Complacency is not a "Best Practice"

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hdwhit, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

    Nov 16, 2015
    Salem, AR
    After I retired in 2018, I packed up my reloading press, supplies, and components and moved back to the family farm in Arkansas.

    In 1980, I adjusted my RCBS 223 Remington standard (not small base) reloading dies to a point where they would produce rounds that fit the chambers of my father's and my own Mini-14s. These settings also proved appropriate for the AR-15s my wife and I bought for our sons. In 2016, a small tweak was needed when I added a Savage Axis to the collection, but in the end, I did not need to further adjust my dies to produce ammunition that was a "universal fit" for all of our 223 rifles.

    So, when I got my reloading bench rebuilt and was ready to start reloading, I screwed the dies into the press and took off loading a batch of 50 rounds. I use a single stage press so there is a die change after each step.

    I use a separate crimp die since I only crimp 223 if the bullet has a cannellure (which these did). Everything was going great until I screwed in the crimp die and tried to crimp the case. It turned out the crimp die had been adjusted for 5.7mm Johnson (based on 30 Carbine brass) and the case neck was crushed.

    So, lesson learned to not get complacent about checking the settings of the equipment before using it.
  2. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Piedmont/Triad, NC
    That's why we keep notes on where we left off. And that isn't enough sometimes.
    Bet that was a head scratcher for a little while.
  3. Jc325

    Jc325 Member

    Nov 8, 2019
    I leave notes in the die box after each use.
    lordpaxman and 1976B.L.Johns. like this.
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Just when you feel life is getting a bit booring. BAM! Murphy rears his (her) ugly red head. You just can't make this stuff up or plan for it.:confused::D
    tightgroup tiger likes this.
  5. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    When you have more than one of anything, keep good notes. Even then it’s just a starting place to confirm what you’re doing. I have too many calibers with too many combinations, maybe that’s why it’s just SOP to check every time, at least for me.
    I have a load folder that has date/time and operations, and I also put notes inside the die box. It’s a good habit but not a guarantee.
  6. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    Yep, you can't take anything for granted. After a move into a new house I had somehow lost my reloads for my Swede and it was crunch time with deer season opening in about a week. I grabbed my loading manual and threw some loads together with some new Speer bullets and set the LOA the same as my old Nosler Solid Base. After hunting all morning I met my partner back at the truck for lunch and unloaded my rifle. The bullet was stuck in the leades and dumped the whole load of powder in the action. Lesson learned. Every load is checked now before the hunt and any change in components is tested before they go to the woods. That was 24 years ago and has not happened again.
    murf and tightgroup tiger like this.
  7. whughett

    whughett Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Rhode Island/Florida
    Which is why many of use have dedicated die sets mounted in tool heads. For example I shoot three different 38 Special loads. Each tool head is labeled. I didn’t start off that way of course things just seem to accumulate.
  8. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Jan 14, 2020
    Maybe that's an advantage to running a single operation press. I set each die each time for every session. Yes I do have the hammer close by when setting seating depth but it only takes a second or two if I go to far on an adjustment. Progressive setups seem to generate a lot of ammunition fast but also builds a false sense of competence in short order.
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