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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/21/2001 4:39:45 PM EDT
I have been loading 9mm for my friend to shoot in subgun matches on a single stage and have loaded over 1000 rounds (plus a couple thousand .45 and .308 for myself) with 100% reliability. I just picked up a progressive and did 1000 rounds of 9 for him as I learned how to operate it. Bad Move. Today at a match a squib lodged in the barrel at 900 rounds per minute, the bullets stacked until the last round went off with the bolt partially open, wrecking the upper and blowing the rear wall of the lower completely off the gun. Lessons learned: 1. Be careful when learning on new equipment! I warned him that I wasn't 100% comfortable about this batch of ammo, and warned him that if anything out of the ordinary happened, check the barrel. I was on the learning curve with the press and I was in the process of learning how to keep track of all the operations going on at once. We should have also made sure that the ammo was used for semi-auto only...see next one. 2. Do not rely on a squib stopping a full auto! A load with primer only kept right on going. Although it is a blowback, we were both sure that a squib would not fully operate the action. WRONG! 2. Look at each round coming out of the charge stage! I loaded normal 115 and subsonic 150grn in this run, the normal loads you can see the powder in each round as you sit and operate the press, the subsonics you can't without standing up/leaning forward every round. Obviously I missed one. My buddy was pretty unhappy. I offered to pay for the damage, but he wasn't real worried about that as new uppers are only around $65 and he is now going to redo the lower and add a M16a2 stock and recoil buffer. But he understandably doesn't want to shoot handloads anymore. It sux because I reload for my .308, .45, .223, and his 9. I have done a couple thousand rounds with my single stage and had no problems, and superior accuracy/reliability until now. I couldn't afford to shoot like I do if I bought commercial ammo. My buddy was shooting IMI at the matches and when he switched to my handloads he started bringing home plaques....they made a difference. I went progressive because 6 hours is too long for 1000 rounds and I don't have that kind of time. I wonder how I am going to regain my confidence in my loading ability. (sigh) Anyone have any suggestions? As a former machine operator, maintenence technician, and overall nitpicky bastard, I am thinking I need to introduce some sort of QC procedure, but what? It would have to be 100% foolproof, and not add too much time to the process. I think my problem arises from not being able to see the small charges in the case as I load, and the solution is to figure out a way to see that charge in every single round before seating.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 4:50:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 4:56:51 PM EDT
That sounds like a great idea. I will definitely see if I can rig up a mirror of some sort. Better lighting may be in order too I think. Another mod I had thought of was to build a copper tube chute so that would direct loaded rounds ejected from the press right into an ammo can. Thanks for an excellent idea.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:01:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:05:27 PM EDT
Pardon my ignroance, but what is a "squib?" God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:12:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:13:15 PM EDT
GBT: A squib is a round with primer and bullet but no powder. They generally will result in a bullet lodged in the barrel.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:13:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2001 5:11:07 PM EDT by e8ght]
A friend of mine with a 550 prefers to use a bar stool when loading. Says the extra height gives him a better angle to check for powder. You might also try setting up a powder-checking die. One could be constructed on the same sort of principle as Dillon's low powder sensor for powder measures - a rod in a die, with adjustable stops and electrical contacts, hooked to a buzzer. Edited to add that those clamp-on lamps with the long adjustable heads work well for extra lighting.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:16:58 PM EDT
Thekill, Now I mean no disresect what so ever....I would not reload for anyone. Get to know your stuff, have him buy the components and invite him over.....then HE is responsible and not you. The last thing you want to be responsible is bodily harm and/or worse. That is what a friend did with me...a Lee 1000 press and he taught me. I loaded all my own rounds to at his house, my bullets, powder, primers and we would chat.....There was not a problem with any of may load other than coming in way high power factor wise for ISPC. Seriously, learn your equipment and teach him....send some time just chatting. Glad no one was hurt. Karsten
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:20:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By e8ght: A friend of mine with a 550 prefers to use a bar stool when loading. Says the extra height gives him a better angle to check for powder. You might also try setting up a powder-checking die. One could be constructed on the same sort of principle as Dillon's low powder sensor for powder measures - a rod in a die, with adjustable stops and electrical contacts, hooked to a buzzer.
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I passed on a higher seat because of the awkward angle operating the lever. I bet a floating punch bullet seater die could be modified to work as a low powder sensor. Replace the floating punch with a longer one that sticks out the top and rig some sensors or something. Ironically, I thought I read something yesterday on a forum that Dillon makes a powder sensor die. I'll have to look into that, although I don't think I have a station I can use it in. Good ideas guys!!
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:23:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Karsten: Thekill, Now I mean no disresect what so ever....I would not reload for anyone. Get to know your stuff, have him buy the components and invite him over.....then HE is responsible and not you. The last thing you want to be responsible is bodily harm and/or worse. That is what a friend did with me...a Lee 1000 press and he taught me. I loaded all my own rounds to at his house, my bullets, powder, primers and we would chat.....There was not a problem with any of may load other than coming in way high power factor wise for ISPC. Seriously, learn your equipment and teach him....send some time just chatting. Glad no one was hurt. Karsten
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I am more glad than you are that he wasn't hurt. It was during a hip shooting stage. If it had been aimed fire, he would have had the action rod in his mouth. Hereby added to the Lessons learned: Don't reload for anybody! Excellent point. The feeling I have about this whole thing is just sick. I feel awful/dumb/sick.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:31:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By e8ght: "... A friend of mine with a 550 prefers to use a bar stool when loading. Says the extra height gives him a better angle to check for powder."
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DITTO
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:35:18 PM EDT
Thanks for the info guys. The wife and I have been contemplating reloading, since we both shoot and our ammo costs are getting expensive. I understand how you feel, TheKill, but the best part is that while someone could have gotten hurt, they didn't. It seems you've learned a lot from this incident, and while embarrassing, everyone survived. God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 5:41:03 PM EDT
I'm lazy so I use an auto indexing 650 with a case feeder. [img]http://home.earthlink.net/~thegardenweasel/650.jpg[/img] One hand on the roller one setting bullets on top of charged cases at station 4 - that's all
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 6:21:44 PM EDT
I don't reload but couldn't you weigh the rounds in groups of say 10 or 20 on an electric scale to ID light rounds.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 6:22:40 PM EDT
First off get off your butt and stand up to load. Get a mount riser to get the press and handle to proper heigth . Looking into the case for powder should be a natural step. Get a better Press. Lee's disk powder drop is notorious for sticking and dropping incomplete charges. A primer only load will not cycle a bolt on a M11, period. It could have been a light load. Even then a proper charged round after it would have bulged or split the barrel and pushed both bullets out. The only time I have ever seen bullet stacking was when multiple squibs followed in progression
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 6:46:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2001 6:44:03 PM EDT by Ponyboy]
I had a squib once before I started reloading. It was some rounds that I got from a friend that he had reloaded. I was in the middle of a string in an IDPA match. Things were going pretty fast and then I had a dud, so I thought, cause I didn't hear the squib. A quick tap, rack and no bang, so I stopped to check the gun. The primer had barely pushed the bullet out of the case and it did not cycle the action. When I tried to chamber another round it wouldn't go because the round was hitting the base of the squib bullet that was stuck in the barrel. Had the bullet traveled another fraction of an inch down the barrel I would have a Glock KB story to tell everybody, but everything turned out ok and I hammered the bullet out with a brass rod and finished the round. Good thing this happened to a MAC and not something more expensive. A little work with a hammer and a welder and that thing will be back out on the range in no time. Let somebody say that about an MP5.... Michael ***Edited to say that I will have to agree with Dave in that I don't see how a primer only could have cycled the action on the Mac. With 115gr bullet and depending on the powder it will take at least around 2gr or more to cycle the action with subsonic loads.***
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 6:52:20 PM EDT
I'm glad no one was hurt, and I'm also glad it wasn't a more expensive subgun. God forbid you have a KB in a $9000 Billistics MP5. I get queasy just thinking of that. I've got a few MG's and while I'm always happy to let some else shoot them, I have two basic rules about ammo - no corrosive crap and no handloads/reloads. I've seen a few KB's, a few bulged barrels, and a few very close calls. When you're shooting a machinegun, a bad load can cause you a world of problems. If I loaded my own (which I don't), I might use those in my own gun - if I had a problem it would be my fault and my fault alone. I'd never use a handload or reload in someone else's machinegun, and with the exception of one or two close friends (whom I'd trust with my life) I won't allow someone else's handloads in mine. Semi auto is a little different story though - if you get a light load or a squib, you'll probably know something ain't quite right and you'll have time to stop and check. With a MG, however, its too easy to get caught up in a full mag dump and stack up a bunch of rounds behind a bad load.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 6:52:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By David_Hineline: First off get off your butt and stand up to load. Get a mount riser to get the press and handle to proper heigth . Looking into the case for powder should be a natural step. Get a better Press. Lee's disk powder drop is notorious for sticking and dropping incomplete charges. A primer only load will not cycle a bolt on a M11, period. It could have been a light load. Even then a proper charged round after it would have bulged or split the barrel and pushed both bullets out. The only time I have ever seen bullet stacking was when multiple squibs followed in progression
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DH: Point is well taken. I agree with you about looking in each case coming out of the charge stage. At the time, I was tuning the press and also unfamiliar with the way it runs, and was watching various things as I worked, some more important than others obviously. As far as bullet stacking. I agree too, as we are talking about very short barrel. These were light subsonics, for obvious reasons I would prefer to not list it. It was a load that we developed on my single stage and worked flawlessly in testing with and without a suppressor plus he won some matches with. But perhaps this load is too close to the edge to be dispensed reliably. I weighed the first dozen or so and they were within .1 grain. I then weighed every 10th charge for the first 100 rounds. It seemed to throw very well, again within .1 grain. I then proceeded to load the next 300 rounds, with a couple of hangups in the process. I am curious about your experience with the Pro Auto Disk in a progressive application if it can be done with turning it into another Dillon vs. Lee slamfest. [peep]
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 8:09:10 PM EDT
I use a Dillon 550, but doesn't the 650 have an option for a gizmo that detects high or low charges?
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 8:25:29 PM EDT
Dillon does have a low powder check. Pretty sure the 650 is the smallest you can get it for though. Seems thats what the blue press said. I'll try and find an old one in a few to be sure.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 8:43:29 PM EDT
I had a squib once. Fotunately it was in a revolver. I removed the cylinder and looked in the breech and sure enough a round had stuck in the barrel. I ended up having to holster it and take it home since I didn't have the tools to clear the chamber at the range. Since then I took a .38 Cleaning rod and shortened it to fit right down the barrel so I could clear it if need be. A squib in a MG is something I don't even want to think about. Especially one as fast as a MAC. FWIW, I have shot primer only rounds before and at least in smaller bores they will not cycle. I wouldn't expect a 9mm Primer Only to cycle. It had to have some kind of charge. You might want to invest in a better press. I hear Dillon's are faster than what you have and are supposed to be pretty good. I haven't used one so I don't know how true this is.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 8:56:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2001 8:52:02 PM EDT by DVDTracker]
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 9:18:10 PM EDT
BONG BONG BONG...... Man, that's some serious belling. [:)]
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 9:55:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Striker: Can you fasten some type of small mirror on the press over the brass when it comes out of the charge stage? One of those small mechanics mirrors might do the trick. Then you can see in the case without standing up.
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I believe RCBS makes a die that has a sliding rod, when you raise the shell plate, the powder in the case will case will cause the rod to go up, if the rod don't go up, then you don't have any powder.
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 10:48:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/21/2001 10:49:10 PM EDT
If you are using the Lee Disk powder drop make sure you use the return chain so it always mechanically pulls the disk back to rest. This thing will spill powder dust all over when using small fine grained powders. When using large grained chunky powders it can stick the slide in the drop position. This is why later drops have the pull chain installed to return the slide. What ever you do do not move from the Pro1000 upto the Loadmaster. That press is a total usless piece of crap. Go with the Dillon Square deal for pistol only or 550 for most versatile
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 11:49:46 AM EDT
Dave, press is a Loadmaster. I am using the pull back chain and bullet feeder. I found that if I remove the bullet feeder and set the boolets by hand, and also sit up higher, it makes it much easier to visually monitor the powder level in the case. P.S. powder flies out of the case if you try and run the press real fast. Ugh. I might start shopping for a used Dillon 550. What would a fair price be for a 550 or a 650 even, without dies?
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 12:10:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/22/2001 7:55:15 PM EDT
Did some research... the RCBS powder checking die is RCBS part #87590, US$27.
Link Posted: 10/23/2001 5:22:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By e8ght: Did some research... the RCBS powder checking die is RCBS part #87590, US$27.
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I will be looking for that at the gunshow this weekend. THANK YOU!
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