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(UPDATE) AND YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD A BAD DAY. BOOM

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Post by JIMPGOV on 9/14/2020, 7:47 am

First topic message reminder :

HOW ABOUT THIS? NO INJURIES.

CAUSE? OUT OF BATTERY DETONATION.

HOW? TRIPLE CHARGED ROUND (SUSPECTED)WITH A PROTRUDING PRIMER.

WHEN TAKEN APART IT CLEARLY SHOWED THE PRIMER WAS PUSHED DOWN FROM THE TOP BY THE HAMMER RIB. AS THE ROUND WAS SLIDING UP UNDER THE EXTRACTOR. THIS SET OFF THE PRIMER. BOOM ! TRIPLE CHARGED IS SUSPECTED DUE TO SEVERAL PULLED ROUNDS HAVE 8+ GR OF BULLSEYE IN THEM. PLENTY OF ROUNDS WITH PRIMERS NOT PROPERLY SEATED. A PERFECT STORM. COMBINATIONS OF ALL THE ABOVE ITEMS.

HOW? A LONG TIME SHOOTER WHO ALWAYS LOADED WITH A SINGLE STAGE PRESS. HE SWITCHED TO A DILLON 550. THESE WERE IN HIS FIRST COUPLE HUNDRED ROUNDS OR SO HE LOADED. HE STATED HE WAS HAVING PROBLEMS WITH SEATING THE PRIMERS.  KNEW IT WAS HIS FAULT. A REAL GENTLEMAN.

LESSON? IT COULD HAPPEN TO ANY OF US. ANY OF US
DAMAGE? EGO A BUT BRUISED. GUN HAS A BULGED FRAME AND SLIDE.

UPDATE
FURTHER DISCOVERED THE FOLLOWING. THE PROBLEM WITH THE PRESS WAS CAUSED BY THE FOLLOWING NEW PRIMERS.

WINCHESTER USA READY MATCH GRADE PRIMERS RED PACKAGE

THEY WOULD NOT FEED FROM THE TUBE TO THE PRIMER SLIDE. SWITCHING TO OLD WINCHESTER, FEDERAL, CCI AND THE PRESS WORKS PERFECTLY.


Last edited by JIMPGOV on 9/24/2020, 1:40 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : UP DATEADDED INFO)

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Post by mikemyers on 9/16/2020, 10:00 pm

pgg wrote:
BE Mike wrote:The powder check die in the extra hole is worth the difference in price between a Dillon 550 and Dillon 650/ 750.

my reloading rule #1: don't ever load pistol on a progressive without a check or cop die.

corollary to rule #1: if your press doesn't have room for a check or cop die, you bought the wrong press.
My RCBS Pro2000 is a 5 station press, one of which had my "RCBS LockOut Die".  Then people here strongly pushed me to using separate dies for seating and crimping.  I tried to do both in one station, but we could never get rounds that my friends felt were acceptable.  So, I removed the LockOut Die, used separate stations for seating and crimping...    AND   ...installed a mirror so I could see into the powder filled case before placing a bullet there.  This is after I updated my press with the Auto-Index kit, which eliminated the likelihood of a double charge or an empty.  

The Pro2000 doesn't use a primer feed tube, which is the other thing I insisted on eliminating.  

Oh, and when I do reloading, my mobile phone is NOT with me.


A relative of mine bought the Dillon 550 because of all the money he expected to save.  I didn't like it, and the only rounds we loaded were done one at a time, with a hand priming tool.  Now it's just sitting, with the same powder still in the hopper as what was there a few years ago.
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Post by TonyH on 9/17/2020, 9:19 am

Looking at the OP...it was very obviously an operator error caused by lack of safety practices and probably complacency. It certainly wasn't the type of equipment that caused the problem, it was how the equipment was used. The Dillon manuals contain many safety precautions and very clearly points out the dangers of reloading and most of all, PAYING ATTENTION to the process at hand. That is the learning that I took away from the above unfortunate accident. 
All equipment based on price point and design, certainly has limitations, but it is incumbent on the OPERATOR to stay within those limitations and follow prerequisite safety guidelines.
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Post by mikemyers on 9/17/2020, 12:10 pm

JIMPGOV wrote:......A LONG TIME SHOOTER WHO ALWAYS LOADED WITH A SINGLE STAGE PRESS. HE SWITCHED TO A DILLON 550. THESE WERE IN HIS FIRST COUPLE HUNDRED ROUNDS OR SO HE LOADED. HE STATED HE WAS HAVING PROBLEMS WITH SEATING THE PRIMERS.  KNEW IT WAS HIS FAULT. A REAL GENTLEMAN......
Everyone was a "new user" at some point, and this fellow obviously needed more "instruction".  I don't think it implies anything wrong about the operator, just that he hadn't yet learned what to do.

The real question is hot to take a person who is used to a single station press, and train him to safely start loading on a more complicated machine.  Maybe point out all the potential problems ahead of time?  

Since I never bought one, I can't answer the following, but what instructions (printed, video, tech support) come with a brand new Dillon 550 press?  Are they adequate for someone who has only learned single station press reloading?  



When I got my RCBS Pro2000, for weeks I just loaded one round at a time.  With only one thing to keep track of,  I still felt "lost", but I was able to relate everything to what I used to do on my RCBS Big Max press.  After two weeks, I started to load two rounds at a time.  

When something went wrong, I could stop what I was doing, and either figure it out, or call RCBS Tech Support.  It was a long time before I started to feel "comfortable" about using the press.  For every reloading session, I started with just one round, checking everything as I went along.
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Post by orpheoet on 9/17/2020, 3:05 pm

kc.crawford.7 wrote:The reason I won't use anything else but the 550 is because I have to do my part to make sure everything is as it should be.
This is my philosophy. I prefer to stay actively engaged to the process. No doubles or squibs yet
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Post by JIMPGOV on 9/24/2020, 1:38 pm

UPDATED IN THE ORIGINAL POST. JP

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Post by weber1b on 9/24/2020, 3:08 pm

Funny thing about having an issue with a 550 and Winchester primers. I do not use Winchester in my 550 as I have a few issues, mostly an occasional primer flipping over. never had a performance issue with them, just the little annoyances that led me to load only CCI and Federal in my 550's.

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Post by PhotoEscape on 9/24/2020, 5:54 pm

weber1b wrote:Funny thing about having an issue with a 550 and Winchester primers. I do not use Winchester in my 550 as I have a few issues, mostly an occasional primer flipping over. never had a performance issue with them, just the little annoyances that led me to load only CCI and Federal in my 550's.
Joel,
If you are shooting this Saturday at ISRA, let's talk.  I believe, my experience with XL750 might have similarity with 550 problem.  And I found a simple solution to the problem.

AP
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Post by weber1b on 9/25/2020, 7:44 am

I won't be shooting this weekend. In St Louis. Visiting the cutest kid in the world.

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Post by jglenn21 on 9/25/2020, 3:51 pm

did the primers fail to feed through the tube or out the plastic end...?? polishing the inside of the tube helps quite often.. I use a Flex Hone(ball hone) on all my new tubes.. also Photoescape has the perfect solution to the plastic ends...
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Post by Motophotog7 on 9/25/2020, 8:14 pm

jglenn21 wrote:did the primers fail to feed through the tube or out the plastic end...?? polishing the inside of the tube helps quite often.. I use a Flex Hone(ball hone) on all my new tubes.. also Photoescape has the perfect solution to the plastic ends...

As an aside, I ordered from AP’s Photoescape site last night, for the first time. Shipped within 12 hours with a tracking #. I call that exceptional customer service! Looking forward to using the new parts, I’m expecting them to perform on par with the exceptional service!

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Post by mikemyers on 10/1/2020, 12:23 pm

pgg wrote:
BE Mike wrote:The powder check die in the extra hole is worth the difference in price between a Dillon 550 and Dillon 650/ 750.

my reloading rule #1: don't ever load pistol on a progressive without a check or cop die.

corollary to rule #1: if your press doesn't have room for a check or cop die, you bought the wrong press.
I bought my RCBS Pro2000 5-station press, thinking I was all set.  I had an empty station for my RCBS "Lockout Die".  

Then people here and elsewhere told my my finished rounds looked terrible, and there was no way to load properly without using a separate seater and crimper die.  
So I bought new dies, and now the rounds come out pretty.  Those people were right.

But not having the Lockout Die bothered me, and there was now no place to put one.  
There's a small shop, I forget the exact name, that makes reloading press accessories, and they had a small "mirror kit".  I bought the last one they had in stock, and mounted it on my Pro2000.  So, before placing a new bullet on the loaded shell case, I glance in the case for what looks like the proper load of powder.  I have never yet found a "problem", but it's re-assuring to know that I've checked.

Of all the reloaders participating in this forum, I wonder how many/few are checking?  Do you guys have a check-gage, or use a mirror to check the powder, or just "trust all is OK"?


Mirror image at top shows an empty case, no powder.
I just glance at it, before placing a bullet onto the case.
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 10/1/2020, 1:11 pm

I don't trust anything.
I use a Dillon 550 for all my pistol loads and like the lack of auto-indexing so my pea brain can verify that all is good.
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Post by james r chapman on 10/1/2020, 1:18 pm

550, powder drop directly below your eyeballs, see the level every time
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Post by weber1b on 10/1/2020, 1:34 pm

I, like Steve, have two 550's. I don't load if I'm having conversations, watching games or anything else that distracts me. If I get interrupted, I stop. It's kind of like Bullseye shooting, have a process and stay focused on it.

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Post by mikemyers on 10/1/2020, 3:02 pm

Two quick thoughts - you guys will not have problems, as you're careful, experienced, and are used to your press.

But - the fellow who this thread is about, would not have had the problem he did, if after powder was poured into the case, as the press lever returned, that round would have already advanced to the next station.  The only way I could double load a case in my Pro2000 is if I physically removed it from the press, at the next station in line, and re-inserted it into the powder station.

Even for you guys - what possible complaint might you have if the press indexed 90 degrees as you lowered the level?


There's another thing.  I'm certainly not a genius when it comes to reloading, and it took me forever to set up my own press so it ran the way I like, but I was never able to get the primer feeder working properly on my relative's press.  It has been way too long now to remember what I did, but even after calling Dillon, we never got it working smoothly.  Because my relative refused to learn on a a single station press first, as I wanted him to do, and because I had no confidence in the primer feeder - and that I was leaving for home the next day, we went to Bass Pro Shops and bought a manual primer tool.  That eliminated one issue I was scared about.

He also resisted the idea of checking each round for the right amount of powder.  I think he thought that was silly.  So, he loaded lots of rounds his way, but manually inserting the primer, until I sent him a photo of a blown-up gun similar to the photo at the beginning of this thread.  So, all those boxes of loaded ammo just sit there now, unused.  

I ended up with very negative thoughts about the Dillon 550.  I know it's just a tool, and in the right hands it can do what's needed, but in the wrong hands, I see it as an invitation to disaster.  (I also dislike primer tubes, but that's another story.)


To try to end this on a more positive note, it was three years ago that I worked on this with my relative in his garage.  Has anyone created a good YouTube video that clearly shows how to set up and use a Dillon 550, and mentions all the safety issues and concerns?   If so, I'd like to watch it, and if it's as simple as I hope it will be, send it to my relative.

Back to this thread - the person who blew up his gun and sight probably is a reasonably intelligent person, but he never was trained properly.  It's not "his fault" that things blew up, and it's not the fault of the Dillon, but it's certainly the fault of however he learned how to assemble and use the Dillon.  I hope by now there is a good YouTube video that explains all this.    :-)
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Post by TonyH on 10/1/2020, 4:02 pm

mikemyers wrote:Back to this thread - the person who blew up his gun and sight probably is a reasonably intelligent person, but he never was trained properly.  It's not "his fault" that things blew up, and it's not the fault of the Dillon, but it's certainly the fault of however he learned how to assemble and use the Dillon.  I hope by now there is a good YouTube video that explains all this.    :-)
Yes, it’s the new brave blameless world we live in.....it’s nobody’s fault ever for anything. Forget taking any responsibility for anything one does......I wonder how so many of us survived for so long reloading on the equipment we have and without watching You Tube videos. Rolling Eyes


Last edited by TonyH on 10/1/2020, 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by CR10X on 10/1/2020, 4:16 pm

No matter how fool proof a system is, apparently nature will continue to produce better fools. Even if the system removes them before they can reproduce, it seems like others still keep cropping up. At least they serve as a good example of what not to do. Maybe that's why nature lets them continue to show up?

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Post by Aprilian on 10/1/2020, 4:26 pm

CR10X wrote:No matter how fool proof a system is, apparently  nature will continue to produce better fools.  Even if the system removes them before they can reproduce, it seems like others still keep cropping up. At least they serve as a good example of what not to do. Maybe that's why nature lets them continue to show up?
My dad said 
If you make something idiot-proof, someone goes out and invents a higher quality idiot!

Don't attempt something where you don't understand the risk of it going "pear-shaped".
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Post by mikemyers on 10/1/2020, 6:53 pm

TonyH wrote:Yes, it’s the new brave blameless world we live in.....it’s nobody’s fault ever for anything.
Forget taking any responsibility for anything one does......
I wonder how so many of us survived for so long reloading on the equipment we have and without watching You Tube videos. Rolling Eyes
My silly opinion - it's 2020.  I suspect for someone buying a Dillon, it's just like buying a toaster.  

On guns that are sold nowadays, there are numerous WARNINGS about what to to do, because the world and liability laws mean if you don't do so, you'll get sued.

I don't remember seeing warnings on the Dillon, or my Pro2000 for that matter.


My relative assumed he/we/I could assemble the parts, and start reloading, turning out a week's worth of ammo in an hour or two.  Why?  Because the monthly blue magazine taught that to him.  ....and that he would save a lot of money.  Ha!


My opinion, and I'll shut up after this, is that there ought to be a notice in the Dillon kit telling people that if they are just starting out reloading, either buy a single station press to learn on, or to ONLY LOAD ONE ROUND AT A TIME.   



Tony, I don't disagree with you, but in my opinion, a reloading press needs warnings, etc., just as much as a firearm.  The poor guy whose gun was up above, in pieces, in the photos, probably had no idea whatever what the consequences might be from what he was doing.  I'm guessing he had no idea that extra powder could destroy his gun.  

(.......and probably most people don't have the patience to do what I did, find every video I could on the RCBS press, watch it, read the instructions several times, front to back, and attempt to learn what all the bits and pieces did.  This is maybe five years ago?    Forty years ago, the fellow who sold me his RCBS Big Max helped me set it up, went through the reloading procedures, then watched me try to do things on my own.  I didn't really understand the reasons "why" back then, but a single station press allows you to pay complete attention to ONE thing at a time.  ........and back to the Pro2000, when I did get it going, I was so cautious and so sure I was going to make a mistake, for a long time I used it as a single station press, cycling ONE round through the press, trying to understand, and calling RCBS when I got "lost".  That, and playing the videos over and over and over, and when something went wrong in a video, trying to figure out what to do for if/when that happened to me.   I probably made myself a real pain here in these forums, as I knew so little.  )

I wish the owner of the broken gun would come here, and explain from his point of view what happened, and why he didn't hit the brakes, and get help.  I'll bet you guys he had no idea that what did happen, could happen.  

I've got plenty of free time - I'll see if I can find a set-up video on the 550 that seems complete, but I only know so much about the 550.  I've never actually seen on in use, turning out ammo.  Ever.
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Post by TonyH on 10/1/2020, 7:12 pm

I’ll refer you to the last post above by CR10X and the one immediately following...you make something idiot proof, they just make a better idiot.
Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the fittest” comes to mind....Only the strong(of mind? Smile ) survive.
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Post by mikemyers on 10/1/2020, 7:27 pm

I agree with you - no argument.  

But it's now 2020, not 1980.  I doubt if most high-school kids even know which way to turn a spanner to loosen a bolt.

Improving the documentation can't hurt.  Or maybe I'm also one of those idiots, as I couldn't get the Dillon 550 primer feeder to work, despite reading the manual and calling Dillon.     .......but I fixed the problem anyway, with a manual primer seater.  

I'm on your side, and ditto for Cecil, but I don't have much confidence in the ability of new people buying this stuff.

(There's a lot of this kind of thing in these forums - people do the best they can, and learn from more experienced people.  That's good.  If the guy who owned that broken gun had come here for help, chances are his gun wold still be in one piece.)
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Post by Sa-tevp on 10/1/2020, 7:59 pm

mikemyers wrote:
But it's now 2020, not 1980.  I doubt if most high-school kids even know which way to turn a spanner to loosen a bolt.

May I suggest there are younger folks that show promise? One of my high school sons replaces car engines for $500 plus parts with good results. The other fixes sewing machines. I am also involved in searching for new talent to work on airplanes on several levels. There are folks out there that seek information and can learn.

Reloading is pretty straightforward when you locate all the necessary information. The manufacturer's manuals are usually good but it helps to find other descriptions of the process. They are out there if you search for them.

Kalama Sutta
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Post by TexasShooter on 10/1/2020, 8:10 pm

mikemyers wrote:

I don't remember seeing warnings on the Dillon, or my Pro2000 for that matter...
I still have the manual that came with my 550b and there is about a page and half of warnings before you get to the fun stuff. I also got the DVD that Dillon put out about how to assemble and use the 550b...more warnings in there.

The original post made it clear that even the reloader/shooter blames himself. I think the lesson to learn here has nothing to do with which machine is safer...and everything to do with remembering that we're playing with gunpowder. Whether reloading or shooting it's up to each of us to take the responsibility for learning how to do that safely, and consistently using what we've learned. I appreciate the original poster for reminding me of that in a very clear way...

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Post by mikemyers on 10/1/2020, 9:04 pm

TexasShooter wrote:remember... that we're playing with gunpowder. Whether reloading or shooting it's up to each of us to take the responsibility for learning how to do that safely, and consistently.......
I would like to see something like the above at the top of the instructions, and lots of other places.    :-)

'Sa-tevp'  - that your sons are so talented probably has a LOT to do with you.

My original learning about stuff like this came from Lionel.     :-)
Then motorcycles, then cars, then anything mechanical.
I still don't know a resistor from a capacitor.....       :-(
Then I got into IBM Punch Cards, and lots of stuff followed.....
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Post by Sa-tevp on 10/1/2020, 9:21 pm

mikemyers wrote:'Sa-tevp'  - that your sons are so talented probably has a LOT to do with you.

Probably not. I just never said they couldn't do anything. They searched it out themselves.

Someone else did it. I/they can do it.

People have made High Master or set records or got a Blue Max. Maybe I can do it too if I try.
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