Force priming .308


Steve Reloader
September 9, 2012, 09:02 AM
Hello, I am new here much respect. Not new to reloading however a little green on Rifle shell reloading. Attempting to load .308 brass with Federal No 210 Large Rifle Primers. The problem is the primer dose not want to go in with any ease. In fact a couple primers have crushed during the process. I have 2 RCBS primer tools and have used both the black and white plastic guides. Anyone know why there would be a resistance. I am sure it is something simple that I am overlooking.

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September 9, 2012, 09:05 AM
It is difficult to say just how much force it takes to seat a primer, but seating is always a friction fit.

However it sounds like you have an issue with 308 pockets. You did not mention what 308 brass you are using.

Is it possible you have military with crimped in pockets?

September 9, 2012, 09:29 AM
Federal primers have a nasty habit of being made ever so slightly oversized. Combine that with brass that doesn't have a good radius (or still has the remnants of a crimp) around the primer pocket and they become very difficult to seat. Some Winchester and Federal cases have an almost square edge around the primer pocket. Remington brass has a big radius.

Unless you have Palma brass, you should be using the black (large primer) insert with the RCBS priming tool. Make sure that the primer is not hanging up in the channel in the insert. I've had a couple do that to me. With problem cases, I've found that if I gently rotate and wiggle the case while applying light seating pressure, the primer will align itself and slide right in.

September 9, 2012, 02:12 PM
What he said.

You have military brass with crimped primer pockets.
You need to ream or swage the crimp out before you can reprime them.

You use the Black insert with the large primer seating pinch to seat Large primers.

The white insert and small punch is for small primers only.


September 9, 2012, 04:17 PM

What these guys said. Sounds like military brass. At the very least, you need to remove the crimp. Many cases (especially Lake City brass) have primer pockets a couple thousandths smaller than commercial brass, and need the primer pockets swaged/reamed to accept commercial primers.

September 9, 2012, 04:18 PM
You can remove the PP crimp with a twist drill. You can heat the cases to 90-100F and then seat the primers. No they won't go of at that temp.

September 9, 2012, 04:34 PM
OK then, not much to add here...

Remove crimp from primer pocket (check)
Use black (large) primer insert (check)
Problem gone... ;)

Try this tool:

September 9, 2012, 06:21 PM
Absolutely the fastest/most durable swager AND priming setup I ever used on a single stage press:

September 9, 2012, 06:27 PM
Dont have those tools, steve ?

A #3 or comparable sized phillips screwdriver takes the meanest crimps out with about three twists.

Got a drill ? even better. Chuck that #3 or comparable bit into the drill, press the button, and push the crimped end into for the few seconds it takes to remove the crimp.

You should have a nice even bevel all the way around the primer pocket mouth.

I tried to get the best pics I could.

I did about 1,000 of them this way, and it works just fine if you dont have fancy equipment.

The Hornady crimp remover even looks like a sawed of #3 phillips.

A #2 is too small...its goes right in the pocket. a #3 is perfect.

September 9, 2012, 07:20 PM
Eversince you were in highschool you knew not to force anything, as it only leads to trouble. Over comming a little resistance is one thing but never force anything.

September 9, 2012, 08:39 PM
bha has a crimp that needs to be cut/removed

September 9, 2012, 09:14 PM
Yes fol, that was why I used it as an example :)

September 10, 2012, 10:37 AM
Let us know if the advise solved your problems. It sure sounds like crimped primer pocket problems to me also. Crimped primer pockets are appearing in more and more brands as time goes by I am afraid. It is not just MIL SPEC brass anymore. When I started I used a pocket knife to remove them then moved on to a counter sink in a drill and now use the RCBS swaging tool.

Steve Reloader
September 11, 2012, 08:04 AM
To all, thanks for all the information. It will surely be helpful to me at sometime in the future. The brass I was processing was Privi Partizan. Before trying some of your suggestions I decided to first strip down my RCBS priming tool and clean it and look for problems. I didn't find anything in particular but primed 3 pieces of brass and they seemed to go in with ease. Again I learned a few things from your replies that will be very helpful. Thanks again, Steve

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