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A mild mistake

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mongoose33, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Well-Known Member

    Maybe this will tighten up some people's procedures.

    Bought some Hornady VMax bullets to do some evaluation of just how well my ARs can shoot.

    I'm working up loads using 748: 20 each of 25.0gr, 25.5gr, and 26.0gr.

    I've got them segregated in the loading block, two rows of 10 for each load separated by an empty row. Pretty clear what is what, I've stuck a piece of masking tape on the loading block with the loads so everything is clear, clear, clear.

    I load the 26.0 cases first; everything is fine, I'm getting exactly what i want. Each completed round goes in a little red bin attached to the bench next to the press.

    Then it happens: I'm just tooling along, knocking off these rounds until I realize I've grabbed one of the 25.5gr loaded cases, seated the bullet, and tossed it in the same bin with the 26.0gr cases.


    The whole idea is to carefully segregate 20 rounds of each, and now I have a 25.5 in with the 26.0 loads.

    I wasn't certain which was the last round in the bin, so I took out the 4 or 5 that were the most likely, separated them from the others, then began weighing the rounds to see if I can isolate the light charge.

    Nope--too much variation among the rounds, well more than a grain in weight, and clearly weight cannot be used to distinguish the light load.

    So I grit my teeth, and begin disassembling the rounds I think are the most likely one. Fortunately, I only had to pull 4 bullets before finding the offending 25.5gr load.

    I made up rounds to replace the pulled ones, and all is right in the world again.

    But man--just a little loss of concentration and there you are.

    Hope this helps others tighten up a bit if they've become lax. Fortunately, no harm would have resulted, but it still irks me that even despite my efforts to separate the rounds, I still screwed them up.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Different colored Magic Markers on the primers as you load them my friend!

    Anyway, you can load 26.0 grains WW748 with any 55 grain bullet and be assured of a good safe accurate load in any rifle.

    It has been my "standard" .223 "factory" load for 40 years in a bunch of different rifles.

  3. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the voice of experience. :)

    I'm just doing some loads to see if I can produce accurate (1 MOA) rounds through my M4s.

    I've done as high as 26.5gr of 748 under a 55gr FMJBT bullet, though these VMax bullets have a longer bearing surface and tend to be seated deeper. Since I've never used them, I thought I'd work 'em up. :)

    I shot some pretty decent groups (3 shots under 1") using the Sierra 1390 HP 55gr bullet, but need to reproduce the same results to see if it was accidental or not. I want to do 5-shot groups, 1 minute between shots, and see what develops.
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I have learned that double or even triple checking when dropping powder, empties primers up then charged in a separate loading block,work left to right, ETC Is the best way to maintain order. Mistakes WILL happen.:banghead: The more thorough the less chance of a mistake. Most were when I was tired, that's the most telling factor of all. Glad you were paying attention before more uncertainty was introduced.
  5. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Well-Known Member

    It just made me...angry, I suppose, that I'd screw that up.

    It wasn't a serious error--I am sure they would have been fine. The problem was that I'd very carefully primed and charged those cases, each load hand-weighed.

    Everything the same--same headstamp, same load, same OAL, same everything as near as I could make it.

    And then I dumped a 25.5 in with the 26.0 loads.

    It just introduced uncertainty into the equation. Since I'd loaded 20 of each, certainly 3 out of 4 groups of 5 rounds of 26.0gr would have been "pure," but one would likely have had the weaker load in it. If it's a flyer, is it me, is it the charge?

    I'll have to do something in the future like RC said, either mark the rounds w/ a sharpie, or perhaps have different loads in different loading blocks kept separate from the area where I'm seating bullets.

    I'm glad in one respect: this sort of event restores, if some was lost, my humility. Every time I am even tempted to do a shortcut, I just remember these kinds of things.
  6. jluther820

    jluther820 Well-Known Member

    pretty mild mistake indeed...just a nuisance
  7. mdoerner

    mdoerner New Member

    But at least you double checked and caught your mistake. That's important. Besides, it's not like you mixed up Hodgdon's Pyrodex w/ IMR PB like someone else mentioned on another posting awhile back. Besides, mistakes like this keep us vigilant.....no ka-BOOM, no foul....:D

    Mike D

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