Share your hand loading mistakes!

awshoot

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Not so much a mistake but a correction? Not sure how to describe it but anyway, I recently got a progressive press and between placing a case in the holder, seating a primer, watching the powder cop, and setting a bullet on the case mouth, I discovered it to be a lot more mentally taxing than I would have ever expected.

More recently I added a bullet feeder to my setup (nothing fancy, just the manual Hornady tube set where you fill up tubes by hand and replace them as they run out) and it took out 75% of the concentration I needed. I never lose my place now, visually confirm the powder cop each time, and the cartridges come out plunk, plunk, plunk like clockwork.

I know that it sounds silly to gripe about the mental challenge of setting a bullet on a case mouth, and you may wonder if I'm a moron who can't walk and chew gum (I can in fact), but I found myself getting out of sync without the bullet feeder. Maybe it's because my left hand had to do all the grabbing and I'm right handed so I have to think more about what my left is doing. Or maybe I am a moron -- either way -- I see a bullet feeder as a necessary addition to a progressive press now.
 
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Not so much a mistake but a correction? Not sure how to describe it but anyway, I recently got a progressive press and between placing a case in the holder, seating a primer, watching the powder cop, and setting a bullet on the case mouth, I discovered it to be a lot more mentally taxing than I would have ever expected.

More recently I added a bullet feeder to my setup (nothing fancy, just the manual Hornady tube set where you fill up tubes by hand and replace them as they run out) and it took out 75% of the concentration I needed. I never lose my place now, visually confirm the powder cop each time, and the cartridges come out plunk, plunk, plunk like clockwork.

I know that it sounds silly to gripe about the mental challenge of setting a bullet on a case mouth, and you may wonder if I'm a moron who can't walk and chew gum (I can in fact), but I found myself getting out of sync without the bullet feeder. Maybe it's because my left hand had to do all the grabbing and I'm right handed so I have to think more about what my left is doing. Or maybe I am a moron -- either way -- I see a bullet feeder as a necessary addition to a progressive press now.
Whatever works for you and makes it safer. For me the light that. fits up inside the Dillon was a game changer. Is easy with repetitive motions to miss a step sometimes or think you did and didn’t do something. I always weigh and kerplunk test and inspect finished rounds and still every once in awhile I catch a problem right before ai load into magazine or moon clip.
 

daved20319

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Double whammy for me tonight. Was having a hell of a time getting my Hornady powder measure to drop a consistent charge for some 9mm, finally figured out I still had the rifle drum installed :mad:. Got that sorted, loaded up 50 rounds, only to realize I was using CFE Pistol charge weight with W231 powder, 5.2 gr. when the max is only 4.5 :eek:! Decided it was time to focus on drinking rather than loading and called it a night. Guess it could have been worse, at least I realized they were overloaded BEFORE getting to the range :oops:. Later.

Dave
 
Double whammy for me tonight. Was having a hell of a time getting my Hornady powder measure to drop a consistent charge for some 9mm, finally figured out I still had the rifle drum installed :mad:. Got that sorted, loaded up 50 rounds, only to realize I was using CFE Pistol charge weight with W231 powder, 5.2 gr. when the max is only 4.5 :eek:! Decided it was time to focus on drinking rather than loading and called it a night. Guess it could have been worse, at least I realized they were overloaded BEFORE getting to the range :oops:. Later.

Dave
And there’s only 50 of ‘em, while not great, is far better than 500 or 1,000...

Sounds like some deconstruction is in your future amigo. Relax and have another drink...
 

daved20319

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Inertia pullers are okay if you only need to deconstruct a handful of rounds, but for much more than that, a collet puller is the way to go. Not sure why, but I have one on the shelf, I used it to pull some .223's apart, worked slick. Don't have a collet for 9mm, but I'll rectify that shortly, and should probably pick up a 6.5 mm too, I'll be starting load work ups for my 6.5 Creedmoor one of these days soon (I hope), and I can foresee a need :rolleyes:. Later.

Dave
 

MrNeutron

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I had been reloading for my rifle and my handguns for years when this happened........

The first 50 rounds I ever loaded for my Kimber Custom Classic were with 200 grain lead semi-wadcutters. I wanted a target load for the Action Pistol matches I was shooting. I intended to start with a minimum-ish powder-charged load, then work my way up to whatever fed, cycled, ejected, and grouped well, and made the power factor I needed.

In what I always guessed was a "Bonehead Of The Year" sorta move, I grabbed a bottle of Win. 296 (magnum powder) I'd been using for .357 Magnum loads instead of the 231 I meant to use. Just saw the number "2" on the bottle or 296 and thought I had the correct one, I guess.......

Went to the range with a buddy who had just gotten his new Springfield .45. We set up our targets, and my embarrassment began. First shot (and subsequent ones) sounded like Goat Farts, and wouldn't even begin to cycle the slide, without even enough "Ooomph" to make smokestack jam. It was at the 50 ft. indoor range at Douglas Ridge. The bullets hit the concrete floor about 15 ft. before the target's backstop, and then just skidded up almost to my target.

I eventually figured out the error of my ways, after a few rounds. My buddy laughed and said "Man, Jimmie, if I ever get in a gunfight with anyone, I want it to be you!".
 
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I had been reloading for my rifle and my handguns for years when this happened........

The first 50 rounds I ever loaded for my Kimber Custom Classic were with 200 grain lead semi-wadcutters. I wanted a target load for the Action Pistol matches I was shooting. I intended to start with a minimum-ish powder-charged load, then work my way up to whatever fed, cycled, ejected, and grouped well, and made the power factor I needed.

In what I always guessed was a "Bonehead Of The Year" sorta move, I grabbed a bottle of Win. 296 (magnum powder) I'd been using for .357 Magnum loads instead of the 231 I meant to use. Just saw the number "2" on the bottle or 296 and thought I had the correct one, I guess.......

Went to the range with a buddy who had just gotten his new Springfield .45. We set up our targets, and my embarrassment began. First shot (and subsequent ones) sounded like Goat Farts, and wouldn't even begin to cycle the slide, without even enough "Ooomph" to make smokestack jam. It was at the 50 ft. indoor range at Douglas Ridge. The bullets hit the concrete floor about 15 ft. before the target's backstop, and then just skidded up almost to my target.

I eventually figured out the error of my ways, after a few rounds. My buddy laughed and said "Man, Jimmie, if I ever get in a gunfight with anyone, I want it to be you!".
Winchester always cautions about reducing the charge too much with 296. And the reverse would have been much much worse.
 
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So about to start loading up 556, never have before. I have small base die coming and the FL sizing die and a taper crimp die. Have the right burn rate for the two groups of bullets I managed to get. But only have russian small eifle primers Wolff. I do have small pistol magnum CCI primers that I have read are essentially the same as their small rifle primers. Don’t want to end up relating a story to this thread. Not my rifle will be shot in and would like the users of these cartridges to roll their own anyway. Oh yeah 69 and 77 grain pills in 1 in 7 to 1 in 9 twist rates. I have CFE 223 IMR 3031, 4895 4064, MR 200 and some VV rifle powder originally bought for 168 308 and Win 748.
 

awshoot

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So about to start loading up 556, never have before. I have small base die coming and the FL sizing die and a taper crimp die. Have the right burn rate for the two groups of bullets I managed to get. But only have russian small eifle primers Wolff. I do have small pistol magnum CCI primers that I have read are essentially the same as their small rifle primers. Don’t want to end up relating a story to this thread. Not my rifle will be shot in and would like the users of these cartridges to roll their own anyway. Oh yeah 69 and 77 grain pills in 1 in 7 to 1 in 9 twist rates. I have CFE 223 IMR 3031, 4895 4064, MR 200 and some VV rifle powder originally bought for 168 308 and Win 748.
Sounds to me like you know exactly what you're doing. For reference, though not a powder you have, with Fed GM205MAR primers, Alliant AR Comp powder, 75 gr. Hornady HP with canelure and also Nosler 77 gr custom competions, 1:7 twist, 16" barrel: I get velocities around 2500 FPS (+/- 50 depending on powder and bullet combo) with powder weights from 21.8 to 22.1 grains. (my rifle is particularly fond of the 75 gr. bullets with 21.8 gr of powder)
 
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Sounds to me like you know exactly what you're doing. For reference, though not a powder you have, with Fed GM205MAR primers, Alliant AR Comp powder, 75 gr. Hornady HP with canelure and also Nosler 77 gr custom competions, 1:7 twist, 16" barrel: I get velocities around 2500 FPS (+/- 50 depending on powder and bullet combo) with powder weights from 21.8 to 22.1 grains. (my rifle is particularly fond of the 75 gr. bullets with 21.8 gr of powder)
Oh for a semi normal time with reloading components. Saw someone selling 223 bullets on this forum. might should have asked about them and would if I had an AR. Using as a training exercise, getting buddy into reloading and he will care more knowing is fodder for his rifle that I seem to remember is 1 in 9 but that may have been the other buddy who has several ARs and couple SCARs. I am amazed at how many people don’t understand twist rates and bullet weights. Oh well.

I have collected around 1000 556 cases. Some is annealed the IMI stuff I think. I have heard federal brass is junk and I suspect no Lapua in this collection all stuff my buddy bought commercially. So all once fired. I see that some of it is crimped and if I find the other arbor for my dillion crimp removal tool will do that way otherwise have hand tools anticipating few to do if any. Lord knows where that part to the de swagger is, has been bolted to bench for 20 some odd years and always set up for 308. I do have just 2 big ammo cans full of various reloading parts, maybe in there somewhere with spare number 1 buttons for 550. I haven’t yet looked into the caliber change kit from Dillon powder dispenser case bell dealing that goes into powder die has to be tiny. Seems like a perfect opportunity for a bonehead move to me. I have not had to really adjust much for the 9 or so calibers I shoot for a long time I seem to remember that one should put dies into tool head in order they get processed in makes sense will look at the instruction pamphlete though would probably do better if had Dillon video girl or booth babe show me how.
 

Mikej

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I had been reloading for my rifle and my handguns for years when this happened........


In what I always guessed was a "Bonehead Of The Year" sorta move, I grabbed a bottle of Win. 296 (magnum powder) I'd been using for .357 Magnum loads instead of the 231 I meant to use. Just saw the number "2" on the bottle or 296 and thought I had the correct one, I guess.......
Check! I pretty much eliminate this ^^ issue. I load from a seated position on an old school desk, single stage, RCBS equipment. After filling the powder thrower that bottle of powder sits, label facing me, just slightly behind and centered between the 5-0-5 scale and the thrower. No other powder is even in view of the bench. It seemed like a good way to do it when I started 9 years ago.
 

MrNeutron

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After filling the powder thrower that bottle of powder sits, label facing me,
Very, VERY Good Advice!

This occured over 20 yrs. ago. Then, and still now, to try to keep this from ever ocurring again, I look at EVERY Detail multiple times, just as I did when I setup a CNC lathe or mill where I used to work. I keep intending to put a label on the powder throw stating what powder is in there, but still ain't done that yet, much as I hate to confess......
 
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Check! I pretty much eliminate this ^^ issue. I load from a seated position on an old school desk, single stage, RCBS equipment. After filling the powder thrower that bottle of powder sits, label facing me, just slightly behind and centered between the 5-0-5 scale and the thrower. No other powder is even in view of the bench. It seemed like a good way to do it when I started 9 years ago.
I have the old Rock Chucker and a Dillon 550, but I totally agree with the one-can-of-powder rule. Every new reloader should learn and live by this. I get out the powder I want to use, and ONLY that powder, double and triple check. I fill the hopper of the powder measure, and set the powder can on the bench right behind where I'm working so I can see it right in front of me. No mistakes that way.

I used to think I could rely on my wits to not make a mistake. With age and mistakes comes wisdom. Ingrained safety habits can save your bacon.
 

Lilhigbee

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I put a piece of masking tape over the lid of the powder measure and write the type of powder on it. Anytime I futz with the powder I have to see the tape in order to open the measure.

Yesterday I decided to load 300 7.62X40WT rounds. Looked at the label in the lid of the ammo box, "25.0 gr. 1680." Put the tool head in the 550, fill the measure with 1680, adjust the measure for exactly 21.0 gr and load 'em up. Go to put them in the box and look at the label again, "25.0gr." What?? Many bad words at high volume!! No idea how 25 became 21 in my head in the course of two minutes or less. Dig the Herter's bullet puller out of my for-sale pile and set it up in the RCBS and get started. You cannot pull bullets nearly as fast as you can install them with a 550.
 
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I put a piece of masking tape over the lid of the powder measure and write the type of powder on it. Anytime I futz with the powder I have to see the tape in order to open the measure.

Yesterday I decided to load 300 7.62X40WT rounds. Looked at the label in the lid of the ammo box, "25.0 gr. 1680." Put the tool head in the 550, fill the measure with 1680, adjust the measure for exactly 21.0 gr and load 'em up. Go to put them in the box and look at the label again, "25.0gr." What?? Many bad words at high volume!! No idea how 25 became 21 in my head in the course of two minutes or less. Dig the Herter's bullet puller out of my for-sale pile and set it up in the RCBS and get started. You cannot pull bullets nearly as fast as you can install them with a 550.
What I always say is that I don’t like unloading cartridges but rather loading them, except when I have to pull some apart. Once had to take couple hundred apart of 9 mm. Usually I make a batch and test fire. Anymore I make sure that the lighting system is on so can visually check powder level and weigh the finished cartridges and do ker plunk test. Can check primers again. Even though ruinously expensive I find replacing the primer components on the 550 saves time in the long run. I hate that primer system but is so integral to the rest of it that haven’t replaced that stage with something else.
 

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