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Thread: Trouble with S/B primers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Trouble with S/B primers

    This may not be in the right sub forum, but I couldnít figure out where to post it.


    Anyway, I got a smoking deal on some Sellier & Bellot primers, right before the current craziness hit. Large and small pistol primers. They worked great until recently, and I started to have failures to fire. Anyone lose have problems with these? All went off after the second strike.

    This was in two separate pistols, 9mm and .45 ACP, So I donít think it was the guns.
    Thanks.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    probably just did not get seated deep enough, thats 99% of ftf's
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  3. #3
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Yeah, that was my first thought. I reload on a Dillon press, and haven’t had this problem before, though.
    Thanks for the reply.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    They worked great until recently
    You pretty much answered your own question here. They donít go bad sitting on a shelf. Your loading technique changed and they arenít seated deep enough. Progressive presses and tight fitting primers are a problem waiting to be had. If you have a hand priming tool, seat them a bit deeper and see if they all start going bang. Iíll bet they do.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
    Yeah, that was my first thought. I reload on a Dillon press, and haven’t had this problem before, though.
    Thanks for the reply.
    What model press do you use?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Are they the S&B NONTOX primers? There was a recent thread reminding us that lead-free primers have a limited life.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    Ive shot thousands of S&B spp's for USPSA ammo, all loaded on a Dillon 650. I case gauge all my ammo so its rare a loading mistake gets past QC. Proud primers being the most likely problem. They had been very reliable for the most part that said, I did get a couple 1000rd boxes that had a lot of failures to fire in guns that never had ignition woes. The lot# in question were purchased at Cabelas during the Obummer's time in office. I had also personally witnessed other competitors at matches having a ton of FTF's with their own ammo some years ago. They were also loaded with S&B's.

    Im pretty confident in saying S&B had some bad lots of primers. I still have one of said "bad" lots im saving for plinking ammo where it doesn't matter.

    LOT# 81297 16
    (should be 2016 which
    aligns with the purchase period)
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Thanks for that info. I’ll check the lot numbers on mine. Seems like that’s about when I got mine.

    My press is a 550.


    ETA: lot number that was giving me trouble is 134562 15. I notice that other boxes of S&B primers have a different, more modern looking box design, but I can’t find any lot numbers on them.
    Last edited by scattershot; 01-08-2022 at 02:35 PM.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    It's entirely possible that in the haste to supply demands that QC suffered on more than one occasion or perhaps material changes occurred. Things were pretty rough back then, not as bad as now.
    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all but most importantly, God, Family, The United States Constitution and Freedom...

    God Bless our Troops, Veterans and First Responders!

    Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy PBaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
    I got a smoking deal on some Sellier & Bellot primers, right before the current craziness hit. Large and small pistol primers. They worked great until recently, and I started to have failures to fire. Anyone lose have problems with these? All went off after the second strike.
    I've used 1000's of S&B primers. One of my favorite primers! Extremely good reliability.

    As others have said, your primers are not seated. Looking at your 45ACP's, put a metal straight edge over the primer. It should not be sticking out of the back of the brass.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    " It's not the gun "

    " Fired on the second strike "

    It's not the brand of primers either ... seat them primers untill they bottom out ... progressives will seat them flush and flush doesn't get the job done . I don't do dillon or progressive but the way I fix the problem is off press priming tool ...a hand primer or Lee Ram-Prime in a Lee Hand Press ...
    Seat them suckers in as far as they will go ...bottom them out and add a little extra pressure ...
    NO more "light strikes" ...Try It
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables
    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    My 650 gets a good solid seat as long as I run the handle to its full stroke, primers sit below flush as they should. I loaded a couple hundred of the suspect primers about 5-6mo ago and replicated the FTF's I experienced years ago on another box of them. I wanted to used them up before going to more premium primers but after a couple stages of racking out FTF's I stopped. The rest of the 200 left got used in a static bay setting. I was able to recover every single dud round. All were seated well, all had sufficient strike marks. Some took 2-3 more hits to set off. A few would not ignite and hit to the point the striker nearly pierced the cup. Absolutely 110% faulty primers. Im very diligent in checking such things so i know what the problem is so it doesn't cost me a match. Nothing pisses me off more than failures costing me match performance. Exactly why I deprime before wet tumbling to clean primer pockets, its why every round is case gauged. Eliminating points of failure. For the most part, the S&B's had been excellent, I probably burned through 7000 to 8000 of them without a hiccup. For what ever reason 2 boxes had a lot of problems when i got to them. I still have 3/4 of a suspect box left. I can promise that these were not loading errors, contamination or anything I would have done to effect them. A group of guys on my squad at the Oklahoma sectional USPSA match had loaded all their match ammo for the 3 guys, all the same 9mm with S&B spp's. One had an M&P, I loaned him an extra power striker spring and it still acted like a bolt action, tons of FTF's. I think one guy had a Walther Q5 Match, same problems and the 3rd guy I think had a 1911, same problems. I cant vouch for their loading but 3 guys, 3 different guns, same problems, same ammo. I picked up a couple ejected rounds and saw nothing out of spec. They bought a case of factory 9mm to shoot the match after stage 1, no more problems.
    Remarkable coincidence or faulty product?
    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all but most importantly, God, Family, The United States Constitution and Freedom...

    God Bless our Troops, Veterans and First Responders!

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    " It's not the gun "

    " Fired on the second strike "

    It's not the brand of primers either ... seat them primers untill they bottom out ... progressives will seat them flush and flush doesn't get the job done . I don't do dillon or progressive but the way I fix the problem is off press priming tool ...a hand primer or Lee Ram-Prime in a Lee Hand Press ...
    Seat them suckers in as far as they will go ...bottom them out and add a little extra pressure ...
    NO more "light strikes" ...Try It




    Gary


    Thanks.

    Could very well be faulty seating, Iím not discounting that, but it seems odd to me that since I have loaded thousands of these without incident, the failures to fire only occurred after I opened a new carton.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry not a expert with the 550. But I agree your primers are probably not seated completely. I also use a razor blade across the seated primer to check some rounds. You should see a good bit of daylight between the edge and the primer.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I bought 10,000 large pistol Wolf primers because they were about half the price of other primers. I sold them to all my friends for what they cost and all of us had problems with them an no one had problems with any other primers. Generally they wouldn't go off no matter how many times we tried. They were all fired in 1911's too because we were shooting bullseye. This was about 8 years ago and we all sold them to people who were plinkers and at the price, they were happy even though we told them about the occasional misfire. I would say about 2 - 3 per hundred but in competition we can't have any because it is devastating to have to shoot 5 more to make up for the one misfire.

  16. #16
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    I’ve been using S&B LP primers for years with no problems whatsoever!

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Caster View Post
    I bought 10,000 large pistol Wolf primers because they were about half the price of other primers. I sold them to all my friends for what they cost and all of us had problems with them an no one had problems with any other primers. Generally they wouldn't go off no matter how many times we tried. They were all fired in 1911's too because we were shooting bullseye. This was about 8 years ago and we all sold them to people who were plinkers and at the price, they were happy even though we told them about the occasional misfire. I would say about 2 - 3 per hundred but in competition we can't have any because it is devastating to have to shoot 5 more to make up for the one misfire.
    I tried a case of Wolf SPP one time when primers were scarce. They mostly worked fine, but some were missing the anvils and needed to be weeded out of each tray..maybe 2%..

  18. #18
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakebfr480 View Post
    I’ve been using S&B LP primers for years with no problems whatsoever!
    Me, too, until now.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    For the right price I still wouldn't hesitate to buy more of them. They are generally great for the price compared to the cost of Federals or CCI for example. I would sample a card from any given carton I'd bought for evaluation. Try them at our weekly Fri night match before loading the whole box.

    For another cheap primer if I ever found more, Tulammo primers were good for me. I burned 5000-6000 of those with no problems.

    If you come across them, Ginex primers from Bosnia & Herzegovina, use caution. I burned 3000-4000 of their SPP's without a hitch but my supplier ran out except for SPM's. Those were absolutely terrible. Unbelievably hard primers. My guns that hit primers like a semi truck had "light strikes" on them. My 2011 race gun, I can run CCI SR's in it with 100% ignition and even it couldn't get all of them to touch off.
    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all but most importantly, God, Family, The United States Constitution and Freedom...

    God Bless our Troops, Veterans and First Responders!

    Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas
    Accuracy, Power & Speed

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    How many of the cases were S&B? I don't mind their cases but I normalize every primer pocket because they make them small.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

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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
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check