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Reloading wake-up call

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by BD457, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. BD457

    BD457 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    San Diego
    I've been reloading metalic cartridges for decades and only recently started shotgun. I read all I could, got a single stage MEC so I could do them nice and slow...one at a time.. and learn as I go. I've loaded about 4,000 rounds and shot them all. I've tried a few powders and shot weights. Since I like to do the best I can, i've been weighing each and every powder charge and each and every shot charge (yeah... I know, I know....) I've settled on my favorite which was actually what I started with: 18.2 grains Clays, AA hulls, Win 209, Waa12 wad. It's worked out pretty well so far. I shoot anywhere between 50 and 250 rounds a week at the local club with my 11 year old son. He's been shooting (and prefers) Winchester Universal (Which is GREAT for me, 'cause it costs the same as loading a box). He's seen how my scores have gone up and the clays smoke with my loads, so last month he agreed to let me load his shells. I decided after all the "Base wad stories" that I wanted him to nshoot one piece hulls from his semi-auto just to be on the super safe side. I loaded up some gun clubs I found at the range. He shot a few boxes and really liked the preformance on the clay so now I'm the prefered ammo source.

    We have our trap league once a week and shoot 50 birds each. Last week I went back to loading Clays over Green Dot and have comitted to stay with clays. Last week was the first 50 rounds he shot of the Clays. I didn't shoot 'em because I figured I'd get rid of the Green Dot. I always write all the weights and components on the boxes as I load 'em. I was very confident the loads were perfectly safe because I load his a few 10ths under the listed load. Well......... We needed 4 boxes for tonight so I rushed into the back room (I load at work when there is no work to do) I got 'em all done, boxed up and ready to go. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks (or buckshot). The STS hulls are close in loading data to the AA's. I realized I was loading 19.4 grains of Clays instead of 18.4 grains AND HE ALREADY SHOT 50 OF 'EM. Hogdens lists the load at at 11,300psi with 18.4 grains and I had 19.2 grains. Add to that the margin of error, I may have had 19.4. DAMN IT! I'm so thankfull nothing happened and I caught it.

    Lesson learned.

    Mike
     
  2. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    Location:
    HELL, MICHIGAN
    Save them for handicap ...
     
  3. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    17,232
    Location:
    IL(The gun friendly Southern Part)
    Time to get an UNLOADER from Gary Bulley.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. BD457

    BD457 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    San Diego
    grntitan. I am going to get an unloader, but not until after I cut each and every one of them apart by hand so I remember this.

    Mike
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,266
    Mike it is good to see that you are detail oriented but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. The hand weighing of each shot and powder charge really is something that at best will only distract you from watching for the really important stuff. Think of this experience as an example of not seeing the forest because of the trees.

    Do the weight check when you begin each loading session just to verify the bushing/bar set up is what you thought it was. Don't repeat this excercise until you end the session. If you have a powder flow problem it will show up in the crimp operation in the form of variable crimp depths. Same with the shot. Another important thing is to label your powder hopper with what type of powder it has in it and since you have settled on a particular charge weight write that on there as well. This label is nothing more than a piece of masking tape that you can easily remove when you make a change.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  6. BD457

    BD457 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    San Diego
    Thanks wolfram, I appriciate your input. I went to the individual weighing when I discovered a .2 gran difference in chage weights. Since this episode, I've decided to just never go that close to the charge limits and not worry about .2 grains. That way I can use the reloader as it was meant to be used and, as you point out, keep the session going in a productive and uncomplicated manor.


    Mike
     
  7. MR870

    MR870 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    228
    Always check and doublecheck!.02 grains may not seem alot but psi doubles exponently .02 grains at a time.Plus throw primer pressure(CCI209M vs Cheedite,Fio vs Rem) into a hot load ,problems arise.Powder scales are one of the first things a good careful reloader has.Better safe than sorry!
     
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