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I shot my first reloads-Doctor says I should be okay in a couple weeks.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by .41 magnum man, Jul 28, 2007.

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  1. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Member

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    :p :neener: Just kidding!

    Well, I tell you what. Ole .41 learned some things about his Ruger today.

    First off, I loaded some Winchester brass (from win. factory loads I had already shot) 16 gr. of 2400 powder, with a CCI large pistol primer. First thing I did was get my dies mixed up in my mind and tried to seat the bullet with the expander die. Shoved the first bullet in too far by about .020. I adusted it, and shoved the next one plumb down in the case. What in the world I did I don't have a clue. Probably should have been in the hospital!
    Finally got straight on that. Got things going and ended up with 6 loads in Win. cases, and 4 loads in Rem. cases. It was getting dark but I shot the 6 Win cases first. All shot a little high at about 12 yards. Put in the Rem. shells. All of a sudden my gun won't cock. The cylinder won't spin. I figure :eek: I messed up my gun! The gun didn't seem to have too much recoil to me. Must have done something though. Take out the cylinder and get out the bullets. I try to cock my gun and it won't cock! :what: I keep fooling with it. Sometimes it will cock, but most times it will not. :confused: I finally notice the transfer bar (the bar that comes up between the hammer and firing pin) is loose. Oh, man. It is hitting the firing pin and won't come up past it, which in turn is keeping the hammer from cocking. I guess I messed with that for 15 minutes. I try putting the cylinder back in. It will go in, but the pin that goes through the middle of it won't slide back in place. It is stuck. :eek: I've done it now. I've done messed up my gun. :uhoh: Probably no warranty now that I've shot reloads in it. Woe is me. Made my daughter get out of the shop so I could cry. :(
    Just before I cried, I took out the cylinder again and got the pin to slide back in. Then I noticed that it hits up against the transfer bar and holds it out so it will clear the firing pin. Hey, my gun will cock now! :) So I try the cylinder again, and this time the pin goes in. I guess I wasn't holding my mouth right. Well, after all that, I realize the problem is the reloads. I put them one at a time into the cylinder and spin it. It will rotate around part way then jams up just before the bullet reaches the barrel. All four of the Rem. cases do that. Jam up in the same place. Hmm. :scrutiny: Ah-ha! There is a recess behind the cylinder part way around until it gets to just before the barrel. Something is getting stuck there. It is the primers. They are sticking out. That was the problem all along. I am happy, but angry that I am so stupid that I think everything else is wrong before I figure it out. Real glad I didn't cry!

    So, it is time to figure out what caused this little problem. I put primers in 4 new Rem. cases. I get my daughter back into the shop. She puts each one into the cyinder separately and gives it a spin. All is well. So I load them up. Have her do the same thing again as I reload the next one. First 3 go around like a charm, but the fourth jams up in the same place again. Yep, the primer is sticking out again. Obviously, some part of my proceedure is causing the primer to push back out again on some of the Rem. cases. What in the world is it? I wouldn't think that 16 gr. of powder would fill up the case enough for the bullet to press against it and push out the primer. Or would it? I'm sure someone else has had that problem before. Can anybody give me some advice?
     
  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    You weren't seating the primers all the way the first time. I can't think of any way the powder could push the primers back out of the primer pockets. Instead of loading your rounds all the way before testing them in the cylinder, just prime them and then test in the cylinder. If they clear, then you're on the right track.

    To properly seat the primers, they should optimally be approximately .005" to .006" below flush. In any event, they should never be above the base of the case.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  3. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Member

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    I did test the last batch of 4 right after I primed them by putting them in the gun, and they all worked. But after finishing loading them, one of them would not allow the cylinder to spin because somewhere during the process the primer came back out a little. It worked before being completely loaded and was at least flush with the case, but stuck out and would not work after loading. Now whether the first batch of Rem. cases had the primers seated properly before I finished up the loads, I can't say for sure. But I did them the same as I did the last test batch.
     
  4. donttellthewife

    donttellthewife Member

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    Could it be loose primer pockets, 6 win cases OK, then the rem cases don't work because of primers backing out. The only time I've experianced loose primer pockets was in loading 308 rounds, and I felt the difference in resistance while seating them. Had the same feeling seating berdan primers once, only that time it was an undersized primer.

    Check your primer pocket dia., compare the two different cases.
    What brand of primers are you useing.
     
  5. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    +1 on loose primer pockets. I found that R-P brass is thinner than most in my .357 cases, I had neck tension issues. The primers should seat with some resistance, if they go in loose, the case goes to scrap. I did load some 45 cases once with some Magtech primers, and they seemed tighter than usuall. Maybe they were a tad larger in diameter. 2400 shoots really well in my old 41 mag:)
     
  6. baz

    baz Member

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    Well, the result of my first 357 reloads -- 2 or 3 weeks ago -- was educating as well. For me, the problem was light strikes from not seating primers deep enough. On my third outing, this past week, I had one where the bullet came out part way from recoil, and the cylinder would not rotate because it was now too long. So I guess I have to work next on my crimp.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    All part of the learning process. It helps us understand why we do the things we do when we reload and why we are so anal about primer seating and crimping. (Oh Yea. Neck tension as well. No amount of crimp can make up for poor neck tension)

    Glad you are OK .41 magnum man. Just a small bump in the road to learning reloading. :)
     
  8. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Member

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    That was eye catching:D

    Thought I'd see some pictures of a blown up revolver and missing digits:what:

    ;)
     
  9. jfh

    jfh Member

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    As others have said:

    1. You are not seating your primers deep enough, or
    2. Your used brass has stretched enough to have loose primer pockets.

    I've forgotten what press you are using--but in the loading process, pay particular attention to the "feel" of the primer being seated. It takes a bit experience to learn this skill--but I know I can on my Lee equipment--particularly on the turret, and less so on the progressive.

    Then, for your quality check, when you remove the round from the press, run your finger lightly over the base / primer. You'll be able to immediately tell if you have a high primer or not. Reloader Fred gave you the specs--and unless your index finger tip is really heavily calloused, you'll be able to feel if the primer is raised or slightly recessed.

    Finally, here's another tip: Since you are reloading for a high-pressure cartridge and are new at this, do the following.

    1. Measure a cylinderfull (six) cartridges and choose six of the same length--say +- 0.001. Write down this measurement.

    2. Now shoot five of the six cartridges. Remove the sixth and measure it.

    3. If the LOA is not the same--longer OR shorter--then you are not crimping tight enough, and the result can bind up your gun much the same way your raised primers did--if the bullet creeps out, the cylinder can't index. If the bullet creeps in, pressures can change dramatically, and you could have an 'incident.'

    ANY CREEP WILL CHANGE THE CARTRIDGE PRESSURES. So, learn what a good crimp is.

    And what is a good crimp? Well, I measure it by how many strikes of an inertial hammer it takes to unseat a bullet. For me with the .38 / .357 loads I am currently developing, it is about five or six 'raps' (not swings) on a concrete floor.

    That in turn was based on (a) examining factory ammo to see how much roll it had in the crimp, and (b) asking an experienced revolver reloader to look at my test rounds.

    Jim H.
     
  10. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    I have advised my thousands of customers since CCI primers came on the market that they caused all the reloader explosions I traced down and failures to fire on the range since were CCI also. The CCI's I checked from several exploded machines under magnification varied in cup heights, had burrs on the cup edge, were out of round and were to imprecise in their parameters for several standard brands of Progressive reloaders. There may be some good batches since then but you will not go wrong using Federal and Winchester. At the time CI came on the market all brands of standard primers were of similar strength so as I feel was a marketing ploy, CCI invented Magnum primers that were the same strength as the standard ones so what did that say for the cheapest priced CCI standard strength primers? So the standard primer brands had to invent Magnum named primers also that were really hotter. If you buy the cheapest products you get what you pay for.
     
  11. critter

    critter Member

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    .41 mm-you are learning a lot and doing it quickly. We have all been down that path-most of us much more slowly. I commend you for analyzing your problems and solving them in a logical and safe manner. A lot of that is what makes reloading so much fun. You are in for a long, useful, fun and money saving hobby. (I LIED like a DOG on that last part. Reloaded ammo IS cheaper than factory, but you will shoot TEN times as much!!!)

    Enjoy, have fun and be safe!
     
  12. strat81

    strat81 Member

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    I'd say loose primer pockets too... my R-P brass in 9mm has noticeably looser pockets than WIN, FC, WCC, or S&B.
     
  13. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Member

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    Thanks everyone. Great stuff. Harley, my wife is always disappointed too when she finds out I'm still around.

    The cases I had problems with are brand new Remington cases. Now, I realize lack of experience could be the problem here. But I can feel the primer go in and I put a good steady pressure on it for a few seconds once it is down. JFH, I am using a Lee Classic Turret press.

    Lee recommend using CCI or Win primers. Maybe I should try some Winchesters and see if that helps? Maybe I should also get some new brass of another brand to see how that goes too? Good day, the combinations seem endless. Critter, you hit it right about what it costs if you want to shoot a lot. And I want to shoot a lot, I just don't know if I am going to get to!

    Well, I guess I showed that I am not only learning about reloading, but also about my revolver. And I am having fun doing it!
     
  14. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I use mixed brass for my .45 ACP. In 10mm and .40 S&W, I also have some mixed brass. Basically, this brass is the stuff from the factory ammo I bought early on. When I started reloading, I simply bought new brass--Starline. And, since my mentor and Lee both used / recommended Winchester primers, that's basically all I've ever used. I tried some CCI one time, but didn't like them.

    Right now I too am only using my Lee turret (updated) while I get reacquainted with reloading again. I find I can feel the seating just fine: since this step on a turret is done on the downstroke, with no other cases being acted on, if you concentrate you can feel it slide in.

    I'm sure you realize that you can check your primer-seating 'feel' quite easily. Since you are just getting started, I'd recommend removing the indexing bar--that way the dies won't rotate. Here's the process.

    1. Size one case and install a primer.

    2. Raise the ram a bit, to get the pressure off the case, and slide it out of the shellholder.

    3. Tip it over in your fingers and, holding it with your thumb and middle finger, run your index finger over it and see how the base feels. You should readily discern whether the primer is slightly recessed or high. If it's high, reinsert the case into the shellholder and lower the ram again, pressing a bit more firmly.

    4. Repeat the cycle with a new case and primer. The 'feel' you are trying to develop is to the amount of pressure you need to get that primer completely into place with one stroke. Once you think you have sorted out the right pressure, then do it again five more times. About 10 minutes later, do it again, checking the primer depth. And do it again later in the day, then the next day, etc., etc.

    This will build the 'memory' you need for a good reloading process--at least for one part of the process. Once you think you have it down, then you can just random-check for primer height.

    My own feel is based on one firm push; there is no need to hold it for any length of time.

    The second issue--the bullet setback--needs to be learned, too. Follow the procedure I'm using to learn crimp amounts: get a 'mentor' / visual critique of the crimp. Really too-heavy crimps are obvious--they collapse the case. Too light crimps can be equally obvious if the revolver binds up on the second shot in the cylinder. But, testing crimp tightness with an inertial hammer at the bench is a good way to learn the amount of a crimp and how to set the seating and crimping die.

    So, if you don't own them, get an inertial hammer and a case gauge. The case gauge is, at least IMO, better than a chamber check, whether reloading for semiauto or revolver. Mine for 38SPL and for .357 Magnum are tighter than chambers--and a well-adjusted cartrige just slides in smoothly.

    Jim H.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I load on a Projector, but I do not prime on it. I use a hand primer by RCBS. I find it much easier to get consistent priming that way. I tumble my fired cases, size/decap with the Projector, prime, (no I don't clean the primer pockets usually). Now the cases are ready to go. I load them in the Projector as usual. (Minus the sizer of course)
     
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    There's no way powder can push a primer out unless it's the wrong size primer, too big a hole or not seated properly. After awhile you develop a feel for when the primers are seating properly. That's one reason I only seat primers by hand, never with the press.
     
  17. tasco 74

    tasco 74 Member

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    the lee hand priming tool goes along way towards getting primers in properly..... i always run my finger over the primer to be sure it's just below the surface of the case head...... just a quick swipe of your finger will tell you....... i like win cases and primers too... seems like they are less trouble most of the time.........
     
  18. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Member

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    note to self: get an enema hammer,-I mean- inertia hammer and a case gauge. Thanks, Jim.

    Is the inertia hammer the same thing as a bullet puller hammer, or is that two different things?

    I may end up getting a hand primer like you guys are talking about. But first I will see if I can get used to this thing. I am beginning to suspect my Remington brass since some others have had problems with it.

    If may ask one more question: What sort of tolerance in thousandths of an inch is there on case length, and col? I know what the maximum is, but what about the minimum length? I can see how too short would be a big problem, but if I am within .015 is that good enough, or should it be more like .010 or .005? (Or .0005!)
     
  19. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    +1 on the lee hand primer. I had a progressive that would skip priming. Then I would have a mess with all the spilled powder. The lee hand primer lets you take your time and gives you that second look at each case. It helps build cofidence in your rounds. As far as size, I have checked them the first time and let them go afterwards. I have not seen any stretch with the 41. My rifle rounds are different though.
     
  20. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    Those of us relatively new to metallics are cautioned to "read the instructions". If you read the instructions that come with the Lee hand primer, you'll run a good chance of returning it. The only primers that can be used without restriction are CCI. Other brands are limited to specific types or should be loaded into the primer in reduced quantities - like ten. Federals are a non-starter.

    Tweezering 10 primers into a hand primer would not be my idea of a good time. Options include ignoring the instructions, buying CCI, buying a different primer gizmo or using whatever priming gadget came with your gear.

    You can download the hand primer instructions from Lee's web site to see if your primers are on the list of the anointed.
     
  21. .41 magnum man

    .41 magnum man Member

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    Yeah, Hawk, I noticed they recommend NOT using Federal primers at all. This is according to the Lee reloading manual. Their reason is that Federals are the most dangerous for exploding in their equipment.

    Rc, Do you have a .41 rifle?
     
  22. Bad Flynch

    Bad Flynch Member

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    The doctor is wrong; after a title like that, I believe that you're never going to be "OK."
     
  23. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Member

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    The doctor is wrong; after a title like that, I believe that you're never going to be "OK."
    __________________
    B.F.

    That is funny, or not;)
     
  24. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Member

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    I'm confused... did you hurt yourself? How does your doctor fit into this?
     
  25. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

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    Wow! That doesn't sound like much fun. I have a Hornady hand priming tool, and it's pretty easy to use. I never touch the primers. I put the box of 100 primiers (still the cardboard sleeve) upside down on the fligger plate. Then I slide the cardboard sleeve off. That leaves me 100 primers, anvil side up on the flipper tray. Sometimes a few of the buggers hae flipper over, but I jiggle the flipper tray, and they turn anvil side up. I slide the plastic cover on, and I am done setting up.

    Priming with the tool is very fast - slide a case into the shell holder, squeeze the handle, reach for the next case.

    A friend suggested a hand primer when I was starting out, so that I got the feel of the primer seating.

    I think that was good advice. The two times that something felt "funny", I was inserting the primer backwards! :) I learned to do a quick visual inspection in the hole on top of the tool to make sure that I am seeing an anvil before putting the case in the shellholder.

    I don't see myself changing to a press primer mechanism for a long time - priming by hand is pretty fast, and I am in no hurry.

    I would be surprised if the pressure of the powder is exerting any pressure on the primer at all. Look at the size of the flash hole.

    Mike
     
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