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Thread: Why are my primers backing out?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Why are my primers backing out?

    I fired my 586 S&W 357 today,I put 12 reloads through it to see how it shoots,the load was 38 special cases with 4grns of pistol powder under a 148grn wad cutter and the gun locked up,I've only just bought it and all six primers had backed out of the cases until the gun locked.I fired two cases without powder and the primers backed out half thier length,whats wrong with this thing?. Pat

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Not enough chamber pressure to "push" the case tight against the frame of the revolver. That is what keeps primers from backing out

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    Boolit Master

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    JWP has the answer. Too light of a load.

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    Boolit Designer 45 2.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwp475 View Post
    Not enough chamber pressure to "push" the case tight against the frame of the revolver. That is what keeps primers from backing out
    Quote Originally Posted by 44man View Post
    JWP has the answer. Too light of a load.
    You two need to read what he wrote........ 38 special case, 4 gr. pistol powder, 148 gr. WC................ go look at your reloading manuals and learn something.

    As for the original question, you have an overload in 38 special brass (which is quite variable as to strength). Rethink that powder charge............. the brass is seizing in the cylinder and letting the primers back out.
    Last edited by 45 2.1; 07-29-2012 at 09:51 AM.
    45 2.1

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    We did, WHAT pistol powder? Was it 4 gr of Unique? Maybe 2400?
    Still not enough pressure to set the case head to the recoil plate.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45 2.1 View Post
    You two need to read what he wrote........ 38 special case, 4 gr. pistol powder, 148 gr. WC................ go look at your reloading manuals and learn something.

    As for the original question, you have an overload in 38 special brass (which is quite variable as to strength). Rethink that powder charge............. the brass is seizing in the cylinder and letting the primers back out.


    There are more variables than just looking in a reloading manual. The fact that the primers are backing out indicate too light of a load.

    25 grains of 296 behind a 325 grain LFN is 1325 to 1350 FPS from most 6" barreled 45 Colts, but I have seen only 1240 FPS from 1, which means that it did not pressure up the same due to cylinder throat and barrel cylinder gap tolerances

  7. #7
    Boolit Designer 45 2.1's Avatar
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    Would the thread starter say what he used in terms of powder?
    BTW about 4.2 gr Unique is listed as a max load for a 38 WC load.......hardly a light load and 2400 (which is designated as a smokeless rifle powder by the manufacturer) starting loads are above 8 gr. The primers backing out of all loads do indicate something strange is occuring. Two backed out without powder... did they have boolits in them? Is he useing worn out cases? Why don't we find out.
    Last edited by 45 2.1; 07-29-2012 at 10:25 AM.
    45 2.1

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    Knowledge is easy to get, but worthless if you never use it. However the info is free, so the only person you have to blame is yourself if you chose not to use the information.

  8. #8
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    True, we need to know the powder. Yet indications are too light.
    It is like shooting rubber bullets with just a primer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwp475 View Post
    Not enough chamber pressure to "push" the case tight against the frame of the revolver. That is what keeps primers from backing out
    That's the ticket...

    But what really happens is that it reseats the primer...

    First thing that happens when you fire a round is that the primer backs out...The pressure of the burning propellant then rises pushing the case rearward and thus reseating the primer...

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=359553
    Last edited by Salmoneye; 07-29-2012 at 10:42 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44man View Post
    True, we need to know the powder. Yet indications are too light.
    It is like shooting rubber bullets with just a primer.
    I took "pistol powder", to mean "Power Pistol"...

    In which case, 4gr is a very low load for that bullet...

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Primer only cases will back the primer out, sometimes sticking on the firing pin. I learned this one all by myself, lol.
    Every time you fire the primer will start to back out, as the pressure of the powder burn builds and the bullet is pushed forward the case is driven backwards and pushes the primer back into place. If the pressure is too high the case will grab firm in the cylinder and delay the case moving backwards, this causes a flattened primer.
    Hope this helps.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salmoneye View Post
    I took "pistol powder", to mean "Power Pistol"...

    In which case, 4gr is a very low load for that bullet...
    You had it right with your other post and this one too.
    We have no information to make a conclusion.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    "Two backed out without powder... did they have boolits in them? Is he using worn out cases? Why don't we find out." 45 2.1

    Pat303, 45 2.1, I had a trigger job done on my new Ruger SBH. When my gunsmith returned the gun to me he said, the new lighter [Wolf] springs MAY be too light and not ignite the primers (Win. LP). When I got home, I primed 6 new, trimmed pcs. of Starline .44mag. brass, i.e., primers only, no powder or bullet. Upon firing, I couldn't easily rotate the cylinder by cocking the hammer because all 6 primers had backed out enough to bind the cylinder. (All 6 fired, btw.)

    There could be many factors at work here: too hot a load, old brass with enlarged primer pockets, primers which were a tad small, enlarged flash holes, etc. As 45 2.1 suggested, we need more information.

    Btw, it is also possible that the internal dimension of the brass is smaller than typical and the 148gr. WC is of a greater diameter than usual. Don't dismiss this out of hand as brass dimensions, e.g., internal diameter and rim diameter, vary quite widely by manufacturer, as do commercial WC's.
    Last edited by Maven; 07-29-2012 at 02:27 PM. Reason: omission

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45 2.1 View Post
    You two need to read what he wrote........ 38 special case, 4 gr. pistol powder, 148 gr. WC................ go look at your reloading manuals and learn something.

    As for the original question, you have an overload in 38 special brass (which is quite variable as to strength). Rethink that powder charge............. the brass is seizing in the cylinder and letting the primers back out.
    I think "you" need more info before you can make any conclusions.

    Primer backing out is almost always too light a load. Not a overload.

    Maybe you should look in a reloading manual and study pressure indications.

  15. #15
    Boolit Designer 45 2.1's Avatar
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    I think "you" need more info before you can make any conclusions. I believe i've already said that, along with a couple of others afterward.

    Primer backing out is almost always too light a load. Not a overload. We shall see when the original poster responds, won't we. Almost always don't count for beans in some situations.

    Maybe you should look in a reloading manual and study pressure indications. Lets see, 38 special case with a 148 gr. WC.... we don't know if its conventionally loaded or not, do we. If its loaded normally, it doesn't have a lot of powder space left. Remember this is the caliber where many people "SAY" they blew up there guns with 2.7 gr. of Bullseye.... whether true or not I don't know. The man says he loaded 4 gr. of pistol powder. Whole lots of choices for pistol powder in a lot of manuals, but if you look at the data. 4 gr. is over book max for a whole lot of them that are listed in Lymans manual, at right near the top for others. Does that seem like a recipe for a light load? Basically would you recommend that he increase his charge without knowing what he used, just from what you think happened? Sooo, lets wait and see what he actually did, then you can try to beat on me more.
    45 2.1

    Knowledge without understanding is a dangerous thing. For a little knowledge entices us to walk its path, a bit more provides the foundation on which we take our stand, and a sufficient amount can erect a wall of knowledge around us, trapping us in our own ignorance.

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    Knowledge is easy to get, but worthless if you never use it. However the info is free, so the only person you have to blame is yourself if you chose not to use the information.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I'm not the know it all! I was just laughing at your response to 2 correct answers.

    Must be that wall of knowledge thing.

  17. #17
    Boolit Designer 45 2.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcove View Post
    I'm not the know it all! I was just laughing at your response to 2 correct answers.

    Must be that wall of knowledge thing.
    I don't respond to correct answers except with a +1. That may be their wall of knowledge thing instead. Why would anyone tell someone else they had a light load without more to go on? He may be shooting hollow base wadcutters..... do you know what happens with them versus a flat or bevel base wadcutter? Suppose he believes them with those answers they gave and increases the charge........... Ya'll chew on that for a bit.
    45 2.1

    Knowledge without understanding is a dangerous thing. For a little knowledge entices us to walk its path, a bit more provides the foundation on which we take our stand, and a sufficient amount can erect a wall of knowledge around us, trapping us in our own ignorance.

    Never sleep, never die

    Knowledge is easy to get, but worthless if you never use it. However the info is free, so the only person you have to blame is yourself if you chose not to use the information.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwp475 View Post
    Not enough chamber pressure to "push" the case tight against the frame of the revolver. That is what keeps primers from backing out
    No load recomendations there, nor elsewhere. Just a explanation of what it indicates.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcove View Post
    No load recomendations there, nor elsewhere. Just a explanation of what it indicates.


    Exactly............

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry everyone,I should have given more info.The load used once fired .38+P cases with 4grns of AP70n,unique burning rate with 148 WC,max load is listed as 5.1grns.I fired two reloads of 357 mag ammo another shooter was shooting rams with and both reloads had pierced primers,somethings very wrong.The pistol is an early 586 with the firing pin on the hammer,not seperate like later models,sorry I'm a riflemen not pistol shooter,the cylinder has no movement on it's axis or by rotating,the gun itself is very tight and even though it locked up I had no issue hitting nine chooks at 25mtrs with 10 shots so it shoots very well.Like 45.1 said shooting primed cases without powder the primers backed nearly completely out of the case. Pat

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check