shotshell reloaders: bad primer frequency?


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Geneseo1911
March 14, 2009, 11:01 PM
I'm somewhat new to reloading on a rounds loaded-basis, I would guess I have about 2500 rounds under my belt, based on empty primer boxes. So far I have had only three (unless I forgot one back there somewhere) misfires; two of them occurring today! I was shooting some casual back yard trap, and had two shells from the same box fail to fire. The firing pin strike didn't look as deep as the rest of the ones from today after one strike. I chambered and re-struck the shells, denting the primers further (to look like the other, fired shells), but still no boom.

So I'm marking this up to bad primers, but they are relatively fresh (bought a couple weeks ago from a shop with decent turnover) Winchesters. My question is, how often do you see a bad primer? Is this going to be a bad lot, with shells failing me when I'm in the last three of an Annie Oakley, or other Murphy's Law-type moments?!

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ants
March 14, 2009, 11:54 PM
Never had a bad shotshell primer since 1968. Winchesters included, along with Rem and CCI. I don't happen to use Federal.

Are you seating them correctly? Shotgun dirty? Bolt carrier not closing all the way? Deformed brass? Hull too long (poor crimp)?

ReloaderFred
March 14, 2009, 11:57 PM
In the last couple of years, I've loaded somewhere around 10,000 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun shells with Winchester, Fedreal, CCI, Remington, Fiochi, and Cheddite primers. I've yet to have a primer not detonate when given a good hit from the firing pin.

Seating shotgun primers is just like seating center fire metallic primers. They have to be seated all the way, or they're cushioned when struck and won't go off. This might be something for you to look at. Any primers that appear to be a little high might be suspect.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Geneseo1911
March 15, 2009, 09:11 AM
Good point about the primers being high; I hadn't thought about that. That would explain the shallow FP mark. Shouldn't they have gone off on the second strike, though? Or is it possible the first strike knocked the priming compound out from under the anvil?

BFE
March 15, 2009, 11:00 AM
Seating shotgun primers is just like seating center fire metallic primers. They have to be seated all the way, or they're cushioned when struck and won't go off. This might be something for you to look at. Any primers that appear to be a little high might be suspect.

This is very common for someone new to reloading.

NCsmitty
March 15, 2009, 01:19 PM
Shouldn't they have gone off on the second strike

Geneseo1911, I would think that it should have fired on the second strike, but I wasn't there so I don't have an answer.
In all my years of using shotshell loaders, I have never had a FTF of a replacement shotshell primer.
I've had a couple squibs due to my loading techniques, but that was years ago.
2500 rounds loaded qualifies you as an experienced loader and the only advice I can give you is to revisit your priming sequence and give your shells a good visual as you load.
A FTF is rare occurrence, but anything is possible. Probably can chalk it up to a bad batch seeing it was fairly fresh.
No offense, is your firearm in good clean condition to eliminate that possibility, with good consistent primer strikes?

I use Win 209 exclusively in my loads.

NCsmitty

ADKWOODSMAN
March 15, 2009, 08:18 PM
I can quote Ants plus add Federal.
"Never had a bad shotshell primer since 1968. Winchesters included, along with Rem, CCI, and Federal"

Geneseo1911
March 15, 2009, 08:59 PM
I'm pretty sure it's not the gun. I'm pretty fastidious with my guns. The other fired rounds looked perfectly normal with nice, deep dents.
Based purely on the dents in the primer, I'm going to assume I didn't have them seated properly, although I certainly didn't notice it when I pulled them out of the box. I know of at least one round I saw in another box with a primer that wasn't seated 100%, so I'll try firing that one and see what it does.

NuJudge
March 15, 2009, 09:14 PM
Single barrel or double? If a double, was it only one barrel?

There was a lot of talk last year on Shotgun World about some primers (Cheddite?) giving trouble in lower barrels of some shotguns.

I've never had trouble getting shotgun primers to ignite.

CDD

Geneseo1911
March 15, 2009, 09:42 PM
It was my Winchester 1300. It probably only has 4000 rnds through it, but I'm shooting a lot more now than I used to. I was really worried it was the gun at first, as I love that thing and would hate to be without it, but inspection of other fired hulls looked good.

Geneseo1911
March 16, 2009, 08:43 PM
Had another FTF today. Instead of tossing the shell, I brought it home for disassembly.

All three have been Federal paper basewad hulls. I recently scavenged a few at the club that looked to be in good shape. When I got them home & inspected them, I found that some had been rained on, and about half had wet basewads. I'm sure you can guess where this is going. Being the tight-wad I am, I saved the ones that looked okay. Apparently I missed a couple because when I cut the bad round open, the powder was stuck to the basewad, and the primer was rusty. Obviously the water killed the priming compound.

Lesson Learned.

NCsmitty
March 16, 2009, 09:33 PM
Lesson Learned.

That's what it's all about. You'll never do that again and it will stick with you.
Good luck.

NCsmitty

WV_Vizsla
March 19, 2009, 04:19 PM
Unforfortunatly I have seen several bad primers in the last few years. We shoot SC once a month and the group burns ~1K rounds. Most have been in the discount factoru ammo from REM, WIN and Fed. I have had one or two in the last 3 to 5K REM STS I use to make my clay busting STS 1 oz

Usually a close inspection shows low or dropped primer cup inside the outer ring. One inspection found no primer pellet. These will not fire in any gun.

Sometime others just do not go off in the first hit or try a second gun.

I quit using fiber based hulls in the early 80's.
To aid your reloading: Select one hull style, buy or trade for large stock level and load way ahead of needs.
Current production is STS hulls and primers, American Select powder (Very Clean), ClayBuster 1 in #8 & 1 1/8 in #7 1/2, wads of WinAA types all at 1200 fps.

I found a place in western PA that has supplies at great prices. Contact me if you need details.

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