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

how neccessary is cleaning primer pocket

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Dueling1911s, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Dueling1911s

    Dueling1911s New Member

    title is self explanatory.

    i was just wondering because on progressive presses they aren't cleaned. i'm just making cheap practice handgun ammo on a single stage
  2. jcwit

    jcwit Active Member

    For plinking non target ammo I don't bother. As ling as the primer seats just below flush, which I have never had a problem with.
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Active Member

    I have been loading for about 40 years and have not cleaned a pistol primer pocket yet.
    Some of that loading was for moderately demanding shooting like PPC and IHMSA and my accuracy seemed as good as anybody's.

    Darned few rifle primer pockets, either. Warren Page said he once went a full season of benchrest shooting without cleaning primer pockets. He said it did not feel right to skip a step in the meticulous case prep, but he could see no increase in his group sizes.
  4. RevGeo

    RevGeo New Member

    I'm kinda picky about case prep. It only takes a few seconds to clean a primer pocket. I at least look at the pocket and if it looks crappy I'll clean it.
    Part of loading your own ammo is that the quality is determined by you.
    To me, loading my own ammo is part of being a rifleman. I like being part of a tradition of competence and attention to detail.
    I keep my rifle clean and my ammo top notch.

  5. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 New Member

    I don't think it's necessary at all. I never ever do it for pistols. For rifles, I do it once in awhile. It's not necessary, but I do it as part of my final inspection process while I'm looking the case over. Well, sometimes I do it for some cartridges. I don't worry about the case very much on the .308 or .243. But I do a final inspection on my 7 mm mag and WSM cases to look for tiny splits in the neck or signs of impending failure on cases that I have used many times.
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Active Member

    There is enough published information out there from the experts that show that not cleaning primer pockets does not affect accuracy.

    But, there is also information out there that says not cleaning primer pockets will, over time, build up debris in the pockets that will limit the ability to seat the primers properly. High primers with semi-auto military pattern rifles is an invitation for slam fires.

    If it makes you fell better to clean the primer pockets, then you will shoot better.

    I sometimes clean my primer pockets of my match ammunition with a brush. I tumble all cases after depriming. Some primer pocket cleaning occurs during that step. Other than the cleaning during tumbling, I never clean handgun cases.
  7. ranger335v

    ranger335v New Member

    I clean 'em but I KNOW I'm not making anything better.
  8. Sin City Shootist

    Sin City Shootist New Member

    I use a ultra sonic cleaner to clean my brass. The reason I use it is because it cleans the pockets really well. I use Wolf/Tula primers and they are always a tight fit. I've damaged more primers with dirty pockets then with clean, so now they all get cleaned.
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Active Member

    Un necessary to clean pistol pockers. A long range champ bud of mine never cleaned his primer pockets, and he set several long range records at Camp Perry.
  10. p5200

    p5200 New Member

    I would assume a pocket uniformer is not really important either? Just curious. :)
  11. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 New Member

    In my humble opinion, everything is "worth it" if there is any chance AT ALL that a round may not fire or may not shoot as intended.

    Quality control only happens when one puts their mind into making the best possible ammo they can. When people start cutting corners, all kinds of things may start to happen, and it may not be immediate, but may be cumulative!

    If there is any chance that eliminating one action during reloading will make my ammo not as reliable or not as accurate, then I don't want to go there, at all.

    When I reload, it is for quality, not speed.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I just look at the little pile of hard carbon grit I get after cleaning primer pockets.

    And re-conferm it is not something I want blowing down my barrel every shot, any more then necessary.

    As for cleaning them?
    I couldn't bring myself to load a case without inspecting it for defects first, more then once.
    And once is when I clean the primer pockets before loading them again.

    How to address that in a progressive press, I don't know.
    I guess thats one reason I don't have a progressive press.

  13. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    I usually clean mine. When you have custom revolvers that have headspace adjusted to a minimum, high primers aren't something you can live with.
  14. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

    For .223 I deprime / lee collet on progressive station 1, prime between 1-2, and redding body size on station 2. At this time I would say it's not possible to create a high primer with this setup, so I don't clean.

    With a regular press / hollow shellholder, I always cleaned them for peace of mind. Using a hand prime I felt the seating feel was better.
  15. esheato

    esheato New Member

    Never cleaned a pocket on pistol and I promise you, I never will.

    As far as rifle, I used to clean them....then loaded a couple batches without cleaning due to time constraints. Can't tell the difference so I don't bother anymore.
  16. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Active Member

    Here is how I deal with primer pockets on a progressive.

    I resize, expand the mouth, and then tumble brass. Then hand prime and load on the progressive. The tumbling step in between allows me a opportunity to inspect the case again and do what ever i want with the primer pocket.

    I resize and clean brass shortly after shooting. Small batches get process quickly, usually less than 10 minutes not counting tumbler time. Then when enough prepared brass saved up, I do a loading session on the progressive.

    Until I decided to load on a progressive this way, I resisted purchasing a progressive. But, I hate the extra steps, mouth expanding and taper crimping. with handgun cartridges and a progressive makes those steps transparent.
  17. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL New Member

    I uniform the pocket when it's first acquired. Wet tumbling w SS media cleans them as if new for each subsequent loading.
  18. Offfhand

    Offfhand Active Member

    Quoted from above post:

    "There is enough published information out there from the experts that show that not cleaning primer pockets does not affect accuracy."

    Oh really? Published where? Name the "experts".

    Go to a benchrest tournament and watch the real experts reloading their ammo between relays. It will a be a lesson worth learning about cleaning primer pockets. If in doubt, look at the groups they shoot.
  19. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I've always cleaned them. Why add any variables to what is supposed to be a superior load to factory.
  20. jcwit

    jcwit Active Member

    Offhand reread post #3.

Share This Page