Primer trouble or is it me


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Sauer Grapes
December 4, 2010, 09:40 PM
I just started reloading 9mm. I've shot about 300 rounds so far with 16 duds. I'm using CCI primers. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong while seating the primers? i've hit them 3 and 4 times till their caved in and, nothing.
I reload shotgun a lot and can't remember the last time I had a primer not go off after a 2nd strike.

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HOWARD J
December 4, 2010, 10:11 PM
Are you getting any resizing lube on these primers?
Lube will kill the primers.
New or old primers?

Do you have gunpowder in the cases?

Walkalong
December 4, 2010, 10:12 PM
99% of primer problems come from not seating them fully. Make sure they are at least a hair below flush.

The other 1% is weak springs.

That's a lot of duds for 300 rounds.

Sam1911
December 4, 2010, 10:43 PM
I've had a few failures to ignite when using VERY light springs in a revolver. Otherwise I'd say zero "duds" in many MANY tens of thousands of rounds. (A few squibs once because of a faulty powder measure, but no duds.)

Something is VERY wrong.

Try another batch of primers. Try another brand of primers. Make sure they're seated just below flush. That is horridly unacceptable!

Starter52
December 4, 2010, 10:45 PM
I agree that it might be a weak spring. Does your gun fire factory ammo 100%?

Sauer Grapes
December 4, 2010, 10:46 PM
I just bought the primers. As far as lube goes, I spray just a tad of furniture polish on a piece of flannel cloth and roll them on it just to slick them up a little with the old primer still in the case. I don't spray directly on the cases and use very little.

I did notice a few of the primers could have been seated a little farther but isn't the case with most.

I don't know, the place I bought the primers is a new business. I assume all his stock is current. I 'm going to buy some primers somewhere else just out of curiosity. Like I said I'm new to the metalic loading.

I shoot 2 different 9mms. It does it with both guns. My taurus does seem to hit with less force than my M&P, but like I said, it happens with both guns. Factory ammo, 100%.

Jesse Heywood
December 4, 2010, 11:33 PM
Sounds like you're not getting the primers seated. I use my thumbnail to check, going across te case head. If I feel a bump at the primer, it needs to go deeper.

Primers have a long shelf life. And I doubt if any dealer would have any primers on their shelves that are more than 2 or 3 years old, unless they had an outrageous price. Too many people wanted to buy primers since 2008, so most stores and warehouses were cleaned out.

Hondo 60
December 4, 2010, 11:40 PM
I've never had a CCI primer that didn't fire. And I've reloaded over 25,000 rounds in just the last year.
Please report back when you've loaded with new primers.

HOWARD J
December 4, 2010, 11:41 PM
When you get some extra money---buy a set of Lee CARBIDE dies--that way you don't need any resizing lube.
Hope you have better luck.....

Steve C
December 4, 2010, 11:57 PM
As others have said, primers need to be seated into the bottom of the pocket. Using a single stage press you can feel the primer bottom out when seating, its a bit more difficult on a progressive. When the primer bottoms out the anvil is pushed back a bit and the compound is sensitized and given a "set". The picture below shows a close up of a CCI primer and you can see the anvil "legs" are slightly above the cup.
http://www.members.cox.net/scollins15/Pictures/Primerclose.jpg

Floppy_D
December 5, 2010, 12:05 AM
If after two firing attempts the handloaded rounds didn't go off, and factory ammo does always... primers remain suspect... Sam1911 says sooth in trying a new batch/ brand. That's way out of line.

jcwit
December 5, 2010, 12:05 AM
I did notice a few of the primers could have been seated a little farther but isn't the case with most.



That quote right there leads me to believe you not seating primers below flush. They should be approx .003 below flush with the case head.

I don't know, the place I bought the primers is a new business. I assume all his stock is current. I 'm going to buy some primers somewhere else just out of curiosity. Like I said I'm new to the metalic loading.



Stock being current should have nothing to do with it, I've got primers from the 1940 I'm still using up and the all go bang first time. Primers stay good for decads.

I just bought the primers. As far as lube goes, I spray just a tad of furniture polish on a piece of flannel cloth and roll them on it just to slick them up a little with the old primer still in the case. I don't spray directly on the cases and use very little

Almost all mfg.'s use dies with a carbide insert for handgun cases. No lube needed, however I do spray mine with a quick drying teflon spray just to make things easier, arthritis is a bitch and I don't like pain. For handgun ammo I'd stay away from greasy. petro lubes. But actually I doubt very much if your lubing is any part of the problem.

Final consensus, not seating the primer below flush, and BTW are you cleaning the primer pockets>

altitude_19
December 5, 2010, 01:41 AM
Same thing happened to me recently. I seated my cci primers a little more assertively and no more problems. Maybe cci is more sensitive to seating depth?

Steve in PA
December 5, 2010, 02:04 AM
Over 19 years of reloading using nothing but CCI primers, rifle and pistol (small, large, regular and magnum) and I cannot think of one problem with the primers.

ArchAngelCD
December 5, 2010, 02:21 AM
I agree, primers are probably good for a very long time. In all the years I've been reloading I can't remember having a bad primer. Not even any of the Magtech or Wolf primers I've used over the past 2 years failed to go bang.

Sauer Grapes
December 5, 2010, 10:33 AM
Thanks guys for all your input. I'll take it a little slower and make sure my primer seating process is more accurate.
I'm learning from your responses, primers for metalic loading is much more sensitive issue for beginners than loading shotshells.

I'll keep loading, reading and learning.

Thanks again

eam3clm@att.net
December 5, 2010, 10:35 AM
What case prep steps are you taking. Do you deprime before you tumble the cases. I became suspect of a batch of primers a few years ago. They were seated correctly but had erratic ignition most went boom just fine others did not and others seemed under powered. It was after I started using a lee universal deprime tool before I tumbled my brass. I was trying to save the step of cleaning the primer pocket on my then new turret press. After some investigation I discovered that some of the corn cobb tumbling media was getting lodged in the flash hole and primer pocket when I tumbled deprimed cases. I have not had any trouble since with any type of primers including the tula primers (so fAR). T

HOWARD J
December 5, 2010, 10:44 AM
@jcwit
How is this for arthritis saver:Clg. fan holder taped to RCBS primer tool.
I had trouble seating CCI prmers in new Winchester M-1 carbine cases--this set-up gets the job done.

http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/8290/prmerhandle.th.jpg (http://img340.imageshack.us/i/prmerhandle.jpg/)

Walkalong
December 5, 2010, 10:48 AM
Now that's some leverage right there.

rfwobbly
December 5, 2010, 10:49 AM
Thanks guys for all your input. I'll take it a little slower and make sure my primer seating process is more accurate. I'm learning from your responses, primers for metallic loading is much more sensitive issue for beginners than loading shotshells.

If you learned to reload watching YouTube videos, then you need to backup. Metallic reloading is not a race. It's not about how many you can make in an hour. Take the time to go slowly and be consistent with each and every round. Learn your new press, and learn to "feel" each step so you can spot issues before they replicate.

On the other hand, don't be discouraged either. Most of us here went through some kind of "start up" issue that we eventually worked out. This was usually in the days of snail mail. If it wasn't covered in American Rifleman, then it wasn't common knowledge. Think how much luckier you are now.

;)

clutch
December 5, 2010, 10:51 AM
Are you sure you didn't grab rifle primers instead of pistol primers? I did that once with a batch of .45 acp ammo. 95% of them went off but my P90 had a pretty heavy hammer.

Clutch

Curator
December 5, 2010, 10:58 AM
CCI small pistol primers are the toughest of the lot. I have had several instances of failures to fire with small double action pistols using CCI SP primers. I know the primers are correctly seated, and yes, the pistols have "light" primer strike. However no porblems using Federal or Winchester SP primers or any Factory loads. I have had this problem many years ago with Alcan SP primers--same reason. I stopped using them and the problem went away.

mbopp
December 5, 2010, 12:21 PM
As far as "old" primers: I had a 20+ year hiatus from shooting. When I got back into it I was using up my old stocks of primers and powder without any issues.

Jesse Heywood
December 5, 2010, 01:44 PM
I'll keep loading, reading and learning.

That is my goal. When I stop learning it will be time to quit loading.

Sauer Grapes
December 5, 2010, 03:57 PM
I tumble my brass before anything else is done. Hmmm, would dirty primer pocket cause my problem? I don't clean the primer pocket on my cases. If I have to clean the primer pocket on every case, what's the point of having a turret or progressive press? I was hoping to avoid depriming, pulling the case out, reaming the pocket and then priming it.
I'm not bitching, just asking. Seems like this is going to be a bit tedious. Well it is what it is. I want to do it the proper way.

Sam1911
December 5, 2010, 04:32 PM
I don't clean primer pockets on any handgun brass. Just tumble and into the press they go.

GP100man
December 5, 2010, 04:42 PM
If stored correctly primers have an indefinite shelf life !!!

I`m now using some cci 500 dated `88 , 100% so far !!

I also clean primer pockets , I tried it with out it once & could`nt "feel" the bottom for all the crunchin !!

Also WW cases have tite pockets & I sometimes have trouble feelin bottom.

1SOW
December 5, 2010, 05:36 PM
I don't clean range brass 9mm primer pockets.

When I started 9mm reloading, I worried about how much the primer was below the case head. Bad call.

Seat the primer all the way to the bottom of the pocket, firmly.

With every case (except "WC" cases) it is easy to visbly verify "below the case head". You can easily "see" the primer pocket's bevel above the primer I don't load "WC" cases because the primer pocket isn't bevelled unless one of the 'previous' dozen reloaders bevelled it. "Win" is my preferred range brass.

ArchAngelCD
December 6, 2010, 02:53 AM
Sauer Grapes,
I have NEVER cleaned a primer pocket on handgun brass and I don't think you will need to either. I prime all my handgun brass on a Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Press and have experienced no problems. I do clean primer pockets on rifle brass and prime all my rifle brass by hand but not handgun brass. Just be a little more attentive on how deep you seat the primers and I'm sure you will be fine, really...

sig220mw
December 6, 2010, 03:14 AM
Sounds like you need to clean the pockets. I understand the progressive press part but sometimes there are just some things you need to do to make it work. When there is residue left your primers may not be seating solidly enough and there is a little give when they are struck by the firing pin.

Before I got a pocket cleaning tool, I used a small flathead screw driver that fit in the pockets just right and I would twist it around in the pocket and could feel the residue fall out on my hand and then of course the pockets looked clean.

I see some of the other guys say they don't clean theirs but you just may need to do it. It's part of the tinkering around process of reloading.

Hondo 60
December 6, 2010, 03:48 AM
When I first started reloading I cleaned the primer pockets because that's what the reloading manual said to do.

After lurking & reading here for several months I heard from a number of the respected voices that they don't clean 'em.

I stopped doing that a long time ago & never noticed any difference.

Sauer Grapes
December 6, 2010, 09:02 PM
Thanks guys,
I'm sure all get it squared away. From all the comments, I think I'll get it on the next batch.
Next is .45acp! I bought my first 1911.....:D Which brings up another question for another thread ...lol.

ArchAngelCD
December 6, 2010, 11:52 PM
I bought my first 1911.....
Every man should have at least one 1911...

One of only 2 semi-auto Centerfire pistols I own is a Springfield 1911A1 Government Model.

Sharkbait08
December 7, 2010, 03:46 PM
I'm new to reloading too, just had a similar issue with my CCI's. First box of 100 primers went smoothly developing my 9mm load. Soon as I broke into the second box, 4 of 6 primers took multiple strikes to fire (3 rounds took 2 hits, last took 4).

This was in my Sig P250 with 2000 factory rounds through it, no FTF what-so-ever, even with cheap ammo. I also verified each failed primer strike, none appeared to be "light" strikes. Based on the only change being the new box of primers, should I suspect a bad batch? Or just keep trying the rest of the rounds I loaded?

Hondo 60
December 7, 2010, 04:25 PM
Shark...

As I posted earlier, I've loaded 1000s of rounds this year alone & never had a FTF.
I just haven't seen any issues with primers.
(Not saying they can't happen, but...)

Make sure they're properly seated.

Stay safe!

dagger dog
December 7, 2010, 05:26 PM
Jumping in here a little late, but I can add, get a small peice of window glass, or something else that is pefectly FLAT, set the primered case primer down on the glass, if the case rocks you don't have the primer seated fully.

I didn't read all the above post but here is a question, and any one is free to feild this one, and let me add I don't reload for auto pistol, only revolver.


Since the 9MM Luger-Para head spaces on the case mouth, couldn't the case length be to short and the firing pin not hitting because the primer is to far away?

jcwit
December 7, 2010, 06:12 PM
Its a possible but usually the round will go off because of physics, a body at rest tends to stay at rest. The sudden impact of the firing pin "usually" will ignite the primer.

Case in point is all the different calibers the auto pistols chambered for spanish 9mm Largo are supposed to work in. I believe I phrased that right.

Iron Sight
December 7, 2010, 06:18 PM
Realize we are talking Automatics here, but.

Similar problem with a S&W revolver (625). Went to Federal primers, seemed to help for a while? Later very high incident of failure to fire. Found the Strain Screw backed out over 1 turn, tightened it up, problem solved. Was due to light primer strikes.

loadedround
December 7, 2010, 06:37 PM
Sauer Grapes: I also tumble my brass prior to reloading and I've noticed that tumbling in most cases does not clean out the primer pockets. I found the easiest way is to clean primer pockets is to toss them into the sink with some dish washing detergent and water allowing them to soak for an hour or so with a little stir now and then, then rinse and dry them. Anoher even faster way is toss the cases into a cheesecloth bag and run them through the dish washer...just don't let your better half catch you.

jcwit
December 7, 2010, 06:43 PM
Anoher even faster way is toss the cases into a cheesecloth bag and run them through the dish washer...just don't let your better half catch you.


You like to contaminate your dishwasher with lead residue from spent priming compound, then wash dishes that you eat off of? Not a real good idea, but then its your bod.

Just don't recommend it to other folks.

James2
December 7, 2010, 06:48 PM
Hmmmm, I have to suspect not seating the primers right since factory rounds work well. I have never had any problems with primers of any brand. I have used mostly CCI primers. I don't recall any duds. There has been some debate about how deep to seat primers. I always put them to the bottom of the pocket and with a bit of force. If your hammer strike has to seat the primer before it can ignite, you have lost some of the punch of the strike.

I don't know that it is all that important to clean primer pockets. I have loaded many rounds without cleaning primer pockets. I have also cleaned primer pockets many times. It works both ways

I have at times seen failures to fire because of the firing pin becoming very dirty and sticky. Make sure you always pay good attention to the firing pin when you clean your guns. This is especially important if you have some powder that is not burning clean.

1SOW
December 7, 2010, 11:35 PM
James2: +1

If the primer is set too shallow, the first and subsequent hits will 'seat it' and then it will fire-probably.

My pistol has a lightened hammer spring. I reload and shoot 9mm range brass about 200+/week. I've never cleaned a pocket and I've had '1' Federal spp fail to fire. I decapped it, and it was a strange light brownish color--something wrong with the mixture. When I first lightened the hammer spring I had about 1-2% FTFire with Win spp's.

I recently put in an 'extended' firing pin (approx..+.02"), so I can reliably shoot CCI or other harder primers.

JuryRig
December 9, 2010, 04:40 PM
If seating the primer correctly doesn't fix the problem, then make sure that the cases have not been trimmed too short. If you are below min case length, the firing pin will expend it's energy moving the cartridge forward in the chamber.

Don't ask how I know this.

243winxb
December 9, 2010, 04:58 PM
would dirty primer pocket cause my problem? No. After you tumble, the decapping pin should make sure the flash hole is open. 9mm headspaces on the case mouth. Brass should be at or near its maximum trim length. If the brass is to short, the firing pin pushs the round to far into the chamber. Then you have a misfire. See if the brass from the misfires measure shorter then the rest.

243winxb
December 9, 2010, 05:27 PM
Another thing- to much taper crimp on the case mouth can let the round go to deep into the chamber, causing a misfire also.

jcwit
December 9, 2010, 05:27 PM
If the brass is to short, the firing pin pushs the round to far into the chamber. Then you have a misfire.

Not always, see below. Also the extractor will usually hold a case enough to allow the firing pin to strike the primer hard enough to ignite the primer. Not necessarly good for the firearm but it does work.




Its a possible but usually the round will go off because of physics, a body at rest tends to stay at rest. The sudden impact of the firing pin "usually" will ignite the primer.

Case in point is all the different calibers the auto pistols chambered for spanish 9mm Largo are supposed to work in. I believe I phrased that right.

Another case in point is many smaller cartridges fired in larger chambers giving the grossly expanded cases shown on a few threads here lately.

243winxb
December 9, 2010, 05:32 PM
I shoot 2 different 9mms. It does it with both guns. My taurus does seem to hit with less force than my M&P, but like I said, it happens with both guns. Factory ammo, 100%. An "inertia firing pin" will travel till it hits the primer in most 1911 types. The extractor thing is an old argument, and will never be decided IMO. i've hit them 3 and 4 times till their caved in and, nothing.
Has to be bad primer, or something is contaminating the primers.

Sauer Grapes
December 9, 2010, 09:25 PM
All the brass I've used so far is factory once fired brass that I saved from shooting. I have picked up some brass at the club, but it was all factory ammo. I have it seperate from the ammo I shot until I can go through it and make sure it's all good.

I'm going to check some brass for length and adjust for a little less taper on the case. Maybe it's a combination of things.

I appreciate all the suggestions so far. This next batch may be "the perfect cartridge"....:rolleyes:

jcwit
December 9, 2010, 11:42 PM
Read paragraph 6 on this page

http://www.9mmlargo.com/400/index.htm

Extractor holds the cartridge for the firing pin, ask me how I know as I replaced a broken extractor by using 9mm luger years ago before I learned better. And it pretty obvious a 9 X 19 did not head space in a 9 X 23 chamber.

54lariat
December 10, 2010, 03:19 AM
I had a batch of 1000 9mm rounds I pressed out on my progressive RCBS... I changed out the primer seat pin from large primer to small and did not adjust the set screw that controls the primer seating depth, there were several that were sticking out slightly, well I say several I mean hundreds..LOL and they all shot fine, I used 3 different XD's

Since then I always check primer seating depth after I change from large or small primer pins

Just my .2 cents

atblis
December 10, 2010, 07:53 AM
99% of primer problems come from not seating them fully. Make sure they are at least a hair below flush.

The other 1% is weak springs.

That's a lot of duds for 300 rounds.
The other possibility is that the gun is slightly out of battery (effectively causing light strikes). If your reloads won't chamber correctly...

Sauer Grapes
December 10, 2010, 03:14 PM
I think I got it!!!
I loaded 150 rounds and shot them today without a failure. I checked my primer seating, adjusted the crimp a little, seated the bullets just a tad deeper and checked them against a factory round in the chamber on both of my 9mms to make sure they were seating properly.

I think I had a combination of things effecting my ammo. Thanks so much to everybody for your help. :D

Walkalong
December 10, 2010, 03:17 PM
Only one thing affected the primers not going off, and that was the seating depth. Glad to got it worked out.

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