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Primer Hole Damage,pictures

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by svg4, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was just examining a batch of cases for reload. They have been loaded 2-4 times. Most primer holes are nice a round, but some look like these. These pictures are not that good. The little cracks or cuts are deeper than they look and the holes are not round. Is this normal or did I not set the primers deep enough? I don't want to risk a hang fire, but I also don't want to throw away 20-30 cases if I don't have to. I would appreciate any comments. Thanks
     
  2. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    That's new to me. Never saw it before. I do know I'd not use the cases again, but I wouldn't throw them out until I figured out what's wrong. (some expert needs to see them.)
     
  3. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    what's your case prep procedure? do you seat the primers fully? what powder, how much, and what bullet are you shooting? are you seeing pressure signs after firing? what do the bases of the case look like before decapping, resizing, and cleaning?
     
  4. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    Other than in some brands of premium cases like Lapua, Norma and the occasional lot of Federal Match, production cases have their primer pockets unceremoniously punched... and mostly not very well.
    In many brands and "grades" of brands, the holes are seldom on center, seldom leave a "flat" primer pocket... and frequently the pockets are too deep to even consider correcting them.

    If you're not using one, you may want to invest in a Sinclair primer pocket "uniformer"... which is a cute name for a pocket cutter.
    This tool will actually machine the pocket true, round and flat. Unless the cases you're using are such crap that the pockets are too deep to begin with.

    In benchrest, we start with 100 or so premium cases, usually Lapua. Not counting the dozen or so other steps taken to make perfectly identical cases, the primer pockets are all cut to identical depth with dead flat surfaces.
    These cases may be reloaded well in excess of 1,000 times for a given barrel, and the match grade primers, seated by hand, always go in perfectly smooth and seated within a few ten-thousands of an inch.

    Cheers,
    C
     
  5. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Speelyei, That is probably information I should have put in the original post.

    .223 Cal. Savage 16F
    I use a Lyman press and RCBS dies
    I clean the primer pockets with a Dremel and the 1/8" soft-fiber end brush
    I hand set the primers just slightly under the lip
    I use 27.2 to 27.8 grains of 748 powder and 50Gr. V-max and 50Gr. Nosler
    I am no expert, but I haven't seen any signs of pressure
    The base of cases aren't showing anything out of the ordinary.

    I have not done anything special to the primer pockets between loadings other than what I said above. I was wondering if, when I first started loading, I might have not set the primers deep enough. I know I am much more careful now on the details than I was then?

    Is is possible that it could have something to do with the firing pin?

    Thanks, Sam
     
  6. pencap

    pencap Oregon Member

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    I've loaded zillions of rounds of all types of ammo. Looks like dirt to me.

    If you're worried that they're not safe to shoot, I'll pay the postage and scrap brass price for you to send them to me.
     
  7. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It's not dirt, you can feel the flaws with the tip of a pen knife blade. I just pulled a different batch that had not been cleaned, just deprimed, same damage.
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    This is probably worthless, but why not try a different primer pocket cleaner - one that's metal and purpose-made for pocket cleaning? Is it possible that some fibers are getting stuck in those pockets, igniting and causing this?

    That's probably stupid, but I've never, ever seen pockets deteriorate like that. Something's causing it. I don't know what it is.

    One more thought, grasping at straws. Is there any chance that tumbler media is getting stuck in those pockets?
     
  9. warnerwh

    warnerwh Portland, OR Member

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    You can clean the primer pockets. It just looks like dirt to me. I've loaded brass with primer pockets that looked just like that. I've reloaded thousands and thousands of cases like that. My favorite round is the .357 magnum. Accuracy is excellent, about 1.25". I've fired just above that and down to 1 5/32". The range is 25 yards. The gun is a Dan Wesson so in all fairness these revolvers are of the most accurate ever made. I do have a Ruger that will shoot 1.5" at 25 yards also. Never cleaned the primer pockets in those cases ever.
     
  10. mccullogh

    mccullogh NW Oregon Member

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    I just checked some manuals for that load and found the newest Lee and Nosler listing 26 and 26.5 grains as max. I went back to a 30 yr old speer manual and found 27.5 to 29.5. Over time the powder mfg change formulation so if your load is an old one and your powder is new you may be loading too hot. You should consider getting a chronograph and make sure that the load is safe and where you expect it to be then you can move on to other possible causes. Do you have any cases with the primer still in the pocket ?
     
  11. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Mccullogh,

    You could be right. My 49th Lyman says between 26.1 and 29.0. I thought I was right in the middle. I think I will load some new casings in 748 at 25.8 and maybe some H335 at 26.0 and see if it makes any difference. Thanks