Removing Primer issue


April 24, 2009, 05:12 PM

I just got quite a few of those (like 20%) and I wonder is there is not something I can do to prevent/correct that:

When I push out the primers from the 223 cases, the bottom goes out bu the sides stay in the primer pocket. I could understand if the primers were crimped, but those are not because the brass is PPU.

Any way to prevent that?
If not, any way to remove the remaining of the primer?
Is it worth the effort to remove the remaining of the primer of I am better to discard the brass?

Thank you

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April 24, 2009, 05:17 PM
Must be some sort of defective primer cup.

I don't think there is any practical way to get them out without running the risk of primer pocket damage.

Might maybe try re-seating them hard before depriming.

If the cups are stuck with some kind of corrosion or sealer, maybe that would pop them loose enough to come back out in one piece?

Probably not though.

Never ran into that so far in 50 years of reloading.


Jim Watson
April 24, 2009, 05:23 PM
What is PPU brass?

Any road, I think it is a sign the brass was chemically cleaned and the primers corroded in place.

It is not unknown, mass production commercial reloading equipment includes "ringer detectors" to keep such cases from going to the repriming step. But 20% is a huge rate. I have not seen more than three or four in my 40 years.

You might could get the rings out with the right diameter easy out broken screw remover or a broken tap remover. Might not, though. Labor would be high per case saved.

Mal H
April 24, 2009, 05:24 PM
Just to double check - you are getting only the torn off flat end of the primer (and probably the anvil) when you deprime the cases? The cylindrical wall of the primer remains in the pocket? You must have to push very hard to do that. Sometimes primer pockets of some cases look like the primer wall is still in there, but it isn't. You're positive that's not what you're seeing?

If it is what's happening, then you should probably discard the cases. Getting the remainder of the primer out would be difficult and not worth the effort and the reason the primer stuck in it in the first place could still be there; corrosion for example.

If they were less than popular cases, where you can't get them by the hundreds at most ranges, I might try to salvage the cases, but not for .223.

April 24, 2009, 05:28 PM

I'll double check that what I see is really what I see. You are putting some doubt in my mind now. Maybe it is just appearing that way.

And no, I did not have to put more force than usual. In fact, it sounds the force was less....

Thank you

April 24, 2009, 05:38 PM

Ok, I took a close look and could not say with certitude if it is the primer sides or a crimp. So, I took a small screwdriver and with a hammer I tried to separate the primer side from the pocket and I was not able to do it really.

I tried to insert a primer in another of those "problematic" case and I could not get it into at all.

I took another look and if it was a crimp, I would see it do an edge and under it would be going back (like a roof and the veritcal wall...) but it is all straight...

I am puzzled....

Thank you

Mal H
April 24, 2009, 05:51 PM
Did you look in your primer catcher to see if you have the same number of primers as the number of cases you deprimed? Or if there are some primer remnants in there? There should be some evidence external from the cases themselves as to what is going on.

April 24, 2009, 05:52 PM
A GI crimp is very hard to see with the naked eye.

Take one, ream the edge with your chamfer/deburring tool, and see if you can seat a new primer in it.

If you can, it is a crimped primer pocket, not a broken primer cup.

And Mal is right.
If they are breaking, your primer catcher should have a bunch of disks & anvils in it, not complete fired primers.


April 24, 2009, 09:26 PM

You got the same idea I got. The primer was going out completely, so it is a crimp. I picked up some other brass PPU that I did not process yet and I noticed the primer pocket looked different with the primer in it. There was some red around and it seemed deeper. It was not, just the brass was crimped.

Hehehe..I guess I am pretty dumb..It took me almost 4 hours to figure that out.

Thank you

April 24, 2009, 09:28 PM
I was having the same issue. 80% of my brass is PPU. I started useing a Lyman universal decapping die Part# 7631290. I haven't had a problem since. Hope this helps.

April 24, 2009, 10:52 PM
Does it look like this? The one on the left is a crimp.

April 25, 2009, 06:31 AM

Yes! Exactly like the one on the left.
I will try to use my deburr/chamfer tool to trim the edge and see if I can get away of buying a pocket primer swagger.

Anyone can tell me if it can do the job or it will create other issues?

Thank you

April 25, 2009, 07:30 AM
What is PPU brass?

Prvi Partizan, 31000 Titovo, Uzice, Yugoslavia

I've run in to the same thing with .223 brass, not many but a few. I didn't bother to look at the head stamp, I just tossed them in the scrap bucket. I used the universal de-capping die from Lee and what happened is it punched the bottom of primer but left the side wall stuck in the primer pocket, the cases looked fine with no bulges or splits. I have no idea what causes it but it would be interesting to see what someone comes up with.

May 22, 2014, 09:19 AM
Even though this is an old thread, I'd like to add a photo of what just happened to me after 42 years of reloading. This is from a 2000 piece batch of once-fired Speer .357 Sig brass as made by Starline (the little "s" indicates that). I would think this is very high quality brass, yet about 5% of the primers tore out leaving the sides stuck in the cases. I fooled around with it enough to convince myself to just toss 'em. I tried soaking overnight with Kroil, various drill bits, primer reamers, etc. Those sides are really stuck tight.

It appears to be some sort of corrosion, but look at the two good cases on the right for comparison. All of the brass was run through a Lee decapping die and then wet pin tumbled. It was only after I started to size them did I discover the primer remnants in the pockets.

Some even have the "tops" of the primers partially attached.

May 22, 2014, 11:23 AM
Sure sounds like a crimp to me. I have seen plenty of PPU brass that is crimped. You might want to double check. It can be very difficult to see some crimps.

May 22, 2014, 01:38 PM
You may be able to drill them out. Or use a reamer to remove what's left. A reamer will not cut the pocket any deeper, safer to use. The hard part would be holding the brass. They can be bought for ~$16 and available in 0.0005" step sizes. I just enlarged some SP to LP and it went fairly fast.

Do you see and lacquer or sealer on the primers? If so the use of a heat gun or hot plate to heat them up will weakened the bond.

May 22, 2014, 06:50 PM
What about a Berdan primer remover. Looks like a small can opener type tool.

May 22, 2014, 07:00 PM
Berdan primer are removed my hydraulics. Water fill case then insert ram and hit. I thought about recommending that but did not know how the primers would react since the domes are popping off.

Another though would see if you can seat them to break the bond then punch out.

May 22, 2014, 07:29 PM
Yea, I suggested that in post #2.

Guess he hasn't tried it though.


May 22, 2014, 08:37 PM
Midway sells a RCBS berdan decapper not the hydraulic type. Works like a cantilevered bottle opener. I can't get an image to view for some reason. Check it out.

Steve Marshall
May 23, 2014, 12:19 PM
PMC brass in .223 used to do that. There was no rhyme or reason to it. The only thing that "might have worked" was slowing the ram speed down.

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