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Reminder to be diligent!

925 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ustate
I had a little time to burn tonight, so I decided to load up a box of 9mm. I load on a LCT so that task can take as little as 20 min or as long as 45 if I really take my time, which I do quite often since I have a podcast going in the background (Tom Gresham's Gun Talk). Anyway, about half-way through the loading process, I noticed that a case was empty after running through the powder/expander die. The hopper was still mostly full, but the powder must have "arched", "bridged", whatever you call it. I immediately ran the case back up into the powder/expander and this time there was powder. I weighed that and the next few charges and they were all within 0.1gr, so I finished up.

It would have been easy for me to assemble a cartridge in the middle of my run without any powder in it. More than likely it would not have resulted in catastrophe at the range or at IDPA, as it would not have cycled the slide, but it certainly would have increased that risk many times over. I always make it a point to look in every case before seating a bullet. On a turret press, that's easy to do since I'm moving slower. If I was loading on a progressive, I think I would insist on using some kind of powder cop in addition to looking in the cases, since things are moving so much faster. Stay diligent - don't get complacent!
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Yes, a good reminder. A few months ago I ran some of my favorite 38 special cast bullets loads (3.2 gr. titegroup & Lyman 358429) through a recently acquired old colt. I chrono'd the first 5 rounds, stopping when I had one that sounded weak and only registered 355 fps......

Vigilance.
 

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Good reminder. The other issue with powder bridging is that the first case might be under charged, but then the following case might get the balance of the charge plus the normal charge. I have to say that I haven't experienced bridging with pistol/shotgun powder. IMR 4350? That's another story.
 

· Truth always sounds like lies to a sinner
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Being distracted by a podcast probably isn't a good idea either.
 

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Good reminder. The other issue with powder bridging is that the first case might be under charged, but then the following case might get the balance of the charge plus the normal charge.
Yes, exactly. I'm glad I found the 355 fps round before I found the one that might have peeled open the top strap. That's one of the risks with using powders like titegroup in cases the size of 38/357. You can barely see 3.1 grains in the bottom, and it's hard to tell the difference between 2.5, 3.1 and 6.2.
 

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That is why I advocate reloaders resist becoming handle pullers. It's easy to put gadgets all over the press to monitor the process, but I believe what I see. Always visually check the charge before seating. Batteries fail, wires come loose, things stick, look in every case, use the gadgets as a backup.
 

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Schrag4,

I just want to agree with others, NO DISTRACTIONS... I too like to visually see what is going into each case.

I couldn't agree with you more... "Stay diligent - don't get complacent!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright, guys, I'll make the switch to music during the loading phase. I find that when I put a podcast on in the background, I tend to miss a lot of it because it doesn't have my attention primarily. However, I suppose I'm opening myself up to risk in the event that a subject comes up that I'm passionate enough about. I'll save the podcasts for casting and powder coating sessions, and cleaning the guns - tasks where I'm not carefully measuring powder charges or cartridge lengths.
 

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Sometimes, even with nothing else going on, losing focus is easy by just letting your mind wander to something else. When I start doing that, I finish the brass in the shell-plate, get up for a little bit, get some water to drink, then go back to it.
 

· Micheal D Dokes
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I've had that happen once fortunately the bullet never left the case. I thought it was a bad primer but when I pulled the bullet there wasn't any powder in the case. Stuff happens, but even if it lodged in the barrel you'd know something was off at least you should before firing the next round.
 

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At least you caught it in the middle of making a single box and not the middle of a run of a couple hundred. Glad you noticed it.
 
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