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My Blackhawk died today!!
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Arron
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Location: Cen.Iowa, by way of SWIowa

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Today doing a little warm up shooting with my Blackhawk for his up-coming deer permit (if he gets one now) it blew apart and almost hit him in right eye with a piece of brass from one of the cases. The top strap and three cylinders are completely gone, from the one lined up with the barrel and down to the frame on the LH side with the case still in the last one near the frame but shredded. He DID NOT HAVE HIS EYE PROTECTION ON which would have saved him getting a very small cut just under his right eye. The piece of brass was sitting on the bottom of his eyelid which I did not realize was only a small piece but I wouldn't let him rub his eye because I did not know just how deep or big it was. I did have a have a halfway decent first aid kit in the car(GET ONE AND KEEP IT READY!) so I got some gause out for him to wipe away the blood from the cut on the bottom of the eye and the piece of brass came off so I was relieved and he started to flush his eye with water and some anti-bacterial soap and then some saline and he could tell no damage to his vision other than his eye will swell up and be black. But otherwise all is OK Thank GOD for that, as it was not only my revolver but also my reloads, so yeah I still feel like a piece of dirt for this to have happened. And I know I did everything right, but there is that second guessing of did I double charge a case? We are leaning towards metal fatigue as I have had this revolver for awhile and at one time I did knock of the ejector housing with a BOOK load. But it still does not make me feel better knowing that he almost lost his sight in one eye. They drill into us at work and he knows as well that you should always use eye protection and this one time he did not and it bit him the backside and ME as well. Remember folks this does happen and you never know when it will come up for you; so minimize the potential with proper PPE - Personal Protective Equipment. Let me getting the Hell scared out of me to remind you to wear safety equipment. And pay attention to what you are doing.
God only gives you a certain number of parts and for the most part once they are gone they aint coming back! Be safe everyone.
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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Gidday Aaron, damn mate....that is one nasty accident. Who actually was it that was firing? How is his hand? Would imagine it is pretty sore too. Hope he gets better soon.

You hit the nail squarely on the head when you say use PPE....it is mandatory on ranges out here in Australia.



Cheers, Vince

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sniper
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Arron wrote:
...as well that you should always use eye protection and this one time he did not and it bit him the backside...
and ME as well. Remember folks this does happen and you never know when it will come up for you; so minimize the potential with proper PPE - Personal Protective Equipment. Let me getting the Hell scared out of me to remind you to wear safety equipment. And pay attention to what you are doing... Be safe everyone.


Arron: Anyone that reads this should have his attitude regarding safety tuned to high performance. Very good you and your friend were not injured more seriously.

That is what scares me about the forum, sometimes. Someone may talk a good game, but in reality, know very little regarding shooting/handloading, which are inherently hazardous activities, as you can personally attest. That kind of accident can happen to even the most experienced among us.

A good wake-up for us all! Thank you!
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Grant
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:35 pm    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Arron, I'm glad to hear that there wasn't a real serious injury with this mishap. We all need to keep vigilant when it comes to safety weather it's while we're shooting, reloading and especial while hunting. I always wear glasses and hearing protection while at the range. Try not to beat yourself up too much Arron, sometimes an accident is just that. Thanx for sharing this story, I hope we all learn from it and become safer outdoors people as a result.

Most of my buddies think I'm a little anal when it comes to safety while reloading. I see the shoddy way that other people reload and I wouldn't even fire their reloads. My system may take me longer to reload a bunch of rounds, but there isn't anyway for me to double charge with the redundant checks I have as I proceed.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Grant...On your last paragraph...HEAR HERE!!

I also take my time and recheck everything several times. I weight every powder charge I drop so there is very little chance of me double charging a case. And you call yourself anal... Very Happy

I see photos of other peoples loading areas and I just can't believe the mess they work in. On my bench everything has its place and must be in its place before I start the reload session. When I'm done every thing is put away and bench returned to a neat and clean area. Anal?? Very Happy

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tracker
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

In my opinion, careful workmanship is usually an indication of someone who takes pride in a job well done, Bushy.

Arron, it's a good object lesson for all of us to practice safety first. I'm glad you're shooting partner wasn't hurt worse. Thanx for sharing the story

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

I hate it when that happens. What loads were being fired out of the Blackhawk? Glad it was not more serious. When I reload, I weigh every charge and immediately seat the bullet into the case to rule out any under or over charges of powder. Take care. All the best...
Gil

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Vince
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Gee guys, and I thought I was the only anal one around here. Shocked

Like Bushy and Gil, I too hand weigh each load and also visually check the quantity of powder in the case.....then I visually check them all again for consistency before I seat a projectile.

Nothing at all wrong with being anal about safety. Come to think of it....it ain't being anal....its being SMART. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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Arron
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

After calming down enough after a couple of days. I got home from work tonight and decided to pull and bullet and see what I could see. I did find something very wrong. I was loading a hard cast 250gr original style .45 Colt bullet, my cousin makes them for me and for himself and few others, anyway I was loading what I thought was 14gr HS6 which would have been a stout load but the Ruger is no slouch in strength so I was not too worried about it. Anway I have a theory on what happend which I will get to in a bit. When I reweighed the powder I got a charge of over 19gr HS6, instant KB medicine.
What I am thinking is the most reasonable thing to have happened that when I was trying to dial in my powder measure somehow the scale moved and shifted zero and I had not yet charged my cases so when I got it to what I thought was 14gr I locked down the measure and threw the charges, I did even check a few after but with zero shifted and not seeing any difference in the level of powder I would not have noticed that something had changed. That is the only thing that I can see that is reasonable. I too am very ANAL with my reloading, if I have any doubts about what I am doing then I pull everything and start over until I am confident that things are right, because I am aware of what can happen and I now know first hand about what does happen. There is no way I would ever knowingly dump THAT much powder into those cases, absolute max from the books I have is like 16gr HS6 or close to it maybe a grain over. I have not yet tried to figure out what type of pressure this generated but I am thinking it would have given a .454Cas. a run for it's money. And we were in my aunt and uncle's yard when this happend so again it was the first time he did not grab his safety glasses. And the funny thing is we both had them on for most of the afternoon while we were putting up his new garage door. Talk about ironic! I have been doing this for enough years that I CAN AND WILL beat myself over this! I KNOW better, than to make a mistake like this. I do not know if anyone would have picked up on it or not, but I KNOW I know better than to do this kind of stunt. Anyway I will replace it someday but not for awhile need to get a nice electronic scale before I replace my old friend of some 11 years. But there is a good thing that has come out of this as it will make an excellent teaching tool for someone after I get all of the pictures and show it to some folks so they know it can happen and you always need to have on PPE because you just do not know what will happen when the hammer falls on anything be it a cartridge or a cold chisel or a nail. Thankfully he still has his eyesight and eye. Oh hand was fine he said no problem with the recoil when it Kb'd.
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Morax
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

all i can say to ya is wow... good thing ya still got all fingers and toes and eyeballs, and they are in the right place... i am the same as you when it comes to reloading, check four different times powder drop, rezero and check throughout the loading process as well.. I have even gone as far as walking away when things were "just not right".. eye protection, welli used to work as a mechanic/tow wrecker operator, was working on a car, removed glasses to wipe face and was proptly hit between eyes with a hunk of transmission from another guy dropping one a few feet away.... things happen.. thats one of those look up say thanks and move on...
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sniper
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Arron: As you say, mistakes DO happen! Shocked

I was shooting with a friend and his brother in law, and he had a Colt 1911. He said he had worked up some loads using cast 250 gr. bullets for the 45-70.

Welll... O.K. I was younger, and had just recently started handloading.

I was right next to him, and noticed a rather loud report. The next strange thing I noticed was that the pistol was ejecting the brass straight up---WAAAY up! I would watch the ejection.....wait......say "I got it!.....wait....and catch the brass. I also noted they were somewhat bulged , and maybe 3 had neat little airscoops blown out of the side where the .45 brass is not supported.

I STILL didn't catch on, just kept thinking WOW! I've never seen anything like that before! Surprised

The next shot, I saw the bushing fly off the front of the gun, completely sheared, and the recoil spring land about 5 feet in front of the guy. Shocked

We got a bit more information, and he allowed as how it was a near max. load of Bullseye powder, (probably was max, or more, but he just didn't want to admit it) but he was also using that 250gr. 45-70 bullet, which I later found out, besides being ~20 gr. overweight for the load, is oversize for the .45 ACP. Not much, but I shudder tho think what the pressures were to cause the 1911 to disassemble itself that way.

Once again, John Moses Browning's design genius saved us from foolishness. The brother in law could have been hurt, and I was well within shrapnel range. Not the best day at the range, I'll say! Sad

ANAL is GOOD, when you are reloading! Be safe!
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Also one of the reasons you don't use other's reloads in your guns...It's bad enough to be beside someone, who reloads, at the range that you don't know.

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DEMOCRACY Two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch...
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sniper
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Also one of the reasons you don't use other's reloads in your guns...It's bad enough to be beside someone, who reloads, at the range that you don't know.

TOO true!
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Grant
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

I still use a Lyman D7 old fashioned analog balance scale. I don't use digital scales, powder measures or anything other "fancy" powder tools, I just don't trust them. I've looked at those automatic powder dispensers and just said, "not a chance in hell would I ever trust that thing". To each his own though I guess.

Arron, if it were me in the same situation, I'd be pretty pissed at myself also. There would be quite a few four letter adjectives being thrown around at myself. We are all human and we do make mistakes. It makes it worse when someone else almost pays for our mishaps. There is nothing that can change what happened and I'm pretty sure I can safely say that you won't make that mistake again. Hope you cheer up soon bud.

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If God wanted us to be vegetarians, he would have made broccoli more fun to shoot!
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: My Blackhawk died today!! Reply with quote

Arron,
According to my books a maximum load for a 250gr cast lead bullet is 13.5 for T/C and Ruger. hodgdon manual. My Speer manual doesn't list a 250 grain bullet but it lists 14gr of HS-6 as a maximum load for the 225 grain bullet. None of the other books that I have list loads for HS-6 in hot loads for the 45 cal 250 grain bullets. Shocked
What book are you using that lists a load of 14 grains of HS-6 with a 250 grain bullet? The books that I have are Lyman, Hornady, Speer, Hodgdon, and Sierra.
A shooting aquaintence of mine had the same thing happen to his Ruger Blackhawk in 44 Mag. - but he was using a 50% overload of Unique powder and a hammer to get his cases out of the gun after firing. He sent his gun back to Ruger and they replaced it for free but included a note with the new gun saying that he should use only factory loads in his gun from now on because the damage done was from over-loads causing pressure in excess of reasonable limits. The last time I shot with him he was still using a hammer to get the spent cases out of his new Ruger. Shocked
I doubt that your loads were this hot but they appear to be over the maximum listed loads - perhaps you should reconsider the source for the load and check with Hodgdon for a maximum load. Accidents are bond to happen but we as reloaders need to minimize the causes of those accidents and the harm that can come from them. We can start by using reliable data for our loads and check the loads with different scales so we catch mistakes like yours. If you had checked just one of those loads on a different scale you would have been able to prevent the accident. I test one case in 25 for powder charge on a second scale after setting the measure with the first scale. If it varies more than .1 grain then I throw them all out and start over. My pistol loads are usually close to maximum - that is where I get the best accuracy - so more than .5 grains and I could have an overload. That is why I check and double check each step along the way. It has kept me out of trouble for 35 years. Confused
WE can't afford to lose reloaders - there are just too few of us. Sad

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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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