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Wolf Primers - Problem!!!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Quoheleth, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    Today I went to the range with my new-to-me Smith model 10 with 80 rounds I had loaded earlier this summer. Out of that box of 80, I had fifteen duds. Almost every cylinder had at least one failure to fire; one cylinder had three. Very frustrating.

    View attachment 148148

    As far as details, these were loaded with 4.0gr Universal under a 158gr LSWC using mixed brass. Primers were pushed in as hard as I could with the primer system attached to my Lee Turret.

    Here are some photos of a small sample of rounds that fired perfectly.

    View attachment 148150

    Here are photos of some of the 15 rounds that failed to ignite. You cans see nicely centered firing pin strikes. Note: some of these have deeper firing pin marks because I tried to fire them 2 of 3 times.

    View attachment 148147
    View attachment 148149

    Frustrated, I emailed Wolf. My email read:

    Sir or Madam:

    Today I went to the range with a box of 80 rounds of .38 Special I had loaded a few weeks ago. The rounds consisted of mixed brass, 4.0gr Universal, a 158gr LSWC bullet, and a Wolf Small Pistol Primer, lot Number 5-10 with a red dot above the number. Primers were seated deeply and firmly with my Lee primer system on my Lee turret press.

    Out of my 80 rounds, I had 15 failure to fire out of my Smith & Wesson model 10. I have had some failure to fire out of my guns before, but only one or two per 100. This was a significantly larger number and, quite frankly, unacceptable.

    It's not a gun issue. My box of factory-fresh Winchester White Box target ammo fired perfectly - fifty for fifty.

    I do not believe it a storage issue, either. The primers had been stored in my garage inside a sealed can with dessicant. My garage is not climate controlled. I have not had issues with other makers' primers stored in this manner - in fact, I have a couple sleeves of primers from a major American manufacturer dated 2008 that still fire perfectly when I ran them through my .357 Magnum two weeks ago.

    Do you have any suggestions as to what I might to to resolve my problem with these Wolf primers? As you can imagine, it's frustrating enough to have one or two failure to fires per box of 100; it's aggrevating to have 15 out of 80 fail to fire.

    I will look forward to hearing from you.


    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  2. Steve Koski

    Steve Koski Well-Known Member

    Crank up your hammer spring all the way, they'll probably light.

    Or buy a Glock.

  3. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    Firing pin strikes sure do not seem to be centered.

    Take a round apart and see if you can cook a primer off.
  4. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    If you can try the same primers in other pistols, you may be able to verify the primer issue.

    I have tested primers by seating them in the empty case and firing in the garage (doors/windows closed to suppress the noise) - of course with no powder/bullet.

    If the primers are seated below flush (.004") and won't fire in different pistols with different hammer/striker pressures, then you identified the root cause to further communicate with Wolf as they have sometimes pointed to weak firing pin spring as the cause in the past.

    There have been past discussions of Wolf lot # from 2010 that had harder primer cups that did not fire even with repeated strikes.
  5. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    Buy a Glock...puh-leeze.

    I have had similar problems - although not to this extent - with my Smith & Wesson model 15, Ruger SR9c and CZ85. Today was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    I should have indicated this in my email. If they respond, I'll include that in follow-up communications.

  6. MickKennedy29

    MickKennedy29 Active Member

    I have gone through about 5k Wolf primers and in my Ruger Gp100 I have maybe 1 in every 100 fail to fire. I do get some that take a 2nd strike to fire off, but I am not counting those. The Ruger has a lighter-than-factory hammer spring installed, which I believe is my problem. In my HK P30 and Springfield EMP I do not think that I had any fail to fire, at least none that I recall. It sounds to me like you got a bad batch, it happens, which sucks. Maybe they will do something about it, but frankly I would be surprised if you get any more than a "We are sorry" email.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  7. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Were these nickel or brass/bronze colored?

    I believe it was the nickel colored SP primer lot that had the harder cups that failed to ignite.
  8. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    I hope you have other guns that take small pistol primers. I had the same problem with Magtec primers a while back. Some guns would shoot them and some wouldn't.

    Anyway, next time buy Federal primers. They are the only primers I have found that are 100% in revolvers.
  9. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    These are the nickel colored ones.

    Anyone know - did Tula primers have this problem as well? I also bought a whole case of Tulas at the same time.

  10. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    Try cutting the radius from the edge of the primer pockets with a military crimp remover or 45 degree counter sink. I found my Wolf LP primers almost impossible to bottom out in the pockets on new and once fired brass and some of them were nickle plated Remington.

    If they don't bottom out they won't ignite with any consistancy. Also follow the tip by Koski and crank the hammer spring strain screw all the way they have harder cups.
  11. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Boy, I sure hope not! :what:

    I just bought a 5,000 Tula primers.
  12. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Tula primers are made in the same factory as Wolf.

    Wolf/Tula LP are bronze/brass in color while SP have been nickel in color and the nickel colored SP primers have been reported to have ignition problems.

    I have used Wolf/Tula LP bronze/brass colored primers without ignition problems, but they require more effort to seat them to proper depth due to slightly larger size.

    As to nickel colored Tula SP primer, I have experienced similar ignition problem as reported for Wolf SP primer. I have not used Wolf SP primer so I can't comment.
  13. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    I've witnessed several misfires with Wolf/Tula primers lately. Most were in a friend's Glock. All were high primers.
  14. gennro

    gennro Well-Known Member

    Primers were pushed in as hard as I could with the primer system attached to my Lee Turret.

    Pressing your primers in as hard as possible can damage the primer also and could be causing your issue.
  15. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    Advice I was given previously is seat them as hard as possible - someone said they actually use "crush setting." Lee doesn't have that, so I seat them firmly, rotate the cartridge 180* and bump them one more time.

  16. gennro

    gennro Well-Known Member

    I would just try seating them till they are flush with the head of the case. "Crushing" the primer can cause the anvil in the primer to be damaged and not fire.
  17. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    After 15,000 Tula/Wolf primers fired in the last two years I have not had a single misfire or other problem in all of my handguns and long guns---it is not the primers in my estimation, look elsewhere.:what:
  18. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    As many of you know, I am OCD about primer seating depth and hand prime match grade reloads to .004" below flush.

    The Tula SP "nickel" primer cases with misfires were hand primed as they were initial test batch and I wanted to make sure I did not have the similar reported Wolf SP misfire issues.

    Mind you, I have yet to experience misfires with Wolf/Tula LP "bronze/brass" primers (over 10,000 rounds fired) and their performance has been on par with Winchester LP.

    FYI, here are the lot numbers:

    Tula SP: 20-10 (nickel color - several misfires per tray of 100)
    Tula LP: 15-10 (bronze/brass color - no misfires)
    Wolf LP: 2-09 (bronze/brass color - no misfires)
  19. lono

    lono Well-Known Member

    I just finished a box of Tula primers. All 1000 rounds fired without fault in my Springfield 1911.
  20. Joe_556

    Joe_556 Active Member

    I've never had an issue with wolf primers. Operator error maybe?

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