close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Safety/hazard questions

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Beanie-Bean, Sep 15, 2011.


  1. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    4,572
    68
    Location:
    Central Texas
    If you're testing new powder or bullets on a progressive press, do you empty everything afterward? Or do you leave the powder and primers in the press ready to go?

    I'm concerned about kids' safety. The powder isn't going anywhere without a case being present, but I am worried about the primer tube. After I sent the last piece of brass through, I removed the primer which was sitting in the cup, and wondered how you guys handle a partial run. That was one of the reasons I picked up the Hornady SS recently. I can break everything down pretty quickly, and leave the press in a relatively harmless state. Previously, I'd run the 550 similar to a turret press, just sending one case through to get a few loads out. I've got a bunch of different powders, and I don't want to load out 100 at a time, only to find out that I don't like that load. So, I'd run 10 through, then adjust the powder charge, then run some more through.

    Are there any tips/tricks/methods for breaking down a powder and primer setup in mid-flight? I'm looking to load out some other calibers with the same powder, but will be switching from LPP (.45 ACP) to SPP (.45 GAP and 9X19.)

    Still learning how to do this correctly and safely, and appreciate the information here on the forum. Thanks in advance!
     

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. WiskyT

    WiskyT
    Expand Collapse
    Malcontent

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    11,682
    1
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The biggest hazard I see in your situation is the possibility of confusing data and components with all the different variables you are working with. Be very methodical with your process.

    As for the general idea of leaving a press filled with components, I secure my loading room with a locked door.

    An enterprising person could figure out some way to lock a press so kids can't pull the handle and eject components.
     

  3. njl

    njl
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2000
    7,642
    545
    Location:
    :noitacoL
    AFAIK, it can be bad for the powder (can absorb water from the air) and bad for the hopper (discolors the plastic) to leave powder in it long term. There's also the issue of confusing what kind of powder was in there last. I always empty the powder back into the appropriate jug (which is the only one on the bench while loading) after I'm done with a loading session.

    If you remove the primer follower and put a locking cover over the press, I wouldn't worry about leaving primers in the magazine.

    The easiest way to empty the powder is to remove the two retaining pins and pull the entire tool head out of the press (with the powder measure still mounted to the powder die). Place a funnel in the powder jug, invert the tool head, pouring the powder into the funnel. Then invert again, and hand cycle the powder slide a few times with the powder die over the funnel to make sure its really empty.
     
  4. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    14,899
    151
    Location:
    CO
    I don't have kids. But I leave my press with a loaded shellplate and the handle down. No one can take a case out of the press. Not that anyone would at my house.
     
  5. michael e

    michael e
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    2,811
    3
    I dont have kids so not worried about that, but I do leave powder and primers in the loader when no in use. But I go and load a few every couple of days. I use the same powder for all calibers and if I didnt would still be able to tell what powder it was by the dies that in it.
     
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack
    Expand Collapse
    Conifer Jack

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    10,016
    1
    Location:
    Conifer, CO
    Unlike black powder, smokeless powders are virtually non-hydroscopic. Leaving powder in a measure, even for great periods of time poses no problems other than slightly discoloring some plastic hoppers.

    Exposing it to intense, direct sunlight for extended periods may have a minor effect on efficacy.


    Jack
     
  7. PCJim

    PCJim
    Expand Collapse
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,950
    1
    Location:
    FL
    I reload in the garage, in very humid Florida. While I used to leave powder in the hopper for weeks at a time, I don't anymore. Not that it diminished the effectiveness of the powder, I just didn't want to discolor the plastic hopper any more than necessary. I'm with Jack on that one, and a google search can probably uncover some scientific authority on the subject.

    As to emptying the hopper, njl covered it. Very simple to do, takes all of about a minute to completely empty the hopper and any remaining powder in the charge bar.

    Primers are another story. If you only have ten or twenty in the primer magazine, just operate the arm with an empty shellplate, removing each exposed primer when you push the arm forward. This is the fastest means to empty the system with a small remaining quantity.

    If you've almost a full primer magazine, its quicker to completely remove the primer system. Remove the two screws from beneath the mount, remove the return spring and carefully lift the entire system off the press. Invert the priming system over a collection bag or bin to catch the primers as they fall out of the magazine. Be sure to reinsert the follower rod to insure that all primers are removed.

    Emptying the primer magazine is one area that I wish Dillon would revisit, as regards an easier method of emptying the magazine. Of course, if you have plenty of primers on hand, you could just resize enough cases and prime them for your next reloading session. I've done this also, although it requires some mental attention to the altered methodology required at the beginning of the next session.
     
  8. RRTX11

    RRTX11
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    363
    0
    Location:
    Central Texas
    You should have taken notes when you came and visited my press. Just kidding. Leaving powder in hopper is finel Always put the powder container you are reloading with on bench, all other powder containers else locked away. I personally finish a load of primers, and leave the primer feed tube empty. I don't load unless I know there will have plenty of time to complete a load of primers. Still waiting on invite to come by and check out your set up. Soon as dove season is over with we can go out to the farm to shoot at the range.

    emptying powder can be pain at first, after a couple of times it is easy.

    Greg
     
    #8 RRTX11, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  9. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    4,572
    68
    Location:
    Central Texas
    WiskyT: I've adopted the "one bullet/one powder on the bench" approach, as outlined here on the forum. I even have a notebook to log what I'm loading out, to include powder/charge/bullet/COL. I'm sure I'll add more columns as I progress in my experience. I wish that I could secure the area with a lock, but I'm currently setup in the garage. I'll figure something out for sure.

    njl: I like the idea of removing the primer follower, and use of the locking cover. It's going on order today. Thanks for the powder measure emptying tips, too. I have a nice funnel from my Hornady kit that'll do just fine when I empty back the powder to its respective bottle.

    C4W: I like the handle-down approach, and will employ that method when I have stuff in mid-flight and have to step away. I'm leaning toward the locking cover for end-of-operation procedures.

    michael e: I have about five different powders to test out on all the different calibers, so I'm still in the experimental phase, and have to be

    careful about not mixing things up. Some of the powders only allow 0.5 gr from start to max, and I'd hate to confuse one for another. Hence, the "one bottle on the bench" approach I've adopted.

    GioaJack: Thanks for the info. I hope to have the battle scars of a discolored powder measure hopper some day. My rookie setup still smells new.

    PCJim: Thank you for the leftover primer notes. I read a post from Bayou, and I noted that just priming some empty cases will work. I'm just worried that I'd go to resize and decap a case that has a live primer. I do push the lever forward to retrieve the straggler sitting in the primer cup/punch so that it doesn't accidentally fall out to be stepped on or set off at a later date. Everything else stays in the fill tube. If I will swap calibers and change the priming system over from large to small or vice-versa, I'll do as you prescribed and just remove the entire priming system.

    RRTX11: I am going to invite you guys over when it is safe to barbecue, and I'm hoping sooner than later. Can't wait to show you the rig, and you'll see that it has a lot of your influence in its components and setup.

    **

    Sincere thanks to all for the excellent words of wisdom, helpful notes and tips, and for encouraging me to jump into reloading sooner than I expected.

    I'm having a lot of fun now, and find myself thinking of what new things to try out in reloading land.
     
    #9 Beanie-Bean, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  10. PCJim

    PCJim
    Expand Collapse
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,950
    1
    Location:
    FL
    Yeah, I have to admit, it is rather addictive. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my hands on the ultimate black powder rig - a 3lb cannon. I watched some exhibitions at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine a couple of years back and became really enthused.

    Guess I'd have the one up on Jack at that point.... :supergrin:
     
  11. unclebob

    unclebob
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2000
    7,300
    314
    Location:
    Mary Esther FL
    I don’t leave powder in the powder measure. It’s just too easy to empty it to not to. If I’m doing load development and I am only going to load say 50 rounds I only put 50 primers in the primer magazine. For load development I have a RCBS Charge Master. Makes it a lot easier for load development. I see no reason to have to us a SS press. Unless when you get done that is what you are going to use. Sizing the case is the same, seating a primer is the same. Pull the case out of the progressive press add the powder put the case back into the progressive press. And a bullet to the case seat the bullet, crimp. There is so many different ways that you can add the powder to the case, without having to adjust the Dillon powder measure.
     
  12. DoctaGlockta

    DoctaGlockta
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    2,110
    0
    Location:
    FEMA Region IV
    I have 4 young kids. After loading the powder hopper gets put away under the bench (with powder still in it). Primers are never left out where they can get at them. Primers are locked up or if in my Lee Hand prime they are placed well out of arms reach.
     
    #12 DoctaGlockta, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  13. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    4,572
    68
    Location:
    Central Texas
    PCJim: I'm still in the early stages now, not quite up to the black powder cannon yet :)

    unclebob: that's what I've been doing with the 550--just running loads through one at a time during the development stages, and pulling the locator pins out at the different stations, depending on what I was looking at (powder charge, OAL.) You've got me thinking about the Chargemaster (plus the rebate!) I am a fan of the Dillon beam scale, though, and it's really easy to zero out, read measurements, and adjust the amount thrown from the powder measure. I will still look at the chargemaster, though.

    doctaglockta: in addition to the Dillon 550 shroud/cover, I'll also be ordering one of the caliber stands, so that I can put the powder measure there when I'm done. Nice tip--thanks!
     
  14. unclebob

    unclebob
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2000
    7,300
    314
    Location:
    Mary Esther FL
    As far as I know Natchez is the cheapest place for the Charge Master. 300.00 with a 50.00 mail in rebate. You can also load with all of the stations full. You just pull the case out at 2 on the 550 and 3 on the 650 and put it back in at station 4. Once you learn how to do it you will never go back to the SS.
     
  15. GioaJack

    GioaJack
    Expand Collapse
    Conifer Jack

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    10,016
    1
    Location:
    Conifer, CO

    No you wouldn't, flatlander... we have cannon competition, (and mortars) at our annual Memorial Day shoot.

    We shoot at refrigerator boxes set-up on the side of the mountain out to 200 yards. After the shoot we pay the kids to scour the range and find the cannon balls. Way too much lead to leave it there.


    Jack
     
  16. RustyFN

    RustyFN
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    2,530
    0
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I always dump the powder back into the factory bottle after I'm done. I always Load until the primer tube is empty. I don't like to leave anything in the press.
     
  17. NW-Warlord

    NW-Warlord
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    944
    0
    Location:
    Where the Bremelo roam
    I believe the Dillon machine covers have a provision for a lock. Just cover it, and lock it... done.
     
  18. cole

    cole
    Expand Collapse
    Millennium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 1999
    3,287
    0
    I never leave primers in any of the Dillon tubes. I label the hoppers now. No reason to empty the powder each time IMO as long as hopper tube discoloration is okay with you. My presses are mounted to a 2x6 that is c-clamped to my bench. The whole operation can be removed in about one minute. So, if you had a locker of some type you could lock up the whole operation. Just an idea. Very old pic, but note clamps at bottom:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. PCJim

    PCJim
    Expand Collapse
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,950
    1
    Location:
    FL
    Son of a .... Thought I'd have you on that one. Ever do any anvil shooting at those events? (Do a google search on anvil shooting). While it looks interesting, I don't believe it'd be as much fun as a 3lb cannon. :supergrin:
     
  20. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    14,899
    151
    Location:
    CO
    It would be fairly simple to take a chain/bicycle lock, a padlock and devise a setup that would hold the handle in the up or down position.