Breech Face Erosion from .45 auto leaking primers


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FullEffect1911
March 22, 2012, 10:56 AM
Hello,

I noticed some breech face erosion on my 1911 that is in a circle where the primer would be. I checked the headspace on my gun and it checked out fine.

The loads I was using that I noticed a scorch mark near the primer was:
230 grain Rainer plated RN
5.2 grains hp-38
Federal nickle plated brass
Winchester Large Pistol Primer.

Other loads I was running recently from this gun were (working off memeory):
230 grain lead RN
5.5 grain of Unique
Mixed brass
Winchester Large Pistol primer

These are not new cases and have probably been loaded 6 or so times.

The Winchester brass cases don't seem to be leaking that I noticed, but I just started checking for this. The primer leaking isn't a consistent circle, just a small scorch on one point of the circumference of the primer.

I don't think I've done severe damage to the breech face but it is something that I want to resolve.

Any ideas on what the problem is. Is nickle plated Federal brass not up to multiple reloadings? Is this possible because of the WLP primers? Is all my brass tired, or should I just take more notice to the loose primers (something I should have been doing all along).

Anything input would be helpful.

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bds
March 22, 2012, 11:06 AM
You may be getting high pressure gas leakage from loose primer pockets.

Are the primers easy to seat?

If you do have enlarged primer pockets, using Wolf/Tula LP with slightly larger diameter primer cups will get more mileage out of loose primer pocket cases. ;)

Blue68f100
March 22, 2012, 11:30 AM
If your seeing this it leakage around the primer pockets. Your loads are on the upper end for lead so you should not have a sealing problem. I did not look at Unique data. Like bds suggested switch to a different brand primer. CCI are slightly larger than WW with Wolf/Tula being next inline. Nickle brass normally does not last as long as std but it does not fail at the primer pocket. They normally split the case. You should get more loads than you have though.

Did you do any primer pocket prep to the brass prior to using it?

kingmt
March 22, 2012, 11:32 AM
Are you sure it isn't pinging instead? I had to have a new slide because factory loads pinged my breech face. I started finding crimped primers in factory stuff shortly after that. Tarus picked up the tab.

FullEffect1911
March 22, 2012, 11:33 AM
Did you do any primer pocket prep to the brass prior to using it?

No, the Unique loads were done on a progressive so I didn't clean. The hp-38 loads were done on a single stage but I still didn't clean the primer pocket.

I am wondering now if I am not seating the primers quite enough?

Are the primers easy to seat?

They don't seem to be anything out of the ordinary, but admittedly I don't seem to be paying as much attention to it as I know I should be.

FullEffect1911
March 22, 2012, 11:37 AM
Are you sure it isn't pinging instead? I had to have a new slide because factory loads pinged my breech face. I started finding crimped primers in factory stuff shortly after that. Tarus picked up the tab.

I am not familiar with what pinging is. If I had to guess you are talking when the primer backs out and slams back, reseating it?

I don't think that's the problem. The damage to the breech face looks like erosion and isn't a perfect circle, just pockmarked.

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn252/fulleffect1911/1911breechfaceerosion.jpg

clem
March 22, 2012, 12:21 PM
What is the make of your M1911 and how old is it?

FullEffect1911
March 22, 2012, 12:29 PM
What is the make of your M1911 and how old is it?

Springfield Range Officer, less then one year old, bought new by me and approximately 1000 or so rounds.

MtnCreek
March 22, 2012, 12:47 PM
If the pockets are leaking, there should be evidence of this on the fired brass. I would consider priming with your convention ‘single stage’ setup until you figure it out (progressive priming just doesn’t have the same feel for me).

FullEffect1911
March 22, 2012, 12:50 PM
If the pockets are leaking, there should be evidence of this on the fired brass. I would consider priming with your convention ‘single stage’ setup until you figure it out (progressive priming just doesn’t have the same feel for me).

I use a lee hand priming tool now-a-days. So use the same components and just toss loose primer pocketed brass?

Do you think I should try different components or just stick with what I have?

Will cleaning the primer pockets give me a better seal?

Hit_Factor
March 22, 2012, 12:59 PM
I would send it in to Springfield and find out if it's normal wear. I don't think it is. I wouldn't be concerned that Springfield will ask about using reloads, and I have several guns that have never fired factory ammo, my SOCOM 16 for example, if and it wasn't an issue when it went back to the factory.



Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk

MtnCreek
March 22, 2012, 01:05 PM
I would try to connect fired brass with evidence of leaking pockets (dark ring around the primer) with loose pockets. If the brass that shows leaking also has loose pockets, then you may have it solved. At that point, I would confirm my data and start loading and shooting new or ‘low rd count’ brass to see how many firings you get before the pockets get loose.

IMHO, cleaning pistol primer pockets will make for more reliable primer/pocket seat, it should not affect pockets leaking (or not leaking).

clem
March 22, 2012, 01:56 PM
I would send it in to Springfield and find out if it's normal wear. I don't think it is. I wouldn't be concerned that Springfield will ask about using reloads, and I have several guns that have never fired factory ammo, my SOCOM 16 for example, if and it wasn't an issue when it went back to the factory.



Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk
Yes, do this. There should NOT be any problem like that with only a 1,000 rounds through it.

243winxb
March 22, 2012, 02:31 PM
The primer leaking isn't a consistent circle, just a small scorch on one point of the circumference of the primer.
Defective prime cup is my first guess as the 45 acp is not working at high pressure like a 44mag. See photos in album links below.

kingmt
March 22, 2012, 04:34 PM
Pinging is from a repeated strike until it chips pieces out from the stress.

Do you use any factory loads?

bds
March 22, 2012, 04:49 PM
Pinging is from a repeated strike until it chips pieces out from the stress.

Could it be that primer cups in loose primer pockets are sliding back on the breech face and slamming against it? But brass primer cups are softer metal than slide ...

That wear mark sure looks like the outline of primer cups. I really think it is high pressure gas leakage around the primer cups and "gas cutting" with fouling/carbon matter against the breech face ... IMO.

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn252/fulleffect1911/1911breechfaceerosion.jpg

ghitch75
March 22, 2012, 04:58 PM
check for loose extractor rd not stayin' tight to breech face.....IMHO...

kingmt
March 22, 2012, 05:10 PM
Mine had biger chunks out but looked like that. I never noticed mine until I went to detail it. I started to scrap & that isn't carbon.

FullEffect1911
March 22, 2012, 05:42 PM
check for loose extractor rd not stayin' tight to breech face.....IMHO...

extractor is good.

Of the last 30 rounds I fired here is one that had the primer leak. It was just just where the "ral" in Federal is and the whole circumference isn't blackened (the photo doesn't show that well).

You can see the "ral" is blackened and there is a flame score on the brass at the "a".

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn252/fulleffect1911/PrimerLeak.jpg

GLOOB
March 22, 2012, 07:49 PM
You're near the max for HP-38. Maybe try a different powder. With Unique, I usually load 6.25gr behind a 230gr jacketed bullet. With Rainier's, I back it down to 6. I'm going to keep an eye on my guns, because I just switched to WLP, and I noticed some of the primers slide in rather easy.

I've shot the same load you're using, and I've found it rather weak in felt recoil. Combined with 45 being a low pressure round, perhaps that particular combo isn't enough to seal the primers, but a different powder/load might not have an issue. Or maybe check some other load books. I know Hodgdon says 5.3 max for HP-38. But maybe their data is too conservative.

Or maybe you just have a bad batch of brass, bad primers, or a batch of undersized bullets?

Otto
March 22, 2012, 10:25 PM
Springfield Range Officer, less then one year old, bought new by me and approximately 1000 or so rounds.

Breech erosion isn't uncommon with Springers.
Call Springfield and they will replace the slide. You'll have to ship the gun back to them so make sure they send you a pre-paid shipping label.

Breech erosion is usually a combination of different things: too hot of primer and/or powder, excessive headspace, loose primer pockets, poor metallurgy, lack of heat treatment, rapid firing etc.
In your case, I would lean toward poor metal as the problem.

bds
March 23, 2012, 02:02 AM
Breech erosion is usually a combination of different things: too hot of primer and/or powder, excessive headspace, loose primer pockets, poor metallurgy, lack of heat treatment, rapid firing etc. In your case, I would lean toward poor metal as the problem.
Hmmmm ... your comment made me think back and after firing several hundred thousand rounds of reloads through various pistols, I can't remember any of my pistols (some with 50-60K+ firings) having breech face erosion.

Has anyone experienced breech face erosion and share what pistol and round count?

TIA!

918v
March 23, 2012, 04:13 AM
I still don't understand why he's seeing blowby around the primer.

kingmt
March 23, 2012, 07:09 AM
Tarus PT24/7 DC 9mm. Less then 500 round count. Came from ether WWB or eco Federal. I hadn't used reloads in it. It was my carry gun. I still haven't ran 20 through it since getting it back.

1911Tuner
March 23, 2012, 03:12 PM
check for loose extractor rd not stayin' tight to breech face.....IMHO...

The extractor never holds the rim tight against the breechface. The 1911 doesn't work that way.

And...

If there's a little headspace...and there usually is...the primer always backs out of the pocket a little...equal to the amount of headspace...and gets reseated when the rim is slammed into the breechface.

The picture in post #19 may provide you with a clue. The breechface is mis-machined. There's a step that will hold the rim off the breechface on one side and keeps the rim from immediately reseating the primer. The primer leaks high temp gas under pressure and erodes the steel. Then, the step is swaged into the case rim. The question right now is...how deep is that step? How far from the surface of the step to the surface of the breechface...and the second question...Is your headspace being measured from the step...or from the actual breechface?

brickeyee
March 23, 2012, 03:28 PM
[The picture in post #19...

#6?

1911Tuner
March 23, 2012, 03:32 PM
No. The case rim in 19. See the swaged steps?

brickeyee
March 23, 2012, 03:39 PM
What appears to maybe be a divot below the 45?

I rarely trust single photo views anymore.

It is all to easy for lighting angle to turn a bulge into a depression.

1911Tuner
March 23, 2012, 04:32 PM
Yep...and beside Federal. The two marks appear to be identical marks on a twice-reloaded case. When they first jumped into the 1911 market, Smith & Wesson had the same issues with several breechfaces. I've seen it occasionally on recent Springfields.

I rarely trust single photo views anymore.

Me either...but there are two identical marks, and I thought it might warrant a closer look.

coalman
March 23, 2012, 06:45 PM
I've had gas cutting running weak loads with hard primers. Solution was to increase loads or run softer primers.

FullEffect1911
March 23, 2012, 07:29 PM
The picture in post #19 may provide you with a clue. The breechface is mis-machined. There's a step that will hold the rim off the breechface on one side and keeps the rim from immediately reseating the primer. The primer leaks high temp gas under pressure and erodes the steel. Then, the step is swaged into the case rim. The question right now is...how deep is that step? How far from the surface of the step to the surface of the breechface...and the second question...Is your headspace being measured from the step...or from the actual breechface?

sorry tuner, this brass might have been fired from any combination of several different 1911's, two S&W M&P45cs or a Sig p250. When I got home on Sunday I'll post a picture of a once fired piece of brass from the Range Officer, also federal and without primer blow by.

ghitch75
March 23, 2012, 08:27 PM
so a loose extractor when the round chambers and it pulls forward then it goes off wouldn't it slam in to the breech face?

Seedtick
March 24, 2012, 01:27 AM
FullEffect1911, What is the lot number on your Winchester primers?

It would certainly be interesting, to me anyway, if it turns out to be CFL 448G. :scrutiny: Have you punched out any of the 'leaking' primers and given them a good going over?

This thread from nearly a year ago will show why my interest has been piqued.

Trouble With A 44 Mag Load??? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=586184)

It may have nothing in common with that thread except Winchester large pistol primers but then again....?

Seedtick

:)

918v
March 24, 2012, 03:46 AM
Yep...and beside Federal. The two marks appear to be identical marks on a twice-reloaded case. When they first jumped into the 1911 market, Smith & Wesson had the same issues with several breechfaces. I've seen it occasionally on recent Springfields.

Many 1911s have that step. I had a Wilson CQB with that step. My Ruger 1911 has that step. That isn't the cause of the primer leak.

FullEffect1911
March 25, 2012, 03:30 PM
FullEffect1911, What is the lot number on your Winchester primers?

The lot number of this batch of WLP is DML858G.

Here is a picture of a once fired piece of brass from the Range Officer:

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn252/fulleffect1911/oncefiredbrassRO.jpg

The ejector mark looks to be the "I" before Federal.

Headspace measures as the following:

Empty case: .893"
Feeler gage fit to back of breech face: .017"
Feeler gage fit to step: .015"

Headspace: 0.910"

Tuner I read this method from a previous post of yours on a different forum I think.

moxie
March 25, 2012, 05:15 PM
full effect,

As you know from your own manuals, those loads you listed are NOT hot loads. They are in the mid-range.
The problem is NOT ammo related. I've reloaded cases of scores of headstamps scores of times with never a loose primer pocket. I can't actually recall a case of a loose primer pocket in .45ACP. And, cleaning the primer pockets on .45ACP is, like practice bleeding, a total waste of time.
The problem IS, therefore, the slide as some have already indicated. I just checked a couple of .45s that are high mileage and have had everything run through them. They have a shiny circle on the bolt face that mimics the outline of the primer, but no, not any at all, not even a little bit, degradation of the steel at all. Bad slide. Get Springfield to fix it.

FullEffect1911
March 25, 2012, 06:10 PM
full effect,

As you know from your own manuals, those loads you listed are NOT hot loads. They are in the mid-range.
The problem is NOT ammo related. I've reloaded cases of scores of headstamps scores of times with never a loose primer pocket. I can't actually recall a case of a loose primer pocket in .45ACP. And, cleaning the primer pockets on .45ACP is, like practice bleeding, a total waste of time.
The problem IS, therefore, the slide as some have already indicated. I just checked a couple of .45s that are high mileage and have had everything run through them. They have a shiny circle on the bolt face that mimics the outline of the primer, but no, not any at all, not even a little bit, degradation of the steel at all. Bad slide. Get Springfield to fix it.

While this may be true, it still doesn't explain why there is scorch marks on the primers. Bad steel or not hi pressure jets of hot gas will erode pretty much any steel.

moxie
March 25, 2012, 07:11 PM
Based on your photo, I don't see anything awry. Could be a result of or reaction to what's going on on the breechface.

edfardos
March 25, 2012, 11:21 PM
pull the primer out, wash it, then hold it up to the light. The little pinhole of light at the shoulder you see is God telling you to stop buying winchester wlp primers. They used to be great, but recent lots are well documented failures. I was lucky I noticed it after five shots in my 44mag.

edfardos

moxie
March 25, 2012, 11:57 PM
edfardos,

Dynamite response. But, could you please share some of those well documented failures?

edfardos
March 26, 2012, 12:33 AM
sure, first few hits by google searching: "wlp primer pierced lots".

best,
edfardos

bds
March 26, 2012, 12:51 AM
My last 1000 WLP primers functioned perfectly! My new lot of 1000 WLP primers damage my revolver as they pierce and firecut into my recoil plate. I sent Winchester $5 worth of bad ammo to fire, in the hopes they'll say it's bad, and send me another lot of primers which may-or-may-not be any better, which I'll probably unload on craigslist since I can't trust Winchester anymore.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7651057#post7651057

edfardos, did you ever hear back from Winchester?

If this is true, it is of interest to me as I use WSP/WLP for pistol and WLR for .308 loads.

GLOOB
March 26, 2012, 03:53 AM
I read that linked thread. I had found it curious that my recent Win LPP (batch DLL) have a different color to the cup/compound then my older batch, purchased a year and a half ago.

I just ran out of the older ones and have only mixed in 30 of the new ones with my current reloads. I'll have to keep a watch out. Thanks for the heads up!

edfardos
March 26, 2012, 06:57 PM
Yes, I heard back from winchester. They were very professional, but it did take them two months to respond. I don't know if my samples ever went to QA. They also sent me a gift-certificate to cover my trouble. So outstanding company, just a bad product. Everyone is entitled to a bad day or QA problems. I'm guessing they got bad brass (high zinc, low copper), which was too hard or thin and they failed. They said the Rifle primers are made with an entirely different process and material, and that any WLP issues I was having would not necessarily apply to the WLR primers I have.

Another (best) thread on this, which tries to gather bad lot numbers:

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=129016&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=bfa3c2aec2e521465ac3f4a891a4b9a2

fwiw, i switched to CCI350 primers, and never had another issue -- it doesn't mean cci's great, but at least they don't erode my breach face (recoil plate in the case of my revolver).

best,
-edfardos

FullEffect1911
March 26, 2012, 09:59 PM
Well I finally punched out the primer and inspected it.

As it turns out it the breech face erosion is due to the rounded edge of the primer cup cracking and leaking. So the primer pockets are not loose and the gun is good, it is just a poor lot of WLP primers.

There was no powder marks alongside the primer pocket of the case or at the rim of the cup. The crack formed at the rounded edge. Perhaps it has something to do with the chamfer on the brass's primer pocket. When the primer gets somewhat deformed from firing, it may deform extra into a deeper primer pocket chamfer and if brittle it might crack.

Long story short my research into the matter seems to indicate that Winchester WLP primers seem do be doing this on occasion.

I just got 2k of Win Small pistol primers.... I hope it doesn't happen with my new Glock.

GLOOB
March 26, 2012, 10:24 PM
Great. I made 30 round with these primers, but they're mixed up with about 250 good rounds. Thanks for the followthrough and the links, guys.

243winxb
March 26, 2012, 10:41 PM
the breech face erosion is due to the rounded edge of the primer cup cracking and leaking. Like i said, defective primers.

edfardos
March 26, 2012, 10:53 PM
please share the lot numbers of the failed primers (everyone who has pits on their breachfaces).

thanks,
edfardos

Seedtick
March 27, 2012, 12:22 AM
as it turns out it the breech face erosion is due to the rounded edge of the primer cup cracking and leaking. So the primer pockets are not loose and the gun is good, it is just a poor lot of wlp primers.

It looks as if this problem isn't confined to a 'particular' lot of bad primers.

It appears to be an 'ongoing' problem with bad primers or maybe it's just Winchester's *S.O.P.

Our bad lot number was CFL 448G.

Seedtick

:)

*(Standard Operating Procedure) :mad:

243winxb
March 27, 2012, 10:15 AM
Winchester ammo/component plant was moved. New employess & equipment. The move was said to take a year or two.

FullEffect1911
March 27, 2012, 06:13 PM
The lot of WLP primers I am having issues with is DML858G as mentioned previously in the thread.

GLOOB
March 27, 2012, 08:27 PM
I'm curious if the priming method/technique could also be contributing. When I first started reloading, I used to flatten each primer pretty bad. I imagine this folding and then subsequent unfolding of the corner as it fires, then flattening again when it slams into the breachface might weaken it.

So how goes it, edfardos and FullEffect 1911? What do your unfired rounds look like?

I'm not trying to defend Winchester. I'm just trying to justify a way to use my primers and ammo. But I only shoot two 45's. A G21, which is already known to have a very thin breechface. And my friend's cherished handgun, a Gold Cup she bought new, less than a year ago. So I'm loathe to just "shoot 'em and see." I imagine Winchester would be recalling primers if they were universally damaging firearms. So perhaps the problem is more sporadic.

GLOOB
March 28, 2012, 05:00 PM
Well, I emailed OlinWinchesterinfo@olin.com about this to see if there was a known issue with my lot of primers. I relayed a quick description of the issue detailed in this thread along with the lot numbers listed here. I received a quick response.

We have not been made aware of any problems with our primers cracking. If you are experiencing this issue, please give us a call at 1-800-356-2666 ext 3697.
I, of course, won't be calling since I haven't shot any of these primers, yet. But for those who have experienced problems, perhaps giving them a call might get the word out, in case it's more than just a freak occurrence.

FullEffect1911
March 28, 2012, 08:22 PM
I'm not trying to defend Winchester. I'm just trying to justify a way to use my primers and ammo.

How many primers do you have? I am wondering if it could have something to do with the firing pin on the Springfield. I believe they use a 9mm sized firing pin. It is titanium and the mainspring is higher poundage to ignite the primers using the TI firing pin. I always thought the dimples look strange, oh well.

Long story short, I am not firing them out my Range Officer, and will most likely trash the remainder. I still think it is just a lot issue.

My Winchester small pistol primers just ran beautiful, so I will keep using them.

Blue68f100
March 28, 2012, 09:16 PM
I know if you have any problems with Fed ammo or products, Contact them. They will replace them with a different lot + extras. With ammo it's a 2 for 1 and they have a pickup shipping label to pick them up when they deliver the replacement.

So give them a call if your having problem. Also in your case send a couple of cases with the bad primers. They will need the lot numbers so they can trace all of the supply chains. If you think you have multiple lots give those number too.

GLOOB
March 28, 2012, 09:58 PM
How many primers do you have?
I just stocked up for the year. 2K Win LPP from the same lot number. I'd rather avoid damage altogether than to get 2 free bricks of primers. Although, come to think of it, that doesn't sound so bad what Federal does. :)

If it were SPP, and Win had the same 2 for 1 policy, I'd feel rather lucky. I have a couple milsurp beaters I'd be happy to test them in, and the thought of turning 7 bricks of primers into 14 would be like winning the reloader's lottery. :)

I wish I had a few of those old 357 cases with a large pocket. I may have to check the local ads for a beater 44/45.

Right about now, the Caracal's replaceable breechface looks genius.

edfardos
March 28, 2012, 10:56 PM
this is a good reminder to keep a reloading logbook, jot down when you start using a new lot of consumables, and mark your reloads with serial numbers. That way you can go back and find boxes of ammo which have bad parts.. I was lucky to discover my bad lot of wlp primers after only 150 rounds, and I was able to identify all of them.

--edfardos

ghitch75
March 29, 2012, 09:05 AM
i have ran thousands and thousands of Winchester threw all my 1911's(17) and have never seen any thing like the OP has shown.....there is something else goin' on....i would send it to Springfield and let them have a look.....

GLOOB
March 29, 2012, 08:03 PM
Did you read the linked threads and look at the pictures of primers with a pin hole in the shoulder? I don't doubt your experience with Win primers. I also don't doubt theirs, esp considering the photographic evidence!

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