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  1. #1
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    My first firearms related accident

    I am normally an extremely meticulous reloader. I have been reloading no less than 15 years and probably longer than that. What happened here is the brass was home-formed brass made out of 223/5.56. The case walls (which became the neck) were too thick but after forming you could drop the empty case in a chamber gauge and it would look fine. Once a bullet was seated though it was too thick and would not fully chamber. It was basically an out of battery detonation. It was out of battery just enough to where the bolt was not locked so when it went off it jammed the bolt into the carrier and split it.

    In no less than 15 years of reloading all the time this is my first accident. Not cool.

    It took me about 4 hours to remove the bolt and carrier from the upper. I broke everything down into pieces including removing the barrel (for inspection purposes) and it appears like this bolt carrier group is the only casualty here.
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  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear man. Glad you're ok.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. No digits lost. First accident in at least 15 probably more like 20 years of reloading. It was bound to happen but ammo wise it was from something hard to detect until it was too late.

  4. #4
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    Yikes. Glad you are ok.

    So, what do we learn from this? How do you check for and prevent this from happening again? Measuring neck thickness?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerUp View Post
    Yikes. Glad you are ok.

    So, what do we learn from this? How do you check for and prevent this from happening again? Measuring neck thickness?
    Either to neck turn each piece or to buy commercially produced brass. A or B. Dropping every single round every time into a case gauge is possible but it has it's downsides as well.

    Neck turning sounds like a lot of work but once I get a couple thousand pieces it will last me for a while. I will have to check on the prices of commercial brass but odds are I will just go that route.

    I'm broke but not so broke that I am willing to risk another blow up. I like reloading but I like it for the sake of doing it. Saving money is another thing all together. 300 Blackout is still a very new round to me for the most part and I was operating under my standard safety protocols which have worked good for a long time already. Bad components are a whole other animal though.

    People said you can form your own brass, and yes that's true...but I learned the hard way that forming your own brass comes with a big fat asterisk.

  6. #6
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    It's not even a matter of being careful. I am extremely careful when I reload as noted by my fairly long (in my mind) track record without incident. Taking statements like "you can form your own brass" at face value is not absolute. And even checking each piece of brass before loading they pass. After loading not so much. And it only takes one problem to cause a major problem. I am fortunate that mine only cost me a bolt carrier group.

    All things said I am still kind of pissed about it. Not that it helps. I just have to take measures to prevent it from ever happening again. No matter what.

  7. #7
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    What bass was this?

    You donít run a case guage in batches? I always had it on the bench , check a handful here and then again 30 later or so..

    I always did and sorted comm. to military brass. Just to also take all I could out of the possibilities.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustangfreek View Post
    What bass was this?

    You don’t run a case guage in batches? I always had it on the bench , check a handful here and then again 30 later or so..

    I always did and sorted comm. to military brass. Just to also take all I could out of the possibilities.
    I am not sure the brand of brass because the base of it largely got messed up. When the brass was formed you could drop it into a case gauge and it would drop in freely. It would pass that test. When you load a bullet into the case though the neck thickness was just thick enough to prevent full chambering.

  9. #9
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    Did it vent through the mag and blow it out?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Did it vent through the mag and blow it out?
    The bolt was still in the extension and only held in place by some tiny shards of brass that were lodged in there. That's what took me so long to get it out. Most of the explosion was actually quite contained but yes it did blow the magazine out. Visually there is no damage to the mag at all. Just a lot of soot on it.

  11. #11
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    Really glad you are okay. I've never tried making my own cases, and have never felt the need for a case neck turning tool. May have to reconsider that.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry R View Post
    Really glad you are okay. I've never tried making my own cases, and have never felt the need for a case neck turning tool. May have to reconsider that.
    It's really not hard to do at all. It works great but some brands of brass obviously create a big problem.

    I have to figure out how much of a hassle neck turning is because I don't normally get that involved for most rifles.

    Odds are that I will just buy a couple thousand cases of commercial brass and leave it at that.

    If and when I shoot commercially loaded ammo I might save that too but overall cutting, trimming, and turning brass eventually has a negative rate of return. A couple hundred dollars for brass and I can be all set for quite some time and have a lot more peace of mind.

  13. #13
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    Glad you are okay. That type of stuff always worries me....all the controls and checks and something out of your control goes wrong. My only two ammunition related failures have been factory ammo (9mm squib and a 224 Valkyrie detonation I believe had the wrong powder in it)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Former11B View Post
    Glad you are okay. That type of stuff always worries me....all the controls and checks and something out of your control goes wrong. My only two ammunition related failures have been factory ammo (9mm squib and a 224 Valkyrie detonation I believe had the wrong powder in it)
    I like most people here have been shooting forever and reloading everything I shoot pretty much for probably going on 20 years (just a guess) so I am surprised that it took me this long to have what I would consider a serious problem. It was bound to happen sooner or later. It sucks but overall I have a pretty good track record.

  15. #15
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    It's real easy to get a wake up call on one's reloading protocol. I had been reloading since circa '76, and only quit a few years ago when I downsized to a condo, and don't have the space.

    Anyway I was shooting some .44 mag our of a Ruger Redhawk, and on the last shot I immediately knew something went wrong. The recoil was so bad that it sent painful shock waves down my arm, into my elbow and the muzzle blast was something to behold. Long story short, I had switched from loading 240 gn. to 300 gn. hard cast for a pig hunt.

    Fast forward I found the culprit, when I reset my dies I didn't set the crimp correctly and bullets were backing into the cases from the recoil until the pressure was so great it went Kaboom! I sent it to Ruger to see if the frame and barrel could be salvaged. Even admitted fault to a reloading error. Unbelievably Ruger sent me back a new gun. Could have lost fingers, a hand, an eye or even my life that day.

    After all of those years of reloading and I thought that would be the last thing to happen to me.

    Thank God you're o.k. That one could have went really bad.

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