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Has anyone ever experienced firing a double charge?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by brockgl, Apr 19, 2008.

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  1. brockgl

    brockgl Member

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    I have no desire to ever be anywhere near a gun shooting a cartridge containing twice the amount of powder than it is suppose to contain. However, since I am new to reloading, I would like to know if anyone has ever shot a cartridge that was accidentally double charged... If so, what were the results? Was anyone injurred? Was the gun destroyed?

    I am asking because I want a healthy respect for the careful loading of all of my ammunition.
     
  2. mswestfall

    mswestfall Member

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    I stood next to a guy that fired a Kreigoff (12 gauge) with a double charge. It made a BIG bang. He checked the stock for cracks. There were no ill effects other than the kick.
     
  3. Chief-7700

    Chief-7700 Member

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    My wife was shooting a Colt M-1911 .45ACP and we are not sure if it was double charge or a head seperation, however it cracked the slide, bulged the grip out and mag was blown out of the gun. She was shocked and undamaged. her next comment was" Fix my gun". I rebuilt her Colt and she still shoots it.
    Chief-7700
     
  4. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    Yep. I did a double charge of Bullseye. . . . . . a 10 gn load. It was in a Ruger New Model BlackHawk, .45 Long Colt. The pistol butt was resting on the back of a hatchback car I had back then. I was using a one hand hold and the car was a semi-rest. Gun twisted out of my hand, flipped over my head, and landed in the dirt.

    I was horrified.

    Pistol was unharmed and 20 years later I still have it. Man, those Rugers are stout.
     
  5. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Wow all i can say. i almost did it once. but we do too much on quality control to make sure it does not happen. With my two boys when we are finished we do the shake test on every bullet to see if we hear powder. Then weigh every bullet. If we find huge differences in weight they are taken apart. Same time if we shake a bullet and dont hear powder. then we take apart.
     
  6. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Ten grains of Bullseye with a 250 grain cast bullet actually looks like a pretty good load for a Blackhawk. Depending on the seating depth, it's about 27kpsi. (I like to keep them down to 25k) I'll bet it did get your attention if you thought it was gonna be a wimpy 5 grain load :)
     
  7. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    Sounds good, I need more boys. :)
    I like to load with Unique, despite the dirtiness. I eyeball every charge, and have yet to have a problem.
     
  8. Matt304

    Matt304 Member

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    All I can say to guys reloading pistol rounds and who don't want to double-charge is to use a slower powder that fills the case, instead of the fast, light charge powders which only fill a fraction of the case.

    I don't use any fast powders which only fill a fraction of the case, because I find it more difficult to keep extreme spreads to a minimum with them. Not that it matters as much with a 25 yard pistol, but it does make it impossible to double-charge, because the case would be overflowing.
     
  9. VARifleman

    VARifleman Member

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    Make sure you have enough light and can see into the case. Even on light loads a double charge should be plainly obvious. Also, be careful doing this, but I loaded a double charge just to see what it would look like, and then threw the powder back into the hopper.

    Weighing each cartridge is fine when everything else is kept very consistent, but if you use mixed brass, it's bad practice as different head stamps can have vastly different case weights. My PMC .45 cases are 89 gr, Winchester .45 is 83...
     
  10. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH Member

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    Yep; mine wasn't a double, but just reading from the wrong line of the load data; 1gr over max load with 2400 and a bit under minimum OAL for the 158gr JHP I was using, and I was using it as a starting load in a .357 Blackhawk. I noticed my mistake when I went to write down that it was fun to shoot and I should try working it up a bit more :)

    No signs of overpressure at all. I like Ruger's theory of overbuilding the guns.
     
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Yep, but it was a .38 Special target load in a .357 case shot out of my GP100. No big deal, but you learn, quickly, to visually check the charged cases PDQ.
    "...careful loading..." That'd be the key. Pay attention to what you're doing and follow your manual religiously. Otherwise, reloading is completely safe.
     
  12. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    If you stick with powder loads that pretty well fill the cases you wont need to worry about double charges. They will spill powder all over the place on a double charge. And those loads generally are better anyway. And you should look into the cases with a flashlight before setting the bullets to see if you have powder in all of them. And no, I've never had a double charge, nor do I ever want one.
     
  13. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Member

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    When I first loaded/shot my 1858 Remington black powder revolver, I didn't grease the loaded chambers over, and had 5 rounds go off at once. THAT was exciting! Didn't harm the gun, but before I realized what had happened I figured, "WOW! black powder sure does kick a lot!!"...:confused:
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Why would I do a thing like that?
    It is stupid and dangerous. If you think you are subject to double charging a cartridge, you should not be reloading.
     
  15. schloe

    schloe Member

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    Nice input Jim :rolleyes:
     
  16. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Member

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    I experienced what must have been a double charged factory round when firing my .380 Makarov: Loud report, fierce recoil, and impressive orange fireball. The gun and I were undamaged (lots of black residue in my hand), but the magazine lips were torn loose & couldn't be repaired. I haven't bought that ammo (orange box, black lettering) since.
     
  17. JFettig

    JFettig Member

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    I've not experienced a double charge, I'm way more careful than that.

    but

    I've experienced bullet setback explosion in my 9mm AR I designed and built, feed ramp wasn't right for feeding hollowpoints, jammed the bullet back into the case but still went into the chamber. Luckily that barrel is 1" diameter there and everything else is built much more stout than a pistol. No real harm to any parts, my hand was all black but thats about it.

    Jon
     
  18. ohman11

    ohman11 Member

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    Chief-7700

    I have no proof of this but I was told by a old timer that a 1911 was designed to blow the mag out to release the pressure if something like a double charge ever happens.
     
  19. Doug b

    Doug b Member

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    A friend double charged his M29 smith with bullseye.Cracked the cyl. and broke his wrist.
     
  20. rickomatic

    rickomatic Member

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    Slightly off topic, but somewhat related.
    The latest issue of The American Rifleman has a very interesting article about something called Project Eldest Son during the Viet Nam War.
    Apparently, the Studies and Observations Group (SOG) implemented a project that would plant enemy ammunition loaded with high explosives to cast doubt into enemy soldier's minds as to the trustworthyness of their ammo. There were several documented cases of enemy dead having been found who had died from having "fired" this ammo. The project included 11,565 7.62x39 AK rounds and 556 12.7 mm machine gun rounds. Following the success, the CIA also "seeded" the enemies supplies with some 82 mm mortar rounds with "special" fuses, which caused detonation in the mortar tube.
    Simple double charge? Nope. But very interesting.
     
  21. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    There might be something to that. A friend of mine has experienced a couple "overloads" of 45acp in a 1911, and he said each time he slapped in another mag and continued shooting. I don't recall if it was factory loads or handloads. All I know is he has worn out parts on his 550B and I've seen many empty cases of factory and surplus ammo in his garage. He shoots a lot all the time.
     
  22. CBS220

    CBS220 Member

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    rickomatic, there are stories of old WWII ammunition that was the same!
     
  23. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There were also stories of the Vietcong doing it to us!

    Susposedly, a 5.56 round full of C4 is a pretty hot load!

    rcmodel
     
  24. CBS220

    CBS220 Member

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    I believe I'm going to go toss out all the surplus headstamped "VC-68" 5.56 I've got sitting around :neener:
     
  25. 357mag357

    357mag357 Member

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    I double charged a 44 Special round by mistake. It felt like a 44 Mag when it when off. No damage to the 629.:banghead:
     
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