What Is A Reloading Double Charge?
Double charging your powder measure is
one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make when
reloading your ammunition. It happens when you
accidently reload your case with TWICE THE AMOUNT of
gunpowder than the recommended powder charge. Firing double
charged reloaded rounds may cause your gun to explode and
cause serious injury.
Double charges usually occur due to
human error by lack of attention, distractions and lack of
quality control in the reloading process. Fortunately there
are a few ways to minimize or eliminate the danger of double
charging your powder.
Measuring the powder charge
to avoid the dangerous double charge.
Double powder charge to show
fill level in the case.
Single powder charge to show
proper case fill level.
Reloading Tips to Avoid A Double
Shine a concentrated bright light on each powdered
Eyeball the powder level each in case before placing
the bullet into it. A double charged case stands out
like a sore thumb.
No distractions when reloading.
Weigh every 10th charge on the scale to make sure
it's metering right.
Of course, follow all safe reloading practices and
Feedback & Comments
Sent: July 31, 2011
Subject: Reloading 9mm Luger with Unique Powder Doesn't Look Right
I'm just starting off reloading. I'm working on 115gr
9mm luger with a 5.6gr charge of unique on a lee classic turret with lee
auto disc measure. When I charge my case with the proper 5.6gr "starting"
charge, as per my speer reloading manual, my case looks really full, pretty
similar to the way yours looks in the double charge picture...I've loaded
and reloaded cases many times and my weight and powder level is consistent,
it just looks unnaturally high...I've yet to test fire a round for this very
reason, I like my face too much and I like my gun even more.. My question
is, is there something wrong I'm not catching? Maybe my scale (hornaday
dig.) Isn't reading correctly or is it just the brand powder making it
appear double charged?
Response - David,
Out of curiosity I measured and took pictures of a 9mm
Luger case filled with 5.6 gr of Hodgdon Titegroup and 5.6 gr Winchester
Autocomp smokeless powders. I took the pictures to see if the little bit of
extra charge weight (I normally load to 4.6gr of Titegroup) would show a
difference in casing volume. They didn't. Both show cases that are
approximately half full.
Comparison of 5.6 gr of Smokeless Powders
|5.6 gr Hodgdon Titegroup
||5.6 gr Winchester Autocomp
If the Unique powder is "fluffier" and has a different
density than my Titegroup, it would account for more volume taken up in the
casing. I found the densities of both powders. They are as follows.
Unique appears to be less dense than Titegroup, so the
same weight of powder should take up more volume (about 22% more volume).
That doesn't seem like it would account for what you see when you load a
I also looked up load data for Unique and 115 grain
jacketed bullets. Unless I'm reading it wrong, my Lee reloading book
indicates a starting powder load of 5.1gr and a not to exceed load of 5.5gr.
You are loading to 5.6gr (which I understand is what some sources suggest).
To get confidence in the load, the first thing I would
do is to check the scale. It must have come with some calibration weights.
After I was satisfied that the scale showed accurate results I would also do
some more internet research on Unique and 9mm Luger reloading. It does seem
that Unique is a "fluffier" powder so there may not be a problem at all.
Also I would start off with the lowest of possible suggested charges (5.1
Here is a couple of links that I found about Unique and
9mm Luger. I'm sure there are many more.
"I like this powder because it has a wide range
between min and max loads. It is also a "fluffy" powder, making it
almost impossible to significantly overcharge 9mm loads."
If you think of it later on, I would be interested to
know what you did and how it turned out for you.
Thanks for the quick response. I ran the calibration.
Test with the calibration. Weight and the scale passes. The only
inconsistent weights ill get with the powder measure is if I leave powder
sit in it all night then the first couple charges are heavy, I'm assuming
just because its settled tightly through the night, once I clear the first
few charges I get pretty consistent charges..no more than +/-0.1.
Secondly, speer said due to the speer xtps bullet co-eff. They recommend a
slightly higher charge (compared to the unique charge chart) of 5.6gr and a
max of 6:3.
Also, I did finally test fire quite the combination of rounds this week with
very positive results. I ran about 30 rounds @ 5.6gr (even though the case
looks full), with a COAL of 1.125" and no signs of over pressure, my second
batch was another 30 of the same charge only with a slightly deeper seated
bullet with a coal of 1.115" still with no signs of over pressure, however I
did have one slightly flattened primer I believe is due to me not seating it
all the way rather than over pressure (the firing pin strike was really deep
compared to every other casing). Finally I loaded a batch of 5.9gr loads @
1.115" and still no signs of over pressure..in fact I'm pretty sure they
were a little more accurate!
I've since loaded and shot over 100 rounds of that same
batch with consistent charge of 5.9gr and they shoot great with no visible
signs of over pressure and no jams, ftf malfunctions, case jams/fte mals, or
anything else even in my wolf Glock barrel so I'm guessing that's a good
recipe for my ammo/gun combo?
Response - David,
Thanks for the feedback. That's good to hear.
Sent: June 12, 2011
Subject: 9MM Bullet Seating
Very well done. Do you have photo's of proper 9mm bullet seating? I have a
couple of books and very little is shown and discussed when it comes to
seating the bullet. I don't want to seat too short and increase the pressure
and cause damage to myself or my pistol. Thank you. Robert
Response - Robert,
As far as I am concerned, there isn’t that much to know about bullet
Bullet seating takes care of itself when you establish the overall length (OAL)
of your cartridge.
Your minimum OAL is defined in your reloading book and will vary with the
type of bullet and powder.
Your maximum OAL is 1.169" (according to my Lee Reloading Manual).
I try to keep my OAL at about 1.15” (give or take a little).
If you follow the recipe in your reloading manual you won't have to worry
about seating the bullet too short.
Hope that helps. Best regards,
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