Reloaded this last 14 years 22/250, .243 and .30 06 without an issue until now and I thought it a good idea to remind everyone of complacency ...
Managed to get away last weekend, Saturday for Sika and Sunday morning for Fallow and Muntjac. Fired a few rounds middle of the week with my usual .243 load, 95g Ballistic tips, recently loaded, just to check zero. All was well so off to Dorset I went but as with Sika, a couple of clicks adjustment was made for the 100g Partitions used on these animals.
Saturday first thing, shot a pricket and stag calf without issue. After lunch, found the fantastic young 9 pointer I filmed back in October, a stag which came in to about 12 yards and stood to be filmed in bright light for a few minutes before catching some scent. Either side of the laid up stag were 2 prickets, and after a a rather slow stalk in to about 120 yards both I and my camera woman (wife) were in position with a steady rest courtesy of the sticks and right elbow rest against a suitable tree.
All was under control for a neck shot which was taken without hardly a twitch from the pricket. The stag stood at the shot giving us some further decent video footage, however, the follow up reload proved difficult with a jammed bolt. With a bit of force it opened, case ejected, I chambered a second round initially to ensure I was loaded just in case the first pricket showed any sign of life. Without too much thought in the heat of the moment I waited until the second pricket presented a shot, which it did after a minute or so. Once again a neck shot dropped it instantly. A quick reload was again an issue..... jammed bolt!
Once again considerable force to open it but this time checking the case and yes.... pressure.... considerably too much!
With 2 to gralloch and 4 to get back to the larder, stalking finished early. With that sorted and time to consider the issues I though I probably have an issue with the partitions I loaded at the end of last season. The BT's were fine so I was happy to use them next morning and with the few used to check zero and 2 fallow and a muntjac buck clean shot on Sunday morning there was obviously no issue with these.
So tonight I checked out the remaining 8 Partitions I have loaded and yes, 6 loaded heavy and 2 ok. The 2 must have been from a previous batch and the others loaded for a final outing last February in Dorset.
Ok.... loaded heavy, I'm still in one piece but after all those years without and issue, I managed to load up with 48 grains of H4350 instead of 40.8g!
I do not know how much extra pressure this has generated but know it was considerable and consider myself lucky to have both gun and myself in one piece. I know I have not been the first person to make this type of mistake with the RCBS scales as I'm sure many have but being involved with engineering and quality all my working life, if I can make the mistake I'm sure others can and therefore advise ultimate care whilst reloading.
Thankfully the Tikka M590 is well made. During proof testing, loads are used, I understand 25-50% higher than standard loads but I wonder how much extra pressure the 48g of H4350 generated. Next thing would be, has any permanent damage been caused? If anyone can advise I'd appreciate it.
A very fortunate DM