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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

I was in the garage with my boys waiting for the school bus to pick them up for their summer swimming program and I was pulling some 45ACP with a Frankford Arsenal Inertial Bullet Puller (hammer type) and I had primer detonation that set off the round.

The scariest part of this deal was that my boys were standing right next to me when it happened. When the round went off, they scattered. And to be quite honest, I ran too.

I quickly checked my boys who were uninjured (thank God), but understandably shaken and scared.

After spending some time calming them down, I started trying to piece together what happened.

I have no idea what caused this. I have had this pullet for about 3 years and have used regularly without a problem.

The round was as I said a 45ACP (unknown brass because I can't find it) loaded with a 200gr Hornady Combat/target SWC, 5.5gr of W231, and a CCI LP primer.

The round went off on about the third blow.

I found the pieces of the Intertial Puller and the only damage is a large crack in the top locking collar as seen below:

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/Reloading002.jpg

And here is the indentation made by it when it struck the ceiling of my garage:

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/Reloading004.jpg

I still have not found the collet that was holding the base of the brass, or the brass itself. I am SURE it didn't "grenade" as the hammer portion of the tool is undamaged and none of us received any injuries.

Now, what did I learn from this? I will NEVER use an inertial puller again. I am a safe reloader and when my boys are helping me, I am extra safe. I am at a loss for what happened in this case. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

I need some coffee ....
 

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Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

Scary stuff! I'm glad your all ok. I use the same tool & cant figure how something could contact the primer causing a BOOM.
Were these new primers?

Again, I'm sure glad noone was hurt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

I have this topic running on a few other boards I frequent and right now, the though is that I had primer that was not fully seated, and with the blows of the puller, it seated in a way that put pressure on the anvil enough to set off the primer material.

I will never use another one ...
 

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Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

Could your collet (rubber O ring broke) holding the case have fragmented on one of the preceeding strikes? Therefore when number 3 went down the pieces of the collet were flying around inside the hammer and when you hit the bottom of the swing the pieces of the collet struck the primer.

I never use the collets anymore, I always use a shell holder from my press instead to hold the base. Never had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

Some more pieces of the puzzle. I spend almost an hour looking in my garage after coming home from work and FINALLY found the bullet, shell casing and the collet.

And what I found really frightened me more. The case did indeed "grenade" as it left the inertial puller. And I found the bullet in the ATTIC of my garage. I found a small hole where it passed thru the sheetrock, pulled out the ladder and found it laying in the insulation.

Apparently my sons were in serious danger when this occured, fortunately all these pieces were found in the opposite direction from where they were standing.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/brassbullet.jpg

Here is a look at the primer ... It has a horseshoe shaped crease in it. I have no idea what may have caused it.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/brass.jpg
 

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Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

glad you and the sons are ok. I have been playing with my puller and collets and examining primers under a magnifying glass and microscope. I have tried to figure a manner in which something could have mashed your primer as it looks like. But, I am convienced that those fellows who suggested that your primer was not seated to the bottom of the primer pocket are correct. I'm going on thinking and not experience here. I can see in my mind's eye how the little lip of the anvil that protrudes beyond the bottom of the primer case could be forced hard enough and quick enough to ram into the inside of the primer igniting it. The crushed top of the primer occured after ignition when it contacted something on liftoff.

This is my best guess and I hope I am right. I have never really considered this a very serious problem until now. Now I shudder at all those past bullets I have pulled just this way. Intrestingly, this may have solved another mystery I have been pondering. Why two of Tim sundles cartridges discharged in a Marlin magazine tube. This same thing would explain that old mystery to me as well. It will be interesting to see what the guru's here come up with on this. some of these guys are thinkers.

Again, I am so glad that you and the family are ok. And I thank you for bringing this to the forum. I will be passing this incident forward to my son's and pals. Take care, BestLever
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

Ok, I think I solved this mystery ...

First of all, I still think I had a primer that was not fully seated.

And second of all I created an unsafe set-up by not using the proper equipment. Instead of using the collet supplied with the puller, I was using an RCBS shell holder (proper size for the caliber). THis is a common practice that others have used and I myself have used it for several years. The collet supplied has three pieces to it that are held together with a rubber band thingie ... it can be a real pain at times.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/accident001.jpg

When it is fitted correctly into the puller, it grabs the bullet by the rim, and leaves lots of room around the primer pocket and as you can see below, there is little chance of accidental firing of the primer even if it is seated high.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/accident.jpg

The RCBS shell holder holds the case by the rim as well, BUT it severly reduces the free space around the primer pocket ...

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/accident002.jpg

... and when it is placed in the puller it is possible for the primer to shift enough to get the primer underneath the lip of the shell holder.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f17/MtJerry/accident003.jpg

So, in short this accident was my fault, not the equipment's.

There are a lot of "shortcuts" out there in the reloading world, and this is one that is dangerous and should not be practiced.

I learned a valuable lesson ... and I hope someone learns from my mistake. Please be safe out there.
 

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Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

Jerry:

Are you saying that the case slid laterally in the shellholder and the shellholder fired the primer on impact? I never would have thought of that.

It just shows that high primers are a VERY bad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

dodgestdshift said:
Jerry:

Are you saying that the case slid laterally in the shellholder and the shellholder fired the primer on impact? I never would have thought of that.

It just shows that high primers are a VERY bad thing.
At this point that is the conclusion I have come to.
 

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Re: I had a reloading accident this morning

This is all interesting and informative. It never even occurred to me to see if a shellholder would fit in one of those. I just get irritated when I can't find the right collet to fit the case I am trying to knock a bullet from.

A couple more thoughts here. Since I only use the supplied collets, I have noticed that having them securely tightened seems to make it easier to drive the bullet out - less effort,less pounding. Any time the collet is a bit loose, it takes more of both to get the bullet out. I'm thinking that a shellholder, since it grasps but doesn't hold the case solidly, may have required both a stronger force and more of them to move that bullet resulting in the near disaster.
 
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