Reloading safety (process and discipline)

Thought I’d share this, since it’s very easy to get complacent with reloading, when you find your rythm.

I was recycling old Carcano bullets…

Using Trail Boss. Trail Boss is essentially a ‘plinking’ powder, low power, low recoil, usually used in Cowboy shooting or making subsonic ammo. For example, loading 308 with a max charge of Trail Boss, makes it feel like it’s a 223 at the very most. Shooting max charge 303 from No.5Mk1, can almost be done without ears and no recoil. Of course, you are paying for it with power/velocity, but for plinking it’s an ideal powder. Very large granules, making it virtually impossible to double charge.

Trail Boss behaves as expected when not compressed. When it’s compressed, then all bets are off and we definitely don’t want to do that.

One safety check with Trail Boss, at least what I do, is a shake test. If I can hear the powder rattle in the case, I am good. Worst case scenario, not enough powder it will still make it out of the bore. Overcharging to dangerous pressure levels is impossible, since it would just fall out of the case.

So, as I loaded all these rounds, by hand, it would have been easy to just pack them away. As my pre-flight check so to speak, I do the shake test. And what do we know, 2 rounds are silent. I am thinking, no way, I didn’t feel compression and I charged them all by hand. Genuine confusion.

Pulled them apart - bloody empty. How did I miss two cases, no idea! However, good reminder to always double check your charge. In this case it would have ended up as squib, followed by blown apart barrel if the shooter didn’t pick up on it.

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Nicely written and as you say it can happen.

I normally put all of my charged cases I to my reloading tray and then shine a torch into each case to check.
Then once I seat the projectile I do the shake test.

I do that exact thing, unless I am loading small batches.

Even with sorting them out, uncharged and charged trays, etc. It can still happen and torch test is absolutely critical when loading at volume. A small batch, you can probably see what’s going on without even moving, but a good habit to form as muscle memory.


Can certainly happen.

Above pic, is actually a thrower being a c*nt and not throwing TB well (due to large granule size). I knew that, so it got the torch test before seating and the shake test after bullets were seated.

This is where rhythm vs discipline comes in. Sure you can throw, pop it down, grab the next one, but definitely need to inspect at various milestones of the process.

Slow is Smooth , Smooth is Fast.

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That’s why I charge a case with powder I inspect it and then seat a bullet before it leaves my hand.
I prep and prime all my brass and then load each case completely to make sure I don’t miss anything or double charge any.
It seems to work for me.

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…excep for that one time… LOL

What I’m saying, is that there should be explicit safety procedures along a reloading process. Whatever someone does, there should be a process that makes you safety check something explicitly, rather than relying on the reloading process itself. I did not see how I could ever get no charge, but there you go.

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Soooo, has only happened to me once. I was in a hurry and didn’t do my usual torch check. If you do it, it works ok