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Thread: Reloading Howlers. Just for fun.

  1. #1

    Reloading Howlers. Just for fun.

    Just for a bit of fun and the benefit of those new to reloading, perhaps some of us 'Old Stagers' should own up to the errors that we have made along the way ?

    I'll start it off.
    • Loaded 100 rounds of .243 using cases that had been fired in another rifle. Didn't set the full length die correctly and the rounds wouldn't fit into my rifle.
    • Ruined quite a few .22Hornet cases by trimming them too short.
    • Used too much lube and dented case shoulders.
    • Didn't keep a check on how many times cases had been fired nor keep them in separate batches.
    • Didn't keep my batches of .243 separate. Got a bad batch of bullets that caused horrendous meat damage. Had to pull every .243 loaded round that I had and waste the bullets.
    • Ruined a RCBS full length die by using the wrong #3 shell holder. Thought it was RCBS #3 but it wasn't.
    • Set bullets out too long and blackened the cases so it looked as if I had been using black-powder.
    • Paid far too much attention to 'bench-rest style reloading techniques and caused myself lots of unnecessary problems.


    I sure I will think of a few others. So come on chaps, 'fess up' as the kids say .

  2. #2
    Well done Norm! - Go away & say 50 Hail Marys.

    My turn -- Last year
    Smashed a primer removing pin on a military case - Berdan primer type - no central hole - rushing not looking what I was doing -- Doh!

    A few years ago, before I really knew what I was doing ---
    Failed to check headspace / bump back on some fired brass I was given & ended up with 50 rounds that wouldn't fit into my rifle - needed to be pulled.
    Had two 308 rifles that had different chamber clearances & mixed up the cases - Ended up on a deer park with ammo that wouldn't chamber!
    Overloaded some 243 by miss reading my scales - 5% OTT - By the cringe - that was spectacular - great muzzle flash - I was lucky - no other problems!
    Didn't mark up some powder after dismantling some ammo & had to throw it as I couldn't be sure what it was.
    Dinged a couple of case mouths by using a press that mounts at an angle (leans back a few degrees) - The cases would tip a bit if care wasn't taken & catch on the way into the die. - Since then I pack the press base to make the ram run vertical.

    Off to church!

    Ian

  3. #3
    Whilst working up a load, I put all the loaded rounds (with different powder charges) in row order in my loading box. . . Only to get out the car and drop the box, bullets all over the ground. . . Thirty rounds to pull. Won't make that mistake again.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadex View Post
    Whilst working up a load, I put all the loaded rounds (with different powder charges) in row order in my loading box. . . Only to get out the car and drop the box, bullets all over the ground. . . Thirty rounds to pull. Won't make that mistake again.

    similar.....I now write on each case with a sharpie


    1) forgot to lube inside neck - stuck case!
    2) put a few primers in upside down!
    3) managed to fit a .222 case between the decapping pin and the die wall...bent pin, ruined case!
    4) had one round in the block with no primer, couldn't work out where the powder kernels were coming from!
    5) few bent neck lips with flat based bullets and overzealous seating

  5. #5
    I got a really good buy on some 180+ grain cast bullets for the .357 magnum so I loaded them up for use in my Ruger revolver. Crimped them tightly into the case to insure they wouldn't back out of the cases during recoil.... and found out they were too long to fit in the cylinder of my gun. They hung out the end by about .050" keeping the cylinder from rotating. Never could get them out of the cases.~Muir

  6. #6
    When pistol shooting a long time ago used ICI Nobel rifle powder 3 in .38spl target loads instead of pistol powder 3 , Did a hundred and turned up to shoot a competiton and the bullets barely made it out of the barrel , lots of unburnt particles ! Borrowed ammo for the day but all present had their fun .
    "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
    Adolph Hitler – 1933

  7. #7
    Well my biggest mistake was not putting primers in. I now do it in stages- clean, resize -prime, powder and then bullets. Never done it again

    al

  8. #8
    Loaded 50 rounds of .243 95 grain sst's my usual load , didn't mark up the box ,went to Scotland quick group on the range before stalking bullets were all over the place fired another 5 before i noticed that i was holding myTikka .270 Doh !!!!

  9. #9
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    A great thread! In the absence of a clear conscience the best I can say is that I have nothing to add, except a numbered summary: perhaps subsequent posters would like to amplify this, and then we can all print out a copy to treasure!


    1. Bought the cheapest brass available -R****gton. Wasted 2 months trying to work up a load then went back to the gunsmith and complained. He gave me 50 Norma cases and told me to try again. Half a day later it was shooting 0.5 MOA at higher than expected velocity. Since then I have always bought the best brass I could find.
    2. Loaded 100 rounds of .243 using cases that had been fired in another rifle. Didn't set the full length die correctly and the rounds wouldn't fit into my rifle.
    3. Bumped neck back too far so couldn't close the bolt
    4. Failed to check head-space / bump back on some fired brass & ended up with 50 rounds that wouldn't fit my rifle.
    5. Tried loading the wrong-size bullets, after changing from shooting a 6mm to a 6.5mm, and after failing to notice the "small print" on the side of the box (same brand as before: different calibre!). It took a puzzling 30 minutes for the penny finally to drop. Conclusion: A 6.5 mm neck will not grip a 6 mm bullet... no matter how many times you size the brass.
    6. Loading some .243 with what was supposed to be 75 grn V Max bullets, something seemed odd and on checking the box they were 87 grn... except I had never purchased any. Clearly the supplier had got his boxes of bullets mixed up and had handed them over to me without checking. Now when buying I always check what's written on the box.
    7. Had two rifles of the same calibre with different chamber clearances & mixed up the cases. Result = ended up on a deer park with ammo that wouldn't chamber.
    8. Crimped bullets tightly into the case then found they were too long to fit the cylinder of my gun.
    9. Set bullets out too long and blackened the cases so it looked as if I had been using black-powder.
    10. Ruined cases by trimming them too short.
    11. Used too much lube and dented case shoulders.
    12. Forgot to lube inside neck. Result = stuck case.
    13. Bent a few case mouths with flat-based bullets and overzealous seating.
    14. Dinged a couple of case mouths by using a press that mounts at an angle (leans back a few degrees). The cases would tip a bit if care wasn't taken & catch on the way into the die. Since then I pack the press base to make the ram run vertical.
    15. Set a FL-die so it touched the shell-holder, thus squishing the life out of cases, leading to premature signs of head separation in about a third of them after only four firings.
    16. Managed to fit a .222 case between the de-capping pin and the die wall. Result = bent pin + ruined case.
    17. Inserted a finger between a de-capping pin and the press by reloading too quickly. Even the handle falling under its own weight will make you cry and leave a nice small hole, especially if it goes through your nail.
    18. Trapped a finger between the de-capping pin and case. The de-capping pin punched a hole straight through the finger nail which wasn't that painful but did bleed quite a lot.
    19. Ruined a RCBS full length die by using the wrong #3 shell holder. Thought it was RCBS #3 but it wasn't.
    20. Used the wrong shell holder. It was too big to grip the case head so the case duly pushed up into die only to stay there when the arm was cranked up! Much [bother] was required to fit the right shell holder to the now-sized case in the die!
    21. Forgot to put primers in. I now do it in stages- clean, resize -prime, powder and then bullets. Never done it again.
    22. Had one round in the block with no primer, couldn't work out where the powder kernels were coming from.
    23. Put in a few primers upside-down.
    24. Put primers in while the case was still damp inside from sonic cleaner.
    25. Dropped a live primer onto a concrete floor and then hit it with a hammer. Don't do this. The bang is ear-splitting and the pieces of shrapnel fly everywhere.
    26. Threw a bent shotgun primer into the back of the Rayburn to get rid of it. The primer went off before I could close the door and half the fire in the grate was promptly ejected on to the hearth rug.
    27. Managed to blow the top off a Lee autoprime once by not reading the instructions and putting a full tray of federal small pistol primers in it. The reloader was priming cases in lounge and watching TV. He didn't pick up all the loose primers off the floor afterwards, and one subsequently detonated in the hoover when his wife was hoovering the lounge. Apparently they do beat as they sweep as they clean.
    28. Hoovered up spilt black powder with a Henry vac. "lots of white smoke - top popped off and motor housing - dust, debris on fire - shorting motor out. It all happend in a flash." The bulk of the powder - about three 12 bore loads - stayed un-burnt on the carpet.
    29. Got over excited, misread the supplied load data and put several GRAMS of powder (not grains) in his first 12g load. Apparently he struggled to get all the shot in and get it crimped. Upon firing it was only the strength of an old Baikal semi-auto used that no serious injuries occurred.
    30. Attempted to lever a primer out of its pocket and it detonated. A sharp bit of shrapnel hit my cheek just under the eye and I got a nasty small cut that wouldn't stop bleeding. My cheek was bruised and sore for weeks but fortunately it missed my eye. Since then I always wear safety glasses when reloading.
    31. Put a case in the vice and tapped the primer with a nail and hammer to make it safe...not any more.
    32. Forgot to close the powder drain port on the RCBS Chargemaster after a previous reloading session. Expensive.
    33. Used the wrong powder (ICI Nobel rifle powder 3 in .38 Spl target loads instead of pistol powder 3).
    34. Omitted the powder in one reload. On firing, the round went off with a phut and the bullet lodged an inch into the bore. It took some work with a cleaning rod from the muzzle end to dislodge it.
    35. Didn't mark up some powder after dismantling some ammo & had to throw it as I couldn't be sure what it was.
    36. "Converted" some standard M80 7.62 NATO surplus rounds to .243 Win., by simply pulling the 7.62 bullets, necking-down the cases -without dumping the powder- and seating .243 bullets. Talk about overpressure, the charge was too large and the necks too thick. Lucky the gun did not come apart.
    37. Didn't keep a check on how many times cases had been fired nor keep them in separate batches.
    38. Didn't keep my batches of .243 separate. Got a bad batch of bullets that caused horrendous meat damage. Had to pull every .243 loaded round and bin the bullets.
    39. Put all the loaded rounds (with different powder charges) in row order in my loading box, then got out the car and dropped the box, and everything got mixed up.
    40. Mixed up loads for testing so when I found a batch that worked well I had no idea how much powder was in it
    41. Overloaded some .243 when I misread the scales.
    42. The dog ate my scale pan. Don't reload with a bored Springer in the room. He will eat the scale pan from your RCBS 5-0-5s. Veterinary support will be required. A bill will follow.
    43. Paid far too much attention to 'bench-rest style reloading techniques and caused myself lots of unnecessary problems.
    Last edited by Mr. Gain; 10-09-2014 at 20:01. Reason: Further cautionary tales added.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post

    similar.....I now write on each case with a sharpie
    Avoided this so far, I colour-code the primers with a set of CD marker pens. Easy to compare fired cases afterwards for pressure signs etc.

    As an experiment loaded some 30-30 cartridges with spitzer bullets, rather than the flat nose ones needed in the tube magazine of my lever action Marlin.

    Intention was to single load through the ejection port and compare trajectory, accuracy etc. with flat nose.

    Worked very well, until I tried to eject an unfired round.

    The pointy bullets were sufficiently longer than the flat ones that the rounds were just too long for the ejector port. They single-loaded into the chamber very nicely, but once hooked onto the bolt by the extractor they could not be unloaded. And when trapped in the action by the ejector spring it jammed, I couldn't push it back and shoot it off.

    The same thing could happen in a bolt gun, if you were loading well beyond specified OAL, but it would be much easier to sort out.

    Fortunately on a Marlin there is only one screw needed to take off the lever and pull out the bolt (with round attached). Would have been a big problem on a Winchester.

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