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Thread: Bad primers?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Bad primers?

    I am down to the last 300 of a box of Winchester small pistol primers, and am experiencing about 5% won't fire with the first drop of the hammer in my S&W model 13. Nothing in my reloading has changed, no oil anywhere near the RCBS universal priming tool I use, no moisture or extreme heat changes here at all.
    I Have tried seating the primers with a firm seat, almost flattened, and then lightly seated, just under flush, no difference, still 5% fail.
    Powder is Winchester 231. 4.9 grains under a 125 grain bullet.
    These primers are about 10 years old.
    Any Ideas?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Could it be the gun ? Do other loads work well in it now ?

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Can't see it being the gun, all was well until recently with these primers, first 600 or so, no problem. The primers are getting a good whack with the hammer. I have some CCI that I'll try next, see what happens.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Phlier's Avatar
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    Are the primers showing evidence of being hit nice and hard by the firing pin? If so, I'd call 'em up and complain. At worst, they do nothing. At best, you might get some free primers for your trouble.
    "Things sure are a lot more like the way they are now than they used to be." --Yogi Berra

  5. #5
    You said first drop of the hammer are they firing second time?If they are firing second time its almost always primers aren't seated deep enough.Same brass you have been loading or different brass?

  6. #6
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    Check and make sure you're seating the primers deep enough. All tools wear during usage, and your priming set up may need adjusting. I try to seat all my primers at least .005" below flush.

    If the rounds go off on the second strike, it's a primer seating issue.

    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.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    This is the same brass I have been using for some time now, and was good till now. I seat the primers the same way as I always have, no way they are not seated deep enough. Like I said, everything was fine till now. But I will check my priming tool again. Has to be something simple.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Have you checked the mainspring strain screw, to make sure it hasn't loosened up and backed out? That could cause misfires.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelk View Post
    Have you checked the mainspring strain screw, to make sure it hasn't loosened up and backed out? That could cause misfires.
    Yes, checked that.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    one thing that's possible is that the mainspring is weak. To check, place a primer cup on the stain screw to give extra tension. You may need to replace the mainspring.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    That would be a fired primer cup that the firing pin indent has been flattened back out with a punch.
    Last edited by BK7saum; 12-30-2019 at 09:32 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master






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    my thought too.
    Quote Originally Posted by fatelk View Post
    Have you checked the mainspring strain screw, to make sure it hasn't loosened up and backed out? That could cause misfires.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Newboy's Avatar
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    Just a long shot, but I had that happen once. It was after I had taken some cases from a friend. They had been loaded with wax bullets, and the residual paraffin was killing the primers.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I've only had problems with one primer in over 36 years stuffing them in brass; Winchester SP. I got a new Ruger LC9s and I had about two or three FTF per magazine. I used the very same batch in two other guns successfully, no FTF. I disassembled the gun, completely for a good cleaning and made sure firing pin/striker and striker channel and bolt were clean and very lightly lubed (just a film).I used Federal and CCI primers in the gun, seated exactly the same (Yep all were seated to the bottom of the pocket) all rounds fired. "Second strike" worked sometimes but not consistently. I then read about "sensitizing" primers so I started "pre-loading" the Winchester primer and I get 100% firing. (pre-loading is seating primers all the way to the bottom of the pocket them adding a bit more force to add a little pressure between the anvil and compound). Now whenever I use Winchester SP primers I make sure to add a bit more pressure, not enough to completely flatten/distort, and I get 100% performance...

    This instance is only one out of a few bricks of Winchester primers, just a combination of gun and primer and only happened once. No problems ever prior to this with Winchester primers, any size in any gun...
    Last edited by mdi; 12-30-2019 at 03:53 PM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    Ryan,
    Winchester primers are so good and so many people have used them without issues that it's difficult for most to realize that they are not perfect. It seems to me that you have done all that you can do to prevent this type problem.
    I had a problem with Win. primers when I first joined the forum & everyone tried to help & all had 100% confidence in Win. primers (many testimonials).
    1. I called CS @ Winchester & gave them the lot number.
    2. Without any questions they sent a prepaid label for return of the unused primers by O.D. (I drove 25 miles to the next town to an O.D. depot)
    3. They did not replace the primers (they gave several reason why that was not possible), but they paid for the unused primers. The price they paid was less than I paid for them (bought during the Obama years).

    I had a similar problem as yours earlier this week with WLP primers (2 out of 200). A revolver that fired on the 2nd. strike and to be completely honest the main spring is 1 lb. lighter than OEM. All loaded on a Dillon 550. I'm no speed freak & load very carefully. I visually check the powder level of each round & feel each primer bottom out. If I don't feel that primer bottom, I stop to see why. In my case the 1 lb. lighter main spring may be the problem, but I have my doubts since the primer looks like I got a solid hit.

    If you don't have that problems with the CCIs, you can rule out the revolver as the cause.

    Even though Winchester primers are good, I'll get Federals or CCI if available.

    Henry

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    mdi,
    Good information.

  17. #17
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I had problems with Winchester Magnum primers not working in multiple guns. I had to cock and re-fire several times to get many to go off.

    Tooke them back to Sportsmans Warehouse usually, they don't accept returns on primers but made an exception this time.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a new batch of ammo loaded with CCI primers. I will shoot them tonight, and see how it goes.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Got the same rate of misfires using CCI primers too. Has to be the mainspring then. Will get me a new one now.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    I've been experiencing occasional no-fires lately, Winchester Small Pistol, loaded on both a Loadmaster and Dillon 650, fired in Ruger Vacqueros and Uberti 1866 (.38sp). Has to be the primers, very annoying. Almost used up, next lot will be Federal.

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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