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This is a discussion on Blackhawk Down within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I have to agree with folks a chimp would do it, to take a back strap loose more the a good chance it was a ...


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Old January 17th, 2017, 07:06 AM   #31
 
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Red face

I have to agree with folks a chimp would do it, to take a back strap loose more the a good chance it was a double charge, 10.5 time's two would easily fit in a 44 case. As long as you all right and no by standers hurt. A tough lessen to learn, LOOK IN every Case!!!!!



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Old January 17th, 2017, 12:32 PM   #32
 
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I too made a mistake with my Dillon beam scale a few years back. I had my scale indexed on 10 instead of 0 and overcharged about 50 rounds before I caught my mistake. I can't remember how I caught it, but it scared the bejeezits out of me at first, then made me mad because I had to pull all those bullets. Then I got over being mad when I realized the Good Lord had saved me from my own stupidity.

Thankfully I never fired any of them. I bought a digital scale right away, and now set up my press using it. Check weights are a great thing to have with either kind of scale. Especially if you use them.

Same with a bullet puller, which you hope to never have to use. Glad the OP is alright, but the morbid side of me wants to see a picture of the gun.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 04:04 PM   #33
 
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Another thought I had about this while bringing it up on another thread...

How old is the lot of powder that you used. Could it have become degraded due to time or bad storage conditions?

I once had a bad batch of 2400 that severly increased pressure in some .357 loads. Degraded powder can cause increased pressure.

Check the powder and make sure it doesn't look or smell bad.

Not sure that would cause a spike enough to grenade a Blackhawk, but another variable to check.

Sorry to hear about your experience and glad you were not seriously injured.

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Old January 17th, 2017, 05:05 PM   #34
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Aqualung, I have never heard of a smokeless gunpowder that increased pressure as it aged .... quite the opposite. As powders age, they don't ignite as easily and burn slower, which in turn creates LOWER chamber pressure. There have been instances where powder went into spontaneous combustion due to aging .... but that is so rare it's almost not worth mentioning.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 05:33 PM   #35
 
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DirtyHarold I am so glad that you are ok this is the main concern. There have been very many things said here by some very knowledgeable folks here. Plus Ruger is helping the OP out not very many firearm companies would do this especially using reloads. My main suspect goes along with what others have said a possible over charge. But no matter what it sounds like the gun powder the OP used wasn't the best suited for the application. There is a lot to learn here, and that is the Ruger Forum is a great place to learn and make friends in the process. Good Luck DirtyHarold with your new Ruger coming to you & please be safe!!!
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Old January 17th, 2017, 07:51 PM   #36
 
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1) You must be sure NOT to use jacketed data for monolithic or frangible bullets as pressure will be very high. Hodgdon lists loads for these bullets, but unless you KNOW what the manufacturer designation is, you might confuse them.
You will find that monolithic loads use a much lower powder charge for the same pressure, so DON'T use jacketed data with the wrong bullet.
2) The starting load--you know, the load you start ANY loading at and work up from there--is 8.4gn, NOT 10.5gn. You have no idea what your combination of components, including the powder lot used, will do in YOUR gun compared to what they found with THEIR exact components in THEIR gun. You don't ASSUME—you start at the start load and work up.
I will say it again, I found twice when I started reloading that the START load in one of my manuals was MAX or over-MAX in my gun with my components, so I started to always check multiple sources and start at the lowest start load. Doing so means that I never had that issue again.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 08:29 PM   #37
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
Aqualung, I have never heard of a smokeless gunpowder that increased pressure as it aged .... quite the opposite. As powders age, they don't ignite as easily and burn slower, which in turn creates LOWER chamber pressure. There have been instances where powder went into spontaneous combustion due to aging .... but that is so rare it's almost not worth mentioning.
Iowegan,

At risk of sounding argumentative, I experienced it. It was a quite a while back when I was weighing every charge. I use a calibrated lab balance as a loading scale, so I know it was accurate.

The powder came from a sealed metal can of 2400, just a very old one. The powder was brownish and smelled a bit rotten, but, at the time I didn't know better about the warning signs.

Exact loads with different lots of powder gave none of the pressure signs I had experienced. With the bad powder, I had flattened primers and cases I had to tap out with a rod and hammer.

The more I researched, I found other sources that told me that degraded powder could cause increased pressures. Believe me, I found it odd, too.

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Old January 18th, 2017, 07:50 AM   #38
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Aqualung, I guess anything can happen .... as you proved. Chemistry wise, as powder begins to deteriorate, it will get progressively weaker ..... at least that's what the books say. Like you, I have first hand experience from an old can of Unique .... probably 30 or 40 years old and who knows how it was stored. My normal load of 6gr of Unique in a 45 ACP with a 230 gr bullet is accurate with plenty of pressure to operate the slide and emulates a factory load. When I loaded 45 ACPs with this old Unique powder, there wasn't enough chamber pressure to operate the slide and the report sounded weak. After about 3 shots fired, I had a squib so that ended the session with the rotten powder. The rest of the cartridges were destroyed.

So I guess we should say ..... Don't use powder that shows signs of deterioration (brown rusty look and a foul odor). It could produce higher or lower pressures than good powder.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 12:46 PM   #39
 
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Very informative thread. I think I'm sticking with my Unique or Longshot for the 9mm,.38 +P and .45 AP. And 296 or MP300 for the .357.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 08:25 AM   #40
 
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UPDATE: I also found that I had been using magnum primers, when you are only supposed to use the regular large pistol primers for HP-38. So it must have been a combination of longer length bullet due to being solid copper, and using a magnum primer.

I want to emphasize again, i only loaded 5 rounds to 10.5 grains so unless all 5 were double charged, this was not a double charge. I'm pretty sure 21 grains of HP-38 wouldn't even fit inside the case. 225 gr solid copper projectile+10.5gr HP-38+Magnum primer = BOOM. Boom being the gun not just a regular boom. Anyone who still doesnt believe me, I invite to try it.

Anyway, I now have a replacement gun that I do not want to have to replace again.

I now have the question of when I am reloading in the future, how do I know when I am beginning to approach overpressure? What signs etc. do I look for/how do I tell?

I started a new thread with this question because I figure this one is mostly dead, so if you have input on that question put it here

How do you know when you are reaching overpressure?

Thanks.
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Old February 1st, 2017, 01:25 PM   #41
 
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10.5 gr did not blow that gun up, even with magnum primers.
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Old February 1st, 2017, 02:47 PM   #42
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gqucool View Post
DirtyHarold I am so glad that you are ok this is the main concern. There have been very many things said here by some very knowledgeable folks here. Plus Ruger is helping the OP out not very many firearm companies would do this especially using reloads. My main suspect goes along with what others have said a possible over charge. But no matter what it sounds like the gun powder the OP used wasn't the best suited for the application. There is a lot to learn here, and that is the Ruger Forum is a great place to learn and make friends in the process. Good Luck DirtyHarold with your new Ruger coming to you & please be safe!!!
Couldn't agree more, also very glad you're ok DirtyHarold! love the fact that Ruger is helping make things right, they're simply the best.

also, very informative forum topic!

Question, Ive never reloaded for pistols/revolvers and was curious about testing loads.

is it possible to shoot decent groups like with rifles, as you increase powder amounts and approach max loads, would you begin to see the rounds spread back out and become inconsistent, showing that maybe going any further wouldn't be the best or needed because you're losing accuracy?
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Old March 24th, 2017, 10:57 AM   #43
 
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month old thread and I still got something to say.

I feel for the OP. Been there.

I blew up my sbh 357 maximum using factory ammo. It blew the cylinder and chunks of cylinders on each side; and the top strap in the back. The ammo manufacturer accepted responsibility. I now reload everything. The experience is impossible to fully describe.

No reloader believes he made a double charge. None of us want to believe it. If he believed it, he would not shoot the round. Therefore, once the round has gone BOOM, he still believes, what he did before the BOOM, about his reloads. Most of us are forced to accept the conclusion later, but we still "don't see how I could have done that". Human nature.

For those of you who thought this OP had a squib, there is no chance. He said he blew up the cylinder and topstrap. How could he blow up a cylinder and top strap if the bullet was already in the barrel and stuck from no powder?

Last edited by Prescut; March 24th, 2017 at 10:59 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 08:35 AM   #44
 
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Because the kaboom happened from the round AFTER the squib.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 06:10 PM   #45
 
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Originally Posted by JRobyn View Post
Because the kaboom happened from the round AFTER the squib.
There was no bullet/bullets stuck in the barrel, and there was no damage to the barrel. The damage to the gun was from an excessive charge of powder.
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