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Probably the worst thing I've done is letting the powder hopper on the SL900 run dry. I caught it pretty quick, but dang. I didn't know what was good ammo and what was bad. Sooo practice ammo it all became. I did get a low powder alert for the hopper. So it hasn't happened again.
 
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There are a few.

Tilting the top back on my 600 to change bushing and not having the plugs in the bottom of the bottles.

loading 100 rounds from a BPI recipe (using something like 32 gns of Bluedot) in 16 ga without firing a few first. They will literally knock your fillings loose. I still have them.

That鈥檚 enough. My brain hurts.
Swampy, thanks for sharing those; made me laugh. I've spilled enough shot that it still turns up....double filling a shell-powder, then shot then power and shot on top!!
 

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checked the height of my wad guide and look at the space between the guide and the hull that could be reduced and possibly fix this, although I don't how it might help at the moment.
How will lowering the wad guide body down to only about 1/8" clearance above top of hull make wad insertion easy? The flex fingers in the wad guide will get pushed down as the wad starts to enter the hull. The fingers will also enter the hull mouth outside of the wad body. They will then be a 100% perfect guide to make sure the entire skirt of the wad gets INSIDE the hull, not catching on the hull mouth and bending the wad and the hull to the point of uselessness. There must be a little air gap on the tallest hull you run, or the wad guide won't swing over the hull and center itself so the wad smoothly stabs into the hull.

Properly adjusted, and with all the fingers intact in the wad guide, you can just set the wad in the guide and forget it. All will work.

good luck, garrisonjoe
 

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How will lowering the wad guide body down to only about 1/8" clearance above top of hull make wad insertion easy? The flex fingers in the wad guide will get pushed down as the wad starts to enter the hull. The fingers will also enter the hull mouth outside of the wad body. They will then be a 100% perfect guide to make sure the entire skirt of the wad gets INSIDE the hull, not catching on the hull mouth and bending the wad and the hull to the point of uselessness. There must be a little air gap on the tallest hull you run, or the wad guide won't swing over the hull and center itself so the wad smoothly stabs into the hull.

Properly adjusted, and with all the fingers intact in the wad guide, you can just set the wad in the guide and forget it. All will work.

good luck, garrisonjoe
Joe, as soon as I moved the wad guide down, this started happening at the resizer station.
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I had to loosen the bottom nut shown below and turn the shaft the wad guide is on counter clockwise one turn. This lowered the arm that goes over to the sizing station so the shell can be low enough for the lip of the brass to be in the corresponding groove of the resizer, else the lip gets smashed. I'm not showing a lot of this here, but I bet you know what I mean. Tightened that nut back up and it's working fine again.
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Joe, as soon as I moved the wad guide down, this started happening at the resizer station.
View attachment 56382

I had to loosen the bottom nut shown below and turn the shaft the wad guide is on counter clockwise one turn. This lowered the arm that goes over to the sizing station so the shell can be low enough for the lip of the brass to be in the corresponding groove of the resizer, else the lip gets smashed. I'm not showing a lot of this here, but I bet you know what I mean. Tightened that nut back up and it's working fine again.
View attachment 56383
Did it not occur to you that maybe you lowered the wad guide too much? That squashed rim is a classic result of lowering the wad guide too far. Of course, you did remedy the situation by lowering the shell lifter fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
I just successfully did a bar change on my Grabber 12 gauge which was sitting ready to pull without spilling anything. Kind of a pain in the butt with everything in cycle.
went to shut town the 9000 20ga and forgot to put a hull under the wad station to catch the pellets. Dammit.
 

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Did it not occur to you that maybe you lowered the wad guide too much? That squashed rim is a classic result of lowering the wad guide too far. Of course, you did remedy the situation by lowering the shell lifter fork.
Tried lifting it back up and it worked intermittently. So I lowered the arm going to the sizer. It's working now...
 

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Just getting started in shotgun reloading myself, haven鈥檛 had these mistakes as listed above. However, I have been doing rifle and pistol for years. I reloaded 50 rounds of 9.3x57 which was a newly worked up load only to notice that my scale was set at 44.1 gr. When done. When it should have been 46.1. Needless to say everyone of them got broken down, resized, re cleaned.....
one powder at a time on the bench, if interrupted I finish the shell I am currently working on, scale pan empty Press handle up powder drop handle down and trickler moved away from the pan. Much less chance of making a mistake this way. Unfortunately this time I forgot to double check what I was looking at in my load notes from testing and set up for my start charge.
thanks for the tips to be aware of as I get going reloading shotshells!
 

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Of course, you did remedy the situation by lowering the shell lifter fork.
If he was able to lower the lifter fork and "fix" his problem his lifter was never low enough to start with. By design the lifter pad has to bottom out against the bottom side of the collet surface. Here is what it has to look like from the bottom view.
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Notice small gap between fork and shoulder on lifter.
Steve
 

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I reloaded metallic for years before I started reloading shotshells. I reload pistol on an old Dillon SDB. I have had primer issues that made me crawl on the floor looking for fallen primers, but that is about the worst of it.

I reload 12 gauge on a 1970s MEC 650N that I found at a garage sale. I have had the occasional powder and shot spills. They are very rare now, but were more frequent when I was first starting out.

Once I had a MEC bottle break off at the neck while I was tipping them back. It was old and crusty. I was finding shot for months after that. I have new bottles now and a bracket that keeps pressure off the bottle necks. My MEC is also mounted on a tray to catch spills.

My last mess was when I had the head break off a Remington hull. It took a bit of work to get the headless hull off my resizing die. This was not long ago.

The MEC 650N does not resize the brass on shot shells. I started loading light loads for an old Ithaca Flues that I have, and did not reload much more 12 gauge until it became hard to find. Fortunately I was and am ahead of the curve with components. Resizing was never a problem with that gun.

One day it became a problem when I was out shooting sporting clays and could not get my home reloaded rounds to chamber in my 1962 Browning Superposed. I also had a lot of 400 #000 buckshot rounds that I pressed for a friend that were not resized. They worked great when I tested them in my old Mossberg 500. They did not fit in another friends Mossberg 590.

In the end I ended up buying a MEC supersizer. Since then, all hulls get resized at the beginning of the process. I was also able to retroactively resize all of the buckshot, and any old process rounds I had in my cabinet.

The worst reloading problem I have ever seen was made by my friend. He blew the back off one of his pistols using his own reloads. He hammered a couple out and weighed them. He thought they were right on.

He brought some over to my house. We pulled the bullets and weighed the powder. They were WAY over. It turned out he had his scale set on grams instead of grains. Fortunately no one was hurt. It scared both of us though. As I helped him hammer out the whole batch we did an after action. I concluded that my checks were sufficient to keep that from happening.

When I first started reloading I would check my balance scale with a LPP and make sure it weighed 5.6 grains. This was the only test weight I used, and I used it every time. I continued that tradition into my electronic scales. If the primer is 5.6 grains then nothing will be catastrophically too far off. I have done this every time I have used a scale to reload. Before that day I did it because I always had. Now when I do it I think of his bad day.
 
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