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Posted: 8/24/2011 6:39:26 AM EDT
Well I am loading a batch of 357 sig for a customer along with several other calibers today. I was running along fine until I had an incident. Well an explosion would be the correct term. No not a primer stack detonation. This time it was different. First I will explain how I run my 1050's. Instead of having a loaded cartridge bin, I use a large plastic oil funnel. The funnel feeds into a section of pvc pipe, which then allows the ammo to drop into a bucket. Normally I stuff a rag into the funnel to keep them from falling into the bucket right away. I do this so that if there is a problem with some of the freshly made ammo I don't have to wade through hundreds or even thousands of rounds to find the offender/s. When a few hundred are in the funnel and I have done a primay QC I pull the rag and let then fall into the bucket. I have done this for well over 150,000 rounds of all types and sizes.

Well today was different. I checked my samples and they looked good. I pulled the rag and started to let them fall into the bucket. I had already had some in the bucket, when I saw a bright orange flash and a loud BANG! I felt some spray on my arm and then stuff started to fall all over. Well nearly crapping myself I took a moment to regain my facualties and started to look around. It seems that when a round fell into the bucket it hit the primer just right causing it to detonate. The bullet charged almost straight up and destroyed the glass cover for the ceiling light, and then hit the ceiling with enough force to leave an impression.

I am using Federal small pistol primers. As we all know Fed primers are soft. I am physically ok. The spray on my arm must have just been powder. I have no extra holes in me that I am aware of. I always wear safety glasses when I load. This is a perfect example of why you should. Had I been a few inches to the right of where I was standing I might have a bullet in my forehead. My arm was over the bucket and luckly it did not go in my arm. This is certainly the closest call I have had doing this, I have survived cancer, I don't know if I want to be taken out by my own loading. I know my wife will tell me that she doesn't want me loading anymore. Maybe it's for the best.


The aftermath:




This is what was in the bucket at the time of the explosion.



Part of the case I have yet to find embedded into the side of the bucket.


Yep all the way through


What is left of my light


My floor


The impression in my ceiling. I guess shooting a 357sig out of a 5gal caliber gun causes keyholing. lol


The offending bullet.



I feel lucky. It could have been worse.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 6:43:10 AM EDT
wow, that's just nuts
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 6:44:18 AM EDT
Wow.

Glad you are ok, you dont need any more ER visits...
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:00:18 AM EDT
Thank God it went up and not into you. Like WI57 said. You spend enough time at that dang hospital.

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Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:09:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:10:19 AM EDT
You probably experienced my worst nightmare for reloading... Glad you're ok!
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:12:54 AM EDT
This re-enforces why I wear safety glasses while reloading.

Ok, how about theoretical stuff. What do you suppose the velocity of the round was? It broke the glass and embedded into the ceiling. How far into the drywall ceiling did it make it? If it would have hit you in the forehead, would it have had enough velocity/energy to penetrate more than just skin? I'm sure it would have hurt, but other than a bloody welt, would there have been more damage? Could it have penetrated soft body tissue like your forearm?
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:14:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2011 12:29:02 PM EDT by Shooterer]
I'm glad you are OK, now get back to filling orders

I can't believe how that one round going off caused all that stuff to fall off your shelves and land on the floor.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:21:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Thanks for posting, and I'm glad you could.

Do you plan to modify your bucket / funnel method?


You know using the Akro bid doesn't seem like a hassle anymore. I did the funnel thing at first without the rag. Loaded and filled the bucket. Then found out that if there was a problem I overlooked it sucked having to find all the bad ones. Honestly I am loding less now as the other part of my business has taken off. A one man loading operation is tons of work, when you are the salesman, accountant, QC, shipping guy, and laborer.

Yes I will probably just put the bin back on.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:24:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ironmaker:
This re-enforces why I wear safety glasses while reloading.

Ok, how about theoretical stuff. What do you suppose the velocity of the round was? It broke the glass and embedded into the ceiling. How far into the drywall ceiling did it make it? If it would have hit you in the forehead, would it have had enough velocity/energy to penetrate more than just skin? I'm sure it would have hurt, but other than a bloody welt, would there have been more damage? Could it have penetrated soft body tissue like your forearm?


Honestly I don't know if it would have stuck in my head or not. Hard to say how fast it was going. I only suspect it could have penitrated skin. If it hit and broke glass and then did that to the ceiling I think it would have penetrated skin, but I am not going to recreate it to find out. lol
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:28:53 AM EDT
That's a pretty long drop for a live round! Put the factory blue bin back on.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:42:56 AM EDT
One in a million happens every million times. When one reloads millions of rounds well......

Glad you're ok.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 8:10:20 AM EDT
Well, it had to be cooking fast enough to deform the bullet. I know lead is soft, but that would take a decent whack. I certainly wouldn't want to have been in it's way.

No need to stop loading, just fix the problem

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Link Posted: 8/24/2011 9:09:17 AM EDT
Brass penetrating plastic is the eye opener.

No pun intended.

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Link Posted: 8/24/2011 9:22:19 AM EDT
I had the same thng happen when i was carrying 1000 freshly reloaded 45acp rounds in a trash bag....
1.5 mil thick linear low plastic fatigues with each step/bounce you take when walking...
10 steps from my apartment door and the bottom lets loose. one round hit the primer just so and it detonated.
no injuries, but i still have that fragged brass casing on my reloading desk to serve as a reminder.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 9:41:44 AM EDT
Glad you're ok!

After my housefire I got to see all sorts of interesting things when ammo is detonated outside of a gun barrel.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 9:44:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By par0thead151:
I had the same thng happen when i was carrying 1000 freshly reloaded 45acp rounds in a trash bag....
1.5 mil thick linear low plastic fatigues with each step/bounce you take when walking...
10 steps from my apartment door and the bottom lets loose. one round hit the primer just so and it detonated.
no injuries, but i still have that fragged brass casing on my reloading desk to serve as a reminder.


Yeah, things happen.

There was a story from a guy here, I think, where he was tossing his loaded rounds into an ammo can and had one detonate. Then there was the other guy, who was shooting at the range, had a fired pistol case come out his weapon and land in such a way that the case rim struck one of the loaded rounds, bullet down, sitting in the ammo box on the bench right in front of him. It detonated and took out the ammo box. He even posted a pic of the semi-circular imprint from the case rim, on the primer that went bang.

One in a million, but people win the lotto everyday.

Chris

Link Posted: 8/24/2011 9:49:06 AM EDT
I'm surprised an unchambered round could build enough pressure to send the projectile "downrange"like that. I would think it would stay more or less in the same spot and the case would just rupture. Good to know, that looks like it could have done some real damage to a brain housing unit.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 10:10:42 AM EDT
glad you ok
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 11:23:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By urbanredneck:
I'm surprised an unchambered round could build enough pressure to send the projectile "downrange"like that. I would think it would stay more or less in the same spot and the case would just rupture. Good to know, that looks like it could have done some real damage to a brain housing unit.


thats how it uselly works. round that went off must have been the one falling into the bucket landing primer down on a rim. generaly the bullet will stay put and the brass become the projectile.
even still , I dont think it was going all that fast. i can chuck a bullet at the wall and dent the lead, and it doesnt take much force at all to break glass or dent drywall.
theres no way I could throw a bullet at someone hard enough to break skin.
but yea, would have hurt thats for sure
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 11:51:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By urbanredneck:
I'm surprised an unchambered round could build enough pressure to send the projectile "downrange"like that. I would think it would stay more or less in the same spot and the case would just rupture. Good to know, that looks like it could have done some real damage to a brain housing unit.


Even a round cooked off laying on its side will have enough force to send the bullet a little ways. The case will go further faster, but the bullet will still move. Now if you take the case and make it so the case can't move, like when it is falling so that the primer strikes something, then the bullet will move further faster. Just for giggles one day, I mounted a .22lr so it was held with a pair of needle nose pliers with the bullet pointed through my chrony, then lit a candle and pushed it so it was under the rim, then moved back out of the way. After about fifteen seconds the round fired and the chrony registered about 70fps. and the round impacted my berm 30 feet away about 4 feet lower than the straight line trajectory would have put it. I found the bullet laying nearby. The .22 case was split.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 12:04:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Thanks for posting, and I'm glad you could.

Do you plan to modify your bucket / funnel method?


Glad you are alright. +1 to the above, that is a good distance you have the cartridges dropping I would change that setup right away. It seems to me the reloading equipment is not the fault here. Use a chute, i.e. sloping at an angle, instead of a 3' drop,
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 12:32:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2011 7:51:07 PM EDT by Wingman26]
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 1:49:53 PM EDT
Your screen name was just waiting for the opportunity to reveal is origins

I agree on the long drop, that changed your odds from 1 in a million to 1 in 150,001
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 2:11:56 PM EDT
Never thought it a good idea for a drop or to store ammunition in loose bulk. I used to buy Frankford Arsenal plastic 50 round boxes. As much as I keep stored and no harder used. Cardboard/Styrofoam work and cheaper.

Stripper clips for rifle is fine. Anything, just so primer isn't exposed.

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Link Posted: 8/24/2011 2:17:59 PM EDT
I'm glad you're ok! Weird things happen. During qualification a coworker was performing a reload, the magaazine took an errant bounce, went behind him, hit the ammo box he was keeping his ammo in and it detonated a round! No one was hurt, but it caused some new regulations.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 2:57:41 PM EDT
Glad you're okay. Thanks for sharing the info.

Link Posted: 8/24/2011 3:22:34 PM EDT
Angle your tube so they slide instead of drop.

Remington primers? CCI?
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 4:26:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wildearp:
Angle your tube so they slide instead of drop.

Yep. Add a sweep 90° and a short piece of horizontal. The sweep will slow the round down, and then it will only drop 6-8" or so... not enough momentum to detonate a primer. Think of the waterpark slides... would suck to drop the riders vertically 15' into the pool, right?

Or... get some Hot Wheels track that we all had as kids (and didn't keep), and make a spiral around the inside circumference of the bucket. Take the vertical drop tube, and add a 45 degree elbow to feed to the top of the track. Think of the fun!
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 4:37:00 PM EDT
Read about a guy target shooting and a casing hit the primer of the ammo still in the open box and set it off...it happens. I shoot after closing the box now...
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 5:05:33 PM EDT
There was story at USPSA practice where fella at Nationals or something had loose round go off when dropped handfull of ammo into one of them bulk ammp bags..
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 5:19:47 PM EDT
Glad your ok Flame

Link Posted: 8/24/2011 5:22:41 PM EDT
I have actually thought about this multiple times and wondered if it could happen. I have a coworker that walks around with a loose .45ACP round in his pocket. I am always telling him that one day a coin is going to catch it wrong and send it through his jimmy. He says I am crazy but now I really think its a slight possibility.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 5:52:23 PM EDT
I don't agree with letting the round drop that far. Are you really reloading so many rounds you need a five gallon pail?

Glad your OK
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 6:13:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By zw123:
I don't agree with letting the round drop that far. Are you really reloading so many rounds you need a five gallon pail?

Glad your OK


I don't load as much as I did. I was in the area of 30,000 a month for a while though. Yes I was always filling 5 gallon pails. A bitch to move more than a couple feet at a time, untill I separated them into multiple buckets.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 6:13:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wildearp:
Angle your tube so they slide instead of drop.

Remington primers? CCI?



Federal.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 6:14:56 PM EDT
Wife was in tears today when she got home and I told here what happened. Seems that she doesn't want me dead.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:09:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2011 7:09:12 PM EDT by hawzwood]

Originally Posted By Flamethrower:
Wife was in tears today when she got home and I told here what happened. Seems that she doesn't want me dead.

Must not have enough life insurance in force.

Glad you're OK.

Link Posted: 8/24/2011 7:49:18 PM EDT
very glad your ok...

close call.. go buy a ticket..
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 8:46:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Flamethrower:
Wife was in tears today when she got home and I told here what happened. Seems that she doesn't want me dead.


You are going to have to convince her that it won't/can't happen again. Murphy's Law classic example, huh? Good luck on the convincing.

When I was a 12 y. old boy scout, an older kid accidentally dropped a box of 50 .22 rounds in the campfire. A dozen or so of us ran and dove for cover. Brass was flying everywhere! The bullets all stayed in the fire. Amazingly nobody got hurt. Who would wear safety glasses around a camp fire? Super glad you didn't get hurt, Flamethrower. Maybe you ought to try CCI primers again...for good measure? Thanks for sharing your experience. It's certainly an important lesson for all of us.

I've never liked the common practice of dumping rounds randomly in a container. My cardboard boxes with egg crate lens dividers are looking better than ever to me today. Yes they are slower.

Link Posted: 8/24/2011 9:47:45 PM EDT
Thanx for sharing, and glad you're OK.
Link Posted: 8/24/2011 11:49:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2011 11:50:03 PM EDT by CaptSchofield]
In 28 years of PPC competition one time a shooter dumped his empty brass and some landed on live rounds standing upside down (primer up) at his feet. One empty shell hit a round just right detonating it. The bullet stayed in the tray, the brass though launched up and injured the Shooter cutting his leg.
Link Posted: 8/25/2011 6:48:25 AM EDT
When I was reading the OP, I saw "PVC pipe" and my first thought was "static discharge" caused something to go boom. Then I read the rest of the message and agree the drop must have been the culprit.
Link Posted: 8/25/2011 7:37:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GWhis:


You are going to have to convince her that it won't/can't happen again. Murphy's Law classic example, huh? Good luck on the convincing.

When I was a 12 y. old boy scout, an older kid accidentally dropped a box of 50 .22 rounds in the campfire. A dozen or so of us ran and dove for cover. Brass was flying everywhere! The bullets all stayed in the fire. Amazingly nobody got hurt. Who would wear safety glasses around a camp fire? Super glad you didn't get hurt, Flamethrower. Maybe you ought to try CCI primers again...for good measure? Thanks for sharing your experience. It's certainly an important lesson for all of us.



I had a gross of bottle rockets that got damp and wouldn't light consistently. I came up with a "hold my beer and watch this!" flash of insight and tossed them in a campfire. Ended up hiding behind a tree for 10 minutes
Link Posted: 8/26/2011 6:57:27 PM EDT
Well I found the case and the primer. The primer as expected has the crescent dent on it. I found the case on a light 6' off the floor across the room. Found it by accident when it fell off the light when I turned it off. The other piece is the one out of the bucket.

Link Posted: 8/26/2011 8:20:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2011 8:29:08 PM EDT by Wingman26]
Link Posted: 8/27/2011 2:42:33 AM EDT
Holy crap. Glad you are ok. One of those freak accidents, but shows how dangerous reloading can be.
Link Posted: 8/27/2011 9:58:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GWhis:
Originally Posted By Flamethrower:
Wife was in tears today when she got home and I told here what happened. Seems that she doesn't want me dead.


You are going to have to convince her that it won't/can't happen again. Murphy's Law classic example, huh? Good luck on the convincing.

When I was a 12 y. old boy scout, an older kid accidentally dropped a box of 50 .22 rounds in the campfire. A dozen or so of us ran and dove for cover. Brass was flying everywhere! The bullets all stayed in the fire. Amazingly nobody got hurt. Who would wear safety glasses around a camp fire? Super glad you didn't get hurt, Flamethrower. Maybe you ought to try CCI primers again...for good measure? Thanks for sharing your experience. It's certainly an important lesson for all of us.

I've never liked the common practice of dumping rounds randomly in a container. My cardboard boxes with egg crate lens dividers are looking better than ever to me today. Yes they are slower.

http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/IMG_0944.jpg

Nice. I like that. I assume that is some sort of diffuser for fluorescent lights.
Link Posted: 8/27/2011 9:43:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aloxite:

Originally Posted By GWhis:
Originally Posted By Flamethrower:
Wife was in tears today when she got home and I told here what happened. Seems that she doesn't want me dead.


You are going to have to convince her that it won't/can't happen again. Murphy's Law classic example, huh? Good luck on the convincing.

When I was a 12 y. old boy scout, an older kid accidentally dropped a box of 50 .22 rounds in the campfire. A dozen or so of us ran and dove for cover. Brass was flying everywhere! The bullets all stayed in the fire. Amazingly nobody got hurt. Who would wear safety glasses around a camp fire? Super glad you didn't get hurt, Flamethrower. Maybe you ought to try CCI primers again...for good measure? Thanks for sharing your experience. It's certainly an important lesson for all of us.

I've never liked the common practice of dumping rounds randomly in a container. My cardboard boxes with egg crate lens dividers are looking better than ever to me today. Yes they are slower.

http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/IMG_0944.jpg

Nice. I like that. I assume that is some sort of diffuser for fluorescent lights.


Yes, standard egg crate diffuser/lens typically in stock at Home Depot on the Fluorescent lighting aisle. I cut the stuff with a diagonal wire cutter. For rifle I double stack & glue little squares underneath in the corners to lift it.

Link Posted: 8/28/2011 12:49:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2011 12:49:57 AM EDT by Psychovore]
Glad you're OK!

Get some of the marble track pieces and make a spiral for it to slide down?

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Link Posted: 8/28/2011 5:37:32 AM EDT
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