Where does my problem lie, Primer seating, Brand..

Where does my problem lie, Primer seating, Brand..

This is a discussion on Where does my problem lie, Primer seating, Brand.. within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; OK, here's the deal. Last week I loaded up 10 rounds at one grain, then another 7 at another, and took them out to test ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Where does my problem lie, Primer seating, Brand..

    OK, here's the deal.

    Last week I loaded up 10 rounds at one grain, then another 7 at another, and took them out to test fire them against some factory rounds. The first ten felt a littler hotter than the factory, the 7 were a little lighter, so I decided to split the difference and go with that on my grain count.

    However....The last shot, I pulled the trigger, nothing happened ( I hate those). I waited a few seconds, shook the gun a bit, then fired it a second time...BANG. I figured it was a fluke and left it at that I had been having some primer seating issues with my press that I have since fixed).

    Friday, I loaded up about 340 rounds to have on stock, and shoot at the IDPA match Saturday.

    When I was done, the wife came out to the man cave and I was showing her the press, how it worked, the components...She was perplexed with the primers and how they worked, so I took a case, put a fresh primer in it, removed it from the press, placed it in my weapon and fired it...nothing. I ejected it, observed it had a pretty good dent in it, re-inserted it and fired it again...BANG...well POP is a little closer. Getting concerned I loaded up another case, same results. 2 hits to get it to fire.

    So here I am staring at 340 rounds of potential double taps. I am not pleased. I start randomly pulling rounds from the pile and inspecting them. Some primers are flush with the rim, some are slightly high (.0025). I look at the two that I just had issue with. 1 is flush, the other is high.

    I was thinking that there may be a possibility of firing pin issues Friday night, so I disassembled my weapon and cleaned the firing pin, spring, and channel, reassembled with no oil (I usually keep a very light film of oil coating them. If it moves, it needs some lube).

    Saturday at the shoot, the first string, 8 out of 25 required a second hit, but all fired (that did no do my time and accuracy much good). I cleaned out my mags and went back to my dwindling supply of factory ammo. Not one problem after that.

    Sorry for the long preamble. I figured the more info you get the better diagnosis you can give.

    I am using Remington 1 1/2 of unknown age and storage conditions.

    Brass is pre-fired range brass, mixed brands.

    I am new at this reloading thing, and I have not found any specific info on seating a primer other than it looks good, and there is no dent from the seating pin.

    These rounds have not been fired in a different weapon (I only mention that because in my comparison of my reloads to other brass, I notice several types of primer indents, some masssive.

    In another thread, I asked about primers, Remington was rated as softer than Winchester or CCI (which I plan on using once I find some - Denver is dry and I don't have $250 to justify ordering powder and primers online to justify the haz mat fee)

    Where is my problem at? Other than operator error

    If someone could also give me an ID10T explanation of how a primer works from in the package to insertion (is there a priming of the primer?) that would be nice too.

    When I got back from the shoot, I loaded another 50 rounds after I adjusted the primer seating until there was a very slight indentation mark from the primer pin, and I do mean slight. I am not sure when I will get to test fire those.

    Thanks in advance guys, and thanks for putting up with my newbie questions.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I am not so sure it is anything that you are doing.

    You might find someone else that has the same caliber gun as what your loading and try firing from another gun. If the other gun has the same problem I think it is going to be a primer issue. Not specifically the brand, but possibly the age or storage of the primers.

    I am assuming that you have handled the primers propertly. Where did you get the primers from? Those seem like very high failure rates.

    The issue with the seating depth of the primer is not so much an issue of whether or not it will fire when struck by the firing pin as much as it is a safety issue of not having the primer sticking out past the butt of the case where it would more easily be struck when not intended.

    With revolvers this is a much much bigger issue as it could end up being a catastrophic failure if the primer was set off by the cylinder rotating and igniting the primer when the round is not in the barrel possition.

    Hopefully someone else will have some additional information or have had this issue previously.
    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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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    hmmm. I'm sure someone that actually knows stuff will reply, but I can't help but wonder what kind of gun you are using, and is it an option to try another? Could it be a gunked up striker channel?

    Don't know much about primers...
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Cupcake - I cleaned out the firing pin channel, pin, and spring, verified free movement, and reassembled dry Friday night before my IDPA shoot where I had the 8 FTFs. When I went back to my factory reloads (Armscor) I did not have one problem the rest of the day (100 rounds), nor have I had any problems with any of the 7-10 different brands of ammo I have fed my Baby Eagle (est. 3k rounds).

    The primers were purchased from a "Hole in the wall" reloading shop 2 weeks ago. All the major retailers are out of powder, primers, bullets, brass...

    The primers were kept in my heated garage in the original packaging before use, and Denver is relatively dry humidity wise.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Go back to square one. You stated that the primers are of unknown age----get yourself to a decent gun shop and buy fresh primers that have been stored properly.

    Clean firing pin channel.

    Perhaps a new hammer spring is in order to prevent light strikes.

    Primers should be seated to the bottom of the hole--EVERY TIME! This prevents the primer from moving forward when struck and possible misfires.

    Another possible solution is case lube on your fingers---it will kill a primer in a hurry.

    Let us know what you find out. In the meantime head for the range with your questionable ammo and save the brass for the next trip thru the reloader.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    I use no case lube, and I don't touch the primers, my primer tray self flips.

    Since I am about out of primers (only got 500) I will be getting either the CCI or Winchester, along with Accurate powders rather than Hodgden Universal, since I have load data for Accurate that matches primer and bullet.

    I'll look into new springs. My wife's Baby (twin to mine) has only 250 rounds through it (blasphemy, I know) so I will try to borrow it to see if the problem stays. I'd rather a different brand though.

    No range shooting today. 5* and snow, honey-Do list, truck batteries were dead yesterday and are still on the charger, may need replacing.

    This month has been after
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  7. #7
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    You may want to invest in a primer pocket uniformer tool if you getting different seating depths on your primers. It will cut the primer pockets all to SAAMI specs. ( SAAMI | Home ) Also a primer pocket cleaning tool is a must when reloading. Make sure there's nothing in the flash hole as this will definitely cause problems. Then try a different brand of primer (if you can find some). I know Sportsmans Warehouse here in Wyoming has bare shelves these days. You also have Bass Pro Shop, The Firing Line in your area. Also Jax's in North Fort Collins usually has primers.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    I go on job attached layoff next week, so I will have plenty of time to find some. I think Sportsmans Warehouse will put items on hold for 12 or 24 hours, but that may have changed since they can not keep stock. Either way I can be there when the delivery arrives.

    The thought of processing 1700 cases for primer pocket is daunting at best. I'm gonna have to make a tool to speed up the process.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    I know Sportsmans Warehouse here in Wyoming has bare shelves these days
    Same in Tucson AZ. Gun manager stated they were bough out by a Canadian firm and after January the inhouse supplies should increase.

  10. #10
    Member Array Fmr18z's Avatar
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    Sticks, if you can fire factory ammo without any problems, then it's probably not your pistol. To me it sounds more like a primer/priming problem. Do you hand prime, or do you use your press? If you clean out the primer pocket and seat your primers to where you can take something like a razor blade and gently run over the top of the primer pocket without touching the seated primer you should have ignition 99% of the time, if not it would appear that you have some bad primers. I hand prime all of my match ammo so I can "feel" when the primer is seated properly. CCI 300's are what I use for my .45, it's a little harder than most primers, but out of the thousands I've used, I've never had a FTF. Hope this helps.
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  11. #11
    Member Array halfcrazy's Avatar
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    Tell us more. what kind of press brand and style are you using? it sounds to me like the primers arent seated all the way and the first shot seats them?

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    I am using a Lee Loadmaster 5 station press.

    Decap in 1, size and prime in 2, powder in 3, bullet seat in 4, factory crimp in 5.

    When the primer gets seated in the primer pocket, does it "prime" the primer in some fashion by compressing the sides or the three "fingers" on the face?

    I was under the impression that you do not need to clean and size the primer pocket every time. Is it possible to get that much crud in there (primer pocket) after firing that it needs cleaning?
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  13. #13
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    No seating the primer does not change it in any way (only exception would be if you crushed it while seating it). What you need to be certain of is that it's seated to the bottom of the primer pocket, is not protruding, or isn't seated too deeply. These are all things that will cause issues. Usually the biggest culprit in blocked flash holes is cleaning media after cleaning, especially walnut hulls. I'm still with others here that your most likely culprit is bad primers in some way.

    The thought of processing 1700 cases for primer pocket is daunting at best. I'm gonna have to make a tool to speed up the process.
    Unfortunately sometimes there is no easy way to go about certain things that are needed to be done when loading. Been doing it for 30+ years and some short cuts come up now and then but some things just are time consuming.
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  14. #14
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    I have reloaded several thousand casings and never cleaned primer pockets. Sounds as if you have a bad batch of primers.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Well, since I do not decap before I tumble, I am leaning towards this not being a blocked flash hole.

    I am still perplexed as to why a primer not seated deep enough would fail to fire. I can understand too deep with the firing pin not having enough force or inertia left, but shallow? I would have thought that there would be a higher risk of slam fire than no fire.

    I should have made this a poll.

    Has anyone intentionally (or accidentally) set primers shallow to see the results?

    Hopefully next week I will get some fresh primers, and be able to do some additional testing.

    I am going to hold off cleaning the primer pocket until I do another batch with different primers, and my new seating depth (first post), unless the very slight dent from the primer pin is a bad thing.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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