1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bad Winchester large pistol primers in circulation

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by edfardos, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    We're getting corroborating evidence that there are bad lots of Winchester WLP (large pistol) primers in circulation. Primers have pinhole failures on their shoulders with no other signs of pressure -- 44mag in my case. Check your firearms for gas-cutting (pits) on bolt/breach faces and recoil shields of revolvers.

    I talked to Olin (winchester ammunition). They want the failed primers, the brass they were in, and 10-15 live rounds with the suspect primers. They sent a UPS guy to pick'm up.


    Dear Winchester Ammunition / Olin, (per conversation w/ phone tech)

    Last year, I loaded and fired 1000 of these:

    44mag brass, mixed headstamps, 1-3 reloads each
    WLP primer
    23.5grains of H110 (23.0 is min, 24.0 is max)
    Oregon Trail Bullet Company 240grain lead cast wad cutter

    They all functioned perfectly. Having ran out of WLP primers, I purchased a
    new lot of 1000 (lot #included). I then made 200 of the same loads (10 live
    rounds included), the only difference beeing the new lot of WLP primers.

    I fired 50 of these loads and four primers pierced at the primer's
    shoulder. I noticed this when i cleaned the firearm, and four pits were
    etched into the recoil shield (ruger super redhawk). I recovered the
    failed cartridges and deprimed to discover pinholes in four of the of
    new WLP primers.

    This is getting attention on the internet as I'm not the only one
    with an aparent bad lot of WLP primers.

    Lot#'s include:
    DHL788G (included in this box)


    There is also a propensity for this to happen with RP(remington) brass (which
    I've provided). You'll notice RP brass has more of a radius at the entrace
    to the primer cup, leaving less support where the primer failed. Also, I
    made more of a point of fully seating primers in the 50 I fired (of which
    four failed), i'm not sure if that helps or not.

    I'm disappointed because I've exclusively use Winchester/Olin primers in
    all my firearms for years. I just discovered one similar gas-cut pit in my
    Remmington model 700 bolt face (WLR primers). So I have two irreperably
    damaged firearms, 800 suspect WLP primers, and 1000 WLR primers (all purchased
    at the same time).

    thank you for your support,
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

  3. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    Just one more reason to avoid all Winchester ammo products until they get their "stuff" together.
  4. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Just one more reason why I have used CCI for several decades without one single mis-fire or any other undesireable performance.
  5. gofastman

    gofastman Well-Known Member

    bummer, I was really starting to like WLP primers for their versatility.
  6. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Well-Known Member

    This is bad news for me as i have always preferred Winchester primers for all my handgun, rifle, and shotshell loading.
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Every brand/company will have primer defects now & then, not just Win. Had Rem 9 1/2 blow out years ago. Saw a Federal online blow out. Still using WLP with no problems for years.
  8. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    ^^^ Yes, but Winchester has been one giant fail lately and they need a rude wake-up call.
  9. Seedtick

    Seedtick Well-Known Member

  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    So far so good with mine.
  11. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Well-Known Member

    I’ve used Winchester primers for three plus decades with out problematic instances. That’s not to say quality issues can’t happen. I did have a problem with Federal small pistol primers which were extremely difficult to insert into case of various manufactures. Federal replaced the primes. No big deal. With the great primer scare the manufactures most likely ramped up production which may have precipitated quality issues.
  12. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    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.

    I'm simply going to switch to CCI. having said that, WLP's have energy somewhere between a standard and magnum primer. For the 44mag with H110, should I be using a CCI magnum primer?

  13. amlevin

    amlevin Well-Known Member

    Makes me happy I stopped buying Winchester Primers years ago. No such problems with the Wolf and Tula primers I'm now buying. About half the price too.

    For Benchrest, the CCI BR-2 does all my "igniting".
  14. swampshooter

    swampshooter Well-Known Member

    The primer pictured in the second post looks like excessive pressures to me. Try reducing your loads to a more reasonable level and your problems will be eliminated.
  15. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    my last 1000 wlp primers were fine. Ten percent of my new box of wlp primers pinhole in their shoulder -- the load is identical. I was worried my new box of wlR primers was bad as well, but I shot 20 30-06 loads today and none pierced thankfully.
  16. LightningMan

    LightningMan Well-Known Member

    I had a problem of a different sorts, as I bought a brick of Win. Large Pistol Primers a while back, and only after trying to reload the first couple of rounds, I could not get the primers to seat all the way into the primer-pocket. I'm thinking ***, and got to looking at them and compared to a few older primers I had laying around, found that not only was the priming compound color different but the new primers were longer front to back. I realized these were Large Rifle Primers! Well I took them back to the place where I bought them, and had no problems swapping for another brick, but I wanted an answer from Winchester. I asked the owner if he could contact them and find out if there were any recalls & such. The next time I talked to the owner of the gun shop, he told me Winchester simply said that those primers had the wrong labled boxes, and they didn't sound concerned at all about it. Can you believe that? LM
  17. Deavis

    Deavis Well-Known Member

    Just to be clear, when you say the load is identical you mean it had the same exact brass, same bullet lot, same powder lot, and same primer lot? If not, you backed off your load to work up for the new component while looking for pressure signs since no two lots of any component are the same. Just checking for understanding.

    Mistakes happen in production and so do accidents with people who open boxes to compare and put items back in the wrong box. Sometimes the latter doesn't involve an accident. I can understand why they aren't concerned, you can't fit LRPs into a situation that can hurt you and they have Edfardos type issues to worry about.
  18. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    ""Just to be clear, when you say the load is identical you mean it had the same exact brass, same bullet lot, same powder lot, and same primer lot? If not, you backed off your load to work up for the new component while looking for pressure signs since no two lots of any component are the same. Just checking for understanding.""

    Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. The only component that was different was the lot# of WLP PISTOL primers, and 10% pierced. Primers were well rounded, not flat, the firing pin mark was deep, and the piercing was on the rounded edge of the primer as an incredibly small pinhole, but I could see light through it. If it was an over-pressure, I'd expect it to pierce at the firing pin mark.

    So, like I said, I'm done with Winchester Large Pistol primers. I need to figure out how to dispose of 800 primers. Soak in motor oil then bury?

    I realized I have a new lot of WLR RIFLE primers purchased at the same time, so I went out and shot 20 of those (30'06), and they all came back fine (except for one that had a tiny amount of soot on the head, but that was a loose primer pocket, the primer was a-okay).

    So having said all that, I'm going to switch to CCI for my 44mag and 30'06 cartridges. Perhaps veteran loaders can comment on:

    1) Use CC350 magnum primer for 44mag with H110? (or standard primer?)
    2) Do CCI primers have a larger diameter than Winchester primers, I have a lot of Federal brass which has relatively large primer pockets, and I'd like a tighter fit.


Share This Page