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A serious word of caution..

This is a discussion on A serious word of caution.. within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I picked this thread off another forum and ran it by Iowegian before posting. I deals with a not too uncommon and highly dangerous situation ...


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Old February 4th, 2017, 04:53 AM   #1
 
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A serious word of caution..

I picked this thread off another forum and ran it by Iowegian before posting. I deals with a not too uncommon and highly dangerous situation of loss of attention while priming on a press..this happened to be on a Dillon where things happen in big amounts but could occur in any tube fed or automatic feed priming system on any manufacturs equipment...I'm old and slow and frankly have only tried tube fed auto primer feeds a couple of times and never found a comfort zone so I don't use them...but it isn't the equipment it is that lack of attention moment that can kill or maim..

Had my first reloading accident today - PSA - Calguns.net

The pictures are spread all through out the thread.



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Old February 4th, 2017, 05:07 AM   #2
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Yikes!

I've given some (very little) thought to reloading. But posts like this one from Calguns.net remind me why I've not jumped in. For me anyway, ain't worth the potential screw up on my part.

Besides, I don't need to give my wife another thing to worry about.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 05:33 AM   #3
 
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I read the post and I'm still not sure what happened.
I understand the primers in the tube detonated after the first primer went off but don't understand exactly what he meant concerning the inner primer tube? Clearly that tube was loaded with primers and in place? Or am I missing something?

This is the sentence I don't understand: "What happened was I forgot to put the primer tube inside the main tube so I can only assume a primer came out cockeye and got smashed when I went to press it in." ???

I've never been overly concerned with the safety of the priming system on my Dillon 550. The outer tube is strong enough that a sympathetic explosion of multiple primers would be contained and directed out the ends of the tube. Probably out the top because that's the path of least resistance.

Last edited by Petrol and Powder; February 4th, 2017 at 05:36 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 06:05 AM   #4
 
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Of the many 10's of thousands of primers that I have seated with with the Lee Auto Prime tool, I had one that I set off. I still can not believe how loud it was. I don't even want to imagine how loud 100 set off all at once was.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 06:26 AM   #5
 
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[QUOTE=Petrol and Powder;2815049]I read the post and I'm still not sure what happened.
I understand the primers in the tube detonated after the first primer went off but don't understand exactly what he meant concerning the inner primer tube? Clearly that tube was loaded with primers and in place? Or am I missing something?

This is the sentence I don't understand: "What happened was I forgot to put the primer tube inside the main tube so I can only assume a primer came out cockeye and got smashed when I went to press it in." ???


All Dillon presses have a large and small primer tube that goes inside the blast tube (this is what a Dillon rep called it). So apparently when he was swapping out tool heads and the primer pick-up he forgot to install the large primer tube in the blast tube.

With that said there is a lot of room for those primers to do what ever they want when they are dropped in, sideways, upside down, you name it.

I'm not sure how long this gentleman has been reloading, but a progressive press is not for beginners, yes they are great to have, but as you can see things can go south real quick if you don't pay attention to detail.


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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:29 AM   #6
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I prime off line with an RCBS bench mounted auto prime tool. I have the old version that drops a primer into a cup and lays back out of he way and then a case is slide into place and a primer inserted. Never had one go bang and with the quick look before seating the primer you can see it is in the proper position.



IMHO in reloading speed kills. I am single stage whether it be metallic of shotshell and that meets my needs.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:55 AM   #7
 
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Thanks for the link.

I used to use the bench-mounted RCBS priming setup, but switched to the RCBS hand priming tool.

Have not had one pop...yet.

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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:02 AM   #8
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There's a reason why the word "accident" is in the dictionary. No matter what type of equipment you use, you must pay attention and follow all the manufacturer's operating procedures. When you don't .... bad things can happen.

Many people are quick to blame progressive presses but mostly that's because they don't own one or have a fear of operating them. I've owned my Dillon 550 for over 25 years and never had an issue with the priming system except the older CCI primers used to stick in the tube so when you went to prime a case, sometimes there was not a primer present. CCI later redesigned the skirts so now they feed just fine.

I found exactly the same issue in my old Rockchucker press equipped with a RCBS "Auto Prime". Sometimes a new CCI primer would not drop so this was indeed a primer issue, not a problem with the equipment. A bigger issue with the RCBS Auto Prime is the spring loaded primer arm. If you release the primer arm too soon, it will snap back and strike the bottom primer in the tube. Sometimes this caused a primer to flip so you may end up inserting a primer backwards. I've even had a few that went in sideways .... but never had one go bang.

I can't say that about my old round Lee hand primer. I once had a primer go off when loading a 38 Special case. Not only did it scare the hell out of me, it also damaged the hand primer to a point where I threw it in the trash.

Everyone that reloads seems to find equipment and procedures that are safe so that's what they use and are comfortable with it. As long as they can prime cases in a safe manner, who can fault them. Then there are people that could screw up a $30,000 car with a 98 cent screwdriver. Like Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid".
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:04 AM   #9
 
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On the plus side, I guarantee he will never make that mistake ever again. Nor should any of us, after reading about it. Good deal he is ok, with no major losses. It's so easy to get caught up, and forget something so simple.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:24 AM   #10
 
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Thanks, opos. Always appreciate a reminder to stay focused and alert when reloading.

I would not interpret an incident like this a reason not to reload. Factory ammo can malfunction. There is no guarantee your firearm will not fail.

Shooting is a dangerous hobby. The best rule is to use the muscle between your ears, focus, concentrate and take your time.

And that applies regardless of what style/brand of press, ammo, or gun you are using.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:27 AM   #11
 
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I'm still at a loss. Are you saying he just poured primers into the large outer tube? One of the pictures clearly shows the inner aluminum primer tube split and damaged. I suppose he could have placed small primers in the large primer tube but it looks like some type of inner primer tube was in place.

Clearly there was a problem but I'm just not catching what caused the problem.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:31 AM   #12
 
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I've seen other threads where similar things have happened due to distraction. Be safe out there!
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Old February 4th, 2017, 09:39 AM   #13
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Petrol and Powder, I'm with you .... the photos don't follow his explanation. I have crunched primers several times in my Rockchucker and they never went off so even if the person's explanation is true, something else happened to detonate the first primer .... like he slammed the handle really fast. Ron White's saying still sums it up .... "You can't fix stupid".
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Old February 4th, 2017, 12:25 PM   #14
 
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I've never loaded with a Dillon progressive, so the mechanics of the priming system are foreign to me. I do progressive load with an RCBS Piggyback unit on my RCBS RS-3 single-stage press. The priming system on the Piggyback is fairly simple, and as long as I keep it clean, it functions very well. For single-stage priming, I used to use the RCBS Ram Primer on the press. In recent years, a round-style Lee Hand Primer is what I mainly use. With either the Piggyback or the Lee, I always visually check the primer in the 'hole' before operating the primer seating plug. This enables me to catch a double-stacked, cocked, flipped, or missing primer before it becomes an issue.

Many years ago, I had read about priming 'accidents'. It impressed me enough to use hearing protection (along with the eye protection I always use) when performing any priming operations. I've never experienced a primer detonation in 30 years of handloading, but I think the hearing protection is a very good idea.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 12:51 PM   #15
 
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Well. That was kinda scary.

I've had one reloading mishap. Somehow I double charged a .357 magnum round. Scared the livin' daylights outa me, but no harm was done.

I was already careful and respectful of the dangers inherent in handloading, but that incident made me even more so.
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