first failure of my reloaded ammo....


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SSN Vet
September 22, 2008, 11:43 AM
first problem of any kind with my reloaded ammo.

Once fired RP case...tumbled, sized and trimmed
Win small rifle primer
25 gr of H335
Win 55 gr. FMJ BT

I've shot hundreds of these in my AR.

Had a FTF yesterday at range.

pimer looked very normal, with a nice deep firing pin strike indent dead center, but no POP whatsoever.

Bullet was not moved at all, as evidenced by the crimp groove being exactly where I seat to and the same OAL as the rest of the batch.

I loaded it back up and gave it a second tap ......... nothing!

I haven't pulled the bullet yet and inspected. But I'm assuming it is a failed primer.

All other rounds (~150) , before and after, fired as expected.

I've never had a failure of any kind with this rifle after pushing some 700 rounds through it.

Are primer failures rare?

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Chief 101
September 22, 2008, 11:49 AM
45 years of reloading and 10s of thousands of rounds reloaded and never a failed primer on bullet fired in a stock firearm. Now I have missed the powder once or twice in the early years and there is only one person to blame for that. And that would be Chief aka Maxx Load

xsquidgator
September 22, 2008, 11:54 AM
Primer failures have been very rare (not happened yet to me in my reloading hobby experience of about a year and a half and 12,000 rounds). The only primer-related failures I've had weren't primer failures, they were when I didn't seat the primer fully and the first strike didn't set it off. A 2nd strike always has worked so far for me.

rcmodel
September 22, 2008, 12:00 PM
Almost certainly a dead primer for some reason.

Anvil missing?
Primer compound missing?

I would pull the bullet and de-prime it and see what happened.

BTW: It is so rare that it hasn't happened to me in 48 years of reloading.

I have had several factory loads do it, and in a couple of them, there was no flash hole in the case. But that obviously can't happen with reloads!

In others, it was just very old mil-sup ammo.

rcmodel

Dave P
September 22, 2008, 12:26 PM
If the bullet is crimped tightly, it could be a case of no powder is in cartridge, and the primer did not have enough energy to move the bullet.

Since you hit the primer twice, there is a good chance this is what happened.

ReloaderFred
September 22, 2008, 12:38 PM
When you consider the millions and millions of primers made each year, statistically, you're bound to run across one that has something wrong with it eventually. I've had two of them in 45 years of reloading, that I can remember, and both were sans priming compound. Stuff happens.

Hope this helps.

Fred

SSN Vet
September 22, 2008, 01:01 PM
If the bullet is crimped tightly, it could be a case of no powder is in cartridge, and the primer did not have enough energy to move the bullet.

Since you hit the primer twice, there is a good chance this is what happened.

One problem with this theory is that I didn't hear anything. And my shooting partner didn't hear anything either.

We were doing "fast reload drills" where we intentionally short loaded mags for each other, varying how many rounds were loaded. So we were paying extra attention to the report and feel of the rifle, finding it very easy to distinguish the last round BHO.

So I was surprised to have no "bang", but figured I had missed the BHO, so I loaded my next mag and cycled the charging handle, and was again surprised to see a "live round" eject.

My shooting partner just completed the USMC marksmanship coach course and says he's seen "duds" on their range. But then again, they shoot a LOT more rounds in a weekend than I do in a year.

I can't imagine that I missed the primer pop, though I guess it's possible.

rcmodel
September 22, 2008, 01:09 PM
PUleese pull the bullet and tell us what happened.

No powder?
No anvil?
No compound?

Inquiring minds want to know!

rcmodel

SSN Vet
September 22, 2008, 01:12 PM
Inquiring minds want to know!

I'll yank it tonight and post results.

Needless to say, I will be VERY embarrassed if there's no powder in there.

OBTW, I only have a kinetic bullet puller. Should I be concerned about whacking this "live round" on the concrete floor?

these light bullets with firm crimps don't come out easilly with the "whack it" approach.

Perhaps this merrits the press and vice grips approach.

rcmodel
September 22, 2008, 01:21 PM
Yep!

Takes a lot of whack'n if they are crimped.

rcmodel

CHEVELLE427
September 22, 2008, 02:03 PM
I have never had a FTF in 30+ years from a bad primer until I bragged about it. :banghead:
Next range day I had 1.:uhoh:

Funderb
September 22, 2008, 02:07 PM
ooh, this is like watching a TV sitcom,
Tune in next week and see what happens!

The Bushmaster
September 22, 2008, 02:31 PM
SSN Vet...Would you Pleeease hurry up!!...The suspence is killing most of us.

I'm bettin' on a manufacturer error in that primer...

NavajoNPaleFace
September 22, 2008, 02:40 PM
In my fourteen years of reloading I have had one bad primer that I can recall.

So, it can happen...albeit rare.

SSN Vet
September 22, 2008, 02:41 PM
Sorry guys....

didn't mean to tease...but I gots to get out of work, drive home, pick up daughter at dance class, eat dinner, practice multiplication tables with other daughter, play bedtime police and then......pull the bullet and inspect.

I promise to post pics.... I'll even try to use that fickle macro setting on the digi cam.

Jayman
September 22, 2008, 03:00 PM
I'm curious to hear about the results of your pull as well.

In other news, I pulled 10 rounds of .223 the other night, they were crimped. took between 30-40 whacks, each, to get them to come out. I wore safety glasses while doing this, but I have used a kinetic puller on many fully loaded rounds with no issue, so I wouldn't be too concerned. Always wear safety glasses when working with live primers, YMMV, etc., etc.

Otto
September 22, 2008, 03:47 PM
Should I be concerned about whacking this "live round" on the concrete floor?
Not a big concern but I would strike the puller on the end grain piece of lumber ...saves wear and tear on the puller.

Bush Pilot
September 22, 2008, 07:39 PM
I can't remember a bad primer in 30+ years of loading (had to fire twice a few times) A couple of weeks ago I was shooting bulk pack .22 shells and had one that wouldn't discharge in 4 different guns, that's a first for me.

plinky
September 22, 2008, 08:05 PM
I pulled a "no powder charge" error once years ago. Changed my methods since then. With muffs on, it sounded like the hammer fell on an empty chamber. No pop at all. I jacked the empty case out of the chamber and let the slide go. The next round would not chamber because the previous bullet was stuck in the rifling. That was very lucky.

So I would not count on hearing the primer. OTOH, If the primer had fired I would expect the bullet to be moved somewhat if not stuck in the barrel. So I would expect a bad primer. Never had one of those.

45ACPUSER
September 22, 2008, 08:08 PM
Just like once I got 1000 WW virgin 223 brass, and one did not have a flash hole punched! Stuff happens.

SSN Vet
September 22, 2008, 10:08 PM
left is an unfired reload, center is the culprit, and right is a fired reload....
note that some flattening of the primer did occur, so something happened....

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=85123&d=1222135100
85123

saved myself some whacking and sacrificed the bullet by pulling it on the press

85124

for the record....there was a full charge of powder in the case....

85125

The guilty party is revealed.....Win SRP!
Primer from dud on left, brand new primer on right.
Note that the anvil on the left is blackened, as if there may have been some burn, but the cup is empty. On the right, you can see the greenish primer compound in the cup and the anvil is clean and shiny.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=85126&d=1222135153
85126

I have no reason to think that the powder in this one case is bad so my conclusion....... a bad primer! :(

Maybe I should send it back to Winchester and try to get a freebie out of them?

I'm happy it wasn't a "no charge" as that would really undermine my confidence that I know what the heck I'm doing. :scrutiny:

solvability
September 22, 2008, 10:11 PM
It can happen that a case got loaded that had not been reprimed.

XD-40 Shooter
September 22, 2008, 10:42 PM
I've had probably a dozen or so dud primers in my reloaded 40 S&W rounds, this is out of about 10,000 total rounds. A second strike with my PT-140 Pro has always set them off, I've been using CCI primers, I've heard that they are a little on the hard side.

Jeff F
September 22, 2008, 10:46 PM
I don't know bud, but that primer looks fired to me. Is it possible that you loaded a case that already had a fired primer in it, maybe?

evan price
September 23, 2008, 04:38 AM
/\ /\ /\
+1...

That primer was flattened. That means it fired & made pressure enough to flatten it.

I would bet that a fired case snuck through and you loaded it up not noticing that it was not reprimed.
It happens.

Griz44
September 23, 2008, 06:21 AM
I have had 2 no fires from bad primers, but both on factory loads. Hey, don't they use the same primers they sell us?

Double Naught Spy
September 23, 2008, 07:10 AM
I'm happy it wasn't a "no charge" as that would really undermine my confidence that I know what the heck I'm doing.

So is loading up without repriming going to undermine your confidence?

SSN Vet
September 23, 2008, 10:55 AM
So is loading up without repriming going to undermine your confidence?

If that's what happened, you better believe it will.

But please help me examine the known facts....

1. I have been loading 25 gr of H335 behind the 55 gr Win FMJBT bullet for quite a while now. I have not been developing loads or changing loads.

2. The powder that came out of the case weighed 24.5 gr. And the difference is easilly explained by some grains that spilled when I dumped the case into the tray (while holding the camera and taking the picture).

3. ALL of the fired cases from that day have primers that are significantly flattened as on the right in my first photo.

4. The middle case is SIGNIFICANTLY less flattened. In fact, it's barely flattened at all. It is clearly unlike every other case loaded and fired from the same batch.

My reloading procedures are pretty solid (though not above reproach). I inspect every case and I measure COAL on at least half of them. I don't reload for speed. I reload for fun and economy.

Also, the cartridges were handled again to load into mags. Then, they were unloaded from the full mags onto the table, and loaded again into mags for our speed reload drills. Fired primers are pretty obvious. It's possible that one could have gotten by. But if it did so, it got by several handlings by more than one set of eyes.

So what are the possible explantions for #4 above?

If the primer was fired....why is it not FLAT like all the others?

The Bushmaster
September 23, 2008, 11:00 AM
Do you full length resize your cases and does your resizer/decapper have the pin installed? Or did an unresized/capped (but fired) case get mixed up in the others and you loaded it not knowing? I won't tell if you don't...:uhoh: :D

SSN Vet
September 23, 2008, 11:12 AM
Do you full length resize your cases and does your resizer/decapper have the pin installed?

Yes and Yes, and the dud case was cycled through my AR twice with no binding.

I should measure the diameter of the "dud" case and compare it to both and see if it is the same as my other sized brass, or whether it is 'fat' like the fired cases.

Or did an unresized/capped (but fired) case get mixed up in the others and you loaded it not knowing?

Possible. And at this point, I'd have to say even probable. Murphey has bit my tail on other occasions, but never reloading. Perhaps this event will be a sobering up lesson to get better organized. If so, I'm getting off cheap. Murphey's lessons have been more costly in the past.

Still, is it just me, or does the center case look "lightly flattened"

The Bushmaster
September 23, 2008, 11:18 AM
My experience has shown me that from one fired case to another the primers may differ in the amount of flattening because of how well the case was able to grip the chamber wall and the distance it traveled when it was slamed back against the breach face...

SSN Vet
September 23, 2008, 11:32 AM
I'll measure the case diameters tonight.

Looks like I might be eating humble pie (which I know the taste of all too well)

Sorry for the apparent anti-climatic ending to this thread.

snuffy
September 23, 2008, 11:35 AM
Well I found one! A bad primer that is. Look at this thread I started back in March.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=351933

That one was definitely a dud. That experience has made me look more closely at primers before I load them. It happens to be the same brand/size too, makes you wonder if the quality control is shoddy at Winchester.

Double Naught Spy
September 23, 2008, 02:25 PM
Hogwash SSN Vet. There is no reason for your confidence to be down if you had a singular mistake. A single mistake is not a pattern of errant behavior. Just continue to be vigilant with your endeavor and check your work carefully.

Your sky is not falling.

Ben Shepherd
September 23, 2008, 02:38 PM
Had 1 bad primer over the years. A federal large pistol in a 44 mag load. No compound in it at all.

Now? ALL primers get the magnifying glass before being put in the primer feed tube.

NavajoNPaleFace
September 23, 2008, 02:50 PM
We all make mistakes.

Myself more than others. :)

Falability is what what makes us human.

The Bushmaster
September 23, 2008, 03:02 PM
Naw....I never make mistakes...I don't always tell the truth either...But I never lie...

Jeff F
September 23, 2008, 08:24 PM
The evidence is right there, take it for what its worth. That primer has fired and is flattened. It looks like a fired case got by and was loaded. Either that or somehow a fired primer got mixed in with the good ones and got loaded into that case

Jeff F
September 23, 2008, 08:31 PM
Don't be to down on yourself about it.
I once loaded 200 rounds of .45 acp weighing a charge every now and again and it was all good, then I realized I had the wrong powder in the measure.

reloader223
September 23, 2008, 09:08 PM
I had one CCI small rifle primer not fire ,errors do happen.Good thing it wasnt needed in self defence!

evan price
September 24, 2008, 12:49 AM
SSNVet:
3. ALL of the fired cases from that day have primers that are significantly flattened as on the right in my first photo.

4. The middle case is SIGNIFICANTLY less flattened. In fact, it's barely flattened at all. It is clearly unlike every other case loaded and fired from the same batch.

I can explain 3&4 by saying this:
Where do you get your brass? Are all of your cases brass that was reloaded by you with that load? It may be possible that it was a 1Xfired case from factory ammo that was lighter loaded. All I'm saying is that judging by the blackening in that primer, if it had gone off in the case with the powder, it would have ignited the powder.

And yes, it is possible for a fired primer possibly to have been mixed in. I've seen some that the deprimer pin pushes the dent all the way out and they look "like new" from the outside but are fired. Did you maybe drop some primers and pick them up and put them back in the primer tray? Did maybe a nice undented spent primer get mixed in?

hoptob
September 24, 2008, 04:00 AM
SSN Vet,

Good to see you spending time to investigate and learn from this incident.

It's likely that your case was primed with a spent primer. I can think of 3 ways it could have happened:

1. Failed to deprime the case
2. Mixed spent primer with new primers
3. Spent primer stuck to depriming pin on downward stroke and got reseated on the upward stroke

#3 happened to me A LOT with RCBS depriming die in 38spl. I switched to Dillon die - it has a spring assembly designed to shake stuck primers off the pin. The problem went away and never came back.

Good luck!

Mike

SSN Vet
September 24, 2008, 09:42 AM
Your sky is not falling.

Thanks for the encouragement..... I'm not freaking out, but my little "engineer trouble shooter" motor is chugging along. This is actually the kind of techno geek problem that makes reloading fun for me. ;)

Falability is what what makes us human.

And the humility to admit we're fallible is what enables us to avoid "blind stupidity".
-----------

The evidence is right there, take it for what its worth. That primer has fired and is flattened. It looks like a fired case got by and was loaded. Either that or somehow a fired primer got mixed in with the good ones and got loaded into that case

So last night I measure cases I FL sized (from a box of my reloads), I measure some spent brass, that I know I fired from my rifle, and I measured the offending case.

The resized brass measured .3540" to .3545" in diameter

The fired brass measured .3560" in diameter

and ....... drum roll .........

The "dud" case measured .3540"

So I've been scratching my head and this is my new conclusion...

Every now and again, my Safety Prime (which I never could seem to get perfectly aligned) will fail to drop the primer squarely in the seating cup and the primer will eject onto the carpeted floor. The reason I hate it when this happens is that I won't continue until I find the dropped primer.

This happened about a month ago (during which time I was set up to reload .223 for several weeks) and I recall being surprised to find two primers on the floor.

So I suspect that I must have previously dropped a primer, and retrieved an unknown spent primer (likely spilled from the collection tube, which gets knocked off occasionally), popped it in the cup and marched onward to the beat of the drummer.

This would explain having a fired primer (very possibly de-primed from range pick up brass, and hence not flattened like those I have loaded) winding up in a sized and properly charged case.

To be totally honest .... Other than making sure I load the correct primers into the Safety Prime and making sure they are seated all the way, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to them.

Corrective action...
1. spend some more time trying to get the safety prime lined up.
2. vacuum up around my reloading area.
3. put a hose clamp on the primer collection tube.
4. carefully look at any primer that escapes from my controlled environment.
5. pay more attention to the primers during my final inspection (I focus to much on COAL and if the primers have been seating without any problems I haven't paid allot of attention to them).

Oh well! Looks like I'm not going to be getting any "customer satisfaction" coupons from Winchester. :o

solvability
September 24, 2008, 09:50 AM
One more possibility - I have had cleaning media block a flash hole and prevent the powder igniting - that matches with your statements.

rogn
September 24, 2008, 05:11 PM
Looks like a primer that had insuficient compound or ineffective compound, too much clean metal exposed to have undergone complete fire cycle, probably too late to look for sealing debris or unconsumed priming material?

Varminthound
September 24, 2008, 10:39 PM
If nothing else this has provided a good review for everyone reading the post.

Thanks.

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