Thought I was doing everything correctly until the big bang

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RAFreeman, Jun 10, 2016.

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  1. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    RAFreeman - I understand your pain.
    I had a Ruger SP101 do the same.

    I thank God you're still able to post.
    I've said a prayer for your eye sight.

    Get better & get back to reloading & shooting.
     
  2. bob1285

    bob1285 Member

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    The Big Bang

    I thought I was doing the best job I could reloading 9mm never max load inspect the cartages every reload,etc

    I was shooting reloads in my Glock 26 with my Son at the indoor the other day and the gun went bang bang bang BOOM cracked the lower frame so bye bye gun. Luck only brused hand.

    I was aways told that you can load cases forever as long as there were no signs of cracks or damage to case.

    Turns out it was a Case head seperation, Loaded ONCE too many times
    Now I load 1,2,3,4 then out

    Hope this never happens to me again
     
  3. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    That doesn't sound like it was the case that was the problem.
     
  4. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    A case head separation won't usually cause a catastrophic failure. More to the point I have never heard of case head separation in a straight-wall cartridge. Sounnds way more like overcharge to me
     
  5. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I've seen a very small handful of case head separations in straight walled pistol (two I think). None resulted in any damage to the gun; just a failure to feed the next round and a pain getting the rest of the case out of the chamber.

    In loading well over 100k 9 and 40 myself, I've never had one. I load the brass till it splits or I lose it, whichever comes first.
     
  6. flip888

    flip888 Member

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    Thanks for reporting what happened to you. I'm just getting into reloading and after reading this I'm going to be extremely careful and hopefully I can avoid an explosion like that. I'm glad you didn't get hurt worse.
     
  7. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    I'm sure that's what RAFreeman hoped would be the result when he posted.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I strongly recommend that all reloaders get and thoroughly read a reloading manual. And once you have digested the manual, I strongly suggest that you formulate written reloading procedures in the form of a checklist to ensure you follow each step of your procedures - and document your reason for skipping one if you choose to do so.

    I load in multiples of 50 rounds and have a printed checklist that is completed as the rounds are loaded. The completed checklist then goes into the box with the loaded rounds so even 30+ years later, I know what I did with the .223 Remington that I loaded on November 2, 1980.
     
  8. Maz2331

    Maz2331 Member

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    Glocks don't fully support the case, and it is possible to blow out a case in the area under the feed ramp, which releases full chamber pressure into the action and often wrecks the gun.

    The Savage, on the other hand, looks to me like the receiver failed. I note that there is no bulging of the barrel, and even part of the case remained in the chamber. An overpressure round would almost certainly have bulged the barrel.
     
  9. jlr1962

    jlr1962 Member

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    RAFreeman, I hope you make a full recovery. I hope everybody that reloads reads this thread.

    This is the reason I will not set up a shooting position at a range next to reloaders that I do not know, or the R.O. can not speak for as far as their ability to safely reload. I will get up and move if I hear somebody say this is their first batch. I did get some dirty looks from one shooter just for asking if they had reloaded before. Same with muzzle loaders.

    I do not reload/handload.
     
  10. Paddy

    Paddy member

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    This is a bit of an odd forum to be reading if you don't hand load isn't it?

    OP thanks for sharing your experience and I hope you find a definite cause.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  11. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    It is the powder. The stuff from the pulled round is clearly not pure H335 and appears to have a good bit of titegroup mixed in.
     
  12. peterotte

    peterotte Member

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    It is possible the action was cracked and that the burst case was due to what looks like the wrong powder bursting the receiver wide open. One should remember that the pressure acts on a large area inside the locking lug recess. The breach face is subject to a huge forward force while the receiver ring is simultaneously subject to a huge radial force. All this happens very suddenly so there is the factor of a suddenly applied load which can double or more the force applied. Those vent holes just don't have enough time to vent the pressure and if there was a pre-existing fracture then it can be expected to blow. Then again, the receiver walls are pretty thin! The forces would have been due to the pressure acting radially plus from the threads being forced outward by the barrel moving forward.

    With that in mind, it is also possible that there was no pre-existing fracture.

    I would suggest that there would not have been enough pressure to damage the barrel or chamber. The rupturing case would have vented the chamber pressure.

    The fact that the case head itself did not blow off would indicate that the rupture was not caused by the action giving way. The case blew first and was the cause of the damage.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  13. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    I was reading this forum for a couple years before I started reloading. Most of what I know about reloading I learned on THR. Now I own a successful business that is 100% reloading oriented. I would say this is the perfect forum for those who don't reload...yet.
     
  14. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    I agree that you need to be very careful and methodical.

    What exactly would you change from what the OP did? It really sounds as though he was methodical and careful as well. From how he described his procedures there is no way he mixed powders, doesn't seem reasonable that he could get enough powder in the case to blow up his rifle. Yet, he still got a kaboom.

    There is a lesson here, but I'm still not sure what it is.
     
  15. Metal God

    Metal God Member

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    First I'd like to get an update from the OP . Second just because the op "thinks" he never mixed powders does not mean he didn't. I agree with others that say you can't fill the case with enaugh with the correct powder to blow up a properly working action like the op's blew up . Either the rifle was cracked/broke or there was pistol powder in the charge . This is why I was hoping for an update . Has savage received the firearm ? Did his gun smith look at it yet ? What have they said ? After viewing my/our close up photos of the different powders has the op went back to compare the pulled powder ?
     
  16. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    OP noted in post 74 that his pistol powders are loaded in a different room than his rifle and on a different press. Also, he hadn't loaded pistol in some time.
     
  17. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    Despite what the OP says the photo showing the 3 powders says something else.
    There is no way that the powder in the thrower and the last loaded case look the same as the H-335 from the jug.
    I'm not saying that the OP is a liar or anything but the 3 powders don't look the same.
    Even the H-335 from the jug shows some larger flakes but that could have blown across the sheet of paper.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. shootniron

    shootniron Member

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    I use a chronograph and it does NOTHING to indicate pressure. Different barrels give different speeds...a whole host of reasons that it is not reliable.
     
  19. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    If you are using the correct powder, and you have a good idea of what max velocity should be, the chrono is a very good tool. Really about the only thing available. Personally I value that equally or more than "pressure signs" on the brass.

    If you are using the wrong powder, obviously all bets are off.
     
  20. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I think what you are seeing there is glare off of flat spots on the small H335 granuals. I don't see any big Titegroup-like flakes in there like there is in the "thrower" and "pulled round" examples.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, H-335 is a "flattened" ball powder. Check it under magnification and you can see it was little round balls of powder that have been squashed a little. Thus the flat spots.
     
  22. Metal God

    Metal God Member

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    I sure hope the OP did not load more rounds and try to shoot that same powder again . He's not been back in over a month . Hope he's OK
     
  23. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    If we had a clear macro picture of the three powders it (I think) would be obvious that what was in the blown case is NOT 335. From the blurry image above and blown up as far as I can on a 24" monitor is really looks more like a flake powder than the flattened ball of true 335.

    There was a fellow named Clark who used to contribute some MOST interesting posts here where he systematically over-loaded cartridges and some of his results were truly scary to see. But....in a healthy rifle and using a long 75 grain projectile I just don't think you could possibly get enough 335 in it to shatter a rifle like this one did. Clark regularly swelled up case heads dramatically but the rifles didn't detonate/shatter like this one. Got to think that somehow the bad round got the wrong powder in it. The fact that it was the FIRST round with the supposed '335' and the appearance of the powder in the pics...blurry as they are...I'm thinking wrong powder. Hopefully we'll get a resolution to this someday just to close the file on it.:)
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Yeah, the pictures of the rifle show a very serious "deconstruction" of the gun. Even Clark didn't do that to his guns and at times I thought he was trying LOL. That was an event for sure!
     
  25. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Used rifle. This is an unknown variable. We do not know how many rounds and at what pressures the previous firings were at and whether the barrel/chamber experienced any prior damage/micro fractures. ;)

    One thing that stood out for me was picture of powders. As OP and several THR members posted, picture of H335 from the container does not look like the powder from the measure or the loaded cartridge.
    To me, "I see a some larger flakes in the two piles on the right" is where we should further investigate. I zoomed in as much as I could with my browser and picture below showed cropped OP's picture showing H335 on the left from the container, "H335" from the measure in the middle and "H335" from the pulled cartridge on the right.

    [​IMG]

    If you look at my comparison powder pictures below, H335 is a smooth and shiny flattened ball powder but HP-38 and Titegroup are irregular in shape with Titegroup in particular has surface crinkle/texture that will reflect light differently and contrast from H335 granules - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9637437#post9637437

    Close up examination of powder from measure and pulled cartridge under magnification will better reveal whether powder was mixed or not.

    [​IMG]
    W231ClaysTitegroup_zps5d5f6ad9.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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