Buying Other People's Handloads

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Sixgun
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Buying Other People's Handloads

#1 Post by Sixgun » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:28 pm

How about this one....to which I've never seen it intelligently talked about. (Enough jokes guys, I'm partially intelligent :D)

Yesterday, I bought 150 rounds of never-been-fired nickel plated R-P brass loaded with 155 gr. Palma match bullets, H380, case necks turned, match primers, clean, nicely packaged......for... ...drum roll.....$20

In my 63 years, I've been to hundreds of local auctions/estate sales/gunshows where handloads can be bought for less than what well used brass sells for. I personally have been GIVEN thousands of rounds of handloads because........

We all read in gun magazines that you should never shoot other people's handloads......or.......your shooting buddies always say, (because they also read that in gun mags) "Oh no, it's dangerous to shoot other people's handloads". BUT......how many people actually have real experience in other people's loads??? Doing what you've been told, huh?

Common sense....
If different calibers are all mixed up and small amounts of each caliber...dump it or salvage components.
If it's old and tarnished/corroded.......dump it
Look to see if the handloader paid attention to detail...crimp...primer depth..do you see case mouth cracks?...etc.
Pull one out of ten bullets and inspect bullets/powder for uniformity.
Do some case length measurements...uniform?
Put the empty primed case in your shootin' iron and snap a cap.
Is it packaged neatly? Clean cases...labeled properly with attention to detail in the label?
Is the load a top level load?...may not be safe in YOUR gun
Did you know the handloder?....that tells a lot.

No handloader with 1/4 of a brain wants to deliberately or carelessly ruin a fine gun.

If your at a show, keep in my mind the dealer knows how hard it is to sell handholds....offer him pennies.

You think I'm stupid? Just educating you guys because I have about a 1000 rounds of nice, fresh, neatly packaged handloads in once fired or new brass in expensive-calibers-to-shoot...7 mag/.338 mag./.300 whby.mag/25-06/280/243/222 and others that I'll be moving sometime this year.......plus, to educate you boys to get screaming deals from gun shows, neighbors, "buddies"... :D

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#2 Post by jnyork » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:02 pm

I have never fired someone else's handloads in my gun.

I have never given away or sold any of my own loads or allowed anyone to fire one of them in HIS gun.

Bargains are great, but I will pull the bullets, dump the powder and start over.

Just me.....
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#3 Post by BlaineG » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:05 pm

"Here, try THIS one" resulted in my 1895GS freezing up until it was torn completely down, unfroze, and put back together. Never again. :roll:
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#4 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:27 pm

I have shot other peoples loads on more than one occasion. Most of those people I knew were quite experienced and picky about their ammo.
Only one time did I run into a problem, a round with no or at least very little powder. The squib load stuck the bullet in the barrel of another fellows Mdl 28. Well we cleaned it up, got bullet out and kept on shooting.

As Sixgun said look at the overall quality of the ammo0 and packaging and go from there.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#5 Post by BenT » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:32 pm

I agee Sixgun.

I bought all of a widowers husabnds reloading equipment plus a lot of loaded ammo. It was very well put together and consistant. I pulled a few loads and checked weights. I shot his loads with no problems. I only wished I met the guy when he was alive. All leverguns cartrides plus 32 SW long and 32 H&R. I had piles of good brass after shooting them, 444, 25-35 , 32 special, 38-55.

Of coarse I had to ask where his guns went, his kids got them. So I was satified with the reloading stuff.

I got about 400 rounds of 38 special with some used reloading equipment. I chronied it out of my 357 Rossi . It was very tame. Rossi is a strong action, I got a lot plinking ammo cheap with that deal.

I have bought my share of used reloading equipment that came with loaded ammo. Most of it I have pulled and used the components. Just got to use your brain on what to do with it.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#6 Post by piller » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:45 pm

I have some Houston Cartridge Company 9mm rounds which I bought at a gun show. They were fired in a Kahr and on round 3, the side panel popped off and the extractor was knocked loose. Just to see if it might be a pistol issue, I fired them in a Ruger P85. Round 2 was a catastrophic failure of the brass. I did not fire a third round. The Kahr pistol was sent in and repaired to where it looked like a new one. The Ruger was not bothered at all. 5 rounds fired out of 100. I don't know what powder is in them, but it seems obvious to me that it is dangerously overloaded. I have never pulled the bullets. I need to do it and get the dies for reloading 9mm. I will not trust a small company again. 2 out of the first 5 rounds being over pressure from a totally random sample out of 100 is too high of odds to me. I am afraid the next round will cause another firearm failure and might take some flesh and bone with it. I am not going to trust anyone whom I don't know to load it properly if they are not commercial ammo from a big name manufacturer. I should have taken a picture of that ruptured case.
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#7 Post by Plainsman » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:57 pm

jnyork wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:02 pm
I have never fired someone else's handloads in my gun.

I have never given away or sold any of my own loads or allowed anyone to fire one of them in HIS gun.

Bargains are great, but I will pull the bullets, dump the powder and start over.

Just me.....
Likewise! I pull every handloaded round given/sold to me and I NEVER give/sell any of my handloads. Not worth the headache if the recipient decides to sue me if something happens, which in this day and age is way too easy for them to do!

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#8 Post by Sixgun » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:59 pm

BenT wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:32 pm
. Just got to use your brain on what to do with it.
Ben,
Right. I did not say "go ahead and shoot anything that comes your way". Over the years, I have loaded thousands of rounds for buddies and acquaintances. These loads have accounted for hundreds of deer, half dozen bear, elk, coyotes, and thousands of targets, beer cans, tons of cowboy action shooting and other inanimate targets. I did have a complaint when a cast bullet stuck in the bore of a single action Ruger, due to a malfunction of my progressive press...in fact, in the 100 rounds I loaded for him, he had 6 without powder...whoops!. He continued to use my handloads for another 10-12 years.

Personally, I have seen more people screw up their own handloads in their own guns, but its always been a functioning/erratic ignition issue. ----6
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#9 Post by Sixgun » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:12 pm

Pillar....it takes a lot to mess up a 9 in handloading as the case capacity will not accept more than a couple of grains of extra Bullseye without visibility noting an overfill. Someone was not paying attention.

Yea, get yourself some 9mm equipment....easy cartridge to load for, plus brass can be bought for about $15-20 a thousand. Cheap...load, shoot and don't even bother to pick up the brass. :D My Uzi 9 eats em and spits em out....fun cartridge to play with.---6
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#10 Post by FWiedner » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:15 am

BlaineG wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:05 pm
"Here, try THIS one" resulted in my 1895GS freezing up until it was torn completely down, unfroze, and put back together. Never again. :roll:
I loaned one of my 1911's to a young man for an afternoon and gave him 100 rds of ammo to use. I told him "Use this ammo and NOTHING ELSE in MY firearm".

A couple of hours later he comes crawling back with a squib stuck in the barrel. He said he'd run out of the ammo I gave him and was shooting some of his friend's hand-loads.

After the obligatory "What did we discuss?" and "Did you not understand my instructions?", I told him that was the last time he'd ever handle one of my firearms.

That was 10 years ago.

I've got nothing against reloads, but if it's my gun, I decide what to feed it. Period.

:|
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#11 Post by gamekeeper » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:01 am

When I worked to Westley Richards we offered a deal to test hand loaded shotgun ammo, most of the shells I tested for pressure and velocity were way over proof loads and dangerous.
I had a shooting buddy who offered to reload some .357 brass I had, I only used factory ammo then, I cautiously agreed, they seemed more like .38spl. than magnum reloads, that is the ones that the tube mag on my Rossi didn't push the bullets inside the case, no more other peoples reloads for me.
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#12 Post by jeepnik » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:15 am

Taught not to do it. Don't do it. Won't do it.

End of discussion.
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#13 Post by Pisgah » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:54 am

Way back when, I wouldn't jump with a 'chute someone else packed, no matter who packed it. Today, I won't shoot anyone else's reloads. That pretty well sums it up.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#14 Post by J Miller » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:56 am

One more comment just for giggles and grins.

I have been shooting for over 50 years, in that time I've had more defective factory ammo than hand loads.
I started reloading my own very early with the 303 Brit and 30-30 Win then progressed to the handgun calibers. Even back in the pre GCA 68 days factory ammo was far more costly than I could afford so reloading was the answer.

My reloads, others reloads (rarely but sometimes), commercial reloads have all been good but a few oopsies have slipped through.
I've fired probably a 100,000 + rounds of reloads without incidents.

The factory ammo I've shot has run the gamut of defects: No powder, too much powder, upside down or sideways primers, no flash hole, loose bullets that rattled in the cases (45 Colt mostly), upside down bullets, mangled bullets, ripped and torn case mouths at the crimps, split cases fresh out of the box, split cases the first firing, duds ... and my most favorite defect - hang fires :o :shock: .

Luckily I've never had a gun damaged by either type of ammo. Hope I never do.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#15 Post by Sixgun » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:14 am

Interesting observations. To the people who have experienced issues with handloads by other people, well, for me, the stats are not there. Having been involved in competition since the seventies......local, state, and regional championships, I have yet to encounter a competitor who uses factory ammo on a constant basis........I'm sure there is.....I've even used 75 year old factory ammo on occasion for poops and giggles.

At the end of each relay, during competition, the match director will announce, "any alibies?" Seems like there is always a person with issues....sigh......and when a person has a problem, I'm sometimes called to see
If I can facilitate the match.....75% of the time, it's a person who is not overly framiar with their gun and does something ...well, stupid....24% relates to brands/models of guns with inherent malfunctions.....newer Marlins..imported guns.....just guessing on the percentages.

I have seen handload issues, but never an overload.....it's always been high primers in a single action or bullets dropping into the cases of leverguns-----6
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#16 Post by octagon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:36 am

About four years ago my brother and his BIL and I were in a gravel quarry with a sheer wall on one end of caliche, where we had a dozen or so pistol on two tailgates and were shooting up a storm. Bro handed me a new sp101 saying"try it." I had just loaded my new colt 1911 and said no thanks. He steps to the shooting line with the ruger:
" bang, bang, KABLOOEY!!". Blew cylinder in half, three charge holes to pieces, and bent the top strap badly. I asked if these were reloads, and they were. I suggested a double powder charge might be responsible :shock: :shock: :shock: scary!!

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#17 Post by yooper2 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:51 am

I have shot plenty of other people's handloads, in their guns.
I've only seen/been involved with one kaboom in my life and it was while shooting a police positive target in 38 special (neat and scarce little sixgun) that I was going to buy. I was shooting the sellers reloads and on the third shot the gun came apart. The cylinder split on the fired chambers and the topstrap peeled back. The chambers with live cartridges remained intact. Presumed double charge, I believe it was Titegeoup.

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Last edited by yooper2 on Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#18 Post by mikld » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:14 pm

Personal opinion; I believe factories that manufacture ammo have a much better quality control than most home reloaders. Personally, I have never, in the 45 years I've been shooting had a "bad" factory round (I know someone will now post their experience with a Kaboom or squib with a factory round, but I'm talking about my experience.). Many of the reloaders I know have made mistakes, rarely but it happens. Most were caught before shooting, but some snuck through and on one occasion a Kaboom destroyed a nice Ruger. I'm anal about powder charging so, thank God, I've not had a squib since '70 and never a kaboom, but I'm the only one that shoots my reloads. I know I'd feel pretty bad if one of my reloads ruined a friend's gun or someone got hurt. I have more than enough (is that possible?) reloads of my own to shoot, and have no reason to shoot anyone else's reloads, even those I would trust (mebbe)...

I don't buy factory ammo, so why would I buy reloads?
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#19 Post by 6pt-sika » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:45 pm

A standard full size truck bed will not hold all the handloaded shotgun shells done by other folks that I've fired . But I will say I knew all these folks fairly well . I do however have some 10 gauge 2 7/8" reloads I bought in a bunch of stuff that I'll refrain from shooting in my old doubles .

I've shot some pistol and rifle handloads done by others but not many . I've done a fair amount of rifle loads for 4 or 5 friends but I do not make a habit of it .

I suppose within reason it's kinda like playing poker ya lays down ya money and gets ya cards and then see what happens .
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#20 Post by JRD » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:52 pm

I generally would never buy someone's reloads. Bottom line is you just don't know what kind of components and what level of quality control are in unknown reloads. With factory ammo of known brand you are buying an expected level of quality and also have some recourse with the manufacturer should you have an issue. Shooting ammo of unknown origin that's obviously reloaded... not for me or my guns.

There is only one time that I've bought reloaded ammo, however in this case I knew the man who reloaded them. He was an older friend who was a meticulous handloader among many other positive traits and finally lost a long battle with cancer. I helped his wife organize his trove of reloading gear after he was gone. His son wanted the guns, but not the reloading gear. I also bought a couple cases of reloaded shotshells from his wife. I debated on it for a while but then decided, I would have shot his ammo if we were at the range together, so I'd still be comfortable shooting the same ammo after he was gone. Note that I only bought the well labelled reloads. Every reloader has a a bin full of mistakes or odds and ends that we are meaning to pull down, but just hang on to because you don't want to take the time, but are too cheap to just throw away.

Last season I used my late friend Alan's trap reloads for pheasant hunting. Several boxes of them were Federal Gold Medal paper hulls. I savored every shot. I enjoyed the hunts all the more and with every shot recalled a departed friend.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#21 Post by Nazgul » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:30 am

I was given 750 pounds of 45 ACP a few years ago. Unknown reloaded. New brass, loaded with fmj bullets, load data listed on the box. I weighed about 33% of them as a sample and they were consistent. I reload everything I shoot. Never shoot any other reloads as a rule, have fired about half of these.

Did the measuring and assured myself they were ok.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#22 Post by Pete44ru » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:09 am

jeepnik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:15 am

Taught not to do it. Don't do it. Won't do it.

End of discussion.
Yep.


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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#23 Post by mikld » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:47 am

After rereading this thread only two thoughts come to mind and they are old sayings; "Better safe than sorry", and "Err on the side of caution".
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#24 Post by OldWin » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:33 pm

Most times, I don't use unknown loads. Especially if it was ammo for a 100yr old Winchester or Colt.
However, if I know the person, and trust them, I would be ok.
I bought a minty M1 carbine from a local widow whose husband was an old local gun guy. Came with all the G.I. pouches, bayonet, etc. In with it were a bunch of handloaded ammo. To this day, I have never shot more accurate 30 carbine ammo.
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#25 Post by jeepnik » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:54 pm

It only takes one bad round in an otherwise good batch to ruin not just your firearm, but your life. I'd hate to loose an eye or two just to save a few pennies.
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#26 Post by Griff » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:51 pm

At a cowboy action shooting match back quite a few years ago, a shooter complained his shotgun was froze up... my buddy offered to lend him his backup gun. On the very next stage, the shooter returned my buddy's shotgun in several pieces... barrels separated from the rib, forend in 2 major parts, with gaps, the stock separated from the action. My buddy had forgotten this cardinal rule of loaning a gun, "my gun, my ammo!" Did the jasper offer to pay for the gun, offer to pay for repairs? Why no, just came up, dropped the parts on the table and said "...you gun broke," and walked away. Yes, then got in his vehicle and left. It's probably a good thing that all our guns had been put away, and we'd broken out the beer!

Yes, are there folks that I'll give ammo to, and whose ammo I'd gladly shoot! Both are few and far between!
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#27 Post by Sixgun » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:53 pm

After thinking about this, the obvious came to light.......there are reloaders and there are "gun people reloaders". I've never dealt with the former. Gun people are individuals who eat, sleep, and breathe guns all year long and know what they are doing. The other group got a $99 reloader starter kit and their wives let them buy 2 pounds of gunpowder and a box of bullet "seconds" from Midway once a year.

Yes, mistakes are made...even I've been known to make one or two... :D .....but...those mistakes are mechanical mistakes with bullets slipping down in the case...seated out too far, or high primers.

I shoot with many many people and I really don't think any of these people have less than 40-50 guns and several thou. worth of reloading equipment.

While out and about and bs'en with people at the gun club or the many matches I attend, it usually does not take more than a two sentence conversation to differentiate a person who talks guns and a person who knows guns...and reloading. ---6
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#28 Post by jeepnik » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:01 pm

Hey now. My first press was one of those Lyman starter kits in .45 acp. Matter of fact it's in a box on the shelf. Then one day I discovered Dillion :mrgreen:
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#29 Post by vancelw » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:30 pm

Sixgun wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:53 pm
After thinking about this, the obvious came to light.......there are reloaders and there are "gun people reloaders". .......

While out and about and bs'en with people at the gun club or the many matches I attend, it usually does not take more than a two sentence conversation to differentiate a person who talks guns and a person who knows guns...and reloading. ---6
A few years back I bought a large quantity of loaded ammo that appeared to me factory custom loads....or they could have been reloaded my a meticulous person. :?
I got them for about half of what the brass alone should have cost me.I was going to break them down into components and discard the powder.
After I got to looking at them, they were so consistent ....
I weighed every single cartridge. They were all with +/- 0.2 gr. The overwhelming majority within +/- 0.1 gr.
I pulled the bullet on one round from each box. They all had the same powder and same weight.
I fired one through a chrono graph and the velocity was within 25 fps of what that many grains of the powder I suspected it of being should have been.

I ended up using every bit of that ammo that I hadn't sampled. Recharged the pulled ones with new powder and they shot just like the ones I hadn't pulled.
Yeah...it was a lot of work to be safe. But I enjoyed it much more than watching TV and saved a ton of money.
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#30 Post by Sixgun » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:36 pm

Vance,
Right. You used common sense, eyeballed the overall look, pulled a few, and made an intelligent decision that the guy knew what he was doing....that's my whole point. I'm not going to go to some outdoor flea market and buy and shoot some junky looking stuff.

Jay...(Old Win.) was here a few months back and I gave him a mess of handloaded ammo that this deceased guy loaded some years back. This stuff was top notch and Jay was happy to get it. The same old timer loaded several hundred rounds of 308 which I'm going to shoot out of a NM M-1A next week.

I should not have even brought this up. I'm going to bed...my head hurts.---6
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#31 Post by Ysabel Kid » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:02 pm

I learned this lesson the hard way. Not the hardest of ways (a gun blowing up in my face), but the hard way.

I was in my early 20's and just started my career. Saw an ad in the paper for an estate/garage sale that weekend, including "gun stuff". I was there when it opened. The gentleman had passed away and his family was unloading stuff. This included his reloading supplies. Much of it had already been wiped out from family and friends.

The only thing of interest to me was some .44 Magnum fodder, the caliber I started to reload on. It was loaded rounds, but not marked. I figured I would buy them, as they were relatively inexpensive, and pull the rounds, salvaging the bullets, brass and primers.

I got around to doing so a couple years later. The guy must have applied an industrial crimp, because the inertial puller just wasn't making any progress. 15 or so whacks per round. I stopped, frustrated, figuring I would do it later.

Fast forward a few more years, and I got lazy. I decided to shoot the rounds, and save the brass. I should have stopped after the first round. These were HOT. I mean STOKED. The recoil was more than any other .44 Magnum I had fired, and I used to load my stuff hot.

I didn't stop, until the fourth round. I then tried to eject them from the cylinder of my 629 - and one wouldn't budge. I ended up whacking it out at home, and realized I had damaged the cylinder.

I was screwed. This was a second-hand revolver shooting reloads. I figured S&W would laugh at me when I sent it to them. I was fully expecting a large invoice to get it repaired.

I got dumb lucky. this was shortly after the Clinton debacle when the company was catching all kinds of grief from shooters. They must have decided that it was worth it just to make me happy. They replaced the cylinder free of charge!

BTW, this worked - I was very happy, and never hesitate to recommend S&W. They make the best double-action revolvers anyway, so it is easy to do so! :D

A friend of mine - an ex Navy SEAL - almost lost an eye with a reload - and these were "factory" reloads from a local hardware store. Someone double-charged a .45 ACP case. It blew the slide off his Colt Commander, cracked both grip panels, and peppered him with debris, shattered his shooting glasses, but they held together and protected his eyes. You could see where the shooting glasses were on his face, because he had all kinds of nicks all around them. A very close call.

Never shoot anyone else's reloads. It is just not worth it! :shock:
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#32 Post by 3leggedturtle » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:25 am

Hey Six, just whack yer thumb with a hammer and you'll forget about headache! Or better yet go do some shooting... YMMV Todd/3leg
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#33 Post by bgmkithaca » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:01 pm

A case in point about the reloads of others is that a very experienced re-loader of my acquaintance is that a few years ago he blew up not one not two but three rifles the same summer. Everyone including the shooter agreed that the blow ups were caused by his overloads. As good fortune had it he was wearing shooting glasses for all of the blow ups and only got bruising and small cuts from the flying parts. If a well seasoned re loader can do this I would be very cautious with some one else's loads.

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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#34 Post by Old Ironsights » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:50 pm

Unless I have regularly and consistently spent time loading with a person, I will not take/use any of his loads... unless we are at the same range at the same time shooting substantially the same firearms from the same box.

It's no big thing to pull and reload to spec.
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Re: Buying Other People's Handloads

#35 Post by 308magtip » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:00 pm

Be careful on bullets for 9mm and 38/357.Got a bag of fmj bullets for 38 plinking loads marked 38.When I loaded them into 38 cases something did not seem right.Stopped after only 5 and miked the bullets.Sure enough they were for 9mm not 38.These from a dealer who rebagged 5000 rd boxes into 100 rd bags.Took them back and he removed all38 and 9mm bullets from shelf and corrected problem.Like old Harry Pope said in his reloading book"watch what you slip into that chamber".

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