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Reloading mishap - all primers detonated (pics to follow)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by malpais, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    :evil:
     
  2. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I guess it doesn't mater since you will be buying the newest one.
     
  3. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Impressive.
     
  4. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    I managed to set off Winchester small pistol primers in a Lee Loadmaster running 9mmx19 on a few occasions. Primer stacking or obstructed primer pocket was the problem as best as I could determine. No chain detonation of the other primers, thank goodness! Because the case resizing happens at the same time as the priming stroke on a Loadmaster, there is no practical way to feel the primer seating too.

    My personal favourite was the discovery that if a case was mildly corroded and cleaned,
    depriming it could result in the base of the primer being removed but the body of the primer being left in the primer pocket. That means the primer pocket is occupied by a sleeve which will forcefully block any subsequent attempt to seat a primer. If you create this situation on a progressive press where station 1 is deprime/resize, and station 2 is primer seating, you won't detect it until you have either given up seating the primer, or set *off* the primer if the next upcoming case for deprime/resize is especially tough. (Leaving no separate priming feedback for the operator).

    As a result of this experience I have switched to depriming/resizing as a separate operation. Even though I use carbide dies I have also started using a spray lube (isopropanol+lanolin) on the outside of the cases. The added lube really makes it *much* easier to resize 9mmx19. When the cartridges are complete, I'll tumbled them for a while in dry corn cob to remove the lube.
     
  5. SAGEEN

    SAGEEN Member

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    glad you are OK
     
  6. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    Sageen: Thanks

    Only a single primer each time. I'm pretty careful about eye protection when reloading for just that reason (even before the first incident). Even a single primer indoors is very loud w/o hearing protection.

    As near as I could tell, they only "fired" when subjected to extreme abuse, so I have no cause for complaint about the WSP's being too sensitive.

    I offer my experiences as a cautionary tale...
     
  7. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Checking the case is part of my SOP before it goes into the press. Perhaps I am anal about this, but I check the brass each step...at the range...if it is damaged it goes in their bucket, then again after cleaning, decapping.......That is the way I was taught to do it.

    I also weigh each finished round, measure each round, and do a visual check before it goes into the case....you never know what funny things may happen.

    I know with these progressive presses it is all about volume, but that is not me I enjoy the process of reloading....it is just fun for me.
     
  8. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Why would you weigh the finished round.
     
  9. malpais

    malpais Member

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    Progressive is IMHO the only way to go for volume reloading. It has obvious trade-offs but as Lenin put it "quantity has a quality of its own".
     
  10. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    "Why weigh each and every finished round?"

    A reloader feed his Weatherby a steady diet of reduced loads, then, suddenly, and without warning his 300 Win Mag was rendered scrap, like the Deacons Master piece, there it was, all in a heap, and he said “I must have feed it a double charge” the rifle shattered like glass.

    Had the shooter knew the weight of the primer, case, powder charge and bullet he could totaled the weight of the components and then compared the weight with the loaded round, a double charge would not have gotten past the last possible to correct the mistake.

    I believe the double charge did not happen, I believe the steady diet of sudden shock rendered his rifle scrap, it was not the last round fired that wrecked his rifle, I believe it was the accumulation of all his reduced loads.

    At the rang next to me a shooter with a S&W Model 66 was trying to pull the trigger, then rotate the cylinder, then pull the hammer back then he tried to swing the cylinder out, nothing, we offered our help, seems he was a reloader, we drove the bullet that was stuck in his forcing cone back into the cylinder and opened his cylinder, THEN! he proceeded to load his cylinder again, he had no clue if the last round got no powder and the next round had two charges, he did not know if there was powder in any of his loaded rounds. We offered to help him with his reloading, I could not convince him his scales could distinguish between a case with no powder and a case with 5 grains. He had a Dillon 550 B, we offered to give him ammo to shoot, I offered to leave and return with a scale, anyhow, he got upset and left.

    F. Guffey
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  11. blarby

    blarby Member

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    I knew this one would inevitably come up again......

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=587605

    FWIW, I still do it on rifle, and no longer do it on pistol.

    It takes a very large cross section of brass to be able to grain sort them into groups of .3 or less, and I figured that the time I was spending doing so could easily be halved and similar safety achieved by loading them the same way I do rifle :

    Instead of reloading them on a block of 50 and weighing them after I was done.... I just weigh the charges thrown by my measure, charge the brass, and cap each one individually immediately. No confusion that way, and I can get up and walk away from the bench if needed without wondering if something has magically occurred in my reloading block before I have a chance to cap them :scrutiny: .

    I still do it with rifle, but mainly out of a sense of craft. I can get lots of 50 that are within .3 grains of each other now.
     
  12. Jumping Frog

    Jumping Frog Member

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    First, let me say that I already have the Explosion Shield on my Loadmaster. I figured as much money as I have spent on reloading equipment and components, I could not even comprehend not being willing to spend $4.99 for the explosion shield. It is cheap insurance for all Loadmaster owners and every owner should install one regardless of primer brand. Over the years in various gun forums, I've read of every brand of primers having a primer pop -- it is not magically limited to only Federal.

    I see that you misunderstand how it works, which is easy to do for anyone who hasn't seen it in action. Once you get one (and you will get one, right?), it will become clear how it works.

    A small pistol primer pocket depth is .118" to .122". Since the Loadmaster seats the primer at top of ram stroke, the explosion shield only needs to be positioned to protect during the last .118" of ram movement. It is in the correct position and completely shields me from the primer tray during that critical moment that primer insertion occurs.

    There is zero downside to using one.

    A better approach is to purchase a Lee Universal Decapping Die for station one, and then remove the decapping pin from your sizing/decapping die to install in station two. That is how I and many other Loadmaster owners (but not all owners) run the press.

    As mentioned, you have a slight misunderstanding on how the primer lever movement would be affected. At the bottom of ram stroke, the shellplate indexes. The case moving from station 1 to station 2 pushes on that curved arm as it passes by, pushing the primer lever over get the next primer into position. Then, in the last two inches of upward ram movement, that pin pushes the primer lever back over to push the slider with primer under the case. Having a die in station 2 has zero impact on this movement.

    Lee standard instructions, IIRC, are to screw the sizing die in until it touches the shellplate, then back the ram off and screw the die in another quarter turn. Personally, I leave the die just touching the shellplate as I want the shellplate deflection to be even across all the die stations.

    Yes, a dirty shellplate can be a definite issue. But why are you getting loose powder?

    If I am loading a really fine powder like AA #7, then I will get some loose grains into the press area. But a stick powder leaking seems surprising to me.
     
  13. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    If you run the progressive press really fast, full cases can fling the powder around out the tops.

    I'm surprised you get any case alignment effect from a universal decapping die with the depriming pin removed. Being universal, the body won't be touching any but the *very* largest diameter cartridges cases.

    I picked up a used resizing die for 9mmx19 station 2 usage from a gunshow. It's helpful in maintaining priming alignment, but not perfect. I've iterated on it's depth adjustment a couple of times, but I may revisit it once again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  14. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    "I'm surprised you get any case alignment effect from a universal decapping die with the depriming pin removed."

    That isn't what you read.
    Jumping Frog said:

    "A better approach is to purchase a Lee Universal Decapping Die for station one, and then remove the decapping pin from your sizing/decapping die to install in station two. That is how I and many other Loadmaster owners (but not all owners) run the press."
     
  15. Neutered10mm

    Neutered10mm Member

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    completely depends on the load if weighing finished rounds can find a squib or double charge. I say this because I reload .40 S&W with 4 grains of Titegroup and a Rainier 165 grain RNFP bullet in Federal brass with Winchester small pistol primers. In this setup, the primers are the only consistent object weight wise. Case to case, same head stamping can be off as much as a full grain. Bullets can vary by nearly 2 full grains. The most I'm off powder wise is .1 grain, so I would be fooled into a false sense of "oops, light load" or "opps, explosion waiting to happen". Combine the fact that it's Titegroup and I can't afford to approach 5.0 grains ... been there, Kaboom'd that!
     
  16. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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    I use a lee classic cast press, and I once had a primer go off while trying to smoosh it into a tight primer pocket. It shot up, but I was lucky as none of the other primers in the tray went off. It was a Winchester primer not a federal.
     
  17. x_wrench

    x_wrench Member

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    i have loaded 1,800 federal primers with a lee auto prime, with no problems. i figured out a long time ago about the infamous lee primer tilt deal (thankfully using cci primers, that do not go bang even when squashed sideways). personally, in my opinion, they screwed up on the design. no primers, no matter who makes them, should ever tilt in any priming tool. but, with reasonable care, i have been able to CAREFULLY load them with no problems. i would not recommend any one else to do this. but i do. when this wears out, or breaks, it will get replaced with something green.
     
  18. mingansr

    mingansr Member

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    Uniquedot said

    he quoted "I've crushed a couple of primers in my loadmaster, but have never had one go off. I don't use federals in my loadmaster though. Lee states that federal primers are not recommended in certain priming tools not because of their softness, but because the basic compound in them explodes with much more violent force than other primers using standard compounds, but let's not let this thread give folks the assumption that federals excellent primers are dangerous! perhaps one should just use a bit more care when handling them and not deploy them in devices recommending against them."

    i am just starting to reload with a Lee Loadmaster also. i had some early issues getting the primer assembly to work right. thanks to kingmt i resolved the issue with the assembly. today i was reloading my last test rounds of .40sw to check out at the range, and if all is ok, i'll load 200 with the case feeder, which i haven't done yet.

    point is, like Uniquedot, i have crushed a number of CCI primers sideways. today, i crushed two in a row, but then i checked my priming station, and the lever that holds the cases tight in the shellholder was backed off. after positioning that lever back in place, i had no issues.

    one of the primers really got crushed in sideways, and no bang. i'll never buy any other primers, even though Lee also recommends Remington primers.

    i am getting very fond of that Loadmaster, highroaders.
     
  19. loneviking

    loneviking Member

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    Wow, what a thread. I've heard stories but I've never had first hand info to rely on. I guess loading press design is more important than I realized. I went with a Dillon 550, in part because the primer is picked up at the tube and then slides a few inches away to the station before use. That way, any primer that explodes is away from the others and is up inside the shell holder which should also help contain any detonation.

    So far I only use CCI. I was going to buy some Federals as I'm working on a trigger job for my Mod 19. Federals were recommended as the most reliable in a gun with this job done but I'm begining to think I might want to keep springs heavy enough to use CCI primers!
     
  20. h8dirt

    h8dirt Member

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    Another reason to buy Dillion.
     
  21. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    Federals are the only primers that have ever hung up in my Dillons. Never again in the Dillon.

    They work fine in the RCBS hand primer tool and press mounted tool and I have a couple of loads that really like the Federal primers so I will keep using them.
     
  22. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Isn't that the one with the exploding steel tubes? The steel tubes that one has to load primers into one-by-one?
     
  23. loneviking

    loneviking Member

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    You don't load primers one by one into a Dillon. You use a pickup tube. And the primer tube is double walled with a heavy steel weight at the top that will direct any explosion up and away from the operator. Works for me!
     
  24. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=495909&page=8

    It is impossible to protect someone from himself.

    Again, I can duplicate the accident, Dillon can duplicate the accident, again when an animal runs across the road in front of you, make that sound, it is better to hit the animal than swerve, and when you drop a tube of primers, again, make that sound, never, never, never under any circumstance reach/grab for the primer tube, again, make that sound.

    F. Guffey

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=495909&page=8
     
  25. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I didn't read the thread but my bet is he dropped the rod that pushes the primers. I don't see any other way it would have happened. No way it was static.
     
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