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OOOps. My first mistake

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bob4, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. bob4

    bob4 Well-Known Member

    Loaded 3 sets of 6 rounds and went to shoot and 3 of them didn't have primers in them. I think I know how I did it. I had a few un-primed in the ammo box I used to separate the different loads. Must of grabbed one of those is my best guess. Good thing I was on a bench and didn't move the rifle after it went click. Waited a good minute before opening the bolt.That could have been a mess and an accident. Got home pulled the 3 bullets and weighed the powder. 3/10s was the largest missing from any of the 3 and it was recovered in the ammo box. Whew:cool: nothing in the receiver.
    This morning I looked at each shell mark them as to what load I'm putting in with a sharpie before loading powder. I see where a good routine is key here and not to be taken lightly.
  2. matrem

    matrem Well-Known Member

    A close visual inspection at each step is part of a good routine. Over the years, I've seen malformed primer pockets, flash holes, bullets, and case bodies.
    After 35 years of loading I still scan over every case to double check primer depth and after dumping powder scan every case with a flashlight just to be positive it didn't get missed.
    And all that is after close inspection of all componets before beginning.
    Yes. Visual inspection is a key part of a good loading routine.
  3. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Yes indeed. Just like a 10,000 square foot factory with 100 operation processes, your loading bench (ammo factory) needs a production design for its 5 square foot space and 6 operation process. (or 7 operation or 12 operation, whatever)

    I designed my process, wrote it down, vetted it and examined it for any weaknesses that would permit lapses in my attention to create hazards. For my progressive presses, I even developed a chant to keep myself on track.

    Everyone learns. Some by their own experience and some by the experiences of others. Thanks for sharing your experience. You performed a valuable service.

    Lost Sheep

    p.s. When loading in batch mode or loading singly, all my cartridge cases go into a loading block case-mouth down. This guarantees the case is empty of powder and shows that a primer, properly oriented, is installed. No exceptions, ever. Even if I have primed cases in a baggie ready to load. Into the loading block they go. It helps with counting them, too.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I completely agree. Any time I load rifle ammo the use of loading blocks is mandatory for me. The rounds only get moved into plastic ammo cases when the loading operation is complete and the ammo is ready to fire.
  5. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Well-Known Member

    Your learning the way we did when we all started out. That's why we all developed our processes like Arch Angle outlined.

    Wait until you start loading bulk 9mm rounds, when your loading 500 to 1K at a time. It really gets interesting when fatique starts setting in and you start second guessing yourself. That's when I shut the ammo factory down and go do something else.

    Glad it was nothing but a wake up call for you and nothing bad happened.
    Those are the lessons we never forget.
  6. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    Since nothing got hurt, this was a good lesson early on in your reloading habits. I can't stress enough how important it is to establish a routine and follow it everytime you sit at the reloading bench. As mentioned above, use loading blocks and keep cases upside down til adding powder. This way you can see the primer and you know they contain no powder at that point. Good luck and be safe.
  7. bob4

    bob4 Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of upside down shells to show there empty and that they indeed have a primer. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  8. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Well-Known Member

    Yes indeed, good post.

    My process is like a mini factory production line with control checks and status checks of all loads. No short cuts. I even record how many times each case is loaded and if neck / full sized and when annealed / cleaned etc etc.

    I will not stop a batch halway. If I am priming 50 cases then the wife must wait until the 50 are done (that process being complete) then I will get up and help her.
  9. dickttx

    dickttx Well-Known Member

    From Lost Sheep:
    "For my progressive presses, I even developed a chant to keep myself on track."

    Glad to hear someone else does that too! If someone stuck their head into my loading area they would probably send me to the funny farm.:D
    Started this with my LnL: Primer, case, powder, bullet, load. On and on.

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