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Thread: Crimped 38 Special Primers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Crimped 38 Special Primers

    I picked up about 150 Federal .38 Special cartridge cases at the gun club today. Later I started to pop out the old primers prior to tumbling the cases. On the 1st case I noticed a lot of resistance to the primer coming out. I looked at the primer pocket and saw that it had a crimp ring. All the cases are Federal with identical head stamps and cannelures in the same spot. The only difference is the crimp ring on about 2/3 of the cases.

    My question is has anyone else run into crimped primers in .38 Special cases? I can't see the point in it. I've picked up a lot of Federal 9mm cases that appear to be commercial ammo that have crimped primer pockets. I can understand 9mm but not the .38s.

    Have any of you run into this?
    Chuck

  2. #2
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I've seen a lot them, but not recently. I used to get quite a bit of WCC 38 special brass that was ring crimped. I just run them through the Dillon 600 and they are good to go.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    With the USAF PGU/12-B load of the Vietnam era there were issues with primers backing out against the recoil plate, causing hard cylinder rotation. Crimping the primers mitigated that. Some Q4070 +P+ treasury loads were also done this way.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    WCC 38 brass made in the 80’s has so small of a crimp that I can just deprime and prime normally. LC 38 special brass is heavily crimped of which one need to remove the crimp in order to prime.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    As mentioned already, the primers are crimped in to prevent them from backing out when the round is fired. Maybe it doesn't happen that often, but I notice some cases being easier to prime than others are. So there may be something to it. Thus it improves reliability.

  6. #6
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    I've had both LC and WCC .38 Special cases with crimped primers. Preventing primers from backing out isn't a big deal on the range, but is when the shooting gets serious.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy

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    Some non-toxic ammo (lead free primers) are crimped in place, PMC silver for one. Not crimped as much as military primers but enough to be a PITA to reprime.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    I have led a sheltered life. I have never run into a crimped .38 Spl case. But in the last dozen years, I have only loaded them on a 1050, so I may have got some and not even realize it.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Thanks for the replies. I have never run into crimped primers in .38 Special cases before this. I still have some military head stamp cases from the mid 60s that I got once fired that weren't crimped.

    I thought about this being non-toxic ammo. I wish I'd found the boxes too. I'll look in the trash barrel if I get back to the club in the next day or so.

    I haven't bought a box of factory .38 SPLs since about 1970 but I've acquired a lot of used cases since then and these are new to me.
    Chuck

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    This is just something I've heard but I thought that Federal was crimping all their primers now. I pick up range brass and any new FC is crimped. .30-06, .308, .30-30, all of it.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upnorthwis View Post
    This is just something I've heard but I thought that Federal was crimping all their primers now. I pick up range brass and any new FC is crimped. .30-06, .308, .30-30, all of it.
    That's because they quit "pre-pocketing" their rifle cases so the heads are soft and the brass mostly NG for reloading anyway, their .30-'06 primer pockets loose enough to possibly cause slamfires in a Garand even once-fired...so crimping keeps the primers from dropping out and discourages reloading so they are less likely to get sued by selling lousy brass.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    That's because they quit "pre-pocketing" their rifle cases so the heads are soft and the brass mostly NG for reloading anyway, their .30-'06 primer pockets loose enough to possibly cause slamfires in a Garand even once-fired...so crimping keeps the primers from dropping out and discourages reloading so they are less likely to get sued by selling lousy brass.
    LOL not very accurate imo, but funny!

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