Preventing cut primers?


February 23, 2008, 01:28 PM
Any way to prevent cut primers? Or is this just a fact of life when reloading. I ended up with about 8 bad primes in a 200-rd loading session. Do they wedge in sideways and then get cut as seated, or just too hard to seat for whatever reason?

Also had one upside down primer. I assume this is not safe to de-prime? I just threw the brass away!

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February 23, 2008, 01:32 PM
What do you mean by cut primers? The only times I've had primers go in badly was on surplus cases where the primer crimp hadn't been adequately removed.

February 23, 2008, 02:13 PM
IIRC, Rustynuts has a Load-Master.

As you may know, or are now finding out, when the Load-Master priming system needs maintenance, it can start tipping primers, and even flipping them upside down.

I recently had to diagnose mine, when that started happening--it turns out that the primary problem was that I had not returned the #2 (primer) case retainer clip to the proper position. That seemed to cause a slight misalignment of the case over the primer insertion hole, even though I use a five-die setup (e.g., decap only in #1, resize only in #2).

Start by 1) confirming that the case retainer clip is pulled in. To set it, simply pull it in too far and cycle a case; that will push it back out to the proper point.

2. confirming the Primer subsystem is clean--all of it, from the primer anvil and spring on up through the trough.

3. If the slider is at all damaged, replace it. Make sure the slider is burr-free and undamaged. If you don't have a spare set of parts for all the primer subsystem pieces, order some up from Lee.

4. Personally, I recommend a five die configuration to help make priming trouble free--put a Lee universal decapper in #1, then a Lee sizer / decapper die without the decapping rod in #2.

Adjust both to the same depth--mysetup works best following the Lee directions--e.g., firm contact on the ram, plus 1/4 turn, then tighten the nuts up.

Now that you're heading into routine maintenance on the Load-Master, be sure the check out the forum. DarwinT set it up, and all the videos are there, plus the motley assortment of LoadMaster freaks check it frequently, eager to help.

Jim H.

February 23, 2008, 02:15 PM
I had a similar question the other day. I didn't even know primer-pockets were sometimes crimped. They are. If the primers are going in way too hard, then the pockets need to be swaged (did I use the right word?). A couple of mine managed to get in sideways. I'm sure it was due to me forcing them in - one edge would hang up.

The up-side-down thing is a whole nother animal. I'm only familiar with one priming mechanism, but others must be somewhat similar. You gotta make sure they face up.

I'd rather go to the dentist than knock out an up-side-down primer.

February 23, 2008, 02:18 PM
Interesting. One reason I hand prime. It was a pain priming on my Projector when it was new. Even though I worked out the indexing issues with it, I continued to hand prime. I never have a partially seated primer that way. I have managed to seat a small primer sideways every once in a blue moon though.

The Bushmaster
February 23, 2008, 04:18 PM
Rustynuts. When priming one must be paying attention to the primers. I know of no priming tool that will not flip or partially insert a primer once in a while...I use the Lee Auto Prime II on a single stage press and it will flip or half insert a primer on ocassion...

February 23, 2008, 07:05 PM
Yes it is the loadmaster and I do have the 5-die setup. The slider does seem a little sticky, kind of hesitating going forward. Have to take it apart and check. I have 4 spares each of small/large sliders! I arrived on the short bus, but well stocked! :neener:

February 24, 2008, 02:53 PM
I checked the brass again that had the problem. The primers weren't cut like I thought, but flipped sideways as suggested above. Ran 100 more today with no problems.

evan price
February 24, 2008, 09:43 PM
Rusty: I deprime upside-down primers no problem.

Load it in the press as usual, then run the ram up until you feel the deprimer touch the primer... then slowly gently push it out. You can even re-use the primer, usually. It may have a little dimple in it from the decap pin but so far every one has fired for me.

On large pistol primers, I can usually salvage the sideways primers, too. They may look a little funny but they get put in a box of "shoot first" practice ammo (with the dimpled-upside-down salvaged primers). Again, as long as it seats OK in the case, never had one yet fail to fire.

Small pistol are a little too small and usually get too mangled by going in sideways to be saved.

The Bushmaster
February 25, 2008, 11:43 AM
Cut me a break...I've ran tests on damaged primers just to see if they will still work, but to load ammunition with them? Hell no!! Primers are cheap.

February 25, 2008, 12:30 PM
You can definitely poke out the upsidedown primers. What would it hurt anyway, assuming it did go off. If you wanted to take precautions, I would do it on a clean bench empty of any powder and other primers and wear eye and possibly hearing protection, but I have poked out a few backwards primers without any going off.

All my primer issues were when reloading .223 brass with crimped pockets. Once I got the RCBS swaging tool, it's all good now. I check each piece of brass by hand with the swager, if I can't push the swager into the pocket by hand, I set the brass aside and then run them all on the press with the swager later.

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