Wolf SRM issue


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kestak
November 27, 2010, 08:46 AM
Greetings,

I reloaded 3000 .223. I used 55 grains bullets, WC844 powder and Wolf SRM primers. I am not a beginner reloader (but I can still learn a lot from you guys...hehehehehehe)

I noticed there is at least 1/150 that does not go bang when stroke. The dimple in the primer is VERY positive and when I pull out the bullet, I noticed some powder is yellow and there is small piece of cake.

I have another batch with CCI and another one with Wolf 223 primers with the same batch of powder. They do not have that issue.

Anyone else have problems with those primers?
Or anyone has an idea what could be wrong?

Thank you

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ole farmerbuck
November 27, 2010, 08:51 AM
YEP!! Same thing here. I have a pic on here somewhere about this. I contacted Wolf and got my money back.

ole farmerbuck
November 27, 2010, 08:54 AM
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn88/farmerbuck/badpowder.jpg

kestak
November 27, 2010, 09:13 AM
Did you have to send the primers and pay the hazmat?

Wildbillz
November 27, 2010, 10:25 AM
What was the lot # on your primers? The Yellow cake came from the primer, I am guessing? Dang it I am sitting on about 5K of these.

WB

kestak
November 27, 2010, 12:08 PM
Lot number is 9-09

W.E.G.
November 27, 2010, 12:39 PM
For more Wolf-primer dud stories see:
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=153451969086&topic=16398
and
http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/42188-Wolf-Primers
and
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283176
and
http://www.snipercentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=346792&sid=09fa16257912b472cafaca7872ffba22
and
http://6mmbr.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3636777

kestak
November 27, 2010, 12:49 PM
Darn! I just realized i get some duds also with LRM in my 30-06....

bds
November 27, 2010, 02:59 PM
This continuing saga of "Wolf primer issue" has been a growing interest for me as starting next month, I will be setting up to reload .223 and .308 rifle cartridges (Santa in pink is getting me a Rock Chucker Supreme for Christmas to reload rifle cartridges). :D

I think as this discussion at The Rifleman's Journal (http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/2009/08/primers-misfires.html) reveals, there may be more than just "bad Wolf primer" than meets the eye. I think variables such as primer cup hardness, primer seat depth, difference in primer pocket depths (factory or altered by reloaders), firing pin strike depth, etc. all contribute to otherwise good primer failing to ignite (BTW, the author of The Rifleman's Journal frequently points to the inconsistent firing pin strike/depth as the cause of his primer misfires, not just with Wolf but with many other brands of primers).

The topic of misfires is a frequent one which I try to address in the forums. The questions are frequently posted on various forums in relation to the Russian primers (KVB, PMC, Wolf) as they have a harder cup than most US made primers and this is a factor in the misfire situation. I'll start this post with a recent question posted on http://www.6mmbr.com/ and my answer. I hope to add more to it over the next few days.

Question posted by Ridgeway:
I have 5k of the new Wolf SRM primers with the gold cups. I used almost 100 primers and I had a missfire! I never had an issue with CCI, Fed or Remington since I've been reloading in '90. I even have primers from the early '80's that I use for fire forming that work! Anyone else have missfires with Wolf? I hope this is not a trend for 5k worth of primers!

There was not a problem with seating...I use a K&M priming tool. The cup definitely bottomed out. I'm on my 8th firing on a Dasher case...the primer pockets aren't as tight as they used to be and its easy to feel.I even re-cocked with the dud in the chamber and re-fired. Nothing. Did that like 3 times. Once I removed the round...the cup was a little distorted from being hit numerous times with the pin.

Answer 1 (German):
Ridgeway, have you installed a light firing pin in the rifle? Has the spring been checked lately?Either condition (light pin, worn spring) can lead to misfires. This is assuming that the primers are properly seated since you indicated that you are confident of that.

Reply 1 (Ridgeway):
German...the action is a new Panda with about 375 rounds on it. No modifications have been made to the bolt spring or pin. I re-cocked like 3-4 times and nothing happened other than smash and distort the primer. Is the spring in a Panda bolt on the light side?Primer seating...I can definetly feel them bottom. This is just one incident...not going to worry unless it happens again. Maybe its a fluke?

Answer 2 (German):
I don't know if the Panda firing pin and spring are lighter than "standard" which I define as a Remington 700. I'll see what I can dig up, Otteson's book The Bolt Action Rifle might have those specs. I'll check.

Let's take a look at some specs from: Otteson, The Bolt Action Rifle,
Vol. 1, pg. 138, Rem. 700 (short action, post 1968):
Lock Time: 2.6 ms
Firing pin fall (to impact): 0.213 in.
Impact velocity: 15.2 ft./sec.
Impact energy: 87.2 in.-oz.
Impulse: .96 oz. sec.

Unfortunately, Otteson didn't specify the weight of the firing pin on the 700. Impact energy and impulse, by the way are important to proper ignition, but often overlooked in the overemphasized quest for fast lock time. All modern rifles have darn good lock times and improvements are nearly meaningless - except as they reduce energy and impulse and thus reduce ignition reliability.

As we move on to the Panda, we run into a brick wall, because Otteson covered that action in his later book Benchrest Actions & Triggers, and the level of detail provided on the basic action functions is greatly reduced.

Lock Time: 2.7 ms
Firing pin fall (to impact): 0.24 in.

Beyond those scant figures, we are told: "The firing pin assembly follows a Remington pattern except for a smaller diameter striker tip, which allows better primer support." Indeed, the closeness of the figures indicates a great similarity in the underlying mechanism. Let's bear in mind however, that while the Remington probably hasn't changed in the 30+ years since the review, the Panda may have evolved a bit, so let's not assume these specifications necessarily remain valid for current production Pandas.

I don't have a Remington firing pin to weigh, other than the one in my 40X. If you want to take your Panda apart and weigh the firing pin with the cocking piece and separately weigh the spring (1/2 the weight of the spring should be considered in the weight of the striker) then I will do the same with the Remington.

While you have ruled out primer seating as an issue, for the benefit of others, I will say that primer seating is the primary area to examine in these situations and only after it has been determined that you are doing it correctly should your attention turn to the firing mechanism. The primer should bottom in the cup and then a slight additional forward movement, which gives a small degree of pre-compression to the pellet, should be felt. I have never been able to get this degree of "feel" from a press mounted priming tool. I use the Sinclair tool, but the K&M tool is equally good; the RCBS hand tool will do, although its heavy spring reduces feel to a certain degree.

One last thing - you asked if it might be a fluke, a bad primer or two in the lot. Generally speaking, no. Modern primer manufacture in the US and abroad and especially in the Murom plant where the Wolf primers are made, is held to such a close standard that the possibility of a bad primer is infinitesimal, the odds of more than one are essentially zero. When misfires are experienced, the primer is generally the last place to look for the cause. I'm not suggesting it is impossible to have a bad primer, simply that the probability of that is exceedingly low.

That the primer would not fire with repeated hits is normal. Once a primer has been struck, the pellet is complressed to a degree. If the impact energy and impulse were insufficient to ignite, there is not enough compression distance remaining in the primer (between the cup and anvil) to ensure ignition on a subsequent strike. In some cases it might, but it shouldn't be counted on.

UPDATE 09-06-09
It's a good thing we never stop learning - even if the lesson is delivered via a good helping of crow. I went to a match today and got 100% misfires with Russian primers in my .30-06, a first occurence. I stopped trying after 5 cases because I thought I knew what happened and it would be a 100% failure rate. When I got home and checked things out, I was right - a bad case of tolerance stack. Read on...

As some of you know, there is 0.010" manufacturing tolerance from the minimum to the maximum headspace length in a .30-06 chamber in accordance with SAAMI standards, so that is the acceptable range for a chamber. By measuring fired brass versus a "Go" gauge, I know that the chamber in this rifle is at 0.003" over minimum, OK, still good. The new brass measured -0.002", so there's a built-in 0.005" clearance from case shoulder to chamber shoulder on the first firing of this brass (see the Headspacing article here if this concept isn't clear).

The new lot of Russian primers is a bit lower in height than the old ones. The primer pockets on the new Winchester brass might be a bit deeper than the old brass. Whichever is the cause, the primers are noticeably deeper in the primer pocket than the old brass and primers.
I seated the bullets to jump 0.020", so there was no resistance to forward movement.

So.... with the 0.005" headspace, deep primers with hard cups and no resistance, I got misfires despite my heavy long-action Remington factory firing pin with a fresh spring. Man, that's sure some tasty crow. I'll pull the bullets, reseat them to jam into the lands in order to press the case head against the bolt face and that should take care of it. On the next firing, with headspace reduced a few thousandths it should be no problem. We'll see...

kestak
November 27, 2010, 03:10 PM
BDS, the primers that did not detonate had a very positive firing pin strike on them.

bds
November 27, 2010, 03:41 PM
BDS, the primers that did not detonate had a very positive firing pin strike on them.
kestak, I believe you - having read your past posts, you post as you see it without hype or BS. And that's why this issue is growing in interest for me as why 1 in 150 failed to ignite.

Let's investigate. If we take the assumption that 1 in 150 primers must have been bad, then we'll never go beyond that assumption to get to the true cause of that one misfire. It's been my experience that some reloading "myths" are based on unverified facts but repeated by many who never got to the true cause of the problem.

One example is the case of light striker pin indent problem with Glock pistols. Most shooters "assume" that the striker pin is worn/bad and move to replace the striker assembly because "Glocks never need cleaning." My experience has been that fouling builds up and compacts into a thin layer on the opposite side of the breech wall keeping the striker pin from making full indent on the primer cup. Once the fouling is softened and scraped off, the striker pin returns to make full indents and no more misfires or light striker indent problems.

I noticed there is at least 1/150 that does not go bang when stroke. The dimple in the primer is VERY positive and when I pull out the bullet, I noticed some powder is yellow and there is small piece of cake.
Since the other 149 primers did ignite, could there be another reason for why that one primer failed to ignite? What factors contribute for the firing pin to indent the primer cup with sufficient force and depth?

- Were the cases mixed headstamp or once fired of same headstamp?
- If they were reloaded cases of mixed headstamp, are we certain of primer pocket depths that may have contributed deeper than usual pocket?
- Could the first firing pin strike caused the sufficient depth of striker, but if the primer cup got pushed deeper, not have the setting of the anvil on the priming compound to ignite the compound?

The Rifleman's Journal mentioned that Wolf SRM cup is harder and the newest lot cups may be not as tall. If the firearm's firing/striker pin indent is inconsistent or not hard/deep enough, we may have another issue to ponder and this could be the blame for the Wolf primer misfires. Before Wolf primers were sold in the US, I heard many shooters doing the similar Winchester vs CCI vs Remington vs Federal primer cup hardness and hotness of primer fire comparison with many swearing that they'll never use brand X primers ever again. :eek:

When I get ready to reload my rifle rounds in .223 and .308, I will start with my trusty Winchester primers and go from there. If I have the same experience with Wolf/Tula rifle primers, I will join the crowd in badmouthing them. So far, I have yet to experience a single Wolf/Tula pistol primer failure but I know of many who did. After they copied my primer seating process, they stopped having primer failures.

kestak
November 27, 2010, 03:53 PM
Greetings,

-It is 223 caliber.
-Those are all LC brass.
-This is not once fired brass. I stopped to care for plinking ammo to segregate my cases by number of firing. I just use a paper clip and I check if there is a ring inside the case. If so, I discard. But I can sya those cases have not been fired more than 4-5 times max.
-I thoroughly clean my AR bolt carrier. So the firing pin channel is clean and the firing pin has full power from the AR.
-It did not happen in only one rifle. It happened in 2 different RRA CAR-15.
-How do I know the quantity and the failure rate? Simple. My wife is practicing the Appleseed AQT. It is 50 rounds and she does 4-5 of those per session. The first failure yesterday happened at the first stage of the first AQT. The last one happened at the 4th stage of her second AQT.
-I really wised up yesterday. This stuff has happened since a couple of months (since I got on that batch). Each time I noticed the firing pin indent was very deep but the primer did not go. I always dismantle "the failed rounds" to get the components back.

Moreover, I noticed it happened quite a few times with my 30-06 sniper. I put the fault because I was using the crappy FC brass and it was because the primer pocket got loose without me noticing. Now I am sure it was not me. My FC brass is never shot more than 3 times since I noticed the gas leak around the primer and it etched my bolt face.

Yesterday, I zeroed my new M1A and I loaded .308 with Wolf large magnum rifle with I4895 under a Sierra #2200. I got one misfire too!!! :banghead:

I did not have the time to dismantle that round. I am ready to bet there is mellow yellow in it...hehehehe

Thank you

helg
November 27, 2010, 04:54 PM
UPDATE 09-06-09
It's a good thing we never stop learning - even if the lesson is delivered via a good helping of crow. I went to a match today and got 100% misfires with Russian primers in my .30-06, a first occurence. I stopped trying after 5 cases because I thought I knew what happened and it would be a 100% failure rate. When I got home and checked things out, I was right - a bad case of tolerance stack. Read on...

As some of you know, there is 0.010" manufacturing tolerance from the minimum to the maximum headspace length in a .30-06 chamber in accordance with SAAMI standards, so that is the acceptable range for a chamber. By measuring fired brass versus a "Go" gauge, I know that the chamber in this rifle is at 0.003" over minimum, OK, still good. The new brass measured -0.002", so there's a built-in 0.005" clearance from case shoulder to chamber shoulder on the first firing of this brass (see the Headspacing article here if this concept isn't clear).
The new lot of Russian primers is a bit lower in height than the old ones.
A guy comes to a match without test-shooting his reloads first? He moves down case shoulder too far, while knowing that his chamber needs higher than standard shoulders? If the shoulder is moved down too far, any primer may fail to ignite. He says that one lot has lower in height primers than the other one, and does not give any numbers from his measurements.

This sounds like badmouthing.

ole farmerbuck
November 27, 2010, 07:42 PM
My primers were 9-09 also. I tried them in 3 different .223's. I had at least 5 out of 20 or so shots so i quit trying and called Powder Valley. They gave me the name of the man i needed to talk to at Wolf. Long story short, luckily i knew someone who worked for PV who was coming back here every other weekend so i sent them back with them. I couldnt send them back since they were opened (if i remember right). I have been using cci 41, winchester and cci BR wwith no problems. And yes, i was seating them good. When i explained to the guy from Wolf what was going on and sent him a pic of the yellow powder, he admitted i had bad primers.

bds
November 27, 2010, 11:10 PM
W.E.G., thanks for the links.

What I noticed from reading them is that some people didn't have any problem with Wolf primers and some did (and some of them never used again). Also, as posts got newer (like mid to late 2010) there seem to be more positive posts than negative. I do recall a particular lot having extra hard primer cup, but any manufacturer will experience production issues based on variations in material quality from their suppliers. I do recall someone posting that Wolf has addressed that supplier issue.

My rationale is that if a product was consistently bad, then there should be a wide-spread occurrence of problems. Not some good and some bad. Since some reloaders never experienced primer misfires, it is plausible to think there may have been more than one variable that's to blame.

My question would be, "Are newer production lots of Wolf primers STILL bad?"

I will order some Winchester/Wolf/Tula SR/LR primers but will verify the lot number with Powder Valley before I order. I will report back my experience with current production lot of Wolf/Tula rifle primers compared to Winchester as reference mark.

Hondo 60
November 27, 2010, 11:32 PM
What I'm hearing here is that it's hit & miss.

What we haven't heard is any of these issues with CCI, Win, Fed Rem etc.
I know some guys will swear by Wolf/Tula but if I can help it they'll never see my guns.
Even if it means I have to pay a few dollars more.

I need my guns to go bang when I pull the trigger.

ole farmerbuck
November 27, 2010, 11:33 PM
If i remember right, my primers were the Magnum also. I have had no trouble with their regulars.

I take that back.....they were the .223 primers.

kestak
November 28, 2010, 08:05 AM
Oh God!!!!!!!

Yesterday night, I remembered that I loaded 500 self-defense ammo with those Wolf primers: Hornady once fired cases, pocket primer uniformed, Vmax bullets and Ramshot TAC powder... I went to shoot 200 of them and guess what???? 2 misfired!

Guess what? Today I'll sing:

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Walkalong
November 28, 2010, 09:27 AM
Any one have manufacture dates or lot numbers on known, not suspected, bad Wolf primers?

FROGO207
November 28, 2010, 09:35 AM
I loaded mine up and chucked the boxes already but mine were all OK. Already shot all my 223 and 9MM that I had used them in. Kestak looks like you might be ahead if the ammo becomes practice ammo and a lesson is learned. Only 2800 to go.:banghead:

ole farmerbuck
November 28, 2010, 10:34 AM
Any one have manufacture dates or lot numbers on known, not suspected, bad Wolf primers?
9-09

kestak
November 28, 2010, 10:36 AM
Walkalong,

My lot is 9-09 and i am sure they are one of the defect batch.

W.E.G.
November 28, 2010, 12:02 PM
Kestak,

You mention duds with SRM primers in your OP, but you later mention duds with 30-06 ammo.

Can't be using the same lot of primers for .223 and 30-06.

Explain?

kestak
November 28, 2010, 12:13 PM
Large rifle magnum lot number is 5-09

W.E.G.
November 28, 2010, 12:25 PM
Kestak,

What method are you using to ascertain the "headspace" dimension of your handloads?

Do you use one of these types of case gages?

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/ammunition/precisionmic.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/reloading/caseguage-Wilson.jpg

kestak
November 28, 2010, 12:27 PM
I have gauge and i use a competition seating die

Walkalong
November 28, 2010, 12:38 PM
9-09

Walkalong,

My lot is 9-09 and i am sure they are one of the defect batch.
I ordered mine 11-08 from Wideners. Last ones I bought until after the crunch except for 2K federal SP at a gunshow before they all went sky high. Primers were still to much here at the last show, despite reports on THR about good prices in some parts of the country. I bought 1K CCI 41's anyway. Hopefully they will be down soon. If not, I'll be forced to buy online one of these days. I've tried to support the local guy who has been coming to shows here for years, but he is going to have to come down soon.

kestak
November 28, 2010, 12:54 PM
I buy big orders from wideners or pv. I put as much as 45 pounds as i can...ehehehe

bds
November 28, 2010, 01:44 PM
Looks like our "objective investigation" is well underway.

These are what we have so far (feel free to chime in):

- Some Wolf .223, SRM and LRM primers have failed to ignite in some rifles
- The lot number under suspicion is 9-09
- Primer cups of some Wolf primers are harder
- Primer cups of newer lot numbers may be shorter in height


Based on the problems reported, I believe our next investigative objectives should be:

1. Identify if anyone experienced misfires with other lot numbers of Wolf rifle primers.
2. Those that have not experienced misfires with Wolf primers, were they 9-09 lot number or other lot numbers?
3. Identify which rifles experienced misfires with Wolf primers.
4. Identify which rifles did not experience misfires with Wolf primers.
5. Measure the heights of newer lot primer cups compared to older/other brand primer cups.
6. Measure the cup hardness compared to other brand primers.

bds
November 28, 2010, 01:59 PM
Walkalong:
Primers were still to much here at the last show, despite reports on THR about good prices in some parts of the country.
Take a trip to sunny California and buy some primers while you are visiting. I will cook up some of my favorite BBQ ribs for you. :D

I was quite surprised to see the price drop down to $21.95 for Winchester and $16.95 for Tula at the last gun show. The vendor I talked to said the lower pricing is based on new production wholesale costs. At the LGS retail level, prices are still high but the selection sure has improved. I think some retailers may be trying to sell off the old stock based on the higher wholesale costs they paid before dropping the price on new stock. BTW, my Tula ammo lot was 20-10.

My take is that middle level distributors/hoarders are no longer buying them by the pallets to put them in their garages/mega warehouses. With this "artificial" demand gone, I think we are returning back to more normal "supply and demand situation" and prices are stabilizing. If the word of $21.95/$16.95 for Winchester/Tula gets around, I am sure there may be some price adjustments, especially if the retailers paid the new lower wholesale prices.

kestak
November 28, 2010, 03:12 PM
You forgot lot 5-09 large magnum rifle behaves with the same problems.

bds
November 28, 2010, 03:51 PM
Great. kestak, with the combined THR reloading knowledge base, we should get to the bottom of the Wolf primer misfire issue. Anyone have primer misfires with lot number newer than 9-09?

So, can we start listing rifles that experienced misfires? If you can post whether the firing pin was left stock or modified, that would help.

Also, I have noticed that nickel/silver colored small pistol primer misfire issue has died down mostly as bronze/brass colored small pistol primer seem to be fine. Anyone experiencing misfires with bronze/brass colored Wolf small pistol primers?

Dynamite Rabbit
November 28, 2010, 04:53 PM
I loaded my first .223 rounds yesterday with H335 and Wolf .223 primers, lot 9-09. Out of about 20 rounds I had one misfire in my stock AR -- three deep hits and no luck.

Pulled it down afterward, and found that the primer fired, but there was no burned powder. I could see the anvil marks inside the primer hole, so I'm quite sure the primer was seated. I don't believe the flash hole could have been plugged -- this is once-fired, processed LC brass, and I resized with the decapping pin in place. I have 4,000 more primers (hope I don't get too much practice clearing misfires!).

evan price
November 29, 2010, 04:51 AM
I personally have had no problems with Wolf primers in any flavor, with the exception of ONE small pistol primer (of the older brass colored lots) which was missing an anvil. That could have been my fault, recycling a primer I had misfed in the press. I have used both the plated and unplated primers.

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