View Full Version : A long story (Confession?)
05-27-2005, 05:56 PM
I bought this NEW remington 700. I wanted a 308, but it only comes in a faster twist in the varmit model. I settled on the 22-250.
Went home, tried this and that. Shooting jacketed boolits, 100 or so jacketed for the brass and to smooz out the barrel. I was trying a few cast loads having great luck. I was using IMR 4227 data for WW 296. Things were good. Jacketed performace was nothing fantastic, but cast was fine for staters. I used 35 grains of 748 for my jacketed stuff and it worked well. SOMEHOW I put 35 grains of 296 in some jacketed loads. The containers look the same and I didn't realize it until it was tooo late. I fired one of those 40 grain factory loads over my crony to see if it really reached 4,000 fps. 3898. Good enugh. I put in what I thought was another of the same. I pulled the trigger and got sprayed in the face with powder. I am blessed with poor vision, so I always wear glasses. Nothing serious to me, but the gun was another story. I looked at he chrony, it said 4195 fps. This was a 55 grain jacketed boolit. The bolt wouldn't open. I packed up my stuff, and went home happy I wasn't hurt. I put the gun on the bench, took a block of wood and a hammer to see if I could open the bolt. Tap...tap...tap... off came the bolt handle. OH SH*t. I called the ammo manufactor, told them what happened ( I thought it was the factory ammo). They sent me a shipping label pre paid. They wanted to see the gun and what was left of the ammo. I also called remington to see what they would do. They did the same thing, sent me a pre paid UPS shipping label. I sent the gun off to remington. Aftere it was gone, I realized that what I had done. I keep good records and looked at my box of ammo. 15 factory loads, 13 reloads. There were 14 factory loads and 12 reloads left in the box I used that day. I had picked up one of my handloads when the gun went ka boom. I wrote to Remington and told them what I had done. This was just before christmass. Remington fixed the gun....new barrel, bolt and all the parts in the bolt. I ended up getting the stock and reciever back from the original gun. NO CHARGE "to promote good will". One happy camper.
I have been loading since 1987 and this is the first time this has happened. I have a reminder on the stock where the action has a vent in the side of the chamber and a burn mark on the stock from the over pressure. I looked up the max load for IMR 4227, its 21 grains. I loaded 35 of WW296. Good gun, good company, Lucky shooter.
Now I keep ONE can of powder on the bench. I READ the label before I load and double check my loads. I pulled every load I had for that gun and trashed the powder. 296 looks exactly like 748. No problems since, 500 or so rounds later, but I am more careful.
05-27-2005, 06:36 PM
Well Dave, thanks for sharing that, most would have kept quiet.
the closest I have ever came to having a problem was dropping max loads into 22-250 without working up, they ended up HOT but no damage...slight rem ejector marks on the fired cases.
I agree one powder on the bench, primed cases mouth down until charged with powder, almost always I use a powder where a double charge is a huge differance that can be immediately seen.
David - These type of posts are very good in reminding us to never lose vigilance in our reloading activities. On other gun boards there would follow a slam of the poster and additional drivel on why THEY would never do something so stupid. But we are human and the question is, " What did you learn from it?". I have never loaded the wrong powder, but I did stick a 308 Win round into a 7.5 Swiss rifle. Someday I will post photos. There was no damage. but I got a perfectly fireformed case and a wakeup call.
My question is why do you keep factory loads and reloads in the same box? I keep brass sorted by lot#. Then I can track how many times I have reloaded it. Sorting in this method would not have prevented your experience, but I feel keeping brass sorted by lot and number of times fired is important in producing quality handloads and also safety. And thanks for your courage in posting.
05-27-2005, 08:03 PM
David, thanks for being man enough to admit a mistake, your story may help somebody else avoid big trouble. Besides the excellent precautions listed by willbird, I keep a flashlight on the bench to check powder level in all the cases before seating the first bullet. Also I add a secondary label to each powder can. WW231 is labled "fast pistol," 2400 is labled "Magnum pistol/fast rifle," and on up to powders that are labeled "slow rifle."
05-27-2005, 08:22 PM
We all think that we are extremely methodical and careful, but things like this can and do happen to the best of us. I'm glad you weren't hurt.
One of my other passions is motorcycles and motorcycle touring. That interest also exposes me to danger, and I've always been very interested in dissecting the details of a motorcycle wreck, for the knowledge I gain. It doesn't mean I will never have a bike wreck, but it heightens my awareness of the many dangers faced.
05-27-2005, 11:40 PM
.............David thanks for sharing. I've also been down that road but the rifle (low number Springfield) was a 95% writeoff with the exception of the triggerguard (floorplate trashed) and trigger. A double charge of H4227 sent a 220gr Lyman 311284 across the Pact at 3089 fps.
Saw where a guy blew the barrel out of the end of his Savage M112 by using a casefull of W296. Bolt still in place, and no other problems.
Had a friend fire a 270 in his 7mm Mag. Just a minor headspace problem but no damage to anyone or anything.
Saw a guy with his new 30-06 shooting the 308 ammo the store guy said would work. Heck they're both 30 cals ain't they :-) No problem at all, happily banging away until the ejected case appearance caught the attention of the guy next to him.
Rangemaster buddy told me about the guy shooting his new flintlock. He sat down and fired the shot, which caused his powderhorn on the right edge of the bench to explode. He went to the hospital as he was cut up some from flying ****. Luckily no one was sitting at the next bench.
It's not a REAL exclusive club, but it sure changes how you do things and makes you think. Another thought that will also float through your head on occasion is, "What is that guy next to me shooting". So we owe it not only to ourselves but to those around us to be precise and thoughtfull.
05-28-2005, 12:34 AM
I've been handloading for about 38 years. I always try to be attentive and vigilante when reloading, and fortuneately have caught my errors or mistakes at the bench and not behind the gun.....until last year. Was working up some loads for my No.4 Enfield and the Lee Heavy 30. Seemed it really liked 16 gr. of 2400. Testing my last few rounds went well, 'cept for the last shot. Must have doubled that charge and it slipped by me. Bullet hit the steel target I was shooting at, and it got there in a hurry. Had to persuade the bolt with a wood mallet a little,( the primer had disintegrated and tied things up) and the case had held together, but you could have seated a shotshell primer in the thing without much effort. Rifle still shoots well, but I have redefined my loading bench habits. Moral is, one can never be too careful.
David, I'm glad you didn't get hurt. Hopefully there won't be any more surprises down the road.
05-28-2005, 04:45 AM
That reminds me of a few things buckshot, My dad said his "shootin unkle" was an old guy that had one side of his face blackened from a whole tin of top hat caps that went off next to him on the shooting bench where he was shooting. The particles went so deep that that side of his face was black forever.
WE used to go to a MGun shoot in ohio, there was an idiot there shooting 308 in an M1D garand to prove it could be done, it wasnt even his rifle...people didnt belive me when I told them what he had been doing, then insisted he was a gunsmith so it must be ok, later on that day the same guy fired a double charge or triple maybe in a colt 45lc clone and blew the gun up, the primer came out the pring pin slot and made him a shallow third eye. No perm damage....and darn good thing nobody got hurt.
People cut down ar-15's for a host of reasons, at the same shoot a friend fired a handloaded 223 that tied the gun up, it swelled the head of that case so bad it looked like a belted magnum, once they got it out he is still shooting the rifle with the same bolt head and bbl extension. I would have trashed them both at least but he is hard headed.
Also older and wiser folks told me not to shoot fmj at hard objects from up close, well I forgot in 20 years......those bullet cores or what is left of them can punch denim blue jeans and make holes in your legs real close to the frank and beans I can tell you for sure. if it had hit me in the chest or neck it could have kilt me.
05-28-2005, 06:44 AM
All educational, and all too true!
My personal reckoning came on the day I found that I had loaded FIFTY-NINE GRAINS OF 2400 behind some 200-grain Nosler Partitions for my Model 700 .30-06. I bet that woulda got my attention, when it went off.
I was extremely fortunate that I caught the error at the bench...otherwise I would have been out firing these rounds about half-an-hour later. It was fifteeen years ago, and the lesson still sticks with me...BIG TIME!
David R, you are far from alone, and thanks for raising the subject.
05-28-2005, 07:53 AM
A variation to this cautionary tale is one I've experienced buying powder from a "friend" with a FFL. He said it was BLC-2. For my .223, the book said 27.5 grains so I started with 25.5 grains. 27.5 grains was rated at 3,313 FPS, these averaged 2801 so that seemed reasonable. However, the primers were very flat and some had backed out a bit, and I noticed obvious extractor marks on the rims. Also, doubled twice. Pulled the rest and reloaded at 23 grains. Seems it wasn't BLC-2 but some surplus stuff he acquired. So, I've learned not only to check or double check two loading reference books but to also be sure what the powder is. Some bargains ain't!
05-28-2005, 09:45 AM
I learned my lesson about having more than one powder can on the bench. I once emptied my powder measure containing Bullseye into my keg of Herco and turned it into lawn fertlizer. I once used data from Green Dot and loaded Blue Dot or visa-versa, lucky for me it produced squib loads. A friend of mine admitted to emptying his shotshell, shot hopper into his 8lb powder can.
The worse blow-up I saw was an old Gew-88 on display. It had the old .318 bore and they shot some surplus 8MM. I was told the shooter left in an ambulance with a piece of metal that penetrated his lip and embedded into his gums. The stock was shattered not from shooting but from a fit of rage by his brother.
05-28-2005, 12:22 PM
I uset to shoot with a fellow that bought a brand new gold cup. I thought he was nuts, I shoot a auto ordinance that I re did my self. He had tons of trouble with that gun. He sent it back to colt twice. It was not functioning properly. In the end, he was loading Unique with bullseye data. Once he told colt it wouldn't shoot his reloads, they would have nothing to do with him. Another lucky one.
05-28-2005, 01:29 PM
I use both 700x and Red Dot in my 12 ga sporting clays loads depending on what the local store has in stock and I have separate containers plainly marked. I was shooting sporting a couple years ago and noticed some flash comming out the bolt on my 390 auto when I shot. This happens a lot on some auto's with Remington promotional ammo but I had never seen it with my reloads. Long story short I had poured some Red Dot into the hopper on my reloader that had 700x in it. I was really shocked to see red dots in a powder bottle clearly labeled 700x! My mind was not on the subject at hand when I added powder to that bottle. Nick
05-28-2005, 05:33 PM
I SOMEHOW I put 35 grains of 296 in some jacketed loads. The containers look the same and I didn't realize it until it was tooo late.
This is a classic. And we get this every once in awhile. The sad thing is that the reason something like this occurs, is more often because someone was shooting cast, than because they grabbed the wrong container.
The sad thing about age is that we diminish as we do. If someone was trying to utilize a powder selection to shoot cast that was an ..... "improper" choice for a bullet of that weight, then things like this happen. This is probably the BIGGEST reason that I don't use anything that would require a filler. I just can't trust myself.
A man has to know his own limitations and I believe I do. So this explains how and why I shoot cast with my style. There will never be a double charge without me seeing powder go all over the place. It's an idiot proof way to ensure that I don't make a mistake that will end my shooting fun. Then the only thing I have to guard against is grabbing the wrong darn container.
................................. What was I talking about?
05-28-2005, 07:59 PM
BA, you and me both. Good enough reason to consider all guns sold that cannot shoot one kind of powder. In my situation, I'd keep the 30 to 40 grain case sized guns and shoot the H335 equivalents. Can't go wrong with those in that case range. ... felix
05-28-2005, 10:40 PM
I have been very lucky so far, catching my mistakes before I turned them in to ammo.
Buuuuut, I will say" 44 mags will chamber and fire in a 454 casull.
And - now I only put one box of ammo on the shooting bench at a time.
Darn hard on brass ,but recoil was light!! :( (A wake up call for sure!!)
Anyway it turns out being stupid is not a crime so I was free to go on my way.
Heres one I have always been very , very, carefull to avoid. Can you imagine putting a 45LC cyl in a 44 mag revolver, and shooting 45s in it! No I havent done it , but I have always been scared I might . So I only have one gun apart at any one time.
05-28-2005, 11:18 PM
I have never done anything like that and I never will again eather!!!
05-29-2005, 08:45 AM
Well I'm with Bullshop. I'm old and I've been reloading since my teens. I do everything wrong, that is I have more then one can of powder on the bench at a time. I can take 20 of anything apart and leave them on a bench and put them back together years later. I have a mechanical memory that haunts me. I'm not even going to tell you fellows I've come close to messing up on reloading, cause I haven't. When it comes to mechanical stuff I'm very focused. Maybe I know my limitations to a "T" as bassackwards was talking about. Maybe my time is due too, huh? Now I've had things happen like dud primers, powder go bad, crumpled case necks, cases stuck in sizing dies, etc. Like Clint Eastwood said in the movie Unforgiven to that kid about dying "We all got it comin sometime, kid", maybe my mess up is comin.
05-30-2005, 12:38 AM
I never thought I would have done anything like that in a million years!
Two boxes of ammo in the same size and color boxes + a little range chatter,etc.
Its shamefull to be sure, and theres no excuse for it , CARELESS !!!!!!!!!!!
It is a cure for over confidence, and a reminder that the smallest slip could be our undoing.
I used to be able to say, "I never done anything like that" too. For over 20 years of handloading I could say that. But then :o .
The good part of it is , now I check and recheck what ever I am doing!
Even if Its something I know better than my name, its getting the full looksie at every turn!! ................buck
05-30-2005, 07:07 AM
Not only must we be careful of what we are doing, but we have to keep a sharp lookout for what the schlub on the next bench might do. I once took two rifles to the range, a .30/06 and a .35 Whelen. I had the .35 in the rack behind the firing line and the '06 on the bench. The shooter at the next bench took what he thought was his factory Ruger 77 with a 3-9X Leupold scope and duplex crosshairs to the bench and fired a .270 Winchester factory load. The first notice I had was hearing him say, "Only 900 fps, what's wrong?" I looked over to see my Whelen on his bench! My rifle is also a Ruger 77, but it has a medium-heavy Lilja barrel and an an old B&L 4X with tapered crosshairs. It outweighs the issue .270 by about a pound and a half. No harm was done, though if the world was just he should have destroyed his Chrony with the unguided .270 bullet. Besides one powder can on the loading bench, and one box of ammo on the shooting bench, I now keep the bolts of my rifles in my range box on the bench when using a gun rack behind me.
05-30-2005, 08:16 AM
I have never done anything like that and I never will again eather!!!
just to clarify... when Dan said this... he was *joking* ... as you can see he says he has never done it and never will again either.... it was sort of like i thought i made a mistake once, but i was wrong.... well it can't be both!
of course he has had times that have been*oops*....he is always careful with the powder (only keeping one can out at a time) but there have been other things... things like old powder, or what ever the *excuse* is... it does happen, everyone needs to be careful..i don't believe one can load and shoot as much as he has, and not have an oops, we use those oops to tell our children, and hopefully they can learn from the mistakes, and know that you always must be careful .. accidents are just that, accidents... they can happen with *anything* - i have known of people that sew, that got stitches from scissors... others that fell down the same stairs they walked down every day for years, that are now in cast... etc... no matter what we do, or how safe we are, accidents can happen, but they can happen a lot more, when we become careless...
we know of a local guy that was in the military and had something to do with their ammunitions ... he was the one that disposed of old stuff, made sure the new stuff was good... etc, i don't know all what he did, just that he KNEW his *ammo stuff* did it for years, reloaded for years, and a few weeks ago, he apparently loaded his 30-06 with the wrong powder *grabbed the wrong one off the shelf* and blew it up... lots of damge to the gun, and lots of damage to himself, he ended up in the hospital, and last i heard they weren't even sure if he would be able to see again...
relaoding...shooting guns is a great hobby, but always always always safety needs to come first... (a mom talking here! :-) ) hope others can learn from the experiences talked about here, i think it was a great subject to bring up, i had the older boys read it... so they can know too, that things can and do happen... thanks to all who have shared..
Bull Shop Mom
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