Primers backing out?


March 1, 2010, 07:54 PM
I've got a Winchester model 94 chambered in 30/30 and I've notice a little problem. The primers are backing out of the case when fired. First things first, this is with three different types of FACTORY ammo. I've purchased dies and shell plate to reload for this caliber but have not done it yet. As soon as I noticed the problem with the rifle I looked at the spent brass the previous owner provided and every case is the same way. Any advise on the problem with the rifle?

Just noticed that I posted this in the handloading forum, sorry.

If you enjoyed reading about "Primers backing out?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 1, 2010, 08:10 PM
Low pressure will do that, but you say they are factory loads. How much are they backing out?

March 1, 2010, 08:16 PM
Pics please. Might help someone figure this out for you.

March 1, 2010, 08:32 PM
I'll see if I can get some pics downloaded. They stick out .009-.010 past the face of the cases.

March 1, 2010, 08:37 PM
Has the headspace been checked?

March 1, 2010, 08:46 PM
No, the rifle was made in 1979 but the bore and action show little use. I would think to much headspace would strech cases? The fired cases vary on length between 2.024-2.027.

March 1, 2010, 09:27 PM
The .30-30 headspaces on the case rim, and I've seen several of them that suffered from excessive headspace, which will cause primers to back out. I would start by having the headspace on your rifle checked and then work from there.

Hope this helps.


March 1, 2010, 10:12 PM
That makes sense. I'll have to have my local smith check the rifle. Thanks guy's.

Jesse Heywood
March 2, 2010, 12:20 AM
When you go to the smith take some of the ammo and empties. It might help if he has more pieces of the puzzle.

March 2, 2010, 12:21 PM
It is quite common with Winchester 94's and other lever-actions, and is not necessarily indicative of excess headspace.
There is a lot of places for the bolt to move in a rear-locking action just due to all the joints & length of the bolt to compress.

It is more a pressure problem, or rather lack of pressure.

A brass case will not stretch to fill the chamber until at least 40,000+ PSI pressure.

The 30-30 runs 42,000 Max, and most factory ammo is loaded way under that.

Your .45 Colt is SAAMI spec'd to 14,000, so you for sure will not get any case stretching, or even enough case slip in the chamber to re-seat the primers after they back out.

Polishing the chamber will allow easier case slip, and result in the primers re-seating properly.

IMO: It is a non-issue, and certainly not a safety concern.

Still not convinced?
Look at the headspace in a .45 Colt revolver some time.
You could drive a go-cart through there!


March 2, 2010, 04:12 PM
Be careful with those things...If those 45 primers push back hard enough, they can kick the hammer back far enough to cause the revolver to go full auto.:eek:

March 2, 2010, 04:43 PM
The backed out primers make it easy to tell the 94 brass from the 336 in my bucket.


March 2, 2010, 04:44 PM
I've got a Winchester model 94 chambered in 30/30

You need to re-read the OP. He is not shooting 45 Colt. He is shooting 30/30 Factory loads.

March 2, 2010, 04:51 PM
30-30? .45 Colt?
What the heck am I talking about? And where did that come from? :confused:

I could have swore it said .45 Colt this morning. :o

Still in all, what I said was still correct.

Low pressure of a lot of factory 30-30 ammo, combined with rough chambers that prevent case slip re-seating the fired primers is pretty common in later 94's. It's really not that big a deal.

If you reload, you can make up for it by headspacing off the shoulder instead of the rim.


March 2, 2010, 10:25 PM
I'll try my reloads this weekend and see what happens.

March 2, 2010, 11:08 PM
I'm not the OP, but I have a similar question. These are from factory loaded cases, and the unfired rounds all have primers seated just below flush. I don't have a caliper yet, so I can't measure the exact distance, but they are no more than a couple thousandths below flush.

These factory rounds were fired in a 1959 Winchester Model 94. I know it is 20 years older than the OP's gun, but I wonder if we are looking at the same problem. Clifford, is this what your brass looks like?

Photo 1 is one Remington case (still rouge stained from the tumbler) that was loaded with a 150 gr Core-Lokt PSP, and two Hornady LeveRevolution that were loaded with 160 gr FTX bullets.

Photo 2 is the same cases with the Hornadys in the front and the Remington in the back.

Question 1: Is this indicative of what you normally see with these rounds? Seems to be so from the discussion I've already seen.

Question 2: Notice the Hornady brass has the shiny look through the web area of the case, then it looks 'rough' towards the front of the case. The Remington was already tumbled, so you can't see the same thing there, but the untumbled cases look the same as the Hornadys. Is that what you get with normal case expansion during firing?

I haven't gotten dies yet, because I didn't know if this gun was still safe to shoot. If this is normal, then I'll add .30-30 to my reloading repertoire. Thanks for the help!

March 3, 2010, 01:33 AM
A friend's 1967 model 94 (mint, with fewer than 30 rds through it) does the exact same thing to factory 170gr Win ammo - the primers back out as shown in the pics above. This rifle is a great and consistent shooter.

I will suggest that he have the headspace checked before reloading those rounds.

March 3, 2010, 07:53 AM
Next time before you shoot, wipe down your chamber with a cleaning patch soaked in mineral spirits or paint thinner. Even the smallest amount of oil inside the chamber will increase bolt thrust, which contributes to the primers backing out. A bone-dry chamber will grip the case better and help to minimize this phenomena. It may not be a 100% solution, but it will help.

March 3, 2010, 10:37 AM
It still seems to me the problem is being caused by the cases not slipping back in the chamber due to low pressure, or a rough chamber.

The photo in post #16 shows annular rings on the fired brass from a rough chamber holding the case in place under pressure.
It also shows no primer flattening whatsoever, indicating very low pressure loads.

Had the chamber been slick & smooth, or the pressure higher, the case would have slipped back against the bolt face and re-seated the primer.


March 3, 2010, 12:08 PM
rc, on further reflection I think you are correct (as usual). Low pressure is the likely cause of the backed out primers. However, I think you would agree, as a rule, having a clean degreased chamber is a good starting point for any range session.

March 3, 2010, 12:18 PM
Yep. I do certainly agree with that.

But I think in the case of a 94 Winchester, it may be counterproductive if primers remaining backed out bothers you.

Without case slip or stretching, it is just gonna happen.


If you enjoyed reading about "Primers backing out?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!