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Thread: frustrations over ! all primers fired off .!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Throckmorton's Avatar
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    frustrations over ! all primers fired off .!

    well, son of a gun.

    for a couple of years i've had way too many 'dud primer's' with a couple of my handguns. always tried to blame the primers,and/ or myself.

    well...it turns out that the Lee Ram Prime that I've been using....no idea where I got it..had the wrong spring in it,and instead of actually seating the primer fully, what I was feeling was the unit 'bottoming out' on the fully compressed coil spring.

    cllipped a bit off of the spring, , went to test some rouns...NO misfires !

    ..a simple fix that took me 2 years to figure out,since I only load on the single stage Lee a couple of times a year.
    One of those times I had loaded my cowboy match ammo on the Lee,boy did that make for lousy stage times !
    Glad that one finally got figure out.

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Sometimes it is the simplest thing that reach out and bite us in the posterior. Glad you got it worked out. I don't know that I would ever have discovered the culprit.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Properly seated primers can be detected by look and feel. Conversely improperly seated primers can be detected by look and feel. Years ago, they used to sell a primer seating micrometer that would measure the distance from the head of the case to the top of the primers.

    I have been loading for 55+ years and have run my eye and finger over every primed case. I have found many high primers that way. Some high primers you can see, others you can only feel. I would not rely on a mechanical device and/or a spring to do that job for me.

    I do not prime on the press but use either an RCBS hand primer or Lyman 310 tool with a priming chamber for the job. When the case comes out of the primer, it gets the eye and feel test.

    Just saying!
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Well one more thing I now know to check for. Thanks.
    I had a seating problem with military crimp brass, but it was visibly obvious once I looked at the FTF heads. Primers still high after strike, re-try always fired since the first strike pushed the primer deeper.

    It did make checking the primer by feel and look even on when doing turret press a regular thing. I sometimes check on the way off the press, sometimes after the turret rotates I pull the case for a check. Like you said FTF is a PITA when it happens and when it happens a few times it gets embarrassing.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
    Well one more thing I now know to check for. Thanks.
    I had a seating problem with military crimp brass, but it was visibly obvious once I looked at the FTF heads. Primers still high after strike, re-try always fired since the first strike pushed the primer deeper.

    It did make checking the primer by feel and look even on when doing turret press a regular thing. I sometimes check on the way off the press, sometimes after the turret rotates I pull the case for a check. Like you said FTF is a PITA when it happens and when it happens a few times it gets embarrassing.
    I have done it and it gives me the willies to take a loaded round to the primer seater to fix a high primer. That is why I prime and check before the powder and bullet goes in the case.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    vzerone's Avatar
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    Yup all true and if you have a Glock or any other striker fired pistol you had better make sure your primers are fully seated!! Also many neglect to clean the carbon from the bottom of primer pockets. I figured since factory ammo comes with clean everything that I'll reload it back the same way.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Throckmorton's Avatar
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    up until a few months ago I never cleaned pistol primer pockets,as it defeated the purpose of having a Dillon progressive press.
    One day it was pouring out, so I decided to clean some pockets,for an upcoming match.

    wow

    there is a ton of crud in those things.

    OH, another reason I decided to clean them, was I hadn['t yet figured out that Lee ram prime problem.
    ..will I continue to clean pockets. ? for match ammo,yes. For blassting ammo? I'll check the weather. lol

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    An advantage of the Star and Dillon 1050 is that primers are not seated by feel. 95% of my pistol ammo is made on a 1050.

    In 45 years, I do not believe I have ever cleaned a primer pocket on a pistol case.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    I have done it and it gives me the willies to take a loaded round to the primer seater to fix a high primer. That is why I prime and check before the powder and bullet goes in the case.
    I never have been gutsy enough to seat/reseat a primer in a loaded case. I'll pull the bullet, dump the powder and then seat the primer. Its probably not that dangerous, but???

    I do like Char-Gar with the look and feel test when seating primers. My biggest using military brass. All crimps are not created equal and no tool does a prefect job on every case.

    To Throckmorton, glad you found your problem. I did not think about the spring causing seating problems. Thanks for posting that!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    There was a post a while back about someone trying to re-seat a primer n a loaded round. I've never tried it, seemed risky. Never will after reading that post.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I could never understand the " I never clean primer pockets " reasoning.
    Usually there is residue from a spent primer and the debris build up surely can't aide primer seating so why leave it there.
    Cleans pockets,
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Didn't know you were supposed to clean primer pockets when I started to load stuff ,never had a problem .now I clean them .still don't have a problem but I know enough to know I don't know enough.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    John 242's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    I could never understand the " I never clean primer pockets " reasoning.
    Usually there is residue from a spent primer and the debris build up surely can't aide primer seating so why leave it there.
    Cleans pockets,
    Gary
    Because many would argue that cleaning priming pockets makes no difference in accuracy, even at the benchrest level, nor does it increase reliability. It just makes people feel better to scrape carbon away.

    Other people will argue that if you do not clean your primer pockets, you are practicing poor case prep and you will suffer all sorts of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Here's a decent read from the Accurate Shooter forum. It kind of mirrors other threads about the same subject. Some guys clean pockets, other don't.
    http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...ckets.3795220/

    There are dozens of threads that discuss primer pocket cleaning scattered about the internet. Some guys swear that to not clean a primer pocket is like not taking a shower or not wiping after going potty; others disagree. When discussing pistol or revolver reloading, some clean and some don't. For example:
    https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=476883

    What does empirical data say?
    This is from the Accurate Shooter Daily Bulletin, which republished an article from the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU):
    However, a World Champion and Olympic Gold/Silver medalist here commented on his own handloading (for International competition, which demands VERY fine accuracy). He noted that he did seem to see a decline in accuracy whenever he did not uniform FHs, deburr FHs and clean primer pockets before each reloading. (One might be tempted to counter that only a truly World Class shooter could reliably detect the difference.) However, with the wisdom of decades experience, our Champion also remarked that “It could have been that I just wasn’t shooting as well that day.
    (Bold added by me).
    http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/tag/brass/

    Mentioned was flash hole deburring, uniforming and cleaning pockets, not just cleaning pockets, but the point remains the same. It may or may not be doing some good, but how many of us are competing at the Olympic level?

    I'm not arguing for or against, just pointing out that there are many opinions on the subject. There are those at the highest levels of competition that do and do not clean primer pockets.

    Some will say that they've had problems seating primers because of dirty pockets. Others NEVER clean pockets on pistol brass.

    One way to end the debate is to get a rock tumbler and stainless steel media. They do a great job of cleaning the primer pocket, as well the inside of the case, although I suppose some will say it doesn't clean the pockets well enough. To each his own.
    Last edited by John 242; 12-18-2017 at 07:58 PM.
    John T.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    I've been handloading since 1958, and what I've always done is to just set the head of the primed case on a flat piece of glass or mirror, if the case wobbles a bit, you know the primer is not seated well. Back when I was priming my brass, one by one, on the press, it was a little hard to judge when the primer was seated, but with the new Lee hand priming tools, I seldom ever have any problems, UNLESS I happen to be loading S&B brass, they are known to have tight primer pockets!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    JBinMN's Avatar
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    If you take a decent calipers, you can use the end without the jaws for checking depth on your primers. Most manuals seem to recommend .003 -.005 in. depth below the case head surface. { You can look for yourself if you want, in the "Primer" section at the front of most manuals}
    If you take the end of the calipers opposite the "jaws" and place it on the case head with the two outside "rails" of the calipers flat on the case head & then roll the inside (depth) "rail" down into the pocket to touch the primer, the calipers will indicate how deep the primer is seated.

    { If you wish to set deeper or lighter, that is Your prerogative. You can also use the calipers to check the depth of the primer seat hole & then the height of the primers you use & do the math to find exactly when the primer you are using is seated fully into the primer "cup". YMMV, do as ya like.}



    If there are those who already know/knew this, fine. But, there may be those who don't know it, or never considered it, and I did not see where anyone mentioned this technique.

    I also do as Char - Gar does & check by feel. I also have used a "straight edge" of some sort, like the back of a knife or a 6" steel rule to visually make sure I have seated below the surface of the case head as well, once I have set my press mounted (RCBS) primer die into the press & put in the shell holder, then adjusted for depth I start to prime & check for about 5 times to see where the primer is setting. Adjust if needed then I check with the calipers about every 10-15 rounds. If by chance I was to have one sit high or low, I then check back to the last one I checked that was OK so I did not miss any that had the primer set change for some reason.

    This is what "I' do... Some may say it takes time... Well, I don't have any reason to "rush" myself when reloading or anything else that involves things that go , "Bang!".
    YMMV, of course & G'Luck!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "A man ought ta do what he thinks is best" - "Hondo" Lane.(John Wayne)

    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

    Enforce the Immigration laws & deport the illegal immigrants. Quit fooling around.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    Just a "quickie", you can most likely get a free replacement spring from Lee, for your primer post, by calling them. All you pay is the postage.
    Fred (Honcho)

  17. #17
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    I've used the depth gauge of my calipers for measuring primer seating depth for longer than I can remember, but that's a good visual for those who don't. It's surprising the number of people who use calipers for measuring outside diameters, and never think to use the depth gauge built into it.....

    Thanks, JBinMN.

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

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I just use my thumb to check depth ,but I'm lazy.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    An advantage of the Star and Dillon 1050 is that primers are not seated by feel.
    How is this an advantage ?

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by robg View Post
    I just use my thumb to check depth ,but I'm lazy.
    I do this as well. By habit, slide the thumb across the bottom as i remove them from a Rockchucker. A progressive would be more difficult.

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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