Don't be this guy.


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72coupe
January 30, 2012, 03:46 PM
I was at the range Saturday instructing the nieghbors kids in the mysteries of NRA High Power shooting when a man and his wife and his 2 sons and thier wives came. The elder was giving instructions on how to fire his new telescoped M4 style AR.

I am trying to get the kids into a sling supported sitting position when I hear a boom worthy of a 300 magnum. I look down to the end of the range where the M4gery instructor is and there is a flurry of activity down there. I walk down to see a brand new once fired rifle blown up.

One of the guys ask him what kind of ammo he was shooting and he says they were his very first handloads. My friend ask him what his load was and the M4 guy says 25.5 grains. I ask him 25.5 grains of what, he says Tite Group. I say you are lucky to be alive.

He goes on to say that he bought all the reloading stuff from a friend and that he consulted a loading manual and decided that 25.5 grains of powder was the correct charge and used the powder he had even though he could not find Tite Group in his manuel. He also said that he was loading a flake powder but my data says the Tite Group is a ball powder. Also I asked a friend to run this load through his NECO load program to get an estimate of pressure (303,000) and it says that 25.5 grains of Tite Group filled the case 126% full.

So I am thinking he didn't even know what powder he had.

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MtnCreek
January 30, 2012, 03:50 PM
Just think about it, this guy has already passed on his genes. Hello Darwin, I think you missed one!

CraigC
January 30, 2012, 03:56 PM
Wow!!! I really don't know what else to say.

crazy4milsurps
January 30, 2012, 04:03 PM
Geez, glad no one was hurt. Some people should not jump into reloading, I was taught by my pap at a young age of six. He explained what can happen if I screwed up a load. After watching and listening for a few months he stood back and said here is the recipe, load it up and you'll shoot them this afternoon. That is a fool proof way to teach awareness!

JohnM
January 30, 2012, 04:12 PM
Amazing. We seem to be reading about things like this more and more.
People with only a minimal understanding of fire arms take it on themselves to reload, totally clueless about the process.
What I'm afraid of is a detrimental effect on our sport.

Damon555
January 30, 2012, 04:34 PM
I suppose this happens every year about the time people start getting out with their Christmas presents. People flock to these boards around that time asking about the best rifle or the best loads or the best ammo. He obviously didn't ask the right person....or pay any attention to his reloading manuals.

HOOfan_1
January 30, 2012, 04:35 PM
When all else fails, read the manual

Or to us youngsters
RTFM

wanderinwalker
January 30, 2012, 04:45 PM
Well, I have to say, everybody survived at least. That's a good starting point.

As for hearing and reading about these things more an more, I suspect it is because the ever-rising price of ammo (and everything shooting-related) has driven more and more people to reload. And not everybody reloads because they enjoy reloading, unlike some members of Internet message boards. People do it because they feel it's reload or not shoot because of the cost. (Just my thoughts, not fact or gospel.)

Anyway, to my mind the shooting sports in general and reloading in particular are more apprentice-oriented, or should be. I know in the days of my grandfather and father, these things were taught to the youngsters by the older generations, thus passing along key knowledge, which is then passed down again. Sure, you can certainly learn by reading the books and asking online, but sometimes it is more helpful to have a mentor who can explain why some powders are only used in pistols, why you take certain precautions, etc, etc.

Of course, this is not just limited to the shooting sports. And I know many people learn things by reading the manual. But sometimes black and white copy doesn't substitute for a living, breathing person who has been there and done it and can explain why. And I understand society is moving away from the apprenticeship and toward having to use the book and following the instructions.

(Oh, and 72, good for you introducing more people to the madness of Highpower! :evil: )

72coupe
January 30, 2012, 04:54 PM
I told the guy there are no flake powders in America that are suitable for reloading rifle. He was astounded that no one had told him that.

I then let him shoot my Model 70 in 223 that was loaded with Red Dot and 55 grain cast bullets. He showed me the target he had shot. He shot 3 shots and the group was 1 inch at 100 yards.

The Model 70 is the one with the black stock.
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa170/72coupe/DSC00202.jpg

Damon555
January 30, 2012, 04:59 PM
Anyway, to my mind the shooting sports in general and reloading in particular are more apprentice-oriented, or should be. I know in the days of my grandfather and father, these things were taught to the youngsters by the older generations, thus passing along key knowledge, which is then passed down again. Sure, you can certainly learn by reading the books and asking online, but sometimes it is more helpful to have a mentor who can explain why some powders are only used in pistols, why you take certain precautions, etc, etc.

Very true.

I was lucky enough to have a friend who was taught by his father teach me. Having read several manuals I was still pretty lost. This was in the days before forums like this were popular. Watching it being done is by far the best way to learn....light bulbs were lighting up like you wouldn't believe as he went through it step by step for me.

1KPerDay
January 30, 2012, 05:09 PM
Wow.

HKGuns
January 30, 2012, 05:21 PM
At least he was able to speak afterward. Glad the kids weren't hurt. Although, you have to wonder if they'll ever be interested in shooting again.

DoubleTapDrew
January 30, 2012, 05:24 PM
Amazing. We seem to be reading about things like this more and more.
People with only a minimal understanding of fire arms take it on themselves to reload, totally clueless about the process.

I'm not surprised. For every "what is the best ammo for..." thread over half the responses are always people telling the person they need to start reloading.

Arkansas Paul
January 30, 2012, 05:25 PM
:what:

Tim the student
January 30, 2012, 05:29 PM
Holy smokes...

72coupe
January 30, 2012, 05:32 PM
I have seen 4 M16/AR15s blown up. 2 were from not dumping the rice paddy water out before firing. 1 was from a guy who fired a round with no powder and without checking for a bullet in the bore fired another round. Then this guy.

The common thing about these 4 incidents is no one was hurt. The AR 15 is kind to the shooter, even stupid ones.

Shadow 7D
January 30, 2012, 05:34 PM
Wow, I'm new, getting the stuff, and my concern is how light to load, as I was trying to make 3/4 oz reduced recoil buck for my 12ga, I ended up using 20ga data, understanding that the pressure is going to vary from the listed (probably by quite a bit)
it works, but is dirty, however I've read that Red Dot is, unless you get in it's sweet spot.

Overcharge is why I weighted every load once I put the shot cup in, when I start loading for my rifles, it's going to haunt me, not a bad thing I think.

Worst pics I ever saw when I was in the army, was from a double feed that managed to touch off the chambered round, hand damage and some face damage.

denton
January 30, 2012, 05:46 PM
He also said that he was loading a flake powder

Of course he was. Anything he uses is, by definition, a flake powder.

rcmodel
January 30, 2012, 05:54 PM
Unless it is extruded Stick type rifle powder.
Or Spherical (ball) type powder.
Or Cordite, that looks like uncooked spaghetti.
Or Black powder that is granulated.

rc

BCRider
January 30, 2012, 06:02 PM
There is so much information out there these days about everything that what this guy did is just unforgivable. Aside from various books on the topic of reloading there's numerous web sites that parrot the same lessons and cautions on the web. And there's any number of excellent videos on You Tube for those that need to see it being done.

Frankly if he can screw this sort of thing up with so many assumptions and "I know best" practices then he really shouldn't own firearms. I'm not even sure it's a good idea to trust him with the car keys he used to get to the range either.....

ns66
January 30, 2012, 06:20 PM
i don't understand much about reloading, practically the only thing get reused (so money saved) is the brass right? you need to buy new bullet/powder/primer, i mean is it worth so much trouble just to save/reuse brass a couple of more times? how much money saved? 20%?

1KPerDay
January 30, 2012, 06:24 PM
For common caliber handgun plinking rounds, powder and primer is around $.03/rd. bullet is between $.05 and $.15/rd depending on your choice (cheaper if you cast your own).

Depending on caliber, there is significant savings.

Rifle projectiles are expensive (for good ones) but there are deals out there. For plinking rounds you can save quite a bit. But it is a lot of work.

Handgun ammo is relatively easy to reload.


But you don't really save money. You just end up shooting more and spending all you have on components so you can fill up all your brass. :D

blarby
January 30, 2012, 06:29 PM
Or Cordite, that looks like uncooked spaghetti.

I miss having a use for cordite.

My dads smooth bore naval gun on the bow of his pleasure boat...he swore by it. I used to love to sneak it out and use it for youthful purposes.

Poor fella, mebbe you should have turned him on to THR :) A little late mebbe, but after some dutiful ribbing we could get him on the right track.

We might have a few sets of camps on how to get there, but none of them would have been his way :)

OkieGentleman
January 30, 2012, 06:36 PM
I had a friend a number of years ago got confused about some load data, he used .357 mag data to load his 38 Specials. I asked him if he had a bullet puller when he asked me about them. He had decided to call me about the 50 rounds he loaded rather than shoot them. When he said no to the bullet puller I told him to bury them deep so the could not be found by accident. He asked me if he could not just shoot them in his 38 rather than wasting 50 round of good brass. After I explained what could happen to the pistol and anyone holding it, he buried them deep in the back yard. Then I spent an hour on the phone explaining why a 38 Special is the father to the .357 Magnum. I have gotten to where when I am explaining calibers to someone, I tell them it is like labeling French Perfume, there is no rime or reason for some of the names.

72coupe
January 30, 2012, 06:57 PM
An engineer friend and fellow highpower shooter and joker suggested this method of load develpment for this fellow.

"If he backs off 10% and the rifle still blows up, he should continue to back off in 1 grain increments until the rifle no longer blows up. At this point, you can assume that a maximum load has been reached."

Krzyshng
January 30, 2012, 07:07 PM
That's crazy he made those assumptions and he's lucky nobody was hurt except his rifle.

Just fyi though Tight Group is a flake not ball powder. No experience using it in .223 but I use 4.5 grains for .40 SW.

Damon555
January 30, 2012, 08:05 PM
i don't understand much about reloading, practically the only thing get reused (so money saved) is the brass right? you need to buy new bullet/powder/primer, i mean is it worth so much trouble just to save/reuse brass a couple of more times? how much money saved? 20%?

I can load high quality 9mm for about 1/2 price of factory ammo...many folks who cast their own bullets can load for even less. For 45 ACP the savings is even greater, roughly 65%.

I do a lot of varmint hunting and there is a very substantial savings there too. If you buy top of the line factory ammo it's going to cost you upwards of $1 a round, probably more...I can load ammo with premium bullets for 25 cents a round.

Brass is the major expense but I've been using the same brass for years....well having 1000's of pieces for each caliber I shoot keeps the # of times each one gets loaded to a minimum but most brass can be loaded many, many times. If I do lose a case to a split or losing it in the grass I can usually find 2 or 3 more that someone else left lying around. My only exception is 38 Super, you don't find much of that lying around......

But to keep this on topic....some people just need to shoot factory ammo and nothing else.....it's far cheaper than paying for emergency room visits when you blow your guns up.

HOOfan_1
January 30, 2012, 08:52 PM
I do a lot of varmint hunting and there is a very substantial savings there too. If you buy top of the line factory ammo it's going to cost you upwards of $1 a round, probably more...I can load ammo with premium bullets for 25 cents a round.
.

roll my own .22-250.

This Core-Bon is selling for $29 for 20
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/553986/cor-bon-self-defense-ammunition-22-250-remington-55-grain-sierra-blitzking-polymer-tip-box-of-20

Buy all the same components and use the brass only once...and I can load it for $16 for 20...nearly half the price, use the brass at least 6 times and price goes down to $9 for 20 1/3 the cost.

figure it out using this
http://www.reloaderhub.com/calculator.cfm

Winchester Brass-$42 for 100
Sierra Blitz King Bullets-$22 for 100
H380 powder $22 a pound, using 39 grains per round (7000 grains per pound)
1000 CCI Large rifle primers $30

But I don't hand load for rifles to save money. I do it to tailor loads to my specific rifles.

7.62 Nato
January 30, 2012, 09:32 PM
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Glad everyone was okay.

35 Whelen
January 30, 2012, 09:49 PM
Well, I was SUPPOSED to be there with 72 Coupe, introducing a friend of mine to High Power, but the friend had a scheduling conflict. As such, I missed the excitement.

Some of you guys making remarks such as:

Just think about it, this guy has already passed on his genes. Hello Darwin, I think you missed one!

Frankly if he can screw this sort of thing up with so many assumptions and "I know best" practices then he really shouldn't own firearms.

...need to keep this in perspective. This guy, as blatantly careless and uninformed as he was, is nor more so than those of us who play with our cell phones while we drive, live in houses without smoke alarms, or don't carry life insurance for our spouses (just to name a few).

Sometimes we (especially us handloaders) are quick to jump on our soapboxes and pound our chests while deriding others for the mistakes they make, not realizing the mistakes we all make on a daily basis.


I think 72 Coupe did EXACTLY the right thing by allowing him to shoot one of his rifles. I'm sure the guy was humiliated in front of his family. And I'm sure if he chooses to continue reloading, he'll read a manual.

See you Saturday, Roy!

35W

FlyinBryan
January 30, 2012, 10:30 PM
titegroup looks like flakes to me.

it also looks very much like h335, in which 25 grains, while lively, would not have exploded his rifle.

Carl N. Brown
January 30, 2012, 10:49 PM
THE reason not to shoot someone else's reloads. Or share your own. I might pick up reloads abandoned at the burn box at the local range to pull the bullets, dump the powder and recycle the cases and projectiles.

Kosh75287
January 31, 2012, 12:48 PM
No flake powders suitable for reloading rifle cartridges? Think I may have to investimugate THAT one!

Jason_W
January 31, 2012, 01:05 PM
Handloading rule #1 should be "always stick to the recipe, exactly."

Just my opinion anyway.

Certaindeaf
January 31, 2012, 01:09 PM
Geez, I wonder if he fills up his auto gas tank with a garden hose.

henschman
January 31, 2012, 01:15 PM
Well, at least you didn't get around to teaching him to keep his elbow under the rifle before he did this! AR's usually blow most of the fragments out through the mag well when they have a kaboom.

d2wing
January 31, 2012, 07:28 PM
Don't use 20 gauge loads in your 12 gauge. Get the reloading manual for your powder and only use the components listed.

gpb
January 31, 2012, 08:42 PM
quote post #17
"Wow, I'm new, getting the stuff, and my concern is how light to load, as I was trying to make 3/4 oz reduced recoil buck for my 12ga, I ended up using 20ga data, understanding that the pressure is going to vary from the listed (probably by quite a bit)
it works, but is dirty, however I've read that Red Dot is, unless you get in it's sweet spot."

To add to d2wing's reply #37. He is absolutely correct get some real reputable loading data. It's not safe to guess with shotgun data. Bad things can happen quickly with no warning signs. Metallic cartridges will often give some pressure warnings. Shotguns typically don't until something lets go.

Shadow 7D
January 31, 2012, 08:53 PM
um, like I'd be worried, except I wasn't that far from the min 7/8th load AND
IT IS A POWDER PUFF LOAD
that means under pressure
15.5 and 16 grns of red dot under standard components (wait for it, the right ones listed in the light 12ga load)

rjrivero
January 31, 2012, 09:40 PM
It's unfortunate that he figgured out how to make a round that will chamber. There's a good warning in this story. Not EVERYONE should roll their own.

Walkalong
January 31, 2012, 09:41 PM
Under magnification, Tight Group appears to be a "flattened" ball powder. Many people mistake those for flake powder.

That was a catastrophic mistake that could have cost him his vision, appendages, or his life. He is very fortunate to escape unharmed.

He clearly did not read anything about powder selection before loading his rounds, and how he missed the meaning of the powders listed by the charge weights is beyond me.

sig220mw
January 31, 2012, 10:47 PM
People like that are just accidents looking for a place to happen. The really bad part is that when one of those sets up next to you at the range he's not wearing a sign that says so.

tahoe2
January 31, 2012, 11:43 PM
I've been reloading 25+ years, and have had two mishaps.
Both times were a failure to drop powder in a primed case through a progressive press, being new to the game, I seated a bullet without checking the case.
So when I fired my SA 1911 the bullet went in the barrel but the action didn't cycle (lucky me). I realized some thing was amiss and broke down the pistol and found the problem, I popped the bullet out with a cleaning rod. I was too nervous to shoot anymore that day, so I went home and pulled all the bullets in that batch. Next time, several years later, same thing with a .41 mag revolver, except the bullet lodged in the cylinder/barrel gap and locked up the gun.
Even the most diligent individual can make a mistake( and that, can get you hurt real bad). I was lucky, like "that guy", in that no one was hurt !! Pay Attention people !!

ns66
February 1, 2012, 11:21 AM
in my view, modern society is all about specializing thus increase productivity, if reloading is only for saving money, i think one is better off doing his own profession and make money to buy factory bullets, let companies that specialize in ammo making do the reloading with 10x higher efficiency. think about how many hours one spends reloading and how much $ he saved, i bet it's below minimum hourly wage :D

RevGeo
February 1, 2012, 12:13 PM
+1 for ns66's post.
My father was an old time 'gun crank', as they called themselves in the early to mid 20th century, and his idea of a real rifleman was a person who possessed, among many other attributes, the ability to load his own ammo. Growing up I didn't shoot factory ammo at all, except .22RF. I learned early that there is absolutely no room for error. He always used a single-stage press (as I do now) and took his time. When he first taught me to reload ammo he insisted that I load one round at a time, going through every step - inspect the case, decap and resize, inspect the case again, prime, weigh every charge, charge the case, seat the bullet, wipe off all lube and inspect the loaded round.
Of course I don't load every case one at a time anymore (neither did he), but the different steps of reloading ammo were rammed into my brain.
I like being in control of my own ammo. I don't shoot other people's reloads and I don't allow them to shoot mine in their guns.

There are a lot of activities that have the potential of dangerous outcomes - sky diving, motorcycle riding, skiing and chasing married women, just to name a few. All that's needed is reasonable prudence and making use of the brain power that separates us from the dumb brutes.
Unfortunately there will always be those who are stupidly careless or are just plain idiots. Sometimes natural selection does come into play.
Sorry if that seems blunt, but political correctness has never been my strong point. Be careful out there.

George

cougar1717
February 1, 2012, 12:23 PM
I am really surprised that the man is still alive after loading that much Titegroup in a 223 case. There are so many people who just don't understand the power and responsibility that reloading has. Even very smart people can act very foolishly around guns and ammo. It makes me think that way tv and movies have portrayed guns (and our own desire for power) have calloused a lot of people with a "familiarity breeds contempt" attitude. This isn't kids stuff, but everyone on this forum knows that anyway. It's the guy who watched one episode of top shot telling everyone at the big box outdoor store all about guns - he's the one I'm concerned about!

Ky Larry
February 1, 2012, 01:49 PM
This guy should buy a lottery ticket.:rolleyes:

d2wing
February 1, 2012, 09:34 PM
About underloaded shotshells. Every manual I've every used states to use only load for that combination of hull, powder, shot, wad and primer and crimp type. The reasOn is detonation. A too low powder charge can cause the shell to react like a plugged barrel. Instead of burning a reverse pressure wave or rapid rise in press caused by the load being too slow moving. If a loads real dirty it is not burning correctly. I like my eyes fingers and shotguns. I dunno if that's all correct but I'm not risking it.

rojocorsa
February 2, 2012, 02:08 AM
"If he backs off 10% and the rifle still blows up, he should continue to back off in 1 grain increments until the rifle no longer blows up. At this point, you can assume that a maximum load has been reached."


LOL :rofl:

Clark
February 2, 2012, 02:21 AM
As I drive passed graveyards filled with careless handloaders, I can't help but think, "What a waste. If only they had followed load books, they could be watching Howard Stern right now."

fpgt72
February 2, 2012, 08:58 AM
Perhaps because I am new at this and had no one to show me how to do it I am very careful. I just read a book and watched a video then went at it.

I weigh each case after seating the primer...they all weigh a smidge difference so I make a note of the high and low on the weights. Then I know how much the powder and the bullet weigh....I weigh each round after dumping the powder....if something does not look right I do it again....then I weigh and measure length of each round after seating the bullet. It may be anal, but I am pretty new at this and do not want any mistakes.

For me reloading is fun....I like making the measurements....sorting...all of it...the only part that sucks is trimming cases....I need to get something that is powered to make that more fun...I get tired of turning that little crank.

Picher
February 2, 2012, 09:14 AM
I do each rifle or handgun reloading step in batches; never all the steps to one round at a time. It's all too easy to forget a step if not done in batches!

Rifle and handgun cases are never sitting neck-up in loading blocks without powder!!! All rifle loads are weighed after measuring, prior to pouring into cases. All cases are checked visually after powder is in them, prior to seating bullets...to assure they all have powder and that the level of each is the same.

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