Phoenix, Arizona – 92 year old precision reloader and retired machinist, Gabe “Gabby” Smyth recently posted on his favorite reloading blog, “Cast Boolits” that he had troubles with his last batch of precision ammo. Seems ‘ol Gabby didn’t check zero on his caliper and reloaded 6 months worth, 100 rounds, of 9mm FMJ at 1.129 instead of 1.130 as he has done since the 50’s.
When he realized what he calls “a potential life threatening mistake” he started having chest pain and went into a heart condition know as Atrial Fibrillation or “AFIB”. His wife rushed him to the local Moose lodge to seek advice from his retired machinist friends who decided they would ponder over the complex situation at hand but that maybe they should called an ambulance first. After Gabby was cardioverted back into a normal heart rhythm in the ER, he recovered in the ICU for 3 days and was sent home.
Friends helping friends
When he arrived home he was glad to see that his friends had painstakingly demilled each of the 100 rounds by placing them in a lath and turning the cases to remove the bullets with out a mark. They also built a tool to remove each primer with out harm stating that while Gabe was a great guy, he was a cheap bastard and would likely end up right back in the ICU if they wasted all those primers. They sent his caliper set back to Starret to be re-calibrated, rumor has it the customer service representative questioned whether or not the group of gentlemen were affect with dementia.
The Feed Ramp caught up with Gabe and asked him if he regretted his decision. He replied, “not for one cotton pickin minute, that 9mm is a true powerhouse of a round and I couldn’t imagine running them at a spec different than what my Speer volume 1 reloading manual stated they should be run. I would be very upset if I blew up my Thompson Contender over .001” Gabe’s friends have started a Go Fund Me account to purchase the newest edition reloading manual for him. Gabe left us with these words of wisdom – “Reloading is a hobby unto itself – do not rush the process and do not sacrifice quality for speed. A well loaded round is a reward to shoot – take your time and treat yourself to the best ammunition that you can possibly produce.”
Ramoné Bonghammer reporting for The Feed Ramp