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What a double charge WILL do

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by snuffy, May 30, 2011.

  1. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    I'm extremely reluctant to post this thread. I know I'll get a bunch of flack, no one can say anything I haven't already said to myself. My leg is sore from trying to kick my own butt.

    First a few pics;


    The last group the 44 shot. Last it will EVER SHOOT. Load data is, LEE 310 grain gc, 11.7 grains OF blu-dot, ww-lp win case oft used. Boolit lubed with mule snot, dipped and sized in a lee push through die I honed out to size to .431


    Average velocity on that target is 1235 fps. These were loaded last winter. I know I was using my lee classic turret without the disc powder drop, measuring powder with my pact-RCBS dispenser. Then dumping it into the shell with the red lee funnel through the expander bell die. I was thinking right after it happened that it couldn't be a double charge. It would over-flow the case, or be impossible to seat that long boolit. Wrong on both counts. I must have dumped 2 charges and then seated a boolit. I took all the rest apart except for the three still left in the cylinder. It was the first of five shells in the cyl. I purposely seated a boolit in a double charged shell, it crunched the powder but seated without any extra force.


    The top strap hit the roof of the covered range,(put a hole in it, almost went through), came back down ahead and to the left of me. No sign of where the chunk of cylinder went. Luckily I was shooting alone, and my dog was in the car. I was shooting groups, had already shot 10 shells.

    I wasn't hurt! Hard to believe that much going on in my hands and not a nick on me. Some black powder stains on my left hand,(I was shooting off the top of a rifle tripod rest 2 handed grip). Felt a gust of gas above my right eye, no damage to my 2 week old glasses.


    Boolit didn't register on the chrono, and did not hit the clean target either.

    I've had this SB since 1973, I bought it used. I've had 2 new barrels put on it over the last 38 years. I'm just sick about it, that handgun was my favorite.
  2. threefeathers

    threefeathers Well-Known Member

    I've had one double charge and it blew the magazine completely out of a Browning High Power.
  3. Dewey 68

    Dewey 68 Well-Known Member

    Wow, glad you are alright! :what: Sorry to see your favorite gun blown up, but the gun can be replaced, you can't.

    Thanks for "manning up" and posting it.
  4. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Well-Known Member

    Beat yourself up as much as needed (yea, you deserve it). But know that we here are extremely happy you weren't hurt or killed. Guns can be replaced, people can't.

    And thank you for sharing your experience so that newbies and "old heads" alike can reflect upon it, and maybe alter their reloading habits. In my experience, it takes a real man to admit when he's screwed up.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Real sorry about the old Ruger, but at least you were not hurt!

    Thats exactly why I use loading blocks, and look inside every case in the block to compare powder levels before seating bullets!

    On the bright side, that should put to rest the Internet factoid that you can't blow up a Ruger Blackhawk!! :D

  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Glad you're okay!
  7. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    OUCH!:eek: I can feel your pain all the way from here.:( I have one just like it in SS and love that revolver. REALLY glad you were not injured or for that matter anything or anybody else likewise. Thanks for posting this as a warning for all of us that we can get too comfortable with the process. I have never yet done that and hope to never do it--but--------:scrutiny:
  8. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    Alright here's the flack.

    Glad to see you man up to say you made a mistake.

    How can you give someone flack when they have already accepted & been taught from there mistake?

    Thanks for posting.
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I am very glad to hear you are OK snuffy. :)

    Bummer about the gun though.
  10. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Someone once told me experience is spelled, M-I-S-T-A-K-E-S.

    How do you think this came about? I've never had a double charge, but I have made mistakes when interrupted.
  11. esheato

    esheato Well-Known Member

    Ouch, glad you're alright.

    Sorry about the gun...but I'd rather lose the gun than a finger or an eye.

    Proof that no matter how long you've been doing this, it only takes one distraction....

    Much respect for admitting your fault and being a man about it.
  12. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    Could it have been a LIGHT charge instead of a double? I've read that too light a powder charge in magnums can also be very bad juju.
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    No doubt it was a double charge.

    A reduced load of Blue-Dot would not / could not totally destroy a Ruger Blackhawk.

  14. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I was using the lee classic turret in semi auto mode, NOT using an auto disc. Taking a tumbled case out of a bin, sizing then priming on the down stroke. Then manually turning the turret to the expander/belling die, running it up into that die and leaving it there. I used my pact/RCBS dispenser to drop the 11.7 grains of blu-dot, I the used the red lee funnel that fits into the alum. nut on top of the expander die to charge the case with powder.

    I must have been distracted, charged one case twice, then failed to notice it before moving to the seater. Yes, 23.4 grains of blu-dot will sit in a 44 mag case WITHOUT over-flowing. AND you can easily seat a bullet on top of it,(it has to heavily compress it). I know that for a fact, because I did it while pulling the remaining shells apart. I took the remaining 3 shells from the cylinder, had to use a hammer and punch to rotate the cyl.

    I'm going to hang the skeleton of that fine revolver above the loading bench. Seeing that mess should make me mad enough to pay attention!:cuss::fire: :banghead::mad:

    RC, ya made me laugh, about the internet myth about Ruger's strength!
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  15. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to see that you walked away from that KB, and I know that you're tore up over the loss of the Ruger.
    It must have been quite violent, but any other brand of revolver might have hurt you.

  16. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    I do just as RC does, trays of 50, look at each and every one, compared to all the others next to them. Over the years, I have learned to triple-check everything I am doing, hoping that nothing like that ever comes my way!

    I am also very glad you are well, except for your ego. After some time, that will fade, at least you still have everything!

    It certainly does teach us that what we do we must be careful doing, like driving a car! Think of all the dangers in driving, yet we do it every day without thinking about the dangers!

    More importantly, thanks a bunch for sharing that as we all need a reminder that what we do can be extremely dangerous if we are not careful!

    Thank you again!
  17. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Well-Known Member

    i did almost the same thing only i loaded 65gr of reloader 2400 into a 7mag case. a guy on anothere forum did a qiuk load test and it said i had 204000psi in the chamber. the savage didnt blow up but it froze the bolt and swelled the chamber .0023. that was about 2 years ago
  18. Snowbandit

    Snowbandit Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that............... glad you're alright.
  19. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Thanks-here's how your experience helps

    I use a Lee Classic Turret now. I use it with the Auto-indexing turned on and the Auto-Disk. However, forgetting a step or executing an extra one is always possible when using the continuous processing method (as opposed to batch processing).

    So, your experience has encouraged me to consider a rule: Process each round through all 4 steps, no interruptions. If an interruption should occur, pull the unfinished round, dump the powder, check the primer and start over.

    The wise man learns from his mistakes. The truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others. So, thanks for sharing yours.

    Lost Sheep.
  20. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    Many years ago, I had a progressive press and would crank out .357 cartridges at the rate of one every six seconds (600 per hour) once the brass was prepared and everything was set to rock and roll.

    Anyway, it has been over 20 years since I have had a progressive press, but I distinctly remember, now that you mention it, that I also had a similar "rule" that I would always finish the round I am working on to the end when I needed to stop. I remember then putting a little masking tape here and there with notes as to just where I was when I stopped, so I could come back to continue where I left off. Since I don't have any children, and my wife would not go near my press, I could leave things as they are and continue later that day or even the next day if needed.

    I think what we are all agreeing on is that we must have systems in place and checks and double-checks in place to prevent any kind of accident from occuring, not only at the reloading bench itself but also in the course of our carrying out the reloading operation.

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