I guess my loads werent good? :(

I guess my loads werent good? :(

This is a discussion on I guess my loads werent good? :( within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Well, I worked up 4 different loads for 40 S&W. 2 Different Powders and 2 different bullets (1 lead, 1 plated). 1 Load of each ...

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Thread: I guess my loads werent good? :(

  1. #1
    Member Array RugerSRGuy's Avatar
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    I guess my loads werent good? :(

    Well, I worked up 4 different loads for 40 S&W. 2 Different Powders and 2 different bullets (1 lead, 1 plated). 1 Load of each bullet with each powder. I kept powder measurements at the low end or the range because these are my first loads ever. Finally got to the range today to test them out. I ran 2 rounds of the first lead load, no problems. Ran 2 rounds of the first plated load, no problems. On to the loads of the other brand powder. Ran the 1st lead round and got a pop not a bang. Lead bullet is stuck inside my barrel and shell didnt extract. I know that i didnt forget powder in the round because the shell was covered in it after I extracted it and the breech of the barrel was covered as well. Checked the primer in the casing and it looks like a normal strike not light.

    Any idea what could have gone wrong here? And possibly how I can get that lead bullet unstuck from my barrel? I never got to test my last recipe with the plated bullets because my barrel had a lead bullet stuck in it. So, I was forced to put the SR40c back into my bag and move onto the next gun to fire (with factory ammo no reloads). If it wasn't for being able to try out my new Springfield EMP 40 and had it run flawlessly my trip to the range would have been ruined because of the reload problem, but that's another thread . Im going to pull the rest of that batch of lead rounds that I made as I no longer trust that recipe and honestly I don't really like the lead bullets in general any more, I will probably stick to plated and jacketed from here on out.

    Anyways, like I said I am very new to reloading and these were my first batches. I am trying my best to keep from being discouraged after having this happen on my first trip to the range to try them out, but at the same time very grateful it went pop and got stuck in my barrel instead of going boom and blowing my barrel to pieces injuring me in the process. Any advice, thoughts, ideas, info that you guys can offer me about this situation would be great. If anyone wants me to post the recipe that this happened with I can go get my notepad and post it up if that would help, and if anyone wants me to snap a pic of my stuffed barrel I can add that as well.

    Thanks in advance guys.

    Edit: added info and pics

    Load that popped instead of banged = 4.1 g of Bullseye powder with a 180 gr Lead Bullet

    Here is one of the other rounds. They were all seated properly and this is the finished product:


    Here is the dirty casing that I ejected its pretty dirty so I know I at least had powder in it probably not enough:


    Here is the struck primer. It doesn't look light to me it looks the same as my factory casings that went bang:


    And here is my barrel with that dirty lead bullet hiding inside:
    Last edited by RugerSRGuy; October 9th, 2012 at 10:03 PM.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array darbo's Avatar
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    Well that is a quick way to ruin a test. Sorry to hear of your problems.

    I have only been reloading for a few months myself and have not had any issues. (knock on wood) I have known people to use a wooden dowel that fits inside the barrel and use it from the muzzle end to push the stuck bullet out.

    I do think you should post your receipe for the more knowledgeable reloaders here to maybe offer up some advice. I would say to certainly take the rest of those loads apart and check them. Good luck.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    For the stucket bullet, thats easy. Take a small wooden dowel, or even a screww driver, and after taking barrel out, tap the bullet in the barrel and you will drive it out. Just take care not to cause damage to the barrel crown.

    Now, for the loads. I suspect that your load is too light, and the charge did not take up enough case volume to properly ignite. The 40 needs to be loaded with the mid level power range load data for best performance.

    Could it have been a primer? Yes, but I have never had that experience.

    I dont know what powder you were using, but if the brass you fired is sooty and dirty on the outside, thats a clear indicator of loads that are too light.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Member Array SFCDan's Avatar
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    That is unfortunate. I am interested in reloading, but need to find a good place in my home where I can set up shop to do it. I hate the high cost of the store bought rounds for target practice.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Little or no crimp on round in first pic.

    Very sooty case

    I can see shiny flakes of unburnt powder residue on the base of lodged bullet.

    It all equals too light a powder charge, which combined with a almost non existent crimp, is a receipe for what happened to you.
    pgrass101 likes this.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Trivia for you; an underpowered load is more of a receipe for disaster than an over powered one.
    nedrgr21 likes this.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  7. #7
    Member Array RugerSRGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Little or no crimp on round in first pic.

    Very sooty case

    I can see shiny flakes of unburnt powder residue on the base of lodged bullet.

    It all equals too light a powder charge, which combined with a almost non existent crimp, is a receipe for what happened to you.
    How can I fix my crimp issue? I have my lee crimp die set the way the lee die set instructions told me to set it.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugerSRGuy View Post
    How can I fix my crimp issue? I have my lee crimp die set the way the lee die set instructions told me to set it.
    Keep screwing it down. Get a dial caliper and measure the case mouth until it matches book data.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  9. #9
    Member Array RugerSRGuy's Avatar
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    I appreciate the help glockman. I'm going to head downstairs to my reloafing table and play around with my crimping to try to fix that issue and il work up a load that's higher than what I was using.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugerSRGuy View Post
    I appreciate the help glockman. I'm going to head downstairs to my reloafing table and play around with my crimping to try to fix that issue and il work up a load that's higher than what I was using.
    Watch the crimp. Not too much, just watch the measurement. But that 4.1 grns of Bullseye is just to darn low! Your crimp should be .423, and I would suggest going up to 4.8 as a starting load.
    Also watch your seating depth.
    gasmitty and TX expat like this.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    OP, don't let this incident cause undue concern. I've been reloading all sorts of pistol/rifle/shotgun rounds since '75 and have 2 duds (bad primers) and no squibs. That beats my track record with factory ammo.

    Personally, I never start out at the bottom of the range for a given powder of a bullet weight. I start about mid range. The lower end, especially with semis, is too subseptible to cycling problems and, as you have found, sometimes poor ignition. I rarely go to the max either, as I haven't found much in the way of improved performance or accuracy. I've made full power loads for specfic purposes, but for rannge and general use, mid-range loads are sufficient and save powder.

    You want to drive the bullet out backwards with a dowl or something else that can't damage the rifling. Save the bullet; you've effectively "slugged" your barrel. Crimping on semiauto cases can be tricky because they headspace on the mouth. All flare should be removed. If your reloaded rounds drop into your disassembled barrel chamber flush or slightly more with a slight clunk, they should chamber fine.
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    I think glockman has pretty much covered everything very well.

    You'll get there! Just take your time and check and double check everything, especially when you are just starting out.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Any chance that your primer got a little oil on it ?? Or an obstructed flash hole ??

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    Good advice above. Work on your crimp and use calipers to measure it and a plunk test will help decide if the fit for your pistol is okay. I don't like slow powders like BE for the 40, for one thing they don't take up enough room in the case to monitor you powder drop. If you try it with light loads, before each shot, point your barrel up to let the powder fall to the base of the case. I really like WSF, Power Pistol, and Unique or a powder in that burn range. WSF and Power Pistol work fine with lighter loads.

    Don't get frustrated. Take your time, work up the loads properly, and you'll be fine.
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

  15. #15
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    Most likely it was a "flash over". Fancy term for the primer went off and not enough powder in the case lying in the bottom just right and no powder goin off. Basically the flame from the primer went right over top of the powder and did not ignite it. The primer has enough force to push the bullet out of the case though. A weak crimp goes a long way in helping set up the conditions for this to happen also. Everyone else gave you the fixes. Up the charge and a good crimp and you should be good to go. Just a guess but I bet if your crimp was little better you would have had a hangfire instead.
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