Primer insertion woes..........


April 10, 2007, 04:26 PM
I've been having a problem while primering my brass. The two priming tools that I've tried are an RCBS bench manual primer and a Lee AutoPrime. The AutoPrime was discarded after trying only between 50-100 primes due to some were impossible to shove in and the tool just seemed sloppy.
The RCBS bench-mounted manual primer works great when everything is just right but most of the time there is a slight curl of brass in the cup of the primer arm left from around the primer hole of the last casing. Some primers go in so hard that the casing rim gets warped by being pushed up and almost out of the shell holder. :banghead:
My brass mostly seem to have a partial arc of leftover something (?) in the primer pocket that I can't remove with a pocket cleaner. If I knew how to get a picture into this thread it would help in explaining the once-fired brass primer pocket shape.
Does anyone else have this problem? Anyone have a cure?

P.S. It does the same with several brands of brass. (.223Rem shot in an AR-15)

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Rev. DeadCorpse
April 10, 2007, 04:32 PM
Got yourself some military surplus did you? You need to swage the pockets to remove the mil-spec crimped primer pocket.

Get a good one from Dillon.

Dillon Super Swage 600

April 10, 2007, 04:35 PM
Are the headstamps LC or perhaps Federal? Once fired brass you got from somewhere?

most like the extra metal in the primer pocket is a military primer crimp. Its designed to ensire that a primer cannot blow out and jam in a rifle.

You have a couple of choices here - you can buy any one of a multitude of machines/doodads to remove or swage the crimp out (I use the Dillon Super Swage), or you can send the brass somewhere to be processed and the crimp removed.

Or you can always sell/trade the crimped brass for some that isn't.

April 10, 2007, 04:44 PM
The stuff that I have the most trouble with is the head stamp 'LC 04' but I even have some problems with Federal 'Amer.Eagle' that I purchased new and shot.

Thanks for the advice on the Dillon swagging tool.... I've heard that it's pretty good. I'll have to get one 'cause I get lots of brass from Highway Patrol shoots. They don't save their brass and they shoot ALOT of it!

Rev. DeadCorpse
April 10, 2007, 04:55 PM
Lake City 04 and WWC 04 are both mil-spec crimped. SWAT gets ammo via government supply chains so if you are picking up their empties, you definately want a good swage unit.

BTW... I'm originally from Anoka. Moving back up there in a couple months. I know a few folks with the County and may be picking up brass from them...

The Bushmaster
April 10, 2007, 04:57 PM
I use a Lee Auto Prime II and sometimes you have to shake the case a bit to get the primer to line up. After you get all those primer crimps out of those LC cases try again. I wouldn't have any other priming tool. Mine is mounted in a Lee "C" press...Make sure you have the right mandrel and shell holder inplace...

April 10, 2007, 05:07 PM
I had the older Lee Auto Prime where I had to use their special shell holders. With the problems that I was having and that the mfg. directions limited my choice in primers.... I sold it. Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance.

April 10, 2007, 05:11 PM
If you have a case neck chamfer/deburring tool, you can use it to cut the primer crimp out.


April 10, 2007, 05:35 PM
The hornady primer crimp remover is probably the best, cheap solution for cutting out the crimp. You can use it by hand or put it in a slow-turning drill press if you have many cases to process. A kit with heads for small and large primer pockets plus a handle is $15-20.

The dillon swager is a good product also, but expensive unless you plan to process lots of mil-brass over the years.

The Bushmaster
April 10, 2007, 10:11 PM
A 1/2 inch twist drill bit works to remove the primer crimp. It does raise a few blisters if you have bunch to clean up though.

April 11, 2007, 09:09 AM
In a pinch (until a specialized tool is acquired) you can use a case mouth de-burring tool on your mil-spec 5.56mm brass. Works just fine, and it's very quick. Once each case is done the first time you never have to re-do it!

Matt Dillon
April 11, 2007, 09:24 AM
I use the Lee Autoprime hand held tool for all my rifle and pistol brass, and it has worked well for me for many years. I think your problem is that you have a crimp that you need to remove before priming. It is not an issue with the Auto prime (I don't work for Lee, by the way):) I have just been satisfied with that tool. It allows me to feel how the primer is seating, and I have never had a primer pop. I use this tool to prime both Boxer as well as Berdan primed cases.

April 11, 2007, 09:43 AM
+1 what Matt Dillon said. The Lee Auto Prime tool is one of, if not the best hand held seating tool out there. If it won't seat a primer for you, it isn't the tool, it's the case primer hole, most likely culprit a crimped primer. Since Federal is making the ammo for the military right now, everything you'd get from them .223 wise is likely crimped LC stuff, regardless of what the box says.



April 11, 2007, 10:07 AM
post #2 got it:p .. love all the opinions anyhow:D

August 31, 2008, 05:19 AM
Sorry folks, but I need to resurrect this old thread. I've just spent the last two hours trying to get a primer to seat in a .357 case using the Lee Autoprime. The primer just won't go into the hole. I can squeeze the handle as hard as possible and nothing happens. I tried priming with both CCI large pistol and CCI magnum pistol with no luck. I tried switching the little rods that push in the primers, but again, no luck. I tried 5 random cases and none would take a primer. The cases have the primers removed and they are sized. The cases are nickel, if that makes a difference. Any ideas?

August 31, 2008, 06:09 AM
some 357 magnum cases use small pistol primers and some use large.

Urbana John
August 31, 2008, 06:51 AM
I've loaded thousands of 357's and never seen one yet that takes a Large Pistol Primer!!

The quickest and easiest way to remove the Military "crimp" is to mount a vise, use a VS drill with a "chamfer" tool, bought from local hardware store. Been doing it that way for years!!!


August 31, 2008, 06:54 AM
These cases aren't military and I don't see a crimp. These are Federal .357 nickle cases. You're using small pistol primers?

August 31, 2008, 07:14 AM
Yep, small primers for the .357RM.

August 31, 2008, 10:50 PM
Thanks for the help, folks. Yep, the primer should be a small pistol, either a CCI 500 or 550. Changed over to that with the Lee Primer tool and the tool works like a champ. I was surprised at how fast and easy it is to seat primers using the Lee tool.

August 31, 2008, 11:47 PM
Just an interjection a bit off the subject: .454 Casull reloading requires small rifle primers, not pistol primers. I load .223 Remington cases by Remington and Lapua, but not 5.56mm military fare, so I don't worry about primer pockets being too tight. I tried Nosler .223 cases and found the primer pockets stretching after two loads. Lapua makes the best cases, if pricey, but Remington-Peters (R-P) holds primers tightly after many firings. With Maximum Loads, primer pocket tightness is the first thing to "go." If a primer pocket feels loose with my Lee hand-squeeze primer seater, I discard that case. cliffy

The Bushmaster
September 1, 2008, 02:13 PM
Lee Auto Prime II. Press mounted and absolutely no problems in 20 years...

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