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Guard against Double Charge: what do U do ?

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by ModGlock17, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. ModGlock17


    Dec 18, 2010
    I think double charge is the most serious issue in reloading. This has to be and needs to be the #1 Concern to folks new to reloading. I am hoping to gather experienced reloaders' comments and techniques to limit the chance of this happening.

    I think of two avenues:
    1. Reloading process - what you do in reloading process to guard against Double Charge.

    2. Quality Control - how do you find Double Charge cartridges AFTER the bullet has already crimped on the case.

    On #1. Eliminate distractions, like cell phone calls. Got to stay on the groove. Don't get distracted.

    I also make it a habit to glance at the filled case to see the powder level. Until we have a smart reloader to "yell" at us when there's double charge, we'd have to use our eyes.

    On #2. I weigh all finished rounds to see if there's an unreasonable jump in weights. It would take too much time to weigh each round, so I'd do that in groups of 4. Their total weight, say 752gr, should only vary by a few grains due to differences in case weights, but should never vary by 8-10gr.

    Quality control is your last chance to catch Double Charge.

    Hope this helps. Please suggest your techniques.
  2. BMiracletx


    Aug 3, 2012
    Abilene, TX
    Definitely do whatever you can to reduce distractions and VISUALLY check each case before seating a bullet.

    I also use a powder check die right before my seating die. So I get a visual check on the powder check die, and then a visual check of the powder level while seating the bullet.

    Weighing the loaded rounds to me seems worthless and a waste of time. Yes it might check something missed like a double charge... but I would have noticed that with the powder check die and the visual check... so I don't weight them.

  3. PaulMason


    Feb 10, 2010
    This is the simplest and best to avoid a double charge. Have a light properly focused on the press to help.

    The other thing I do is to pull a shell out of the press after the powder drop to re-weight the powder to make sure nothing has changed - every 50 or 100 rounds - whatever makes you comfortable.
  4. dtuns


    Aug 30, 2010
    I use a RCBS lock out die and look in every single case as I load if theres any doubt remove case

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  5. techiej


    Jan 11, 2012
    I visually check, have a powder cop and also try to use loads that require >50% of the case to be filled with powder...that way spilled powder is another indicator.

    Never had a double but have had a couple too low/squib loads.
  6. Meathead9


    Aug 23, 2009
    The PRK
    A few more options.

    - Use a powder that has bulk, so it won't allow a double charge without spilling over.
    - I use a Powder Check with my XL650.
  7. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    Eliminate distractions...

    Single Stage press, work on one step at a time, hand weigh every powder charge, place that charge in the casing, place casing in shellholder on the press, while the next charge is placed in the scale pan to settle, a bullet is seated to depth without any crimp in the casing on the press. (yes this is slow but SAFE & accurate)

    Repeat till all are done with that step! Then I finish crimp all of them.
  8. jsnake


    Jun 9, 2009
    I use a bulky powder, as suggested above, that will not allow a double charge. So many powders to choose from, surely one of the bulky ones will suit most any need. In addition, every round is visually inspected prior to seating a bullet. lots of problems in reloading are possible, but a double charge is "nearly" completely avoidable. YMMV
  9. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Pretty simple. I look in EVERY case before placing a bullet. 100% of the time. I keep a light onhand for that purpose.

    Weighing bullets afterward is false economy for many powders. Mixed headstamp cases can vary a lot in weight such that squibbs or double charges won't be readily detected.
  10. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
    I use single stage press, and load the powder on a loading tray, check all 50 cases under a light or out side, check again, I know slow but never had a double or squib charge.
  11. rdm1962


    Dec 22, 2012
    St. Charles MO
    My general rule of thumb is the select a powder that fills the case as much as possible. Consult the cartridge specs. and see how many grain of water it holds. Select your powder accordingly. This also helps to reduce "dead air space" that must be fill with the expanding gas before it can start moving the bullet. This can also help increase your velocity. This wouldn't be a big increase but will still be there. Oh yes you can't dispense a double charge. Ralph
  12. alank2


    May 24, 2004

    See my signature for a product I invented to prevent a user from forgetting to rotate the shellplate on manual presses like the 550. It will also keep someone from short stroking presses like a 650, LNL, etc. as well. It watches your press actions and if you do something out of order it will alert you.

    In addition to that, I always look inside each case to see if it has around the correct powder level before placing a bullet.

    While I've had others give me grief about it (which I don't mind as it works for me), I also post weigh my rounds and the weight of the rounds is always such that I could pick out a double or squib. I almost always load the same headstamp case though.

    Don't allow yourself to get distracted.

    Try to choose a slow enough powder where detecting a double will be easier.

    Good luck!

  13. gofastman


    Jan 29, 2010
    RCBS lockout die for me.
    definitly not fool proof, but its a good tool
  14. Kwesi


    Sep 23, 2006
    +1 for Alan's Press Monitor. Fortunately my preferred powders will not hold a double charge but I still look into every case.
  15. MinervaDoe


    Jan 26, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    I only use powders that fill the case most of the way up. That way, if I double charge, the extra powder spills all over the place and wakes me up.
  16. GWG19


    Jan 28, 2012
    Huntsville Al
    I load on Dillon 650's and use the powder check. Loading for two competitive shooters I have loaded 20,000+ rounds and never a squib. Seems to work for me.
  17. number1gun


    Dec 3, 2012 stated above. Post 6, 8, 11, 13...see the pattern. Stop using powders that do not fill at least 3/4 of the case. Having spent time in a shop with a range I can tell you I have seen several 29's, 629's even a Ruger Redhawk with the top strap blown off. All were due to reloaders making a mistake. One small brain fart when working with certain powders can lead to a very bad day.....but have been here before. Our answers will fall on deaf ears. Someone's always got to push it...boom. It comes at a price.

    And post 15.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  18. EKUJustice


    Apr 18, 2007
    Use a 550 here and have a light shining into the shell plate. I observe the powder charge as I am turning the shell plate and verify the powder charge looks appropriate. On my 9mm Open Loads, it is very easy to avoid a double as there is no way it will come close to fitting as its already at the top
  19. gator378

    gator378 Gator378

    Jan 22, 2001
    St. Peters, Mo, USA
    I use 13.0 gr of AA #9. Double charge is overflow, can not double charge. I try to select a powder that a double charge is obvious and probably an overflow.
  20. Years ago I saw a friend bulge the cylinder wall on a strong ruger 357 double action. He was using Bullseye in a progressive press and dumped a double charge.
    I have only used 1 can of Bullseye years ago, I did not like the small amount of room that a full charge occupied in the casing. Of course every powder maker makes a product similar to Bullseye, I would not use them either.
    I agree that a powder that half fills (or more) at a safe pressure is the best bet.
    I also intentionally double charge a case to ensure that it either overfills the case or I have a good visual of what the double charge looks like. Then obviously dump it back in the powder measure.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013