Reloading press safety?
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Picture of eagle27
I have had a Lyman Easy Loader press for decades now and loaded thousands of rounds of 12 gauge ammo for hunting and clay target shooting. These old presses are recognised as one of the goodies, simple to change for different gauges and will also accommodate roll crimping.
Recently brought another Easy Loader press in 20 gauge which I am using to load some lighter loads for my 9yo grandson's 20G I gave him for Xmas.

Got to thinking when playing around with setting up the dies for the hulls I'm using, and I think this possibly applies to many loading presses, the new primer is seated by the powder drop tube which is only separated from the powder reservoir by the powder charge bar.

If a primer discharged while being seated I imagine there would be a good possibility that the primer brisance would light up the powder reservoir?

The charge bars on shotshell presses are usually fitted with minimum tolerances to prevent powder bypassing the powder bush (adjustable on my presses) but would these tolerances be enough to prevent ignition of the powder in the reservoir?

Manuals and shotshell reloading books warn of the need to ensure stray shot pellets or any other stray pieces don't fall into the priming station cup which could cause a primer to ignite while being seated.

I have always been observant when placing the primers in the cup to ensure they are level and nothing under the primer. My 7yo granddaughter loves reloading, under my direct supervision, and this has triggered my thought on the potential effect of a primer discharge on a shotshell press.

Thinking I might revert to priming all shells before I charge the reservoir with powder. I always set and operate my adjustable powder bar (powder and shot bars separate on the Easyloader press) to throw the correct weight of powder irrespective of press vibration so depriming and priming all cases won't effect powder charging.

Any knowledge or thoughts on this issue?
Posts: 2975 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Needless worry.
Posts: 16942 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Picture of eagle27
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Have been reading a couple of early "Reloading for Shotgunners" books looking for 20G loads and they all carry dire warnings of not bulking primers, being careful and watchful when using auto primer feeders and keeping only minimum amounts of powder on the bench. All similar stuff to metallic reloading.

Just got me thinking, needlessly as you say, about the relationship between the priming and powder drop process on the Lyman press if a primer does detonate. Wondered if there had been any accidents recorded.

Friend of mine had one when loading metallic (308Win) on a single stage press where he was progressively fully loading one cartridge after another, a practice not recommended. While earwigging in on a conversation his wife was having on the phone he attempted to prime a case that was already primed and charged with powder. One or other or both primers exploded and the powder lit up all inside the bullet seating die. The boiling gas badly burnt his upper harms and chest and some brass shrapnel also did damage to the same areas. Fortunately the die directed the conflagration down away from his face and eyes. Six months off work for recovery.

Not nice to to have something go wrong on the bench with primers and powder.
Posts: 2975 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Picture of samir
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I have loaded thousands and thousand of shotgun shell and popped quite a few primers along the way. Still have all my fingers and toes

Searcy 470 NE
Posts: 1317 | Location: San Diego | Registered: 02 July 2005Reply With Quote
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