The photo above submitted to SSUSA by reader William Walter shows the dangers of incorrect handloading.
In this case, pistol powder was incorrectly handloaded into .a 223 rifle cartridge. Notice the atomized brass that is deposited extensively all over the barrel extension, as well as the bolt, which is split in half. Pieces of polymer from the rifle’s lower and magazine landed 25 feet from the shooter’s firing point. The shooter was lucky enough to walk away from the incident with only a broken finger.
Walter said: “The first round fired was from the lot that took the rifle apart. Three other rounds, loaded at a different time, were ‘reference rounds’ to make sure the rifle was on target prior to testing. We determined he accidentally loaded 23.8 grains of pistol powder (compressed load) into a standard .223 rifle case. I pulled bullets from several loaded cartridges and performed a field expedient linear burn rate evaluation. The incident powder burned twice as fast as the powder he thought was using.”
He added, “Although the owner of the rifle is more than a bit embarrassed over the whole event, he shared information freely in an effort to show what can happen all too easily.”