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CCI #34 primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dmazur, Jul 14, 2011.

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  1. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    OK, I've been reloading for a Garand for a few years, using Winchester brass and WLR primers.

    Many experienced reloaders recommended using CCI #34 (mil-spec) primers due to the harder cups.

    I read reports that Winchester had increased the sensitivity of their primers when they went to brass colored (something about functioning better with off-center hits?). Before this, the silver ones were harder.

    The thing that did it for me was a report of a slamfire with Hornady Garand ammo, which was supposed to have been made with WLR primers.

    At this point, I'm a mil-spec convert. I know the odds of having trouble with WLR primers are probably very low, but the slight cost savings just isn't worth it.

    After all, I have a few other rifles that aren't gas guns and they won't complain if I feed them WLR's. :)
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I use the CCI #34 NATO primers in all my Garand ammo and as of now I have never has a slam-fire. Granted, during the shortage I couldn't buy any #34 primers anywhere so I was forced to use what I could buy. I would have liked to use a Magnum primer instead because CCI states on their site, "Use the same data as CCI Magnum primers" but I couldn't find any Magnum LR primers either. I loaded about 200 rounds using a CCI-200 standard LR primer and didn't experiance any slam-fires either. (I now have a box of CCI-250 primers set aside for any future "shortages" lol)
     
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The primer cups are not "harder", the priming compound is less sensitive to duplicate the sensitivity of military primers. Go read the CCI web sight.

    I have loaded for Garands since 2000 without issue with a variety of primers. I have never used the CCI #34 in the Garand. Main key is to make sure the primer is seated properly.

    Unfortunately, ammunition manufacturers are not perfect although they try to be. Occasionally, a faulty round slips though their inspection process.

    But, I do have idiosyncrasies with some of my shooting and reloading practices so if you are more comfortable using the #34 primer, then by all means use them.
     
  4. USSR

    USSR Member

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    "a report of" and "supposed to have been made"? Have been using WLR's in my Garand ammo for years (Yes, the new ones) without problems. Would take a little more conclusive evidence to make me switch. And, regarding the change in sensitivity, what this doesn't tell you is to what degree. Are the new WLR's 5% more sensitive or 0.5% (inconsequential) more sensitive. It's kind of like looking at a powder burn rate chart - you have no idea how close any two powders are burn-rate-wise, even if they are next to one another on the chart.

    Don
     
  5. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    I've been reloading for Garands for over 25 years and have always used either CCI or WLR primers. I have never had a slam fire in literally thousands of rounds fired (though I have soft-fingered a few doubles over the years :eek: ), nor have I had problems with any of my military semi reloads. I would use CCI 34s just because they're designed for the round but they're not locally available, and the last time I ordered primers (during the Great Panic of 2008) I ordered a truck load (took a truck load of money, too :cuss: ). I have been extremely conscientious about ensuring that the primers are fully seated, something I consider essential in any semi (rifle or pistol)... :scrutiny:
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Almost forgot to mention this, I bought 6 cans of Greek M1 ammo from CMP. In the second can I opened I actually had 3 slam-fires from 3 different clips. Didn't happen with ammo in the first can, didn't happen again with the rest of the ammo from that can or the next 2 cans of ammo I used. (192 rounds per can, 768 total rounds) Go figure, never happened to me with my reloads using standard CCI and Winchester primers as well as CCI #34 primers but I got 3 with ammo specifically loaded for the Garand by a government arsenal! :rolleyes:
     
  7. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    Did you inspect the rounds for corrosion? Might have caused the round to not chamber properly. We have fired thousands of rounds of the HXP in CMP matches with zero problems. But some have been known to have some pitting on the brass.
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    A decade ago people were claiming that AR15's never slamfired. Now there are plenty of reports and Vietnam era material finally being declassified. Garand slamfires were getting to the limit of living memory when all these CMP Garands arrived and enough are being shot that it is not difficult to find reports of slamfires in the things.

    One thing that totally muddied the water was an active disinformation campaign conducted by the NRA. When civilians started getting their mitts on NM Garands, they started having slamfires. In the early 60’s the NRA was a quasi Governmental organization, with a line of military directors going back to the 1870’s. As a happy little tape worm in the colon of the Army, the NRA received a lot of support and resources from the Army. The NRA, in collusion with the Army, disavowed any idea that the Garand had design issues that could cause slamfires. There are a series of articles in American Rifleman “proving” that only bad reloads or worn out Garands will slamfire. This blame shifting has gone deep into the core of the shooting community and is the origin of the myth that "only high primers" cause slamfires. One Dope Bag article actually claims “do you think the Army would ever put a dangerous rifle in it hands of its troops”.

    Would any Vietnam era trooper who had his M16 jam in combat ever believe that the Army would not put a dangerous gun in the hands of its troops? You can read the coverup in the book “The Gun” by C.J. Chivers. Truly patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.

    In 1968 Congress forced an purgative down the Army’s throat, the NRA tape worm and Civilian Markmanship were flushed clean out of the Army's system. Since then the NRA is somewhat less willing to fall on its sword for all things Army.

    If you are interested in reading more about the early M16 slamfire issues go to http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/ and type in “Report of the M16 Rifle Review Panel. Volume 5, Appendix 4. Ammunition Development Program”. Read the other reports. These documents were classified as part of the Army coverup of the problems with the M16 program. We are fortunate that they were retained long enough to be posted to the internet.

    What you will find in that declassified report is a discussion of primer mixes. There is a common assumption that a primer is a primer is a primer. This is false.

    I have found additional material in DTIC, someday I will copy, showing the percentages of materials in the primer mix.

    Manufacturers can and do change the sensitivity of the primer mix, make the cup harder, change the anvil angle and depth, and probably more things, to make primers more or less sensitive.


    One thing that is also not recognised is that primer sensitivity follows a bell curve.

    The following section is from Mil-P-46610E:

    3.2 Sensitivity.-The sensitivity shall fall within the limits specified as follows for each type of primer:


    Code:
    Primer	Required Case	Height in	Inches
    		H +5S	H -2S
    Dwg . No. B10522621	7.62mm Match	15	3
    Dwg . No. B10535489	7.62mm Match	16	3
    Dwg , No. B10522621	7.62mm	15	3
    Dwg . No. B8594094	7.62mm Match	16	3
    Dwg. No. B10522621	7.62mn Grenade	15	3
    Dwg . No. B10522621	7.62mm Blank	15	3
    Dwg . No. B10535489	7.62mm Blank -Caliber	16 ½	2½
    Dwg . No. B10522621	.30	15	3
    Dwg. No. B10535489	Caliber .30	15	2½
    Dug. No. A5000131	Caliber .30	15	2½
    Dug. No. B8595819	Caliber .30 Match	15	2½
    Dwg, No. B10535489	Caliber .30 Match	15	2½
    Dwg. No. C7645332	Caliber .30 Blank	15	2½
    Dwg. No. B8594094	Caliber .30 Blank	15	2½
    Dwg. No. B6200959	Caliber .30 Carbine	18	2½
    Dwg. No. C11751131	Caliber .30 Carbine	18	2½
    Dwg. No. B7645336	Caliber .45	16	2½
    Dwg. No, A5001168	Caliber .45	16	2½
    Dwg. No. B7645339	Caliber .50	15	2½
    George E. Frost, in his book “Ammunition Making”, provides a good description and procedure for calculating the sensitivity numbers in a primer test. Of interest, the H – 2S (two standard deviations) means that 4 primers in 900 would be expected to fire, and H + 5S means 3 in 10, 000, 000 primers are expected to misfire. So it can be seen that even at the lowest drop, there is a significant probability of ignition. That is why in a gas gun it is important to use a “hard” primer, and to follow reloading practices which minimize the chance of a fat case binding in the chamber before the bolt is locked.


    The Garand is well known for having in and out of battery slamfires. You want to use the least sensitive primer you can find in mechanisms with free floating firing pins.

    On page 58 of the April 2011 Guns Magazine Mike Venturino reports having a slamfire in a K43 and SVT40 rifle with standard primers. Thankfully each slamfire was in battery.

    I understand Russian primers are also very insensitive.

    If you are a High Power Shooter you will find shooters who have had slamfires in Garands and M1a's. I met one guy who blew the back end of his receiver off with Federal primers. He had a Wilson match barrel installed, sized cases with a standard sizing die, and that receiver is now junk. Joe said "people ought to know how dangerous these things are to reload for". Doug had an out of battery slamfire in his 308 NM Garand, with Federal primers. Gulley blew his M1a stock apart with Federal primers when it fired out of battery. Gulley was a new shooter at the time and was copying a Marine Corp reloading technique. He had seen the USMC shooters place a round in their chambers and unlatch the magazine. Apparently they were concerned about scratching the bullet tip. With a round in the chamber they would then pull back on the operating handle and let the bolt go forward.

    I would recommend that no one ever follow this practice. M1a's should always be fed from the magazine to reduce the forward velocity of the bolt and Garand shooters should use a SLED if firing single shot for the exact same reason.

    You can also find reports of M1 Carbine slamfires. The mechanism is similiar, uses the receiver bridge to retract the firing pin. Since the firing pin only engages the bridge just at bolt turndown, if there is bolt bounce going on, the mechanism, just like a Garand, can slamfire in and out of battery.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Very interesting ArchAngel.

    You are not the only one who has reported slamfires with the Greek ammunition, and I believe the Greek ammunition was made for Garands.

    Lucky you did not have the out of battery slamfire.

    2008 slamfire with Greek HXP 88 30-06 ammunition.
    http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/reload/reload.pl?noframes;read=31735#31762

    .


    Slamfire with HXP 20 Feb 2010

    http://www.thecmp.org/forums/showthread.php?t=8784&page=2

    http://handgunsandammo.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=cr&action=display&thread=9424


    M1 Garand woes...
    « Thread Started on May 2, 2010, 4:39am »
     
  10. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I used the old “Nickel” finish Winchester primer for years in my M1 and M1A rifles. But around 1999, Winchester changed their primer by eliminating the “nickel” finish to a “brass” finish. So I called Winchester to find out what this change did to primer sensititivity. Per telephone conversation with Mr. Chris Huseman at Winchester Group, Olin Corporation 618-258-3565, the old WLR primer had a zinc plating on the cup. Mr. Huseman said the material was zinc, even though I thought it was nickel. Anyway, Winchester removed that plating, perhaps with other changes, to make their primers more sensitive. The product change was specifically targeted to “combat light firing pin hits and off center strikes.”

    Unfortunately, Winchester would not quantify the sensitivity increase either in lot acceptance data or drop test data. Huseman said their primer sensitivities were propriety.

    I do not know if the phone number is still good, but if it really bothers you, call them up and ask. If they quantify a sensitivity difference in numbers (for example 0.5%) please post that. If they tell you in polite terms, essentially, "it is not of your **** business", please post that too.

    I suspect they will tell you their primers are within SAAMI specs, pat you on your head, and send you on your impertinent way.

    Since 2000 I have heard more slamfires with the new WLR, one bud at my range had one with his FAL.

    Here are some reports of slamfires with WLR:

    Garand Slamfire with Winchester Primers
    http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=39841

    July 12th, 2010, 07:18 PM #16

    Drmsparks
    Old School Rifleman



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    Originally Posted by Lambo
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    While an AK is not a Garand, this gentleman did not have any problems with Russian ammo, but he certainly had issues with Winchester factory.

    Many posts in the thread are quite derogatory towards American commercial primers.

    http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/ak-47-talk/89974-ak-slam-fire-question.html

    AK slam fire question

    Winchester primers in Winchester factory ammunition almost sent this guy to jail:


    FAL doubling leading to ATF seizure.
    http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=183318
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    SlamFire1,
    Yes, that Greek M2 Ball ammo was made specifically for the M1 and comes loaded in the enbloc clips. I was shocked it happened and very concerned, so concerned I ordered a replacement firing pin spring from Wolff to possible prevent it from happening again. I don't know if that ammo was just a fluke or the spring "fixed" the problem but in any case I'm just glad it never happened again!!!
     
  12. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Personally, all the so-called "slam fires" I have seen with people shooting the Garand, have been caused by them "milking" the trigger. This is a fairly common thing with inexperienced shooters using the Garand, and is an operator error rather than an ammo related slam fire.

    Don
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    ArchAngelCD: Another interesting post. A number of mechanisms, the FAL is one in particular and the M1911 is another, have spring loaded firing pins to decrease firing pin rebound. The M1 Garand is a mechanism that does not have that.

    In fact the Army lightened the early Garand firing pin, just as they did the M16 firing pin, and the only reason I can think for this is because they were having slamfires.

    This is a picture of the rare round firing pin. So rare they sold out at Orion7 at $100.00 apiece before I could purchase one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the interest of safety, retrofitting a Garand with a firing pin spring would be a great idea.

    However when I went over to Wolff http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?page=items&cID=2&mID=88 I did not see one listed.

    Where did you get yours?
     
  14. bowyer19

    bowyer19 Member

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    I had two "slam fires" with SSA 6.8 SPC 110 gr. Sierra Pro-Hunter tactical ammo. SSA said they are going back to mil spec or CCI #450 magnum primers. ( They were using CCI #400).

    I had done the reset drill and it showed no problems with the weapon. Bushmaster said to go to a titanium firing pin because of the lighter weight and less inertia and SSA said go the the heavy buffer to slow bolt. I did both and have had no problems since.
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I didn't explain what I did correctly. I know the firing pin doesn't use a spring even though I wrote it. I bought the Garand spring kit sold by Wolff. I should have said I was worried about the hammer spring, my mistake. Strange things come off my keyboard at 2:30 in the morning!! LOL
     
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