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Avoiding Double Charges

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by joe kuhn, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    The only way to get a second load of powder in a shell is to run it under the charge bar a second time, or by pouring a second load of powder into a shell at the scale. Am I right, or am I missing something? (I have a Mec 9000)

    So how do you avoid this?

    Look in the shell before putting powder into it, except for during normal cycling.

    When you start a reloading session pull that shell out from under the powder drop tube and check to be sure it's empty. This is important when starting your session especially after resetting the shells when there's been a problem. I would get in the habit of checking at every restart including the first for the day. During a day's session, any number of problems might cause you to have to reverse the shell carrier by one station. That's when you pull the shell from under the drop tube and check to be sure it's empty. Then go.

    A second scenario is at the scale. Maybe you're checking a powder drop, or doing some special work at the scale. Look inside, then pour.

    Once you start reloading, you're good, no need to check, of course. Any exception to normal pulling of the handle and setting components requires a visual. You need good lighting.

    That's my take on it. Pretty simple, but it needs to be in order to be useful. Anyone have further ideas on this important subject?

    Joe
     
  2. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    On my mec 650 the charge bar would sometimes bind up on the return. The shot would drop on the movement over to pick up the powder and the bar would hang up short of dropping the powder. I would then rotate the base manually and the powder would drop unnoticed by me with the movement. I would then cycle the loader again dropping yet another dump of powder in the same hull. People will argue that when you crimp the hull it will spill the shot alerting you to something being wrong, but that is not always the case. The wad column will collapse and give you a very serviceable crimp. I solved the problem by installing an addition spring on the return, but not before I fired two rounds in my 1100. I weighed about 10 flats of shells individually I had I had loaded before, set aside the outliers, cut them open and found no more overcharges. Of course if I had noticed the bar hanging up there would have been no double charges, but my primer drop was my focus at the time of loading.
     
  3. Spanky

    Spanky Active Member

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    When everything is cycling fine you basically have no worries, when things mess up or go out of sequence stay focused on what you are doing. Number your shells (station) if you have to when you remove them. Check what shells has what components in them. Don't get distracted by other stuff around you. Keep your reloading bench clean and orderly and know where everything that you need to get back into sequence is. I never had a double charge but have gone out of sequence do to one thing or another. You can never be too careful while reloading.
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    I did not see any mention of one powder charge hanging up in the drop tube, and putting little or no powder in the shell. Then on the next pull of the handle two powder charges being placed in the next hull. Result is a squibb load followed by a double powder charge load. HMB
     
  5. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Excellent posts fellas. You reminded me that using the wrong powder can cause overpressure loads as well. Clays, International Clays and Universal Clays are named closely, which is unfortunate. But that's another topic.

    HMB - how would powder hang up in the drop tube? Static? I've had shot hang up in it's tube but never powder that I know of. We do run a humidifier through the winter, which reminds me to get a new screen for it and hook up the overflow tubes...

    Joe
     
  6. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Why start this thread: I'm one for dealing with problems directly and safe reloading is an important topic for all shooters in every club. We're talking about problems AND solutions here. These problems have existed for quite a while and will persist beyond the conclusion of any specific mishap. If we can help somebody reload in a safer manner, we should do it. If we can keep one shooter from getting hurt, we should do it.
     
  7. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    Great picture.

    Sometimes a spider or some other bug might consider taking up residence in the powder drop tube. This temporary obstruction could cause the powder to hangup.

    Also a piece of debris in the hull can be picked up by the powder tube and cause a powder hangup in the tube. HMB
     
  8. BrowningPotato

    BrowningPotato TS Member

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    I have inadvertantly loaded shells with a double poweder drop (luckily I caught myself before finishing the shell). For a whie I was using federal 209 primers and every so often they would not seat correctly and tie up the reloader from cycling. I would take these shells and put them back in the preious station to seat the primer in further. Only problem is I forgot to dump the powder from the preious drop first. Luckily I caught mself and I am fairly sure none of the double powder shells made it to completion. I stick with Winchester 209s now and have not had this primer seating problem since.
     
  9. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    BP - Good catch.

    HMB - Based on your points we should measure that first powder drop on any given day. Good idea: look before and measure after on that first powder drop.

    And we should look in the hulls for debri. In my own hulls they go from the gun to my hull pouch to my basement. I'm confident my own hulls are debri free. Hulls from another source should all be checked. I just got several hundred hulls from another source and found all kinds of grass and leaves in them. Johnny and I sorted through them and found 16 ga empties, loaded shells, one partially loaded shell (no shot, but wad and powder intact), one empty with a good primer and some spare change. The change was at the bottom of the box, but a dime, penny and even a nickel will all fit into a 12 ga hull. I've heard stories about debri including cig butts, etc. Check hulls if they've been on the ground, seems to be a good rule.

    Joe
     
  10. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Whenever I am outside the standard operating parameters of just smoothly cycling shells through I go into red alert mode. I slow down, look carefully, double check and verify until I am back to smoothly cycling loads through.
     
  11. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    When I take a shell out to weigh a powder drop, I throw the powder away after I'm done with it on the scale. I put an empty, fired shell in the place the charged hull was if it's in a position that makes a difference, say where the shot is about to drop.

    OK, someone will say that a trash can with several loads of powder scattered in it is more dangerous around a pipe smoker like me than any possible powder mixup on the loader, but I don't think so.

    Neil
     
  12. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    I throw it away because I once did double-charge a shell, even in my non-progressive Mec, and though I caught it, it was connected somehow with weighing a charge. I was never able to figure out just what I did and so I figure I could do it again. I estimate the total life-time cost of irrational safety in this regard is a buck or two and I'm willing to pay it.

    When I produce powder charges with my RCBS dispenser/scale combo I take the powder bottle off my MEC; same reason.

    Neil
     
  13. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    More scenarios I couldn't have thought of!

    Joe
     
  14. samiam03

    samiam03 Member

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    Neil: I'm a student of Bdodd when it comes to reloading but a bit more OCD. I have quite a collection of perfectly reloaded shells with spent primers. However now I've developed the habit of tilting back the bottles before a reloading session and punching out a few spent primers for station 2 and setting a few new primers for station 3. I don't throw away the powder - I practice the routine of: from the shell to the scale, from the scale back to the bottle until my measured drops are within +/- .02.. I must have been a rhythm baby.

    Sam
     
  15. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Sir Neil - good catch.

    I like the red-alert concept as well.
     
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