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Thread: Pistol primers in 308 with cast.....pierced!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Pistol primers in 308 with cast.....pierced!

    I loaded up some rounds using loads from Joe Brennan's "Cast Bullets for beginner and expert": Large PISTOL primers, Saeco 301 boolits (205 gr.), and 19,20 and 21 grains of 4227 respectively. Took my 1916 Oviedo in 308 (12" twist) to the range to see what these would do. Started getting smoke around the bolt after the 2nd shot, the primers were being pierced. So here's my issue: Joe B. clearly states that he uses Pistol Primers in several chapters in his book, but nowhere is it mentioned that he has this kind of a problem. I shot several rounds with Rifle Primers after the LPPs pierced, to see if there was a problem with my firing pin. Everything went fine. The primers were seated with a Lee Ergo Prime tool (as usual), and they seated flush. Has anybody else experienced this?

    Pistol Primers:
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    Rifle Primers:
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Not all primers are the same. Not within or between brands.

    Your firing pin might be just long enough to pierce a thinner cup.

    Too many variables to say for sure. Just another reason why we work up loads for OUR rifle, they aren't all the same!

    Lesson learned, move on. Least nothing was seriously Injured
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I may be wrong, but I think I was told the strike from a rifle is much too hard for pistol primers, also protrusion can be a problem. The only time I have even considered using pistol primers in a rifle are shell forming using cream of wheat and the 22 Hornet round works well with pistol primers.

  4. #4
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    Thank you Brad, I was hoping for some input. These were Remington 2 1/2, and I think I'll refrain from trying any other brands.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Primers

    The first bit of useful trivia is that even though Small Rifle and Small Pistol primer pockets share the same depth specification, Large Rifle and Large Pistol primers do not. The standard pocket for a Large Pistol primer is somewhat shallower than its Large Rifle counterpart, specifically, 0.008 to 0.009 inch less.

    Read more: http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01...#ixzz2uO5ZlVOR

    Pierced or Blanked Primers.
    1. Check the firing pin, it should have no gas cutting or deformities. 2. Firing pin protrusion should be checked. Internet search shows .055" to be about right for an AR15. Check with a gun smith as each firearm IS different. 3.The firing pin must stay in contact with the primer on firing. A weak hammer spring on an AR or a weak firing pin spring like on a Rem 700 bolt action will let the firing pin rebound on primer piercing when the hot gas pushes the pin backwards. 4.If the hole the pin sits in is to larger in diameter, the primer flowes back into this hole till the center of the primer separates and fall into the action or travels into the firing pin area. Bushing the firing pin hole will fix this. Or you may want to try a magnum primer with a thicker cup. Military ammo may have a crimp that needs to be removed before seating a new primer. The crimp is removed by reaming or swaging the primer pocket. Swaging may be needed here so the prime can be seated lower in the pocket. High primer = misfires & pierced primers.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I would stick to rifle primers in that rifle.
    Dedicated hoarder of all things shooting. No remorse

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I checked the rifle, took the bolt apart, nothing wrong with firing pin or spring. I took the load advice from an experienced cast bullet shooter, and it didn't work for me. Lesson learned as btroj already said.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master freebullet's Avatar
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    Are those pierced ones still seated as deep as they were before firing?
    Where do you send it?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I believe Joe Brennan was making his recommendation based on experience with modern bolt actions, such as the Remingtons, which have a smaller diameter firing pin tip and driven protrusion of only 0.030-0.035" or so. A Mauser or Springfield will pierce pistol primers if pressures are much more than about 25,000 psi. I use them only for very mild pkainbased gallery loads. If the cast bullet load requires a gaschecked bullet, then it also needs a rifle primer.

  10. #10
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    Your lucky you didn't etch the bolt face, or did you ?
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  11. #11
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    If you have a extra firing pin spring, cut off a couple of coils and try that. The Mausers I have checked had a protrusion of around 0.065" That will punch the primers as you see. I think with the weakened and shorter spring you would be OK. But you will have to try them to see if they work. Just try not to go over about 32K psi

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 30CAL-TEXAN's Avatar
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    I have a couple of rifles (milsurps) that do that very thing to (some) RIFLE primers. I just load with the hard-cup 7.62 primers in these now.

    Not all rifles are created equally and not all primers are either.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gray wolf View Post
    Your lucky you didn't etch the bolt face, or did you ?
    Yes Gray Wolf, got a nice etched ring on the bolt face. Already looking for a new bolt or to have this one repaired. Tried to upload a picture but it didn't work.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    I believe Joe Brennan was making his recommendation based on experience with modern bolt actions, such as the Remingtons, which have a smaller diameter firing pin tip and driven protrusion of only 0.030-0.035" or so. A Mauser or Springfield will pierce pistol primers if pressures are much more than about 25,000 psi. I use them only for very mild pkainbased gallery loads. If the cast bullet load requires a gaschecked bullet, then it also needs a rifle primer.
    Excellent info. Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Over the years I have used many hundreds of LP primers in cast-bullet rifle loads. These were fired in Mausers, Springfields and Lee Enfields, as well as many different sporting rifles.....no troubles.

    When I loaded the five or six thousand .308 loads on that marathon M1A thread, I used ONLY CCI #34 "Military" primers, but that was in the pious hope of avoiding slamfires. (There were no slamfires, by the way.)

    I believe that this is mostly a matter of what the individual rifle will tolerate.... they all have their own dimensions and tolerances, and truly are.... individuals.

    Having some Remington 6&1/2 primers on hand once upon a time, I decided to test a few in some .223 rifles (these primers are NOT recommended for the higher-pressure small bores like .223). In two Mini-14s, an AR15 and a MarkX Mini-Mauser, all .223s, ONE of the Minis pierced several 6&1/2 primers out of 100 rounds fired. All the other rifles functioned normally and did not pierce any primers. As I said.... each rifle is an individual. There was no damage to the rifle that pierced the primers.
    Last edited by BruceB; 02-26-2014 at 02:08 AM.
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    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Another caution is to NEVER use pistol.primers in an SKS or AK because it will go cyclic and you have an illegal NFA weapon.

  17. #17
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    No you don't.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I recently had a similar issue with Remington standard small pistol primers getting pierced in my 9mm and 38 special. It seems I may have gotten a thin batch of primers as another box from a different lot had no such issues with the same loads. Possibly the same thing may be happening to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjornb View Post
    Thank you Brad, I was hoping for some input. These were Remington 2 1/2, and I think I'll refrain from trying any other brands.

  19. #19
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    I use only LP primers in cast rifle loads: 308, 45/70, and 7.5X55 Never had a pierced primer.
    Marty-hiding out in the hills.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Another caution is to NEVER use pistol.primers in an SKS or AK because it will go cyclic and you have an illegal NFA weapon.
    Explain that if you please
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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