1911 kabooom


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chrt396
October 18, 2011, 02:15 PM
This always happens when I play hooky from work. It was kind of slow..so I took off early from work and decided to go to the club and do some shooting! All guns are clean...lots of ammo..plenty of targets...it's gonna be a great afternoon! :D I'll work my way up to the point in a minute.
I started reloading about 8 months ago. I started out with a RCBS Rock Cruncher single stage press. I have never had ANY issues with my work. I think I've had probably 3 or 4 light loads..but enough to operate the slide. I don't push maximums..and I don't knowingly do anything stupid. I attempt to err on the side of caution. I purchased a Dillon 550 B about 4 mos. ago. That's when the factory started. I reload now..just cuz' I'm bored and nothing is on TV. I probably have enough ammo to last for another 5months..and I shoot about 400 rounds a week. I have had no problems with anything except assuring that my 40 cal stuff is done correctly so I don't experience problems with my Glock.
I made 100 rounds of 45 acp self defense ammo using Hornady Hollow points when I first started out on this single stage press. The powder I used was Unique. I used a middle of the range charge and CCI primers and once fired brass. I was learning under the direction of a guy that works at a local reloader's shop. He sat with me while I loaded 100 rounds of .308 ammo. I learned a ton. When I put together this 45 ammo..I set the crimping/seating die up in one step. I don't do that any more..but I did then. When I was done, the loads would not chamber properly in my 1911. I went back to him and he said to set the crimp a little tighter to eliminate the flare in the mouth. I did it..and it worked. I have fired off the first 50 of these loads without incident. I had a full 8 round magazine of these loads in my range bag, so I decided to fire them off for giggles. I normally don't shoot with them..but in this case..this day...I did.
I'm on the line...I shoot the 1st 6 rounds. All is good. The 7th round...KABOOooM!!! :what: I could feel the explosion in my hand, and I felt something hitting me in the face..but it didn't really hurt all that bad...kinda like when your next to someone firing a revolver and you feel the crap coming out of the side of his gun on a crappy load. Anyway..the explosion shocked me a bit and I knew something was seriously wrong. I placed the gun on the bench. I felt something on my face..like sweat or something. Nope...it was blood..and a lot of it!! I picked up the gun sock that I use to cover my pistols when not in use and by the time I stopped bleeding and could get to a bandage, that gray sock was ALL burgandy! You could actually see streaks of what looked like sweat all up and down the front of my black shirt. Nope..no sweat..that was blood as well. I hustle over to the bathroom..bleeding all over and finally with the help of some cold water got the bleeding to come to a light dribble. Slow enough to at least get a bandage on before the area got covered with blood.
OK..enough details about the gory parts. Now..lets go see what the gun looks like! I was using my Les Baer 1911 witha Wilson Combat 8 rd. mag. The magazine was still in the gun, but the base plate...spring and follower was missing. They retrieved the mangled spring about 20 feet away and the metal base plate about 10 ft away. The 8th round was jammed in the bottom of the mag. I thought for sure that my
most expensive pistol was toast at this point. I nervously kept shooting with my other guns for the next 3 hours. My accuracy sucked..cuz' I was apprehensive and gun shy. :eek:
I get home that night and after I appealed to my wife for sympathy and didn't get any..I proceeded to the garage to try and break down my Les B. 15 minutes later..I retrieved the casing that was still jammed in the barrel. I put the pistol back together..cycled it..and all seemed well! Just a magazine blow out! The casing that was stuck in the barrel was toast. The bottom..just above the extractor lip was blown out.
OK..that's the story. The question is....WHY? The case wasn't worn out. It was once fired brass. It was not double charged...I know..cuz' I was watching that VERY carefully when I started reloading. The bullet was seated at a measurement within the specs of the Hornandy reloading manual. The pistol used was a Les Baer 45 acp with a supported chamber. :confused:
Here are some pictures to gander at. My thoughts are that it fired while it was not in full battery..but I may be wrong. Especially on a 1911.

Crappy photo...Iphone with bad lighting! Hopefully you can see enough detail.

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chrt396
October 18, 2011, 02:17 PM
...and three days later...a black eye!!!! :cuss:

rcmodel
October 18, 2011, 02:24 PM
Hornady Hollow points, Unique. I used a middle of the range charge
Care to share bullet weight and powder charge info?

As to Why?
I think I've had probably 3 or 4 light loads..
Where did the extra powder from the light loads end up going??
It would be my guess some of it went in the case that blew.

Hope you have learned that 3 or 4 light loads is not at all acceptable in reloading.
If one is too light, the next one could very likely be too heavy.

rc

chrt396
October 18, 2011, 02:31 PM
I don't have that right in front of me..but I will get that to you when I get home. It was a moderate load. The few light powder charges were minimal at best..not bad ones, and that has been over the course of 100's of rounds. But I do understand what you are saying. What doesn't go in this case..goes in to that case! I'll get the details for you later today.

MtnCreek
October 18, 2011, 02:49 PM
Could be fired out of battery, could be too much Unique. What kind of powder measure were you using?

Stopped the bleeding and went back to the line and shot for 3 hrs. That right there is dedication!

rsrocket1
October 18, 2011, 03:01 PM
Is it possible that one of the cases was too long, you crimped too much and the mouth slid beyond the chamber lip and got wedged into the rifling area?

Bridging is always a possibility, but if you were loading mid range (4-5 grains), even 6 grains ought to still be safe.

It looks like the case took the brunt of the pressure, but:
Did the bullet leave the barrel?
Are you sure the chamber isn't expanded?
You didn't "customize" or polish the feed ramp and barrel did you?

chrt396
October 18, 2011, 03:05 PM
Could be fired out of battery, could be too much Unique. What kind of powder measure were you using?

Stopped the bleeding and went back to the line and shot for 3 hrs. That right there is dedication!
Using a RCBS Uniflow Powder measure. I don't have the grains until I get home..but it was mid level.

chrt396
October 18, 2011, 03:07 PM
Is it possible that one of the cases was too long, you crimped too much and the mouth slid beyond the chamber lip and got wedged into the rifling area?

Bridging is always a possibility, but if you were loading mid range (4-5 grains), even 6 grains ought to still be safe.

It looks like the case took the brunt of the pressure, but:
Did the bullet leave the barrel?
Are you sure the chamber isn't expanded?
You didn't "customize" or polish the feed ramp and barrel did you?
Well...yes I did polish the feed ramp and chamber. Could that cause a problem? The bullet did leave the chamber and I have shot another 200 rounds with it two days after I had the kaboom. I was still apprehensive..but it shot OK. My accuracy on ALL my guns was off. I think I was just having a bad range day. To polish it..all I used was a felt tip on a Dremmel and some super fine polish from Lowes for polishing only..no cutting.

MtnCreek
October 18, 2011, 03:07 PM
You didn't "customize" or polish the feed ramp and barrel did you?

More info please. Love those dremil tools, but never thought polishing a ramp could hurt anything.
Thanks.

doorman
October 18, 2011, 03:20 PM
Well, the case just in front of the case head looks as thought there was to little support.
I have had my SA 1911 loaded not go completely into battery but the back of the slide always prevented the hammer from striking the firing pin.

Maybe I'm a chicken. But I've been loading since 2007 on a rock chucker and have been ok with moving at snails pace.

I would pull the bullets from that batch, if you still have them, and measure how much powder is behind those rounds.

mavracer
October 18, 2011, 03:26 PM
Common over pressure causes would be squib round on the previous shot causing barrel obstruction, inadequate neck tension causing a deep seated bullet in addition to a simple over charge.

chrt396
October 18, 2011, 03:29 PM
Well, the case just in front of the case head looks as thought there was to little support.
I have had my SA 1911 loaded not go completely into battery but the back of the slide always prevented the hammer from striking the firing pin.

Maybe I'm a chicken. But I've been loading since 2007 on a rock chucker and have been ok with moving at snails pace.

I would pull the bullets from that batch, if you still have them, and measure how much powder is behind those rounds.
I too had thought that there was no way the gun could fire if it was not in complete battery. I guess I was wrong!

Ridgerunner665
October 18, 2011, 03:36 PM
That sure looks like a double charge...or a bullet that got pushed deeper in the case upon feeding.

gamestalker
October 18, 2011, 03:43 PM
You can't really say for certain that it wasn't double charged with a powder that is easy to double charge with. I have heard that time after time with reloaders coming into the shop with KB's. Most claim they are absolutely sure they didn't double charge. Truth is, you'll never be able to eliminate the risk of a DC if your using fast powders. It has to spill all over your loading tray to guarentee it doesn't slip by.

I don't load on anything but a single stage, and even so, I have had a good number of powder spills all over my loading tray, because I did manage accidental double charges. If not for the slow burning powders I use, I'm certain I would have missed some over the last several decades.

It could have fired out of battery, and in fact that sounds to be the case here. But unless your are taking some step that won't allow DC's to ever slip by, you'll never be 100% sure it didn't happen and will be left guessing what caused the KB.

bds
October 18, 2011, 03:52 PM
This is a serious incident that warrants a more detailed root cause analysis.

Whenever I run into any problem while reloading or shooting, I STOP before I do anything else (it's kinda like preserving the crime scene so all evidence/data could be reviewed).

Without a full review, my guess would be a double charge. I would do a detailed review of every one of my reloading steps to prevent another incident.

cfullgraf
October 18, 2011, 04:02 PM
deleted

rcmodel
October 18, 2011, 04:09 PM
It could have fored out of battery A Les Baer 1911 would be one of the last guns in the world I would expect to be able to fire out of battery.

Course, it would be one of the last guns in the world I would expect to need a feed ramp polishing too!

Anyway, a 1911 just about can't fire out of battery, as a properly fitted slide & disconnecter unhooks the trigger from the sear unless the gun is fully closed & locked.

I agree with others that said it just about has to be an over-pressure event of some sort.
* Too much powder in one round?

* Loose bullet fit in the case and it telescoped during feeding?
(But even then, it would not cause a Kaboom unless you were already on the MAX bleeding foreskin with your loads.)

* Squib load stuck a bullet in front of that one. (Two 230's, or 460 grains of bullets would certainly blow a case!)

I'd carefully inspect all the cases from that gun, looking for guppy-belly swelling at the feed ramp location.

* If you find a bunch of them, your load is too hot, or your feed ramp is cut to far into the chamber.

* If you only find 3 or 4, your powder measuring procedure is very suspect.

rc

T Bran
October 18, 2011, 04:14 PM
I once thought that a double charge could not possibly happen to me. Then one day I was loading up some .223 cases with powder Varget I think its been a while. For some reason the powder would not flow down the funnel couldnt figure out why I was tapping and shaking to no avail. It finally dawned on me that I was trying to fill an already full case to say that I was shocked is an understatement. I have always been careful to choose a powder that fills well in excess of 50 percent of the case. That is the only thing that saved my butt and to this day if I dont have a powder on hand that meets this requirement I dont load anything period.
Since this little episode I also stopped batch loading with powder. As I charge each case a bullet gets seated while the case is still in my hand. Probably not necessary but it adds one more level of security. I visually inspect each charge as it is thrown and weigh at least every third or fourth. On small batches I scoop directly into the scale pan on my balance and trickle it up from there.
Im sorry to hear about your bad experience it could take some time to get confident again so slow down and reasess your procedures and choice of powders. I didnt even have a kaboom and it shook me up a little as you can tell from my list of procedures.
Stay Safe
Troy

sugarmaker
October 18, 2011, 04:27 PM
Do you use any other faster powders (Bullseye, etc...) in your measure? Could you have had some trapped in the metering chamber after swapping over? Possible you didn't get all of the bell out of a case causing an out of battery? Do you fill the entire block with powder and then visually eyeball the cases in the block 1 by 1 before proceeding to seating, or do you fill then seat each one? I prefer the 1st method as the MK1 eyeball is pretty sensitive to something being different. Do you use pick up range brass? Have any of the case heads been subjected to heating (like annealed too far down or been in a campfire or burn barrel?)

rcmodel
October 18, 2011, 04:34 PM
Possible you didn't get all of the bell out of a case causing an out of battery?Not possible, if it won't chamber and lock, a 1911 won't fire it.

rc

MutinousDoug
October 18, 2011, 04:48 PM
Assuming yours wasn't a double charge, I had a similar incident last year involving some VERY old Federal brass. I'm convinced my incident was not a result of an overcharge because I culled and downloaded some of the same head stamped loads, cut them in half, polished the cut and found a circular crack running from inside the bottom of the case to the extractor groove at the shortest distance between the two. If I had a magnifying camera I would include a photo of the cracks but it took a 10x loupe to see them ( there were several cases that showed evidence of this crack).
Looking inside the case you can see a (3/8") ring in the bottom of the case. That's the inside origin of the crack. In the picture of the blown out case, you can see where that crack goes from the case bottom to the extractor groove where the case is unsupported by the feed ramp.http://i56.tinypic.com/2vbx3zo.jpghttp://i52.tinypic.com/149mw6u.jpgi56.tinypic.com/fwooww.jpg

MutinousDoug
October 18, 2011, 04:55 PM
The third pic I attached didn't come up so I'm posting it here. It shows the difference in two Federal cases. The case on the left is an older Federal case that exhibits a sharper inside radius from the case wall to the case bottom. None of the cases I cut up with a profile such as seen on the right, with a larger corner radius showed any evidence of this crack. Now that I know what I'm looking for, I cull any cases that suggest a circular crack in the base. HTHhttp://i56.tinypic.com/fwodww.jpg

Otto
October 18, 2011, 05:03 PM
I nervously kept shooting with my other guns for the next 3 hours. My accuracy sucked..cuz' I was apprehensive and gun shy. :eek:
You had a KB and then continued to shoot your questionable reloads???
How long have you been reloading?

Jim Watson
October 18, 2011, 05:43 PM
Out of Battery is Bogus BS; 99%+ a coverup for operator screwup.
Evidence in this case - centered firing pin strike.

I suspect severe overload, bullet setback, or Bubbasmithing that destroyed the barrel ramp.

gamestalker
October 18, 2011, 05:47 PM
To speculate at this point what caused it is not going to identify the culprit. What I would do at this point in time is lay down some ground rules, some absolute have to do's when you load. Steps to prevent squibs, double charges, wrong data, wrong powder is something every reloader must implement, or eventually the odds are going to catch up to you. Getting complacient, over confident, or down right careless with this hobby is a deadly gamble.

I'll tell ya what I don't think caused it, the gun, the brass, bullets, or powder. In my experience the most likely cause is human error.

I'm glad to hear you still have both hands and eyes, but the fact that you continued shooting following such a critical failure, is shocking.

tx_pistolero
October 18, 2011, 05:59 PM
You had a KB and then continued to shoot your questionable reloads???
How long have you been reloading?
That's what i was thinking. I would NEVER have gone on shooting reloads if that occurred, and probably would have quit for the day either way. I feel like when something that potentially deadly happens, you should stop and re-examine your procedures.

T Bran
October 18, 2011, 07:23 PM
This is also a good reason not to load up big batches of bullets. If you have a problem there will be lots of hammer time. I only load enough for a couple trips to the range and even less hunting ammo. A box of 50 would last me an awful long time in the woods.
T

chhodge69
October 18, 2011, 08:17 PM
I nervously kept shooting with my other guns for the next 3 hours.

streaks of what looked like sweat all up and down the front of my black shirt. Nope..no sweat..that was blood

that must have been a sight to see... you're a bada$$ man.

Master Blaster
October 18, 2011, 08:42 PM
It was not double charged

It was, use a more case filling powder or a light over the seating station, Its easy to double charge a round on a 550 if you are not paying attention and forget to advance the shell plate.

mavracer
October 18, 2011, 09:05 PM
use a more case filling powder
He's using unique I'm not sure how much more filling he can get.
I just filled a case to double check a unsized case held 12.8 gr filled to the rim. I would think any double charge would be very noticable. I'm betting a squib on the prior round.

Master Blaster
October 18, 2011, 09:37 PM
He was probably using a light unique load which did not overflow the case. If it was a squibb on the prior round and it pushed the pressure to that point, it would have bulged the barrel in a 1911 most likely. But we are speculating as he didn't tell us what the charge weight was. My guess it was about 4 to 4.5 grains, not enough to overflow the case on a double. You guess is that he was using a max load of unique which would have overflowed the case if he double charged it.

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 12:29 AM
I'm not sure why continuing to shoot is bad! I had 1 magazine of the suspect ammo and I fired 6 of the 8 in the magazine. Do you honestly think I should stop shooting ANY of my ammo just because of one possible error? I've shot thousands of my loads and this is the first and only problem. I have 50 rounds of the ammo that is from the group I reloaded that blew. THAT group is set aside not to be used. It will be dismantled and thrown away or destroyed. Some of you veteran reloaders elude to the possibility of me to stop shooting just because of a situation that was isolated? I'm not a sloppy reloader! Give me a little credit here. I had a problem and am looking for advice..not a criticism of my abilities. Geez!

I know it only takes one to screw up a day..but guys..this can happen with factory ammo as well! I may be a few thousand dollars richer by having their ammo blow up, but it's still the same. I loaded these rounds with a Rock Cruncher and was very aware of my powder drop. I always go in order on loading the block and I have a very bright light over the measure so that I can see as I drop. Caa Caa happens though and no matter how careful I am. I really did not know what could cause this failure.

I was asked what load I was using. It was a Hornady 230g JHP with 5.6g of Unique and a CCI LP primer. OCL was 1.230. I got the load data from the first reloading manual I bought which was Hornady's 5th edition. It lists 5.4g at 750fps and 5.8g at 800 fps. I chose 5.6g. Max load was 6.1g The load was safe. I suppose there are several ways that this could have happened...not all are necessarily my fault. I'm not rejecting the possibility of error...just trying to hear and learn the variables...NOT to get ripped for stupidity. I label all my reloads on the front of the box with a stick on tag from P-label machines. I type the following..

Hndy 230g JHP 5.6g Unqe CCI LP 1.230 OCL

With this label..I have reference to all my loads and what is in the box. I'm pretty darned organized with this stuff..and I am careful..especially with the powder.

But to those who offered constructive advice...thank you! To the others..BIOOYA

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 12:36 AM
...

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 12:45 AM
That's what i was thinking. I would NEVER have gone on shooting reloads if that occurred, and probably would have quit for the day either way. I feel like when something that potentially deadly happens, you should stop and re-examine your procedures.
I have been reloading for about 10 months. I have spent hours upon hours researching and trying to learn as much as I can about the hobby. Yes...I continued to shoot. Not with the bad ammo..and I sure as hell wasn't going to stop shooting different ammo just because of an accident! I had 10 guns with me. With one down, I had 9 to go. I would be totally impressed with the guy that NEVER had a failure of ANY kind while reloading.

I spoke with a business in the Tampa Bay area that reloads for many in my area. He felt that somehow..it fired out of total battery and stated that it is possible. Not probable...but possible. I guess it could also be the brass. It was Winchester brass..and it very well could have been white box brass. I am told this day that WB brass is VERY thin and could have ruptured very easily. There is another possibility that was suggested. Why does it ALWAYS have to be stupidity and error. Not sayin' it ain't..but!

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 12:47 AM
You had a KB and then continued to shoot your questionable reloads???
How long have you been reloading?
10 mos. Yes I continued shooting! No..they were not the same loads! Will you now extract your comment?

Otto
October 19, 2011, 12:56 AM
This is what you posted in July...
I have an RCBS powder measure that is either defective..or I'm horribly dense.
I'm thinking it's the latter...does that answer your question?

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 01:04 AM
This is what you posted in July...

I'm thinking it's the latter...does that answer your question?
You are such a sweet guy! Such a inspiration to all of us! Thanks for the constructive criticism. It would be nice to look at the entire post that day. I was getting variances..not enough to overcharge a round. I was looking for helpful hints on how to get consistency from the RCBS powder measure. Otto...save the personal attacks for someone else. I'm looking for helpful hints, help and advice. I learn from this forum. All your comments are doing are antagonizing.

GW Staar
October 19, 2011, 02:02 AM
It was, use a more case filling powder or a light over the seating station, Its easy to double charge a round on a 550 if you are not paying attention and forget to advance the shell plate.

From the number of similar threads I've read in 5 gun forums over the years, I have to agree with Master Blaster. Many were from manual-advance 550 owners, and their experiences provided the swaying logic, for my choosing an auto-advance progressive RCBS Pro 2000 vs. the manual advance version of the same press. Nobody's perfect. Me for sure! I did not want a press I "could" forget to advance and double load. A powder check die would be a good thing. Sorry for your scare....you and your Baer are luckier than some. Glad you are ok!!:)

T Bran
October 19, 2011, 02:05 AM
I do not beleve that you should stop reloading nor do I beleve that you should stop using all of your previously loaded ammo. I do think that all of the remaining defence ammo from that batch of 50 should be broken down and all components weighed and inspected.
You are not being judged or slandered by all of us and if any of my posts offended you sorry. It is not just about you as many new reloaders read and learn here. I for one respect the fact that you posted this as it is an opportunity for all of us to learn something.You should note that I almost made a stupid mistake and was only saved by something that I read about here in the past. Use large volumes of slow powders.
My recomendation is to review your loading procedures and put in place some additional precautions if you have any doubts.
I too am amazed that you kept shooting because after that I would have just gone home to hibernate for a while.
When you get a chance to break down the remaining cartridges from the bad batch. It might be a good idea to weigh the bullets as well as the powder. I read a recent thread here somewhere recently that several bullets in a box were 20 or 30 grains heavier than the box was labeled while the rest were of the correct weight. Im not saying that it happens often but if a couple were mixed in not only would they be to heavy for the charge of powder they would also increase pressures by decreasing the case volume. Since reading this I now weigh all bullets before loading. Before that I only weighed one from the box to verify.
Stay safe.
T

bds
October 19, 2011, 02:29 AM
This is a serious incident that warrants a more detailed root cause analysis.

Whenever I run into any problem while reloading or shooting, I STOP before I do anything else.

Without a full review, my guess would be a double charge. I would do a detailed review of every one of my reloading steps to prevent another incident.
So to OP, my question would be, "Will this happen AGAIN in the future?"

What have you done to ensure that this doesn't happen again? Have you reviewed each and every one of your reloading steps and identified problem areas? Do you have QC steps factored into your reloading steps?

I have seen too many KBs at ranges with injuries. And these were PREVENTABLE incidents attributed to improper reloading practices.

Gamer
October 19, 2011, 03:31 AM
Kudos to you for sharing your experience and I'm glad a single mistake didn't cause you more harm than it did. I for one, took some mental notes from your experience and the discussion following to apply to my own new found hobby.

rsrocket1
October 19, 2011, 08:30 AM
I also use lots of Unique in my loads and a double charge of 5.6 grains would definitely be noticeable if it doesn't spill all over the place. Even if it were a bridged/overcharge of 7 grains, that would put the powder up to the level of a seated bullet (100% uncompressed charge). It would be very noticeable and if fired, would generate about 28,000 psi.

The 45 ACP is rated at 21,000 psi and if the case were fully in battery and supported would probably be able to handle it. Most modern pistols of other calibers can handle 35,000 psi, although you don't want to make a practice of shooting at those pressures.

As a precautionary measure, I would pull the rest of the defense rounds, try to measure out the powder from each pull (you would obviously be able to notice a dangerously overcharged case), measure the case lengths and take a bright light and inspect the inside of each case for wear even though they were claimed to be "once fired brass" unless you were the one who "once fired" them.

If they all appeared good, you might want to take a good look at that pistol because if you loaded all rounds exactly the same and the rest look fine, you may experience the same thing again.

Did you pick up the previously fired brass before the kaboom? Did you inspect those cases for stress? More things to consider.

Reread your OP, it sound like you have less than 42 rounds to pull if you decide to do so. That ought to be easy.

MtnCreek
October 19, 2011, 09:33 AM
chrt396,

Anybody that posts blowing up a gun is going to catch some crap, no way around it. Iíve loaded a couple of cartridges with no powder, so itís safe to say I could have loaded one with a double charge just as easily. When I first started loading I was still trying to figure out my rhythm and learning the nuts and bolts of loading at the same time. Once I figured out the procedure that worked for me, I stuck with it and IMO, that repetitive procedure has made me safer. I like putting things on paper; it keeps me honest with myself. It may be a worthwhile effort to put your loading procedure on paper, try it out and revise as needed. bds posted a thread not long ago with some pretty good info in it; thereís probable similar threads floating around if you look. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=603357

Thereís a lot of guys here with a ton more reloading experience than me, so Iím not going to suggest I know what happened in your case, but Iím pretty sure that at least 99% of the people that damage a gun with a double charge are 100% sure they did not double charge; otherwise they wouldnít have shot it.

RC brought up that you had light loads and that you donít know where the balance of those charges went. Did the Unique bridge in your measure? Did you dump a double in one case and maybe nothing in another? If it were me, I think I would start weighing every drop of Unique until I was sure there were no issues with it.

Youíre catching some crap for continuing to shot, but your explanation of why you felt it was safe to do so makes since to me (not that it matters what I or anybody else thinks). Iíve seen a few people blow up guns and the typical response is they stand there shocked for a minute and when they do start to talk itís like the blast deleted about 20 IQ points from their brain. ĎMan, I donít know what just happened man.í They shove most of their gear into their bag and do the walk of shame off the line. But You Sir, you stopped the bleeding and went back to shooting! You need to be on one of those Budlight commercials!

TonyT
October 19, 2011, 10:34 AM
Since the gun functioned normally after the incident I do not believe it could not have been caused by a bullet from the previous round stuck in the barrel. A stuck bullet probably would have resulted in a bulged barrel and would have made it virtually impossible to operate the slide. I have had two friends who bulged barrels on their 1911's. In both cases they had a squibb with a lead bullet loaded at relatively low velocity. In both cases they could not open the slide and had to have the barrel replaced by the local smith.

john16443
October 19, 2011, 11:33 AM
I suspect severe overload, bullet setback, or Bubbasmithing that destroyed the barrel ramp.

"Bubbasmithing", gotta love it;) Like they say, there isn't a problem that can't be made worse by using a Dremel.

GW Staar
October 19, 2011, 12:01 PM
"Bubbasmithing", gotta love it;) Like they say, there isn't a problem that can't be made worse by using a Dremel.

Reminds me of watching a football game at a bar with a dozen barstool quarterbacks...

Reread the post. A Dremel with only a felt polishing wheel, isn't going to do squat to change a feed ramp's cut. Give the man a break.

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 12:14 PM
Reminds me of watching a football game at a bar with a dozen barstool quarterbacks...

Reread the post. A Dremel with only a felt polishing wheel, isn't going to do squat to change a feed ramp's cut. Give the man a break.
Thank you! Thank you..Thank you!

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 12:15 PM
chrt396,

Anybody that posts blowing up a gun is going to catch some crap, no way around it. Iíve loaded a couple of cartridges with no powder, so itís safe to say I could have loaded one with a double charge just as easily. When I first started loading I was still trying to figure out my rhythm and learning the nuts and bolts of loading at the same time. Once I figured out the procedure that worked for me, I stuck with it and IMO, that repetitive procedure has made me safer. I like putting things on paper; it keeps me honest with myself. It may be a worthwhile effort to put your loading procedure on paper, try it out and revise as needed. bds posted a thread not long ago with some pretty good info in it; thereís probable similar threads floating around if you look. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=603357

Thereís a lot of guys here with a ton more reloading experience than me, so Iím not going to suggest I know what happened in your case, but Iím pretty sure that at least 99% of the people that damage a gun with a double charge are 100% sure they did not double charge; otherwise they wouldnít have shot it.

RC brought up that you had light loads and that you donít know where the balance of those charges went. Did the Unique bridge in your measure? Did you dump a double in one case and maybe nothing in another? If it were me, I think I would start weighing every drop of Unique until I was sure there were no issues with it.

Youíre catching some crap for continuing to shot, but your explanation of why you felt it was safe to do so makes since to me (not that it matters what I or anybody else thinks). Iíve seen a few people blow up guns and the typical response is they stand there shocked for a minute and when they do start to talk itís like the blast deleted about 20 IQ points from their brain. ĎMan, I donít know what just happened man.í They shove most of their gear into their bag and do the walk of shame off the line. But You Sir, you stopped the bleeding and went back to shooting! You need to be on one of those Budlight commercials!
Do ya think I could make some money doing one? Men of Bud Light!! Has a ring to it.

chrt396
October 19, 2011, 12:38 PM
I was thinking...the 100 loads I made, of which 46 are left...not including the blow up, were the first..I mean the first loads I ever made on my own. I was very careful to the double charge because that was hammered home by my tutor. I'm not saying I did or I did not, but I was sensitive to the issue. I never shot these as the bullets were hollow points and were not really designed for target practice. I may shoot the rest of these rounds and have no problems...but I'm surely not going to based on what happened. :uhoh:

If I have ever been suspect of an error, I have always set aside the possible problem ammo and put it in a disassembly area to get to later. I had a premonition one time where I may have made the powder charge too light and asked on this forum if it would be a problem. Some said it would be OK..and some said they would take them apart. I erred on the side of caution and disassembled the rounds. :cuss:

Since those first 100 rounds..I have loaded thousands of rounds and had zero problems. I have gotten some very accurate loads and have gotten 90 % of my info from THIS forum. I'm not a yahoo running wild. :neener: I just must have made a mistake. Then again..it could have been a weak case...it could have been a crappy crimp where when feeding jammed the bullet in and created a higher pressure...there may have been a possibility, (although I don't know how) that the 1911 fired out of battery...I just don't know! I just wanted to share my disaster with everyone and through my sharing, I gain great knowledge and something to carry on in my reloading career. I respect the danger of the hobby and want to be 100% perfect because being less than 100% could kill or injure me or others. :what: Thats why I respect the opinion of many of you all with your HELPFUL suggestions. Thanks again guys! :)

5thSFGroup
October 19, 2011, 04:36 PM
The only time I ever had a round do that was on a .223. It was absolutely my fault. I felt a couple of some what light rounds and then noticed a round that was definitely louder. The next round blew the casing. I disassembled all of the rounds loaded that day.

When I loaded those rounds, a friend of mine was standing next to me BSing. I am sure that I had a bridged load and failed to notice the powder level in the case.

When I load, since then, I use a small flashlight and actually view the powder level on all rounds before seating the bullets....every single time.

hardworlder
October 19, 2011, 09:06 PM
He clearly states he continued shooting with his OTHER GUNS.
Well, I hope he wasn't using the same gun lol :evil:

MutinousDoug
October 19, 2011, 10:27 PM
Regarding my post #22. I went downstairs and measured the offending case referred to and found it to have an overall length of .868". Of the cases I had not discarded prior to this discussion, I found 3 cases whose OAL was between .867 and .869 in my discard pile as a result of culling those with a crack-ring in the bottom of the case.
As stated in post #22 these were VERY old Federal cases that the headstamp could barely be read from use.
I suspect the problem in my case (no pun intended) was the extreme headspace resulting from overusing an otherwise normal looking case. (I shot a lot of conventional Bullseye for 8 years without ever measuring a .45 ACP case OAL for MINIMUM length.)
Good luck to everyone here looking for a demon, but there IS a realistic minimum case length that if ignored will ultimately result in a normal pressure case failure.
Of Course: YMMV

orionengnr
October 19, 2011, 10:46 PM
I have a .45acp case that looks a lot like yours. The "blown out" area looks a lot thinner, about the width of a hacksaw blade, and covers almost 180 degrees of the case (in fact that is exactly what it looks like). The difference may be due to whatever portion of the barrel is unsupported. It is not an old Federal case, it was a once-fired Winchester case.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that yours was a double charge as well.

I am about 99% certain that mine was due to a double charge. I did not have a squib before it, but the report of the roiund in question was significant. The mag was blown out of the mag well and rendered useless.

My incident occurred during my introduction to handloading (only about three years ago), and I was using a Dillon 450 at the time. I definitely experienced a few occasions where I had failures to prime, etc, that interrupted the smooth flow, and introduced the opportunity for a mistake (of whatever type). I used to try and re-do, (removing the charged case, manipulate the handle to get a primer seated, replace charged case, etc. I suspect this is what led to my problem.

I have modified my procedure such that whatever happens, I just advance the shell plate first and proceed. If no primer, I remove that case and continue. Regardless, I ensure that I will not pull the handle twice with the shell plate in the same position.

Regardless, I am happy that you were (relatively) uninjured and that your Les Baer was undamaged (as was my Kimber, which I carry to this day).

We all live and learn.

bds
October 19, 2011, 10:55 PM
I started reloading about 8 months ago. I started out with a RCBS Rock Cruncher single stage press ... I purchased a Dillon 550 B about 4 mos. ago.

I made 100 rounds of 45 acp self defense ammo using ... this single stage press.
So, the blown 45 round was loaded on the Rock Chucker?

The powder I used was Unique. I used a middle of the range charge and CCI primers and once fired brass. I'm on the line...I shoot the 1st 6 rounds. All is good. The 7th round...KABOOooM!!!
If single stage press was used to load this round, what process was used to add powder to the case?

Win1892
October 19, 2011, 11:21 PM
This thread is good for everyone. If you are a "good" handloader this thread will be read more than once. The insights offered via hundreds of years of reloading experience are invaluable.

My first batch of 9mm done on my Dillon 650 contained 2 squibs. Both made it into chambers and were fired, with no following shot. All is good.

I went back to the press and figured out the problem. I now use a very precise series of movements that are never varied.

I also bought a powder checker for the 3rd station and remain quite diligent keeping it adjusted.

I've since loaded over 70 thousand rounds with zero issues at the firing line.

Together, we all get better.

MutinousDoug
October 19, 2011, 11:32 PM
First of all, my gun is not a Les Baer, it's a Springfield 1911 customized only enough for me to shoot "Conventional Pistol" or "Bullseye" from 1985 to 1993 and I cannot say for sure that my "incident " was not an over charge. However I shot and reloaded approximately 120 round a week for 26 weeks for those 8+ years without incident.
Second: I can only introduce evidence that numerous similar cases loaded at the same time,and having been loaded approximately the same number of times, showed that same circular crack involved in the case that blew out, (A crack that is identical to the ones evidenced in an un-blown-out cases[that, unfortunately, I do not have the photographic equipment or prowess to demonstrate here]) fracturing my wooden grips and smacking my hand pretty good; enough that I packed up my gear and went home for that day to investigate the mishap and lick my wounds.
If it is of any interest to any one, the round that blew out in the pictures I showed, scored a 9 in the black at 25 yds. (Which was about average for me at the time.)
In any case, I'm discarding any cases less than .885 in length after sizing or that shows the stress ring I described when looking into the base of the case.

Good thread I might add,

Doug

tooltech
October 20, 2011, 12:40 AM
How were you priming at that time? A high primer could potentially cause an out of battery slam fire, with a case rupture similar to what you show.

If a high primer/slamfire is ruled out, I would have to blame an overcharge/setback issue.

john16443
October 20, 2011, 11:38 AM
Regarding my post #22. I went downstairs and measured the offending case referred to and found it to have an overall length of .868". Of the cases I had not discarded prior to this discussion, I found 3 cases whose OAL was between .867 and .869 in my discard pile as a result of culling those with a crack-ring in the bottom of the case.
As stated in post #22 these were VERY old Federal cases that the headstamp could barely be read from use.
I suspect the problem in my case (no pun intended) was the extreme headspace resulting from overusing an otherwise normal looking case. (I shot a lot of conventional Bullseye for 8 years without ever measuring a .45 ACP case OAL for MINIMUM length.)
Good luck to everyone here looking for a demon, but there IS a realistic minimum case length that if ignored will ultimately result in a normal pressure case failure.
Of Course: YMMV
MutinousDoug - you bring up a valid point in post #53. If I'm not mistaken, the SAAMI dimensional specs for the 45ACP are a maximum length of 0.898", with a corresponding MINIMUM length of 0.888". Your's that failed measured 0.868. Guess I'll be culling any short ones I find tonight.

sugarmaker
October 20, 2011, 03:44 PM
Sounds like it's all about procedure. 35 years I've been doing this, never a human error caused mishap (a couple of dud primers and some failure to ignite / hangfires during cold weather experiments).

Not that I'm any sage, but here's my single stage procedure:

Straight wall pistol:
Clean
size / deprime (using carbide)
clean pockets (if needed), inspect case for mouth cracks, shiny base rings
put on safety glasses (a slow learner but I do this now)
prime (hand tool or RCBS on press)
put primed cases in loading block 1
get loading block 2 out
expand case mouths, place expanded ones in loading block 2
read loading manual - never from memory, just habit
use charges that occupy more than 1/2 the case.
re-read powder container verify type
invert measure, work handle, stand measure up, work handle, make sure its totally empty (also do this when finished)
Dump in powder
Close container, place in its own location on bench. only 1 container at a time allowed on bench, in this spot.
Set up powder measure
throw 10 charges into cases (1 row)
throw 11th charge and weigh
inspect cases from top, stop eye at each case, look for anything different
Get bullets out. Only 1 open box on the bench at a time, in the loading spot.
Verify weight in loading manual
place 10 bullets in case mouths on charged 10 round row
pick round from tray, seat. listen for crunch if compressed.
pull finished round from shellholder, shake (if not compressed), feel for high primer
make sure label on ammo box is correct
place in ammo box base up - inspect primers for upside down etc.
do next 10 rounds...repeat until done.
If it's a long session and I leave - write powder type on paper, drop into measure. Place note on loading tray saying where things are.
Never, ever more than 1 container / type of powder out of the magazine at the same time
Sounds really time consuming but it's not - it's totally automatic.
No guests, no TV, no phone. After catching some errors (during the process - not shooting) early on i realized that I gotta do this alone.

Progressive - here's where it gets interesting. I'm so anal with my single stage that the progressive gives me the creeps - way less touchy-feely.

Deprime / swage if new mil brass
clean if commercial or already de-crimped mil
1 shot lube in ziploc bag. Apply liberally.
dump into feeder
Press sequence:
Collet neck size / deprime / case media out of primer pocket (no inside lube needed)
body size / trim / chamfer / outside deburr. Body size after prime pretty well eliminates possiblity of a high primer.
charge
Dillon powder check (set to be more sensitive to overcharge, about .7 grain worst case for 223). I'm under max by more than this (my max, not the loading manuals, usually mine ends up higher)
Double check with MK1 eyeball (I HAVE to see the powder)
seat bullet (still only 1 box out at a time)
Rounds go base up in box, check primers
Pause for powder and OAL check every 50 rounds or so
If i leave, powder type goes into measure and press gets cleared out. When i restart powder type is verified and I verify the load (powder, weight / bullet / caliber) from a manual, weigh first charge.

phew - longer than I thought it would be.

chrt396
October 20, 2011, 06:45 PM
So, the blown 45 round was loaded on the Rock Chucker?


If single stage press was used to load this round, what process was used to add powder to the case?
When I first started, I had a RCBS UniFlow measure. I had some problems with it at first getting consistant throws. It would show..ex: 5.4-5.7g. I was under the impression that it was supposed to be the same EVERY time. I started using different powders. wiping down with dryer sheets and a host of other ideas from this forum. It got much better. Then I bought the Dillon 550B abd the powder measure on that machine is extremely consistant. I hardly EVER use the UniFlow anymore. With my rifle loads, I use an RCBS Chargemaster Combo. That pretty much gets it exact. I use the Rock Chucker just to size & seat rifle bullets only! The Dillon..so far..has never let me down.

As far as process.... I resize all. Prime with a RCBS Bench primer machine, load up a charging block and after adjusting powder throw and weighing 10 rounds for consistancy..I start going one row at a time til' I've charged all cases. Seat bullet and crimp seperately. Label em' , pack em' and shoot em'!

MtnCreek
October 20, 2011, 06:56 PM
How accurate is your example? 0.3gr spread is good as long as you're not maxed out. I would assume the dillon measure throws a spread as large or larger.

If charging every case in the block before seating, visually check all charges in the block before seating. As long as you're using a mod to slow powder / cartridge, you will easily see a double.

243winxb
October 20, 2011, 07:09 PM
High pressure caused by bullet set back or excessive powder charge. Along with an unsupported chamber is my guess. :confused:

bds
October 20, 2011, 10:09 PM
Then I bought the Dillon 550B abd the powder measure on that machine is extremely consistant. I hardly EVER use the UniFlow anymore.
Still working on the root cause analysis. If the blown 45 case was loaded on the 550B, could it be possible that the manual index of the shell plate was not advanced and caused a double charge?

chrt396
October 21, 2011, 04:15 PM
Still working on the root cause analysis. If the blown 45 case was loaded on the 550B, could it be possible that the manual index of the shell plate was not advanced and caused a double charge?
Oh...I've done that before when the decapping pin held up from going through the case, so I would move the brass around a tad and pull the ram down again. We...the powder charger, even though I didn't bring the ram down all the way would charge the case. Then when I pulled it the 2nd time, it would double charge. I have caught ALL of these little nuisances. The one that went Kaboom was done on my RCBS single stage. There is a possibility..I guess that since I was using JHP..in a 1911...which can be picky..it night have hung up on the ramp or something and pushed the bullet in too far causing a pressure spike and possibly a fire out of battery. As I mentioned before..I was VERY aware of NOT double charging these rounds since it was my 1st group of loads..on my own. My eyes were wide open and at full attention when I began this hobby. NOTHING was taken lightly. But..as one of the guys said..no one that has fired a double charge ever believed that it was a double charge.

noylj
October 21, 2011, 08:07 PM
1) inspect the powder charge weight in the case before seating the bullet.
2) if progressive press, get an RCBS Lock-Out die
3) Check your rounds for bullet/case tension to eliminate bullet set-back

1911Tuner
October 22, 2011, 07:31 AM
Double charge.

If the gun was far enough out of battery to blow the whole case head with a normal charge, the barrel would have to be completely disengaged from the slide. The bottom of the firing pin stop wouldn't let the face of the hammer hit the firing pin.

A squib/bullet lodged won't blow a case, assuming that there is adequate head support to start with.

rsrocket1
October 22, 2011, 11:10 AM
OK, for all "double charge" advocates, this is what a double charge of 5.6 grains of Unique (11.2 g total) looks like in a 45 ACP case.
If you are loading this in a single stage press, do you think you would notice it?


http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/rsrocket1/45ACP_with_113_Unique_SM.jpg http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/rsrocket1/45ACP_with_113_Unique2_SM.jpg


This isn't aimed specifically at the previous post. I've just been reading so many "double charge" claims and wondered "what does a double charge of Unique really look like?". I use Unique and Red Dot in a lot of my pistol loads and chose it specifically because they are bulky powders that would fill up the case or cause a messy spill in the event of a double charge. I could believe that a this heavy of a charge could get by on a progressive press if the loader were not paying attention, but the OP said single stage. I would think that even a new loader would see this much powder in a case and say to himself "this isn't right".

1911Tuner
October 22, 2011, 12:54 PM
OK, for all "double charge" advocates, this is what a double charge of 5.6 grains of Unique looks like.

And not everybody uses bulky powders like Unique or Red Dot, especially in a progressive loader. Most prefer to go with a powder that meters better than those two. Dump a double charge of Bullseye or Accurate #3 in a .45 case and take a look.

snuffy
October 22, 2011, 01:50 PM
I've resisted the impulse to post this picture, at risk of making a long thread longer. BUT, chrt396 you're not the only one to have a case failure like that.

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/arrow/websize/P1030118_edited.JPG

That's what happens when you're working with a surplus powder that has little loading info for it. This powder is named NM-04, it came from an internet supply house that I won't name, it wasn't their fault. It's supposed to be loaded at similar levels to dupont/IMR PB or alliant green dot.

Apparently it is not a good powder for 45 acp. That was a STARTING load using PB as a guide. A buddy got 5# of it, used it in 9mm, he said it was "spikey". It's a great powder for heavy 12 gauge, and 1.0 oz 20 gauge, so it'll get used up. Pelleted granules, black in color, made in China. An over-run for some ammo company, somewhere. I suspect tit was for 12-20 gauge field loads.

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/arrow/websize/P1030121_edited.JPG

Fired in my Springfield Armory full size 45, it just locked up the barrel/slide, no damage to the mag or, (rubber), grips. Felt like they kinda "inflated" though. No damage to me either, just lucky I guess. Needless to say, I won't mess with that powder in metallic cartridges again!

243winxb
October 22, 2011, 02:07 PM
Another photo with info @ http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=506938 http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/45acp-1.jpg

rsrocket1
October 22, 2011, 03:01 PM
And not everybody uses bulky powders like Unique or Red Dot, especially in a progressive loader. Most prefer to go with a powder that meters better than those two. Dump a double charge of Bullseye or Accurate #3 in a .45 case and take a look.

Except that the OP stated that he was using Unique, then a bunch of posters claimed "double charge". He claimed 5.6g Unique on a single stage press. I'm aware that nice metering ball powders can be very dense but to try to get to the cause of this particular KB, I think that a double charge is not very likely.

1911Tuner
October 22, 2011, 03:15 PM
I never said that it wasn't Unique. I said that not everybody uses Unique, but I've also gotten distracted and forgotten to look into my cases after charging. I've double charged cases on a single-stage setup with a Little Dandy powder measure, but I've always caught it by looking into the case. None of us want to believe that we could do something like double-charge and not catch it...but it happens all the time.

Also very unlikely that bullet setback caused it. During the military trials, they deliberately deep-seated the bullets...if memory serves me...a full .050 inch, and the gun never burped. Cases were crushed with pliers, accomplishing the same pressure spike as deep-seating. No ka-blooey.

I've seen cases with huge guppy belly bulges from barrels having had the ramps cut so far into the chamber that half the case was unsupported...without bursting. The .45 ACP round doesn't operate at high enough pressure to blow a whole case head out like that.

A 1911 won't fire far enough out of battery to let a case head blow like this. The hammer can't hit the firing pin, even if the disconnect malfunctions. Even at .100 inch out, if it does manage to fire, the lugs are still partly engaged, and the barrel and slide can't separate unless there are serious problems with vertical upper lug engagement. It may damage the lugs, but the case won't rupture.

The .45 Super operates at about 75% above standard hardball pressure without doing anything like this.

That brings us back to a double charge.

bds
October 22, 2011, 03:19 PM
So, back to root cause analysis ... sorry, it's what I get paid to do as my job (investigating problems/allegations) and I am often curous until I get to the bottom of things. :D

I made 100 rounds of 45 acp self defense ammo using Hornady Hollow points when I first started out on this single stage press. The powder I used was Unique. I used a middle of the range charge and CCI primers and once fired brass.
Do we know for sure that the brass was "once fired"?

1. Let's assume a double charge did not occur. But the OP did post that he experienced "several" light charges or "variations" in powder drops with Unique.

2. With this basis, could the OP have experienced a heavier than anticipated charge of Unique in the blown 45 case, not enough to notice while loading on the single stage press?

Whatever the cause, looks like high enough chamber pressure resulted to cause case failure, and that doesn't require a double charge, just higher powder charge.

3. Also, do we know the condition of the brass of the blown case? If the brass was not once-fired, how many times has it been resized/reloaded and with what powder charge? If the case was weakened from repeated reloading/firing with high enough powder charge, (work hardening and thinning of case wall - brass only gets thinner with repeated firing, not thicker), it may not take much more powder charge increase to cause case wall failure. If we do not know the reloading history of the blown 45 case, this is plausible and should be taken into consideration. (It is for this reason why I toss overly bulged 40S&W cases that I cannot resize with regular sizing die - I am not willing to push my luck that far. ;)) Even if we consider that the brass was once-fired, could the case wall have been weakened enough on the first firing to contribute to case failure?

4. There's additional consideration for bullet setback that will increase the chamber pressure further.

Thoughts?

1911Tuner
October 22, 2011, 03:39 PM
It may not require a double charge, but it would require quite a bit more than a "little more" powder, assuming a reasonable amount of head support...even with .015 inch of bullet setback. This case didn't just burst. It blew almost half the web/head area away. That takes serious pressure. Remember that the old .45s were proofed at 25% above standard pressure, and the soft steels of the day didn't have nearly the strength of today's steels.

zombie44
October 23, 2011, 04:50 PM
Here's my single stage setup with a few mods and my routine that's worked out well for me so far:

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/9730/reload1b.jpg

http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/3021/reload2.jpg

After tumbling, depriming, resizing, trimming (if necessary), cleaning out the primer pockets and seating new primers, I :

1) bell the mouth of the case and charge it in one step

2) set the case aside into batches of 50 and weighing every 10th or 20th case or if the powder drop felt funny for some reason

3) once all is done I take a flashlight and eyeball every case for a consistent level of fill and weigh those that may seem off

4) change out my die to seat AND crimp the bullet at the same time.

I used to seat and crimp in seperate steps since my set of dies usually came with the 4th, Factory Crimp Die. But after perusing many threads over the controversy of the FCD die and whether post sizing the round is a good idea or not, I decided to try out seating & crimping in one step and it's given me good results so far with the thousand or so rounds I've reloaded (mostly .38 spcl and .44 Mag).

Super Sneaky Steve
October 23, 2011, 08:08 PM
I try to triple check my loads. I do it once after I charge the case. Once when my tray of 50 is full with my flashlight, then a thrid time right before I seat the bullet.

Most of us load in some dark basement or garage. Having really good overhead lighting is one of the best safties you can have. I moved all my stuff into the kitchen with flood lamps and it helped a lot, even though my girlfriend hates me now.

ArtP
October 23, 2011, 11:58 PM
Do ya think I could make some money doing one? Men of Bud Light!! Has a ring to it.


I think you'd do better as the Dos Equis man -

Surrounded by three bikini clad hotties:

he makes, his own ammunition...
his plinking rifle is a Kimber ultra-lite 50 BMG...
he doesn't need to conceal carry...
he shoots, 1/4" groups, free-hand at 50 yards...
following a shrapnel spraying KABOOM, he continues to shoot... (without flinching!)


He... is the most interesting man in the world!

"Stay Thirsty My Friends"

----------

Seriously, I won't pretend to know what happened. But these types of incidents cause me to re-evaluate how I load. I'm guilty of making batches that are too large. I'm guilty of accepting boxed bullets for what they are and not weighing/verifying. I'm guilty of making my practice rounds "full-house" as I want to imitate the feel of shooting actual self defense ammo.

Glad you and your pistol are okay! Stay thirsty (be safe!).

Jim Watson
October 24, 2011, 10:35 AM
The hole in the OP's case appears to extend higher up than Snuffy's, but that could be camera angle. Some measurements would be interesting. I am still wondering about that "polish" job on the ramp.

chrt396
October 24, 2011, 12:30 PM
Still working on the root cause analysis. If the blown 45 case was loaded on the 550B, could it be possible that the manual index of the shell plate was not advanced and caused a double charge?
The round in question was on mt RCBS single stage. It was one of the first 100 loaded...by myself...without a mentor there. I have a very hard time believing that it was a double charge..for THAT was the one thing that was driven home to me as far as safety. I checked evry round for depth and under a bright light. I went in order on the block..methodically and carefully. Now....I did change powders at one point from the first 50 to the next. There is a possibility, that I did NOT get the excess powder out of the hopper when I switched. I know with my Dillon powder drop, that I take it off...shake it side to side and all around to dislodge any powder left in the hopper. I did not do that with the RCBS powder throw. At this point..everything is speculation, but again, I am almost certain that it was not a double charge. I really will never know. I do know this however...with what happened...my eyes are like lasars on the case as it goes from belling to seating stage. I'm checking the ammo case by case...2 and three times. A bit time consuming..but I really don't feel like posting about another problem with a KABOOM again! :what:

chrt396
October 24, 2011, 12:31 PM
I think you'd do better as the Dos Equis man -

Surrounded by three bikini clad hotties:

he makes, his own ammunition...
his plinking rifle is a Kimber ultra-lite 50 BMG...
he doesn't need to conceal carry...
he shoots, 1/4" groups, free-hand at 50 yards...
following a shrapnel spraying KABOOM, he continues to shoot... (without flinching!)


He... is the most interesting man in the world!

"Stay Thirsty My Friends"

----------

Seriously, I won't pretend to know what happened. But these types of incidents cause me to re-evaluate how I load. I'm guilty of making batches that are too large. I'm guilty of accepting boxed bullets for what they are and not weighing/verifying. I'm guilty of making my practice rounds "full-house" as I want to imitate the feel of shooting actual self defense ammo.

Glad you and your pistol are okay! Stay thirsty (be safe!).
That was a good post!!

chrt396
October 24, 2011, 12:33 PM
I try to triple check my loads. I do it once after I charge the case. Once when my tray of 50 is full with my flashlight, then a thrid time right before I seat the bullet.

Most of us load in some dark basement or garage. Having really good overhead lighting is one of the best safties you can have. I moved all my stuff into the kitchen with flood lamps and it helped a lot, even though my girlfriend hates me now.
I think I'd rather have a round blow up in my face and lose an eye begore I riled up my wife!! She's only 5'1" but she can get a "tude".

chrt396
October 24, 2011, 12:46 PM
And not everybody uses bulky powders like Unique or Red Dot, especially in a progressive loader. Most prefer to go with a powder that meters better than those two. Dump a double charge of Bullseye or Accurate #3 in a .45 case and take a look.
I'm pretty sure that he was referring to my original post and subsequesnt ones where I stated that I was using Unique powder. He is correct. A double charge of Unique is almost obvious..even to the novice. Especially in the 45 case and as fluffy as Unique is.

SSN Vet
October 24, 2011, 05:37 PM
When I put together this 45 ammo..I set the crimping/seating die up in one step. I don't do that any more..but I did then. When I was done, the loads would not chamber properly in my 1911. I went back to him and he said to set the crimp a little tighter to eliminate the flare in the mouth. I did it..and it worked.

Is it possible that one of the cases was too long, you crimped too much and the mouth slid beyond the chamber lip and got wedged into the rifling area?

Me thinks here in lies clues....

Your reloads wouldn't chamber for a reason!

Either...

1. the case was too long
2. the bell was not completely removed when you crimped
3. your chamber is too tight for some of the thicker walled brass
4. your head space is short

After setting up your crimp die, it is very helpfull to caliper the O.D. at the neck to makes sure crimping operation removed all the belling.

If the case was too long for your pistols head space, and you put a major squeeze on it with the crimp die, the case could chamber by having the neck pass inside of the chamber step and jamming into the rifling leed. This can cause over pressure, as the bullet is potentially smushed at the top and fat at the bottom, and the case neck can't expand to let it pass. There is a cutaway illustration of this in Kunhausen's shop manuel.

I suggest investing in a set of go, no-go chamber guages.

Improper head space is a known source of overpressure and even Les Baar's capable crew is not beyond making a mistake.

Fishslayer
October 25, 2011, 02:52 AM
He's using unique I'm not sure how much more filling he can get.
I just filled a case to double check a unsized case held 12.8 gr filled to the rim. I would think any double charge would be very noticable. I'm betting a squib on the prior round.


This is even true with Bullseye. While a double won't spill out of the case, it's very noticeable if you're paying attention. My standard target load is 4.2gr of BE. Just for grins I dumped in 8.4gr one time. It is sore thumb obvious.

I sit on a bar stool at my bench & can see right down into the case.

As for the OP, I wonder if maybe they were borderline too long? One was just long enough to engage the lands enough to KB?

EDIT: I see the OP was loading Horny JHP @ OAL of 1.230". Are these XTP? They have a very pronounced shoulder. I use XTP bullets and load them similar to SWC, ie, seated to about .010" from case mouth to shoulder. I pulled out a box and mine are 1.200". Some I've loaded @ 1.210".

I would wonder if 1.230" would be long enough to stick the bullet in the lands and cause a pressure spike?

Did you plunk test the JHP rounds in your particular barrel?

dlm3
November 22, 2011, 01:41 AM
I'm a relatively new reloader, had built over 1000 rounds when my one and only (hopefully) "Oh Sh*t!" round blew out the bottom of the magazine in my 1911 pistol (there were no other rounds left). Made me glad I was wearing safety glasses and use Hogue rubber grips with their steel inserts on the sides...

I found the case at my feet and the primer six feet away over my right shoulder. There was a 1/4"x1/16" rectangular tear just where the case wall begins to thin above the head.

I load progressive, so this caused me to do a serious double take on my setup and procedures. At the time I was only loading 100 rounds in a session, so that batch was entirely suspect - and somewhat daunting.

I weighed every round, established a 'standard' weight (which isn't much of a standard since cases vary by as much as a few grains) and began sorting by 'light', 'standard', and 'heavy' rounds. All were Winchester head stamp. Any that were too heavy, or at the far end of my 'light' scale, I disassembled (forget impact pullers - get the RCBS bullet puller die so you get the powder back intact) and checked the weight of the load - none was more than a few tenths of a grain off.

I also thoroughly checked my powder measure for consistency - having run many rounds through it, I didn't worry much about powder hanging up on residual grease, but I have noticed over time that it occasionally will double-load a round if for some reason I have problems with the case in the sizing die (jamming up the press is a warning sign that something is amiss, so I will stop and look closely if I notice that sort of behavior).

I added an RCBS powder cop die, only to have it get chewed up many rounds later, then jam for reasons still unclear.

With the recent addition of a bullet feeder, and my use of a taper crimp die, all my stations are now full, so I rely on inspecting each round visually as it comes out of the powder measure. My shop is well lit, so I can see into each round with just a glance.

So long as my rhythm isn't disturbed by mechanical nuisances, this is effective - I've caught a potential squib since adding the feeder, though I have no idea why that would have happened. (I haven't shot that batch and may yet go through examining them all on the scale just to ease my mind)

I still make only 1 primer package worth of rounds at a time, bullet feeder not withstanding. I'm not yet up to keeping a notebook, but I'm considering it as my stock of completed rounds increases (each container is already dated and marked with the 'recipe' used on a label - I use oldest first)

And I haven't changed that recipe since the first 200 rounds were completed. Approximately 5 gr Win 231, HRN 230 FMJ FP, Win primer, Winchester case. (used white box mostly). I have a growing collection of Federal cases and will eventually clean those and make a few batches with them.

(earlier in this thread someone mentioned that the WWB cases are thinner than others? I've not measured case wall thickness for comparison, but I haven't noticed them being all different. That might account for the variations I've found in case weight, as some I pick up are definitely heavier than others.)

Oh, and the 1911 was totally unharmed by its misadventure. I took it to the local gunsmith for a thorough examination, and aside from an easily polished burr on the feed ramp, it was completely undamaged.

Anyone have any speculation what might have happened? I'd notice severe problems with COL, and Win 231 seems to be a fairly easy-to-load powder, so aside from the problems I have seen since with double-clutching the powder measure, I can't eliminate a double-load from the list of possibilities, but a squib seems unlikely since the gun was undamaged.

What boggles my mind is that the case ejected weakly and the primer went flying. How this can happen I would love to see an explanation for.

SlamFire1
November 22, 2011, 12:04 PM
Made me glad I was wearing safety glasses and use Hogue rubber grips with their steel inserts on the sides...


Grips that don't come apart when the case head blows will save your palms. You want all that gas to come down the magazine hole and away from you. If the grips break your hand is going to take a beating.

And always wear shooting glasses. They saved my eyes in my two Garand out of battery incidents. The lenses were all pitted from brass particles. Those could have been in my eyes.

One shooter, who had one of those National Ordnance M1903A3's fail, he posted that he has brass particles in his eyes and in direct sunlight, they hurt.

TGReaper
November 25, 2011, 11:08 PM
I have been fortunate, in 40 years of shooting 1911s I have not had an occurrence like the OP.
Having said this I have been involved in the search for the cause of one.
In that case we determined that the pistol did fire out of battery.( Before some of you tell me a 1911 can not fire out of battery,you are wrong it can)
In the above case it was a "slam fire" that was made possible by a piece of powder residue breaking loose in the firing pin channel and holding the pin out just long enough to detonate the cartridge being chambered.
Something else to think about, so now I clean my firing pin channels.
TGR

noylj
November 26, 2011, 01:23 AM
Don't care what pistol, if you are cleaning, clean the firing pin, f.p. spring, and the f.p. housing.
If I could, I would get titanium f.pins for all my 1911s along with the heavier Wolff f.p. spring.

Powderman
November 26, 2011, 02:19 AM
To the OP...I believe that I might be able to shed some light on the problem.

I noted the case head failure with interest. I read your post, and one thing jumped out at me--the part where you said that your rounds failed to chamber at first; and then, with a subsequent re-crimping were able to feed.

This sounds like you are using a ROLL CRIMP.

If you are using a taper crimp die, the crimp is ironed out; then the case neck is squeezed/swaged in to grip the sides of the bullet. The roll crimp is designed to be crimped into a groove or cannelure, or in some cases even over the forward radius of the ogive.

Here is what I believe happened...

Your rounds are possibly roll crimped--meaning that the only thing that is holding the bullet steady upon feeding is case-neck tension and the lip of the case being turned into the side of the bullet.

Upon feeding, the bullet was forced back further into the case.

When you said that you have shot Conventional Pistol (Bullseye), another piece of the puzzle was filled in.

What is the weight of your recoil spring? Nominal weight for a 1911 pistol is 16.5 pounds. I run an 18lb. spring with extra power magazine springs in my duty pistol. I also have an 18 lb. spring in my hardball gun.

My wadcutter gun (with a slide mounted Ultra-Dot) only has a 10 lb. spring, however.

The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when you said that your pistol was undamaged--that the bottom of the magazine blew out, and that was pretty much it--except for some gas and fragment damage to your face, possibly caused by ejecta roaring back from the ejection port.


To summarize--the bullet was probably pushed back into the case upon feeding. When you fired the round, the pistol simply UNLOCKED TOO FAST.

This caused the web of the case to come out of the chamber while pressure was still WAY TOO HIGH for the case to handle it. It then blew out the case head, and gave you a dose of high velocity gas and particles.

Solutions?

1. Make sure that you have a TAPER CRIMP DIE.
2. Measure your taper crimp at the case mouth. For the .45 ACP cartridge, it should be between .465 and .470.
3. Make sure that your expander ball is of a small enough diameter to ensure proper neck tension of the seated bullet.
4. When single-stage loading, I charge cases in a loading block, and then inspect the cases with a good light to ensure consistency of the powder level.
5. Either purchase and use a powder check die, or leave an open station in your press. If you don't have enough stations, sit in such a way that you can visually see the powder in the case before it is advanced to the next step.
6. Finally, use a spring of the proper weight in your pistol.

I hope that this helps, and that you have good luck with your reloading. Stay safe!

grubbylabs
November 26, 2011, 10:53 PM
Well if there is one thing I learned from reading this post, it is that people seem to have a problem with reading. I don't know how many people made a comment about the progressive press. He clearly stated in the OP that he loaded the rounds in question on a single stage.

I think people just jump to conclusion and speak before they pull their head out of there rear.

Powderman
November 26, 2011, 11:46 PM
I purchased a Dillon 550 B about 4 mos. ago. That's when the factory started.

And, the OP clearly stated the above in his first post, as well.

I believe that many of the people who responded--myself included--were attempting to note safe practices and precautions when using a progressive press as well as a single-stage press.

I think people just jump to conclusion and speak before they pull their head out of there rear.

That applies in both directions.

grubbylabs
November 27, 2011, 03:31 PM
I was referring to the fact that many accused him of double charging on his progressive. When in his OP he clearly states that he did this on his single stage.

People get in a hurry to tell someone where and how they screwed up before they read the whole story.

So I assert that if you are going to jump down someones throat you should pull your head out and read the whole story and not jump to conclusions.

john wall
November 28, 2011, 02:36 AM
My guess is, bullet setback. Pressures can dramatically spike when this happens. The 40 can DOUBLE its normal pressure with only a little setback. I know you are shooting a 45, but bullet setback can cause your problem.

As far as a long case? Most 1911 45 chambers are very deep, up to .920". Most all factory 1911 pistols headspace on the extractor. Put a primed empty in the gun and pop it. Measure the length of the hull AND the distance the primer protrudes. This is your chamber length.

My advice is to get a Lee Factory Crimp Die. When I commercially loaded, I made sure that the crimp would hold the bullet securely.

Take one of your rounds, put it in a shell holder, put it bullet down on the bench, and push, hard. If the bullet moves into the case, you know what to do.

BTW, a lot of factory fodder will fail this test. :cuss:

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