"Flattened primers" w/ rcbs hand primer & 9mm


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lukester
October 26, 2010, 10:26 AM
First ever venture into pistol handloading and noticed something after loading a small batch of 12 cartridges last night. (Want to get those out to the range w/ my Springfield XDM 9 and see how they load/fire/cycle/etc. before loading a bunch...)
I'm priming w/ the rcbs hand primer that came in my rc supreme kit. (It's so easy to use and primes my 6mm rem rifle cases perfectly.) However, I noticed that all of my pistol primers last night looked flattened, or smeared, for lack of a better description.
Does it still take a bit of "feel" to get the small pistol primers right w/ the hand primer & avoid flattening them? I may take another swing at it tonight and see if a little less pressure at the end of the squeeze helps avoid this. Anyone have a thought about it?... T
he primers are Remington 1&1/2. (Are they known to be any softer than other brands?...) The batch of cases I was using last night were all Win.
Also considered, after the fact, that I could take the small primer rod out of the device and put the larger one back in. (the one I use for rifle cartridges) This would only let the rod go as far as the base of the cartridge, seating the primer flush w/ the base. Might that leave the primer not-quite-fully-seated though?
Thanks in advance for any input.

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Waywatcher
October 26, 2010, 10:33 AM
Let me preface my comment by saying that I am a perfectionist.

I could never get a RCBS hand priming tool to prime satisfactorily for me. I tried the std. and univ. model and tried replacement rods. Just like you mention I would get smears, or worse, crescent shaped "dings" where the rod hits just slightly off center.

My best results by far have been obtained by matching primer brand to brass brand and getting a better tool. I got the RCBS Bench Prime and it is vastly superior in my experience. It guides the primer into the pocket and your hand doesn't get tired doing a few hundred. Also, the primer pushing rod is larger diameter than the primer and primer pocket. This makes it physically impossible for the primer rod to enter more than a few thousandths below flush.

See it here:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=457599

I sold my Hand Priming tools and I'm not looking back.

Sidewinder72
October 26, 2010, 12:30 PM
I think you are pressing handle too hard. I use one for small and large. I love mine. You do not need to push hard, only till seated.

Rule3
October 26, 2010, 12:43 PM
Lukster,

Which RCBS tool do you have? Is it the Universal?

This one:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=319794

I have this one and never had a problem, but to be honest for the price it does not work any better than my inexpensive Lee hand held primer.
Better made, more substantial but the Lee is a breeze to use.

I prime on the press now so I have not used either in a while. For rifles and "extra special" Magnum loads I will hand prime a few.

lukester
October 26, 2010, 02:31 PM
Waywatcher - yeah, the off-center crescent shaped marks showed up on a few of mine last night. The reviews of that bench primer sound glowing.

Sidewinder - I might be. I think using a softer squeeze (i.e., not quite gripping down to the last little bit of give...) is probably what I'll try first to see if this problem goes away.

OCD - No, mine is not the universal one from your link, it's the other rcbs tool in this link:
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=329291

Still might also try putting the large primer rod in, too, and see if that helps keep me from "over-squeezing"...

Thanks,
Lkstr

Rule3
October 26, 2010, 02:37 PM
Call RCBS, they have OUTSTANDING customer service. If they can't tell you how to correct the problem, they will probably send you a new one.

TonyAngel
October 26, 2010, 03:21 PM
lukester, don't mean to get off on a tangent or anything, but what projectiles did you use? I have a Springfield XD and apparently the Springfields have a short lead (or throat). With most of the cast lead projectiles (and coated) that I've used, I had to seat pretty deep (and adjust powder accordingly) in order to not have the bullets hit the rifling causing the bullet not to go into the chamber.

After loading, did you pull the barrel out of your XDM and use it as a chamber gauge to make sure that the rounds will feed?

rcmodel
October 26, 2010, 03:54 PM
off-center crescent shaped marks O.K.
Only one thing can cause that with an RCBS hand priming tool.

1. You are not getting the case all the way centered in the shell holder.

2. Which causes a brass shaving to be peeled off the primer cup.

3. Which falls in on top of the primer seating punch.

4. Which makes a crescent shaped dent in the next primer you seat.

rc

Waywatcher
October 26, 2010, 05:01 PM
Sorry rcmodel, I'm going to have to disagree with you there.

Maybe they just don't make 'em like they used to, but there is so much slop in the current models that the primer rod can push off center on the primer.

The crescents are caused by the primer deforming where it gets pushed on by the corner of the rod. They are always on the outside and never move around.

The current production RCBS hand priming tools I have used have so much slop in their rod/channel area that the rod can push off center. This slop would also assure any contamination would fall past around the rod.

rcmodel
October 26, 2010, 05:06 PM
have so much slop in their rod/channel area that the rod can push off center. This slop would also assure any contamination would fall past around the rod. Well, it sounds to me like you are using the Lg Primer Black plastic shell holder insert (marked with an L)with the Sm Primer rod.

You did get both size plastic inserts with yours didn't you?

The correct one for Sm Primers is white plastic and is marked with an S.

rc

Waywatcher
October 26, 2010, 05:10 PM
You really would guess that was the case by the way it wobbles to and fro, but it isn't. :(

I was using the correct (white) plastic insert and it still had tons of slop and would give me crescents at a rate of 20%, or 1 of every 5. I contacted RCBS with my problem and they decided to send me new rods, but it didn't change anything.

I would wager Lukester is using the correct plastic insert/rod combo, based on my experiences.

rcmodel
October 26, 2010, 05:14 PM
Well, if that is the case, I would call RCBS again and get new inserts too.
They are not supposed to be that loose.

The last one I had them send me was so tight on the rod I had to open it a little to loosen it up so the rod would move freely.

rc

mallc
October 26, 2010, 06:46 PM
Only problems I've had with the RCBS hand primer is:

1. Got the rod in upside down.

2. Universal model won't hold 5.7x28.

LEE hand primer takes special shell holders and has terrible ergonomic.

Scott

lukester
October 26, 2010, 11:52 PM
(sorry to be so late in getting back w/ more info... my daughter's h.s. b-ball scrimmage had me tied up for most of the evening...)
The marks on my primer were of the type Waywatcher was imagining - where the mark is the same size & shape of the primer rod - where most of the primer was flattened and the crescent shape was the "unflattened crescent on one side.
RCmodel, what you guessed might be Waywtchr's issue is actually mine - small rod w/ the big black insert. Remember the part about being new to this:) What a "duh" moment - totally forgot to switch that out.
There is definitely too much wobble w/ the black plastic (large) insert with the small rod.
Here's an odd customer-service related plot twist, though... When I went to assemble the two halves of my smaller white plastic insert, I realized that I have two "left" or "right" halves - not one of each. A little packing error I guess. So, I will in fact be giving RCBS a call about that tomorrow.

When I couldn't try the white insert w/ small rod tonight because of that, I put the black insert back on and used the proper large rod with it. No play or slop at all there. As suspected, since that rod is too large to go "into" the primer pocket of the 9mm, it stops flush w/ the case, leaving the primer where it should be and without any apparent damage/marks.

Great site here. Great folks always willing to help. Thanks for getting me thinking and realizing what the problem was.

billybob44
October 27, 2010, 12:16 AM
Luke, as long as those primers are seated, go ahead and load them. They will shoot fine.
I load all of my 9MM on my Dillon 550, so I do it on the up stroke of the press. When single stage loading, on my RockChucker, I load on the press also.
I know that there is a "Fan Base" on this forum for hand priming, but I prefer the convenience of seating the primers on the press. I may lose (dent/smash) 1 or 2 per K of primers, but to me it's worth it.:what: Bill..

bds
October 27, 2010, 12:28 AM
I know that there is a "Fan Base" on this forum for hand priming, but I prefer the convenience of seating the primers on the press.
Wait, I am not a fan of hand priming. Some of us are just OCD about things and hand priming is one of those many things. Truly, it's an undiagnosed reloading sickness condition. I hope they find a cure for it soon. :D

Seriously, I consider hand priming similar to loading 38/357 on single stage press. Slow and relaxing - and I can watch TV while hand priming. I press prime 45ACP now but if I start match shooting 45ACP again, hand priming time for large primers too.

Sorry, back to OP.

Blackrock
October 27, 2010, 09:00 AM
If you are getting marks on your primers you are pushing way too hard. Once the primer seats all the way down there is no need to push harder. This also happen to people using the Lee priming tool who complain of the little cheap lever breaking.
I was watching a friend seat primers on his RCBS press and when he seated the primer he was cranking the handle till the veins in his neck stood out. It doesn't matter what method is used to do this simple job you have to learn the feelof when the primer is fully seated and stop there.

rcmodel
October 27, 2010, 01:31 PM
it stops flush w/ the case, leaving the primer where it should beThat is not where it should be.

A primer must be seated fully to the bottom of the primer pocket in order to pre-load the anvil into the primer compound pellet. That will leave it slightly below level with the case head.

If you are flush seating SM primers with a large rod, they aren't being seated deep enough to preload the primer anvil.

Looking at it another way, if a Lg rod worked with both sizes of primers, they wouldn't go to the expense of supplying you with Lg & Sm rods would they?

rc

lukester
October 27, 2010, 02:22 PM
RC- thanks again for your input about the primer depth. You know, even just after I typed that in my last reply, I had a fleeting thought that maybe I had read something somewhere about someone's primers not being seated all the way... Really appreciate the help.
I'll lightly "re-touch" - this time w/ the small rod - the 5 I did last night.
I did give RCBS a ring this morning - my first call ever to them and, as advertised by others, they were excellent. Sending out two left halves of the small insert to go /w my two rights... They also were helpful on a couple of other general questions.

Lkstr

ReloaderEd
October 28, 2010, 01:51 AM
I am a perfectionist also when it comes to reloading and specifcallh seating primers. I wore out three Lee hand priming tool bodies over a period of about ten years, finally sold all the parts, shellholders off for ten bucks.
I purchased an RCBS hand priming tool which works perfect if the nut (me) behind it does certain things while using it.
If you getting moon marks on seated primers is is alignment between the case center and the primer push rod. The main cause is a piece of junk in the lip case rim and shell holder mating surface. This holds the case out and off center with the primer.
Also, the wrong shell holder will do the same thing Of coarse the primer push rod has a flat end and a rounded end. Im glad you call RCBS they have help me a few times.
The old lyman tong tool with primer seating dies works best of anything I have ever used. That is what I use for rifle cartridges.

jeepmor
October 29, 2010, 12:43 AM
I think you are pressing handle too hard. I use one for small and large. I love mine. You do not need to push hard, only till seated.

Yes, but I lean a little heavy instead of a little light once seated. If you don't clean your primer pockets every time you could stop on the carbon ridge left behind from previous firing. Then, the primer could move a bit on you during firing and cause a light strike. I had this issue with some 45 rounds.

I put a little more effort into seating them and the issue went away.

zakmatthews
January 26, 2012, 11:19 PM
I am also getting the crescent shapes in the primers using the RCBS tool when loading 9mm. I am using the right guide and rod, and it is oriented correctly. There is so much slop that the rod doesn't strike centered on the primer. You can see it when you squeeze the handle . . . the rod is clearly not centered in the plastic rod guide. I will call RCBS tomorrow.

fguffey
January 27, 2012, 12:07 AM
This is the 3 time around for this one, a friend and reloader/shooter called me with the same problem, he said RCBS was going to send him replacement parts, before it was over they sent him enough parts to build another hand primer, I called RCBS to explain to them the problem, they even did something on a lathe that they believed would correct the problem, then they ask If I was having the same problem, and, if so, they would send me a new shell holder for 9mm, and then I explained to them: A new shell holder will not fix the problem, and, they never ask me what was wrong. They did not ask me what I would change or correct to fix the problem.

I loaned my friend my RCBS hand primer tool with the understanding changing hand primers will not fix the problem. and, if the crescent bothered me I would use another primer installer.

F. Guffey

918v
January 27, 2012, 12:54 AM
Trash the tool and get a Hornady unit.

gamestalker
January 27, 2012, 12:40 PM
I use an RCBS priming die. Once I've adjusted it I just primer one after the other without having to even inspect them for proper depth, or other problems.

SSGDave
March 10, 2012, 12:08 PM
(sorry to be so late in getting back w/ more info... my daughter's h.s. b-ball scrimmage had me tied up for most of the evening...)
The marks on my primer were of the type Waywatcher was imagining - where the mark is the same size & shape of the primer rod - where most of the primer was flattened and the crescent shape was the "unflattened crescent on one side.
RCmodel, what you guessed might be Waywtchr's issue is actually mine - small rod w/ the big black insert. Remember the part about being new to this:) What a "duh" moment - totally forgot to switch that out.
There is definitely too much wobble w/ the black plastic (large) insert with the small rod.
Here's an odd customer-service related plot twist, though... When I went to assemble the two halves of my smaller white plastic insert, I realized that I have two "left" or "right" halves - not one of each. A little packing error I guess. So, I will in fact be giving RCBS a call about that tomorrow.

When I couldn't try the white insert w/ small rod tonight because of that, I put the black insert back on and used the proper large rod with it. No play or slop at all there. As suspected, since that rod is too large to go "into" the primer pocket of the 9mm, it stops flush w/ the case, leaving the primer where it should be and without any apparent damage/marks.

Great site here. Great folks always willing to help. Thanks for getting me thinking and realizing what the problem was.
Only problem with using the large primer setup is that your primers may not be guided correctly.
I have an RCBS hand primer, used Instead of the progessive setup on my RCBS Piggyback due to the high percentage of "Crimped Primers" im finding on 556 and others i need for Dept use. Since we have to buy our own ammo, i reload and have been for about 25 yrs.
I found long ago that if you use the wrong tool, you wind up with trouble, like sideways primers, crushed primers, etc, and they occasionally "Get your attention" in "Unmistakeable ways" to be polite about it-lol.
You do have to make sure to remove that primer crimp if it's WCC or other military brass otherwise it will damage the primers.
2nd Question-did you notice the "Flattened primers" before or after shooting?

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