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Silly mistake - caught before trouble!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Poper, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Poper

    Poper Well-Known Member

    It's been awhile since I have regularly participated here. Work and family have keep me busier than usual, so time is sacrificed somewhere, so my participation in on-line discussion boards took the biggest hit.

    Anyway, I have returned to share a stupid mistake I caught before it turned to trouble!

    I went to my loading bench to load some .30-06 and .308 Win. I started with the .30-06 and its favorite load of 52.0gn IMR4064, Rem. 9-1/2, RP cases and Sierra 150gn Game Kings. The .308 Win. prefers Hornady 165gn InterLocks over 44.0gn IMR 4350, Rem. 9-1/2 and Win. cases. I had all the components out on the bench to verify I had sufficient quantities to load the cases that had been cleaned, prepped and placed in loading blocks. I then put the 4350 away and proceeded to load the .30-06 brass.
    I no more than finished loading all the .30-06 cases and was filling out the labels for the boxes.... and DANG IT! I had gone on auto pilot and used the Hornady 165 grainers into the .30-06 cases! :eek: There is NO excuse for that!!! Absolutely NONE! But both boxes were on the bench and I just dipped into the closest one. :what:

    Oh, well. No damage done. (Sure could have been, though!)
    Half an hour later I had all the bullets pulled using my Hornady collet mistake eraser.

    A word to the wise: Only have the exact components for the caliber you are loading NOW on the bench. Also, check, double check and then check again! :scrutiny:

    (Whew! That was a close one!) :eek:

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  2. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Yes Sir, I learned that from my Speer reloading manual 30 some years ago before I ever loaded my first round. Without intending to offend you, or anyone else here, I find it absolutely necessary to read, and follow, the rules of hand loading from start to finish without exception. I cringe when I see a new reloader starting up with the mentality that the only important and pertinent elements of this hobby are the physical aspects of cartridge assembly, and that all the other information is for idiots. Good lighting, case inspection after charging and before seating, no distractions, verifying the load data, and yes, making sure only the components relative to the cartridge being reloaded are on the bench and have been verified, just to name a few.

    I use a mentality similar to a pre-flight check list pilots use to verify flight operations prior to lift off. It isn't at all silly to consider using an actual check list in my opinion, I still do. There are too many possible mistakes that can be made at the bench, to not want to implement preventive measures that will reduce deadly errors.

    But I'm glad you discovered your mistake before it was too late. You are one of the lucky ones! In all honesty, if not for my check list process, I would have most definitely made some serious mistakes over the years.

  3. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    One powder, one rack of cases, one box of bullets on the bench at a time. Whenever there's powder in a hopper or dipping bowl, the canister for that powder is on the bench. Continual attention to those details has saved me a lot of trouble.
  4. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    One cartridge, one bullet, one powder, one primer. And keep a note pad with the data of what you are going to load. If you change anything, make a note about it.

    If for nothing else, they will be able to say: "He was very meticulous, right up until his passing..."
  5. jhop73

    jhop73 Well-Known Member

    I have a dry erase board that i write the load data on and set the components for that load only on the bench. all other components are stored in cabinets out of sight.
  6. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    I built shelves out of 2x4's and plywood. Have all the boxes labled for what brass it is and bullets. Primers and powders are on the shelves above the bench.

    First rule of thumb. Clean off bench of stuff you don't need Or plan on using and only plan on using that. And only one caliber at a time.

    If you catch yourself in time that's always a good thing.
  7. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Well-Known Member

    One powder on the bench at a time. I tossed some once because I couldn't remember what was in the hopper. I'm convinced a certain percentage of the more spectacular KABOOM photos we see are somebody loading up a magnum size portion of fast target powder when they switched loads and forgot to switch the powder.
  8. GT1

    GT1 Well-Known Member

    He was a quiet guy, right until he blew up. :D
  9. crummyshooter

    crummyshooter Member

    I also put a sticky note on the powder measure
  10. Still Shooting

    Still Shooting Well-Known Member

    Only One Powder on the Bench!

    I had an experience about 18 months ago that really brought home the message. I was loading for my .257 Bob, and I have two "good" loads for accuracy (same bullet, different powder). I wanted to do a 1:1 comparison, with 25 rds. of each powder.

    My loading setup was (is) portable - a double sheet of plywood with 5/4 pine on 3 sides, that clamps to the kitchen table. Unfortunately, that means breaking the setup for meals, so I do a lot of reloading at night. I set up, and since the powder is stored upstairs, I brought down both IMR 4350 and IMR 4831.

    I proceeded to do the first 25 rounds with 4350, cleaned/cleared the setup, and refilled the powder hopper with 4831. I reset the charge weight, and loaded the second 25 rounds. I then broke down the bench setup, and when I emptied the leftover 4831, I poured it back into -Yup! - right into the 4350 jug. It ended up as garden fertilizer, but I was truly shaken thinking what that "hybrid" powder might have done had I gone one step further and put the lid on the jug!

  11. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Well-Known Member

    Yea, I learned something else to, don't reload when your really mad about something and have a pre-occupied mind.
    I had all my compnents on my bench one day, got done loading what I needed, and even though I had my bottle of Unique on the bench, I reached up and grabbed my Power Pistol bottle and dumped half a hopper of Unique in it. :cuss::cuss::cuss:

    The bottles are almost identical but still, really!

    Then I was even madder, Marked the bottle, and walked away from it until I was in a better frame of mind.

    I realized that day that loading my own ammo isn't a daily chore, its an art or a craft and needs to be given that consideration and complacency or carelessnes leads to dangerous mistakes.

    I'm glad you caught your mistake as I caught mine.
  12. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Well-Known Member

    Mixing these up would probly make for a short but eventful range session...:what:


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