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How many strikes till it's "out"?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Third, May 20, 2012.

  1. Third

    Third Rainier Member

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    Shooting reloads for the first time and one round out of 40 didn't go on the first try.
    The one round took 5 strikes to go bang. This isn't something I want while hunting. Did I do something wrong with that primer while reloading? Is there any downside to retrying the "dud" until it goes off while target shooting?
  2. krivey

    krivey mcminnville oregon Active Member

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    Sounds like a light primer strike, or you seated that primer too deep. Make sure you seat the primer even with the case or slightly below. Check the primers of a spent case and see if they have light firing pin marks. If so, a new spring or firing pin might be needed
  3. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There must be a "virus" running around because I just had a rash of No Bangers in my .308 which was really unheard of to me until the last two sessions.

    I decided to do some forensic pathology on them. Here's ehat I found.

    The primers were properly seated but the primer strikes were definitely light.

    Checked firing pin channel in bolt and protrusion of pin when pin was released from cocked position and had plenty.

    THEN, I put the cartridge that failed to fire in my case gauge. It sank into the gauge so the head was far below the "no go" level of the gauge.

    I have no idea what happened but for some reason I had 6-8 cases on which the shoulders were so pushed back so far that the firing pin couldn't reach the primer with enough impact to set off the primer. Checked my sizing dies and found them to be set properly. Checked my seater die which is a Dead Length die and it wasn't setting back the shoulders. Checked my neck size dies and likewise, they were all OK.

    Apparently I was infested with some unknown virus that caused my cases to shrink.

    I merely pulled the bullets, poured the powder back into the reservoir and made another donation to my scrap bucket.

    As for seating primers too deep, a primer pocket should be somewhere between .128" and .132" according to SAAMI specs. All my primer cups measure .125" deep with the anvil protruding just slightly beyond that. Proper seating of a primer calls for the cup to touch the bottom of the primer pocket hole with the anvil just pressed back into the cup. If one is seating the primer so the cup is flush at the bottom of the hole it can be recessed as much as .008". Since a firing pin should protrude .040-.050" that's more than enough to "make it go". If the case moves into the chamber too far due to excessive headspace then that's a big problem. No amount of re-strikes will make that bugger light off.

    This can also happen with pistols if the case is cut too short and the round is going into a semi-auto that has the case headspace off the mouth.

    If you don't have a case gauge like a Wilson, Dillon, Hornady, etc, it's a great investment. Can help prevent this problem.
  4. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    This may sound counterintuitive, but a lot of non-pops happen because the primer isn't seated deep enough. When the pin hits it, it pushes the primer in to the bottom of the pocket. This push eats up a bunch of inertia of the hammer and makes for a light "strike" once the primer bottoms. When you look at the case, it looks seated properly because the pin pushed it all the way in. A situation like this will almost always go on the second hit. 5 hits indicates a different problem.

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Very true. Also make sure your primer pockets are 'relatively' clean. This can affect proper seating depth and cause the misfire. They don't need to be shiny bright but make sure there is not an excessive buildup of crud in them. What are you doing to clean your brass?
  6. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If you are tumbling your brass with walnut or corn cob media there is always the chance of having a bit of that stuck in the flash hole.
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    No piece of walnut shell or corncob will remain in the flash hole when a good primer pops. It might effect the overall performance of the round but not stop that flash. Now if it was wet, or saturated with oil-like polish, it may well "kill" the primer thus keeping it from firing.

    I recently sent some pictures off to a primer manufacturer showing a flaw where the anvils were seated off center. That can be an issue as well.


    What brand were your primers?
  8. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    That is why I deprime after tumbling
  9. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    With my own reloads, I had a similar problem once. Turns out I needed to tighten the strain screw for the main spring.
  10. trixter

    trixter Giles County Member

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    Being a new gun owner and reloader (and very Anal Retentive), I try to do everything right, however I had cleaned my XDM 45ACP, but not deep enough and the crud had built up in the pin housing not allowing it to strike at full force every time. After about 2/3 of a can of non-chlorinated brake cleaner and then a "little" oil in the right places, I retried the 'dented' primers and they all fired. Lesson learned.
  11. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Not always using the same shell holder with the same set of dies
    can also cause problems.

    Some shell holders will vary a few thousands in thickness and this
    can sometimes cause, "Shoulder Set Back", which can effect head