Primer pocket

This is a discussion on Primer pocket within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; A friend of mine brought up the subject. He states that if a primer pocket isn't cleaned after popping out the old primer, the new ...

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Thread: Primer pocket

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Primer pocket

    A friend of mine brought up the subject. He states that if a primer pocket isn't cleaned after popping out the old primer, the new one will never seat right. This makes a Dillion XL650 usless to him. I don't belive it; but, my question is: how many of you that reload on a single stage press take the time to clean out the primer pocket on handgun ammo that your reloading?
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    To be honest these days - I find very few primer pockets any problem at all - if you visually inspect a sample from a bunch of fired cases, I doubt very much you'll see any problems.

    I have reloaded for years and only problems I used to have were Berdan primed 9mm's that I used to reload ... and sometimes due to me using an hydraulic decapper, found remnants of old priming material. I reload with turret as against progressive but keep churning out the rounds fast as I find comfortable and hardly check cases for that.

    All Boxer cases of pretty much all cal's - just decap and reprime - easy! I do keep a small Lee tool which is double ended for the two sizes and if I did find a bit of crud in a pocket it is quick to clean ... but to me - non-issue.
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    I almost always use a small tool (probably the same one Chris uses) to clean the pockets. I've never had a problem on the few occasions I don't, but it's just one of the steps I've always done. Of course I don't reload a ton, that might have something to do with it.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    When I first started to reload I used the primer pocket tool, and cleaned them out. Of course I used to deprime before I tumbled, dah, didn't take long to figure that out.

    Since then will at time run the primer tool through the cases, maybe every 4th reload or something like that. Honestly I can't tell any difference.

    If you think about how a primer is made and how it fits into the pocket, essentially the rim of the primer rides on the lowest part of the pocket in the case. As long as your not using loads that cause the primer to back out of the case (too much pressure), there should be no room for the residue to build up on anything other than the hole in the case, which is punched through when you deprime, or the primer, which is discarded when you deprime. There might be after time some build up on the edge of the hole, but that shouldn't cause the primer to not seat properly as the steel rim of the primer is longer than the center of the primer.

    I haven't had any problems with it using a turret press, but I don't think you'll get many if any bad effects from those using progressives.

    BTW. Does your buddy have any experience in reloading?
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    I used to waste time cleaning it out, but no more. We've tested it both ways out to 600 yards using rifle and there was no discernible difference.

    The only way I would consider it is if I was shooting a bench rest match for score. Since that is all about variables, reducing every possible variable and striving for absolute consistency is the only way to win.

    If he isn't engaged in that, then he is wasting his time.

    Consider the fact that most of the winning shooters are loading on Dillon's, and the primer pockets aren't being cleaned. That right there ought to be enough.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I make all of my reloads uniform, cleaning the primer pocket, milling it flat with a hand tool, and I also de-bur the flash hole in all of my previously fired factory cases. I then only have four variables to decipher---primer, powder, bullet, and seating depth. I'm a meticulous person though.

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    For pistol brass, I don't trim, deburr, clean primer pockets, or uniform the flashhole. Simply a waste of time.

    For rifle brass (except 223), I trim when needed, uniform the flashholes just the first time, deburr only after trimming, and clean the primer pocket every 5th firing.

    The person who told you that information is mistaken.

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    Primer pockets - again - these can benefit sometimes from a light cut to chamfer the outer edge - eases the primer in better.

    Mostly something I have done when reloading military brass when there was a three point crimp to get rid of.
    Chris - P95
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    I have a Dillon Super Swager for that. I process military brass for the locals for $20/1000 for just a decap and swage.

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    For my general purpose ammuntion I don't bother with the primer pockets. I occasionally will take extra pains with hunting or match ammo but that is mostly just to make me feel better about making an effort.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array sui-juris's Avatar
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    Hmm you guys just might have changed my mind, and I reload just for plinking too... I usually clean out the primer pocket.

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