My first aw-sh!#

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by stev32k, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    When I was setting up the LNL press for the first time I loaded several .40 caliber dummy rounds without primers or powder and put them in a reject bin. Last week I decided to pull the bullets. As I was getting them out I found 8 rounds that had primers. I weighed them and they appeared to be heavy enough to have a powder charge so I thought I had put them in the reject bin by mistake.

    I put them in a magazine by themselves and took them along when I went to the range. The first time I pulled the trigger nothing happened. Oops. I dropped the magazine, pulled the slide, and an empty case came out. Sure enough I had a bullet stuck in the barrel.

    I brought the gun (M&P FS .40) home removed the barrel and used a wood dowel pin to try to get the bullet out. After one lick with a hammer I saw that was not going to work. I have a drill press and a machinist cross vice. So I put a set of wood jaws in the vice, clamped the barrel, lined it up, and drilled a good sized hole though the middle of the bullet. After that I could push the bullet out by hand with the dowel pin.

    When I pulled the rest of the bullets I found two others that had primers but no powder charge. I won't be trying shoot anything from the reject bin again.
  2. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I had issues with H110 getting to develop full pressure in my .357 (18gns/125gn), inconsistent ignition. some would launch at the speed of light, others would stick in the barrel.

    getting those suckers out is a chore, broke a cleaning rod section before I got all of them out, they're a real bear.

    I just buy the orange plastic or the aluminum snap caps now for dummy rounds. If I'm loading a fresh batch of bulk pistol, the first 10 or so that come off the press get loaded and cycled by hand through the pistol/magazine to ensure proper feed, then outside for a one mag load test on the stump

  3. bustedmp

    bustedmp New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Shamokin PA.
    I use snap caps for working the action and trigger usage. I make dummy rounds for each different bullet type I use in each caliber I load. I do this so it is quick and easy for me to set the seating depth on the die. I also drill holes in the case to attach a tag with the specs and what gun they are for. I attach it with a piece of small wire so I can remove it easily. If I have a reject the bullet gets pulled before I finish my session. I actually have to pull several hundred bullets from rounds that didn't get out of my basement before a flood we had last year. I don't trust the rounds at all, but the bullets can be used again, not sure about the cases, but I have lots of those.

    I have had the ocasional round that didn't get powder, and I found it best to use several short sections of dowel rod instead of one long section on the rifles. I have not needed to remove a bullet from a pistol barrel yet, but I am sure I will some day.
  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    When you say nothing happened do you mean that you absolutely heard nothing? With a live primer in the case you should have heard something if it had enough power to push the bullet out of the case!!

    I would also suggest that, if you haven't already, you need to deprime or deactivate the live primers in those cases before you put them back in your recycle bin.
  5. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    I had on ear muffs, but did hear a small pop. When I said nothing happened I meant there was no ka-boom, and no recoil. I have quite a few primed cases waiting to be reloaded. Those were added.
  6. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

    I'm curious. Were these dummy rounds for dry firing, or were these dummy rounds for trying to set your seating die properly? In other words, why were the dummy rounds made to begin with?
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    West Virginia
    And you just learned the hard way that you can't tell if a pistol round has the correct charge by weighing them. I had a squib when I was a new reloader.
  8. Diamondback

    Diamondback Well-Known Member

    I have been reloading off and on for close to fifty years and despite my best intentions I have had several uh-ohs. I have had 2 poofers in all those years but I still carry several lengths of brass rod with me to the range. They vary in length form 10" to 30" and a brass or leather mallet.

    I keep a balance scale on my reloading bench. When I have a doubt about a cartridge having receiving the proper load, I put one I KNOW has the proper load in one pan and the questionable cartridge in the other. I know immediately if the questionable cartridge has the proper load of powder.

    No matter how OCD you are, you will make mistakes. Hopefully none of them will result in an injury to you or someone else.
  9. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    The dummy rounds were made while setting up the Hornady LNL for the first time. Adjusting the dies, case mouth expansion, bullet feeding, bullet seating, and crimping. I actually made quite a few - about 25 I think.

    The problems came when trying to set-up the primer system and adjust the the automatic advance. There were numerous problems and the press was sent back for repair. I just learned that a new press will be delivered the day after tomorrow. The original had some fundamental manufacturing defects that were not repairable (according to CS) so they are sending a new one.
  10. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    You are right about that. I weighed over 100 clean and deprimed 9mm cases and the weight variation was more than the powder charge weighed.
  11. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I remember, very well, my first squib loads as it was only about four or five years ago and I have been reloading for close to 40 years now. I loaded with a single stage press for all those years and decided it was time to go progressive. I bought a new Lee Load-master progressive press and that is when it happened. I was loading a bunch of .40 S&W and the powder drop was not dropping the proper amount of powder.

    I checked every powder drop to start with and it was perfect (+-.01 grains). I got too confident with it and didn't check it at all after a while. Out of about 500 loads, I got some very weak loads, some very heavy loads, and about 20 with no powder at all or just enough to push the bullet to the end of the barrel.

    I did not pull the bullets, I just took a wooden dowel to the range with me and I shot up every round. I used the dowel to push the bullet out of the barrel when a squib came up. Be assured, I did not do any rapid firing with that 40 cal while I still had those rounds around.

    I unloaded that Lee on eBay and bought myself a Dillon. I have never once not trusted the Dillon but at the same time, the Lee made me wary. I have a light mounted above the press so I can look down into every case before I seat a bullet in them.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  12. noylj

    noylj Active Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Setting up with one or two inert dummy rounds is very smart. Keeping them and labeling them is important if you want to return to those settings for that bullet.
    NOT noticing that you were priming was a mistake.
    Assuming that weighing rounds to determine if they held powder was a mistake.
    Going to range rather than pulling bullets was a mistake.
    Being brave enough to take a barrel near a drill press is something I wouldn't have the courage to do.
    Get a brass rod if you had problems with a dowel.
    Most ranges have rods available just for this job.

    Lee or Dillon, Hornady or RCBS, you have to inspect the charged case (this is one reason I prefer the L-N-L as the case is right under my nose for easy inspection) and I like to run an RCBS Lock-Out die on my progressives (including three Dillon 1050s).
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    if I even think i have a primed / uncharged round.. I break out the green hammer.. not worth it trying to get a projectile out of a BBL the hard way for me... vs a few whacks on a wood block..