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So I blew up a 1911 (Kaboom)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by essayons21, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    The RCBS Lockout die is definitely a better safeguard than the Hornady Powder Cop, especially for someone new to progressive reloading. You should do all your tweaks to the press before loading a live round, but occassionally something can happen in the middle of the batch to mess it all up. The Powder Cop requires you to pay attention to it everytime the ram is raised. If the Lockout die is properly adjusted it will not allow the ram to raise on an empty case or a double charge. When the press locks-out the simple solution is to empty the shellplate and figure out what came loose or what seized up. I once encountered an issue on my LNL. I had improperly set the powder measure in the case activated die, causing the powder measure linkage to seize in the up position. The Lockout die did it's job and kept me from producing a squib. I made the necessary adjustment and no further problems.

    Do all your tweaks by making a dummy round with no primer or powder. Once you have everything set, size a single case, prime it, expand it, then use it to adjust your powder measure and LOCKOUT DIE. That's what I do. I also mark the stem on the Lockout die, visually check the Lockout die, and visually check the case before I seat a bullet. It's redundant, but it's about as safe as it gets without weighing out every single charge.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  2. 9w1911

    9w1911 Member

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    1 Add me to the "weigh every cartridge" crowd.
    2 I also visually check and feel each primer I seat

    I use a 550B LOL (also auto indexing presses kinda scare me)

    It is rare I just load away and fill up the bin. Even when I do that I LED every case as I add the bullet
     
  3. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Non auto-indexing presses sort of scare me. At least when you pull the handle of a true progressive a new shell is under the powder hopper. Although, whether it actually gets powder or not depends on you keeping the hopper full. :)

    I also visually inspect each case. I leave station 3 on my 650 open (no die) so I can eyeball it, then I seat the bullet in station 4. I trust my eye more than I trust a mechanical doo-dad to tell me if there is powder in the casing.

    Grab bullet - Look for powder - Place bullet - pull handle - push handle - grab bullet - look for powder - place bullet - pull handle - push handle.

    That's the process.

    If you're running a manually indexed press, without a case feeder, how many places do your eyes have to look to grab casing, place casing, index the holder, fetch a bullet, place the bullet, etc?

    The more places your eyes have to look, the more operations you have to do, the more likely you are to skip that one part - looking at the powder.

    One distraction (children, wife, kids) and you forget where you are.

    With that 650, if I get distracted, I have to check powder, place bullet, pull handle. Everything else is being done for me. No risk of forgetting to index (double charge), indexing TWICE (squib), etc.
     
  4. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    I get what your saying, but I never look at station one unless I have a problem. Case in St1, bullet placed in St3, pull handle, push forward to prime/look in case at ST2, rotate, and repeat. I guess over the years I have got a feel for which way the case goes in, and bullets goes on so I rarely look at them.
     
  5. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Right, but you are a seasoned vet. :)

    New users will find the process very "busy", and if they build up an incorrect / bad habit, they WILL get squibs or double charges.
     
  6. fehhkk

    fehhkk Member

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    Seeing that you load close to max load, it could have been that an additional 0.5 gr slipped by in that particular chart?

    Glad youre OK.
     
  7. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    The Para manual for that gun doesn't say anything about +P, the assumption would be that it is NOT rated for it unless it's specifically stated that it is. An additional 0.5gr would push him in to +P territory.

    Still, one round? Even if the firearm isn't rated for it's continual use, it should be able to stand up to 1 round of if; there's considerable margins of safety in the engineering of modern firearms.

    This was a catastrophic failure, it was undoubtedly a double-charge.
     
  8. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I got my first progressive a few years ago. I already knew how to load. is been doing it for years. Well that was my biggest problem. It took me half a day just to figure out I didn't know what I was doing(probably not that long but to long). Once on figured that out I started running one round at a time through. I was studying each station. It didn't long to learn this way.

    Reloading on a single stage & progressive aren't the same thing. Both are easy but you must take your time to figure out what is going on.
     
  9. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    A few months ago I acquired a LnL. I had been using the Lee Classic Turret.
    I soon found that if something happens things can go to h### in a hurry. After loading my first hundred rounds I stopped until I received an RCBS Lock-out die. This does not bomb proof you but it certainly helps. I have never used any other progressive press, but the LnL certainly makes LOOKING AT THE POWDER in the fourth station very easy. You are setting a bullet on it anyway so it is very easy to LOOK AT THE POWDER before sitting the bullet. Even after the round has process through the Lock-out die. Even after the Lock-out die has been tested with no charge and double charge. Even after your powder measure setting has been checked. Even after the setting has been verified with a scale. I only use HP38, but even in a 45 ACP a double charge is very noticeable.
     
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I also set a LED over station 4 in the turret of my Load Master.
     
  11. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Progressive presses ain't for newbies and amatuers. Over all of the years I saw other guys blow guns in every single case they were using a progressive press they had just bought or they were going for speed. Extreme vigilance is required. One second of inattention can get you a ride to the emergency room. Slow down. Mount a GOOD light so you can see in every case.
     
  12. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    ljnowell,

    No, I was just stating the single stage, not having to check 5 or 6 different phases of the loading sequence before getting started again, is easier for me, not complacent in any way ! Too many factors, and too many things to check, sometimes it can get tedious if something continues to crop up, that was my only meaning.
     
  13. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    On load data... Hornady lists max charge as 6.2. Speer lists max as 5.5. Nosler has no load data for lead .45. These are the 3 manuals I have. I worked up to this load, and it shows no pressure signs in 4 different 1911s. Can someone with some different manuals give me max loadings for 230gr (.452) and Clay's Universal.
     
  14. bds

    bds Member

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    Current Hodgdon load data
    No Universal load data for 45ACP in Lyman #49.
     
  15. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Yeah it took me awhile to wrap my head around the Dillon when I got it, too.

    I started on a single stage press back in 1998, got a turret press in 1999 (still use it!), and added the progressive back in 2008.
     
  16. 9w1911

    9w1911 Member

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    I just look at the 550 like a single stage with different stations, each station requires you to look at something or check something etc. Lately I just weigh each round. I am in no rush.
     
  17. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    When I sit down on the progressive, it's "an event."

    As in, I clear my weekend, and even enlist the aid of my children to help me pack the ammo. This is last year's supply of 45 ACP practice ammo after loading, with my oldest daughter helping me box it up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I load and package it in 1,000 round lots, can usually do 2 or 3 lots on a weekend (9mm and 223 is slower for me, I have a harder time picking up the little bullets.)
     
  18. dbltaps

    dbltaps Member

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    Glad you are ok

    Glad you are ok and only lost the barrel and not some fingers!
    When I set up my LNL, I set up each die individually while using a single empty case. The powder funnel is the last thing I set up after making sure all the other dies were adjusted properly.
    It is up to you to come up with a safe process/methodology that works for YOU, and so I am only posting to explain my setup process. Please read all the great responses from all of these members - they are much wiser, knowledgable, and experienced than myself. Take what you will from the advice, and adjust your process as you need to be safer and good luck!
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    A squib or double charge can be done on any make or style of reloading equipment, so be careful, be attentive, and be safe.
     
  20. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Walkalong was kind enough to open this thread back up. I have learned alot from the suggestions so far, so lets keep this open for other new progressive reloaders. My mistake was not due to the brand or type of press I was using, it was only due to my own inattentiveness, inexperience, and it seems overconfidence.

    I have been pulling down these loads this afternoon. I attempted to use my RCBS collet bullet puller, but more often than not it just crushes the soft lead and the bullet stays. So I switched to a kinetic puller, and while I can't get an exact measurement of the powder charge, I can confidently say there have been no double or undercharges in the 50 rounds I have pulled so far.

    A PM from another user helping me double check my load data caused me to notice a potential issue. I began measuring the COAL and found it to be much shorter than I had intended. I usually load at 1.24-1.245. The first round I checked was 1.215! This batch averages 1.22. And I never checked this after loading! Another example of how I was doing too much at one time setting up the press and forgot a critical step.

    Now I am loading near max pressure according to Hornady, and over max listed by Speer and Hodgdon. .03" will certainly increase the pressure significantly, but is it enough to blow up a barrel like this? There were no pressure signs in the 3 successfully fired rounds....
     
  21. poor man

    poor man Member

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    yes a thank you to Walkalong for opening the thread back up, lets keep it clean and informational :)
     
  22. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Maybe someone with Quickload can run a simulation and tell us what kind of pressures that load generates. I think it would be useful information.
     
  23. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Thanks to MicroTecniqs

    1.211 is the shortest round I found

    HTML:
    Cartridge          : .45 Auto (ACP) (SAAMI)
    Bullet             : .452, 230gr .666"BL
    Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 1.211 inch or 30.76 mm
    Barrel Length      : 5.0 inch or 127.0 mm
    Powder             : Hodgdon Universal
    
    Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
    incremented in steps of 3.846% of nominal charge.
    CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !
    
    Step    Fill. Charge   Vel.  Energy   Pmax   Pmuz  Prop.Burnt B_Time
     %       %    Grains   fps   ft.lbs    psi    psi      %        ms
    
    -38.5   50     3.20    598     183    7510   1405     86.5    1.084
    -34.6   54     3.40    630     203    8422   1521     88.9    1.030
    -30.8   57     3.60    662     224    9408   1634     91.0    0.985
    -26.9   60     3.80    693     245   10470   1745     92.9    0.938
    -23.1   63     4.00    723     267   11612   1852     94.5    0.895
    -19.2   66     4.20    753     289   12835   1955     95.9    0.854
    -15.4   69     4.40    782     312   14142   2053     97.1    0.814
    -11.5   72     4.60    811     336   15535   2146     98.0    0.778
    -07.7   76     4.80    838     359   17019   2233     98.8    0.745
    -03.8   79     5.00    866     383   18596   2314     99.3    0.715  ! Near Maximum !
    +00.0   82     5.20    892     407   20271   2389     99.7    0.687  ! Near Maximum !
    +03.8   85     5.40    918     431   22047   2458     99.9    0.661  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +07.7   88     5.60    944     455   23928   2520    100.0    0.637  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +11.5   91     5.80    969     479   25919   2580    100.0    0.615  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +15.4   95     6.00    993     504   28025   2640    100.0    0.594  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +19.2   98     6.20   1017     528   30252   2699    100.0    0.575  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    
    Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
    Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    +Ba     82     5.20    924     436   23932   2294    100.0    0.642  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    -Ba     82     5.20    847     366   16682   2401     96.2    0.748
    
     
  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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  25. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    True enough.

    I did a few hundred rounds on my 550B one round at a time before I used it as a progressive press. I wanted to watch how it worked, and convince myself each station was, in fact, operating correctly even though they were operating simultaneously.

    I have read of folks using a single stage and decapping their thumb, because they couldn't pull it out fast enough before their R hand ran it up into the die.

    I have also read of folks who meticulously check each case in a loading block, except they went ahead and ran one row under the powder measure twice after being interrupted by a phone call. 10 double charges.

    I find it hard to believe that a single stage press is any guarantee of safer reloading practice. I believe that a fool is a fool, regardless of what kind of tools he is allowed to get ahold of.

    It may be true that a fool with a progressive press can make a lot more bad ammunition in a given amount of time than if he was using a single stage press. :)
     
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