Blown-Up .338 Lapua Improved

This is a discussion on Blown-Up .338 Lapua Improved within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; I was at the range today helping with the annual clean-up. And I saw something that really, really scared me. I saw a completely blown-up ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    Blown-Up .338 Lapua Improved

    I was at the range today helping with the annual clean-up. And I saw something that really, really scared me. I saw a completely blown-up rifle. Now this gun was literally blown to smithereens. It is a miracle that the shooter was not killed.

    The shooter had a .338 Lapua Improved. He was trying to fire-form cases using pistol powder. He used too much pistol powder and destroyed the rifle. I saw the aftermath of the explosion. There was piece of barrel about 6 inches long and this just gives you an idea of the damage.

    I took a picture and I will get Jeff Dorr to help me post it here. When you see the picture, I hope it will scare you. Handloading is safe; however, the potential for disaster is always out there if we get careless.

    Mad.

  2. #2
    Senior Member becks's Avatar
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    Oh man, why did you have to post this today of all days, I just loaded my first 40 rounds today.
    #2 Infidel
    Jeff Dorr...Gone but not forgotten

    Next builds:
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  3. #3
    Senior Member FluffyTheCat's Avatar
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    Loading ammo is perfectly safe. Unless you are a schmoe. If you can count to ten without help, you can handload ammo. Just always understand that you must alway put safety first.

    Handloading Philosophy:

    1. First comes safety;
    2. Second comes accuracy;
    3. Third comes power;

    Just listen to me and you cannot go wrong. DBAS


    Fluffy
    I'm a genius. And you are not.

  4. #4
    Senior Member becks's Avatar
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    Thanks for that fluffy, and thank you again for the help with those SMK 190 loads, Ill let you know how they work out
    #2 Infidel
    Jeff Dorr...Gone but not forgotten

    Next builds:
    "Black and scary assault sniper rifle"
    "machine sniper pistols that spray bullets from clips"...Thanks CNN,NBC & CBS

  5. #5
    Senior Member ekaphoto's Avatar
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    Pistol powder in a rifle. I really wonder what some people are thinking sometimes.
    John

    1.Humans are more important than Hardware.

    2.Quality is better than Quantity.

    3.Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced.

    4.Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur.

  6. #6
    Senior Member POGO57's Avatar
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    Pistol Powder?

    Schmoe is too kind a word! Obviously, the idiot has more $$$ than sense.

    BTW Anyone that comes along with stories about how they always use pistol powder to fire-form their cases is a schmoe too!
    You thought I've been joking but you'll be sorry when the Star Cruisers arrive!

  7. #7
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    I disagree with some of the opinons voiced on this thread. Using pistol powder, tissue paper and cream of wheat to fireform Improved cartridges is a common method of fireforming. The obvious key is using just enough powder to reach the necessary chamber pressures without overdoing the upper end of the curve. Even one grain too much powder can be disasterous. If he used too much powder or had a muzzle break installed and the tissue paper blocked the muzzle it would have nasty consequences.... This guy didn't do it right.

    Personally I don't form using pistol powder, because I don't trust the pressure curve (meaning I have no experience doing to this way), not to mention I prefer not to sand blast my barrel with cream of wheat.

    When I form mine, I try to use a forming barrel (one that is totally shot out and then chambered in my cartridge) and a gunpowder that I have on hand, but do not normally use in my current shooting. For my 284 Improved, I'm using V.V. 150 and 540, IMR 4895, and RL-19, for my 338LM Improved, I'll likely use the same powders and possibly RL-22.

    JeffVN
    1976-1980
    2/2 Echo, 2/2 STA, 3/9 STA, SCAMP

  8. #8
    Senior Member jeffdorr's Avatar
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    Fluffy's pics of ruined equipment.



    Jeff
    Jeff passed away on July 17th, 2009, he will be GREATLY missed by everyone here at Sniper Central. Video Thread

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  9. #9
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    Double post.
    NRA Lifer/ 2nd bn. 23 rd Marines (res). 0351 AT/ Assault. "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,hoping it will eat him last ". Winston Churchill

  10. #10
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    Fiireforming cases with pistol powder is a tried and common way to fireform.
    Obviously, the guy who blew up his rifle didn't know what he was doing. Using the tissue paper method with a muzzle brake is a known disaster waiting to happen.

    Many loading manuals have sections on fireforming wildcat brass using pistol powder and a filler, usually cream of wheat. Usually, it is about 10 grains of powder. When searching, the articles, I saw a long range forum discussing this method for a 338 Lapua improved. One of the posters said to use 40 grains of pistol powder and top off with the cream of wheat. I've been handloading for 40 years. That statement made the hairs on my neck stand up. You have to know what you are doing and be careful. Taking recommendations off of a forum chat site (even this one) is an accident waiting to happen. One mis-typed number can be a disaster. Many loaders do not like to post their favorite loads on a forum, just for that reason. I have about 20 printed loading manuals on hand to refer to. All loading recommendations from a chat site need to be confirmed with a good loading manual before setting off 60,000 + P.S.I. next to your face.

    I reload for one wildcat cartridge, but for my case forming, I only need a forming die to do the job.

    Here's a few articles on it from the net.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/260AIforming.html
    http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lo ... reform.htm
    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tips/ar ... ips.htm/17
    NRA Lifer/ 2nd bn. 23 rd Marines (res). 0351 AT/ Assault. "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,hoping it will eat him last ". Winston Churchill

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