Primer Questions

This is a discussion on Primer Questions within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I am a newbee to this hobby so bear with me. I purchased a Lee Breech lock Challenger kit. Sent it up, primer discharge tube ...

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Thread: Primer Questions

  1. #1
    New Member Array lttuna's Avatar
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    Primer Questions

    I am a newbee to this hobby so bear with me.

    I purchased a Lee Breech lock Challenger kit. Sent it up, primer discharge tube connected and small metal plate screwed in the side. The problem is the primers are coming out the backside of the shaft. It looks like on the side that its suppose to discharge the primers it has a hole. The backside of the shat has a longer slit it in and this is where the primers seem to be coming out, not down the tube. Hope I explained it well enough.

    Second issue- when using the resizing die, I put the die just far enough that it touches the top of the shaft. Secured the die. Ran some cleaned brass thru it and resized and de-primed. Question is some of the holes in the primer pocket look perfectly round while some seem to have a irregular shaped hole, sometimes looking like a star pattern. Something I am doing or is this ok?

    Third- on 9mm pistol rounds do you always clean the primer pocket?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

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  3. #2
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    Array TX expat's Avatar
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    Can't help on the Lee press question but on question two, you aren't affecting the primer hole at all, so while I can't say I pay any attention to the design of the holes, it's done long before you get the brass. On your third question, I don't clean any primer pockets unless they are exceptionally dirty or full of debris. Assuming you are tumbling the brass, or at the very least, not picking up brass that's been submerged in mud, the pockets should be clean enough to just use without any specific cleaning.

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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the Forum!

    I'm unfamiliar with the Lee product you mention.

    The flash holes in cartridge cases are not always uniformly produced though you may be looking at a bit of residue inside the hole which makes it appear to be irregularly shaped. If the die is assembled correctly and properly installed then the depriming pin will perform its function perfectly. If either the pin is off-center or the cartridge case is mal-formed in some manner then the pin will catch, likely bending or breaking it. You'll know it for certain if that happens. If your accomplishing the de-capping of a batch of cases successfully then you've got things adjusted properly.

    I rarely ever clean primer pockets. I have done so for match rifle ammunition in the past. I have also tumbled de-primed cases of all types to clean them. I don't often use a tumbler though.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    On the other side of the coin, I load most of my own ammo, to include my defensive ammo... I ALWAYS clean the primer pockets. I do not want any foreign substances to compromise the reliability of my ammo.
    tommyj27 likes this.

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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    First, welcome!
    Second, my comments are similar to the above:
    1. I don't use that press, so not sure of the problem/solution. My only suggestion is to reread the setup instructions.
    2. If your die just touches the shell holder, you are okay. Don't worry about the size of the flash hole.
    3. In 30+ yrs of reloading, I've never cleaned a primer pocket other than to push tumbling media out of the flash hole.

    Good luck and enjoy your new pastime!
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    OK,

    The primers are coming out of the wrong side of the piston because it is designed to work with the Safety Prime "anvil" installed. The anniversary kit should have come with the Lee Safety Prime assy.(I could be wrong but my anniversary edition challenger press came with the safety prime as opposed to the Ram Prime.)

    As far as the flash holes...Get a flash hole uniformer tool from Lyman or Hornady if it bothers you. It does make a difference as far as repeatable accuracy in rifle ammo. I would assume that it could effect pistol loads too. Though I have never worried about the flash holes in my pistol cartridges.
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  8. #7
    Member Array tqu9047's Avatar
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    40 is right. Use one of the anvils that are used to reprime the cartridge. The spent primer bounces off that and goes the right way down the tube.
    BTW, enjoy the loader. I have been loading 9mm and 45 for a couple months now. It is slow and tedius, but I am in no hurry.
    Also remember...DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS WHILE RELOADING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. This is dangerous stuff, no cheating and always pay attention,
    especially when adding powder, make sure it doesn't stick in the funnel. This will give you one load that is very light, and the next load
    will be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay over max load. Visually check your loads before pressing bullet in.


    Tim

  9. #8
    New Member Array lttuna's Avatar
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    Thanks to all that replied. Makes sense after you hear about the anvils. Didn't see anything in the instructions though from Lee. But having fun with this new hobby. Going slow , one step at a time. Cleaning the primer pockets takes some time but a good step for the newbee to understand. Will probably discontinue after a while as I am only a recreational shooter.

  10. #9
    Member Array denver's Avatar
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    Can't help on the first question. The primmer pocket as you know is the first explosion occuring when you pull (ok Squeeze) the trigger. Since the fire from the pimmer starts a chain of events, why start it off dirty? The irregular or star pattern you are seeing is probably the pattern of the primmer explosion. I admit that I don't always clean the pocket on 9mm or .40 it still should be done. I have been using a small cordless drill and the brush style cleaner (RCBS) mounted in my vice. Left hand pressing the drill button, right hand picking up deprimed cases from a plastic bowl. Then putting them in the loading block. Seems to go faster and my 55 year old hands don't get blisters from using the screwdriver style handle.

    I am shopping for a case tumbler so like the above posters I will not clean the pockets, but let the tumbler do it. Rifle reloading is a whole different story. All steps All the time. But I normaly reload rifle 20 at a time, not 100-300 at a time like the 9 and 40.

    Good luck and look forward to some very relaxing hours with your loading bench on a cold winter night with a cup of good cooffe and a pile of brass. As I have said before I think I enjoy handcrafting my ammo almost as much as shooting. By the way you didn't say if you were using the instructions and powder chart with the Lee setup or if you had bought a loading manual. If you havent bought one, do it. They all have extensive info on the basics and for experienced reloaders. The Sierra manual has a narrative on every caliber and bullet weight. They usually tell how they arrived at each load. Good info for gun nerds like me who enjoy the process as much as the end result.
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  11. #10
    New Member Array lttuna's Avatar
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    Thanks Denver for the info. I purchased the Lee reloading book and also he Lyman's latest one. I also have downloaded data info from the major powder mfrg also. I agree you can't get enough information

    Lt

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