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Thread: Primers backing out

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy jeff100's Avatar
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    Primers backing out

    At the range this week I was testing loads in my .45 Colt SAA clone (Uberti). Shooting cast 452-255 RF powder coated ahead of 6.5 grains of Unique (starting load). CCI 300 primers in new Starline cases. I shot 9 rounds and the cylinder started jamming up on the second cylinder. Inspection showed primers backing out in shot cases, that is why the cylinder is trying to jam up. In 30+ years of hand loading my own ammunition, I've never had primers back out before. The loads did seem a little snappy but I didn't experience 44 mag type of recoil at all. I've never hand loaded the .45 Colt cartridge before, most of my big bore revolvers are .44 mag. My load of 6.5 grains of Unique for a 255 grain cast bullet is my starting load going up to 8.0 grains at the other end of the spectrum. Seems like I'm going to have to disassemble those loads now. I am really surprised by this and I'm curious if anyone has had a similar experience in this cartridge. This load was intended to be a target load, easy shooting. Maybe I need to go to a faster powder for this cartridge. I have Bullseye, Red Dot, 700X, Green Dot and AA#5 on hand I could switch to. To repeat, using NEW cartridge cases Starline headstamp and CCI#300 primers. Thanks all...JJ

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    may or may not be the case but if the hole in the brass that the primer fires through gets clogged or fouled the primers will back out. when shooting the rubber bullets powered by primers alone I have to drill the flash hole bigger or the primers back out.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    There is always some space between the back of the case and the recoil shield of the revolver. Without this space, rotating the loaded cylinder would be difficult. Primers back out to fill this space and the case comes back and reseats the primer. If the load is to light to reseat the primer, they continue to be out of the case a smidge.

    If it bothers you, raise the powder charge until the issue goes away.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  4. #4
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    Char-Gar hit the nail on the head. The pressure from the burning powder pushes the case back to the recoil shield and reseats the primer. If there isn't enough pressure, then it can't do the job.

    I would go to a faster powder for this purpose, though I use a lot of TrailBoss in the .45 Colt, under 200 gr. RNFP bullets. It works in both revolvers and rifles, and it is a faster powder..

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy jeff100's Avatar
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    I just never would have thought the load was too light, even though it is a light load. Also I never would have considered the primer flash hole being a constraint for the primer charge, nor would I have realized that in the normal course of firing a cartridge the primers initially back out and then reseat themselves. None of these things would have come to mind.

    This is what I love about reloading ammunition. No matter how long you've been at it, there's more to learn. Maybe I'll open up that flash hole a bit in the brass. I'll also go ahead and shoot my hotter loads and see if this problem solves itself. I think I'll also go ahead and use a faster powder too since these are intended to be plinker loads. Thanks everyone. JJ

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    If you have doubts fire a primed empty case.

  7. #7
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    Don't open up the flash hole on the brass. I was just reading a warning from Starline earlier today about not using their blank brass for regular loads, due to the primer overcharging the powder. The larger flash hole allows pressure to release from the primer pocket, which is fine with black powder blanks, where there's no bullet.

    Here is what they said in the article, "Why Guns Blow Up Part I":

    Starline makes cases for blanks with oversize flash holes for the 45 Colt and the 5 in 1. It allows more flame to go through the flash hole properly igniting the black powder. As long as black powder is used, there is no problem. However, if a heavy load of smokeless powder is used, a destroyed gun can be the result. They are clearly marked as blanks on the case head, so pay attention when loading your brass. You can look at the flash holes and see the difference. There are a few brave and foolish folks who drill out the flash holes with the belief that you will have better info. Don’t!! Professionals who use sophisticated equipment to establish the specs set the flash holes and changing them can be dangerous.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Drilling flash holes should be, only, your last resort to get very reduced loads to work and those cases must only ever used for such reduced loads.

    I resorted to it only in full sized rifle cartridges and doubt that it's ever needed in straight walled handgun rounds.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man Went2kck's Avatar
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    Good information to know. Thanks!!!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy jeff100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    Don't open up the flash hole on the brass. I was just reading a warning from Starline earlier today about not using their blank brass for regular loads, due to the primer overcharging the powder. The larger flash hole allows pressure to release from the primer pocket, which is fine with black powder blanks, where there's no bullet.

    Here is what they said in the article, "Why Guns Blow Up Part I":

    Starline makes cases for blanks with oversize flash holes for the 45 Colt and the 5 in 1. It allows more flame to go through the flash hole properly igniting the black powder. As long as black powder is used, there is no problem. However, if a heavy load of smokeless powder is used, a destroyed gun can be the result. They are clearly marked as blanks on the case head, so pay attention when loading your brass. You can look at the flash holes and see the difference. There are a few brave and foolish folks who drill out the flash holes with the belief that you will have better info. Donít!! Professionals who use sophisticated equipment to establish the specs set the flash holes and changing them can be dangerous.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    Who knew?! Makes complete sense, I will not be drilling out the flash hole for any load now that I know this. I should have realized that the size of the flash hole was and is a carefully engineered attribute of the cartridge design. I'll search for and read that article Why Guns Blow Up.

    Thanks again everyone, this thread has been an education. JJ

  11. #11
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    absolutely do not drill out the flash hole. bump your load up a bit.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    In a recent topic, someone mentioned drilling flash holes & removing/using dacron fillers. I do not remember who it was that said it, but some folks are doing this with non blank rounds for some reason or the other.

    I think they are doing it to try to get all of the powder to burn in a case where there is not a lot of powder so they have been using dacron as a filler to keep the powder close to the primer & have not been having satisfactory results, or something like that... Apparently someone mentioned removing the dacrom & opening up the flash hole or something along those lines...

    Another reason to do "due diligence" in research & verify sources, before actually doing something you have not had experience in doing. This topic is basically 180 degrees from the discussion in that other topic it seems to me , anyway..

    If I can find it I will post there & direct them to this one, as well as posting it here for others to see what I am posting about...

    Here is the other topic: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...t-reduced-load

    I am not pointing this out to create any hassles, only to try to get clarification for myself & any others who may read about doing it to try an accomplish one thing & then not read about not doing it because it could cause a safety issue...
    Last edited by JBinMN; 10-27-2017 at 03:51 PM. Reason: added link & bolded
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    I have shot minimum loads and even loads under minimum with no primers backing out.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Jeff100 et al.....Please be careful friends, there is so much misinformation on various reloading boards and some of it can be dangerous.

    The notion of drilling out/enlarging flash holes started in the distance past. Folks had the idea that with super low pressure loads in bottle neck rifle cases, the pressure was not enough to blow the case should forward to fill the headspace. The theory was that repeated firing of this case, the firing pin blow, would beat the case shoulder against the chamber shoulder, setting the case shoulder back. Over time, this would increase the headspace to the danger point, at least that was the theory.

    The reality was different from the theory, as repeated firings of gallery loads, did not batter the case shoulder back to form dangerous headspace. Enlarged flash holes did not present any kind of danger at this pressure level, but full charge loads did.

    These low pressure gallery loads, did not produce enough rear thrust on the case head to reseat the primers, so these low pressure loads did produce the backed out primers like you experienced. somebody got confused and thought enlarging flash holes was the fix for this, which it is not.

    The Internet is a wonderful thing, the Information Super Highway it used to be called. What took hours or even days to dig out of a library is just a few key strokes away. But all of this information comes with a price, which is a great mass of bad information. Anybody with a computer becomes and expert spews forth great amounts of info, most is harmless, but some can get you killed or injured.

    Touching off burning gases, under thousands of pounds of pressure, in a little brass bottle next to your body is not something to be taken lightly. In doing so, the Internet should never be your primary source for doing it safely. Boys, never repeat something you read or heard on the net that you have never done. If you haven't done it, don't write about it. Stay safe y'all!
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    I have shot minimum loads and even loads under minimum with no primers backing out.
    Ditto.

    And that is why I follow some of these topics. Things that happen to others & I have not experienced the same thing. Just to learn more.

    It doesn't hurt to learn more from others , IMO, as long as what ya learn is correct. When I see conflicting ideas being brought forth, (as that is what appears to be happening between the two topics), clarification is pretty important if there is a possibility of damage to the firearm or the person. And in a situation like this, even though I have NOT had primers back out in revolvers or semi auto, I want to know about it in case it ever does happen. And I want the correct information, or at least why it happens to be OK sometimes & not OK other times, if both are possible to be OK.

    I am very interested, but at the same time a bit confused about how there could be two different views on this...


    Hopefully someone will explain, either here or there...
    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    DiHopefully someone will explain, either here or there...
    All primers back out when fired. The case movement reseats them. If the case doesn't have enough pressure to reseat them it can be a problem. Two tests to prove it. Fire a primed empty case in a revolver and see what happens. Second test is to note the primer depth on any of your loads. Fire them and check to see how many are still below flush.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Thanks M-Tecs, but I understood that part. I have fired primer only & have inspected & seen how they are not the .003 -005 they are when installed, but forced out a bit from the expansion of firing the powder inside the primer.

    It is the opening up of the primer flash hole part that has me confused.

    In this topic, folks are saying ( including the quote from Starline that was presented), that folks should not open up flash holes . Or only if there is no projectile/using blank rounds.

    While in the other topic, there are folks saying that opening the flash holes of the primers can aid in solving a problem. Thus my confusion on what is the correct way to look at enlarged primer flash holes.

    If both are correct, then that is confusing also. Other wise something is not getting thru to me on the opening of primer flash holes.

    ( I have not ever opened up flash holes, but I have used reduced loads without noticing any noticeable difference in the primers I have used, compared to regularly loaded ones... Just did it a few days ago running some reduced loads for a ladder test for example. Anyway, I will be trying it out on purpose with an empty case though to see how that looks again. But, the ones with reduced loads looked like regular loads as far as primer seat change for me so far.)
    Last edited by JBinMN; 10-27-2017 at 05:19 PM. Reason: FIxed syntax. I think...
    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I had a nasty surprise a few years ago when a fellow I've known for years gave me some 222 cases which had been sized, trimmed, and primed. Looked okay, so I loaded them with my favorite charge of 748 and 50 grain bullets. The first shot locked the bolt, sent smoke out of the raceways and the gas escape port. I pulled the bullets from the rest, carefully removed the primers, and found he had drilled the flash holes out to .110 thousandths. His idea of "uniforming" the flash holes. Lesson learned.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    Opening flash holes was the rage with BPCR for a while. Some still do. For black powder blanks or wax bullets you have to open the flash hole. Problem is if the get mixed into higher pressure loads.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    I have shot minimum loads and even loads under minimum with no primers backing out.
    There are many variable in this equation. The chamber headspace will vary. The cartridge headspace will vary. The pressure will vary from load to load and firearm to firearm. A load that will produce backed out primers might not do it in another firearm.

    I have had backed out primers in both rifles and handguns, due to low pressure load, but I have been loading and shooting for a very long time.

    The business about the advantages of drilling out flash holes, for smokeless powder loads is bogus and I treated it in my post up the thread. It is a dangerous practice, if those cases ever get used for full charge loads.

    If folks don't know who to believe or disbelieve, then try it for yourself and see what happens. "A sadder, but a wiser man, he woke the morrow more!"....Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 10-27-2017 at 05:42 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

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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