Cleaning the Primer Pocket

This is a discussion on Cleaning the Primer Pocket within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm very new to reloading. How important is it to clean the primer hole on your brass? What bad things can happen if you don't?...

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Thread: Cleaning the Primer Pocket

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mano3's Avatar
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    Question Cleaning the Primer Pocket

    I'm very new to reloading.

    How important is it to clean the primer hole on your brass?

    What bad things can happen if you don't?
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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    You might want to consider re-phrasing the title to your thread.

    Just a suggestion LOL
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I seldom clean the primer pocket because I never have problems seating the primer. I poke the cleaning media out of the flash hole if needed.
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    I am an old guy but that Primer Hole on your Brass is kinda funny .
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    Senior Member Array mano3's Avatar
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    Primer Pocket....

    OK - I told you I was new to this! LOL!
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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    I did it once. I did not notice a difference in those that were and were not. If you are doing rifle for extreme accuracy, I assume it could have some influence.
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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    If your just loading for handguns its not that big of a deal. I visually check my brass if its really blocked up it gets a ride on the lyman brass station but its rare. Now for larger caliber rifle I keep them pretty clean for a good primer seat. I even take out the spent primer before cleaning.
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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    well, if it's you're reloading the rounds for a glock, you don't need to clean it at all. you also don't need to put in a new primer. or resize the case. or put powder in. or seat a bullet. or even reload brass. my glock can mow down an entire pocket brigade just with a nasty look.

    (i like glocks, but that's just funny)
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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    If you clean your brass before de-priming, it is not usually an issue. If any cleaning media gets into the flash hole, it gets crunched up and pushed through at the decapping station. After all, your brass is decapped by passing a pin through the flash hole, from the inside of the brass, to push the old primer out. Any blockaage in the flash hole just gets pushed out as well.

    If, on the other hand, you de-prime your brass prior to cleaning, it is possible for cleaning media to get stuck in the flash hole of your brass. It is possible for that blockage of media to restrict, or delay, the ignition flame from your primer, and cause uneven detonation of the powder in your round. If you de-prime prior to cleaning, then I encourage you to check each case before you insert a new primer and clean the flash hole as needed.

    I am staying as far away as possible from discussing the Primary (Oops) Primer hole issue.
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    Senior Member Array mano3's Avatar
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    I like the idea of being able to de-prime/re-size and then re-prime with my one die, so not cleaning the primer pocket makes this happen.

    Apparently, it's not a critical issue, unless you want 110% primer response?
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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mano3 View Post
    I like the idea of being able to de-prime/re-size and then re-prime with my one die, so not cleaning the primer pocket makes this happen.

    Apparently, it's not a critical issue, unless you want 110% primer response?
    not a true expert here, but i think more a matter of primer retention. i bought a case of WOLF .223 junk ammo once, and the spent primers kept falling out of the steel cases. kept getting lodged in the actions of my Mini-14 and my buddies AR. i think a primer is gonna go bang when you strike it no matter what, and so long as there is some hole for it to go through to get the powder.... it may affect velocity if the powder gets an incomplete burn before the bullet exits the barrel, but i should think your "blow hole-HAHAHA" should have to be awefully plugged to reduce powder ignition.....

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Well, When I clean my brass and then de-prime it the de-capper pin cleans out the flash hole. I then clean out the primer pocket. I perform these steps because I want my loads to be as consistent as possible. This is not generally a problem with handgun rounds unless there is something in the primer pocket that interferes with the primer.
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    Member Array agalindo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kavalander View Post
    not a true expert here, but i think more a matter of primer retention. i bought a case of WOLF .223 junk ammo once, and the spent primers kept falling out of the steel cases. kept getting lodged in the actions of my Mini-14 and my buddies AR. i think a primer is gonna go bang when you strike it no matter what, and so long as there is some hole for it to go through to get the powder.... it may affect velocity if the powder gets an incomplete burn before the bullet exits the barrel, but i should think your "blow hole-HAHAHA" should have to be awefully plugged to reduce powder ignition.....
    Me, and several of my friends shoot Wolf when we don't feel like reloading and have never had a problem with it. Not dirtier than any other round I've shot, including reloads. I personally have shot thousands if not tens of thousands of wolf in .223 and 9mm with out any issues.

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    I have a primer pocket cleaning tool. I don't think I've used it more that a dozen times in 40 years of reloading.
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    Member Array agalindo's Avatar
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    I also have one that came with the kit I bought a bit over 30 years ago. I used it on the first 50 rounds I reloaded and not since.
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