About reloading kaboom

This is a discussion on About reloading kaboom within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was visiting rimfirecentral.com and found the following post. Did this ever happen to you? --- Excerpt from http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...d.php?t=419073 --- Reloading Kaboom - Please lear ...

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    About reloading kaboom

    I was visiting rimfirecentral.com and found the following post. Did this ever happen to you?


    --- Excerpt from http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...d.php?t=419073 ---


    Reloading Kaboom - Please lear from my experience
    ________________________________________
    Hi All,

    I'm still a newb here and have been really enjoying my 10/22's alot, and have even gotten the gf a 10/22 which she goes and shoots with me occasionally.

    Like most of you, our firearm hobby doesn't stop at rimfires. Assuredly, most also have centerfires and a certain percentage of that probably reloads. This thread is for those individuals.

    I'll post links to 2 other forums that have the full blown explanation threads....no sense in completely rehashing this again here, except for the facts to help fellow reloaders out with.

    A little about myself: I'm a 34 y/o CA boy that relocated to AZ about 4 years ago. About 6 months ago, I entered the world of firearms by purchasing my first: a Mosin Nagant. I was hooked. I blasted off into my new hobby with fervor and money.....oh god some money! My collection spreads from the Mosin, to precision and basic AR's, single action revolvers, a couple semi auto pistols, and of course, the beloved 10/22's. Did I mention I'm hooked. I still work in Los Angeles as a fireman/paramedic.......I mention this to help explain my attention to detail, OCD, and general appreciation for safety and NOT cutting corners.

    Three months ago I got into reloading, a whole other hobby in it's own. A very rewarding hobby, I might add. I bought a progressive, appreciating it's engineering and output, did very well with it from the day I opened the box. .38, .380 acp, .223, and 9mm to name what I'm reloading.

    A few days ago (11/2/11) I went to convert my press from .223 rem to .38 spl. While ramping it up for .38, I began to pick up 50 primers with the pickup tube, rotated it, placed on the press with my left hand, pulled the pin to release the primers, and Kaboom!

    The explosion happened before I completely remove the pin, so the primers didn't move but maybe a mm. There was trauma to 2 fingers (both fingers had dime size holes blown in them), thru & thru holes in the ceiling, and burnt primers throughout the room as far as they could go.

    I was angry and confused that day. How in the hell did this happen (I thought). I really didn't mishandle the primers, didn't cut any corners, I just couldn't see how this happened.......it was killing me!

    The ER doc suggested it might have been static electricity. It got me thinkng and researching. It was the only logical explanation as far as I knew. The RH that day was 15% on avg, 10% at lowest, and there was a dry wind all day with a few finger tip shocks on doorknobs.

    I talked to the press manufacturer and they stated it could have been that OR one defective primer. They did say, however, they've never heard of primers going off at that phase of handling before.

    It's still unconclusive, so for now, I'm grounding the press, the tube, and myself in the future, and am trying to devise a type of shielded (not reinforced) pickup tube for the future.

    This could have been a career ender for me but wasn't, thank god. Some things that were of the "no harm, no foul" variety but I'll still do differently from now on:

    -Eye protection ALL the time (even during the simplest of tasks) I wear mine during other phases usually, but never wore them during the pickup tube part of the transfer.

    -No more reloading in the house (again, no harm, no foul, but this could have been worse if someone was home with me)

    -No more allowing other people to reaload (I've let the gf pick up primers before and release them into the magazine.....no more of that. Also, some people let their buddy whose considering getting into reloading, to try out their press. I won't do eitherin the future)

    <<<Forgot to post up the other forum links>>> Here they are:

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=495909

    &

    http://www.brianenos.com/forums/inde...owtopic=139159

    Anyway, please be even more safe and aware than I'm sure you already are. Even the things you don't see can and will bite you.

    --- end of excerpt ---
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

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    I never had any static issues in WA state where the humidity also hung around 10-15%, but I was aware of it. Hated touching doorknobs! I generally avoided reloading during the driest months (winter) and did it in the rest of the year.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Static electricity triggering a primer sounds like a stretch, BUT stranger things have happened. It's easy to reduce the chances of it, though, by adding a ground wire to your press. I'd drill a hole in some unobtrusive part of the press where a stud won't interfere with press operation. Drill the hole through, sand or wirebrush the area around each side of the hole, and run at least a #10 screw through it with washers and a nut. Then run a wire (I'd use 12 ga or larger) from the press over to the known good ground, like the ground stud in a wall receptacle, the metal frame of a permanently installed light fixture, etc.

    Richard Lee touches on the risks associated with primers in his reloading manual (Modern Reloading). His press and reloading tools are designed to never allow primers to stack on top of one another - take a look at the Lee hand priming tool to see the concept. He's adamant about it.

    However, he's the only one. Dillon and Hornady presses load primers in a vertical feed tube; my Hornady holds over 100 primers in the Large tube. Your experience offers ample evidence why wearing eye protection is necessary when reloading.
    Smitty
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Static electricity triggering a primer sounds like a stretch, BUT stranger things have happened. It's easy to reduce the chances of it, though, by adding a ground wire to your press. I'd drill a hole in some unobtrusive part of the press where a stud won't interfere with press operation. Drill the hole through, sand or wirebrush the area around each side of the hole, and run at least a #10 screw through it with washers and a nut. Then run a wire (I'd use 12 ga or larger) from the press over to the known good ground, like the ground stud in a wall receptacle, the metal frame of a permanently installed light fixture, etc.

    Richard Lee touches on the risks associated with primers in his reloading manual (Modern Reloading). His press and reloading tools are designed to never allow primers to stack on top of one another - take a look at the Lee hand priming tool to see the concept. He's adamant about it.

    However, he's the only one. Dillon and Hornady presses load primers in a vertical feed tube; my Hornady holds over 100 primers in the Large tube. Your experience offers ample evidence why wearing eye protection is necessary when reloading.
    Correct, that should work. I do something similar when working with computer hardware, the difference is that I ground myself instead.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

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    Another good reason to wear "Depends".I've never had a primer go off in thousands of rounds of reloaded ammo,But I don't doubt that something happened to you.I might implement some steps to ground equipment ,To be perfectly honest being involved in a bad traffic accident is more likely than having a primer go off in my primer feed.But my wife still drives knowing the risks,but driving in a defensive mode so she stands a better chance of avoiding any problems
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    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    This is a new one on me. I've never heard of such. In all the primers I've handled over the years I have had a single "pop" when I de-capped a primed cartridge case. I've done that many other times before and since with no problem but there's always that one time.

    One primer popping is one thing but a number of primers igniting simultaneously is something else entirely and is not to be trifled with. There's power in numbers, a lot of power where primers are concerned.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

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    Interesting and some very nasty looking wounds. I have heard of primers going off when dumped loosely into a jar or box but never in a primer tube. +1 on the Depends, you may need them after that. The only time I have ever had a primer go off was when seating them in one of the old Lee Loaders defiantly will get your attention.
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    I have a Dillon 550B. It uses primer tubes that are closed with a spring pin. The tube is aluminum, the nozzle is plastic. If the I'm touching the press the tube should be grounded through my body to the press so I don't see how there could be an electrostatic spark. The way it would have to happen would be for the primer tube to be so much different in potential that it would arc from the top of the primer magazine on the press past the nozzle to the primer to the tube to me to complete a circuit. I'd think just touching the press magazine with the empty hand would equalize things so there was no danger of a spark. I can see how it might happen, reloader standing on rubber mat, doesn't touch the press, moves spring clip with is just enough to allow the arc to happen.

    Having read this, I'll make sure I touch the primer magazine on the press with my left hand before I place the tube on top and pull the spring pin to let the primers fall into the magazine.

    Fitch
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Static electricity triggering a primer sounds like a stretch, BUT stranger things have happened. It's easy to reduce the chances of it, though, by adding a ground wire to your press. I'd drill a hole in some unobtrusive part of the press where a stud won't interfere with press operation. Drill the hole through, sand or wirebrush the area around each side of the hole, and run at least a #10 screw through it with washers and a nut. Then run a wire (I'd use 12 ga or larger) from the press over to the known good ground, like the ground stud in a wall receptacle, the metal frame of a permanently installed light fixture, etc.

    Richard Lee touches on the risks associated with primers in his reloading manual (Modern Reloading). His press and reloading tools are designed to never allow primers to stack on top of one another - take a look at the Lee hand priming tool to see the concept. He's adamant about it.

    However, he's the only one. Dillon and Hornady presses load primers in a vertical feed tube; my Hornady holds over 100 primers in the Large tube. Your experience offers ample evidence why wearing eye protection is necessary when reloading.
    Grounding the press may help but it won't prevent the problem. In fact what it does is to insure there is a low resistance path for the discharge current from the tube holding the primer to ground, possibly through a primer.

    If static electricity is the cause, the problem is caused by a static potential difference between the charging tube holding the primers and the magazine tube on the press. The way to prevent the problem is to eliminate a potential difference between the press and what is holding the primers, or to equalize that potential by touching the press before getting the tube close enough that the discharge path is through the primer itself.

    If you are holding the tube full of primers in your right hand, wearing rubber shoes or boots that insulate you from the floor, or standing on a rubber mat, touch the press with your left before bringing the tube full of primers close to the magazine on the press.

    Fitch
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken

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