Destroyed Revolver

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
I got this off another site, the owner allowed me to use his photograph. He believes that he double-charged a 44 mag case, resulting in this disaster. No one was seriously injured:


He was using 8.5 grains of TiteGroup, a cast 240 gr bullet, and new Starline brass.

It's a popular thing, to use modest charges of a fast burning powder in pistol cases. I've done it. But, there are ramifications. There's room for two complete charges in one pistol case. I've never used TiteGroup, so I don't know that's the case here, but that's what the owner believed happened.

Several years ago I caught myself double-charging 45 ACP cases. I thought I was using 5 grains of Bullseye - a load I've used for many years. But something caught my eye... I'd been loading 10 grains in each case! That could have been a disaster. I'd made twenty of those little rascals.

Just a reminder to be careful out there folks.

Thank goodness no one was seriously injured. I wonder how many people could have done that and NOT have a flinch afterward.
I've seen that happen on one occasion at our gun club down here in Florida. The accident was caused by Bullseye powder and happened to a .45 Colt. When I load for any of my handgun cartridges I take special precautions. I usually load powder into 50 cases and set them alongside my press. I then move directly in front of the press and with a flashlight check each and every case for a difference in powder height. I've done that for years and I have, on a couple of occasions, found and accidental overcharge.
Complacency will get you hurt or killed with most anything. When we think we are getting good at something and become complacent LOOK OUT.
Always double check everything when hand loading is my motto and practice. I once set my new RCBS 10-10 scale after using a RCBS 505 for years wrong. I thought I was loading 3.5 grs Bullseye in a 38 special but had set the scale at 13.5. That was an easy catch. What really got my attention was once when loading 45 ACP with my RCBS powder dumper when I checked the loading block after completing the process of which I got a phone call in the middle of doing it and had to stop and restart the process. I had double loaded a case with Bullseye. From that day forward I established my motto and practice of double checking EVERYTHING.
Thinking of what would happen with a double charge of Bullseye in a 45 ACP. I witnessed what happens with someone who did not know what they were doing that filled a 30 carbine case full of Bullseye and fired it in a M1 Carbine. Now this fellows elevator did not go to the top floor if you know what I mean. He went to a local big box store and bought what the fellow in that department told him to get. No doubt that this fellow working in the sporting goods section that day usual job was in the women's under ware of something. He told the fellow that Bullseye was the powder he should use and sold it to him. Stupid no clue dude goes home and fills the cases full seats the bullets and heads to the range. It was a local open to anyone National Forest 100 yard range. Fellow sets up on the opposite end of the benches from me luckily for me. When he fires his first round it is loud and I see him fall off the bench seat onto the ground. I run to him seeing what was left of the rifle in pieces on the table and ground. Talk about one lucky dude, he did not have a scratch on him. The rifle action looked like C4 had been set off in it. Upon checking the dude over for wounds I find that the bolt had gone through the brim of his hat just missing his head. I found the bolt about 40 yards away behind him in the parking lot. It was not long after that I was at that range again and some guys that looked like they came from the movie deliverance show up and are drinking beer. I packed up and have never been back there.
Don't y'all know that only a Ruger can handle that kind of pressure!! JK. I would have needed a new pair of shorts after that.
I use Titegroup in 38 specal, .357 mag. and 45 colt and yes you can double most charges. Thats why when I use Titegroup or a similar powder I have made a habit of charging all of the cases and looking into the cases in the loading block while standing directly under the light. You can then notice large variations in powder levels in the cases. Only after this check do I start seating bullets.

Yikes, yikes, yikes. Gives me the heebers just looking at it. Untold amount of pressure to bust apart steel like that from a single hit. Flesh doesn't stand a chance. Thank goodness nobody was hurt, that's the main thing.

I can be absent minded, I try to double check myself. So far all good, but pictures like this are a good reminder.
I had one close call.
Got a can of N140 from a friend, put it in the locker and forgot about it.

Then it was time to load with N160. I grabbed THE ONE Vihtavuori can I thought I had and loaded.took the wrong one...
Well - blew the primer, very stiff bolt-lift and shooting day was over.
Changed my routine dramatically...

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26NosFan":1p13bxyr said:
Don't y'all know that only a Ruger can handle that kind of pressure!! JK. I would have needed a new pair of shorts after that.

Yup, on the shorts - I think my "flinch" would be a permanent convulsive cringe, and Id break out in a cold sweat just looking at a pistol... Glad all were OK> CL