rounds and put 22 grains of the powder in several shells with bullets and they fired just fine. Luckly no one was hurt during firing of the bad rounds. However, I am sure the guy that sold them will be found and talked to about the problem. Be Safe

February 18, 2011, 07:16 PM
Thanks for sharing that. What pistol were you using?

February 18, 2011, 07:27 PM
We all make mistakes and just be glad you escaped without any injuries.

February 18, 2011, 08:38 PM
Last summer I bought some FMJ bullets to load in 9mm. They were labeled at 115gr and I took them at face value and loaded some. Fortunately I noticed a BIG difference in the first one I fired and pulled the rest when I got home. Turns out that I bought 147's that had been labeled as 115's. Me and the gun were fine, but I always weigh my new bullets now...

February 18, 2011, 09:14 PM
A Taurus PT11 Ti, the titanium model. A very nice sub compact that has found a place in my list of favorite guns as of this error. I know better and and am always preaching safety first and formost, don't skip safe guards and procedures to prevent things like this from happening. I'm still in shock and pissed at myself. My Son, my own flesh and blood could have paid the price for my stupidity with his life. He has always known me to be the one to trust because of my excessively maticulous handloading practices. It has long been a practice of mine to read all lables on powders, bullets and primers several times, and then cross refrencing it with the listed data multiple times as well. I never have any other components but the ones I'm presently loading with on the bench. I can't think of anything I don't do to prevent mistakes, and it has paid off for so many years. But this mistake was taking for granted that I had bought 115 grain bullets, completely preventable if I had been using my God given brain and eyes, instead of my arrogance to do the reading of the label. I'm hoping this isn't a developing pattern given my age. I made another mistake a couple of weeks ago when I seated some 7mm rem. mag bullets .100" deeper than intended. I was seating just off the lands by about .005", so my error wasn't a critical one in that it only put my COAL about .015" deeper than recomended, but a mistake still. In that error I quickly realized what I had done because of safe guards I've put in place since starting this hobby nearly 3 decades ago.

February 19, 2011, 08:18 AM
Problem is ....that we are all humans...humans make mistakes ....other humans make mistakes and live to tell other humans about their mistakes... other don't... tell about them or live to tell about them... but we all are humans!

Jimmy K

February 19, 2011, 08:26 AM
Mistake yes.
But everyone walked away unharmed and safe.
And that's what really matters.

February 19, 2011, 08:28 AM
I am adding the lesson learned about weighing a bullet from the box to my reloading procedures.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 19, 2011, 08:51 AM
Fortunately, no one was injured.
The good thing you and I can take away from this is to TRIPLE-CHECK everything we are using as far as each component for any given load!

I actually read OUT LOUD, to myself the 'recipe' for the load I am about to start working with. I have caught myself already during this little conversation I am having with myself with the wrong primers, the wrong powder and the wrong bullet, not to mention the wrong dies!

I have been loading since around 1980 and I think only one time I needed to pull a bullet off one case as I had the scale setting wrong. I quickly realized it.

I try to check everything at least three times, and try to only have the components for a given load on my bench at one time. All powders are in an adjacent basement bathroom on several shelves which means I must walk about 20 feet to retreive the powder I need. All the while, I am mentioning out loud the name of the powder. When I bring it to the bench, I double and triple check again to be sure this is in fact the powder I am going to need, then check again the load I am about to load.

You can fortunately make some mistakes which won't harm anything, but then there are some which you absolutely cannot make without possibly losing fingers, a hand, eyesight hearing and part of a face, if not your life! Loading cartridges with bullets that are a tad lighter would work, heavier bullets are a problem as you are then increasing pressures. With certain powders, though, you can only decrease the powder by a certain amount and then unexpected things can start happening with pressure spikes.

I do a lot of carpentry work. I have learned over many years to be very methodical in my measuring, as they say "MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE!" The same goes for reloading! MEASURE THRICE, LOAD ONCE!

February 19, 2011, 08:51 AM
gamestalker, glad you are OK. As many posted, we are all humans capable of "errors/mistakes". It is absolutely understandable how "pissed" you are at yourself, but look at it this way. You sharing your experience may save other reloaders (seasoned or not) from injury in the future. ;)

I once mixed up two different powders and at the range when the first shot went BOOM instead of bang, I knew what I had done - It was a very humbling experience for me. Like many others, I now exercise the safety practice of keeping only one bottle of powder out on the bench.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 19, 2011, 08:56 AM
I try to pick times to use my reloading bench only when I am fully awake, nothing else is on my mind, there are no distractions (no radio, no music, no TV, no pets bothering me, my wife leaves me alone, I do not answer the phone for the most part, etc).

People who really know me call me anal.
I would rather be anal and still have all my faculties than be nonchalant about it but be missing four fingers, eyesight, etc!

Also, teaching others our mistakes (or anything for that matter) causes what it is we are teaching to become that much more ingrained in our thinking!

February 19, 2011, 11:00 AM
Wow. That's a significant overcharge. Must be a stout pistol...

February 19, 2011, 01:26 PM
Thanks for sharing & reminding us all that it1s that easy to do !!!!

Glad no 1 was hurt or worse !!!

I`m gettin there my self & I gotta admit to an almost mistake .

I use alot of CLAYS & I went to load some 38s , when I looked in the cases to confirm charges it was a glittery powder not dull looking like CLAYS is !!!

It was Tite group !!!!! I would have been over +p & I emtied the cases put it all up for the nite !!!

Whewww !!!!!

Maybe when we get in our zone we get a little too comfortable sometimes ????

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