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Primers coming out of pockets?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by David4516, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. David4516

    David4516 Well-Known Member

    I loaded up a batch of .30-40 Krag, first time for this cartridge for me. I loaded it with 36.0 grains of IMR-3031, and 180gr bullets. I noticed that after firing in the majority of the cases the primers were coming out?

    When I had loaded the rounds the primers were all flush with the brass, so this happened after firing.

    Is this a sign of over-pressure? I am below the max loads shown in my reloading manuals. That said it's a 110 year old rifle so maybe I should reduce them more...

    I was also planning on trying 220gr bullets, and maybe IMR 4350, or even H335 for powder. I think 4350 is my favorite rifle powder...

    When I was shooting I didn't notice anything unusual, every appeared normal and it was very pleasant to shoot, especially compared to the .280 Remington I've been shooting lately. I really like the rifle and and hoping to have some fun reloading for it, but now I'm a little worried. Is this primer thing normal?

    Thanks in advance for any info/advice...

    Attached Files:

  2. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    Looks like too light a load and generous headspace on the rifle.
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I agree, the first picture looks like a headspace problem, too light a load or both.

    Since that round is marked 30-40 I'm guessing you are shooting an old rifle. If you don't know how to properly check headspace yourself I highly recommend you have a good gunsmith check it for you BEFORE you fire that rifle again. Safety first my friend! That is unless you know for sure the load is too light.
  4. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing a combination of starting load data being underpressure, or a significant headspace issue- could very well be both.

    Now that the brass is nice and fireformed, you could test that theory real easy.

    Load two up, and fire away.

    If its still backing primers out, its indeed a pressure issue- but something is letting it happen.

    Taking a rifle of that vintage to a competent gunsmith to have it looked over before firing is never a bad idea.
  5. barstoolguru

    barstoolguru Well-Known Member

    I always thought when you have a budging primmer it meant the load was too hot and needed to be dialed back a bit
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    That's not a "bulging" primer, that is a primer that has backed out of the pocket. Big difference...
  7. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Headspace issue. You didn't set up the sizer die correctly.
  8. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Has to be headspace.
  9. barstoolguru

    barstoolguru Well-Known Member

    two of you said head space so how does head space affect the primmer?
  10. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    When the firing pin hits the primer, it shoves the case all the way forward in the chamber. When the powder ignites, the brass swells radially and sticks to the chamber wall. The pressure through the flash hole pushes the primer out until it contacts the bolt face. If the load is full pressure, the brass will now swell axially back to the bolt face and the primer gets reseated in the process.

    In the case of these loads the pressure was not sufficient to fully expand the brass. The brass isn't even fully fire-formed.
  11. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    In many instances, as long as the rifle is in good condition, head space can be compensated at the resizing die after the brass has been fire formed to that chamber. But it sure wouldn't hurt to have a competent smith iinspect it. It helps to know just how much additional head space your dealing with too.

  12. David4516

    David4516 Well-Known Member

    Ok one thing I forgot to mention is that this is new brass, and it may not have been resized. To be honest I couldn't remember if I had sized it or not, I put it in a bucket years ago and only just a few days ago go around to working with it again. This is because I've moved a couple of times over the last 5 years and this has caused some serious disruption to my reloading. It's hard to keep my stuff organized durring a move.

    Anyway, I had assumed that I had already resized it, maybe that was a bad assumption. If this was new brass but not resized, could that explain this problem?

    If it is a headspace issue, how does one fix that? Would the rifle require a new barrel?

    Sorry if these are silly questions...
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Just the opposite in fact.

    As explained by others, you don't have enough pressure to slip or stretch the case in the chamber to re-seat the primers after they back out.

    The 30-40 headspaces on the rim, not the shoulder.
    So whether you sized them or not makes no difference with new brass.

    You can make a difference by adjusting the sizing die so it headspaces off the shoulder.

    But only with fire-formed cases that had enough pressure to expand the shoulder foreword and re-seat the primers in the first place.

    Your 36.0 grain load is a starting load in Lyman #49
    It gives only 31,300 CUP which is not enough to stretch the case and re-seat the primer.

    MAX is 40.0 grains, and it gives only 38,700 CUP, which is less then a 30-30 Winchester.
    I would not be afraid to up your load at least enough to re-seat the backed out primers.

  14. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

  15. David4516

    David4516 Well-Known Member

    I'm finding alot of variation from one manual to the next for this cartridge. According to Speer and Hornady for example 36.0 gr is a mid-level load.

    I just looked on the Hodgdon's reload center website and it doesn't list a starting load, but says that 38.0 gr is max.

    I don't know who to trust when it comes to load data for this thing.

    I normally don't work with IMR 3031 at all, but my dad gave me a half cans worth of it to exparament with. I was told that it was a good powder for .30-30 winchester and .30-40 krag so I decdied to try it out.

    I still have about 25 or so loaded rounds with this receipe. Is it safe to shoot them? I assume yes, if what rcmodel says is corret then these should be VERY mild loads.

    I have about 150 more cases that are primed and ready to be loaded. I'm thinking about using IMR 4350. Should I just load them up, shoot, and see what happens? Or should I visit a gunsmith before doing anything else at this point?

    Feeling very confused. :uhoh:

    Thanks for all the help/info so far, you guys are awesome!

    Attached Files:

  16. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Stay with the 3031 as its a faster powder than 4350. The primer is not backed out a lot. It would have to be .010" or more above the case head & LEAKING GAS to worry me. Work up to the 38grs of 3031 with the 180gr. RC gave good advice.
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    When a powder manufacturer lists only the mac charge weight they are telling you not to reduce the load they are listing. Winchester is the one that usually does that with their Ball powders W748 and W760. This is the first time I noticed IMR doing that. It's usually a good idea to pay attention to what they tell you because there's usually a very good reason for telling us not to reduce the load.

    I would NOT use 4350 in the 30-40 Krag. The 30-40 Krag is a low pressure round more in like with the 30-30 than the 30-06. Slow burning powders don't usually perform well at lower pressures. If you're not happy with IMR3031 I would suggest going with medium burn rate powders like IMR/H4895, IMR4064 or even IMR4320. You could probably do well with Varget too since it's in the same range.
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    That backed out primer isn't hurting a thing. In a revolver backed out primers could cause a problem, but not in your rifle.

    Do like rcmodel suggested and up the charge a little. My .30-30 load with RL 15 matches factory velocity but the primers still tend to back out just a tiny little bit. Much less than yours. Hard to tell by looking.

    Anyway, no need to worry, it is not from over pressure. With over pressure the primers would not be protruding from the primer pocket at all.
  19. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Well-Known Member

    My Savage .223 using CCI bench primers will swell out quite a bit. Other primers arent as bad. I'm using 28gr or 28.5 of BL-c2. I cant use my LNL progressive to deprime them being swelled too much.
  20. David4516

    David4516 Well-Known Member

    I didn't even think about that. How the heck am I going to deprime these things? I suspect that they won't fit back on the shell holder with the primers sticking out like that.

    I have a Lee hand priming tool (think it's called 'autoprime'), wonder if I need to use it to pop the primers back into their pockets before running the cases through my press...

    I've had several people tell me that 4350 is good for this cartridge, including my Dad. His Krag will shoot sub MOA with 4350 and 180gr bullets (his rifle has a newer barrel, not the original millitary one). Actually seeing what he was able to do with his rifle is what inspired me to buy a Krag of my own. I don't expect mine to be this accurate (mine has orignal barrel), but maybe I'll luck out.

    Also, checking the website again, they do list the IMR 4350 / 180gr combo (see attached screen capture). They don't show anything for the 220gr bullet, but my Hornady manual does, says 40gr of 4350 is the max load. Sounds like it will duplicate original military ammo specs, 220gr bullet, 40 grains of powder, and 2000FPS velocitiy.

    Didn't say I wasn't happy with 3031. Don't know if I'm happy yet or not, and might even need to buy another pound of it to mess around with before I'm sure. I have also considered trying IMR 4895, but my supply on this powder is low as well, I'm down to less than half a pound. I seem to have alot of random half-full cans of powder laying around. Enough to load up a few rounds here and there to exparament with, but not enough of anything to make a large batch. Not sure if anybody else ever has this problem...

    It sounds like the majority of you think that I have low pressure and that I can safely increase my load and try again?

    Attached Files:

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