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I about blew up my gun yesterday

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Old Ranger, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. Old Ranger

    Old Ranger Member

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    Yesterday, in the third 25 of a 100 bird shoot, I had one of those misfires where the primer goes off but has no powder in front of it. As you might imagine, the wad stayed in the barrel and the shot bounced off of the trap house roof. I cleared the wad, reloaded and continued on.

    About five shoots later, I found my missing load of powder. I shouldered the gun, called for a bird, and let loose what had to be a double load of powder, in this case around 34.8 gr. of Clays. The recoil was like that of a 300 mag.

    I remembered that the night before, my reloader had a "hiccup" and I had to reposition the hulls in the machine before starting again. Apparently I repostioned them one station off.

    It took a real effort to get the action open and the hull out of the chamber, but the gun didn't show any visible damage. I finished the 30 or so birds of the event with no notible changes, but am still wondering how close I came to getting a face full of shrapnel.
     
  2. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Glad you are okay. I am suprised that you could get that much powder into the shell and still hold a crimp. Scarey stuff to say the least! What kind of loader were you using?
     
  3. Old Ranger

    Old Ranger Member

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    wolfram,

    I use an RCBS Grand, loading STS hulls with 17.4 gr. of Clays over Win 209 primers, green duster wads, 1 ounce of shot. The gun is a Rem 3200 Competition.
     
  4. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    My friend, you were probably extremely lucky! When something like that happens on the line,its probably best to change guns to finish. Not smart taking a chance.Its not enough to
    think" you cleared the gun....LOOK and see if you really did. Good/safe reloading CAN be the difference twix life and death, and all shooters need to be aware of this!Over a long period od time without any problems we tend to get take things for granted............something we can't afford to do!
     
  5. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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    So, how did you shoot on the last 30? Jake
     
  6. code5coupe

    code5coupe Member

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    Yeah, yeah, yeah, but did you break the bird??
     
  7. Trapgeezer

    Trapgeezer TS Member

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    Near misses are better I suppose but I am thinking that we are only allowed a given number of them. Be careful. Everytime I read a thread about double charges, I ask myself how the hell they can happen. First, a shell without powder MUST look differently with the crimp caved in, no? Secondly, the one that gets the double charge would be nearly, if not impossible to crimp so it stayed closed, no? Thirdly, I do not know how the RCBS functions and can only comment on a MEC, but, with a single stage, if you charge powder and then insert a wad the charges would be separated and not seemingly cause an issue. You would have to drop shot in order to recharge the barwith powder. If you forget the wad you can't throw another powder charge until you have dropped shot in the hull (wad or no wad). In either case the shell would certainly not look normal.

    With a progressive the shot drops right after powder sp the hull would be overfull of componants I would think. I have tried to double charge on a 650 and could not do it. One of the shells you loaded would have to look very strange and should be picked out by any astute loader operator. I just don't get it. I suppose there is a scenarion which would include removing hulls from the turret, backing it up and then starting over but that in itself should make you pay attention.
     
  8. cdconley

    cdconley TS Member

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    Question # 1 "but am still wondering how close I came to getting a face full of shrapnel."

    Answer: Not close at all, a double charge of shot will not damage the cheapest of shotguns let alone a 3200.

    Question # 2 Would the shell look differently with a double charge?

    Answer: Not in the least. All modern wads have a collapsible “cushion” in the center. A double charge of powder would simply crush the cushion section (causing additional felt recoil) to make up for the additional powder. At the most you might have noticed a little more (and I mean very little) resistance when that shell was going through final crimping.
     
  9. cdconley

    cdconley TS Member

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    Whoops I read my post and was typing to fast, in the first answer I ment to say powder in place of shot. I'm sure I'll get called on that one, should have proof read before hitting submit. Sorry!
     
  10. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    Did you wait until the end of the round to empty your shorts?
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I have, in the past, intentionally put a double charge of powder in a hull to see if it was possible. When I did this on a MEC 600 Jr, the wad came up and shot spilled. Then I could not make the crimp remain closed. On my hydraulic PW, shot also spilled out of the case but I could force the crimp closed. The shell was bulged and I could not get it into the chamber.

    I am not contending that someone could not get a double powder charge in a normal appearing hull. My only point is that I could not figure out a way to intentionally do it.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Please don't tell us extra shot loaded in any shell couldn't ever destroy a gun. Tell that to the kid back in the 60's who thought a little extra shot might get him another bird. I heard the boom and looked down the line just in time to see him launch a fiberglass barrel from his Winchester semi-auto over the traphouse.

    The right combinations of circumstances and -who knows!!
     
  13. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    A couple of weeks ago I had two double charged loads. Nobody's fault but my own. Try 36gr of Titegroup with a 1 1/8oz charge of shot. I proof tested the daylights out of my 870!

    ec90t
     
  14. Jeff P

    Jeff P Well-Known Member

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    I did the same thing on a Hornady 366. Thought I had everything back in the right place, but all of a sudden I had shot spilling everywhere, just like Pat mentioned. I had also done a shell without a primer that night - dropping powder all over the bench.

    Anyway, after the shot went everywhere, it was then that I emptied out the machine completely, salvaged all the components - and found the double powder charge and the no powder shell.

    THAT WAS WHEN I PUT EVERYTHING AWAY AND TURNED OFF THE LOADING ROOM LIGHT for the night. My head just wasn't in it. Don't know if i was tired or what. So I quit for the night.
     
  15. tom berry

    tom berry Active Member

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    Old Ranger, I had the samething happen to me with a Hornady 366 many years ago. First shot pop, couple shots later KABOOM. Actually happened to me on the third house too. I bought a box of factory loads to finish. I was still a little hesitant to pull the trigger.

    I actually tried to duplicate my mistake but shot spilled all over the place. I'm not exactly sure what happened but I'm very careful when I put shells back if I've had to remove them from the turret. I actually look in the one going in to the powder drop to make sure it's empty.
     
  16. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering if the part of the powder charge that was supposed to go into the 'squib' actually hung up in the drop tube and then went into the next hull along with the charge that was supposed to in that hull. I had something like that happen when loading .308 rifle ammo on a Dillon 550. Turned out that I had a dead wasp stuck in the powder drop tube/expander. You might want to pull your powder drop tube on that RCBS machine and check for obstructions.
     
  17. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Wow! This is tuff to make sense out of for a couple of reasons:

    A) I saw a kid blow an 1100/1187 all to pieces. He was on Skeet Station 3, and blew pieces past Skeet Station 5. Opened a nice gash in his hand too.
    Just a kid that knew nothing about reloading and showed up at the store where the clerk told him to get a MEC 9000. You may have noted I always recommend starting on a MEC 600jr. Now you know why I make that recommendation.

    I don't know for a fact what made that gun blow. This kid was just starting, so I doubt he loaded the wrong powder, simply because he only had only one powder.

    B) I was told by an executive from Hercules that all their published loads were such that a double charge of powder would produce less than proof pressures.

    C) I had a MEC hiccup, and a shell from that batch, was seriously over-charged. Gun held. Target broke. I switched to new ammo, but didn't find any over-charges, or no-charges when I checked the remaining ammo

    D) I tried loading a double-charge with these components, and there is no way the bulged shell and spilled shot would not have alerted me.

    E) Shells with no powder always scare me because I'm wondering where did that powder go? I haven't had a chargeless load in over 10 years (I'm VERY CAREFULL since item C), but I've had squadmates with them. They still scare me.

    I cannot figure how all of these things can be true. Perplexed I am.

    BTW - The kid with the blown 1100 and the gash in his hand. I went with him to the emergency room. Of course the emergency room called the police. Ever try to reason with a policeman that thought he was investigating a gunshot? Try explaining that nobody was shot. Since this policeman was called to investigate a gunshot, he had to report who was shot. He was totally unprepared to deal with the fact nobody was shot. "But my form says I have to report the shooting victim.” Er, wrong form officer. But it was reported as a gunshot. It wasn't a gunshot. But since it was reported as a gunshot I have to....etc. etc. etc....round and round. I figured he thought I was trying to cover-up a gunshot. He was about ready to read me my Miranda rights.
     
  18. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    I have never had that experience but I've come darn close. I have a triple beam balance on a shelf above my loader and when I think that I may have produced a shell with an incorrect powder charge, I set the balance to the known weight of a shell holding the components I'm loading and I weigh each shell until I either find the oddball or assure myself that all the shells are OK.

    Morgan
     
  19. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I'll agree with Sarge and go one further. Retire the gun and don't shoot it again. If the action was hard to open and the shell was hard to extract, some changes to the structure of the gun were almost certain to have been made. It may "LOOK" just fine, but it is difficult to tell what changes were made by the offending load. Send it up to Pat Laib at the very least or have a "REAL" lab do some testing to be sure. You really can't tell just what changes may have ocurred since you have no previous baseline to refer to. This kind of event could show up much later as a ruptured barrel or some other catastrophic event. It does not have to fail right when the stress ocurred, just when the limits of the particular firearm have been reached. It can take a few thousand more rounds to reach that point, or just another over pressure load. It's a crapshoot. It may also last for a lifetime without failure, but my luck would not be that good.
     
  20. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    From MrSkeet410:

    <I>"E) Shells with no powder always scare me because I'm wondering where did that powder go? I haven't had a chargeless load in over 10 years (I'm VERY CAREFULL since item C), but I've had squadmates with them. They still scare me."</I>

    Every shell I have ever produced that has had no powder in it has gotten that way because I captured the powder charge to weight-check it, got distracted and failed to dump it into its shell before continuing to load, and that usually occurs right at the end of a session. I invariably find the powder charge in the pan on the scale a day or two later and usually AFTER I've pulled the trigger on the empty.

    Morgan
     
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