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RELOAD FAILURE RATES

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by gdbabin, May 24, 2010.

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  1. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    I recently finished reloading my first 5,000 shells. I use a recently refurbished MEC 650, AA & STS hulls, CB8118 fig8 clones, W209s, new Lawrence #8 shot, and Am. Sel powder. I've used the same recipe for all, loading 1 1/8 oz at appx. 1200 fps. All components were from the same lots. I weigh shot and powder charges at least three times per 100.


    Out of the 5,000, we've experienced three that ignited the primer, but didn't go bang. There were two others that failed to set off the primer.


    Is this .1% failure rate the best I can reasonably expect with the equipment I'm using? Ruling out the two primers that didn't ignite, likely due to the fickleness of my 3200's, it works out to a .06% failure rate.


    Thanks,



    Guy Babin
     
  2. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    How do you know that the three shells you cited "ignited the primers but didn't go bang"? If you launched the wad and shot out of the shell, the shells were probably lacking powder... a common problem when you forget to replace the powder you just weighed in the shell you took it from.

    MK
     
  3. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    Guy... Absolutely not!!! One failure in 5,000 is unacceptable. I normally reload between 15-20,000 rounds per year. I can honestly say I have not had a failure in well over 5 years using the components I use. If you are experiencing this high of a failure rate, there is something mechanically wrong, either with your loader, or your gun, assuming your components are fresh and dry. While I have not loaded any of the newer Winchester primers in many years, I am hearing there are a few problems with them from time to time. I still have a sleeve of Winchester 209's that are about 10 years old, and will use them up this year. The only primer I will buy, given a choice of availability, is Cheddite. They just plain go off when they are supposed to with no problems, or funny sounding loads. Don't be willing to accept this kind of failure rate, especially if you are shooting registered targets. I would say shoot only new STS or Nitro's, but, they too are known to fail at times. I prefer my own reloads over all other shells, with the exception of 3dr. Federal Paper Heavy Handicap shells. I have never had a problem with them, either..... Just my experience.... Dan Thome (Trap2)
     
  4. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember the last time I have a reload fail to fire.

    Except one a few years back that I didn't get a good crimp and all the shot came out. But even then, the wad came out of the barrel.
     
  5. icelander36

    icelander36 Member

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    Watch the charge bar to make sure it goes all the way to the end when you pull the handle down. Make sure the charge bar returns all the way back. Make sure you are not short pulling the handle down. This sounds like more of a operator problem than a equipment problem if the reloader is adjusted properly. On the primer make sure you are not seating the primer too deep. some primers are snug fit and on the mec they will push the shell in and be seated below the head so the fireing pin will not hit it hard enough to fire it. I reload on a very old Mec 650 and do not have any problems that I do not find to be my error or not keeping the machine adjusted properly. Mostly it has been the charge bar either not going all the way to the left or sticking and not comeing back. Hope this helps as they are one great loader.

    Lyle
     
  6. colonel klink

    colonel klink Active Member

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    Check for a possible restricted powder flow or Static electricity affecting the powder flow. I had that problem years ago on 20 gauge. Once I solved the static problem all was good again. Colonel
     
  7. BAP

    BAP TS Member

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    Check your 3200 to be sure the rod that the hammer spring wraps around isn't Broken where it joints the part that pushes the hammer. Other than that icelander seems to be leading you in the right direction. Bill
     
  8. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    If a person pays attention when reloading, you should know right away that something is amiss and not have to wait to fire it. I keep Garys Unloader handy and rarely need to use it but if I even suspect a problem, I cut it open. It has been years since I have had a dud
     
  9. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I have made my share of duds and learned a bunch in the process. Now days one bad shell in 5,000 is rare.

    The most common cause of my dud rounds was using wad guides that were missing a finger or two which caused the wads to be damaged and/or not seat properly. I also use to accept less than perfect looking finished rounds. Not anymore though. If you use components that fill the hull correctly you will be able to visually detect a bad round before it makes it to boxing. Concave crimps = low powder, bulged crimps = damaged wad or powder dump problem. Every crimp should look the same - just like new ammo, if not then recycle the components after cutting the shell apart and determine what was wrong with the shell.

    Primer malfunctions do happen but have been extremely rare in my experience.
     
  10. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    My bad reloads have been due to my mistakes, not faulty components.

    Pat Ireland
     
  11. psfive

    psfive Member

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    I also use an old MEC 650 to load many thousand loads every year. In the last several years the only "bad" reloads I have had are the ones I load for Hunter Ed. classes. These were loaded to show what a bad load sounds like and to show the wad stuck in the barrel. Then of course how to remove it. I like cubancigar keep Gary's unlaoder handy to undo anything that looks funny. Paul
     
  12. jdsfarms

    jdsfarms Well-Known Member

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    In approx. ten years I have not had more than 2 or 3 reloads that failed,I shoot a lot more factory loads now and have had way more failures with them including STS and Gold medal shells.Jerry
     
  13. bud168

    bud168 Member

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    I've been reloading shells ohhh wow about 17 years now and I honestly can't remember the last time I've had a bad shell, its been a long time, I bet over the years I've had more new shells not go off than reloads. If I think I made a mistake when reloading I usually clear a shell or two off the press and start again and at that I only probably have had 5 shells not go off in the thousands and thousands of shells Ive reloaded over a 17 year period, and that might be high..

    Im knocking on wood now lol

    - Kurt Nelson
     
  14. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Guy - You are doing okay. Two bad primers out of 5000 isn't two bad. I've have bad primers with every brand I use, tho it's usually several sleeves without any problems, then a sleeve with several problems. It's just a matter of of time. The three primers that lit off but didn't go bang? - Was there a mass of unburned powder in the shell, barrel, or action? If so, you may have loaded a wet hull. If not, but probably just didn't drop any powder in those hulls. If that's the case report back for ways to deal with that.
     
  15. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    So far it sounds like operator error--me! My habit has been to primarily eyeball the primer drop, then the level of shot at the pre-crimp stage before pulling the handle firmly all the way till it bottoms out, then a slight hesitate before returning to full up.



    I don't look at the bar travel EVERY time, just every once in a while. It sounds like maybe I should.

    I've also been a bit tolerant of crimps that were not EXACTLY perfect--within reason, or so I thought. I've seen some knarly reloads in my travels and considered mine much nicer than allot I've witnessed.


    I really thought I was being sufficiently anal about the whole process. I'm a bit frustrated.


    Come to find out reloading is just like shooting trap. Nothing less than 100% accuracy in mind and practice will produce acceptable results. Now I have double the opportunities to demonstrate to myself how inept I really am....


    It's disheartening to find out some have never had a bad shell in tens of thousands of loads. I was hoping someone would tell me I was within the norm. Back to the drawing board...


    Guy B.
     
  16. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    Not to worry guy. With patience and practice you will develope good reloading habits and you too will be one of those guys with very few reloading errors. sometimes it really pays to not be in too big a hurry. using a mec when you pull the crank
    1. make sure a primer falls.
    2. make sure the bar travels all the way over.(i sometimes hold the handel down just an extra second to make sure the wad seats and the charge-bar fills)
    3. eyeball the powder jug and shot jug to make sure they are not empty.
    4. put your wad on.
    5. pull crank again and repeat items one thru four.

    You know the routine just make sure you stick to it and remember that getting in too big a hurry will result in mistakes.

    good luck and keep trying

    Bob w
     
  17. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't get too down on your loading efforts Guy. A good friend of mine (older) who worked with me in the mining industry would come into the office at the end of the day and ask me if I had screwed anything up that day. If I said no then his reply would be 'well you didn't try very hard then'. Point is mistakes are useful if you learn from your mistakes and improve on what you are doing using what you have learned. Even after all the rounds I have loaded I still make a garfed up shell now and then but experience has thaught me how to spot them and keep them off the range.

    The important thing is be safe and have fun.
     
  18. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I've had two bad shells in over 40 years of reloading shotshells. One of those was loaded over 40 years ago and didn't go off when it was tried last year. The other 99 shells out of that old batch worked just fine. The other dud we won't talk about. :) I load slow, am as anal as you can get, and have had great "luck" when it comes to reloading. It's very possible you had a batch of primers that weren't up to snuff. It can happen. 5 shells in the first 5000? That's still not too bad for a beginner. I'd take a good look at the 3200. Might have some issues that need attention. I've seen breakage and weak firing pin springs cause misfires in a LOT of shotguns. The other thing to look at is the primer seating. If they aren't seated fully, then a press adjustment is likely in order.

    Carl
     
  19. chipking

    chipking TS Member

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    Guy With the MECs you do need to watch the bar to make sure it makes a full trip.
    On a side note it was great seeing you this weekend. Glad you could make it to the HOF. Even if the weather didn't cooperate it was a fun shoot.

    --- Chip King ---
     
  20. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    When I have a failure to fire shell it is because I had a brain fart and or stuck my head up my a$$. You have to watch your reloading. When I put primers in I put shot and powder in. When I put shot in I put primer and powder in. When I put powder in I put shot and primer. Doing this I will not run out and then have failure to fair shells. I know how my reloader sounds and acts. If I get a hard pull down I know something is wrong and or if I don't hear the sounds it makes I will look for what ever. I rarely have a bad shell.
     
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