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A case of cerebral rectitis

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jnyork, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. jnyork

    jnyork Active Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Arizona and Wyoming
    I hope others can learn from my mistake. I have been an active competitor in the shooting sports for over 50 years. I am an NRA RSO, Firearms Instructor, Junior Rifle Club coach and Hunter Education Instructor, along with being a graduate of Lassen College school of gunsmithing. All this does not mean I am one bit smarter than the average bear, and as you will see, probably more stupid.

    Last Wednesday evening I attended my club's weekly Lever Action Silhouette match. I brought a Marlin 30-30 with cast lead loads and, just for fun, an Enfield #4 .303 British with lead loads. Not a lever gun, I know, but our club is pretty loose on what you can shoot. I was pretty tired and not feeling so hot, but went anyway..

    I did pretty good with the Enfield on the chickens, pigs and turkeys but then things went to the devil on the 200 meter rams. First shot hit in the dirt a few feet in front of the animal. "Wow, must have really jerked that one" I said to myself as I fed in another round (single loading, not from the magazine) Second shot neither my spotter or myself saw any hit at all, and we both decided it must have gone over the target a bit into the thick weeds behind the target. Third shot hit way out in front of the ram again. "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, self?" I said to myself, something amiss here for sure. While pondering and discussing with my spotter, I glanced down at my ammo box. There, in plain sight, among the load data inscribed on top of the box, was the source of my problem. "30-30 Winchester" it said!!

    Strangely, there was no discernable difference in the recoil or the sound of these rounds. They just didnt go where they were supposed to go.

    If this had been certain other calibers of rifles, with full power jacketed rounds, things might have been altogather different. With the relatively low power cast lead loads, there was no damage done other than to my ego. The photo below shows a 30-30, a .303 Brit and the 3 rounds in question. No, I didnt examine them as they came out of the chamber.

    Fellows, the lesson here is when you pick up a firearm, you better have your head out where the sun shines brightly. The slightest few seconds of inattention to what you are doing can mean diasaster, including serious injury or death to yourself or others. I feel very lucky in this incident, and will never again go to the range with 2 firearms whose chambers will accept the other's cartridges.

  2. pbearperry

    pbearperry Active Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
    Don't be so hard on yourself,that's what friends are for.lol
  3. jlday70

    jlday70 New Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Western NY.....On the Canadian border..
    The one thing I see in many gun entusiasts is when we make a mistake we tend to really let it bother us, which can be good since we for the most part learn from our mistakes. The point I want to make about this situation is it turned out fine, was it a Brain fart? yes, Did anyone get hurt? No. so while you did make a mistake look at the bright side you and your spotter didn't get hurt.

    Remember nobody is perfect.
  4. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 Active Member

    Feb 15, 2007
    Dang, it looks like you were fire forming the new .303 jnyork improved. Good thing those old .303s are tough.
  5. cmidkiff

    cmidkiff Active Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Lesson learned, inexpensively. Thanks for sharing, your doing so may prevent someone else from making the same mistake.

    Part of the reason for that is that mistakes made with firearms can be very permanent. The same applies to other hobbies where people are doing something that is perfectly safe if done properly, and exceedingly dangerous if done improperly. I know for a fact that the same attitude is prevalent among sky divers and SCUBA enthusiasts. Mistakes can be very, very costly, and are taken seriously by all involved.

    Nobody's perfect. No reason to condemn yourself for such an error, but being dismissive of mistakes in this type of activity is a very poor idea.
  6. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Nov 14, 2007
    That's one way to fire form your cases.

    J/K. Hee hee, I've shot .32 auto in a .380 auto, and shot 9mm in a .40 before.

    Thanks for the reminder. Note to self: Match exact phrase of caliber marked on barrel to exact phrase of caliber marked on ammo box or headstamp.
  7. rhyfl

    rhyfl New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Amelia Island, FL
    Great lesson learned - I'm glad you're okay. Thanks for sharing your incident. I almost made a similar mistake with my son's last deer season.

    I had purchased a couple of Remington 700's one chambered (like mine) in the 270 - the other son wanted a .30-06. We went to the range to sight the scopes in and my son with the .06 was having problems chambering his rounds. Upon closer inspection he had mistakingly tried to load the .270 shells into the .06 rifle - ooops!!! The .270 shells will load into the .06 - but the bolt wouldn't close -verrry close call. :eek:
  8. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Mentor

    Jun 29, 2008
    North Carolina
    Thank God, a lesson learned without injury for all who reads this thread. jnyork, thank you for posting.

  9. Thernlund

    Thernlund Senior Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I was at the range once and had run dry of .40, so I ask my buddy I was with if he had any. He motions toward his bag. So I grab a box (they're those plastic cases you get at Cabela's or the gun shows) and start back to my lane. He grabs my arm after I take a few steps and without a word he takes the box from my hand, inserts another, and goes back to his lane. I say, "Hey..." and give him a WTH shrug and look. He holds up the box he took from me and mouths the words "nine mil".


    I like to think I'd have noticed before it was too late. But in my mind I can't quite be 100% sure. He noticed right away, from a distance. Heh.

    Anyway, that's my story. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2008
  10. OFT

    OFT Member

    Apr 15, 2008
    I watched a fellow shooting a mauser once. He couldn't keep his hits on a large paper target at fifty yards and told me that it used to shoot just fine until he bought this last batch of ammo. I looked and it turned out that he was running 7X57 through his 8X57 mauser. :uhoh:
  11. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    The last perfect person who walked the planet got nailed to a cross - we ALL make mistakes !

    Thanks for sharing yours ! ;)
  12. plinky

    plinky Member

    May 23, 2008
    You are not alone jnyork.

    A former co-worker traded for a .22-250 which he had been looking for for a while. It was a nice custom with a Douglas barrel but unmarked as to chambering. I swapped him a scope to put on it and he tried it out. He couldn't get it zeroed as it was shooting all over the place. So he brings in some fired brass which he says looks funny. It does look funny, Kind of like a 6mm Rem. case with the neck missing. I bring some books and calipers and they seem to confirm the situation. He took it to Douglas and they inspected it and marked the chambering for him.

    I bought a Model 70 in .300 Win. mag years ago and a couple of boxes of ammo. During my first range session one case came out with no neck, bullet didn't hit the target. I searched the chamber for the missing neck and really was worried about a problem with the gun. I didn't notice that the case was stamped 7mm Rem Mag for a day or so. :rolleyes:

    The good news about our accidents is that the result was lower than normal pressure (although jnyork's ruptured cases look horrible). I'm glad no one was hurt.

    But what about situations where extreme pressure would be the result? I'm thinking that .338 Win mag might chamber in a longer belted mag chamber with painful results. Know of any other potential situations?
  13. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Participating Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Portland, OR
    If you handle enough guns eventually you are going to make a mistake. I GUARANTEE IT!!! Gladly this was not a more costly one for you. Thanks for swallowing your pride and posting. It is a good lesson for us all. :)
  14. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Participating Member

    May 12, 2006
    Had a customer get pissed off because he was having real trouble trying to load the magazine of his brand-new HK. He became rather subdued when he came to the realization that .40 S&W is a poor fit for a 9mm magazine.
  15. oldgold

    oldgold Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    An 8mm Mauser will chamber and fire in a 30-06.

    Makes a real funny looking case. Very short neck !

    I have no idea how it came to be mixed in with the -06's.
  16. orvpark

    orvpark Member

    May 20, 2008
    in the woods
    I pulled the 9mm in a .40 trick...........I ordered a XD9, my reciept said XD9, I loaded 9mm and thought that the magazines sucked................after the second round didn't feed I looked down and saw XD40!

    OOOXOOO Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    I was shooting with a couple friends and I brought my AR. My friends both had AK variants. While I was shooting they were sitting on the tail gate of my truck loading magazines. Aparently one of my friends loaded a mag full of .223 into his AK. After he pulled the trigger it did not cycle the action and sounded strange. We stopped and cleared the weapon. The case was stuffed down into the chamber and required some effort to get out of the weapon. It was obvious that they weren't paying attention and were lucky.
  18. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    AR mags will fit in an AK without dropping out? Never knew that.
  19. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Mentor

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    I know for a fact that the same attitude is prevalent among sky divers and SCUBA enthusiasts. Mistakes can be very, very costly, and are taken seriously by all involved.

    Excellent point. To further the point, most fatalities involve equipment that is found to be in perfect working order, especially in SCUBA diving. The fault lies with the diver and lack of situational awareness. Same as the OP. The rifles worked as advertised.
  20. lazyeye

    lazyeye New Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Springfield, OR
    Thats really amazing that the .303 brit chambered the 30-30 and shot reasonably accurately!

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