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Hot loads

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by nwbobber, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    Last week at the range, I was next to a guy who was testing some loads. He was telling me the velocities he was getting and I thought hmmmmm. Then he fired three or four in a row where he had to hammer on his bolt to extract the case.:paranoid:
    All the time I have reloaded, I have never had to do this. I am careful working loads up, check the cases for pressure signs, and back off if it looks like the brass is getting beat up too bad.
    How many of you have had this happen? This fellow didn't seem too concerned about it, I mentioned he might not want to damage his rifle, but he was confident that the rifle would be OK. It's got a hell of a strong extractor, I can tell you that!
     
  2. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    I would recommend putting distance between that individual and yourself so that when the "accident" happens you are not part of it.

    James Ruby
     
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    WOW I been reloading for 44 years and I can't remember having to hammer open a bolt once. Whats the point anyway. Uber high velocities are very rarely the most accurate loads. All they really do is burn out a barrel faster and risk KABOOM.
     
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  4. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    steer clear of him if you see him again, he is an idiot!
     
  5. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    I am with these guys ↑ Avoid shooting next to that guy.

    I have had a problem when I was testing powders for my .308. I tried a couple different ones, and on advice from an avid reloader I purchased some TAC. It metered well (ball), but burned a little hot for my taste. My velocities were low, and my pressures were a little high & noticeable (seating depth was correct on the bullets, 168 BTSP, LR Primers from Winchester). I got about halfway up the load chart, and that was pressure enough for me. I never had to hammer the bolt to get it open, but it did stick a little. To protect my rifle and the brass, I switched powders (Varget). The result was a softer push of the bullet which gets velocities up at safer pressure levels. Brass lasts longer, and it's safe to shoot next to me :)
     
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  6. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! Is this person new to reloading? I once knew a guy who was new to reloading and very haphazard. I only went shooting with him once but he was having all kinds of reloading related issues. Anyone who starts at the top end of the scale and stays there is an accident waiting to happen.
     
  7. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I have, with a Mosin Nagant Finnish gun that I suspect has chamber issues with factory ammo. I am about to tag it in case I die suddenly, and plan to eventually fix it. The OP's guy is about to lose eyesight or fingies. There's a reloading manual with a picture of such a foolish man with no fingers.. none
     
  8. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have gone close to some hot loads over the years but I have never loaded a load I couldn't find a printed/published listing for. Even my hot loads in my Model 1895 Winchester in 30-40Krag have been published in magazines or small reloading manuals. And I approach HOT very slow. getting a wee over 2700 fps with a 150gr slug in a 30-40 is all I could ever need,
     
  9. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    We certainly do not want to hear of any reloading 'accidents' in the news. Can you imagine the fallout from something like that?
     
  10. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    I was a bit nervous about the shrapnel possibility, and this one was not a beginner. He obviously shoots a lot. I could understand if he immediately backed away from that load but he went back to it a few times before saying he was going to pull the bullets. It seems even if you are a long range shooter what you want is low SD, velocity is secondary.
    Be safe.
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I'd probably want to see the firearm before I made any judgement call. I've shot next to guys like that but their rifles were "Customs" with barrel diameters more suited to a 20mm AT rifle and bolts with an extra lug.

    Did this rifle have an action sleeve? If so that's a lot more support for higher pressure loads.

    Unless one knows all the parameters it's hard to judge just how "unsafe" this was just by looking.
     
  12. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    I agree with DS. With TAC, it may work well in the other guys gun, but my barrel is custom, and my headspace is very tight - I was warned by the smith NOT to shoot reloads unless I specifically do it myself paying very close attention to the tolerances. I have left an entire group of rounds unfired because of pressure signs, then I brought them home and unloaded the components and carried on. (Again, when testing powders).
     
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Still, I would make relocation a priority
     
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  14. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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    I was at an open range ( no range officers ) years ago late in the evening with just myself and a gent on the table next to me shooting . I was winding down my session and this other fella had been at it for about a half hour and I hear him starting to mutter obcsenities after he fired each round. I politely asked him what seemed to be wrong and he said he thought maybe his scope had went gunnybags as he couldnt get on paper . I asked wim what he was shooting and he said it was a 30-06 . I immeadiately raised an eye because I was sure the reports I had been hearing through headgear were definitely of the magnum persuasion. He touched off another round and as the shadows were getting longer I could see a solid flame fly a good 2 1/2 feet out of the barrel . Again the cussing . I asked him if he was shooting factory ammo as he was pulling his rounds out of a Remington ammo box . He immeadiately became defensive telling me they were his handloads and that no way in Hell was it the ammo as he loaded them himself and he doesnt make mistakes and all the while he was giving me the stink eye . Pretty soon he fired another round immeadiately after which I asked him for a ceasefire and walked about 30 yards down range, came back and handed him the still warm jacket from his bullet,,, gave HIM the stink eye and said " You made a mistake this time ". I turned and began packing up my gear and left without him saying a word . He was shooting an old Remington pump . I am still surprised to this day it didnt come apart .

    10 Spot
     
  15. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    An oft-repeated paradigm spoken in the North Country regarding Bush Pilots applies here (with pardon asked for the modification):

    "There are old handloaders and there are bold handloaders. But there are very, very few old, bold handloaders"
     
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  16. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    Provided the manufacturer actually followed the metals handbook, the tensile strength of Cartridge Spec brass is ~ 70,000 psi.
    THAT tells you how hot those loads really are.......
     
  17. humdrum

    humdrum Lakewood Active Member

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    I have found that some reloading manuals err on the side of caution when it comes to printed recipes. Seems the ballisticians like to play things conservatively with their recipes when writing books. If this guy was having to use that much force to open the action, then he was WAY over max load... Maybe his page turned in his book accidently and he was using load data for a different weight of bullet than what he actually loaded. Still, seems crazy to go back to shooting it repeatedly like it was a fluke. I've always heard that sheered bolts don't mix with eye-sockets too well!
     
  18. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Unless you're shooting an antique, the bolt will stick closed long before the lugs shear off.

    Check out some of the pictures on accurateshooters.com of rifles that accidently shot pistol powder in rifle cartridges. Most modern rifles have a system to handle the gas from a ruptured case, directing it away from the shooters face. You have to severely overload a modern bolt action rifle to make it catastrophically fail.

    Usually I find that people who are cussing over sticky bolts or split cases are doing other dumb-$--- things as well. Good enough reason for me to just move to the other side of a nice secure barrier.
     
  19. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've had two stuck cases due to dyslexia. Pulled the rest of them. Not something to mess with unless you have an indelible stupidity streak.

    If a person gets a stuck load and they keep on shooting them, move at least three bays over from the schmuck. Far enough to give yourself some protection but close enough to hear his cries of pain and provide first aid.
    You can't fix stupid.
     
  20. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I think anyone who loads ammo can occasionally get a hot one (whether load or cartridge) this happened to me some years ago shooting IMR4350 in .308, I shot one round... yea came out hot, thought it was a fluke, shot another same thing. Took the rest of what I had loaded and pulled it. It's worth noting I was below the max, using data that was appropriate for my components. For some reason it just shot hot. I wrote it up as an experience not to repeat.

    At the same time, I've also had occasion where loading a new powder the load data published by the manufacturer was so light the gun didn't even cycle properly. Most recently, this was a problem with winchester autocomp in 9mm...